Tuesday, January 11, 2022

A Day of Service - MLK Day, January 17th

The library and Chattanooga State will be closed Monday, January 17th for the King Holiday. The King holiday, first observed in 1986, was changed by Congress in 1994 as a National Day of Service. Observed each year on the third Monday in January as “a day on, not a day off,” MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities. Find out more about MLK Day at MLKDAY.gov Because of COVID-19, the City of Chattanooga is promoting a donation drop off for the 17th. Chattanooga State will have a virtual presentation on the 17th.

The City of Chattanooga will host a donation drive drop-off at City Hall. Honoring the 2022 theme of "The Beloved Community..It Starts with Me!," the city's department of equity and community engagement are asking for specific donations. See the image below for more details:

Chattanooga State, in the Bond Arts and Culture Series, will have a virtual presentation on Monday, January 17th at 11:00 am that addresses diversity, equity, inclusion and justice, in action on campuses across TBR.

Current Maxine Smith Fellow, Dr. Quincy Jenkins, will facilitate a discussion with his Fellow counterparts, Barbara Scales from Motlow State Community College, and LaNecca Williams from Austin Peay State University. The topic of the discussion will be "It Starts With Me: Shifting Priorities to Create the Beloved Community, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice in Higher Education." 

Also, Dr. Wendy Thompson, TBR’s Vice Chancellor of Organizational Effectiveness, will share historical context on the Maxine Smith Fellows program and its connection to DEI and the “It Starts With Me” theme. 

Check out your January 12 ChattState email on how to join this session.


Monday, December 06, 2021

OverDrive Book Review of Wholehearted Faith


Review by Dwight Hunter

Rachel Held Evans died on May 4, 2019.

Local writer from Rhea County, Tennessee, former newspaper reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press, author of many books. The last book, Wholehearted Faith, combines her last unfinished manuscript with the help of Jeff Chu. A review from Booklist states that Held Evans was widely known for her openness to question the Bible, God, and the practice of white evangelical Christianity.

Wholehearted Faith, released on November 2, 2021, is available on the ChattState Library's OverDrive collection at https://chattanoogastate.overdrive.com/media/5962325?cid=266370

"This manuscript isn't what Rachel originally envisioned. Our life today isn't what she envisioned. Being dead at thirty-seven isn't what she envisioned. But that's one thing about having vision. It's not about always being right about the future. It's constantly learning what's right and striving for it." Daniel J Evans, Foreward, Wholehearted Faith

"It’s a pastoral letter to someone Rachel loved. It says you’re not alone because you’re questioning." Jeff Chu, co-author, Wholehearted Faith.

The first paragraph of this book describes the East Tennessee hills in the splendor of the sun and the green landscape. Held Evans was from East Tennessee. Her upbringing in conservative evangelical Christianity led her to question the tight grip of having no other dialogue about beliefs. I can relate to that thought process. I've attended churches that were in that way of rigid thinking -- questioning the Bible and fundamentalist beliefs were not acceptable practices.

In the essay, My Wicked Heart, Held Evans talks about changing from a proselytizing high school student to a person who learned about privileged, who learned about critical thinking skills. The chapter talks about how religion has torn people apart. Religious quests and crusades asked so many to ignore their conscience and to conform to expected cultural norms, faking happiness, and looking the other way from things that bother one's conscience. This is, Held Evans writes, an unhealthy way to live.

In this book, the exploration of our relationship with religious beliefs begins with who we are and where we are in the universe. Held Evans through this book has articulated thoughtfully of how to bring that awareness into our spiritual lives. The touch of poetic phrasing often gives a lift of rhythm when reading this book.

About OverDrive
The ChattState OverDrive collections brings electronic books onto a readable format of flipping a page of a book, or a page on one of the 3000+ magazines, or even to listen to an audio-book. Find the ChattState Library OverDrive collection at library.chattanoogastate.edu/overdrive and browse the collections, search for a book, and checkout an item via your ChattState email login. If you have purchase requests, you can use this form to make a request.

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."