Summoning Great Things!

by Melody Detar, Divinity Librarian

SummonLogo1On Tuesday, January 17, the Regent University Library celebrated the official roll-out of its new discovery tool, Summon. A discovery tool simplifies the search process by enabling you to search for books and e-books from the Library Catalog and journal articles from most of our databases in a single search. You can find the search tool in the center of the Library homepage. It is the simplest way to launch your research.

As part of our roll-out, we encouraged the Regent community to give Summon a try through a contest that challenged each entrant to answer three search questions. Four entrants who answered correctly were selected at random to win an Amazon gift card. We are happy to congratulate our winners:

  • Ronald Riffle – Student, School of Psychology & Counseling
  • Khandicia Randolph – Student, School of Law
  • Michelle Tabannor – Student, School of Communications & the Arts
  • Zachariah Crompton – Student, College of Arts & Sciences
  • Dr. T.J. Wolfe – Professor, School of Education

We hope this is the beginning of a long and happy relationship with our new discovery tool and that it will improve your research experience. If you have any questions about Summon, a friendly librarian will be happy to assist you. You can also check out a brief tutorial video on our Summon research guide that will introduce you to the powers of this tool.

Disclaimer: Summon is a great tool that will connect you to many resources, but do not discount the importance of searching individual subject databases. Summon is not intended to be your sole research source!

Collection Spotlight: Passage to Israel, by Karen Lehrman Bloch

PassageBloch, Karen Lehrman. 2016. Passage to Israel. New York: Skyhorse Publishing. http://library.regent.edu/record=b2675954.

How is it that, year after year, the UN World Happiness Report ranks Israel as one of the world’s happiest nations? Israel – a country with compulsory military service, internal and external enemies bent on its destruction, and three national days of mourning. Readers looking for an answer to this paradox should check out Passage to Israel, a photographic tour through the astonishing varieties of nature, life, creativity, and faith that define Israel.

Divided into four sections – Land, Light, Life, and Soul – Passage to Israel presents the work of 34 of the country’s most gifted photographers with a forward and introduction that communicate the love and enthusiasm that together were the book’s genesis.

In her acknowledgments, the author writes that inspiration came not only from lovers of Israel (Jewish, Christian, and Muslim) but also from the lies and disinformation that form part of the daily output in most of the global media. She also reveals a powerful idea at the book’s heart: “Israel is indeed a mirror to one’s soul. Those who see the beauty, who stand up for the truth, who understand the meaning, will never regret where they stood in this moment of history, when silence is not an option. Am Yisrael Chai

10 New Year’s Resolutions that the Library can help you keep!

mouseby Melody Detar, Divinity Librarian

Happy New Year from the Regent University Library! The New Year is a great time to reflect on the year that has past and think boldly about the year ahead. Many choose to set resolutions, and the folks at the Regent Library want you to know that we support you. Below are ten of the most widely selected resolutions with suggestions on how the Regent Library can help you keep them.

  1. Learn another language – It’s never too late to learn a new language, and we have an incredible program to help! Mango Languages is an interactive learning program that you can use on your computer or mobile device, free of charge through the Library! Choose from over 70 languages and learn as you go about your day.
  2. Get better grades – The Library exists to help students achieve their learning objectives, so we can help with this in so many ways! One of the newest ways is through our new discovery resource, Summon, which is a search tool that looks through thousands of books, ebooks, journal articles, streaming films and more! Summon can bring to your attention articles, books, and other resources that you might not have thought about. Click here for a quick overview of Summon as well as a link to this great new research tool.
  3. Cultivate new hobbies – If you would like to pick up a new hobby, allow us to suggest the strategic game of Go. We have a brief introduction to Go in our blog archives, so arm yourself with a little knowledge, and head over to the Library to play with friends and librarians on the beautiful game board.
  4. Connect with friends – We are online, and your friends probably are too! We would love to connect with you through our social media sites, including Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube, and Flickr. And don’t forget about our blog.
  5. Read more – This would seem like an obvious goal that a library can help you achieve. However, we can enrich your reading experience and help keep you on track through the Library Book Club! Stretch yourself to read and discuss high quality literature. You can even join the discussion remotely through Google Hangouts. Right now we are reading Silence – Don’t see the movie before you read the book!
  6. Exercise – Exercise your arms by checking out an arm load of books (we’ll even ship them to distance students)! Then exercise your mind by reading them. Or exercise both your body and mind by reading while walking or biking, preferably on a machine rather than on the road.
  7. Pray more – In addition to providing quality research materials, the Regent Library offers a variety of spiritual devotionals to help you through prayer and biblical studies. Next time you are exploring the Library collection, do not forget to look up books that will enhance your spiritual life.
  8. Travel – If your goal is to see the world, let us help you discover and learn about the places you wish to see. You can also learn how to take amazing photos, or learn about ways to prevent travel risks.
  9. Save money – Buy fewer books by borrowing them from the Library! The InterLibrary Loan (ILL) service expands your options beyond what the Regent Library owns by enabling you to access books and articles from other libraries. Learn more about ILL on our YouTube page.
  10. Make new friends – We love our students! Contact a librarian to talk about books, play Go, or just figure out how to do your next research paper.

