When Work Becomes a Calling

What does it mean to have a meaningful work-life? Is it possible to find meaning in any kind of work? When does work become a calling? Or is a calling something other than work? In the book Callings: The Purpose and Passion of Work, David Isay, the founder of StoryCorps, pCallingsresents numerous stories compiled over the years that get at some of these questions. This is StoryCorps fifth book of compiled interviews based on a theme.

In an interview with Democracy Now Mr. Isay said, “I’ve always believed that the power of an authentic story, of people talking—StoryCorps is the opposite of reality TV. No one comes to get rich. No one comes to get famous. It’s an act of generosity and love. And a story, honestly told, has the ability, I think, to build bridges of understanding between people that’s unparalleled.” During this same interview several excerpts from StoryCorps Animation were presented and the history of how they were developed was discussed. What becomes clear through both words and images is that the diversity of our stories adds strength to our compassion. By truly listening to these stories we can deepen our commitment to recognize, cherish and honor our shared humanity.


Introducing One Stop Searching

PrimoOver the last few years we’ve gotten requests for a library catalog that not only searches for books and DVD’s, but will search the databases for journal articles at the same time. The UDM Library is proud to announce that a catalog with that capability is coming. It’s called Primo and UDM Library staff and our consortial partners at Dalnet have been working diligently for months to prepare the new catalog for implementation. Over time, you will notice changes on the library’s portal page to accommodate the new catalog.

Primo has many of the same features you are used to. You will still be able to search for a book or DVD, find its call number and determine if it’s available for check out. You will still be able to access your account and renew your checked out items.

But Primo has some new and fabulous features to make research easier than ever. One of the best things about Primo is you will be able to search for books and journal articles at the same time. Primo will make it easier to obtain more precise search results by using straightforward “facets” (limiters).

Another new feature is the Virtual Browse, which displays a virtual bookshelf and enables you to see what items are on the shelf before and after the item you searched for. An example below shows what items are on the shelf before and after The Film Sense by Sergei Eisenstein.










You will be able to export citations directly to RefWorks.refworks

Primo provides properly formatted citations in APA, Chicago/Turabian or MLA style.







personalizeYou will be able to personalize your search results by choosing your preferred discipline(s) to rank material related to that discipline higher in your results list.


linkerFor those occasions when you have a citation to a book or a journal article or you just want to know if we have a particular journal, the Citation Linker will take you right to the item if UDM has it.

These are just a few of several new features the new catalog has to make locating resources easier than ever.

As of today, Primo is up and running to search for books and DVD’s. The database portion will be set up in the very near future.

So there you have it. One stop searching to access a wealth of print, electronic and digital resources.



Political cartoons & commercials

Democratic Republican Parties Arm Wrestling ClipartNo — don’t go away!  You’re probably tired of election season already and there’s three and a half months to go.

But there are political cartoons and ads online that are interesting without being annoying.


The Living Room Candidate is a free website that has videos of presidential campaign ads from 1952 – 2012.

Curated by the  Museum of the Moving Image  [a topic for another day] the database of videos is searchable by election year, issue,

candidate and key.  In 1964 the Lyndon Johnson campaign produced a TV spot in the election against Barry Goldwater that famously became known as the Daisy ad.   While production looks dated, there’s no doubt about it’s effectiveness.  And nastiness.  Negative ads are nothing new.


Another timely site from the National Archives has an exhibit on political cartoons called Running for Office.  

A  form of editorial content whether in online news or a newspaper, political cartoons are a serious — albeit funny –  form of commentary; a Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning has been awarded since 1922

This collection is from one author, Clifford Berryman who worked from 1898 to 1948.  Political cartoons require some knowledge of the contemporary issues or appreciate what’s being made fun of.  These include a brief explanation of what’s going on.

A more recent collection can be found at Political Cartoons.com  Searchable by artist and key word this group goes back to 1999.

Remember these are for sale so have fun browsing the collection for free — payment is required to reuse them.

