Information Literacy Translate Gender



People often talk about how machines don’t have bias. However, that’s not exactly true. After all, they are programmed by people who do have biases. One of those you might not expect are in things like translators. According to Fast Company, instances have been found in “Bing Translate, Google Translate, Systran, and other popular machine translation platforms.” They follow gender bias. Teachers and nurses are assumed to be women and require female word forms, doctors and engineers are assumed to be men and require male word forms. This happens in both directions of translation, to or from English. So don’t necessarily trust something is unbiased just because it comes from a machine. Think about your words and your word choices and don’t make those same assumptions.

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.

International Education Week 2019



Kirkwood Library Services joins with Kirkwood International Programs to help spread the word about International Education Week!

Program Management Group

International Education Week is November 18-22, 2019 is an annual celebration of international education and exchange worldwide. Institutions across the United States and around the world are hosting events throughout the week to recognize international students, education abroad, and internationalization.  This year is especially exciting to celebrate due to Kirkwood’s 2019 Senator Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization.

Brazil Agriculture

Kirkwood has a variety of global activities scheduled for Cedar Rapids and Iowa City campuses:
Monday, November 18:
International Programs Coffee and Tea Time 11am-2pm (1154 Linn Hall)
Tuesday, November 19:
International Showcase Day 10am-1pm (The Café in Iowa Hall)
Global Service and Culture Showcase-Iowa City 11am-12:30pm (Iowa City Commons)
Wednesday, November 20:
Passport, Photos and Pizza 12-2pm (1152 Linn Hall)
Thursday, November 21:
Panel: Internationalizing the Campus 11:15am-12:15pm (Amana Room, Iowa Hall)
Live Webcast of Simon Award Presentation in Washington DC: 3:00pm
Friday, November 22:
World Food Celebration 5-7pm (Kirkwood Court Apartments Clubhouse)

Service Learning Team Cultural Excursion Athens

South African Students

Tunisian Students

*Photos courtesy of Dawn Wood of the International Program

Information Literacy Dice Pass Phrase


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Passwords are the bane of modern existence. Trying to remember them and keep other people from being able to easily guess them causes many headaches. Don’t get discouraged and resort to the worst passwords or other easily guessable things. Don’t use the same password for everything since hackers at one site will try it on the others.

One good trick is to use a phrase or sentence you will remember and then just using the first letter or number of each word in the phrase. So if your phrase was the last sentence the password would be 1Gti2uaposywr. However, if you are really security conscious you can go even further. You can go beyond a password with a passphrase.

A Passphrase Past a Password

A passphrase is a series of words instead of one. This series should be made of random words that you can create a mnemonic to help you remember.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation recommends rolling dice and using them to help determine words from their word list using a random number. If you’d like to try it find the full explanation and word lists.

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.

November is Information Literacy Month 2019



Information literacy means making sure people can find, evaluate for quality and use the information that they need. This can be for school related subjects, like picking good resources for a research paper or speech, or it can be for everyday life, like picking out the best loan or credit card for you.

Library Services is the heart of information literacy here at Kirkwood Community College. We not only help students, faculty, and staff with individual questions, but we offer instruction to classes through face to face classes, videos, and databases, Brain Fuse that is directed more to the individual and Credo Instruct that can be accessed both by individual students and dropped in Talon as objects that can then connect with class gradebooks.

Kirkwood Library Services has done several things over the years to celebrate and promote this event. This year we’re adding to our series of blog posts. Watch for them all month to learn more about information literacy. Check out previous information literacy posts on this roundup.

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.

Happy Halloween 2019 Ghost Words and Other Horrors


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Chalkline Drawing

Here are the stories of some spooky words!

A ghost word is a word that doesn’t really exist that is listed in reference work. Merriam-Webster confesses below to how D or d became Dord in the Merriam-Webster 2nd edition.

Then find out more ghost words, courtesy of Grammarly.

A word that most people might take to be a ghost word, but isn’t, is spoopy. It means something meant to be scary, but honestly kind of cute instead. Think of a dog in a ghost costume.

