Information Literacy Passwords

InfoLiteracyDuring the rest of October we will be doing posts relating to National Information Literacy Awareness Month and how you can increase your information literacy. In today’s post were looking at how to be smart about passwords.

So many people do it. You come up with one password and use it over and over again across the web. It’s easy to remember and what’s the big deal? Hackers know people do this and if they steal information from one website, which lists e-mails and passwords they may try them again on another site they like to access. Instead of always going with an easy to remember password, it’s a good idea to just plan on writing down your passwords and keep them handy that way so you don’t have to worry about not remembering them. Or if you can’t write them down, try to make them easy for you to remember & hard for anyone to hack (see stronger passwords article below). While it may not be that big a deal if a site where you use a discussion board of something gets hacked and no important personal information is stolen, if you use the same passwords for different important websites you’ve just handed hackers the keys for accessing your other accounts. So watch what password you use where.

Also, you might just want to up your game on the passwords you do use. Each year SplashData collects already compromised data to look for the most commonly used passwords. If you use any of the passwords on this list (each complete with a hilarious snarky comment), change it now in honor of National Information Literacy Awareness Month.

Want to change to a stronger password? Check out his suggestion.

And learn more about passwords:

Sarah Uthoff is a reference library at Kirkwood Community College. LIKE the Kirkwood Community College Library on Facebook and find links to Sarah all over the web at her About Me Profile.

Information Literacy Social Media

informationlit It’s Information Literacy Month and Pew Research Center has taken a look at Social Media.

The Pew Research Center is a bipartisan research center that conducts studies to provide useful knowledge to the public. A recent study looked at how people engage in news through social media. They examined most of the big social media sites. Most people don’t turn to them for news. The biggest number who do are on Facebook, mostly because they have the highest number of users, but the news looked at is mostly having to do with entertainment. Twitter users were the most engaged. However, news, especially engaged at all with politics or political correctness, has very little actual discussion online (even on Twitter which is all about discussion) because people are unlikely to engage with those with differing opionions and are reluctant to post something that contradicts the views of their friends. In other words, if you only see one point of view in your various timelines, it doesn’t really mean that’s what everybody thinks or that it’s the one correct way to view it.

Read more here:

And be sure to find Kirkwood Libraries at Facebook and YouTube.

Sarah Uthoff is a reference library at Kirkwood Community College. LIKE the Kirkwood Community College Library on Facebook and find links to Sarah all over the web at her About Me Profile.

October is National Information Literacy Awareness Month

Information Literacy Supporter Badge
Each October our thoughts turn to National Information Literacy Awareness Month. Information Literacy, making sure people can find, evaluate for quality and use the information that they need, is a big part of any library Program. It’s no longer enough to be literate, as in being able to read, but you must be literate in figuring out where you can get the information you need and separating the wheat from the chaff to make sure what you’ve found is good.

Read a brief history and what is going on nationally here:

You can also find the badge, like the one above, please share it on your various social media sites to help make people aware of the importance of good information:
(Make sure you select your state before copying, it shows up on the badge.)

Find last year’s posts and Iowa’s proclamation on National Information Literacy Awareness Month here:

Watch for a series of blog posts that will come out this month giving you a leg up with information literacy.

Sarah Uthoff is a reference library at Kirkwood Community College. LIKE the Kirkwood Community College Library on Facebook and find links to Sarah all over the web at her About Me Profile.


New Database Trials – October 2014

October is Information Literacy Month! To celebrate, your Kirkwood Community College library is doing a trial of 4 databases from October 1st through October 31st. Two of the databases, JSTOR and Project Muse, will add to our online journal collection in the areas of English, Social Science, general Humanities, and general Science. The other two, Alexander Street Press and Films on Demand, contain videos and films, which would be a new service for our library. To read more about these databases and the segments we are trialing; please check out our library guide.

Unfortunately, adding databases to our collection can be quite expensive, so the library wants to make sure that we use our funds wisely. Therefore, the addition of these is completely dependent on you, our customer. So after you check these out, please complete the survey to let us know what you think. Your responses will tell us whether to purchase a database and more specifically which components to purchase.

project muse    films on demand2   Alexander street press       jstor

So Happy Information Literacy Month and Happy Searching!