We are eager to help you succeed – as a student, as a professional, and as the unique person you are. Do not hesitate to contact our friendly librarians for help this semester.

Book Discussion: Silence, by Shusaku Endo

“Christ did not die for the good and beautiful. It is easy enough to die for the good and beautiful; the hard thing is to die for the miserable and corrupt.”
― Shūsaku Endō, Silence

Japanese 1st edition of Silence (1966)

Japanese 1st edition of Silence (1966)

Shusaku Endo (1923-1996) was a Japanese Roman Catholic novelist. Silence, first published in 1966, has been hailed as Endo’s masterpiece and one of the most significant Christian novels of the twentieth century. To coincide with the January release of Martin Scorsese’s long-awaited film of Silence, the Library Book Club will begin 2017 with this book.

The subject of Silence is the persecution of Japanese Christians in the seventeenth century. In 1637, two Portuguese missionaries undertake a perilous search for their missing Jesuit tutor. The Shogun and Samurai have purged Japan of Western influence, rooting out Christians and subjecting them to torture until they renounce the word of God. Father Rodrigues knows that if they are discovered, they face the same brutal treatment as the Christian peasantry. The deeper Rodrigues journeys into Japan, the more he finds himself questioning the meaning of God’s silence in answer to their prayers and to the suffering of the Japanese Christians.

The Book Club’s discussion of Silence will take place on Tuesday, January 31 at 12:00 in the Library Conference Room. Dale Coulter, professor of historical theology in the School of Divinity, will lead our conversation. Dr. Coulter has just published his reflections on Endo’s work in the influential journal of religion and culture First Things.

The Library has multiple copies of Silence. Distance students and faculty are invited to join in via Google Hangouts.

During January, the Library is also hosting an exhibition of artifacts associated with the persecution of Christians in Japan as well as responsive works by Makoto Fujimura. The works in this exhibition were on display last fall at Wheaton College, which is still hosting photos and outstanding explanatory materials on its website.

Collection Spotlight: One Hundred Pieces of Sun: Diary of a Potted Plant, by C.L. Kennedy

100pieces“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart;
and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him,
and he shall direct thy paths.”

-Proverbs 3:5 (KJV)

One Hundred Pieces of Sun: Diary of a Potted Plant is really three books in one: (1) a social history of the American Deep South and northern Rust Belt in the 1950s and 1960s, (2) an autobiography of C.L. Kennedy’s childhood and youth, and (3) a travelogue through Africa during the 1970-71 academic year. Remarkably, the author weaves these disparate subjects into a unified whole.

Simply put, this is the freshest, most unique memoir I have ever read, charting a trajectory from the author’s childhood in Jim Crow Alabama and a not-exactly-equal-rights northern industrial city, to Sarah Lawrence College, and ending with her junior year abroad at the University of Ghana, followed by travels through most of the continent using only local transportation. (Yes, her mother threw a fit when Kennedy first told her about her plans.)

The marvelous writing is infused Kennedy’s personality – strong, highly opinionated, but always honest and with an eye for the humor in life. Here, for the benefit of prospective readers, are three excerpts to give an idea of the book’s historical and emotional range:

  1. Traveling by train from Alabama to Ohio in 1956:
    “Before the trip North, Brenda [the author’s sister] and I were repeatedly coached, drilled, and cautioned not to say anything to any white person, no matter what they said, did, or called us…We were rehearsed in acceptable docile and self-effacing ways to respond if it became absolutely necessary to engage in eye-contact or communication with a stranger” (p. 19-20).
  2. Using the public library in Ohio:
    “Laws prohibited Blacks from checking out public library books and from entering the front door of the public library. Our parents took us to the library just as they took us to church…They showed us the way to carry and conduct ourselves with integrity, dignity, and pride, and they always reminded us that we were responsible for leaving a legacy, adding something to posterity, and never shaming the race” (p. 81).
  3. Discovering a possible origin of her ancestors (or at least her own spiritual homeland) through music:
    “In Mali, I was introduced to the cora, a bowl-shaped musical instrument that is made either from dried gourds with leather chords extending along an attached long handle or a flat wooden box enhanced with wood or metal picks held in place along the bottom and spaced along the top…Music from Mali featuring the cora soothes my very soul. Much to my surprise, many times I have felt that Mali was my home place, the country of my ancestors” (p. 211).*

The author’s understanding of the violence and injustice blacks (in both Old and New Worlds) have suffered at the hands of whites is never far removed in the text, but Kennedy’s gratitude and enthusiasm for life ensure that her lessons are always delivered with a light touch. Another constant in the book, especially at critical moments, but never sermonized about, is her deep Christian faith instilled by her parents.

Although not a work of fiction, it does not seem inappropriate to call One Hundred Pieces of Sun a Bildungsroman, as it completely convincingly tells the story of the coming-of-age of a highly sensitive and intelligent young woman. Kennedy has written a book that engages with and invites the reader to see the world through her eyes. And that, I think, is one of the best things any book can do for us.

*For a sample of this remarkable music, click here.