Wednesday, May 29, 2019

New Books at the SCC Library

     New Popular Fiction and Popular Non-Fiction have just arrived at the SCC Library. Browse our New Books display or check  this link for a complete list of new titles. Here are just a few intriguing new selections:

     S.A. Lelchuk’s new thriller introduces Nikki Griffin, a bookstore owner who secretly tracks abusing men to help protect their female victims. Things get dangerous when Nikki gets involved with Karen, a disgruntled tech company employee who might be selling secrets. Griffin finds herself trying to escape from men far more dangerous than any she’d known before. Save Me from Dangerous Men marks the beginning of a gripping new series and fascinating lead character.

     For the child who wishes to learn the legend of the King of Rock ‘n Roll, Jonah Winter and Red Nose Studio present Elvis the King, a lushly illustrated retelling of Elvis Presley’s life story. From his birth on the wrong side of the tracks in the Deep South to conquering the world of entertainment, Elvis is King recreates Presley’s tale through humorous, hand-sculpted miniatures, artfully photographed. It’s the perfect book for any oddball child with a dream to show off their talents.

     Charting her own journey from apprehensive baby boomer to pro-aging radical, Ashton Applewhite explores the media images and messages that serve to discredit the art of aging. By debunking the myths about late life development, Applewhite examines how the stereotypes divide the culture, cripple our brain and body functions, and help to foster an unequal society. This Chair Rocks champions age pride and looks toward an all-age-friendly world.

     An inside man in the beverage industry, Jack Buffington proposes significant innovations that would allow the supply chain to continue utilizing plastics while minimizing the harm synthetics pose to the environment. In Peak Plastic, Buffington views the continued use of plastic as critical to our future, hoping to innovate its production and use rather than eliminating it.

     When sixteen-year-old Starr Carter witnesses the fatal shooting of her best friend at the hands of a police officer, the uneasy balance between her poor neighborhood and fancy prep school is shattered. While the killing becomes national news, with protesters demanding action, only Starr knows the real story of what happened that night. What she chooses to reveal could send her community into an uproar and even endanger her life. The Hate U Give is now a major motion picture.

     Irregardless of your previous experience, Dryers’ English is an indispensible guide to how proper grammar impacts your writing and helps you make less mistakes. For all intensive purposes, Benjamin Dryers’ book is based off of the how, why and when of myriad English difficulties. Its literally the penultimate guide to English language learnings!!! Perhaps your even chomping at the bit to utilize this very unique book to correct all the mistakes in this paragraph?!

For more new releases at the SCC Library, check our New Books listing. And as always, ask an SCC Librarian for help locating or requesting a title.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Endangered Safari

Earth Day 2019 is rapidly approaching, and with this year's crucial Earth Day theme of "Protect Our Species" the SCC Library has created a fun activity to help us all do just that.

Join us at the Central Campus, Tyger River Campus, Downtown Campus, and the Cherokee County Campus Libraries on Monday, April 22 for the Endangered Safari. Ten endangered species will be hidden throughout the Library. Find the endangered animals, then use the QR reader on your phone to answer quiz questions about the species you've found. A prize winner will be selected from those who identify all ten animals.

What kind of animals? Well, to give you an idea of the kind of wondrous species on the current critical list, here are the currently-ranked
 Top Ten Most Endangered Species

1. Amur Leopard

Often hunted for its beautiful fur, the Amur Leopard has topped the critically endangered list since 1996, with only 70 individual cats known to exist.

2. Cross River Gorilla

With both Cross River Gorillas and Mountain Gorillas classified as critically endangered, two out of five gorilla subspecies are in danger of extinction. There are only 200-300 Cross River Gorillas estimated to exist.

3. Sea Turtles

In the last 100 years, the Leatherback Turtle and the Hawksbill Turtle have lost up to 90 percent of their population, 10 percent of which has been lost in the last ten years.

4. Orangutan

With approximately 80 percent of their population lost in the past 75 years, the Sumatran Orangutan has become endangered through mass deforestation. Only 6,600 Sumatran Orangutans are known to exist.

5. Sumatran Elephant

Deforestation has reduced the Sumatran Elephant population by 70 percent in the past 25 years. Less than 2000 are thought to exist.

6. Saola

Discovered in 1992 in Vietnam, this previously-unknown species was already critically endangered, making it one of the rarest animals on Earth.

7. Vanquinta
With less than 100 thought to exist, this rarely-seen marine mammal's extinction is predicted at any time.

8. Tiger

Both the South China Tiger and the Sumatran Tiger currently face the threat of extinction. Three of the nine tiger subspecies have already disappeared, and there are only 500 Sumatran Tigers known to exist.

