What's Happening at the NEIU Libraries?

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profile-icon Chrissy Cogswell
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Disability Pride Month is celebrated every July and is an opportunity to honor the history, achievements, experiences, and struggles of the disability community. Why July? It marks the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), landmark legislation that broke down barriers to inclusion in society.

People with disabilities deserve to live full, self-determined lives, just like everyone else. Yet discrimination persists for the 1 in 4 U.S. adults living with a disability.

Credit: https://thearc.org/blog/why-and-how-to-celebrate-disability-pride-month/

The NEIU Libraries is celebrating with a virtual Book Display - check it out!

profile-icon Chrissy Cogswell
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This month, the NEIU Libraries celebrate Jewish American Heritage Month and recognize Jewish contributions to American culture, history, science, government, and more. The NEIU Libraries are pleased to partner with faculty members affiliated with the Jewish Studies Minor at NEIU to present a physical AND virtual book display!  The physical display can be found on the first floor of the Ronald Williams Library, and the virtual display can be found here: Jewish American Heritage Month

profile-icon Robin Harris
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Since 2014, the NEIU Libraries have recognized outstanding student efforts in the area of library-based research through the annual Libraries Award for Excellence in Research. The award is given to students who demonstrate outstanding ability to identify, locate, select, evaluate, and synthesize library resources and to use them in the creation of an original research project. Student award winners receive a cash prize of $300 and recognition for their outstanding efforts. 


We would like to congratulate the winners of the 2024 NEIU Libraries Award for Excellence in Research!


Owen Bitting, Undergraduate Student, Psychology: Mystical Experiences: The Effects of Psilocybin on Spiritual Practices and Beliefs


For his senior capstone project in psychology, Owen is studying psilocybin-induced mystical experiences and their effects on both religious experiences and spiritual practices/beliefs. Owen is undertaking this research with the guidance and collaboration of Masami Takahashi, Professor of Psychology, and hopes to publish his research at the end of the summer semester.


Through an iterative series of drafts, Owen learned to shift the focus of his research from the therapeutic outcomes of psilocybin use to the mystical experiences induced by psilocybin. Owen’s research suggests that these psilocybin-induced mystical experiences are mediating psilocybin’s therapeutic outcomes. Owen identified two research institutions and four scholars at the forefront of psilocybin research and examined these scholars’ citations in order to locate additional relevant sources. Owen’s bibliography spans the fields of psychology, pharmacology, and neuroscience; it includes analyses of major instruments used to measure mysticism alongside works by classical thinkers such as William James and Lau Tzu. 


In his own words: “I utilized the library many times, whether it was the PsycINFO and PsycTESTS databases, InterLibrary Loan, consultations with Psychology librarian Ed Remus, or book checkouts. One of the biggest sources of help was my advisor, Professor Takahashi.”



Claire Lavender, Graduate Student, Linguistics: First Language Acquisition Literature Review 


As a Linguistics graduate student, Claire was assigned a literature review in Linguistics 450: First Language Acquisition taught by Richard Hallett. She chose to research how children acquire lexical tone. Claire’s interest in this topic stems from learning Vietnamese, a tonal language, as an adult. Her first language is a non-tonal language and she has experienced the difficulty in acquiring lexical tone as an adult.


Claire began her project researching sources on tone acquisition in Vietnamese. In order to locate more resources she decided to broaden her search to include other tone languages.  Most of the research she found discussed Mandarin and Cantonese Chinese. Her literature review highlights the gap in research on African tone languages and non-Chinese Asian languages. Claire took advantage of numerous NEIU Library resources and services for her project, including the Library’s Research Guides, our free interlibrary loan service, library databases, and the expertise of Chris Straughn, librarian to linguistics.


In her own words: “Thank you to Lewis Gebhardt for encouraging my research, Rick Hallett for assigning a thought-provoking research assignment, and the library staff that sat with me as I scanned a 500-page document from the microfiche machine.”


Benjamin Ortiz, Graduate Student, History: From Matanza to Magic Valley: The Modernization of the Lower Rio Grande Valley of South Texas


 As as native of south Texas, Benjamin was interested in researching the transformation of the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas in the early 20th century from Mexican-dominated ranching to Anglo-dominated agriculture. His project focused on the various factors that contributed to the subjugation of Mexican ranchers in Texas, including the “Matanza,” a period of anti-Mexican violence from 1910-1920, the racializing of so-called “bandit” attacks, the rise of Texas rangers and vigilantes, and the force of the U.S. military. 


