Podcast: Summer 2017 Library Services

In this episode of the NCTC Libraries podcast, Flower Mound campus librarian Dax Stokes discusses some of NCTC’s summer library services.

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Non Greco-Roman Mythology Resources

A culture without mythology is not really a civilisation. — Vilayanur S. Ramachandran (https://www.brainyquote.com)


We can all remember studying Greek and Roman mythology in school, but how many of us have expanded this study outside of our traditional western curriculum? Exploring the stories of other cultures can reignite the excitement we originally felt while reading the Greco-Roman myths of our childhood, deepen our appreciation of other cultures, and see ourselves in the heroic (and maybe the not so heroic) characters.

Examples of allusions to mythology are regularly seen in our daily lives through art and literature, even television shows and movies. Grace P. Smith notes that “the study of mythology quickens the artistic sense and judgement and increases the appreciation of art and literature”, and that “[b]oth art and literature take on a deeper meaning when revealed through mythology” (Smith, 129). Expanding our knowledge of the mythologies of other cultures can deepen this appreciation and aid in understanding their references in much of today’s pop culture.

In addition, many schools of psychology feel that understanding myths puts us in touch with ourselves and our place in society. Myths “are symbolic dramatizations of what is basic in the human personality” and “serve as portals to understanding the human condition in general, but they also touch each of us individually, and where we are touched opens the door to our self-understanding” (Mitchell, 268). Myths aid us on our journey of self-discovery as we learn from the characters and heroes in the old stories and benefit from their examples and from their mistakes.

Expand your knowledge of mythological allusions and journey further down your road of self-discovery! Learn more about the mythologies of other cultures by exploring these and other books at your NCTC campus library.

Norse MythologyNorse Mythology by Neil Gaiman (Flower Mound): BL 860 .G35 2017

The great story teller Neil Gaiman turns his fantasy writing skills toward the original Norse pantheon. Staying true to the myths, he traces the great Norse legends from the beginning of the nine worlds through the adventures of dwarfs, giants, and gods, including Odin, Thor and Loki.

Celtic mythologyCeltic Mythology by John Arnott MacCulloch (Corinth): BL 900 .M385 2004

Scholar J. A. MacCulloch retells the ancient stories of Ireland and Wales in a narrative style that will thrill new readers of Celtic folklore and those more familiar with the old tales. In addition, the book is supplemented with illustrations from rare sources, and MacCulloch addresses a chapter to the coexistence of paganism and Christianity and how they are mutually influenced.

Hero 1000The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell (Corinth, Flower Mound and Gainesville): BL 313 .C28 2008

No discussion of mythology is complete without the insight Campbell presents into the universal motifs of the world’s great stories. Originally released in 1949, this third edition totes more illustrations, a comprehensive bibliography and easily accessible sidebars. Multiple texts and videos by and about Campbell are available through the NCTC campus libraries.

texas indianTexas Indian Myths and Legends by Jane Archer (Available through EBSCO eBook Collection) : E78 .T4 A73 2000 eb

Archer relates the myths and history of five powerful nations who once roamed our great state: the Caddo, Lipan Apache, Wichita, Comanche and Alabama-Coushatta.

Middle East MythMiddle Eastern Mythology by S. H. (Samuel Henry) Hooke (Corinth): BL1060 .H66 2004

Hooke’s comparative presentation is based on firsthand sources and recounts the legends of the Egyptians, Babylonians, Assyrians and others. He also addresses mythological elements and parallels in the Hebrew, Jewish apocalyptic literature and New Testament texts.

Scandinavian MythScandinavian Mythology by Hilda Roderick Ellis Davidson (Bowie): BL 860 .D384 1969

Davidson presents the world of warriors, giants, dwarfs, elves and other strange creatures from Scandinavian folklore. She also addresses the spread of Christianity and its overtaking of the Old Norse religion. Illustrations draw from many cultures and include archeological finds not previously published.