9. Rhino

Three of the five species of Rhinocerotidae, the Black Rhino, the Sumatran Rhino, and the Javan Rhino are all endangered, with only 60 - 100 of each Rhino species remaining.

10. Pangolin

Widely hunted for their scales, the Pangolin are the most trafficked animal in the world. Eight species of Pangolin are currently threatened with extinction.

Help us round up vulnerable species in our Endangered Safari at the SCC Library, all campuses on Monday, April 22 - all day!

Works Cited

Friday, March 1, 2019

The Treasures of Kanopy

The SCC Library has recently added the mighty Kanopy to our growing stockpile of digital resources. This streaming video service offers 30,000 movies and documentaries, available for free to all SCC students, staff, and faculty.

To help spread the word about Kanopy, we asked members of our Library staff to browse the Oscar winners, HBO documentaries, Criterion classics, Great Courses, world cinema, and other collections and share their personal Treasures of Kanopy. Here's a few selections they found.

Julie Gilmore’s Treasures

This documentary was recently made into a movie with Steve Carell, but the original seems more compelling.  After being severely beaten and suffering from PTSD, Mark Hogencamp made a miniature WWII village and brought it to life with dolls and photography.  His work has become well known and influential throughout pop culture.

Tell Them We Are Rising
Originally shown on PBS, Tell Them We Are Rising explores Historically Black Colleges and Universities, their history and where they are going in the future.  I'd love to know more about HBCUs and why people choose to attend and support them.  And I'm excited to explore more documentaries on Kanopy, letting me learn and enjoy at the same time. 

Lady Bird
This won a ton of Oscars last year, and I still haven't seen it.  Everyone I know who has seen this movie has loved it, and I am excited that Kanopy has critically acclaimed movies to watch on demand.  
Jillian Collier’s Treasures

Ex Libris: The New York Public Library
This award-winning documentary by Frederick Wiseman goes behind the scenes of New York City's public library system. With its 92 locations across Manhattan and surrounding boroughs, the New York Public Library is one of the largest institutions of knowledge in the world and also one of the most democratic. NYPL serves an extremely diverse group of communities and everyone is welcome. This film explores the library's inner workings and reveals the principles that guide its operations; including the library's commitment to the American ideal of an individual's right to be informed. This documentary film runs almost three and a half hours, so I haven't finished it yet, but it's definitely on my watchlist!

Miss Representation
This film, first released in 2011, "challenges the media's limited and often disparaging portrayals of women and girls, which make it difficult for women to achieve leadership positions and for the average woman to feel powerful herself." Packed with compelling interviews from teenage girls and some of America's most influential female leaders, this 90 minute film is a must see for anyone interested in topics surrounding gender equality, mass media, and representation. The Kanopy library also includes documentary films on how media representation affects young boys (The Mask You Live In) along with many other interesting titles in the areas of Media Studies and Popular Culture.

Truth, Justice, and the American Way
This hour-long video is a segment of a longer PBS documentary about the history of superheroes and comics in America. Hosted by Liev Schreiber and filled with interviews from experts on the topic, this film gives a fun and informative look at how superhero characters came into popularity at an important moment in U.S. history. Other videos in the series discuss other aspects of the topic, but this one was my favorite, since it showed the beginning of superhero comic's popularity in America and how their content related to the historical context. 
Barbara Scala’s Treasures

Kedi: The Cats of an Ancient City
This documentary follows the lives of individual cats in Istanbul—their travels through the day, their friends, and the perils they face. There is stunning footage of Istanbul, a beautiful city, and of course, lots of beautiful cats who navigate through their city with amazing gymnastic ability.

Dark Money
I read the book, Dark Money by Jane Mayer, and it was really eye-opening. I want to watch the PBS documentary Dark Money that continues the exploration of the effect of corporate money in our elections and how it challenges our democracy.

In Pursuit of Silence
 I also want to watch the documentary In Pursuit of Silence. Silence is getting rarer and more precious in our noisy, chaotic world. Stores and restaurants are all filled with loud music and noise. This documentary is about how necessary silence is to our mental and physical well-being, which I think is a fascinating concept.
Ashley Holt’s Treasures

I’ve been interested in the legendary conceptual artist Joseph Beuys for decades, but I never knew this documentary on Beuys existed until finding it on Kanopy. Beuys told a lot of wild stories about his own life in interviews, attempting to explain his weird fascination with felt and coyotes, so I’m hoping this film will help separate some of the myths from the true history of the man. And maybe this documnetary will help me brush up on my German!
Hal Ashby was an American film director who left a legacy of highly influential films made over a very short period. From Harold and Maude to The Last Detail to Shampoo to Being There, Ashby’s films have inspired generations of filmmakers and are considered some of the best films of the last century. Ashby’s career marks the rise and fall of the “auteur” period in Seventies Hollywood, where visionary directors were given the freedom to showcase their personal vision and just as quickly had that freedom restricted again.