Benjamin used a variety of NEIU Library services as part of his research, including NEIU library databases, I-Share, and secondary resources to identify primary resources in English and Spanish. He found it helpful to meet with Ed Remus, NEIU Social Sciences Librarian. Benjamin’s essay noted the need to conduct research in his topic in English and Spanish and the challenge of identifying keyword synonyms in both languages. Benjamin found digital collections from Texas Universities and the Readex Hispanic American Newspapers to be important in his research of Spanish language primary sources from Texas.


In his own words: “Special thanks to Dr. Francesca Morgan, Ed Remus, and Dr. Joshua Salzmann.”


Wesley “Wes” Skym; Graduate Student; Communication, Media, and Theatre: The Virtual Classroom from Origin to Post-Pandemic: An Updated Framework for Updated Needs


This marks the second year Wes has won a NEIU Libraries Research Award. He will graduate next month with his master’s degree in Communication, Media, and Theatre before entering a doctoral program this fall. In his thesis project, Wes examines the potential of the HI-FIVES model for virtual learning assessment.  


Wes’ work spanned the disciplines of technology, communication, and educational theory to produce a comprehensive 19-page bibliography. His research process involved examining seminal works identified during his coursework at NEIU before seeking out secondary and tertiary sources through the NEIU Libraries and online. He availed himself of NEIU Libraries databases, such as JSTOR and PsycINFO to access works from leading academic publishers, including Taylor & Francis, Wiley, and Sage. Wes accessed books from both the NEIU Library collection and our I-Share partners. Wes displayed persistence and ingenuity in seeking out the best and latest research, contacting authors directly through ResearchGate, using the Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab database, and visiting publicly held data on governmental websites.


In his own words: “I would like to thank Dr. Shayne Pepper for all of his valuable feedback on this thesis paper, in addition to heading my thesis committee, Dr. Maura Baron for serving on the committee and providing resources important for theory, and Dr. Roy Magnuson for his insight on VR and AI technologies for the paper.”



profile-icon Chrissy Cogswell
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Application is open for the 2024 NEIU Libraries Award for Excellence in Research!!




Established in 2014 by the Ronald Williams Library, the NEIU Libraries Award for Excellence in Research promotes the use of Library resources in the development of research and creative projects while recognizing outstanding NEIU student efforts in the area of library-based research. This year, up to four applications from the different colleges will be selected to receive $300 each. 

For more information, please contact Mary Thill, Humanities Librarian, at m-thill@neiu.edu. For assistance with library research, please visit our chat service or request an appointment with your subject librarian.

The deadline for Library Award applications is 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, April 7, 2024. We will announce the winners at the NEIU Research and Creative Activities Symposium on Friday, April 26, 2024.

Find more information here: https://neiulibraries.libguides.com/LibraryResearchAward

profile-icon Chrissy Cogswell
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March is Women's History Month!

About Women's History Month

Women's History Month had its origins as a national celebration in 1981 when Congress passed Pub. L. 97-28 which authorized and requested the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 as “Women’s History Week.” Throughout the next five years, Congress continued to pass joint resolutions designating a week in March as “Women’s History Week.” In 1987 after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project, Congress passed Pub. L. 100-9 which designated the month of March 1987 as “Women’s History Month.” Between 1988 and 1994, Congress passed additional resolutions requesting and authorizing the President to proclaim March of each year as Women’s History Month. Since 1995, presidents have issued a series of annual proclamations designating the month of March as “Women’s History Month.” These proclamations celebrate the contributions women have made to the United States and recognize the specific achievements women have made over the course of American history in a variety of fields.

From https://www.womenshistorymonth.gov/


Be sure to visit the NEIU Libraries Women's History Month virtual book display!

Please enjoy these reading and viewing recommendations celebrating women authors as well as works that reflect the lives and experiences of women. All materials are available as e-books or online resources through the NEIU Libraries.


profile-icon Lisa Wallis
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NEIU Libraries launched a brief survey to faculty and a brief survey to students to gather information we will use to improve the library collections and services. It has been seven years since we did similar library user surveys, and a lot has changed at NEIU since then — we’d like to hear from you. The surveys went to all faculty and students via Qualtrics the week of February 12. Please be on the lookout for the surveys and give us your feedback. We appreciate your help in advance.

profile-icon Chrissy Cogswell
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Check out our "African Americans and the Arts" book display on the first floor of the Ronald Williams Library!


2024 THEME

2024 – African Americans and the Arts

African American art is infused with African, Caribbean, and the Black American lived experiences. In the fields of visual and performing arts, literature, fashion, folklore, language, film, music, architecture, culinary and other forms of cultural expression, the African American influence has been paramount. African American artists have used art to preserve history and community memory as well as for empowerment. Artistic and cultural movements such as the New Negro, Black Arts, Black Renaissance, hip-hop, and Afrofuturism, have been led by people of African descent and set the standard for popular trends around the world. In 2024, we examine the varied history and life of African American arts and artisans.

