By Connie Ma from Chicago, United States of America (Close scrutiny of a newspaper.) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org)
Summer Learning Track: Informed and Engaged
“Liberty cannot be preserved without general knowledge among the people.” -- John Adams
“Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard for democracy, therefore, is education.” -- Franklin D. Roosevelt
Our nation was founded with the idea that an effective democracy relies on an informed and engaged citizenry. If you're like me, you want to know what is going on in your community and the world, but often get waylaid by other demands on your attention. This summer, let's make a commitment to stay informed and engaged. Take the Richland Library Friends' Summer Learning Challenge! Get started by using this sample Learning Track, or develop your own.
Whether you're interested in alternative energies, civil rights, immigration, equality in the workplace, job creation, taxes, where our food is coming from, or just want to seem smart at parties, Richland Library can help you get information on all the issues that matter to you.
Your library card gives you access to local, state, national, and worldwide newspapers and magazines both in print and online. Zinio has a selection of the best news magazines, and you can read full-text articles from hundreds of newspapers and journals through our several news and culture databases. Challenge yourself to read from one of these periodicals every day, and you'll soon be up-to-date on all the headlines. Be sure to choose from a variety of titles to ensure you're getting different viewpoints and a balanced perspective on the issues.
Some of the great titles available through Zinio:
The American Spectator
Search these databases to explore all kinds of issues as well as varying perspectives:
This current events database allows researchers to explore social, political & economic issues, scientific discoveries and other popular topics discussed in today's classrooms including controversial opinions and viewpoints.
Brings together information from both sides of social issues, such as Gun Control, Genetic Engineering, Censorship, Endangered Species, and Terrorism. Includes viewpoint articles, contextual topic overviews, government and organizational statistics, biographies of social activists, court cases, profiles of government agencies and special interest groups, newspaper and magazines articles, as well as links to more than 1,800 reviewed and subject-indexed web sites.
Points of View Reference Center contains a balance of materials from all viewpoints, including more than 1,300 main essays, leading political magazines from both sides of the aisle, newspapers, radio & TV news transcripts, primary source documents and reference books.
Not sure where to start? Book-a-Learning Coach and one of our savvy news and research librarians will help you find great resources based on your particular interests. Make an appointment using this online form or call (803) 929-3400.
These upcoming programs will help you get informed and engaged:
Take Action: Volunteer for a Morning - for teens
Need a few community service hours but can’t make a long term commitment? Here is your chance to earn 1 or 2 hours of service while also generating more content to include on your scholarship or college applications. Registration is suggested as spaces are limited.
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Friday, June 5, July 31 & August 7 -- Southeast
TAB: Back to School Drive - for teens
It’s a party with a purpose. Join TAB for our third annual back to school party and school supply drive! Donate and help Richland County students start the school year with new supplies.
3:30 – 5 p.m., Saturday, August 1 -- Main
TAB (Teen Advisory Board) - for teens
Earn volunteer hours! We meet to plan programs, participate in service projects and have fun! New members always welcome, no RSVP needed.
3:30 p.m., Saturdays, July 18 & August 29 -- Main
3:30 p.m., Saturdays, July 25 & August 22 -- Eastover
7 p.m., Tuesdays, July 14 & August 11 -- Sandhills
How else can you stay informed and engaged?
Help plan the library's future! Visit buildingyourlibrary.com to find out how we're planning to enhance library facilities following November's bond referendum, and track our progress. Then email DesignFreely@richlandlibrary.com to share your ideas and feedback.
Attend a City of Columbia Council meeting or Richland County Council meeting to see your representatives at work!
Write a letter to your representatives, to make your informed opinions heard! Find your representative's contact information here.
We are so fortunate to live in a democratic society where we can have an impact on the things that matter to us and help shape our own future. But with those rights and privileges comes the responsibility to educate ourselves about the issues. How can we do that? Access Freely at your local library!
Amazon Amazon Says:
This celebrated New York Times bestseller -- now poised to reach an even wider audience in paperback -- is a book that is changing the way Americans think about selling produc more...
This celebrated New York Times bestseller -- now poised to reach an even wider audience in paperback -- is a book that is changing the way Americans think about selling products and disseminating ideas. less...
Amazon Amazon Says:
In 1787, Thomas Jefferson, then the American Minister to France, had the "complete skeleton, skin & horns" of an American moose shipped to him in Paris and mounted in the lobb more...