Othello (Orson Welles)
Filmed in fits and starts over the course of several years, and at great personal expense of the director, Orson Welles’ screen adaptation of this Shakespeare classic is a true masterpiece. Of all the treasures of Kanopy, I’m most excited that it includes a huge number of titles from the Criterion Collection. Criterion restores the great works of cinema to present them in the highest possible quality, from Chaplin to Bergman, and we can watch them for free on Kanopy!

Set up your account at and find your treasures today!

Monday, October 29, 2018

5 from the Fake News Hall of Fame

Sure, fake news is all the rage in the internet age, but we modern folk didn’t exactly invent phony news stories. Hoaxes, biased reports, and sloppy journalism have plagued the media since the invention of the printing press. They say a lie can travel around the world before the truth can even put on its pants, but often the lie lives on long after the truth has been revealed. Consider these five stories that live on in legend today as some of the most famous fake news events in history.

Bat People on the Moon

In 1835, struggling publisher Benjamin Day attempted to compete with New York’s many daily newspapers. Day published The Sun, a one –cent paper which attracted a readership of the city’s working class. Day presumed that this audience, unsophisticated in the ways of established journalism, would be receptive to news stories that were exciting, if not exactly true.

Day hired Richard Adams Locke, a veteran newspaperman who knew how to cook up drama in his stories. Noticing a trend in speculation about the moon and its environment, Locke began a series on “great astronomical discoveries,” supposedly made with a new high-powered telescope. The “reports” described a moon surface filed with seas and forests, with huge pink and purple crystals rising from the sand. There were moon bison, moon pelicans, moon zebras, moon beavers, and most astounding, a race of flying bat people. The bat folk, according to Locke, were four-feet high, flew with wings like bats, engaged in conversation, and even had picnics.

Throughout the week the moon stories appeared, The Sun vastly outsold any other New York paper. Rightly irritated, reporters at competing papers worked to reveal the hoax. (Locke had claimed his information came from a scientific journal that no longer existed – always cite verifiable sources!) Locke was shamed into admitting his ruse, suggesting it had all been a good-natured satire.

You can imagine everyone’s disappointment decades later when the Apollo mission revealed no moon beavers.

Poe’s Hot Air

Benjamin Day was eager to strike circulation gold again in 1844, when The Sun published another hoax, crafted by a little-known short story writer named Edgar Allan Poe. Poe, who would go on to infamy as literature’s master of the macabre, was then a reliable junk news generator. There are at least six published accounts credited to Poe that turned out to be fake news.

Capitalizing on the popularity of hot air balloon adventures, Poe published his tale under the headline “Atlantic Crossed in Three Days, Signal Triumph of Mr. Monck Mason’s Flying Machine!” Of course there was no balloonist named Monck Mason, nor a fancy flying machine developed by the ridiculously-named Professor Rub-a-dub, but that didn’t stop readers from devouring Poe’s story, full of fake technical details about the fake journey.

Ironically, Poe had been privately annoyed that Richard Locke’s earlier moonmen hoax had borrowed heavily from Poe’s short story, “The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfall,” and perhaps hoped to best Locke in the newspaper hoax game. Alas, Poe’s story didn’t have the electricity of the moon hoax, and few were surprised when other newspapers failed to find evidence of the three-day balloon trip.

Mark Twain’s Career Rises from the Dead

Celebrated American author Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) was in hiding. Suffering from bad financial investments and disillusioned with public life, he was living in London in 1897, trying to preserve his privacy. One of the few contacts he had there was his cousin, James Ross Clemens, also living in London, who had fallen seriously ill soon after their first meeting.

When the papers reported James’ illness, the address was mistaken for that of his famous cousin, and rumors began to spread that the literary legend was either dead or soon would be. A young reporter from the New York Journal, Frank Marshall White, was dispatched to Twain’s home with the instructions, “If Mark Twain dying in poverty, send 500 words. If Mark Twain has died in poverty, send 1000 words.”

