Friday, October 28, 2005

A Shave and a Haircut

The Barber of Seville and the “Barber of Reading, Pennsylvania” are in the spotlight at the Voices & Choices Center Gallery. An array of personal grooming items from the past and present are displayed in the gallery through November 14, 2005. An apothecary barber’s scene features items like Her Majesty’s Opera Programme of the Barber of Seville (Queen Victoria’s, 1872 authorized version), a barber’s chair and a contemporary barbershop painting from the Barber of Reading, Pennsylvania (Charlie G. Haynes), apothecary bottles, eye wash cups, a silver mustache cup and other interesting pieces. Visit "A Shave and a Haircut...Only: An Anecdotal History of Personal Grooming."

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


This has been a record year for hurricanes. If you are a hurricane watcher in need of the latest information or if you are looking for information on a past storm, check out the Web sites listed on the Librarians' Internet Index.
(The CNN site is especially nice.)

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

What does "Scholarly Source" mean??

When a professor tells you that you need to have scholarly articles for your paper or research, it means that he/she wants you to find articles that are research based and have been through a review process. The following PDF handout should help to explain the difference.
Popular vs. Scholarly Sources
(You will need Adobe Reader to view it.)

Monday, October 10, 2005


Professor Sandra Allen, Voices and Choices Center Librarian, shares the following thoughts during the final week of the Italian American Exhibit in the Voices & Choices Gallery. Stop by soon to see some wonderful examples of Italian American heritage.

Any consideration of the immigrant experience of Italians in the U.S. requires attention to the several seasons and arenas of reception which span the life of the nation. A thread of ambiguity seems to stretch throughout all the episodes. Historically, the quality of the welcome received is marked by both praise and contempt. Easy examples include a U.S. populace that lauds the Italian masters of music, art and architecture, celebrating their traditional contributions to world culture, yet often condemns the Italian Old World ways of life in the U.S. Christopher Columbus (Cristoforo Colombo) is paid homage for Europe’s discovery of the Other/New World and the colonial benefits of its access. He is scorned by Spain for being trumped in its naming by the apparent fabrications of Amerigo Vespucci and by Native Americans for ushering in the exploitation and destruction of their homeland. Among early colonial settlers journeying to the New World for religious reasons are lesser known Northern Italian Protestants. Italian Catholics at the time regard them as heretics. Later, Catholics from Ireland and Poland viewed the religious attitude of Italian Catholics as uncommitted to the church due in part to the few entering the clergy and to their separating religion from their developing national identity. The lack of barriers to economic success in the U.S. becomes appealing to entrepreneurial crime in many culture groups in advance of Italian immigration. The speed and organizational success of some Italians in this regard creates a romanticized and a despised popularity.

Countless Italian-Americans are among honored U.S. scientists, bankers, politicians, educators, homemakers, doctors, soldiers, craftsmen, authors, farmers, wine-growers, lawyers, athletes, entertainers… The fullness of Italian-Americans’ participation in the prosperity of the country is recognized as essential to a wonderfully dynamic and diverse nation. Fortunately, more recent generations of Italian-Americans such as Dr. Angela M. Scanzello, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania Professor Emerita re-examine and embrace the experiences renounced by their U.S. ancestors. The compelling presence for more than five centuries of Italians in America is celebrated in Dr. Scanzello’s collectibles on display in the Voices & Choices Gallery and in a sampling of titles annotated here available in Rohrbach library.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Hey Professors! What's Your Favorite Book?

Many thanks to the professors who submitted favorite books to be included in the newsletter and the blog. To read the ones in the latest newsletter, go to: and click on the Fall 2005 edition of the library newsletter. The favorite books appear on page 4. Here are some others to enjoy.

The questions: What is your favorite book? Why?
The answers:

Mark Holowchak – Philosophy
Right now I would have to say that my favorite read is Freud's Beyond the Pleasure Principle (1920). It is a watershed in Freud's thinking on instincts. Why is he turning away from his early model? What is it that convinces him not only of an erotic instinct, but a destructive instinct? Why is it that these two antagonistic instincts are often "seen" working toward the same ends? Is this new model empirically serviceable? It's a headache, but in a good sort of way!

David Lambkin – Speech Communication & Theatre
My favorite book is Winter of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck. I love it because the prose is simple yet powerful and the location is so quintessentially American. But the real key for me is the focus on ambition and the complicated nexus of love, sex money, status, family,friends, community, heritage, that engages Steinbeck's protagonist. It seems the most basic, yet complex, problems of being human are explored in what I would call a timeless novel.

Bob Ryan – Psychology
My favorite book (recently) is Consiousness - An Introduction by Susan Blackmore. The topic of the book is the next great question for human kind: "What is the nature of consciousness?" or, to put it another way, "How does a physical object, the brain, give rise to something that seems to have no physical existence, even though it undeniably exists, that is, our conscious awareness". Answering that question will be an accomplishment as important as Newton's mechanics, Einstein's relativity, or Watson and Crick's discovery of DNA.

Blackmore doesn’t pretend to answer the question, but rather takes the reader on a tour of the pertinent issues and the positions taken on them by various philosophers, neuroscientists, and cognitive psychologists.

It is written so as to be accessible to the non-philosopher and/or non-scientist, but does not dumb down the topic. It is tremendously challenging intellectual work, and the author even cautions the reader at the beginning of the book that if they do not want to risk having their most cherished beliefs fundamentally challenged, then they should not read it. I did, and am very glad.

Diane Johnson – Anthropology/Sociology
Graham T. Allison’s Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missle Crisis. It is out in a new--2nd edition--but I loved the first.

Will Jefferson – Rohrbach Library
A favorite of mine is The Journey by Sarah Stewart. It is a really beautifully done children's book with fantastic illustrations.