Moon Day

Moon day commemorates the day a human first walked on the moon: July 20th 1969.  In 1961, in an effort to beat the Soviet Union in the space race,  President John F. Kennedy made an appeal to a special joint session of Congress, stating ” “I believe this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth.”  Thus began NASA’s Apollo Space Program and ten Apollo missions and eight years later, Apollo 11 was launched on July 16th, 1969.  The lunar landing module, nicknamed The Eagle touched down four days later.

NASAMoonLandingNeilArmstrongAstronaut Neil Armstrong, upon setting foot on the moon uttered the now famous line “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Learn more about the Apollo 11 Mission at The History Channel.

However, some conspiracy theorists believe that the moon landing was fake. The conspiracy that the moon landing was a hoax started in the mid 1970′s.  Some go so far as to say NASA used either a sound stage or filmed in a remote desert with the astronauts using harnesses or slow-motion photography to make it look like they were on the moon.  To read more about the moon landing conspiracies (and the debunking of) visit National Geographic.

To celebrate Moon Day, why not read about the history of the Apollo program in Marketing the Moon.  Or read the book or watch a movie on space flight like Apollo 13.  Or delve into the funnier side of the conspiracy theory of the moon landing hoax by watching Moonwalkers.  Or simply gaze up into the night sky and enjoy the sight of the full moon!

Summer Reading

Need a good book to read on the beach or for your summer get-away?  Try one of these from the library’s collection:

big little life A Big Little Life: a Memoir of a Joyful Dog, by Dean Koontz 

She arrived with her name, Trixie. I joked sometimes that it sounded more like a stripper than a dog. But if it sounded more like a stripper than a dog, it sounded more like an elf or a fairy than a stripper. Elves and fairies are magical beings, and so was she. A heartwarming memoir of a very special dog



The Dog Stars, by Peter Heller

dog starsHig survived the flu that killed everyone he knows. His wife is gone, his friends are dead, he lives in the hangar of a small abandoned airport with his dog, his only neighbor, a gun-toting misanthrope. In his 1956 Cessna, Hig flies the perimeter of the airfield or sneaks off to the mountains to fish and to pretend that things are the way they used to be. But when a random transmission somehow beams through his radio, the voice ignites a hope deep inside him that a better life, something like his old life, exists beyond the airport. Risking everything, he flies without enough fuel to get him home, to a point of no return, as he follows the voice on the radio. But what he encounters and what he must face, in the people he meets, and in himself, is both better and worse than anything he could have hoped for.


emmaEmma: a Modern Retelling, by Alexander McCall Smith

Emma Woodhouse arrives home in Norfolk ready to embark on adult life. Not only has her sister, Isabella, been whisked away on a motorcycle up to London, but her astute governess, Miss Taylor is at a loose end, abandoned in the giant family pile, Hartfield, alongside Emma’s anxiety-ridden father. Someone is needed to rule the roost and young Emma is more than happy to oblige. But there is only one person who can play with Emma’s indestructible confidence, her old friend and inscrutable neighbor George Knightly — this time has Emma finally met her match?


expatriatesThe Expatriates, by Janice Y. K. Lee

Three very different American women live in the same small expat community in Hong Kong. Mercy, a young Korean American and recent Columbia graduate, is adrift, undone by a terrible incident in her recent past. Hilary, a wealthy housewife, is haunted by her struggle to have a child, something she believes could save her foundering marriage. Meanwhile, Margaret, once a happily married mother of three, questions her maternal identity in the wake of a shattering loss. Their lives collide in ways that have irreversible consequences for them all.


first phone callThe First Phone Call from Heaven, by Mitch Albom

The story of a small town on Lake Michigan that gets worldwide attention when its citizens start receiving phone calls from the afterlife. Is it the greatest miracle ever or a massive hoax? Sully Harding, a grief-stricken single father, is determined to find out.




girlThe Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning, flashing past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stopping at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. Their life, as she sees it, is perfect … until she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but now everything is changed. Rachel goes to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?