White visited Twain’s home to find him alive and well. The author assured the young man “The report of my death was an exaggeration.” White reported this response verbatim, which soon became one of the most repeated and best-known quotes from the highly quotable writer. The public was so delighted with the story that Twain’s popularity took a turn for the better, and soon new works were being commissioned from the long silent Twain.

This was good news for Twain, because what had really annoyed him wasn’t the report of his death but rumors of his poverty!

War of the Welles
Orson Welles, the “young genius” of radio, needed help for his flagging Mercury Theater show. The program, which adapted classic novels as radio dramas, had no sponsor and would soon be cancelled without one. Welles devised a gimmick for his Halloween broadcast of 1938: an adaptation of H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds, presented in the style of an actual news program.

Welles and his cast created what sounded like real news reports of invading Martians destroying whole cities with unstoppable death rays. Though announcements were made that the show was pure fiction, Welles craftily kept the warnings in the beginning of the show, waiting for the moment when listeners would change stations and discover his Martian invasion mid-attack.

The broadcast created panic across the country. Police stations were inundated with calls. Newspaper reporters rushed to cover the story. Doctors, soldiers, and armed civilians reported for duty to fight the alien hordes. Bridges and highways were jammed with cars as citizens tried to flee.

The next day Orson Welles gave his greatest performance as “innocent, apologetic guy” at a press conference, claiming he and his company had no idea their cute little radio show had caused such a stir. The performance was a hit. The Mercury Theater got a sponsor, and Welles got a Hollywood contract.

Candy Con
We all know the biggest danger on Halloween isn’t ghosts or witches or having to listen to the “Monster Mash,” but poisoned Halloween candy, right? After all, local police and hospitals routinely offer to examine or even x-ray children’s’ Halloween stash to search for needles, blades, or other foreign substances. That proves it, right?

Fake news wins again! In this case, it isn’t just one junk news story about deadly candy, but dozens and dozens of questionable reports, every year for many decades. Joel Best, a sociologist at the University of Delaware, conducted extensive research of poisoned candy stories in 2003. He found that, in reports going back to 1958, there was only one verifiable newspaper story about a child being poisoned with Halloween candy (by his own father). Every other story of kids getting questionable candy turned out to be a false report.

So trick or treat with confidence! The candy is fine! (Except the Almond Joy. No one should eat that stuff!)

Think you can spot fake news from junk? Then click here to try our SCC Library Fake News Quiz!

Works Cited
Powers, Ron. Mark Twain, a Life. Free Press, 2005, pp. 584-85.
Quinn, Arthur Hobson. Edgar Allan Poe, a Critical Biography. Cooper Square, 1941, pp. 410.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Nine Times the Times Made Headlines

The SCC Library is proud to announce our new New York Times online subscription! Now SCC students, staff, and faculty have free access to daily New York Times articles and their archive via the paper’s website. Visit to learn how to activate your NYT account with your SCC web ID and password for immediate access.

“But what’s the big deal,” you ask? “Isn’t The New York Times just another newspaper?” Heck no! This is the “newspaper of record” we’re talking about! The Times has developed a reputation among journalists and readers as the best quality American newspaper, lauded for its thorough reporting and journalistic standards in the U.S. and internationally. Plus The New York Times has an over 160-year history of innovative reporting and state-of-the-art publishing methods. Here are just a few of the notable episodes in the history of The New York Times.

The Times’ Founder Fought Off Rioters with a Machine Gun
In July of 1863, a draft was instituted to enlist recruits for the newly-formed Union Army in anticipation of the Civil War. This sparked the New York Draft Riots, in which those protesting the draft attacked the home office of The New York Times, violently denouncing the paper’s pro-union, anti-slavery positions. Times founder Henry Raymond and his newspapermen held off the protesters with Gatling guns (an early form of machine gun). The protesters, understandably unnerved by the resistance, decided to go attack the office of The New York Tribune instead.

The Times Exposed a Corrupt Political Operation before it was Cool
Throughout the 1800’s, New York was largely managed by a backroom-dealing, unofficial political “office” known as Tammany Hall, that infiltrated city government with Tammany-approved politicians and their wives’ favorite nephews. The most notorious of these proto-mafiosos was William Marcy “Boss” Tweed, who, though never elected mayor himself, essentially controlled the mayor’s office. Tweed was known for being exceedingly generous with city contracts, paying his favored tradesmen $40,000 for a broom here and $180,000 for a table and chairs there, until The Times published details of New York County’s financial records. His corruption exposed, Tweed died in prison, cursing The New York Times and its savvy readers.

