Grass-Roots Social Justice Organizations in Metropolitan Detroit

grassroots-sliderIn terms of social justice efforts and organizations, Detroit has many hidden gems. Included here are just a few of the individuals and groups that work without much fanfare and deserve lots of support. (“Social justice” is loosely defined here, in that not all of what is listed here is directly involved with the political process or social movements. But they all help to relieve suffering and to empower folks to improve their lives.)

Occupy Detroit

Not much is heard lately about the Occupy movement that sprung up in many locations in 2011. There is still a Detroit contingency, although its focus has shifted from the initial activities of camping out in a public space and marching in protest of – or support for – various institutions and causes. This Facebook group is a good way to keep somewhat informed of many social justice issues, both local and worldwide. Postings include announcements of upcoming People’s Potlucks, which are a great way to connect with the still-active members of Occupy Detroit.

spirit farmSpirit Farm

Folks who travel to the Dental School Campus may (in the warmer months) spot vegetable stands and other indicators of a small farmer’s market on the opposite side of Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard. This is the site of Spirit Farm, a community supported agriculture (CSA) farm operated by Tuka Rivers and Jan Robo. Here are links to the Facebook pages, which include many useful tips for those interested in growing food (and avoiding GMOs):

detroit dirtDetroit Dirt

Another type of local urban farm, Detroit Dirt, uses composting to produce rich, fertile soil for gardening. This is so important in this city, where much of the topsoil has been contaminated by industrial uses. (Some folks may remember the Ford car commercial from almost two years ago!) Here is the Facebook page link, and a link to Detroit Dirt’s website:

Detroit Dog Rescue

There are many animal shelters in the metro Detroit area. One in particular, Detroit Dog Rescue, was started by Andy Didorosi (who also started the Detroit Bus Company). He was inspired by his own unexpected rescue and adoption of a stray dog, now named Mel. Services include rehabilitating dogs who had been trained to fight. Here is a link to the Facebook page for Detroit Dog Rescue:

freedom houseFreedom House Detroit

Currently in the news, especially in the aftermath of the bombings in Paris, is the situation of the Syrian refugees. Freedom House Detroit has been assisting refugees since the 1980s. Many of these refugees find asylum in Canada, as well as the U.S., through the efforts of this organization. Here is a link to learn more:

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

Kris McLonis

Meleagris gallopavo

Audubon Turkey

Turkeys are native to North America and were first domesticated by the Aztecs. Turkey was probably not the main dish at the first Thanksgiving; it was more likely venison and small game were on the menu. Benjamin Franklin questioned the choice of the Bald Eagle as the national symbol and seems to think the turkey a better choice.

“For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him.
With all this injustice, he is never in good case but like those among men who live by sharping & robbing he is generally poor and often very lousy. Besides he is a rank coward: The little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the district. He is therefore by no means a proper emblem for the brave and honest Cincinnati of America who have driven all the King birds from our country.

I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America… He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.”

Read more:


Turkeys have a reputation for being really stupid, at least the domesticated variety (Wild turkeys on the other hand, are very canny.) The word ‘turkey’ has entered our vocabulary to mean “someone or something of little appeal; dud, loser, or a naive stupid, or inept person.
Inevitably the turkey appears in political cartoons as far back as the 19th century.

1850s election turkey

This one from the Library of Congress digital collections, refers to the contest between Franklin Pierce and Winifield Scott.

More recently,  the satirists are alive and well:


Turkey voters

For other interesting facts see the following:

For those with an economic bent, statistics on the annual production of turkey can be found at the USDA Economic Research Service:

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has basic information about wild turkey: range, behavior, habitat, even a sound recording.

An episode of Nature sheds light on turkey behavior in My Life as a Turkey:

The library has access, through the Library of Michigan, to the Culinary Arts Collection,  where one may find recipes for cooking turkey.