martianThe Martian, by Andy Weir

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive — and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old ‘human error’ are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills — and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit — he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

station 11Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel

“An audacious, darkly glittering novel about art, fame, and ambition set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, from the author of three highly acclaimed previous novels. One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. Moving back and forth in time-from the actor’s early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe known as the Traveling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains-this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people: the actor, the man who tried to save him, the actor’s first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the Traveling Symphony, caught in the cross hairs of a dangerous self-proclaimed prophet. Sometimes terrifying, sometimes tender, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it”–

swansThe Swans of Fifth Avenue, by Melanie Benjamin

Of all the glamorous stars of New York high society, none blazes brighter than Babe Paley. Her flawless face regularly graces the pages of Vogue, and she is celebrated and adored for her ineffable style and exquisite taste, especially among her friends — the alluring socialites Slim Keith, C. Z. Guest, Gloria Guinness, and Pamela Churchill. By all appearances, Babe has it all: money, beauty, glamour, jewels, influential friends, a prestigious husband, and gorgeous homes. But beneath this elegantly composed exterior dwells a passionate woman — a woman desperately longing for true love and connection. Enter Truman Capote. This diminutive golden-haired genius with a larger-than-life personality explodes onto the scene, setting Babe and her circle of Swans aflutter. Through Babe, Truman gains an unlikely entrée into the enviable lives of Manhattan’s elite, along with unparalleled access to the scandal and gossip of Babe’s powerful circle. Sure of the loyalty of the man she calls “True Heart,” Babe never imagines the destruction Truman will leave in his wake. But once a storyteller, always a storyteller — even when the stories aren’t his to tell.

turnerThe Turner House, by Angela Flournoy

A powerful, timely debut, The Turner House marks a major new contribution to the story of the American family. The Turners have lived on Yarrow Street for over fifty years. Their house has seen thirteen children grown and gone–and some returned; it has seen the arrival of grandchildren, the fall of Detroit’s East Side, and the loss of a father. The house still stands despite abandoned lots, an embattled city, and the inevitable shift outward to the suburbs. But now, as ailing matriarch Viola finds herself forced to leave her home and move in with her eldest son, the family discovers that the house is worth just a tenth of its mortgage. The Turner children are called home to decide its fate and to reckon with how each of their pasts haunts–and shapes–their family’s future. Already praised by Ayana Mathis as “utterly moving” and “un-putdownable,” The Turner House brings us a colorful, complicated brood full of love and pride, sacrifice and unlikely inheritances. It’s a striking examination of the price we pay for our dreams and futures, and the ways in which our families bring us home”

Fireworks & Summer: Think celebration and … safety



There is a subset of people in this country who love to set off fireworks. (I think many live in my neighborhood.) When fireworks are mentioned, I think fun, but also safety. Reports of injuries resulting from firework accidents are still making news two days after the holiday. A quick search in PubMed reveals many articles on firework injuries. One of the more recent is a case report that includes a man in Italy who received a face and conjunctiva tattoo from an accidental explosion in the fireworks factory where he worked. Another details the autopsy report from a 4 year old girl who died as a result of eating a firecracker. A study from 2014 looked at the epidemiology of firework injuries over a 10 year period. There were over 97, 562 individual firework injuries treated in emergency departments in the United States that resulted in over 2,800 types of injuries. Head and neck injuries comprised 42% of those injuries. (Unsurprisingly, the injury rate for males was three times higher than for females.)

Technically, June was National Safety Month, but with the holiday just past and most of the summer still stretching out before us, let’s talk safety. There are a ton of websites that have materials on various aspects of safety.  Here are a few:

The National Safety Council collects safety data and provides safety training to companies. They also have a lot of information available on their website for the general citizen. I like the Safety Check-up where you can learn your own person safety risks based on your age, occupation, and where you live. The leading cause of unintentional injury death in Michigan is poisoning at 31%! Who knew! They have has information on safety at work, at home, and on the road. According to the Safety on the Road page, in 2014, car crashes killed 35,400 people. The fatalities were caused by alcohol (30.8%), speeding (30%), and distracted driving (26%)… so be careful out there.

healthfinder.gov website states that “injuries are the leading cause of death for Americans ages 1-44.” healthfinder.gov also includes information on a variety of safety topics: everyday healthy living like first aid and emergency preparation; home safety issues like bed bugs and lead poisoning; and outdoor safety concerns such as bike safety and mosquito bite prevention.