Merriam-Webster also shares the origin of some more seriously spooky words.

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 Books Happy Halloween 2019



Halloween is the time to read a spooky or paranormal book to get a good scare. This year’s list is short and happy. We hope you enjoy them. Boo to you! Check out our spookier lists from 2017 and  2018. These titles are housed in Cedar Rapids, but you can request them to be delivered to any of the other centers at any time.

Cover of Halloween Hustle10 Trick-or-Treaters: A Halloween Counting Book  by Janet Schulman, Call Number: CL Easy Reading 394.264 S386t

Halloween Hustle by Charlotte Gunnufson, Call Number: CL Easy Reading 394.264 G976h

How to Catch a Monster by Adam Wallace, Call Number: CL Easy Reading 394.264 W187h

Mr. Pumpkin’s Tea Party by Erin Barker,  Call Number: CL Easy Reading 394.264 B255m

And for a creepy bonus one from our regular collection:

Never Home Alone: From Microbes to Millipedes, Camel Crickets to Honeybees, the Natural History of WHERE WE LIVE! by Rob Dunn, Call Number: 570 D923n

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 Books: Odds and Ends 60



From time to time, when we get a collection of related books into the library we like to share a list on a particular topic, but lately we’ve had some books  come in that are too good not to share, even if they don’t fit with a particular theme. These titles are housed in Cedar Rapids, but you can request them to be delivered to any of the other centers at any time.

Cover of the 100 Worst Ideas in History100 of the Worst Ideas in History: Humanity’s Thundering Brainstorms Turned Blundering Brain Farts, Call Number: 909 S655o

Academic Leadership: A Practical Guide to Chairing the Department (2nd ed.) by Deryl R. Leaming, Call Number: 378.1 L436a

The All-American Cowboy Cookbook: Home Cooking on the Range – Over 300 Recipes from the World’s Greatest Cowboys by Ken Beck and Jim Clark, Call Number: 641.597 B393a

American Journal: Fifty Poems for Our Time by Tracy K. Smith, Call Number: 811.6 A512j

Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do by Jennifer L. Eberhardt, Call Number: 303.3 E162b

Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton, Call Number: 641.509 H218b

College Cookbook: An Alternative Plan to the Meal Plan, 200 Quick, Cheap, Nutritious Recipes (Updated edition) by Geri Harrington, Call Number: 641.5 H299c

Emergency Doctor by Edward Ziegler in cooperation with Lewis A. Goldfrank, Call Number: 362.18 Z662e

Founding Finance: How Debt, Speculation, Foreclosures, Protests, and Crackdowns Made Us a Nation by William Hogeland, Call Number: 336.73 H715f

A History of Modern Italy: Transformation and Continuity, 1796 to the Present by Anthony L. Cardoza, Call Number: 945.09 C268h

How to Invent Everything: A Survival Guide for the Stranded Time Traveler by Ryan North, Call Number: 609 N866h

Immigrant America: A Portrait (4th ed. Revised, Updated, and Expanded) by Alejandro Portes and Ruben G. Rumbaut, Call Number: 304.873 P849i

In Search of Deeper Learning: The Quest to Remake the American High School by Jal Mehta and Sarah Fine, Call Number: 373 M498i

Mandela: His Essential Life by Peter Hain, Call Number: 968.065 M271h

A Nation by Design: Immigration Policy in the Fashioning of America by Aristide R. Zolberg. Call Number: 325.73 Z86n

Neither Wolf Nor Dog: On Forgotten Roads With an Indian Elder by Kent Nerburn, Call Number: 978.004 N443n

The New Childhood: Raising Kids to Thrive in a Connected World by Jordan Shapiro, Call Number: 302.231 S529n

Cover of How to Invent EverythingOutsiders: Five Women Writers Who Changed the World (Mary Shelley, Emily Bronte, Virginia Woolf, George Eliot, Olive Schreiner) by Lyndall Gordon, Call Number: 820.992 G663o

Parkland: Birth of a Movement by Dave Cullen, Call Number: 371.782 C967p

Parkland Speaks: Survivors From Majory Stoneman Douglas Share Their Stories, Edited by Sarah Lerner, Call Number: CL 371.782 M344p

The Plot To Destroy Democracy: How Putin and His Spies Are Undermining America and Dismantling the West by Malcolm Nance, 324.973 N176

Social Skills: Developing Effective Interpersonal Communication by Alex Kelly, Call Number: 302 K295s

Topgun: An American Story by Dan Pedersen, Call Number: 358.4 P371t
NOTE: The story of the founder of the Topgun Program. Find out about being a naval aviator.