The Times’ Famous Slogan was a Diss on Its Competitors
By the 1890’s, New York newspapers such as Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World and William Randolph Hearst’s New York Journal had developed a well-deserved reputation for their “yellow journalism,” publishing sensational, lurid, and often wildly inaccurate news stories to lure in readers. Times publisher Adolph Ochs began running the slogan “All the News That’s Fit to Print” on the masthead of his paper, suggesting The New York Times was the proper choice for the distinguished reader too sophisticated for celebrity gossip and photos of decapitated hobos. Readers agreed. Despite contests to find a replacement slogan, Och’s masthead promise has remained in place since 1896.

The Times has Won More Pulitzer Prizes than Any Other Newspaper
Beginning in 1918, The New York Times has racked up 122 Pulitzer Prizes for excellence in journalism. The prizes have been awarded for reporting on a wide variety of subjects, including coverage of World War I, the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, architecture criticism, war in Lebanon, toxic shock syndrome, the Challenger space shuttle disaster, molecular biology, the reunification of Germany, the Sept. 11 attacks, Ebola, food safety, Hurricane Katrina, and even a multimedia presentation about avalanches. This year, The Times won Pulitzers for reports on Hollywood’s abuse of women, Russian interference in U.S. elections, and an editorial comic strip about the struggle of refugees who fear deportation.

The Bombing of Pearl Harbor Created the Times Crossword Puzzle
The New York Times Crossword Puzzle, the standard-bearer among puzzle freaks across the globe, was not the sort of thing Times publishers initially wanted for their lofty newspaper. Though crossword puzzles gained popularity in the 1920’s, the Times considered them “a primitive form of mental exercise.” It was not until the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941 that an editor finally conceded that a crossword puzzle might be a nice diversion for a readership weary of wartime worries. No one knows who wrote the debut puzzle, but a large team of contributing puzzlesmiths and associated word geeks create the crossword section today.

The Times Helped Strengthen to First Amendment
In 1960, The New York Times ran an advertisement, written by a civil rights group, which described actions by the Alabama police to curb their right to protest on a college campus. The problem was that many of the claims were exaggerated or false, prompting L.B. Sullivan, the Montgomery city commissioner, to file a libel lawsuit against the Times. Sullivan claimed he had been personally injured by the ad’s errors, seeing as he supervised the police department, and the Alabama Supreme Court agreed. However, when the Times appealed the case, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the ruling, a case that established the “actual malice” requirement in libel cases (injured parties must prove a story was published with the intent to harm and that the publisher knew the story was false). Nice shot with that “freedom of the press” play, New York Times!

The Times Fought a War Against the Pentagon … and Won!
Daniel Ellsberg, a former State Department official, found himself in possession of The Pentagon Papers, a secret report compiled by the U.S. Department of Defense on the war in Vietnam, and turned them over to The New York Times in 1971. The Times began publishing excerpts from the report, which revealed to their readers that the U.S. had escalated their military efforts long before the public was informed. Though a federal court injunction demanded that the Times cease publication of this “leaked” material, the Supreme Court ruled that attempts to stop the presses were considered “prior restraint” and upheld the paper’s right to publish. Score another First Amendment victory for Notorious NYT!

The Times Won’t Drop F-Bombs … Usually
The New York Times maintains a strict “watch the potty mouth” policy, refusing to publish bad language or other material they deem offensive. In the 1950’s, a picture editor was fired for running a photo of Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio locked in an open-mouthed kiss. Twenty years later, a photo of Vice President Nelson Rockefeller extending his middle finger at protesters was censored before publication (the article stating only that Mr. Rockefeller “gestured three times with his finger”). While certain widely-circulated videos in recent years have been reported by the Times with their four-letter-words intact, the paper has traditionally replaced such language with the term “barnyard epithet.”

The Times Exercises Freedom of the Press … with a Paywall
With the arrival of the internet, traditional newspaper funding through advertising and subscription dollars began quickly drying up as free content began flooding the web, including free online versions of newspapers like The New York Times. In 2011, the Times announced a paywall for their online publication. Five articles per month are available for free, but continued use of the site now requires a subscription, ranging from $15 to $35 per month. The gamble worked. As of December 2017, the Times had doubled its readership over the previous two years with 3.5 million paid subscriptions, insuring the continued life of “all the news that’s fit to print.”

But the best news is that SCC folks still have access to The New York Times for free!

Just follow the instructions and link on this page to register and enjoy access to the Times and its archive courtesy of Spartanburg Community College!

Works Cited