For centuries Western intellectuals denied or minimized the contributions of people of African descent to the arts as well as history, even as their artistry in many genres was mimicked and/or stolen. However, we can still see the unbroken chain of Black art production from antiquity to the present, from Egypt across Africa, from Europe to the New World. Prior to the American Revolution, enslaved Africans of the Lowcountry began their more than a 300-year tradition of making sweetgrass baskets, revealing their visual artistry via craft.

The suffering of those in bondage gave birth to the spirituals, the nation’s first contribution to music. Blues musicians such as Robert Johnson, McKinley ‘Muddy Waters’ Morganfield and Riley “BB” B. King created and nurtured a style of music that became the bedrock for gospel, soul, and other still popular (and evolving) forms of music. Black contributions to literature include works by poets like Phillis Wheatley, essays, autobiographies, and novels by writers such as David Walker and Maria Stewart. Black aesthetics have also been manifested through sculptors like Edmonia Lewis and painters like Henry O. Tanner.

In the 1920s and 30s, the rise of the Black Renaissance and New Negro Movement brought the Black Arts to an international stage. Members of the armed forces, such as James Reese Europe, and artists such as Langston Hughes, Josephine Baker and Lois Mailou Jones brought Black culture and Black American aesthetics internationally, and Black culture began its ascent to becoming a dominant cultural movement to the world. In addition to the Harlem Renaissance, today we recognize that cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, and New Orleans also were home to many Black artists.

The 1960s continued this thread through the cultural evolution known as the Black Arts Movement, where artists covered issues such as pride in one’s heritage and established art galleries and museum exhibitions to show their own work, as well as publications such as Black Art. This period brought us artists such as Alvin Ailey, Judith Jamison, Amiri Baraka, Nikki Giovanni and Sonia Sanchez. The movement would not have been as impactful without the influences from the broader Black world, especially the Negritude movement and the writings of Frantz Fanon.

In 1973, in the Bronx, New York Black musicians (i.e. DJ Kool Herc and Coke La Rock) started a new genre of music called hip-hop, which comprises five foundational elements (DJing, MCing, Graffiti, Break Dancing and Beat Boxing). Hip-hop performers also used technological equipment such as turntables, synthesizers, drum machines, and samplers to make their songs. Since then hip-hop has continued to be a pivotal force in political, social, and cultural spaces and was a medium where issues such as racial violence in the inner city, sexism, economic disinvestment and others took the forefront.

The term Afrofuturism was used approximately 30 years ago in an effort to define cultural and artistic productions (music, literature, visual arts, etc.) that imagine a future for Black people without oppressive systems, and examines how Black history and knowledge intersects with technology and science. Afrofuturist elements can be found in the music of Sun Ra, Rashan Roland Kirk, Janelle Monáe and Jimi Hendrix. Other examples include sci-fi writer Octavia Butler’s novels, Marvel film Black Panther, and artists such as British-Liberian painter Lina Iris Viktor, Kenyan-born sculptor Wangechi Mutu, and Caribbean writers and artists such as Nalo Hopkinson, and Grace Jones.

In celebrating the entire history of African Americans and the arts, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) puts into the national spotlight the richness of the past and present with an eye towards what the rest of the twenty-first century will bring. ASALH dedicates its 98th Annual Black History Theme to African Americans and the arts.

From: https://asalh.org/black-history-themes/


profile-icon Lisa Wallis
No Subjects


View the slideshow for works released in 2023.

Interim Provost Dr. Shayne Cofer and Dean of Libraries Steven Harris invite faculty to submit their scholarly publications and creative works for inclusion in the
2024 NEIU Faculty Publications & Creative Works Recognition.

Current or retired NEIU Faculty members who were published or produced other creative endeavors during the 2023 calendar year are asked to submit information about their work by Friday, Feb 23rd, in order to be included. Please submit as soon as possible via this online form.

In addition to an online presentation, a reception celebrating the faculty and their work will be held on Thursday, March 28th from 3:00 - 5:00 pm in the Ronald Williams Library Café and Gallery space.  We look forward to recognizing the excellent academic scholarship and creative achievement produced by NEIU Faculty throughout 2023.

Please see the complete eligibility requirements and guidelines before submitting your work. A link to the information is also posted on the Library's home page.

For questions about the submission process, please contact Bonnie Pfeiffelman in the Library Admin Office at b-pfeiffelman@neiu.edu, x4460.