When the Body Says No: Exploring the Stress-Disease Connection by Gabor Mate, Call Number: 616.08 M425w 2011

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 Health Reference Database

omnigraphics_logo  Kirkwood Library Services announces subscription access to an extensive set of consumer health reference books. These 82 (and counting) books cover a wide range of health topics, including stress, cancer, women’s health, men’s health, sexual health, dental, depression, diet & nutrition, and many more.

All titles contain basic, authoritative information presented in language understandable to non-experts. They provide background information on each topic, as well as in-depth discussion of treatment options and prevention, key statistics, and sources for further research. This database is updated regularly as new editions are published for each topic. It’s the perfect resource for a student researching a health topic for a speech or essay.

These titles are full-text searchable directly from the Health Reference Series database, and searchable by subject keyword through the Library’s WorldCat Search. As with most of our subscription databases, this is available to all Kirkwood faculty, staff, and students, on or off campus, by logging in with your k number and password.


Let’s All Read – Binti


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This year the Kirkwood Library has chosen the book Binti by Nnedi Okorafor as our book to get people reading and talking. We’ve purchased multiple copies of this book, so come in to the Cedar Rapids campus library and check out a copy for our normal 3-week checkout period.  

The Kirkwood student reading club, Reader’s Haven, will be meeting to discuss the book on Thursday, October 24 at 11:15. The club is open to all students so if you would like to join in this discussion please stop in!

Nnedi Okorafor is a Nigerian American author of African-based science fiction, fantasy and magical realism for both children and adults and a professor at the University at Buffalo, New York. Her works include Who Fears Death, the Binti novella trilogy, the Book of Phoenix, the Akata books and Lagoon. She is the winner of Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Awards and her debut novel Zahrah the Windseeker won the prestigious Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature.

About Binti Her name is Binti, and she is the first of the Himba people ever to be offered a place at Oomza University, the finest institution of higher learning in the galaxy. But to accept the offer will mean giving up her place in her family to travel between the stars among strangers who do not share her ways or respect her customs.

If Binti hopes to survive the legacy of a war not of her making, she will need both the gifts of her people and the wisdom enshrined within the University, itself – but first she has to make it there, alive.

Let us know! Have you read this book? What did you think of it?

Hot New Debate Topics 2019


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Persuasive speeches/papers are a common assignment. It’s always good when students can stretch beyond the perennial favorites (like abortion and the death penalty) and find something that reflects current events. We recently refreshed our debate books section. Take a scan through and look for topics. Or check out our last list.

Most of these titles are in our Debate collection. (Learn a little bit more about how to use the Debate Collection). In Cedar Rapids these titles NOW check out, but can also be used in the library and can be photocopied. The books in the Opposing Viewpoints series below can be found by the individual chapter as Viewpoints within our Opposing Viewpoints database. Also find subjects with pro/con debates in CQ Researcher.

The rest of the titles are in our circulating collection on the second floor, but are on popular topics. If there is a topic you’d like to see information on that isn’t covered, please let us know.

