Watch Media Education Foundation films on Kanopy streaming service

You may already be familiar with films from the Media Education Foundation (MEF), such as Killing Us Softly, a series by Jean Kilbourne that analyzes and critiques the images of women used in advertising.  Or perhaps you’ve seen Mickey Mouse Monopoly: Disney, Childhood & Corporate Power, featuring Wheelock College Professors Diane Levin and Gail Dines.

Kanopy logoWhat you may not already know is that you can watch over 140 MEF videos online via the Kanopy streaming service– all you need are your Wheelock College login credentials.  Kanopy works kind of like Netflix– you log in, choose a video to watch, and play it right in your web browser.  The bonus for Wheelock College students, faculty, and staff is that you don’t have to pay for your own subscription, because the library has already done it for you!

Location of Kanopy in the Databases A to Z list on the Wheelock College Library homepage

Kanopy can be accessed from the “Databases A-Z” tab of the search box on the library home page.

A note for long-time fans:  If you are already familiar with accessing MEF videos via the library, you should know that we have changed the way they are listed in the “Databases A to Z” list.  Whereas they used to be listed as “MediaEd (streaming video),” they are now listed under “Kanopy (streaming video).”  Why did we make this change?  Well, because we have videos on Kanopy that have come from other film producers and distributors, such as Race: The Power of an Illusion and Maquilapolis (City of Factories), both from California Newsreel.  We wanted to make our A to Z list more accurate and representative of the variety of films you’ll find on Kanopy.

Videos on Kanopy come with full transcripts and closed captions, and the video player has been designed for use with screen reader technologies like JAWS.  You can also create playlists and clips for use in classes.

So what are you waiting for?  Check out some of these great videos online today:

And remember, if you have any questions or requests, please contact a librarian!  We are always happy to help.

 

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The Boston Summer Bucket List

As many of you may know, this past winter, Boston had an unrelenting series of epic snowstorms and many days of bitter temperatures (it’s July now and there is still a snowpile left over).  It felt as if spring was never going to get here. Even in April, we were bracing for Mother Nature to have one last hurrah (see April Fool’s Day Blizzard of 1997). So it’s hard not to enjoy and make the most of the warm, summer months in Boston! Here is a list of fun things to do in Boston that you may have forgotten to add to your Boston Summer Bucket List. Many of these were actually suggestions from Library staff.

1. mos  Visit the Museum of Science (and its new The Science Behind Pixar special exhibit!).  The Wheelock College Library has museum passes for reduced admission for students, faculty, and staff. Each pass is good for $7 general admission for up to 4 people and only covers the main exhibit halls. If you would like to check out The Science Behind Pixar, it will be $12 in addition to the $7. That’s $19 (savings of $10 from the general public’s price). After you’re done visiting the MoS, you can walk on over to the Cambridgeside Galleria Mall where you can shop or pick up a riverboat tour.

2. Visit the SOWA market on a Sunday. Pick up some farm-fresh fruits and vegetables and discover all sorts of unique items from our local artisans.

cannoli3.  Have dinner in the North End and eat cannolis while sitting on the benches along the Rose Kennedy Greenway.

4.  Visit the Boston Public Library in Copley Square. What I’d like to do beforehand is grab some takeout from a nearby restaurant and eat it in the BPL courtyard. Be sure to check out their recently renovated their Children’s Library and Teen Areas! I’ve been visiting the BPL since I was a kid and am envious of the new generations of kids enjoying it.

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5. Take a walk through the Arnold Arboretum. Their collection includes nearly 160 different kinds of lilacs.

6. Eat an ice cream sundae from J.P. Licks. J.P. Licks is a local Boston ice cream chain with several locations. Fellow WildCat-alog blogger, Youngmi An, recommends their coconut almond chip with hot fudge and mini-M&Ms.

7. Take a ferry out to the Boston Harbor Islands for a day trip.

ica8.  If you happen to be swinging by the Waterfront, as many people do during the summer, be sure to visit the Institute of Contemporary Art. Admission is free every Thursday from 5-9 pm!

