Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Hinamatsuri, Doll Festival of Japan (March 3, 2007)

Hinamatsuri (or Hina Matsuri or Doll Festival or Girls' Day) is a traditional Japanese holiday when "people pray for the happiness and healthy growth of girls. Families with young daughters mark this day by setting up a display of dolls inside the house." (

To get you in the spirit, check out our varied collection of dolls, some Japanese, as well as dolls in African, Asian, European, Latin American, Middle Eastern, Native American, Pacific Islander, and U.S. costume.

We also have pictures of dolls, including Japanese dolls and Native American Kachina dolls.

You might like to celebrate with some videos that feature dolls, such as Sally, the rag doll in Tim Burton's The nightmare before Christmas, the nutcracker doll and Coppelía of ballet fame, and Barbie in the 12 dancing princesses. Balance that last one out with Barbie nation: an unauthorized tour. Or for a less literal take on dolls, try Ibsen's A doll's house or the French film Les poupées russes (Russian dolls) about an indecisive thirty-year-old looking for love.

The video Living treasures of Japan pays a visit to a maker of traditional dolls.

In kids' books, we have a number of stories featuring dolls (select youth under audience and check prose on the Fiction & Literature Media Finder)

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Sunday, February 25, 2007

National Eating Disorders Week (February 25-March 3, 2007)

The Ball State Counseling Center is offering a number of events for National Eating Disorders Week with the theme "Be Comfortable in Your Genes."

Check out these videos from the Videos (All) Media Finder to learn more about eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia.

Some videos on body image, especially in women and girls, may also provide context. Try Killing us softly 3: advertising's image of women or Slim hopes: advertising and the obsession with thinness.

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Friday, February 23, 2007

Black History Month (February 2007)

Celebrate Black History Month by using media from the library to learn more about the history of African Americans in the United States. Check out videos, CD-ROMs, non-fiction audio, and pictures and posters about African Americans.

For the kids you know, try children's stories about African Americans (use the Fiction & Literature Media Finder, select youth under audience, check prose and choose African Americans under types of characters). Check out titles like Deborah Hopkinson's Sweet Clara and the freedom quilt, Faith Ringgold's Tar beach or, for older readers, Walter Dean Myers' Monster or Christopher Paul Curtis' Bud, not Buddy.

The Movies & TV Programs (fiction video) Media Finder features many videos with African American characters. We have dramas about the historical experience of slavery in the U.S., ranging from Alex Haley's ground-breaking TV mini-series Roots to Steven Spielberg's film about the Amistad rebellion. Or try a film adaptation of African American literature, such as The color purple or A raisin in the sun. Or try one of Spike Lee's films, like Inside man or Malcolm X.

Why not browse for media on African Americans and...

  • Art

  • Business and Economics

  • Dance and Theater

  • Education

  • Film and Television

  • History and Politics

  • Language, Literature and the Press

  • Music

  • Religion

  • Sports

  • Women's Studies

  • Interested in local African American history? We have several videos on African Americans in Muncie. There are also many images in the Other Side of Middletown Photographs, a collection in the Digital Media Repository. The DMR also features back issues of The Muncie Times, Muncie's African American newspaper.

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    Monday, February 19, 2007

    Snow! What's up with this weather?

    The first fall of snow is not only an event, but it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of world and wake up to find yourself in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment, then where is it to be found?
    --J.B. Priestley

    Perhaps in a snow day with no classes?

    Wondering about this wacky weather--surprisingly warm January and snowbound February? Check out some media resources at Bracken that can help you learn more about the weather and climate. Try these videos (from the Videos (All) Media Finder) or perhaps you're more interested in getting the scoop on global warming from Al Gore's An inconvenient truth or some of our other videos on climate change. We also have videos on all sorts of extreme weather events like tornadoes, hurricanes, storms, and floods (from Noah's flood to the fatal 1899 Johnstown, Pennsylvania flood to the 1993 flooding along the Mississippi).

    For a more dramatic approach, try some disaster films from the Movies & TV Programs (fiction video) Media Finder (not all are weather-related, but we do have Twister and The day after tomorrow). Although not exactly in the disaster genre, The Wizard of Oz makes a great tornado film.

    You may wish to use these CD-ROMs to learn more about weather (from the Software & Electronic Games Media Finder) or we even have meteorological instruments if you want to do your own investigating.

    Check out these pictures and posters featuring weather and meteorology. Or here are some wintry scenes (From an upcoming Media Finder--stay tuned for details).