Mitchell, M. B. (2010). Learning about ourselves through fairy tales: Their psychological value. Psychological Perspectives, 53(3), 264-279. doi:10.1080/00332925.2010.501212

Smith, G. (1918). Vitalizing mythology. The Classical Journal, 14(2), 128-131. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/3288070

–Contributed by Janelle McCabe, Adjunct Librarian, Corinth Campus

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Be Prepared, Not Scared


Probability of any mode of severe weather within 25 miles of a given point at the peak of North Texas severe weather season [source]

It is obvious that the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex is booming. In 2015, twenty-one companies based in DFW snagged coveted spots on the Fortune 500 list. Jobs created directly and indirectly by these companies, coupled with the metro’s saturated higher education market, attract droves of people every year. Indeed, the metroplex’s population is projected to be 11 million by 2040. What might not be obvious to our newcomers are the threats that North Texas’ springs can bring.


Lewisville Hailstone, March 27, 2017 [source]

DFW is located squarely in what is commonly known as “Tornado Alley.” However, tornadoes are not the only severe weather risk to this thriving community. It is not uncommon for DFW to see baseball sized hail, 60 to 90+ MPH straight-line winds and excessive cloud-to-ground lightning strikes. But while DFW’s weather can be extreme and dangerous, there is no need to panic. As local meteorologist Rick Mitchell says, “Be prepared, not scared.”

Rest assured, the North Central Texas College is prepared! As a Weather Ready Nation Ambassador, NCTC is committed to mitigating weather-related harm, and loss of life by educating its community. The college is also in the final stages of being recognized as a StormReady institution. Some signs of being StormReady are hard to miss, such as the LionAlerts sent out via text, email and social media. Others, though very critical, go largely unnoticed. Each campus is fitted with a weather station that monitors meteorological conditions including rain amounts, temperature, wind speed, humidity and barometric pressure.

This information is relayed to the National Weather Service (NWS) via the Citizen Weather Observer Program (CWOP), and is often used to produce infographics during significant weather events. Those curious about conditions at specific campuses are welcome to monitor them in real time on the Weather Underground website. Another condition for NCTC becoming StormReady is communication between our Office of Emergency Management, the NWS, storm spotters and other weather professionals, which takes place largely in a secure chatroom. While being part of a vigilant organization should bring peace of mind, it is imperative that all DFW residents arm themselves with the information they need to be weather-aware.

Know your risk level


The SPC assigned the a level one, or marginal, risk for the dark green area on January 16, 2017 [source]. The red cluster indicates three confirmed tornadoes on January 16, 2017 [source].

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) is based out of Norman, Oklahoma and is an extension of the NWS. The SPC is responsible for assigning severe weather risk levels, and issuing watches for severe weather events. There are several weather prediction models that attempt to predict future weather based on current conditions. The SPC assesses these models and assigns a severe threat level for the current day (day one), day two, and days four through eight. Threat levels range from green (1) to pink (5), and indicate the coverage of severe storms in an area; not necessarily their intensity. Tornadoes can and have occurred in marginal threat areas! Unfortunately prediction models can disagree widely up until 24 hours before an event begins. Because of this, it is highly recommended that you monitor your risk level periodically for any changes.


Stay posted to official local forecasts


County Warning Area for the Fort Worth/Dallas Weather Forecast Office for the National Weather Service.

While the SPC publishes risk levels and watches for the United States, local forecasts and warnings are issued by local weather forecast offices. Cooke, Denton, Montague and Young counties fall within the Fort Worth/ Dallas Weather Forecast Office’s county warning area. This is a great resource for more detailed forecasts and information on weather impacting specific locations. Official forecasts from NWS weather forecast offices are indispensable as they are the product of intense calculations and are not subject to hype as is the case with many commercial outlets.

Have a plan!

Once you know severe weather is in your future, have an action plan in place for when it actually strikes. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has excellent tips for what to do in case of severe weather such as…

Be a weather geek, not a weather wimp

EmersonVery often newcomers to this are will react to a severe weather event with either complete indifference, or immobilizing panic. Both responses are likely due to a lack of knowledge regarding the causes and impacts of severe weather. In the case of the latter, weather ignorance can paint even benign storms as hostile specters that appear quite literally out of thin air. Understanding the basic elements of storm development and evolution can help a great deal with cultivating a healthy attitude towards North Texas Weather. The NCTC Libraries have a multitude of resources to combat meteorological illiteracy.

encyclopedia of weatherThe Encyclopedia of Weather and Climate Change: A Complete Visual Guide by Juliane L. Fry (Gainesville) QC854 .E5258 2010

Fry teaches molecular and environmental chemistry at Reed College in Portland. Other contributing authors include climate scientist Richard Grotjahn, professor of earth and environmental sciences Dr. Clive Saunders from Machester, and independent meteorological consultant Richard Whitaker. Climate and weather terms are explained in easy to understand language and illustrated with vivid color photographs.

meteorology demystifiedMeteorology Demystified by Stan Gibilisco (eBook and Gainesville) QC 863.4 .G53 2006.