9. Attend Shakespeare on the Common. This year, the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company is doing King Lear from from July 22 -August 9. Bring a towel from home, pick up some takeout from one of the many restaurants nearby, park yourself on the grass, and enjoy the show.

swanboat10. Walk through the Boston Common and Public Garden and then ride a swan boat.

11.  Attend a free concert at the Hatch Shell. There is a free classical music concert there almost every Wednesday during the summer.

12. Kayak on the Charles River. You can rent a kayak by the Boston Location near Harvard Stadium or a few miles away by Kendall Square in Cambridge. You can also pick up a rental from Boston and drop it off at Kendall Square location.

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Between Bookcases

I want to let you in on a little secret.Bookstacks

There is a tradition that has been practiced on the grounds of colleges and universities across the country since long before webpages, Wikipedia, and apps existed.

If done right it can lead to new discoveries, stimulating ideas, diverse perspectives, groundbreaking realizations, and a newfound appreciation for how the past influences the present.

In fact, there is almost a guarantee that practitioners will be different at the end of their undertaking the tradition than they were at the beginning, for the opportunities to broaden one’s worldview, sensibilities, and knowledge are nearly endless.

Here at Wheelock, the secret tradition is practiced between the bookcases at the Library and it involves nothing more than taking the time to browse the treasures that have been collected over the years and continue to be collected today to capture and make available the intellectual output of the scholars, authors, and visionaries in the various disciplines taught here at the College.

This simple act of walking through the stacks and interacting with the contents not only provides a welcome escape from the various screens constantly demanding our attention, but it lets one engage in the joyful discovery of information without distraction, defined purpose, or specific need. Indeed, it trains one to embrace one of the most worthwhile activities possible, which is to pursue knowledge for its own sake.

To help facilitate and encourage this tradition, we here at the Library are in the midst of changing the labels on the end of the stacks throughout the collection by replacing the simple call number designations with descriptions of the disciplines each call number range represents. Soon, everyone will be free to identify and roam the ranges of their favorite discipline or a discipline that has piqued their curiosity.

I leave it to you, the reader, to take advantage of these new labels and this tradition and explore our collections. With any luck, you will come to how enriching this simple activity can be for the mind and soul. Lastly, don’t forget to share your experiences in the comments!

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Eat Your Books

I love books. I love food. I love books about food. Food isn’t just a vehicle for the nutrition we require to survive as living organisms. It can do anything. Salt just about wrote the history of mankind. Nothing brings back my childhood memories more vividly than a bowl of rice cake soup and a handful of cherries. And there’s a reason why when you throw a party, everyone ends up in the kitchen no matter how comfortable your couches are. Here are a few of my favorite books in which food plays a starring role. They all include recipes so that you can recreate the food in the story and relive your favorite moments in a whole new way.

tangle

A Tangle of Knots – Cady is an eleven year old orphan living in a world where everyone has a Talent. Cady’s Talent is that she can determine and bake a person’s favorite cake even if they themselves don’t know it. This is a sweet story told from various viewpoints and each chapter brings you one step closer to unraveling the mystery of how all these different characters are connected. Recommended recipe – Cady’s Chocolate-Almond-Cherry Cake

sweetlife

The Sweet Life in Paris: Delicious Adventures in the World’s Most Glorious and Perplexing City - David Lebovitz is a professional cook/baker with a wildly successful blog and several cookbooks on his resume. He moved to Paris to start a new life and The Sweet Life in Paris is a hysterical ode to The City of Light and its inhabitants. If you ever take a trip to Paris, this book should be in your suitcase. All the recipes he shares are made with easy to find ingredients and have been tested in a kitchen so small that dishes must be cleaned in the bathtub. Recommended recipe – Hot Chocolate and Lemon Madeleines.