    For entertaining the wee ones, try bundling up with some blankets, hot chocolate, and a good story. Search for snow or winter on the Fiction & Literature Media Finder (check youth under audience to narrow your search). You might like Ezra Jack Keats' Snowy day or Lois Ehlert's Snowballs or an illustrated version of Robert Frost's Stopping by woods on a snowy evening.

    And if by chance, by the time you read this, the snow has melted, don't despair--just check out our snow globe to get back in the winter mood.

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    Saturday, February 17, 2007

    Presidents' Day (February 19, 2007)

    Happy Presidents' Day!

    If you've forgotten everything you learned in high school history class, why not refresh your memory of our nation's leaders by listening to some nonfiction audio about our presidents from the Audiobooks & Other Spoken Recordings Media Finder (check nonfiction and type 'presidents united states' in the search box). We have titles from ranging from Henry Wiencek's An imperfect god : George Washington, his slaves, and the creation of America and David McCullough's John Adams to Clinton's My life.

    Use the Videos (All) Media Finder to find videos about the U.S. presidency, such as:

  • Mandate : the president and the people on the relationship between the presidency and public opinion

  • Understanding government, which explains the roles of the three branches of the U.S. government, including the executive branch.

  • If fictional presidents are more your cup of tea, try our West Wing DVDs. You can also find more political dramas about the U.S. government by searching the Movies & TV Programs (fiction video) Media Finder for united states politics. Try Schoolhouse Rock's America Rock for an entertaining introduction to our nation's government.

    Interested in a specific president? Try these links for media related to selected U.S. leaders:

  • George Washington

  • Thomas Jefferson

  • Andrew Jackson

  • Abraham Lincoln

  • Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt

  • Woodrow Wilson

  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR)

  • John Fitzgerald Kennedy (JFK)

  • Richard Nixon

  • Jimmy Carter

  • Ronald Reagan

  • George Bush

  • Bill Clinton

  • George W. Bush
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    Thursday, February 15, 2007

    Chinese New Year (February 18, 2007)

    Happy Chinese New Year! Check out our Chinese New Year Celebration Box, as well as these videos to get ready for the Year of the Pig (or Boar).

    Want to learn more about China or check out some Chinese films, literature, and music?

    Use the Movies & TV Programs (fiction video) Media Finder to try some movies from China (select China/Hong Kong under origin) or movies set in China (select China under country in the setting section).

    Find some Chinese literature to read by going to the Fiction & Literature Media Finder and selecting Chinese under original language of literature. Combine this with the prose, short stories, poetry, or plays checkboxes to narrow your search. To find Chinese folktales, it works better to choose China from the country list under setting and then check folklore & religious stories. Or find children's literature about China by choosing youth under audience and China from the countries under setting. Change to 10-39 p. under audience and check prose to narrow your focus to little kids' stories.

    Why not listen to some Chinese music? From the World Music Finder, select China under country and limit to recordings under format. Or limit to criticism & history under format to find out more about Chinese music.

    Check out our VHS and DVD videos on China from the Videorecordings (All) Media Finder. We have titles ranging from The art of architecture in China and Feng shui : environments for success and well-being to Management in Chinese cultures to The tank man, a documentary about a single, unarmed young man stood his ground before a column of tanks in Tiananmen Square and Zhang’s diner, a documentary about the challenges faced by a Chinese couple who illegally move from their rural hometown to Beijing.

    If you get really ambitious, you can even check out our Chinese language instruction from the Software & Electronic Games or Audiobooks & Other Spoken Recordings Media Finders.

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    Friday, February 9, 2007

    Valentine’s Day (February 14, 2007)

    Looking to get in the mood for Valentine’s Day? Try some romantic comedies from the Movies & TV Programs (fiction video) Media Finder. Or check out some love poetry (check poetry and love & romance) or erotic poetry (check poetry and erotic) from the Fiction & Literature Media Finder. We also have romance novels and love stories (check prose and love & romance). For the younger set, we have children's literature about Valentine's Day--type Valentine's day into the search box and select youth under audience.

    If you're ready to move your relationship to that next level, you may want to look into some wedding music (under topical music near the lower right corner) on our Non-Classical Music Media Finder.

    A search for Valentine’s Day on the Videos (All) Media Finder gets you a few hits including a couple histories of Valentine’s Day and the classic Charlie Brown TV special.

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    Thursday, February 8, 2007

    How to Find New Movies (Or Very Old Movies)

    On the Movies & TV Programs (fiction video) Media Finder, it’s easy to find recent movies by using the original date pulldown list and selecting a recent date range, such as 2005-2006 or 2000-2004. These dates are for the original theatrical release or broadcast date. You can combine these dates with other search options. So if you select 2005-2006 and check comedy, you’ll get recent comedies. You can go the other way, too—check out our films from 1890-1899.

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