Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Book Review of Nepantla familias

Nepantla familias: an anthology of Mexican American literature on families in between worlds
Review by Dwight Hunter

Neplantla, a Nahuatl word of living in the in-between space, is the focus of this anthology that brings together Mexican American narratives exploring living in between different worlds. This snapshot of cultural moments in various forms of delivery paints the contradictions in life as each person navigates important nuances of identity. Thirty writers are gathered to relate what it means to be an American, or more accurately, the feeling of not quite being accepted as a real American.  The narratives describe the in-between moments: traditional/contemporary; Spanish/English; transitioning between cultures. The writers battle different types borders such as the frustration of being "too Mexican" or "not Mexican enough."

The glimpse of Mexican American experiences found in this anthology collection is delivered in three forms: essays, short stories, and poetry.

The poem "Why you never get in a fight in elementary school" by Octivio Quintanilla begins with:
In this country,
everything about you is foreign
and no likes the look of scarcity.

The poem describes the realism and surrealism in such lines as "you are the fish and yet you are not the fish" and about sadness of fleeting memories from the old traditional homes and missing family only to be filled by the sounds of the new home.

Ruben Degollada's short story "Family unit" describes the suspicions of getting a place to stay on vacation while eyes peer around the car for extra people not on the reservation list.

Check out this 2021 published book from the Kolwyck Library:
Nepantla familias: an anthology of Mexican American literature on families in between worlds,
Sergio Troncoso, editor.
Call number: E184.M5 N35 2021

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Four favorite Banned Books from KLIC Librarians

The 2021 Banned Books Week is September 26th  - October 2nd! Check out our Banned Books Week guide! Books unite us; censorship divides us. #BannedBooksWeek #bannedbooks #bannedbookslist

In this post, we have four librarians with their favorite banned books!

First up is librarian Dwight Hunter: "Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich is my favorite banned book. Ehrenreich went undercover working jobs in various locations; jobs described as unskilled. During this undercover reporting, Ehrenreich discovered and revealed a section of American full-time workers who were barely getting by, had to make life and death choices, and were only one thin thread away from being in the worst of situations. This book was banned because of drug use, charged as politically inaccurate, offensive language, and its political and religious viewpoints."

Librarian Andrea Kincaid shares her favorite #bannedbook, Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.

"The American Library Association states the book was 'banned, challenged, and restricted because it was thought to contain a political viewpoint and it was claimed to be biased against male students, and for the novel’s inclusion of rape and profanity'.

Nearly every woman I know has been a victim of sexual assault, and many of them were assaulted as girls. This extremely important and valuable book represents the feelings of loss and violation that I and so many of the women I know have experienced as a result of sexual assault. Our bodies are not political!"

Our Dean of Library Services, Susan Jennings, shares one of her favorite #bannedbooks, To Kill a Mockingbird.

"To Kill A Mockingbird is Harper Lee’s masterpiece. Told from the perspective of the child, Scout, Lee recounts her life in her sleepy Southern hometown rocked by the trial and wrongful conviction of Tom Robinson, an innocent black man, for the rape of a young white woman.  Banned over the years for the subject matter of sexual violence, profanity, and racial slurs, To Kill A Mockingbird was one of the first works of fiction to deal with matters of race, integrity in the face of overwhelming odds, violence, and acceptance and reconciliation of others that have been outcasts."

Librarian Andy Foskey recommends his favorite #bannedbook:

"Alice Walker's The Color Purple brings me to tears every time I read it. And I have read it at least three times. It has been banned and challenged over issues related to language and sexuality, but to me those objections miss the point. Life is not always easy, and the characters in this book persevere under the most distressing circumstances. It gives me hope that despite everything wrong in the world that there can still be joy and happiness."

Friday, September 10, 2021

Not So Frequently Asked Questions with Mae Landess!

Mae Landess is the person to talk to for interlibrary loans; ie, she's the person tracking down all those resources that you need from other libraries. And Mae is a member of the library marketing team. This summer, Mae joined the library's circulation staff as the circulation assistant and reserves/ILL and is here to help faculty place text books on reserve or to help you find resources. Mae is creating a libguide titled Augusta Apparitions (see the response to the first question)! You can contact her at or at 423.697.2584.  

Learn a little bit more about our newest staff member in this Not So Frequently Asked Questions interview.

1. What was the last book you read?
Ghosts and Haunts From the Appalachian Foothills: Stories and Legends. The Library is haunted. So naturally, I did some ghost research. To be honest, this didn’t give me whole lotta information, just a few spooks and the occasional chill down the spine. 

2. What do you like to do in your free time?
SLEEP.  But in all seriousness, I am really into playing Minecraft at the moment. I also like watching anime, k-dramas and c-dramas, and Marvel/DC things. I also enjoy Twitch and Youtube.  When I can afford it, I like to go axe throwing downtown especially. 

3. Early bird or night owl?
NIGHT OWL.  I hate the sun.

4. Favorite cartoon?
As much as I want to say Hunter x Hunter, Gravity Falls will always hold a special place in my heart (I think it’s because of Waddles). 

5. Favorite thing to do in Chattanooga?
I love going to the aquarium! The Jellyfish exhibit is my favorite. It is dark and cozy, just like my office. 

6. What is the last picture you took with your phone?
This is a little embarrassing, but someone on the Minecraft server asked what enchantments were on my sword, so I took a picture of it to send. For those wondering, it was a diamond sword with Knockback II, Looting III, Sharpness IV, Sweeping Edge III, and Unbreaking III. I named it Grumpy, after one of the seven dwarves. I have updated it since then with mending, but not with netherite, because I am poor. Don’t judge me. 

7. If you could be any character in fiction, who would you be?
A random background character in the How to Train your Dragon movies. I want to be able to ride a dragon through the clouds while the sun sets on the distant horizon. All without the burden of being one of the main characters. I think about its film score at least once a week. 

8. Who shot first? Han or Greedo?
Han, according to the original 1977 release. 

9. What inspired you to want to work in a library?
I started working here as a way to pay for nursing, so money was the original inspiration.  But what started as a temporary thing quickly became a love of mine. So much so that I’ve changed career paths. 

10. Spring, Summer, Winter, or Fall?
Fall is the superior season. I love the spooky/sweater weather atmosphere it brings. :) Pumpkin spice is also a huge plus.

Thursday, September 09, 2021

New Video Platforms: Kanopy and Swank!

Source: Kanopy Inc.

The library has two new video-streaming platforms: Kanopy and Swank!                  
Kanopy streams videos that are dedicated to being thoughtful and thought-provoking. Founded in 2008, Kanopy was established to provide academic institutions with essential films that foster learning and conversation. In 2016, Kanopy expanded its services to public libraries and now delivers a diverse collection of enriching films, available to stream anytime and anywhere — from desktop to TV to tablet.  

Swank helps spread the magic of movies and TV shows beyond homes and theaters. How? They license and distribute content to non-theatrical markets like worldwide cruise lines, U.S. colleges and universities, K-12 public schools and libraries. In fact, Swank has been bringing movies and TV shows to more people in more places since 1937.

Just as KLIC purchases books for our patrons to borrow, KLIC also offers a variety of digital resources to borrow, and two of those digital resources are Kanopy and Swank! Both video databases are free to access with no advertisements for students, staff, and faculty at ChattState.

Visit our newest video databases, Kanopy and Swank, and watch videos on a computer or on mobile devices!