This title is available in both print and online through the EBSCOhost eBook Collection database. Gibilisco designed this book for those wishing to teach themselves about meteorology. It begins with foundational knowledge including the phases of matter, variables that commonly influence the atmosphere, and how forecasts are created. The formation and features of extreme weather such as thunderstorms, tornadoes and tropical cyclones are highlighted. Gibilisco also explains concept related to abnormal weather and the future of our climate.

Texas weatherTexas Weather by George W. Bomar (Gainesville, Corinth, and Bowie) QC 984 .T4 B67 1995

Tornadoes, thundersleet, and dust storms are all typical of a weekly Texas forecast. Meteorologist George Bomar tackles all of them and explains what it is about the geography and topography of the region that makes it so prone to such erratic weather. As they say in Texas, this title is an oldie, but a goodie.

into the stormInto The Storm: Violent Tornadoes, Killer Hurricanes, and Death-Defying Adventures in Extreme Weather by Reed Timmer and Andrew Tilin (Gainesville) QC 941.8 .T56 2011

Meteorologist Reed Timmer is largely credited with branding extreme weather as entertainment. He has inspired legions of amateurs and professionals alike to venture into dangerous territory to get the perfect shot of a severe storm, or possibly a tornado. His chase vehicle, the Dominator, has made regular appearances on I-35 as it makes its way to the next big severe weather outbreak. Timmer details his brushes with such systems and his sometimes contentious encounters with other storm chasers in this fascinating read.

weather of the futureThe Weather of the Future: Heat Waves, Extreme Storms, and Other Scenes from a Climate-Changed Planet by Heidi Cullen (Flower Mound) QC 903 .C85 2010

As chief scientist for Climate Central, Cullen boasts an incredibly prestigious education and body of contributions to the field of climate and atmospheric research. She received her bachelors and Ph.D. from Columbia University, serves on various meteorological boards and councils and has previously worked as the first “on-air climate expert” for the Weather Channel. The Weather of the Future looks at significant events and subtle trends in earth’s climatological history to guide predictions of what can be expected in the coming years. Dr. Cullen has carefully chosen cities and regions of great interest to climatologists to paint a very telling picture. Areas tackled include the Great Barrier Reef on the coast of Australia, New York City, Dhaka, Bangladesh and points in the Arctic.

Climate of extremesClimate of Extremes: Global Warming Science They Don’t Want You to Know by Patrick J (Corinth) QC 981.8 G 56 M534 2009

The overwhelming majority of the scientific community agrees that the earth is warming, and professors Michaels and Balling concur. However the authors disagree with the “gloom-and-doom” this reality is typically delivered with. They attempt to temper this refrain of alarm-bell ringing and treat a wealth of scientific research with a more moderate tone that is arguably the minority in their field.

–Contributed by Sabrina McKethan, Librarian, Corinth Campus (with thanks to Chris McLaughlin, NCTC Director of Emergency Management)

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Conversations on Intersectional Feminism

Last month the United States celebrated Women’s History month. We’ll be continuing the conversation on women’s history in this blog post by discussing intersectional feminism. Intersectionality refers to the study of intersecting social identities and the systems that work to oppress, discriminate, and control minority identities. Intersectionality can be thought of in terms of religion, disability, social class, nationality, race, gender, and more. In terms of feminism, intersectionality draws attention to the fact that many minorities have been marginalized and dismissed by the feminist movement, particularly black women in America. Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, who coined the term intersectionality in 1989, defines intersectional feminism as “The view that women experience oppression in varying degrees of intensity. Cultural patterns of oppression are not only interrelated, but are bound together and influenced by the intersectional systems of society.”