In 1787, Thomas Jefferson, then the American Minister to France, had the "complete skeleton, skin & horns" of an American moose shipped to him in Paris and mounted in the lobby of his residence as a symbol of the vast possibilities contained in the strange and largely unexplored New World. Taking a cue from Jefferson's efforts, David Post, one of the nation's leading Internet scholars, here presents a pithy, colorful exploration of the still mostly undiscovered territory of cyberspace--what it is, how it works, and how it should be governed. What law should the Internet have, and who should make it? What are we to do, and how are we to think, about online filesharing and copyright law, about Internet pornography and free speech, about controlling spam, and online gambling, and cyberterrorism, and the use of anonymous remailers, or the practice of telemedicine, or the online collection and dissemination of personal information? How can they be controlled? Should they be controlled? And by whom? Post presents the Jeffersonian ideal--small self-governing units, loosely linked together as peers in groups of larger and larger size--as a model for the Internet and for cyberspace community self-governance. Deftly drawing on Jefferson's writings on the New World in Notes on the State of Virginia, Post draws out the many similarities (and differences) between the two terrains, vividly describing how the Internet actually functions from a technological, legal, and social perspective as he uniquely applies Jefferson's views on natural history, law, and governance in the New World to illuminate the complexities of cyberspace. In Search of Jefferson's Moose is a lively, accessible, and remarkably original overview of the Internet and what it holds for the future. less...
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What is the legacy of Brown vs. Board of Education? While it is well known for establishing racial equality as a central commitment of American schools, the case also inspired more...
What is the legacy of Brown vs. Board of Education? While it is well known for establishing racial equality as a central commitment of American schools, the case also inspired social movements for equality in education across all lines of difference, including language, gender, disability, immigration status, socio-economic status, religion, and sexual orientation. Yet more than a half century after Brown, American schools are more racially separated than before, and educators, parents and policy makers still debate whether the ruling requires all-inclusive classrooms in terms of race, gender, disability, and other differences. In Brown's Wake examines the reverberations of Brown in American schools, including efforts to promote equal opportunities for all kinds of students. School choice, once a strategy for avoiding Brown, has emerged as a tool to promote integration and opportunities, even as charter schools and private school voucher programs enable new forms of self-separation by language, gender, disability, and ethnicity. Martha Minow, Dean of Harvard Law School, argues that the criteria placed on such initiatives carry serious consequences for both the character of American education and civil society itself. Although the original promise of Brown remains more symbolic than effective, Minow demonstrates the power of its vision in the struggles for equal education regardless of students' social identity, not only in the United States but also in many countries around the world. Further, she urges renewed commitment to the project of social integration even while acknowledging the complex obstacles that must be overcome. An elegant and concise overview of Brown and its aftermath, In Brown's Wake explores the broad-ranging and often surprising impact of one of the century's most important Supreme Court decisions. less...
Amazon Amazon Says:
The author of Physics for Future Presidents returns to educate all of us on the most crucial conundrum facing the nation: energy. The near-meltdown of Fukushima, the upheavals more...
The author of Physics for Future Presidents returns to educate all of us on the most crucial conundrum facing the nation: energy. The near-meltdown of Fukushima, the upheavals in the Middle East, the BP oil rig explosion, and the looming reality of global warming have reminded the president and all U.S. citizens that nothing has more impact on our lives than the supply of and demand for energy. Its procurement dominates our economy and foreign policy more than any other factor. But the “energy question” is more confusing, contentious, and complicated than ever before. We need to know if nuclear power will ever really be safe. We need to know if solar and wind power will ever really be viable. And we desperately need to know if the natural gas deposits in Pennsylvania are a windfall of historic proportions or a false hope that will create more problems than solutions. Richard A. Muller provides all the answers in this must-read guide to our energy priorities now and in the coming years. 50 photographs less...
Amazon Amazon Says:
Many of America's greatest artists, scientists, investors, educators, and entrepreneurs have come from abroad. Rather than suffering from the "brain drain" of talented and edu more...
Many of America's greatest artists, scientists, investors, educators, and entrepreneurs have come from abroad. Rather than suffering from the "brain drain" of talented and educated individuals emigrating, the United States has benefited greatly over the years from the "brain gain" of immigration. These gifted immigrants have engineered advances in energy, information technology, international commerce, sports, arts, and culture. To stay competitive, the United States must institute more of an open-door policy to attract unique talents from other nations. Yet Americans resist such a policy despite their own immigrant histories and the substantial social, economic, intellectual, and cultural benefits of welcoming newcomers. Why?In Brain Gain, Darrell West asserts that perception or "vision" is one reason reform in immigration policy is so politically difficult. Public discourse tends to emphasize the perceived negatives. Fear too often trumps optimism and reason. And democracy is messy, with policy principles that are often difficult to reconcile.The seeming irrationality of U.S. immigration policy arises from a variety of thorny and interrelated factors: particularistic politics and fragmented institutions, public concern regarding education and employment, anger over taxes and social services, and ambivalence about national identity, culture, and language. Add to that stew a myopic (or worse) press, persistent fears of terrorism, and the difficulties of implementing border enforcement and legal justice.West prescribes a series of reforms that will put America on a better course and enhance its long-term social and economic prosperity. Reconceptualizing immigration as a way to enhance innovation and competitiveness, the author notes, will help us find the next Sergey Brin, the next Andrew Grove, or even the next Albert Einstein. less...
