September 2013

Welcome to a new, great year at DHS! The library has added Ms. Feinstein as a long-term maternity sub for Ms. Fiorito. Ms. Feinstein is already enjoying her role tremendously and is having a blast getting to know the students.

About Me/New Displays (by Ms. Feinstein)

After receiving my MA in history, I student taught both US history and law, and I also taught history at a charter school over the summer. I am trained as a history teacher, so if you have any questions about your social studies classes (even those outside of history specifically), feel free to ask me!

Because I’m such a history fan, I thought it’d be interesting to make a new library display regarding the Civil War. The Gettysburg Address and Emancipation Proclamation, to name just two of its milestones, occurred 150 years ago.

Photo courtesy of

Thinking critically about the past is a necessary component of fully utilizing history’s lessons. Like many parts of history, sometimes the Civil War gets enveloped in feel-good and/or simple and generic explanations and summaries. (George Washington never chopped down a cherry tree, but he still was an honest man!) Documentarian Ken Burns explains how the Civil War falls victim to dangerous levels of oversimplification:

“…620,000 Americans, more than 2 percent of our population, died of gunshot and disease, starvation and massacre in places like Shiloh and Antietam and Cold Harbor, Fort Pillow and Fort Wagner and Palmito Ranch, Andersonville and Chickamauga and Ford’s Theater.

Yet in the years immediately after the South’s surrender at Appomattox we conspired to cloak the Civil War in bloodless, gallant myth, obscuring its causes and its great ennobling outcome — the survival of the union and the freeing of four million Americans and their descendants from bondage…”

Maybe that’s why history matters – not just so we don’t repeat it, but so we honor its legacies with the nuance and critical thinking that they deserve. A “bloodless, gallant myth” is hardly enough.

On a more positive and optimistic note, since the Civil War and its “brother versus brother” combat, no event in US history has ruptured the country to such a great extent. Whether or not this country is truly united is a question without an easy answer, of course, but the fact that a large-scale democracy could emerge from the ruins of a bloody, catastrophic war is perhaps one of the most positive American legacies to endure.

Here are a few more helpful resources about the Civil War:


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October 23, 2013 · 10:38 am

More cool stuff on the internet: listen to nearly 9,000 bird calls and see where they were recorded on Google Maps!

Even if you are not into birds (I’d say I’m ambivalent), this website I stumbled upon today is really cool! The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has recorded and archived nearly 9,000 bird calls and they are available for your listening pleasure here: The library also features video and audio from many other species in the animal kingdom.

Happy virtual birding!

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Books into Movies in 2013

When a movie is based on a book, many interesting conversations are sparked. Was the book or the movie better? Should you always read the book before seeing the movie? Were scenes deleted from the movie essential to the story?  You may think a librarian would always say the book is better than the movie and while that may be true for me the majority of the time, it is definitely not always my opinion. For example, I LOVED the movie Big Fish which was a beautiful film directed by Tim Burton, but I hated the original book written by Daniel Wallace. I am grateful to him, however, for providing the inspiration for the film  :). I loved BOTH the book and the film adaptation of The Invention of Hugo Cabret. In fact, I have read the book and watched the film numerous times. Mostly, I enjoy a good story.  Every year, many books are adapted for the big screen and this year has already seen several blockbuster hits including Les Miserables, The Hobbit, and the Life of Pi (I have a hunch this will be a film I enjoy much more than the book). Check out the list below for some other book adaptations that are slated to hit theaters in 2013! You still have time to read the books first :). 

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Release date: May 10th, 2013

Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks
Release date: February 8th, 2013

The Host by Stephanie Meyer
Release date: March 29th, 2013

World War Z by Max Brooks
Release date: June 20th, 2013

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Release date: August 23rd, 2013

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Books Versus eBooks: Can we all be friends?

This was taken from The Daily Beast website. The poster gives pros and cons of the book/ebook trade.


“Back Story: Books vs. E-Books .” The Daily Beast: Read This Skip That. The Newsweek / Daily Beast Company, 3 Aug. 2010. Web.30 Nov. 2012<;.

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What is an Electoral College?

What is an Electoral College?

Office of the Federal Register and the National Archives and Records
Administration (NARA)

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Who is Telling the Truth??

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With the presidential elections fast approaching, voters have been flooded with information from both of the major political party candidates.  We have seen President Barak Obama and Governor Mitt Romney debate one another.  America has seen press conference after press conference and advertisement after advertisement explaining the candidates’ point of view on a variety of topics, including their view of each other. But are those views accurate? How would you know?  Well, there are several news websites whose mission is to show the truth and the lies that the candidates voice. One is called, PolitiFact from the Tampa Bay Times. Politifact has won a Pulitzer Prize.  Another website is FactCheck.Org and it is sponsored by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.

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The DHS Library is on Pinterest!

Are you the kind of person who goes straight to the displays in the library when looking for a good book to read? Do you love to look at the covers of the books on the tables at your local book store? If so, you should definitely check out the new DHS Library Pinterest Page!  On our page you will find various “boards” with different titles from “New books” to “Vampire Are NOT Dead!” When you click each board you will then see images of the covers of the books we included on that board that fit the title or theme. Click a cover and you will be taken to the Goodreads page for that book where you can read the professional and individual reviews, view title-related multimedia, find trivia, quizzes and more.  Click back often to see the new boards we have created! Have an idea for a board? Want to create your own Pinterest Page? E-mail us or stop by any time! We’d love to help you set up your own Pinterest page or create a book-related board for you.

Click below to visit the DHS Library Pinterest Page now!Image

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October 19, 2012 · 1:46 pm