The MedlinePlus website contains lots of of information dealing with the prevention and treatment of all kinds of safety issues: sports safety, child safety, water safety, gun safety, food, internet, medical device, ergonomics, and more.

ice-cream-1082237_1280As I missed the boat with National Safety Month, this being July and all, I thought I’d close this post by letting you know that July, besides including National Ice Cream Day and Slurpee Day (both way more fun than safety month), is the time to celebrate Sports Cliche Week (due to the MLB All-Star Game), so on that note …  I’ve run out of real estate, so stick a fork in me, I’m done. But, hey, I was just happy to be here.



Finding Information about the Zika Virus

mosquitoAs the 2016 summer Olympic Games in Rio approach, athletes and fans are looking for reliable information on the Zika virus and what risks it may pose to them as they travel to Brazil.  A great source for accessible information on health topics is the National Institute of Health’s MedlinePlus website, which includes easy-to-understand information on diseases, medical conditions, prescription and nonprescription drugs, and clinical trials.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s Zika Virus website includes detailed information on Zika prevention, transmission and risks, and symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.  It also has specialized resources for travelers, pregnant women, healthcare providers (including clinical guidelines, testing algorithms and a Zika pregnancy registry), and even mosquito control professionals.  Resources for travelers include travel notices, maps showing current Zika cases, and guidelines for travelers who plan to visit areas with Zika.

As athletes and travelers return from areas affected by the Zika virus, health professionals will also want to be prepared with current and authoritative information.  The Zika Virus Health Information Resource Guidecoordinated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is updated daily with information from both U.S. and international agencies and organizations such as the World Health Organization, the American Nurses Association, and the American Public Health Association.  It also includes links to PubMed articles, and information on research and funding, clinical trials, and free resources from publishers for medical responders.

UDM students can find even more information on the Zika virus in the library’s databases.  Try Academic OneFile and OmniFile Full Text for general information, and InfoTrac Newsstand for newspapers articles from around the world.  Students in the health professions might want to search Ebsco databases including CINAHL, Health Source: Nursing Academic Edition, and Health Business Elite.  If you still can’t find what you are looking for, make sure to ask one of our helpful librarians.

Jill Spreitzer, librarian

Two Places At Once – OR – Get Out Your Phasers!

Candolim_Beach_GoaThe first blog of Summer! A reminder of those glorious days spent at Aunt Gertrude’s tea party instead of down at the beach wishing you hadn’t forgotten the SPF-30. People have always thought it would be useful to be in two places at once, and the same goes for information.

Unfortunately, you can’t do this unless you have a clone, and with your luck, it’s the clone that will always get the beach assignment. Same for information. Unless there are multiple copies of a book, it can be found in only one place. There may be different ways to access it such as the stairs or the elevator, but it’s always in once place.

Now, librarians do try to help by classifying like materials together, so often related material can be found by browsing around the area. But what happens when a book can logically be put into two or more different subject areas?


There was an example in my last blog with The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James, a classic work dealing with the psychology of religion. Should it be classified with the books on psychology, or with religion? Both are important areas of study, and would be delighted to have such a high-class work gracing their shelves.



phaserIn such cases, librarians often employ a strategy called Phase Relations. (Don’t worry about the jargon, just the principle.) When a book covers two major concepts, determine if one is influencing the other. If so, classify under the subject being influenced rather than the one doing the influencing. Thus, The Varieties of Religious Experience studies the effect of psychology on religion, so it goes in the religion section.

Need a more down-to-earth example? OK. Remember the kerfuffle last year when Kim Kardashian posted a photo which attracted so much attention that it “Broke the Internet”? If we ever receive a book about the incident – and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least — we will probably use the phase relations principle to classify it. Is it about how a single post was able to disrupt the entire Internet? Then it will go in the technology section. Or, is it a book about the role played by the Internet in Kim Kardashian’s career? In that case, it will go to the area for entertainment celebrities.