Thank you.

profile-icon Chrissy Cogswell
No Subjects

As the spring semester begins, the NEIU Libraries are committed to providing the tools you need for academic success. Explore our revamped laptop loan programs:

Short-Term Laptop Loans

  • Who's Eligible: All currently enrolled NEIU students.
  • Loan Period: Borrow for 7 days, with an option to renew for an additional 7 days (up to 14 days).
  • Availability: First-come, first-served basis.

NEW! Long-Term Laptop Loans

  • Who's Eligible: All currently enrolled NEIU students.
  • Loan Period: Enjoy an 8-week loan period, with the option to renew through the end of the spring semester.
  • Availability: Supplies are limited. To ensure fair distribution, we’ll have a random drawing in mid-January to determine recipients.

How to Borrow
Short-Term Laptop Loans:

  • Visit this link to reserve.
  • Follow the "Instructions" for a seamless process.

Long-Term Laptop Loans:

  • Enter the drawing by visiting this link before 4 pm CST on Friday, January 19, 2024.
  • Selected recipients will be notified via NEIU email on Monday, January 22 and have one week to claim their long-term laptop loan.

Take Advantage Now!
For questions or assistance, reach out to libtechdesk@neiu.edu. NEIU Libraries' Laptop Loan Programs are here to support your academic journey.

profile-icon Chrissy Cogswell
No Subjects

The Power of Free Speech:

A Conversation with Nadine Strossen

Tuesday, October 10, 3:00pm - 4:30pm
Alumni Hall, Northeastern Illinois University Student Union
5500 North Saint Louis Ave, Chicago, IL 60625

What are the most important arguments for and against free speech? Which forms of speech and expression are protected under the First Amendment and which are not? How is the freedom of expression being challenged by recent developments in American society and politics?

Join the NEIU Libraries to discuss these questions with Professor Nadine Strossen, past president of the American Civil Liberties Union (1991-2008). Professor Strossen is the author of the 2018 book Hate: Why We Should Resist It with Free Speech, Not Censorship as well as of the forthcoming book Free Speech: What Everyone Needs to Know. A panel of NEIU students Crystalynn Ortiz, Jessica Makowski, and Michael Yamashiro will conduct a public interview with Professor Strossen for the first portion of the event. A Q&A session with the audience will follow.

This event is co-sponsored by the NEIU History Club, the NEIU History Department, and the NEIU Political Science Department.

Nadine Strossen, the John Marshall Harlan II Professor of Law Emerita at New York Law School and past President of the American Civil Liberties Union (1991-2008), is a Senior Fellow with FIRE (the Foundation for Individual Rights and Education) and a leading expert and frequent speaker/media commentator on constitutional law and civil liberties, who has testified before Congress on multiple occasions. She serves on the advisory boards of the ACLU, Academic Freedom Alliance, Heterodox Academy, National Coalition Against Censorship, and the University of Austin.

The National Law Journal has named Strossen one of America’s "100 Most Influential Lawyers," and several other publications have named her one of the country’s most influential women. Her many honorary degrees and awards include the American Bar Association’s prestigious Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award (2017). In 2023, the National Coalition Against Censorship (an alliance of more than 50 national non-profit organizations) selected Strossen for its Judy Blume Lifetime Achievement Award for Free Speech.

When Strossen stepped down as ACLU President, three (ideologically diverse) Supreme Court Justices participated in her farewell/tribute luncheon: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Antonin Scalia, and David Souter.

She is the author of HATE: Why We Should Resist It with Free Speech, Not Censorship (2018) and Free Speech: What Everyone Needs to Know(forthcoming fall 2023). She is also the Host and Project Consultant for Free To Speak, a 3-hour documentary film series on free speech scheduled for release on public television in fall 2023.

Her book Defending Pornography: Free Speech, Sex, and the Fight for Women's Rights was named a New York Times“notable book” of 1995, and will be republished in 2024 as part of the New York University Press “Classic” series.  Her book HATE was selected as the “Common Read” by Washington University and Washburn University.

Strossen has made thousands of public presentations before diverse audiences around the world, including on more than 500 different campuses and in many foreign countries, and she has appeared on virtually every national TV news program. Her hundreds of publications have appeared in many scholarly and general interest publications.

Strossen graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard College and magna cum laude from Harvard Law School. Before becoming a law professor, she practiced law in Minneapolis (her hometown) and New York City. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

This event is made possible thanks to the generous financial support of George Mason University's Voices for Liberty Initiative. The Voices for Liberty Initiative is examining the role free speech has played and continues to play in advancing civil rights in America, particularly for historically disadvantaged and/or social marginalized groups. It includes significant research and scholarship, public events, and a nationwide speakers' bureau.

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