C A LIFORNI A UNIVERSITY Cal U’s geographic scavenger hunts! Page 5 california university of Pennsylvania
April 5, 2013
vol. 34, No. 8
NEWS SAI proposes second budget
After having their first attempt struck down, the Student Association, Inc. (SAI) preps a second budget proposal for the 2013-14 academic year.
OPINION How do your professors lean?
We surveyed students in the History and Politcal Science Department to get a sense of how their professor’s political affiliations factor into their instruction.
Pages 6 and 7
THE ARTS Cal U twitterverse expanding
First there was Fake Angelo. Now there are more. The Cal U Twitterverse has expanded thanks to influence from other institutions.
Manderino awarded ‘Muslim Journeys’ grant
photo courtesy of ala.org
editor in chief
To say that the Islamic faith could use some stateside PR would be an understatement. Humans are naturally suspicious of those with different wardrobes and diets and holidays – even those living in the land of the free and the home of the brave. That tragic day in Sept. 2001 only served to drive a bigger wedge between the Islamic nation and one nation under God. There are efforts being taken to close the gap between fellow human beings in our post-9/11 world though, and California University of Pennsylvania is doing its part. The Louis L. Manderino library was recently awarded a grant from the Muslim Journeys program, a joint effort of the American Library Association and the National Endowment for the Humanities. This grant provided Cal U’s library with a wealth of cross-cultural, historical and literary works directly associated with the Islamic culture. The only requirement is that the library use these materials to provide free education programming to the public – something they’re excited to begin. As she sits at Mandrino Library’s front desk, Reference Librarian Monica Ruane’s enthusiasm about the Muslim Journeys project is clearly evident. She and fellow librarian Ryan Sittler wrote the grant
proposal together. This is their endeavor, and she is excited to begin the program series. “[The first program] we’ve planned is a video screening of “Koran by Heart: One Chance to Remember” on Apr. 16 here in the library in room 208,” said Ruane. “There are going to be two sessions of it actually, one from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and one from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. It’s going to be a film screening and moderated discussion and [we are able to offer] education seminar credit for education students.” As part of its grant-based programs, Manderino Library is going to be holding a book club in conjunction with other libraries that will read the stories included in the “Arabian Nights” anthology, one of the most famous works contributed by the Islamic culture. They are able to provide such a program thanks to the grant’s flexibility. “Every library can choose what programs to offer – they can design their own, [but] one of the things they had wanted was for organizations to team with a subject specialist. That’s why we are so hopeful to have the Pittsburgh Islamic Center on board with this. We haven’t quite ironed out the details with them yet… we had contacted them a couple of times but we haven’t gotten a response.” Ruane received a response that day, adding an ally that with further strengthen her initiative. The Pittsburgh Islamic
Center can bring a lot to the Manderino Library’s programs, but they already have a strong collaborator who’s based a little closer to home. “The Monessen Historical Society has a cultural focus. That’s one of their missions [so] they’re sort of more set up even than we are here because we really just started a lot of this programming. Because that is one of the things that they focus on a few times a year, they do have the space to put an exhibit in and do a little more with the programming, like movie screenings and things like that,” said Ruane. The materials provided by the grant are useful in programming and cultural awareness projects, but they are completely available to the community, just like any other library item. Curious students can check each piece out of the library and Cal U professors can use each aspect in the classroom. There are books that can be read as part of a book club, there are DVDs that can be screened in the classroom (the library owns public performance rights for each one) and there is an online database called Oxford Islamic Studies Online that can be used by any Cal U student from anywhere in the world. The Manderino Library has made it easy for members of the Cal U community to find the materials that make up the Muslim Journeys collection, and as a librarian, Ruane makes it sound effortlessly simple.
“Students and professors can find a lot of these materials through the library’s website. [Click the] books and videos tab in the center box [and] search for ‘Muslim’ and ‘journeys’ with ‘keyword boolean’ selected,” she said. “The reason to search like this is because of the way our search mechanism works. If the searcher wants just a specific list of results [this search will only provide] these 41 resources that are in that collection. They have a special – what’s called a ‘local note’ on them, ‘bridging cultures bookshelf Muslim journeys.’ I can actually search for all the items in the collection like that because they’re all tagged like that.” The Islamic faith might not need stateside PR as much as those who are stateside need information about the history, traditions and people of the Islamic faith. Monica Ruane, Ryan Sittler and the Louis L. Manderino Library have equipped their facilities with easily accessible, quality materials to help the Cal U community reach that goal. Gaining the education to turn a cultural stranger into a fellow human being goes a long way in today’s diverse America. Cal U is a small university, but institutions of all sizes offer amazing opportunities for students to open their minds to the big world. Given the pressing issues of today’s America, this is definitely an opportunity worth taking advantage of.
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