Monthly Archives: March 2017

April is Celebrate Diversity Month

April is Celebrate Diversity Month. But what does this actually mean? As this 2014 blog post from Lee & Low points out, months devoted to concepts like “Diversity” and Heritage Months focused on particular cultures cause mixed emotions for many individuals and communities.

As Jason Low writes, “The observance month can easily lead to the bad habit of featuring these books and culture for one month out of the entire year. … On the other hand, observance months can definitely do some good: they remind educators to highlight the achievements of particular cultures, and can make students from those cultures feel acknowledged and appreciated. But wouldn’t it be better if that feeling and effort could be maintained all twelve months of the year?”

“Teaching Tolerance,” a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, also offers an excellent critique and tips for asking “anti-bias essential questions.”

During Celebrate Diversity Month, we want to take this opportunity to highlight some of the resources that are available year-round in the Library:

  • Our LGBTQ+ LibGuide identifies resources with information on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) topics, issues, literature and local resources and support.
  • Our Diversity Resources for Teaching and Learning Libguide offers links to books, videos, databases, and resources such as “Think Before You Appropriate: A Guide for Creators and Designers.”
  • This guide also includes a link to Project Implicit, “a non-profit organization and international collaboration between researchers who are interested in implicit social cognition – thoughts and feelings outside of conscious awareness and control. The goal of the organization is to educate the public about hidden biases and to provide a ‘virtual laboratory’ for collecting data on the Internet.” Project Implicit includes a range of online tests you can take to learn more about your own biases. These tests include a range of identity categories.

While LibGuides focused on particular identity categories run the risk of replicating the “silos outside of the standard curriculum” that Emily Chiariello critiques, we hope these guides make the diverse resources of the library more visible and easily accessible for use throughout your research.  You can also use subject terms such as: “Diversity in the workplace” or “Race – Political aspects – United States” or “Social Classes – Political Aspects – United States” to navigate through the books, ebooks, films, and other resources available from the Library. If you’re interested in learning more, visit the Reference Desk, email us at, or schedule a one-on-one appointment with a reference librarian.

During Celebrate Diversity Month, we’ll continue to work on adding titles to our collection that reflect a wide range of authors, experiences, and scholarly topics. Our reference team is also working on building a LibGuide with resources for First Generation students that will be available soon. If there are other diversity initiatives you’d like to see the library undertake, contact Liz Chase

The Strand Theatre Book Signing

On Friday, March 24, 2017, Nicole B. Casper and James E. Benson were at the library to talk about their new book, The Strand Theatre Fire: The 1941 Brockton Tragedy and the Fallen Thirteen, as well as sign copies. A copy of the book is available at the library.

Authors James E. Benson and Nicole B. Casper


 Coauthor Nicole B. Casper has been the Director Archives and Special Collections and has been an assistant professor at Stonehill College since 2001. She received her BA in history from Stonehill College and MLS from Simmons College. She also serves on the board of trustees at the Brockton Historical Society. She is the author of the Stonehill publications “A Historical Profile of Stonehill College” and “A Look Back: Celebrating the Centennial of Donahue and Alumni Halls.” A native of Rhode Island, she currently lives in Attleboro, Massachusetts, with her husband. In addition to her love of history, she enjoys quilting and combined the two in 2008 with the completion of a photo quilt, featuring historical images of the Brockton Shoe Industry, which was part of the exhibit The Perfect Fit, organized by the Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, Massachusetts.


Coauthor James E. Benson is the past president of the Brockton Historical Society and Fire Museum and serves as the organization’s official city historian. Benson has a BA in history from Muhlenberg College and is currently the parish administrator at Brockton’s historic First Lutheran Church. A resident of West Bridgewater, he serves as chairman of the town’s historical commission and is an active member of sever civic organizations locally and regionally. Benson coauthored The Swedes of Great Brockton in Arcadia Publishing’s Images of America series and has authored West Bridgewater, Brockton and Brockton Revisited in the same series, as well as Along Old Canada Road and Brockton in the Postcard History series published by Arcadia Publishing.


