Stamped from the Beginning Book Review

Stamped from the beginning : the definitive history of racist ideas in America by Ibram Kendi

305.800973 K335s

Winner of the National Book Award and a NY Times Best Seller, this book is a monumental text for learning more about the endemic nature of racism in our culture throughout the history of the U.S. The parts of the book are divided into “eras” by people who best illustrate those eras: Cotton Mather, Thomas Jefferson, William Lloyd Garrison, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Angela Davis. Setting the stage in this way helps to provide the historical context and to see the progression of racist policies as well as the successes and fight toward equality. 

Some of the terms introduced here are the ideas of uplift suasion, assimilation, media suasion, and antiracism. Much of these ideas on racism are familiar to me, but in reality, the implementation of these ideas do not have a basis in scholarship or evidence as having helped remove racism from our midst. Part of the problem is that no matter how accomplished someone can be, the goal posts just keep getting moved (see uplift suasion: that being “respectable” and accomplished would “prove” to racists that they are wrong and will force them to change their ideas.) (Note to reader: that did not work.). Another problem is the persistence of labeling a group according to one person’s action-something done quite a bit to Black people in the discourse, but not expected of whites, who are treated individually.

Kendi provides documentation refuting the ideas that became ingrained through faulty science, and while disproved, they still persist to this day (the idea of race itself being one of them.)

This book is a dense read and heavy on history–if you like history as I do, you will love this book. It will make you think and question how much progress has truly been made in the past 400 years.

–Maria Bagshaw, Reference/Instruction Librarian

ECC Library in the time of the pandemic (Spring/Summer)

During the pandemic over Spring and Summer, the library has been working hard to support students, faculty, and staff in many ways. This link will take you to an interactive version of the infographic below that shows our different departments and their accomplishments.

Some highlights include:

  • Circulation: New curbside services and over 850 Chromebooks distributed
  • Reference and Distance Learning: 2,000+ questions answered and over 1,900 students reached through information literacy library sessions
  • Tech Services: New ebook collections added, totaling access to over 200,000 ebooks
  • Interlibrary Loan/Archives: Over 270 items lent to other libraries and continued digitization of the gallery exhibitions

Here is the non-interactive version. If you have any questions, please contact Shannon Pohrte at

–Written and infographic created by Maria Bagshaw, Reference and Instruction Librarian, with assistance from library faculty and staff

Keeping your items safe

Image by Jan Alexander from Pixabay

In honor of National Cyber Security Month (see October 1st blog post), we thought we would do a post on safety.

When you are studying and concentrating, it is easy to become distracted. The last thing you need is to lose your work or study materials through theft or inattention.  Here are 10 tips to help keep your stuff safe and private in the library and online:


  1. Keep personal items with you at all times, even when just going to the printer or restroom.  This includes bags, purses, phones, laptops, flash drives, and other items.
  2. Do not put purses or bags on the restroom floor where others could quickly grab them.
  3. Always log off of your library computer before you leave the library so that no one else can access your account.
  4. Report any suspicious or disruptive behavior to the Reference Desk, Computer Help Desk, Circulation Desk, or any library staff.  Do not confront any suspicious or disruptive person yourself.
  5. For emergencies, call the ECC Police at X-7777.  For non-emergencies, call X-7778.


6. Strong password strategies (try Strong Password Generator or 1Password). Easy passwords equals easy access!

7. Secure your text and calling options: if you don’t have an Apple device, look for online software and apps that can encrypt your information.

8. Update software: often your updates contain critical patches for security issues. Do this regularly!

9. Use a browser that allows you to be anonymous. Tor Browser and Epic Browser are two options.


10. Pay attention at all times to your surroundings.  Don’t be glued to your screen but rather make sure you are keeping physical space and virtual space as private as you can.

ECC has a website devoted to safety issues, including weather, fire, and lockdown procedures.  Be sure to sign up for the RAVE Alert. See the ECC Campus Safety site for more information. See also the ECC Covid-19 Notifications and resources.

*Some of the online tips providing by the Library Journal article on Protecting Patron Privacy.
–Reposted by Maria Bagshaw, Reference/Instruction Librarian

How to renew your NY Times Digital Edition

Once you have activated your Academic Pass, you should have full access for 52 weeks (364 days). If you are logged in and you see a message that you are reaching the limit of free articles on the site or an invitation to purchase, you may need to renew your Academic Pass. To do so, make sure you are logged in and go to New York Times Digital Edition. This should renew your pass. Please note: you cannot renew prior to the expiration date of your Academic Pass.

To sign up, see this FAQ on how to get the NY Times Digital Edition for free.

Resource Spotlight: Nursing and Allied Health Database

This database is just one of the great health databases we offer here at ECC Library.  The Nursing & Allied Health Database via ProQuest includes full text journals and dissertations and more.


The default search is a Basic Search. However, the Advanced Search option also lets you restrict your search by population age, document type, and date. You have all the other great functions you have with all our databases, such as citation tools, print options, emailing, etc.

One of the strengths of this database is that it provides MeSH headings (Medical Subject Headings) for each result. These can also be searched in the Advanced Search option. MeSH provide a controlled vocabulary that you can use for research, which can help you retrieve the most relevant results, and can also provide you with additional keywords when searching other databases and the internet.  For example, when you search for scholarly sources in the medical field, those sources are most likely to use the formal term, such as NEOPLASMS, rather than the popular term of CANCER. MeSH can help you determine what those terms may be.