Feminism began as a white woman’s movement. Throughout history black women’s struggles have been disregarded by much of the feminist movement. Black women not only have to fight misogyny and stereotypes about their gender, but they also have a massive uphill battle fighting systemic racism daily. Only recently has intersectionality really begun to enter the public conversation surrounding feminism, despite existing for decades.

Learn more about how you can continue the conversation on intersectional feminism by checking out these books at your NCTC campus library.

Florence Flo Kennedy

Florynce “Flo” Kennedy: The Life of a Black Feminist Radical by Sherie M. Randolph (Gainesville) KF 373 .K45 R36 2015

Florynce “Flo” Kennedy was a leader of the Black Power and feminist movements. A bold and controversial figure, this biography documents her upbringing and strong political influence. Kennedy was not a reactionary, but a proactive educator of white feminists. She worked tirelessly to build bridges between the struggles of racism and sexism, bringing her knowledge and leadership skills from the Black Power movement to her work.

Skin deep

Skin Deep: Black Women and White Women Write about Race edited by Marita Golden (Flower Mound & Corinth) E 185.86 .S6 1996

This series of essays explores a wide range of racial issues between black and white women. Topics covered include concepts of self-identity, friendship, raising children, competition, strength, and the insidiousness of racism. Contributors include Joyce Carol Oates, bell hooks, Naomi Wolf, Alice Walker, and Toni Morrison among many others.

When and where I enterWhen and Where I Enter: The Impact of Black Women on Race and Sex in America by Paula Giddings (Bowie) E 185.86 .G49 1985

When and Where I Enter documents the enormous influence black women have had on both race and women’s movements throughout American history. Author Paula Giddings uses original sources including letters, speeches, and diaries to reveal how numerous black women have overcome and transcended sexist and racist actions and attitudes from white feminists, black male leaders, and others.

Southern black womenSouthern Black Women in the Modern Civil Rights Movement by Bruce A. Glasrud (Corinth) E 185.92 .S682 2013

This book documents the many black women that were crucial to the Civil Rights movement in the South. Protesting, mobilizing, energizing others, and serving as organizational and grassroots leaders, these women made a significant impact on their community and on the Civil Rights movement at large. The media and white politicians did not acknowledge the efforts and work of these black women, and only recently have historians begun to recognize their contributions. Southern Black Women in the Modern Civil Right Movement is a first of its kind, winning the 2013 Texas State Historical Association’s Liz Carpenter Award for Research in the History of Women.

Black texas womenBlack Texas Women: 150 Years of Trial and Triumph by Ruthe Winegarten (Corinth) E 185.93 .T4 W55 1995

The first book of its kind, Black Texas Women presents a comprehensive history of the contributions black women have made in Texas over the past 150 years. The contributions detailed within include black Texas women’s work within the education system, the work force, religion, politics, community building, civil rights, and much more.

Black women in white americaBlack Women in White America: A Documentary History by Gerda Lerner (Gainesville & Corinth) E 185.86 .L4 1972

The recipient of the 2002 Bruce Catton Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Historical Writing, this collection of primary documents describes the lives, struggles, and ambitions of black women from the American colonial period up to the 1970’s. Their stories are told in their own words – stories of systemic racism, economic hardship, violence, stories of heroism, grassroots community organization, and community- and self-empowerment. Black Women in White America adds a powerful and enriching understanding of our history as Americans.

–Contributed by Michelle McLaughlin, Librarian, Corinth Campus

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Podcast: The CRAAP Test

In this episode, Associate Dean of Libraries Shedrick Pittman-Hassett discusses the CRAAP method for evaluating authoritative sources.

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America’s “Best Idea”

big_21712e44_usa-tours-national-parks-homepage-2These days it seems that we are bombarded by reports of what America is doing wrong. It is discouraging and exhausting. Well, the good news is…it’s February and that means that Spring Break is just around the corner! Have you made a plan yet? If not, you may want to get away from the news for a while and discover, or rediscover, just how great and beautiful and vast is this country of ours.