Amazon Amazon Says:
Roots of the gun control debate date back to our country's founding. Attorney Constance Crooker traces this debate from its origin to the present day. Narrative chapters exami more...
Roots of the gun control debate date back to our country's founding. Attorney Constance Crooker traces this debate from its origin to the present day. Narrative chapters examine the theories and rhetoric behind each side of this dispute and show the extent to which the rhetoric is or isn't supported by statistical records. A collection of quotes from pro and con politicians and activists illustrate the passionate nature of the gun control issue.Students will find a balanced, focused approach to landmark Supreme Court cases, gun control laws, gun rights groups, gun control advocates, and the fundamental controversies surrounding interpretations of the Second Amendment. This is an invaluable historical resource exploring an escalating debate in American society. less...
Amazon Amazon Says:
In this urgent time, World on the Edge calls out the pivotal environmental issues and how to solve them now. We are in a race between political and natural tipping points. Can more...
In this urgent time, World on the Edge calls out the pivotal environmental issues and how to solve them now. We are in a race between political and natural tipping points. Can we close coal-fired power plants fast enough to save the Greenland ice sheet and avoid catastrophic sea level rise? Can we raise water productivity fast enough to halt the depletion of aquifers and avoid water-driven food shortages? Can we cope with peak water and peak oil at the same time? These are some of the issues Lester R. Brown skillfully distills in World on the Edge. Bringing decades of research and analysis into play, he provides the responses needed to reclaim our future. less...
Amazon Amazon Says:
We now live in two Americas. Onenow the minorityfunctions in a print-based, literate world that can cope with complexity and can separate illusion from truth. The othert more...
We now live in two Americas. Onenow the minorityfunctions in a print-based, literate world that can cope with complexity and can separate illusion from truth. The otherthe majorityis retreating from a reality-based world into one of false certainty and magic. To this majoritywhich crosses social class lines, though the poor are overwhelmingly affectedpresidential debate and political rhetoric is pitched at a sixth-grade reading level. In this other America,” serious film and theater, as well as newspapers and books, are being pushed to the margins of society.In the tradition of Christopher Lasch’s The Culture of Narcissism and Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death, Pulitzer Prize-winner Chris Hedges navigates this cultureattending WWF contests, the Adult Video News Awards in Las Vegas, and Ivy League graduation ceremoniesto expose an age of terrifying decline and heightened self-delusion. less...
Amazon Amazon Says:
The current climate of American journalism is fraught with incestuous relations between government and a handful of Fortune 500 corporations that own and operate news organiza more...
The current climate of American journalism is fraught with incestuous relations between government and a handful of Fortune 500 corporations that own and operate news organizations. From News Corporation’s Fox News, General Electric’s NBC, Viacom’s CBS, Disney’s ABC, and Time Warner’s CNN to Clear Channel’s massive radio empire, what the mainstream media present as "news" has become largely a "paid political announcement" born of favor trading, conflict of interest, and self-serving, bottom-line corporate logic. As a result of such accommodationism, American viewers receive a homogenized, censored version of reality and the watchdog of American democracy, the press, has become a docile instrument of governmental authority and big money. In this timely collection of essays by more than a dozen of the nation's top media scholars, critics, and journalists, including a preface by Arthur Kent, the present media crisis is carefully exposed. From coverage of the war in Iraq to national security, this book details the manner in which journalists have walked in lockstep to the self-serving quid pro quo of government and corporate media giants. Among the many topics broached are methods of media manipulation and propagandizing; the claim that the media is liberal; media ownership, rules, and deregulation; alternative media; the threat to free access to information on the Internet; the effects of media consolidation on actors, producers, agents, managers, and lawyers in the film industry; and the standardization of music and reduction of localism in radio. The contributors include media critic Danny Schechter, political analyst Michael Parenti, Mother Jones publisher Jay Harris, the ACLU’s Barry Steinhardt and Jay Stanley, former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt, and many other distinguished commentators. Not only does this book expose the current crisis, it proposes solutions to it, pinpointing legal and constitutional challenges, reviewing recent FCC rulings and congressional legislation, and proposing structural changes in the ways diverse media currently operate. For any American who prizes democracy, this book is a clear wake-up call to look more carefully behind the superficial slogans of a free America and the stars and stripes strategically displayed on the TV monitor. less...