Close-up of a part of a shelf of debate books with pink labels

Aging in the Family by George E. Dickinson and Brenda S. Sanders, Call Number: 305.26 D553a

America’s Infrastructure: At Issue by Lisa Idzikowski, Call Number: DEBATE 363.609 A512

Athletes, Ethics, and Morality: Opposing Viewpoints, Edited by Martin Gitlin, Call Number: DEBATE 796.01 A871

Cover of America's InfrastructureCampaign Finance: Opposing Viewpoints, Edited by Kathryn Roberts, Call Number: DEBATE 324.78 C186c

Charter Schools and School Vouchers: Opposing Viewpoints, Edited by Pete Schauer, Call Number: DEBATE 379.1 C486

Classified Intelligence and Leaks:Opposing Viewpoints, Edited by Lisa Idzikowski, Call Number: DEBATE 327.127 H498c

Commercial Space Exploration: Opposing Viewpoints, Edited by M.M. Eboch, Call Number: DEBATE 338.099 C734

Debating Genocide by Lisa Pine, Call Number: 304.663 P649d

Eating Disorders in America: Contemporary World Issues by David E. Newton, Call Number: 362.196 N562e

The Economics of Clean Energy: Current Controversies, Edited by Kathryn Roberts, Call Number: DEBATE 333.79 E197e

Ethical Pet Ownership: Puppy Mills, Rescue Pets, and Exotic Animal Trade: At Issue by Lisa Idzikowski, Call Number: DEBATE 636.088 E842

Gentrification and the Housing Crisis: Opposing Viewpoints, Edited by Marcia Amidon Lusted, Call Number: DEBATE 307.34 G339

Globalization: Current Controversies, Edited by Yea Jee Bae, Call Number: DEBATE 303.48 G562

Cover of Eating Disorders in AmericaHarm Reduction: Public Health Strategies: Opposing Viewpoints, Edited by Barbara Krasner, Call Number: 362.29 H287

The Harm in Hate Speech by Jeremy Waldron, Call Number: 345.73 W167h

Hate: Why We Should Resist It with Free Speech, Not Censorship by Nadine Strossen Call Number: 342.73 S924h

Homeschooling: The History and Philosophy of a Controversial Practice by James G. Dwyer and Shawn F. Peters, Call Number: 371.042 D993h

Interference in Elections: Current Controversies, Edited by Kristina Lyn Heitkamp, Call Number: 324.973 I611

Learned Helplessness, Welfare, and the Poverty Cycle: Current Controversies, Edited by Kristina Lyn Heitkamp, Call Number: 362.509 L438

Masculinity in the Twenty-First Century: Opposing Viewpoints, Edited by M.M. Eboch, Call Number: 305.31 M395

Meat Planet: Artificial Flesh and the Future of Food by Benjamin Aldes Wurgaft, Call Number: 664.929 W967m

Migrant Crossings: Witnessing Human Trafficking in the U.S. by Annie Isabel, Fukushima, Call Number: 306.362

The NFL National Anthem Protests by Margaret Haerens, Call Number; 796.332 H136n

Pesticides and GMOs: Opposing Viewpoints by Yea Jee Bae, Call Number: 628.5 P476

Politics and Journalism in a Post-Truth World: Opposing Viewpoints by Martin Gitlin, Call Number: 070.4 P769

The Role of Religion in Public Policy: At Issue by Eamon Doyle, Call Number: Debate 322.109 R745r

School Shootings and the Never Again Movement: 21st Century Turning Points by Laurie Collier Hillstrom, Call Number: 371.782 H655s

Self-Driving Cars: Opposing Viewpoints, Edited by Lisa Idzikowski and Pete Schauer, Call Number: DEBATE 388.342 S465

Sex and Gender in the 2016 Presidential Election by Caroline Heldman, Meredith Conroy, and Alissa R. Ackerman, Call Number: 324.973 H474s

Troll Factories: Russia’s Web Brigades: At Issue by Andrew Karpan, Call Number:  DEBATE 005.8 T846t

The Two-Party System in the United States, Edited by Barbara Kasner, Call Number: DEBATE 324.273 T974t

Vegetarianism and Veganism: Contemporary World Issues by David E. Newton, Call Number: 613.262 n562v

Violence Against Women: Global Viewpoints, Edited by Kathryn Roberts, Call Number: DEBATE 362.88 V795a

We the People: The 500-Year Battle Over Who is American by Ben Railton, Call Number: 305.8 R152w

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.