Lastly, just for a chuckle, a droll Gary Larson cartoon:


Larson turkey dinner


Oxford Islamic Studies Online

IslamThe first stop for information and context on Islam has to be Oxford Islamic Studies Online. This database features authoritative reference content and scholarly commentary on Islamic history, the faith and concepts of Islam, the people, tenets and practices, politics, culture, and more. Oxford Islamic Studies Online includes information from such titles as The Oxford Handbook of Islam and Politics, The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World, The Oxford Dictionary of Islam, and The Grove Encyclopedia of Islamic Art & Architecture.


Oxford Islamic Studies Online encompasses over 5000 A-Z reference entries, chapters from scholarly and introductory works, Qur’anic materials, primary sources, biographies, images, maps, and timelines of Islamic and world events.


quranTo facilitate your research on the Qu’ran, the database provides side by side translations and a concordance.





dateThe database has a handy converter tool that converts any western date to the corresponding date on the Islamic calendar.


branchThe advanced search feature allows you to limit your search to such facets as branch of Islam, country, region or historical era.






third tab
To access Oxford Islamic Studies Online, go to the library portal page, . Click on the third tab,  Article, Journals + Databases. Under Find databases by title, select the letter OOxford Islamic Studies Online is the fourth database.



Online Additional Content with Print Books

Many textbook are adding additional information at their website to accompany the text of print books.  Depending on the publisher this feature could be called ThePoint, ExpertConsult or Evolve.    This is really useful in the health sciences.


Most are available at a specific site using a login provided in the print copy.  Some have been set up by the UDM Library  In the past some textbooks came with CDs or later DVDs — this is more convenient.




Wheeler’s Dental Anatomy, Physiology Occlusion  has explanatory animations  and drag and drop labeling exercises to test your knowledge.  There are also questions to create quizzes.




Modern Dental Assisting has extensive material including an audio glossary for each chapter, video explanations and quizzes. Office management, legal aspects of dental practice as well as assisting techniques Modern Dental Assistingare included. Studying with friends? Use the quiz show feature to turn review into a game. This text also includes mock Dental Hygiene Board review material.





Another example is Fundamental of Implant Dentistry This book cleverly has the url and specific info on how to find the login included in the text of the book





Next time you’re using with additional content, check it out.  And remember, see Library staff for assistance.

Symptom Media: new mental health streaming video library

symptom media home

UDM has purchased a new online library of mental health training videos: Symptom Media. This collection of 50 mental health videos is designed to assist health care providers with symptom recognition.  Videos range between 30 seconds up to 15 minutes long and include DSM 5 and ICD Guided Film Collections as well as Assessment Tools. The videos consist of patient interactions that offer samples of what a particular mental health diagnosis looks like.

The following are sample video titles from the collection: Coping Mechanisms and Defenses; Delusional Disorder – Somatic subtype; Adjustment Disorder with Anxiety; Post traumatic Stress Disorder – Combat veteran; Dissociative Amnesia; Suicide Assessment; and many more.



Scary Reading

new try

Halloween is creeping up on us, and the UDM McNichols Campus Library has an alarming assortment of hair-raising and spine-chilling books, poems, short stories and eBooks to put you in the mood for Halloween.

shining 2If you feel like writing papers is driving you a little crazy, pick up a copy of The Shining by Stephen King.

If working through the rest of your assignments feel like a series of trials and tribulations, read about Joseph K.’s disquieting experience in The Trial by Franz Kafka.

You can try (in vain) to escape to a quiet house in the country by reading The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson and Ghost Stories of an Antiquary by M. R. James. pumpkin

Listen to the calming sounds of nature, but look to the sky and beware the The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe and the bat swooping in, searching for your throat in Dracula by Bram Stoker–

Or leave nature behind and enter the world of the supernatural and the undead in The Monkey’s Paw by W. W. Jacobs and The Exorcist by William Blatty.

Happy Haunting!

Jill Spreitzer, Librarian Consultant


Stupid Catalog

600px-Yale_card_catalogI’ve got some bad news. If you have trouble using the UDM Library Catalog, it’s probably your fault. It might be typos in a search, or misuse of a search key, or even trying to use the catalog for purposes it’s not designed for.