From the U.S. National Library of Medicine site:

Many synonyms, near-synonyms, and closely related concepts are included as entry terms to help users find the most relevant MeSH descriptor for the concept they are seeking. In NLM’s online databases, many terms entered by searchers are automatically mapped to MeSH descriptors to facilitate retrieval of relevant information.

If you want help using the Nursing and Allied Health database or any of our databases, please contact the library’s Reference Desk via text at 847-999-0403, chat, or

–Written by Maria Bagshaw, Reference/Instruction Librarian

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Now in its 17th year, National Cybersecurity Awareness Month focuses on raising awareness. This year’s theme encourages individuals and organizations to own their role in protecting their part of cyberspace, stressing personal accountability and the importance of taking proactive steps to enhance cybersecurity.

Do your part. #BeCyberSmart. —

This graphic from Homeland Security on Social Media Bots has a good run down on usage, attacks, and signature behavior:

Try this quiz to see if you can Spot the Troll (from Clemson University’s Media Forensics Hub!) It is tougher than you think!

What about the safety of our elections? CISA has you covered:

#PROTECT2020 is a national call to action initiated by CISA, the lead federal agency responsible for national election security, to enhance the integrity and resilience of the Nation’s election infrastructure, and ensure the confidentiality, truthfulness, and accuracy of free and fair elections. This serves as a starting point for election security resources for the public as well as election officials at all levels.

You can also check out our Cybersecurity and Online Privacy and Security Research Guides.

To join the conversation, use the hashtags #BeCyberSmart and #CyberAware or follow NCSAM (@StaySafeOnline or Facebook.)

–Written by Maria Bagshaw, Reference/Instruction Librarian

Voting information

Election time is coming down to the wire!  Still confused? Try some of these great resources to help you be aware and informed.  Don’t forget to register and VOTE!

The ECC Library has created a Voting Research Guide devoted to the upcoming elections. This guide provides a one-stop place to access voting information, polling places, elected officials, and more. Some of the sites included are listed below.


VoteSmart: Their mission says it all: “to provide free, factual, unbiased information on candidates and elected officials to ALL Americans.”

OpenSecrets: A nonpartisan guide that traces how money influences America’s elections and policies.

PolitiFact: Statements are examined by reporters and researchers and given the Truth-O-Meter test. A nice place to see who is stretching the truth, or telling lies, and how.

FactCheck: From their mission statement: to “monitor the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases. Our goal is to apply the best practices of both journalism and scholarship, and to increase public knowledge and understanding.”

PolicyMap: This open part of their subscription services allows users to map data all over the country on topics such as housing, economy, education, health, and more.

Allsides: Access Left, Center, and Right bias by color coding.

Media Bias Fact Check: Search media sources to see how factual and where they tend to lean, or browse the lists of questionable or conspiracy sites.


(Use your AccessECC ID and password for off-campus access)

CQ Researcher: This database covers a lot of information: current and historical.  It provides in depth reports on important issues and is a great place to go for a good compilation of facts on a topic.

Opposing Viewpoints: Covers controversial topics and gives you the pro/con to each side of the debate.

U.S. Election information

U.S. Election Commission: Provides information on the upcoming elections, including voter registration information.

C-SPAN video library: Watch videos related to various C-SPAN programs.

Can I Vote?: This site will quickly tell you if you are registered to vote, or what you need to become a registered voter.

Ballotopedia: A free online encyclopedia of American Politics.

Local voting information

Kane County Elections

Cook County Elections

Voting information outside of Kane and Cook Counties:

–Written by Maria Bagshaw, Reference/Instruction Librarian

Banned Books Week is September 27-October 3, 2020

“Books can help young people and readers of all ages explore worlds, lives, and experiences beyond their own,” says Nora Pelizzari, director of communications for the National Coalition Against Censorship. “This exploration is crucial in learning to think critically and independently and to navigate ourselves through life. Limiting access to ideas hurts everyone, and particularly students. Banned Books Week gives us a chance to champion the diverse ideas books let us explore.”

Libraries and schools aren’t the only institutions impacted by censorship, and Banned Books Week is an opportunity for many to engage their communities in a conversation about attempts to stifle creativity. –From

Here were the top 10 most challenged books of 2019:

This infographic explains censorship by the numbers:

Connect with us…there is a lot you can do at the ECC Library!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is books-3348990_1920.jpg
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay


Activate your Student ID online
Borrow books (use Request in the catalog)
Use/Borrow eBooks
Access Research Guides
Ask questions about research
Ask the Archives
Use online resources such as databases
Use WiFi
Make a virtual research appointment
Follow our social media
Contact us
Chat with us
Text us: (847) 999-0403
Borrow a Chromebook


Activate your Faculty ID online
Borrow books (use Request in the catalog)
Use/Borrow eBooks
Request Research Guides for your classes
Book information literacy instruction for your classes
Ask questions about research
Ask the Archives
Use online resources such as databases
Use WiFi
Follow our social media
Contact us
Chat with us
Text us: (847) 999-0403

Fall 2020 services and Curbside information is available here. When you need us or have questions about the above, contact us. We are here online during our hours. Start on our library’s website for access to all our resources.

Inspired by Orkney Library‘s Tweet 6/30/2020

Celebrate Latinx Heritage Month!

¡Ya es el Tiempo! Join the Latinx Heritage Month Committee to celebrate Latinx Heritage Month from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 with a robust line up of virtual events!

You can download all of the posters for the events here. Please share on your classroom pages. For more information and to RSVP to the kickoff, visit You can also follow the committee on Instagram at @ecc_lhm.