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The Girl Who Chased the Moon – I’m a huge fan of Sarah Addison Allen. In my opinion, she writes the best beach reads and food plays a major role in most of her books. There are two main characters that drive this story. Emily is a teenager adjusting to life in Mullaby, North Carolina after the death of her mother. She hopes that coming to her mother’s hometown will answer some of the riddles in her life but all she uncovers are more mysteries. Emily’s neighbor Julia can’t stop baking cakes. Her cakes contain all her dreams and, she hopes, the ability to bring back lost loves. Recommended recipe: Hummingbird Cake

relish

Relish: My Life in the Kitchen - Lucy Knisley is one of my favorite cartoonists and Relish is her food-themed graphic novel memoir. Her life lessons are learned through food and cooking and she shares how food has played a key role in shaping who she is today. You’ll envy her delicious life and then think back and recall your own food memories. It may also inspire you to start writing your recipes in illustration form. Recommended recipe: Huevos Rancheros

twinkie

The Truth About Twinkie Pie – GiGi (short for Galileo Galilei) is a brainy twelve year old being raised by her sister DiDi (short for Delta Dawn). DiDi wins a national cooking contest with their mother’s recipe for Twinkie Pie and uses the prize money to move themselves from a trailer park in South Carolina to New York City. Armed with her Recipe for Success, GiGi tackles a fancy new school, new friends and enemies, and a sparkling new identity. It’s a smart, warm and fuzzy feeling story about family and friendship. The recipes help set the mood and express characters’ emotions while satisfying your craving for comfort food. Recommended recipe: Mama’s Famous Twinkie Pie of course!

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Summertime and the Readin’ is Easy

Boston’s winter of 2015, one that evidenced that the climate beyond the wall in northern Westeros is creeping ever non-fictionward, is finally melting into spring.  The trees have leaves, the flowers have blooms, and nary a closed-toe shoe is to be seen on the campus of Wheelock College.

As such, it is time for Commencement and the Wondrous Thing that Follows Soon After Commencement:  summer.  With summer comes the ability to shake off the shackles of assigned reading and the time to choose any book one wants to read for fun.  In the past I have dedicated this time to beach reads or camp- themed books.  However, the ideal of freedom to read whatever I wanted spurred me to look for books written by authors who were free to publish whatever they wanted, how they wanted.  Self-published books are not what they once were.  Great writing, gripping stories, and even sleek covers are the new norms of independent authors.  Here are a few that deserve prime space on your shelf.

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A Magic Dark and Bright by Jenny Adams Perinovic:  I have been carrying around this book since the day it arrived.  Heroine Amelia Dupree sets out on a creepy quest to find out the posthumous fate of her brother Mark.  Set in Asylum, Pennsylvania (look it up: there really is an Asylum Township), the setting was so evocative of my childhood, that I was transported to my early winters where I stood on my back porch and gazed at a cemetery’s gravestones on the hillside.  Though a ghost didn’t haunt the woods near my house, there were a fair share of creepy houses and mysteries hanging around in the foliage.  As Amelia teamed up with the mysterious Charlie Blue to uncover Asylum’s terrible past, I grew increasingly creeped out about going home for vacation.  Pennsylvania is more gothic than you might think.  Read this book, no matter what state you find yourself in this summer.

shreddedShredded by Karen Avivi:  Extreme sports are not my go-to form of entertainment.  However, I still found myself routing for Josie Peters in her quest for BMX domination.  Not since Catherine Gilbert Murdock’s Dairy Queen series have I found a sports-themed book so riveting.  There is a romance budding through these pages, but it never crowds the pulse-racing, gravity-defying pull of Josie’s central mission towards greater athleticism.  This is also a book about friendship, and how young women can be competitive without becoming catty.

oneOne by Leigh Kopans:  This is the first self-published fiction book I read thanks to Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited.   Not unlike sports books, I am also unlikely to pick up a book about superheroes.  I admit that I totally picked this book because of its beautiful cover and was richly rewarded.  Merrin Gray is born into a world where two powers make you a “Super,” and no powers make you a “Normal.”  Merrin has one power; she can hover.  Without a second power to propel herself forward, she is forced to neither fly nor be content to walk among other Normals.  Merrin quests to score an internship at the Biotech hub to try to rectify her plight through chemistry.  There she meets a boy like her and discovers there’s a more sinister undercurrent to the world she’s always taken for granted.  Fast-paced and page-turning, this book will leave you scrambling for its sequel, the aptly named Two. 

Though I won’t be gracing the pages of the library blog for the glorious summer months, I will be leafing through the pages of still more books.  Do you know any good self-published or indie books?  Leave them in the comments and I will be sure to check them out!

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