Presenting: Book Tunes by Yoolim Moon!


Library student assistant and art major Yoolim Moon made an amazing stop-motion video about the library! Check it out.

Top 5 History Journals

pex history

For history majors, the library has a long list of historical databases. The 5 listed here were chosen because they cover the widest variety of topics and trends in history, but remember that you can always search the library catalog for more specific historical topics.


American Historical Review

The library provides access to the American Historical Review from 1975 to the present day. The official publication of the American Historical Association, it strives to cover a wide variety of historical events and cultures. According to Oxford Academic, “the AHR has been the journal of record for the historical profession in the United States since 1895—the only journal that brings together scholarship from every major field of historical study. The journal also publishes approximately one thousand book reviews per year, surveying and reporting the most important contemporary historical scholarship in the discipline.”


The Historian

Members of Phi Alpha Theta can take pride in The Historian, which is published by Blackwell Publishing on behalf of Phi Alpha Theta. Parts of The Historian can be found on JSTOR as well as other databases that the library subscribes to. The Historian often covers controversial topics in history and analyzes different trends in historical theory.


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Reviews In American History

Reviews In American History dives into the latest history books and reviews them. This journal is a great resource for history majors needing secondary sources and criticism on current books.


Technology and Culture

Technology and Culture contains interdisciplinary essays on “the history of technological devices and processes, and the relations of technology to politics, economics, labor, business, the environment, public policy, science and the arts.” This cutting edge journal has articles as specific as “Technology on the Spot: The Trials of the Congreve Rocket in India in the Early Nineteenth Century”  and as general as “Discovering Steam Power in China, 1840s-1860s.”


Comparative Studies in Society and History

This journal is a product of Cambridge University Press; it covers topics such as anthropology, ethnography, colonialism, and global politics. Use Comparative Studies in Society and History when you need resources on how history impacts societies.


*Helpful links:

History Research Guide

Search Library Journals Online


Matthew’s Monday Movie: “Fargo”

The Coen brothers have consistently produced groundbreaking and hallmark films, and their 1996 motion picture Fargo stands the test of time.  This film features a dark comedic take on a criminal plot that spirals out of control leading from one disaster to another.  This film stars Francis McDormand, William H. Macy, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare, Harve Presnell and Kristin Rudrud.

The film’s plot revolves around Jerry Lundegaard (Macey), who is a sleazy car salesmen that has fallen into debt due to fraud and money laundering and orchestrated a plot to have his own wife Jean Lundegaard (Kristin Rudrud) kidnapped and ransomed to her wealthy father Wade Gustafson (Harve Presnell). The two small-time bumbling criminals Mr. Lundergarrd entrusts with this scandalous endeavor are Carl Showalter (Steve Buscemi), who plays a tough talking albeit inept wannabe gangster, and his partner Gaear Grimsrud, played by the fantastic character actor Peter Stormare as a soft-spoken sociopath with a thousand yard stare.

The protagonist at the heart of this story is Chief of Police Marge Gunderson played by Francis McDormand. This role would go on to net McDormand an Academy Award for Best Actress. Marge Gunderson is a pregnant police chief struggling to piece together the trail of murder and mayhem left in the wake of the incompetent henchmen that Jerry Lundegaard hired.

What makes this film so memorable is the setting in which it takes place:  the backcountry of Minnesota and the snowy and glamorous metropolitan expanse of Fargo, North Dakota. The geographic location was a key choice for the Coen brothers due to the particular accent that is spoken there.  The dialect featured so heavily in the film is that of “Minnesota nice.” As part of its Wikipedia entry states:

The cultural characteristics of “Minnesota nice” include polite friendliness, an aversion to confrontation, a tendency toward understatement, a disinclination to make a fuss or stand out, emotional restraint, and self-deprecation.

With this in mind, you’ll find yourself incapable of keeping yourself from quoting this film’s unique dialogue.

Finally, I feel that William H. Macey’s portrayal of Jerry Lundegaard is superb. Jerry Lundegaard is a hopeless loser and a sorry excuse for a criminal. He time and again fails to cover his tracks and his pathetic downfall is a great example of why crime doesn’t pay. Marge Gunderson sums it up perfectly in one of her last lines at the end as she laments the calamity of the whole situation. “And for what? For a little bit of money? There’s more to life than a little money, you know. Don’tcha know that?”

Fargo is a great dark comedy drama, but it’s not suitable for the whole family as it is rated R for violence and language. Whether you are watching it for its memorable quirky dialogue or its star-studded performances, Fargo is a great film don’tcha know.

****And it’s available for check out at Union’s Library***

*written by Matthew Beyer

Featured Graphic Novel: “Audubon, On The Wings Of The World”



Audubon, On the Wings of the World” is a fantastic graphic novel about a bird-obsessed man who goes on a journey to illustrate and document different species of birds. Audubon is truly passionate about birds, so much so that he makes the heart-wrenching decision to leave his wife and kids to travel across the southern United States to learn more about birds. As he travels, he creates amazing depictions of the many different feathered creatures.

While this graphic novel has been praised for its detailed and gorgeous artwork, the story itself has been criticized as being rather dark. The antagonists of the story are portrayed in grotesque forms and birds are shown being shot, killed and dissected.

Even still, the overall story is fascinating and beautiful; this is definitely worth a read!


*written by Donny Turner

Top 5 Fitness Books & Journals

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Looking for some new workouts to try? The library has several helpful resources for keeping track of your physical fitness. Listed below are 5 of the best fitness books and journals we have to offer.

1. Journal: American Fitness

Author: Aerobics and Fitness Association of America

The library provides access to this journal from 1993 to the present- which means you can see what kind of workouts were popular in the 90’s and how fitness has evolved over the years. American Fitness has articles on everything from lunge advice to tips on avoiding sexual harassment at the gym. This journal is a great “catch-all” resource for fitness.


2. Book: Learning to Breathe Fire: The Rise of Crossfit and the Primal Future of Fitness

Author: J.C. Hertz

If you’ve been curious about CrossFit, this book can be your start guide. Learning to Breathe Fire details the history of the popular fitness movement as well as the science behind the exercises.


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3. Journal: Runner’s World

Author: Runner’s World

For those who love running or who are just getting started on their journey, Runner’s World is a must. You’ll find articles on the best shoes, fact vs. fiction with running myths, and stories of competitive runners.

4. eBook: The Official Gold’s Gym Guide to Getting Started in Body Building

Author: Ed Housewright, Gold’s Gym

Whether or not Gold’s Gym is your favorite, this eBook provides helpful information on nutrition and beginner’s exercises. It also includes inspiring quotes from leaders in sports and fitness.

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5. eBook: Yoga For Pain Relief: Simple Practices to Calm Your Mind & Heal Your Chronic Pain

Author: Kelly McGonigal

Maybe you’re wanting to exercise but are suffering from chronic pain. Yoga For Pain Relief walks you through exercises that can help, allowing you to take things at your own pace and encouraging you to keep moving forward.


All of these resources are available through our library’s online subscriptions or are on our shelves. Check them out today!

Featured eBook: “The Cambridge Art Book”

cambridge art book

Are you an Anglophile? It’s okay, you can admit it. If you drink Earl Grey every morning, have the Union Jack hanging on your dorm room wall, or dream of going to grad school at Cambridge, you probably are.

For now, you can get all the British feels just by scrolling through this eBook on your iPad or laptop. The Cambridge Art Book is not your average travel guide. It’s an artistic celebration of the ancient college town “through the eyes of its artists,” as the cover proclaims. Vibrant and energetic, the artwork in this book includes everything from woodcuts of architecture to watercolors of those classic red phone booths.

Whatever style or medium of art is your favorite, you’ll find something to enjoy in this lush collection. It’s basically a local museum you can click your way through!

Search for more of our eBooks at


*written by Danielle Chalker

International Read An eBook Day (September 18th)


eBooks are great for several reasons:

  1. They help the environment by not using paper products (which can contribute to deforestation).
  2. eBooks can be zoomed in and/or read aloud by the computer for people with sight impairments.
  3. You can take them on-the-go with tablets!


Visit the library website on this International Read An eBook Day to see our new eBooks. They’re set to scroll toward the bottom of the home page. It’s easy to read an eBook- just click to view them or download them as PDFs.



Matthew’s Monday Movie: “The Dark Knight”

This year marks the tenth anniversary of Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster film The Dark Knight. As far as films featuring Batman go, this is by far the most dramatic, thought-provoking, and epic in scale. The film boasts an all-star cast of Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman, sparring off against his greatest nemesis, The Joker, played by the late Heath Ledger. Ledger’s performance in this role would earn him a posthumous Oscar for best supporting actor.

The film’s supporting cast contribute in no small part to the memorable depths of this film. Gary Oldman portrays Jim Gordon, one of the few remaining honest and incorruptible cops left in Gotham. Gordon is followed by newly elected District Attorney Harvey Dent played by Aaron Eckhart. The two seek to battle crime legally and prove the system can work to defeat the criminals of Gotham. The cast continues with Michael Caine reprising his role as Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce Wayne’s stoic butler and father figure. The film’s lead actress is that of Maggie Gyllenhaal, who plays Rachel Dawes, Bruce’s childhood friend and romantic interest of both Wayne and Dent.

The film is filled with such familiar and iconic themes that make it so memorable to audiences that it will inevitably transcend time and culture. Aside from the classic good vs. evil encounter, the film’s themes run much deeper embodied by our lead characters. We see a tragic hero in that of Bruce Wayne as he forgoes his own happiness and dreams in order to become a symbol of hope and justice for the citizens of Gotham. Contrast that with one of the most iconic villains to ever appear on film: The Joker. This character is deeply frightening as his motivation is so devilishly simple in that his only desire is to unleash chaos on the people of Gotham. The Joker is disgusted by the world with its rules, laws, and order. He sees the world and the people in it as a bad joke. Due to this mentality he has sensed morphed himself into a twisted and disturbing parody of how he views humanity. His aim is to terrify and corrupt the people of Gotham. What makes his motives even more insidious is the fact that he isn’t interested in coming out on top or winning; his only goal is to ensure that everyone loses. As Alfred puts it in his grim take on the Joker: “Some men aren’t looking for anything logical, like money. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.”

This film features a dynamic clash between Order & Chaos, and how far good people will compromise their morals and ethics before they become the very thing they sought to overcome. The Dark Knight is simply a masterpiece- not only as an action-packed thrill ride, but the themes it expresses through its characters and setting will no doubt be studied and praised for years to come. If you’re watching this film for the first time I’d advise you to hold on tight because it is going be a bumpy ride. If you are giving this a second go, try and appreciate the film’s subtleties.


*Note: this film is Rated PG-13 and features some language, intense action, and some frightening scenes. *

**You can check out The Dark Knight trilogy from the library.**

The Library Presents: Blind Date With A Book!

Blind Date With A Book!

Come to the Circulation Desk to check out your “blind date” book!

Celebrate “Defy Superstition Day” (September 13th)

black cat

Everyone can breathe a sigh of relief. We have missed Friday the 13th by one day, and we won’t be having another until September of next year (14 months away). We have been spared from bad luck and can now rest soundly, under ladders with all our umbrellas open indoors.

Are you superstitious? While you may scoff at superstition in the abstract, you might find yourself saying “jinx!” when two people speak in unison or cringing when an important day falls on Friday the 13th. September 13, not surprisingly, has been established as Defy Superstition Day by some brave soul desiring to free us from our irrational fears. In America we have plenty of superstitions, from avoiding black cats to only picking pennies off the ground if they are on heads. But America is far from the only country with strange and bizarre superstitions.


Here are 13 superstitions from around the world!


  1. Have you ever mistaken someone’s birthday, so you end up saying, “happy early birthday!” In America this is fine and understandable, but in Russia, wishing someone a happy birthday before their actual birthday is bad luck.
  2. Looking through two mirrors facing each other may seem like a cool optical trick, but in Mexico, it opens a doorway for the devil to come through. Suddenly looking through two mirrors seems less interesting.
  3. As kids we probably all joked around and gave cheers will all kinds of drinks. But in Germany if you cheers with water, you are wishing death upon the people you are drinking with. Yikes!
  4. We have all tried to cram another person at our table at lunch, but for that poor soul who gets stuck on the corner, bad things will happen. According to Hungarian myth, sitting at the corner of a table means you will never get married.
  5. We all know we should put our best foot forward, which in Spain means your right foot, since entering or leaving a room left foot first is considered bad luck.
  6. But in France, if you are unfortunate enough to step in dog poop you better hope it’s your left foot, since that is for some reason good luck, but if you step in it with your right foot, well that’s bad. Perhaps it’s best to just try to avoid all dog poop in general. There will be less to clean up.
  7. In Bulgaria people believe that getting pooped on by a bird is actually good luck, contrary to reason. But again, don’t look up with your mouth open.
  8. Playing leap frog as a kid is always fun, except in Turkey where jumping over a child can curse them to be short…forever.
  9. In Korea, it is believed that sleeping with a fan of any kind on in the room will bring your imminent demise due to…hypothermia. This is why these things are superstitions and not facts.
  10. In areas of the north eastern United States certain houses were built with windows slanted at 45 degrees since it was believed that witches could not fly through slanted windows. Flying on a broom is one thing, but apparently flying through a window that’s a little tilted is just too much.
  11. In China, the number 4 is seen as very bad luck (like 13 in the US), so many hotels won’t have a 4th floor. This goes to Japan as well, where putting chopsticks straight up in food (which makes a symbol like their number 4) is seen as very bad luck.
  12. We know not to run with scissors, but in Egypt opening scissors without using them, and leaving them open, is considered very bad luck. The idea is that the scissors, left open, are cutting spirits in the air, who in turn, will curse you.
  13. Lastly, in America we watch for Friday the 13th, but in Italy it is Friday the 17th that we should be worried about. In Spain, they aren’t concerned with Friday, it’s Tuesday the 13th where bad things happen.

    So enjoy this year without Friday the 13th and go defy some superstitions; but it might be smart to knock on wood first, just in case.



*written by Brennan Kress & Danielle Chalker