Doing Research? Need access to a literary work? Can’t get to the library? Check out Bartleby! is an excellent resource that provides free online access to a comprehensive collection of reference, verse, fiction, and nonfiction works. has complete electronic texts of classic books that are out of copyright as well as such current reference sources as the Columbia Encyclopedia, sixth edition; The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, third edition; Roget’s II: The New Thesaurus, third edition; Simpson’s Contemporary Quotations; The American Heritage Book of English Usage; the 1914 Oxford edition of the Complete Works of William Shakespeare and E. Cobham Brewer’s 1898 Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. The site is easy to navigate and can be searched by keyword, individual selections, major categories, or by browsing the table of contents.

National Poetry Month

Did you know that April is National Poetry Month?

In recognition of National Poetry Month, Gale Cengage Learning has created a landing page with links to Biography in Context portal pages for a selection of popular poets of biography searches for the month of April.  Check it Out! 

Click to follow link to portal:  Gale Biography in Context National Poetry Month Portal


Purdue OWL

If you are writing a research paper and need help with formatting and creating citations, the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) is a great resource.  The Purdue OWL offers over 200 free resources including:

For a list of all resources available for non-Purdue students at the OWL click here.


Since Easter is coming up this Sunday I thought I would list some Fun Facts about Easter.

According to  Easter is the second most important candy-consuming Holiday of the year for Americans, who consumed 7 billion pounds of candy in 2011.   Here are some more fun facts:

  • About ninety million chocolate Easter bunnies are produced each year.
  • 76% of Americans eat their Chocolate bunnies first, according to.
  • Adults prefer milk chocolate (65%), to dark chocolate (27%).
  • During Easter Americans buy more than 700 million Marshmallow Peeps, making them the most popular non-chocolate Easter candy.
  • As many as 4.2 million Marshmallow Peeps, bunnies, and other shapes can be made each day.
  • In 1953, it took 27 hours to create a Marshmallow Peep. Today it takes six minutes.
  • Americans consume 16 billion jellybeans at Easter, many of them hidden in baskets. If all the Easter jellybeans were lined end to end, they would circle the globe nearly three times.
  • Jellybeans did not become an Easter tradition until the 1930s. They were probably first made in America by Boston candy maker William Schrafft, who ran advertisements urging people to send jellybeans to soldiers fighting in the Civil War.
  • Hot cross buns were among the earliest Easter treats, made by European monks and given to the poor during Lent.
  • Pretzels were originally associated with Easter. The twists of a pretzel were thought to resemble arms crossed in prayer.




Need help creating citations for a book?  Check out OttoBibOttoBib is a free bibliography generator that is easy to use.  Just type the ISBN of a book into the text box to generate a bibliography entry that can be copied and pasted into a paper.  OttoBib is capable of generating citations in MLA format, APA, and Chicago-Turabian.  OttoBib is powered by WorldCat and it only works for books.  OttoBib can be found at

Note: This blog is only reviewing this resource, and cannot guarantee the accuracy of citations generated by OttoBib, so use at your own risk.

Spring Break

The Library Staff hoped that everyone has a safe and refreshing Spring Break.  See you on Monday!!

March is National Women’s History Month


Each year National Women’s History Month employs a unifying theme and recognizes national honorees whose work and lives testify to that theme.  The theme for National Women’s History Month 2012 is Women’s Education – Women’s Empowerment.

Although women now outnumber men in American colleges nationwide, this reversal of the gender gap is a very recent phenomenon. The fight to learn was a valiant struggle waged by many tenacious women — across years and across cultures.   This equal opportunity to learn, owes much to Title IX of the Education Codes of the Higher Education Act Amendments.  Passed in 1972 and enacted in 1977, this legislation prohibited gender discrimination by federally funded institutions.  Its enactment has served as the primary tool for women’s fuller participation in all aspects of education from scholarships, to facilities, to classes formerly closed to women.  It has also transformed the educational landscape of the United States within the span of a generation.  

For more information and resources to commemorate multicultural women’s history and to celebrate Women’s Education – Women’s Empowerment, visit, WWW.NWHP.ORG.