There are other principles of classification. For instance, a book like Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My! will probably wind up in a general number for animals. But, really, the classification is not as important as the relation between various subject areas studies in the book. An important step in research is finding information about these subjects, wherever the book might be shelved.

Browsing on the shelf is nice, but limited. The advantage of using the catalog is being able to use the subject heading links found in catalog records to locate other related material throughout the library’s collections.

Using subject headings in the catalog is the next best thing to a book being in two places at the same time. There may be only one copy, but there are many different ways to get there from here.


David Moody, Associate Librarian

Environmental and Social Justice Organizations, Near and Far

As part of my continuing efforts to increase awareness of organizations dealing with environmental/social justice issues, here are more links!

energyEnergy Freedom Coalition


This is the URL for the Facebook page of the Energy Freedom Coalition.


greeningThe Greening of Detroit

Something more local.  The mission statement on the main page of this organization state: “Our focus at The Greening of Detroit is to enhance the quality of life for Detroiters by repurposing the land to create beautiful and productive green spaces. We involve Detroiters in the process through community engagement, education and jobs.”



restorativeDetroit Area Restorative Justice Center

“[A]  group of individuals working collectively to encourage accountability and respect within ourselves, our Corktown neighborhood, and our Detroit community through building relationships, offering resources and training, and repairing of harm that has occurred between people in order to promote peace, transformation, and healing.”



peercorpsPeercorps Detroit

A year-long mentorship program for Jewish teens and B’nai Mitzvah students.



I’d love to hear about other local organizations and individuals who are doing creative and positive things for our community! Please email me (mclonika@udmercy.edu) if you know of any; and you may see your contributions in a future blog!


Kris McLonis, Associate Librarian


American Cemetery in NormandyRecently, Sue Homant, Head of Reference Services at the library, discussed her trip to Normandy, France with Cameron Pierson, library intern. Her experiences (and pictures) had them thinking about D-Day and the part librarians played in World War II. So, they dug a little deeper. 


American Cemetery, Normandy, France


    72 years ago, on 6 June 1944, the Allied Forces landed on Normandy in an event that would become known as D-Day. This was a major turning point in the war, contributing to the eventual defeat of the Axis Powers. Now, in 2016, most of us know of these events, either from our grandparents, school, or the History Channel. Yet, what is lesser known are the efforts undertaken by the American Library Association to insure that our men in uniform, no matter where they were in the world, would still have access to reading material.

German bunker2

    The Victory Book Campaign (V.B.C.) was a program that worked to maintain and enhance library services to those in the Army, Navy, and the Marines. Such services were spurred by the previous World War and laid the groundwork for continued library support, even to this day. Initiated by the leaders of the American Library Association, the campaign itself is said to have had mixed results as it worked within a war-time backdrop. Nonetheless, the program was able to collect in excess of a million books which were used by soldiers for continued education, technical support, and even leisure – something fundamental to morale.

German bunker, Normandy, France


Remnents of floating harbor     The program coordinated with many organizations (both public and private) to obtain donations from the American people. The books collected and later deemed suitable were an effort to support the mental and emotional wellbeing of the soldiers during such a horrific war. This type of undertaking is astounding even by today’s standards. It serves to remind us of the democratic function of libraries. In appreciating this lesser known piece of history, one cannot think about libraries without also thinking about those democratic values so central to free societies.

Remnents of Allies Mulberry, a floating harbor on Omaha Beach, Normandy, France



Connor, J. (1942). On to victory with the Victory Book Campaign. ALA Bulletin, 36(9), 552-554. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org.proxy.lib.wayne.edu/stable/25691447

Passet, J. E. (2007). [Review of the book Books and Libraries in American Society during World War II: Weapons in the War of Ideas, by Patti Clayton Becker]. New York: Routledge. Retrieved from https://muse.jhu.edu/article/214299

Weeks, L. (2015, July 4). When America’s librarians went to war. NPR. Retrieved from

Written by Cameron Pierson, Wayne State University LIS practicum student.  Photos by Sue Homant.

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