What We’re Reading: Woolly

woolly the true story of the quest to revive one of history's most iconic extinct creatures by ben mezrich book cover

Available at the OCC Library on new books shelf (QE 882 .P8 M49 2017)

This book was read by Meredith Lewis, the Orange County Campus librarian.

Genre: Narrative Scientific Nonfiction [the author is telling a true story, but re-creates some of the dialogue and events as though he were there]

#ReadGreatThings2018 Categor(ies): A popular science book

Find out more about the Read Great Things Challenge here.

What is this book about? 

This book is about genetic engineering and its potential, ideas on how to help stop the greenhouse gases trapped in the Siberian permafrost, and MAMMOTHS. Though this book tells the story of the convergence of the Pleistocene Park in Siberia and Harvard University’s Woolly Mammoth Revival Project, it brings up some really interesting questions about science, specifically the field of genetics: Just because we can [maybe, probably?] do something, should we do it, and how do we weigh the consequences. As the author says after a particularly interesting misunderstanding between the scientists and the press, “[G]enetics [i]s a powerful tool, but also an ethical minefield” (157).


Why did you choose to read this book?

Well, woolly mammoths are cool. I started another book about mammoths last year and never finished it* and then this book came along and here we are. 

Did it remind you of any other book, or a movie?

The obvious connection is Jurassic Park, either the book  or one of the movies (available in the Durham Tech Library), right? The book mentions it and I even learned that the reason that it isn’t possible to extract dinosaur DNA from something like amber is that over time DNA degrades and no longer actually exists in that thing that is preserved in the amber.

Side note: Woolly actually has been optioned for a movie. So that’s probably happening next year or so. Prepare yourself.

What would you pair this book with?

A healthy sense of skepticism, all accompanied with a sense of fascination with the world of science and its potential.

*An opportunity for another check box for me on the #ReadGreatThings2018 Challenge: A book you previously started and never finished

Library hosts third annual Student Art Exhibition

The library is thrilled to be hosting our third annual Student Art Exhibition.  Come see the amazing art by our extremely talented Associate in Fine Arts students.  Drawings, paintings, watercolors, and sculpture are all featured.  The art will be on display through May 4th. Enjoy photos of some of the art works in the exhibition here.

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For more information, view the poster:

Student Art Exhibition Poster Spring 18





What We’re Reading: The Three-Body Problem

The Three-Body Problem book coverTitle: The Three-Body Problem

Author: Cixin Liu

Genre: science fiction

Why did you choose to read this book?

I am participating in Book Riot’s 2018 Read Harder Challenge. Having read The Three-Body Problem allows me to check off the category “A book of genre fiction in translation.” Also, the book has been on display on the Special Collections area of the main campus library and I’ve walked by it many times. The cover jumped out at me; this qualifies it for the library’s Read Great Things Challenge, category: A book you chose for the cover.

What did you like about it?

It is difficult to describe this book without giving anything away. Continue Reading →

What We’re Watching: The Florida Project

Forida Project DVD cover

Available at Main Campus Library PN 1997.2 .F56 2018

This movie was watched by Julie Humphrey, Library Director.

Title: The Florida Project

Director: Sean Baker

Genre: Drama

Why did you choose to watch this movie?
I had noticed that this film was on many “best” lists for the year and I had seen the director’s previous film Tangerine and really liked it.  I enjoy supporting and watching independent films.

What did you like about it?
It’s a very moving and powerful portrait of childhood. The acting by the children and adults is incredible. The kids’ adventures, mischief, and wonder is a joy to watch.  It offers a rare view of the lives of people struggling and trying to get by from week to week to survive. It’s the story of a single mother and her six-year-old daughter living in a motel outside of Disney World but it’s also so much more than that.

Did it remind you of any other movies?
, which is another amazing film about childhood and youth.

Was there anything noteworthy about the movie?
As Roger Ebert said in his review on his website (https://www.rogerebert.com), “It’s enough to make you want to slow down the next time you pass a place like the Magic Castle and look more closely at the lives unfolding there. It takes a very special movie to change the way we look at the people around us. “The Florida Project” is a very special movie.”

Who would you recommend the movie to?
Everyone. This is an independent movie that deserves a wide audience.  It’s very real, funny, honest, raw, eye-opening, and ultimately heartbreaking. Willem Dafoe was nominated for an Academy Award for his outstanding performance as supporting actor, but the film was widely overlooked at the Oscars.

What would you pair this movie with?
Some Kleenex for the end of the film!  Also, an ice-cream cone as some of my favorite scenes were of the kids sharing ice-cream cones.

Time for a Movie

It’s not too late to pick up one of our movies to watch this weekend! Check out some of our new titles below.

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Happy National Library Week!

In honor of libraries everywhere, we wanted to share a sweet and amazing story about the donkey libraries, Biblioburros, in Columbia.  “By adapting the packsaddles of his two donkeys, Alfa and Beto, from carrying water to carrying books, Luis created a makeshift mobile library and set off to take his books to children who otherwise wouldn’t have access to reading materials. With that the ‘Biblioburro’ was born.” (BBC)

View the wonderful short video and article from the BBC Culture site.

Our library has a copy of the children’s book, Waiting for the Biblioburro, inspired by this story.

Waiting for the Biblioburro book cover

Find this book on the lower level of the library: PZ 7 .B816644 Wai 2011




Celebrate National Poetry Month in April

The library has many new books by diverse poets.  You can find these on a table at the back of the library on the upper level and on a display rack on the lower level.  To learn more about National Poetry month events and to sign up to receive poems in your email inbox, visit the Academy of American Poets.

Reading a book of poetry or a book written in verse qualifies for Durham Tech’s Reading Challenge: