Resources For Your Metro Detroit Experience

Welcome-in-various-languagesWelcome to our new and returning students!  I know these first few weeks of classes will be busy ones for you – figuring out how to pace your study schedule vis-a-vis your other responsibilities, getting a head start on your term papers. (Seriously, don’t wait until the week they’re due to consult with us librarians!)  But once you’ve established a good groove, feel free to check out these Facebook groups for resources to help make your experience here a good one! (Some of these sites may require you to log in to Facebook.)


Free (or Almost) Things to do in Metro Detroit

Fun Things to Do in Detroit (Athletic and Non-Athletic)

Pokemon Go: Metro Detroit





Historical Detroit Area Architecture

art toursDetroit Art Tours


Dine Drink Detroit [I’m not endorsing consumption of alcohol by those under 21]

Detroit Food Snobs [Includes links to other “snob” groups]

I NEED A DAM JOB! [Yes, this is how it’s spelled on the page.]

There are many more local Facebook groups, in areas that might be of personal interest to you.  To check them out, click on the “Groups” icon in the toolbar on the left of your Facebook timeline.  When the page that shows the groups to which you already belong pops up, click on “Discover” at the top of the page.


Kris McLonis

Associate Librarian

Celebrating 100 Years of the National Parks System!

ArchesTomorrow, August 25, the National Park Service turns 100! The park service is celebrating by offering free admission to all 412 national parks from August 25 through August 28.

100 years of protecting America’s natural, historical and cultural treasures from all over the United States. These more than 400 beautiful, historic and exquisite sites cover over 80 million acres consisting of approximately 18,000 miles of trails, more than 75,000 archaeological sites and at least 247 species of threatened or endangered plants and animals, and managing monuments, parkways, battlefields, cemeteries, and recreation areas.

Gold coin

The Park Service is celebrating with commemorative coins: a $5 gold coin featuring the heads of Theodore Roosevelt and John Muir who both worked to bring out the park system, a silver $1 featuring Yellowstone’s Old Faithful geyser, and the half dollar depicting experiences one has in the parks: a child finding a frog hiding in a fern and a hiker taking in a panoramic view of a mountain, and lake, and forest.


Stamp blogThe U.S. Postal Service is helping in the centennial celebration by issuing 16 new Forever stamps featuring national including: Yellowstone, Theodore Roosevelt, San Francisco Maritime, Mount Rainier, March-Billings-Rockefeller, Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens, Haleakala, Gulf Islands National Seashore, Grand Canyon, Glacier Bay, Everglades, Carlsbad Caverns, Bandelier National Monument, Assateague Island National Seashore, Arches, and Acadia.

IMAX presents the new National Parks Adventure featuring the parks in never-seen-before breathtaking ways.


New York for blogA park exchange series designed to bring parks to life in urban areas and demonstrate the diversity of park experiences is being offered: Redwood National and State Parks visit Austin, Texas, New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park visits Chicago, and Thomas Edison National Historical Park visits New York City.


Or explore the Centennial Media Quality Photo Gallery representing the unique character of the parks.  Search for parks, programs, or topics.

Visionary leaders blogRead about the visionary leaders of the park system:

Check out your invitation to the celebration!

Chapters in the History of the Book–Book Curses.

Detail from the Lindisfarne Gospels

Detail from the Lindisfarne Gospels

This book belongs to none but me
For there’s my name inside to see.
To steal this book, if you should try,
It’s by the throat that you will hang high.
And ravens then will gather ‘bout
To find your eyes and pull them out.
And when you’re screaming “oh, oh, oh!”
Remember, you deserved this woe.
–Anonymous German scribe.

Before printing was invented, every clay tablet, scroll or book (manuscript) had to be written or copied out by hand. In order to protect such valuable and laboriously created materials, scribes would often include a few lines intended to prevent theft or damage, or even to curse those who might alter the text. These book curses often invoked the wrath of the gods, included inventive punishments or, by the Medieval period, excommunication or even anathema to discourage any would-be thief.

The oldest known book curse comes down to us from the ancient Assyrians:

The palace of Ashur-bani-pal, king of hosts, king of Assyria, who putteth his trust in the gods Asher and Belit…I have transcribed upon tablets the noble products of the work of the scribe which none of the kings who had gone before me had learned, together with the wisdom of Nabu insofar as it existeth [in writing]. I have arranged them in classes, I have revised them and I have placed them in my palace, that even I, the ruler who knoweth the light of Ashur, the king of the gods, may read them.  Whosoever shall carry off this tablet, or shall inscribe his name on it, side by side with mine own, may Ashur and Belit overthrow him in wrath and anger, and may they destroy his name and posterity in the land.

More Medieval examples:
Book of [the Abbey of] Saints Mary and Nicholas of Arnstein: If anyone take away this book, let him die the death; let him be fried in a pan; let the falling sickness and fever seize him; let him be broken on the wheel, and hanged. Amen.
From: British Museum, Ms. Harley 2798, folio 235 verso.


Whoever steals this Book of Prayer
May he be ripped apart by swine,
His heart be splintered, this I swear,
And his body dragged along the Rhine.


May he who steals you then be sent

A blow upon his fundament.


Twenty-first century librarians have to be content with applying a sticker in the back cover of every book, taken from the Michigan Compiled Laws: 750.364 Larceny from Libraries.


Book Curse.
Drogin, Marc. Anathema!: medieval scribes and the history of book curses. Allanheld, Osmun & Co. Publishers, 1983
Reitz, Joan. Dictionary for Library and Information Science. Libraries Unlimited, 2004. p.788

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  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. website states that “injuries are the leading cause of death for Americans ages 1-44.” 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

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