That has to be true. After all, the only alternative is that it’s the catalog’s fault and since the catalog is only as good as the cataloger… I mean, I’ve been logging cattle for over 30 years now, so the chance that I would make a mistake is er, well…

Tell you what. Instead of assigning blame, let’s look briefly at what sort of information the library catalog is designed to deliver, as well as what it simply can’t do for you. This won’t eliminate typos, but it might prevent some frustration.

When searching for a book in the library catalog, you are not searching the text of the book as you would on Google. Instead, you are searching a brief description and summary meant to provide general information such as an author, title, or subject.

This description is based on standards originally devised for the legendary Card Catalog. Many libraries still had one in the 1980s, so your grandparents may remember them. Endless rows of cabinets with thousands of drawers each containing hundreds of cards, every card with very brief information about one book. Charming if you’re into nostalgia, but very limited as an information retrieval system. There is a limit to the amount of print that will fit into 15 square inches.

catalog-card-loc-90Today’s technology allows the addition of much more descriptive information to the catalog, such as summaries and book contents. Instead of being limited to one 3” x 5” card for each book, we can use the equivalent of as many as we need. Instead of building six floors of card cabinets, we just tell IT to dump another server on the pile.

However, the fact remains that the catalog indexes only a description of the book. This can be very helpful, but it’s still not an index for the entire text.

Finding information about journal articles is even more limited. The library catalog provides information about which issues of a particular journal are available from the library (either in print or electronically), but not about what you are really interested in: individual articles about a certain topic.

It is theoretically possible to put information about individual journal articles into the library catalog, but the amount of work and time required would be prohibitive. In addition it’s not necessary, since this information has already been assembled by publishers and indexers, and can be used though the many journal databases available through . But that’s a different blog altogether.

research-vector-444012Though searching of both books and journal articles is not yet possible in the UDM Library Catalog, “one-stop” shopping may be coming in the future. DALNET (Detroit Area Library Network), a consortium which supports the UDM Library Catalog, is investigating a new generation of catalogs featuring “Discovery Systems”, which will allow simultaneous searching of the catalog and journal databases. This will be a welcome advance once it materializes. Even though the catalog comes under the provenance of what libraries call “Technical Services”, its first priority must always remain public service.



David Moody, Cataloging Librarian

Musical Genres For Your Listening Pleasure

every noiseHere’s an interesting resource via the Every Noise at Once Project:


While some of the examples given on this page may cause some head-scratching, the soundbites do give a sense of all the different musical styles, both historically and currently-existing worldwide.  Make sure you have a huge chunk of time to peruse this site – it’s like bubble wrap for the ears!


Kris McLonis

Music Librarian

More Copyright Free Images

As the new school year is settling in, it won’t be long before you have projects and presentations due. To spice them up you might want to add a picture or two.   To use copyright free images search some of the  websites listed below.

Creative commons has 12 websites with either images, video, or music.  However, Creative Commons cautions not to assume that all results are under the CC license umbrella.


American Memory, from the Library of Congress, includes historical photographs and film stills from a broad array of Americana.

GettyGetty Open Content Program  The Getty makes available, without charge, over 99,00 digital images to which the Getty holds the rights or that are in the public domain to be used for any purpose. No permission is required. However, please use the following source credit when reproducing an image: Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.

HathiTrust Digital Library HathiTrust is a collaborative library initiative. Users are encouraged to cite and link to digital content and are free to do so without asking for permission.

Metropolitan Museum of Art  See Open Access for Scholarly Content (OASC) via the Met’s Website for information on public domain images.

NYPLNYPL Digital Gallery features maps, manuscripts, prints, photographs, streaming video and more.

Smithsonian Institute You must cite the author and source of the Content as you would material from any printed work. You must also cite and link to, when possible, the SI Website as the source of the Content. See more at:

Where to Find Chemical Information

ACS Logo
UDM Libraries have a number of databases which are good for finding journal articles in chemistry:

American Chemical Society Journals: this database contains the full text of all ACS journals from their beginnings to the present.

Medline: a medical database which includes material on biochemistry

Science Direct:

SciFinder Scholar:  a tool to access the world’s research on chemistry.  For more information and instructions on creating your own account see

Wiley Online Library


As always, if you are having trouble finding what you need: ask a librarian.



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