Many of the images used in the book are from the Bauman Collection which is housed on campus in the Archives. Learn more at

Write a Limerick For National Poetry Month

Write a Limerick…about you, your friends, college life, the Library, or Stonehill!

Celebrate National Poetry Month with the Library by writing a Limerick.
– Begins April 1st and runs through the end of the month.
– Complete the form in the library, drop it in the submission box at the Circulation Desk, email your submission to, post it to the MacPhaidin Library’s Facebook page, or tag it on Instagram with #stonehilllimerick for a chance to be featured.
– Need a reminder about structure?

1)         – / – – / – – /

2)         – / – – / – – /

3)         – / – – /

4)         – / – – /

5)         – / – – / – – /


You can read more about National Poetry Month, founded in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets, here.

Visit the Library to view the poems we’ve received and cast your vote for a winner! Our 2017 Poetry Limerick Winner will be announced in the Library’s May newsletter. Stay tuned!


Streaming Media

Are you planning an event for your residents or a club?  do you want something fun or educational?  Have you tired of the offerings available in Netflix?

Try one of our film collections.  Stonehill has access to over 40,000 films, less than Netflix, but nothing to sneeze at.  We have access to feature films like Moonlight, Straight Outta Compton and Her.  Maybe your residents would enjoy a fun 80s film like The Breakfast Club. For all of our feature films available streaming, check out the Swank Platform at


If you are looking for an educational program, we have thousands of documentaries for issues from Sex Trafficking to Water Rights. 


Look at all the possibilities at


If you need any suggestions, or can’t find what you are looking for, contact Heather Perry at

Wall Street Journal Access

Stonehill College students, faculty and staff now have free access to the full content of The Wall Street Journal through the MacPhaidin Library.

Signing up is simple! Visit our WSJ Libguide while on campus, on hillspot, and follow the instructions on the LibGuide to set up your account.


First time users will be prompted to create an account. If you have an existing account for WSJ, Barron’s, or MarketWatch you can enter that account information. You’ll be able to use the username and password you create for website, mobile and tablet apps included in this subscription. The next time you visit the site or app, you will be taken automatically to the WSJ homepage.


Users will need to renew their Group Access accounts, from on campus, every 90 days. If you have any questions, please contact the Reference Librarians, 508-565-1203, Happy reading!

The Strand Theatre Fire

Please join Nicole Casper, Director of the Archives and Historical Collections, and James Benson, Brockton Historical Society City Historian as they present their new book, The Strand Theatre Fire.

This book launch will take place on Friday, March 24th, 2017 in the south end of the library beginning at 2:30 p.m.

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day

Have you ever wondered how many of our St. Patrick’s Day traditions are “really” Irish? The answer is probably not as many as you’d think!


In Ireland, prior to the Famine, St. Patrick’s day was a traditional Catholic feast day. Families celebrated with a meal and religious observances, and many businesses were closed for the day. In fact, until the 1970s, all pubs in Ireland were required by law to be closed on March 17th.


What we now think of as a celebratory day of parades, green rivers, and green beer is a relatively new occurrence that began in the mid-ninteenth century. As many Catholic families left Ireland for the United States, they were forced to define themselves and their culture within their new country. Many scholars argue that “the nearly 1.5 million Irish who fled famine conditions … identified themselves in terms of their families, villages, parishes, and perhaps counties. Forced into urban centers with Irish people from every town, parish, and county, however, the immigrants soon began to lose their old modes of identity. This process was accelerated as nativist hatred and common living conditions forced the immigrants to think of themselves as a single community.”


For immigrant groups like the Irish, as for any social group, it is communal rituals and commemorative ceremonies that help to define the group, reinforce those definitions of identity, and provide people with an organizing psychological and social structure around which to build and maintain a social and ethnic identity. “In the case of the Irish-Americans, one … [memory] site clearly outstrips all others in the power of its symbolic resonances: the St. Patrick’s Day celebration in America constitutes the “memory-site” par excellence because the majority of Irish-Americans, for whatever reason, came to believe that the ceremonies of the day could and should serve as reflections of Irish memory and identity, even—perhaps especially—when they disagreed over what form these ought to take. It was on St. Patrick’s day that Irish-Americans rhetorically and symbolically grounded their present in a remembered and constructed past: in sermons, speeches, and in the form of the festivities themselves, alternative conceptions of Irish-American identity were validated by linking them through commemoration with an “Irish past.””