Most Banned Books of 2013

Kirkwood Banned Book Display

Kirkwood Banned Book Display

Many bookstores, schools and libraries celebrating Banned Books Week will showcase selections from the ALA OIF’s Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2013. The list is released each spring and provides a snapshot of book removal attempts in the U.S. The Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2013 reflects a range of themes. Below each title is the reason or reasons it was challenged. The top 10 list consists of the following titles:

  1. “Captain Underpants” (series), by Dav Pilkey.
    Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group, violence
  2. “The Bluest Eye,” by Toni Morrison
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence
  3. “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” by Sherman Alexie.|
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
  4. “Fifty Shades of Grey,” by E. L. James.
    Reasons: Nudity, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  5. “The Hunger Games,” by Suzanne Collins
    Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group
  6. “A Bad Boy Can Be Good for A Girl,” by Tanya Lee Stone
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit
  7. “Looking for Alaska,” by John Green.
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  8. “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” by Stephen Chbosky
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  9. “Bless Me Ultima,” by Rudolfo Anaya
    Reasons: Occult/Satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
  10. “Bone” (series), by Jeff Smith
    Reasons: Political viewpoint, racism, violence

Banned Books Update from ALA

Kirkwood's d Banned Books Display 2014

Kirkwood’s Banned Books Display 2014

Since I wanted to share photos of the Kirkwood Library Service’s annual Banned Books Display, I decided to go ahead and share the American Library Association’s (ALA) press release with the photos. By the ALA’s definition a banned book is one that has been challenged or removed from any library (school, academic, or public) or had access to it limited. Find lists of such books on the previous post. Also check out this interactive infographic about why books were banned from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

Sarah Uthoff is a reference library at Kirkwood Community College. LIKE the Kirkwood Community College Library on Facebook and find links to Sarah all over the web at her About Me Profile.

Close Up of Sign

Close Up of Sign

CHICAGO — Banned Books Week, the annual celebration of the freedom to read, is here! From New York to Alaska, libraries, schools, bookstores and book-loving individuals across the country are fighting back against censorship and saying yes to their right to read.

From Sept. 21 to Sept. 27, hundreds of events are happening in local communities and thousands of conversations are taking place online.  Don’t miss either.  Below are just a few ways you can get involved.

1.      Find an event in your community at:

2.      Follow us on Twitter at @BannedBooksWeek and Facebook at for the latest news and updates

3.      Add our Twibbon to your profile pic:

4.      Tape yourself reading from your favorite banned book during our Virtual Read-Out:

5.      Attend the SAGE/OIF Banned Books Week webinar:

Student Checking Out Display

Student Checking Out Display

Our sponsors have also been busy planning events and rallying their communities. Learn more:

1.American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression’s Banned Books Week Handbook and press release

2.American Library Association press release

3.      Association of American Publishers press release

4.      Comic Book Legal Defense Fund Banned Books Week Tour

5.      Freedom to Read Foundation Krug-Sponsored Banned Books Week events

6.      National Coalition Against Censorship events

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community –- librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types –- in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Booksellers Association, American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, American Library Association, American Society of Journalists and Authors, Association of American Publishers, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Freedom to Read Foundation, National Association of College Stores, National Coalition Against Censorship, National Council of Teachers of English, PEN American Center, and Project Censored. Banned Books Week is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress

More information is available at


Updated Banned Books Week 2014

People often ask us about the books included in our display. The lists below are an annual collection of reports of book banning and attempted book banning from around the country as collected by the American Library Association (ALA). We draw our display books from these annual lists and all time most banned lists. This year Banned Books Week is September 21−27, 2014, please stop by either library branch and check out our displays.

Books Challenged and/or Banned – 2012-2013 (PDF)
Books Challenged and/or Banned – 2011-2012 (PDF)
Books Challenged and/or Banned – 2010-2011 (PDF)
Books Challenged and/or Banned – 2009-2010 (PDF)
Books Challenged and/or Banned – 2008-2009 (PDF)
Books Challenged and/or Banned – 2007-2008 (PDF)
Books Challenged and/or Banned – 2006-2007 (PDF)
Books Challenged and/or Banned – 2005-2006 (PDF)
Books Challenged and/or Banned – 2004-2005 (PDF)

You can also find them sorted by the most frequently banned books in each decade:

We sometimes get asked about booking banning and book banning in Iowa. The Iowa ACLU provides this list of such cases:

Find additional sources here:

Sarah Uthoff is a reference library at Kirkwood Community College. LIKE the Kirkwood Community College Library on Facebook and find links to Sarah all over the web at her About Me Profile.


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