 (taken from the National Women’s History Project  2012 press release)

African American History Month Celebration

The 2012 African American History Month theme is “Black Women in American Culture and History”.  This theme honors African American women and the myriad of roles they played in the shaping of our United States.

On Wednesday, Feb. 22, USC-Union will be celebrating Black History Month on the campus.  This event is sponsored by Men and Women on a Mission and African American Association (MWOM/AAA), and is scheduled at noon in the auditorium.  The speaker at this event is Mrs. Andrea Powell Baker, Executive Director of the Union County Development Board.

Lunch will be provided after the event in the Student Lounge for students, faculty and staff.  Come and join us!


New Books in the Library

The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother

By James McBride











In The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother, McBride tells of his childhood, family, and of the issue of race that ultimately colored his life while growing up in predominantly black neighborhoods, where his white mother stood out like a sore thumb.  McBride’s mother was a Polish Orthodox Jew who was born Rachel Shilsky in Poland on April 1, 1921.  She migrated to America with her family during the early nineteen twenties they and they settled in Suffolk, Virginia.  In Virginia, Ruth was subjected to anti-Semitism from the community and abuse from her father.  At age seventeen Ruth fled Virginia and settled in New York City, where she married James’s father, a black minister. Because this was a time when mixed race marriages were still frowned upon by both whites and blacks, their family always stood out as different.  After his death sixteen years later, Ruth married another black man who took care of her and her eight children.  They later had four more children, bringing the grand total to twelve.   Ruth taught her children growing up that “God is the color of water,” firmly convinced that life’s blessings and life’s values transcend race, and with this attitude she continually confronting overwhelming adversity and racism.   Race was always an issue his mother avoided discussing with him, because to her it was not an issue. It was not until the James began writing this book that his mother agreed to talk about the issue of race within the context of her own life with him. It is from this dialogue that The Color of Water emerges, and it is a fascinating look at the issues of race and identity within our society experienced firsthand by McBride’s and his mother. 



The Color of Love

By Gene Cheek












The Color of Love by Gene Check, tells the story of his childhood in 1950s North Carolina, where he grew up poor and white. After years of living with a drunken and abusive husband, Cheek’s mother finally separated from her husband in 1961 in Winston–Salem, North Carolina. After leaving his father, his mother began a clandestine relationship with a black man named Cornelius Tucker, who was everything her husband was not.  Gene was enlisted by his mother to keep their secret, and their undercover life as an interracial family was begun. They managed to keep the relationship quite until his mother became pregnant and gave birth to a brown-skinned baby.  In the face of rabid racial attitudes and Klan violence, Cheek’s mother and Tucker remained steadfast. But his vengeful father and other family members testified against the mother in a custody case that carried the threat of prison for violating the state’s anti-miscegenation law.  When the judge ordered her to give up one of the children, the author took the choice out of his mother’s hands when he elected to leave the family and become a ward of the state. In the narrative, Cheek recalls the horrendous choices that were forced upon both him and his mother and he recalls the painful guilt his mother suffered and the seething hatred he felt for years.  The Color of Love, is an eye-opening story of love, forgiveness, and racial hatred set in the segregated South.

New Databases

The USC Union Library now has access to 3 new databases.  They are Sabin Americana,1500-1962,  The Listener Historical Archive and Times Digital Archive.  Check them out:


The Listener Historical Archive


The Listener began to publishing on a weekly basis by BBC in 1929.  This database covers The Listener’s years of  1929-1991. Database includes outstanding  events of  20th Century about  advertising, art, entertainment, history, literature, media, music, politics, science and sports. The database is located within the 140,000 page digital images.



Sabin Americana, 1500-1926


The Sabin Americana Database , 1500–1926 is an online collection of books, pamphlets, serials and other works about the Americas, from the time of their discovery to the early 1900s.   It contains original accounts of discovery and exploration, pioneering and westward expansion, the U.S. Civil War and other military actions, Native Americans, slavery and abolition, religious history and more. It also covers a span of 400 years in North, Central and South America, as well as the Caribbean. 


Times Digital Archive


The Times Digital Archive is an online, full-text database of more than 200 years of The Times.  It details every complete page of every issue from 1785. This historical newspaper archive allows researchers an unparalleled opportunity to search and view the best-known and most cited newspaper in the world online in its original published context.