Over the course of the late nineteenth century, St. Patrick’s Day in America came to be celebrated less as a religious feast day and more as a commemorative holiday celebrating Irishness, and more specifically, Irish nationalism. It was during this time that parades became a central feature of American St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. The parades “depicted the past in terms of a pantheon of Irish nationalist heroes.” Now, our parades are often about celebrating a more generic “Irishness.” But St. Patrick’s Day remains a central event for the Irish American community, and often a chance to celebrate one’s links to Mother Ireland, no matter how small!


St. Patrick’s Day has become such an event in the United States that it is shaping how the day is celebrated elsewhere. Even, ironically, in Ireland. Wanting to capitalize on American enthusiasm for the holiday, in 1995 the Irish Government started a St. Patrick’s Day Festival in Dublin.


Moss, Kenneth. 1995. “St. Patrick’s Day celebrations and the formation of Irish-American identity, 1845-1875.” Journal Of Social History 29, no. 1: 125. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed March 7, 2017).



Fun Facts:

·        Why green? Originally, the color associated with St. Patrick is blue. Here we see the influence of immigration and ideas of Irishness circulating from mid-19th century forward: Green was the color of the Irish Land, Irish Nationalism, and the color of the shamrock, representing the trinity.

·        As of 2014, 33.1 million Americans, or 10.4% of the population, claim at least some Irish Ancestry. This number is more than seven times the population of the Republic of Ireland itself.

·        21.5%: Percentage of MA residents claim Irish Ancestry. This is the highest percentage of any state, next highest being NH.

·        42.3% of Braintree reports having Irish ancestry

·        NY is home to the world’s oldest and largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and the largest numerical Irish-American Population. Boston is actually not in the top three because it’s a smaller city. However, it has the highest number of Irish Americans as a percentage of the city’s total population (22.8%).

·        Lincoln’s first inaugural luncheon on March 4, 1861, included corned beef, cabbage and potatoes.

·        Is corned beef really a traditional Irish meal? Nope! “Corned beef and cabbage, as it would seem, is about as Irish as spaghetti and meatballs. Evolving from the Irish bacon and cabbage, it was Irish immigrants in America who quickly swapped in corned beef as a less-expensive substitute for pork.” In fact, they often got their corned beef from Jewish delis in New York City, because the two immigrant communities were nearby to one another. Want to read more about the history of corned beef?

Making the Most of eBooks

Making the most of ebooks


Did you know you can highlight, bookmark, and take notes online in library ebooks? Ebrary, our ebook platform, incorporates a number of annotation tools. You can also download ebooks to use offline, copy sections along with a citation to incorporate into your papers, search for specific words or phrases, and print small sections of titles


To use many of these features of ebrary, the first step is to create an account. To create an account, click on “Sign In” in the upper-right corner of any ebrary page, then select “Create an account.” Once you have an account, you can save titles to your bookshelf as well as take and save notes.


Watch this brief video for an introduction to some of the ebrary Reader’s main features:


Here, you can see more about using ebrary’s annotation tools:


And last but not least, this video shows you how to download an ebrary for offline reading:


If you have additional questions about using Library ebooks, visit the ebrary Help page or contact a Reference Librarian at, 508-565-1203.

Pi Day 2017

The Pi Day website explains the history of this most famous number:

The Pi Day website explains the history of this most famous number:

“By measuring circular objects, it has always turned out that a circle is a little more than 3 times its width around. In the Old Testament of the Bible (1 Kings 7:23), a circular pool is referred to as being 30 cubits around, and 10 cubits across. The mathematician Archimedes used polygons with many sides to approximate circles and determined that Pi was approximately 22/7. The symbol (Greek letter “π”) was first used in 1706 by William Jones. A ‘p’ was chosen for ‘perimeter’ of circles, and the use of π became popular after it was adopted by the Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler in 1737. In recent years, Pi has been calculated to over one trillion digits past it’s decimal. Only 39 digits past the decimal are needed to accurately calculate the spherical volume of our entire universe, but because of Pi’s infinite & patternless nature, it’s a fun challenge to memorize, and to computationally calculate more and more digits.”

