Library Hours during Spring Break

March 18-19 (Sat. & Sun.) CLOSED
March 20-24 (Mon. to Fri.) – 8:00 AM – 5:00PM
March 25-26 (Sat. & Sun.) CLOSED

Fake News panel session at MUH Downtown

Fake news graphicThe phrase “fake news” has been in the news a lot before and after the 2016 election. What does the phrase mean? What are its implications for our democratic form of government and the mainstream media? Come find out a panel presentation this Thursday, March 16th, 6PM at the MUH Downtown Center.

The panel features Assistant Professor of Political Science, Dr. John Forren, Assistant Professor of Communication Dr. Leland G. Spencer, and Cox News’s Politics Reporter Michael D. Pitman.  Our moderator will be Sarah Woiteshek Pietzuch, Director of Civic Engagement at Miami Hamilton. There will be time for Q&A from attendees, and light refreshments will be served. The session is sponsored by Rentschler Library, the Center for Civic Engagement and the MUH Downtown Center.

 

Women’s History Month – Grace Hopper

hopperFor Women’s History Month, the blog is highlighting Grace Hopper, a groundbreaking computer scientist, mathematician, and an officer in the U.S. Navy. Our most recent book on Hopper is “Grace Hopper and the Invention of the Information Age,” by Kurt Beyer (MIT Press, 2012.  She is listed in “American Women Scientists: 23 inspiring biographies, 1900-2000,” by Moira Davison Reynolds. Here are some quick facts:

 

  • Earned a Ph.D in Mathematics from Yale University in 1934.
  • While working in private industry, she helped create the first “compiler” for computer languages (a compiler renders worded instructions into code that can be read by computers). This compiler was the basis for the later development of COBOL, a computer language used widely in the business world.
  • First woman to win the National Medal of Technology (1991)
  • When she retired as a rear admiral from U.S. Navy at age 79, she was at that time the oldest serving officer.
  • First woman of any nationality (and the first American) ever named as Distinguished Fellow of the British Computer Society
  • Posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016 by Pres. Barack Obama for her accomplishments in the field of computer science.

 

Madame C.J. Walker

Madame C.J. Walker driving automobile

Madame C.J. Walker (in the driver’s seat at  left) was an entrepreneur, philanthropist and social activist who became the first black woman millionaire in the United States. She made her fortune selling hair care products for women. She was born Sarah Breedlove to Louisiana sharecroppers in 1867. She was widowed by age 20 and went to work as a laundress in St. Louis, MO. After starting to lose her hair in 1905, she develped a product that helped with her condition and went on to create a whole system of hair treatment products specifically geared towards black women’s hair. She lived extravagantly, and her Manhattan townhouse would later become a meeting place for artists of the Harlem Renaissance. She also gave extravagantly to charities like the NAACP, black YMCA, and funded scholarships for women to the Tuskeegee Institute. She is ranked #85 of the 100 Most Influential Women of All Time: a Ranking Past and Present.

book cover of On Her Own Ground

One of the biographies of Madame C.J. Walker available is On her own ground : the life and times of Madam C.J. Walker by A’Lelia Bundles, New York: Scribner, 2001.

Another more recent biography is “Her Dream of Dreams: the Rise and Triumph of Madame C.J. Walker, by Beverly Lowry, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2003.

Abolitionist icon Frederick Douglass

book cover imageIt is difficult to overstate the impact Frederick Douglass had on the abolition movement in the 19th Century. He escaped slavery, fled to New York City and became a major figure in the movement. Rentschler Library has both of his famous books. His first, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself, is a “testament to the evils of slavery, detailing its dehumanizing nature and its attempt to crush one’s spirit.” (Notable Black Americans, 1998). His second autobiography, My Bondage and my Freedom, “revises key portions of his original 1845 Narrative and extends the story of his life to include his experiences as a traveling lecturer in the United States as well as England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.” (Documenting the American South)

The book jacket above is a biography of Douglass, edited by L. Diane Barnes,  using selected speeches and writings. One reviewer said it is a “well-collocated set of materials from across Douglass’s life” and provides “an approachable and meaningful introduction to the man and his ideas.”

African American History Month

picture of Harriet Tubman

1911 photo of Tubman, Library of Congress

February is African American History month and so this month the library’s blog is going to feature images, books, and other content to celebrate the contributions of African Americans, as well as info on any related events on our campuses. At left is Harriet Tubman, abolitionist, humanitarian and spy for the North during the U.S. Civil War.

Next up is the Taste of Soul Dinner & Silent Auction, on Feb. 11 from 6-9 p.m. at the Wilks Conference Center. Enjoy traditional soul food, a silent auction from 6 p.m. – 7 p.m., and entertainment by The Brotherhood Singer from 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors (55+), and $5 for Miami students and children under 12. Call 513-785-3024 or email kingmm (“at” symbol) miamioh.edu.

Books about major world religions

Book cover Eessential HinduismEssential Hinduism. Author Rosen, as editor of the Journal of Vaishnava Studies , is especially qualified in his highlighting of Vaishnavism, the most popular form of Hinduism, throughout. The book is made up of 13 chapters and is divided into two conceptual parts: “The Basis,” which focuses on Hinduism’s history and holy texts, and “The Practice,” which discusses philosophical ideas and specific practices such as vegetarianism, meditation, and worship. Hindu terms appear alongside English translations – Library Journal

Book cover Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

Lewis’s Mere Christianity discusses the essence of Christian faith and the doctrine of the Trinity. It is a discussion of Christian belief that rejects the boundaries that divide Christianity’s many denominations. The author finds a common ground on which all Christians can stand together, and provides an unequaled opportunity for believers and nonbelievers alike to hear a powerful, rational case for their faith – Publisher summary

 

Book cover Basic Beliefs of Judaism

Basic Beliefs of Judaism takes a contemporary point of view, looking at how the basic beliefs of Judaism fit into the lives of modern Jews. The author does this with an eye toward helping the reader form his/her own understanding of Judaism. The book touches upon beliefs relating to creation, God, and the cosmos, as well as beliefs relating to day-to-day issues of family relations, social interactions, and ethics.  – Publisher summary

 

Book Cover Buddhist Philosophy

Buddhist Philosophy: Essential Readings, collects important philosophical texts from each major Buddhist tradition. Each text is translated and introduced by a recognized authority in Buddhist studies. Each introduction sets the text in context and introduces the philosophical issues it addresses and arguments it presents, providing a useful and authoritative guide to reading and to teaching the text. – Publisher summary

 

Book cover Demystifying Islam

Demystifying Islam is “a concise guide to what Islam really teaches about provocative topics, from the burqa to Shariah law. After a short introduction to basic beliefs and practices, each chapter boldly tackles a challenging topic about Islam today. The book is forthright about issues where Muslims disagree, and provides a single, engaging source where readers can turn for answers to these important topics.” – Publisher summary