Many people celebrated Pi Day, including colleges, museums, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and even Penzey’s Spice where they are celebrating Pi and Pie. As Scientific American explains, this is exactly the right way to celebrate the holiday, “Pi fans [celebrated] this weekend with a wealth of math- (and baked goods–) related opportunities. Traditionalists will of course bake pies, both because of the pun and because of their circular nature (not to mention their tastiness). For the sugar-averse, pizzas have the right shape, and the right first two letters as well.”

To continue the Pi Day holiday the library has many math-themed movies including Good Will Hunting, A Beautiful Mind and Proof.

The library’s databases, including Academic Search Complete, JSTOR and ScienceDirect, also have good coverage of all things related to Mathematics.

Many people are celebrating Pi Day colleges, museums, even Penzey’s Spice where they are celebrating Pi and Pie. As Scientific American explains that is exactly the right way to celebrate the holiday,” Pi fans can celebrate this weekend with a wealth of math- (and baked goods–) related opportunities. Traditionalists will of course bake pies, both because of the pun and because of their circular nature (not to mention their tastiness). For the sugar-averse, pizzas have the right shape, and the right first two letters as well.”

To continue the Pi Day holiday the library has many Math Themed movies including Good Will Hunting, A Beautiful Mind and Proof.

The library’s databases Academic Search Complete, JSTOR and ScienceDirect have good coverage of all things related to Mathematics.

Subconscious Bias

By Heather Perry

Do you ever witness something strange happen and wonder, is something odd going on, or am I just misreading the situation? Do you ever witness bias and wonder is this a bias incident, or is there another explanation? Do you ever wonder if there are bias incidents going on around you and you are just missing it? As someone who feels like I am often missing things a recent incident got me thinking, and then research supported what I had witnessed.


I was waiting at the bus stop this morning with my son and the family from down the street waited to cross the street, and waited and waited. At least 10 cars went by before my neighbor was able to cross.  When she got to my side, I remarked on how strange that was, and she shrugged. It stood out to me, because cars generally stop and let me cross. I wondered if maybe drivers couldn’t see her waiting due to the snow, but the banks were not that high.


When I arrived at work, NPR was playing a story by Shankar Vedanham of the Hidden Brain podcast. He was explaining that more pedestrians  of color are killed by cars, because drivers are less likely to stop for a person of color in a cross walk. The family that waits for the bus with my family is African American and I am White. It had never really occurred to me that driver behavior would differ for different pedestrians.  Thinking back to my neighbor shrugging made me feel sad, because maybe she encounters this so often it doesn’t even register as being odd.


If you have never listened to the Hidden Brain podcast, you might want to put it on your podcast list. Shankar always has the most interesting, although potentially disturbing, topics that are currently being researched in social science.


More from the librarians:

If you experience something like this and wonder about what you observed, you can also do a little bit of research in our Social Science databases to see if what you witnessed has been the subject of research. For instance, Heather’s personal experience and the Hidden Brain podcast might lead her to do additional research on the history of discrimination in the transportation industry, or the policing of pedestrian fatalities. You can research these topics using databases such as SocIndex to locate research on pedestrian injuries and race, where you’ll find information on a study from the February 2016 issue of Ethnicity & Health titled “Is ethnic density associated with risk of child pedestrian injury? A comparison of inter-census changes in ethnic populations and injury rates.” The abstract for this study points to the troubling fact that “although, in general, living in more affluent areas protects children from injury, this is not true for those in some minority ethnic groups.” The Journal Ethnicity & Health is available in full text in SocIndex and Academic Search Complete, but with an 18 month delay; if you are interested in reading this article, you can use the “Request an Interlibrary Loan” link to request a PDF copy of the article. Don’t have an Interlibrary Loan account yet? Set one up here.