Grand Canyon National Park

In 2016, the National Park Service celebrated its 100th birthday. After years of groups and individuals working for the preservation of our natural wonders, including the 1906 Antiquities Act signed by President Theodore Roosevelt which allowed presidents to protect national monuments, President Woodrow Wilson signed the “Organic Act” and The National Park Service was born. It has grown to include not only national parks such as Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and Great Smoky Mountain, but also national heritage areas, forests, waterways and seashores, urban trails, and historic battlegrounds.


“Are we there yet?”


Big Bend National Park

If you do not have the time, energy, or resources to venture far afield, there are 16 national park sites in Texas and even more historic sites managed by the National Park Service: there are fossilized mammoths in Waco! You can go further and still be in Texas (I love Texas) and hike to the “top of Texas” or glory in the vast array of Texas wildflowers in beautiful Big Bend.


America’s national parks have something for everyone.

Visit www.nps.gov and “Experience Your America.” (NPS)

Understand the words of historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Wallace Stegner:

“National parks are the best idea we ever had. Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best rather than our worst.”

All information taken from www.nps.gov

National Park Service. U.S. Department of the Interior, United States Government, 2017,


–Contributed by Robin Studdard, Librarian, Bowie and Graham Campuses

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Not Necessarily the News


By VOA News – voanews.com, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=53671547

“There are no facts, only interpretations.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

The term “fake news” has been bandied about fairly liberally these days. In the glut that makes up our daily intake of information, it is often hard to separate what makes up good, verifiable information from bad, spurious information. Too many bad actors purposefully blur the lines between the two and attempt to fool the public and are all-too successful at pulling the wool over people’s eyes.

According to a recent study from Stanford University, students are all-too ready to accept so-called fake news. The study describes their ability to assess information sources as “dismaying,” “bleak,” and “[a] threat to democracy.”1 It is also believed that fake news played a role in our recent elections.2 Even weather forecasts are susceptible to the siren call of fake news and hype.3

But work is being done to stop its insidious spread.

In classrooms like this4, students are being taught the critical thinking skills necessary to discern truth from fiction. Google has disrupted its ability to “cash in” on ignorance.5 Groups such as JSTOR6 and Amy Pohler’s Smart Girls7 have stepped forward with ways to combat fake news with intelligence and forethought.

Finally, your library has developed some steps that you can take to help you determine what is real and what is fake in your daily news diet.

  1. Look at the URL of the website. If it has .com.co, then it is probably a fake news site.
  2. Look at who wrote the story. Is there an author? Has the author written other stories? Is the story from a governmental or educational institution? Is it from a reputable newswire or service? If not, it is probably fake.
  3. Is the story designed to make you angry? Does the author urge you to dox8 someone? If so, the story is probably fake.
  4. Is there an “About Us” page? Is it believable? Can you verify that information with a Google search? If not, then it is probably fake.
  5. Does the story match the headline? Does the photo match the story? If not, then it is probably fake.
  6. Can you find the same story in other sources? Can you find the same quotes in other sources? If not, then it is probably fake.
  7. Look out for satire sites! They often look very realistic, but are purposefully fake.
    1. The Onion
    2. Landover Baptist Church
    3. Weekly World News
    4. National Report
    5. The Daily Currant
    6. Christwire
    7. Clickhole

Determining what is fake news takes time and effort. Purveyors of fake news are counting on people not to take that time to propagate their lies. Even a little bit of effort often goes a long way toward casting dispersion on such stories and aiding in your healthy skepticism. Take anything that comes from the internet with a grain of salt and verify what is important. Finally, feel free to ask your campus librarian for any help in verifying sources of information.

–Contributed by Shedrick Pittman-Hassett, Associate Dean of Libraries, Gainesville Campus (with thanks to Sabrina McKethan, Librarian, Corinth Campus)

1“Students Have ‘Dismaying’ Inability to Tell Fake News From Real, Study Finds.” NPR.org, 23 Nov. 2016, http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/11/23/503129818/study-finds-students-have-dismaying-inability-to-tell-fake-news-from-real.

2 Timberg, Craig. “Russian Propaganda Effort Helped Spread ‘Fake News’ During Election, Experts Say.” The Washington Post, 24 Nov. 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/russian-propaganda-effort-helped-spread-fake-news-during-election-experts-say/2016/11/24/793903b6-8a40-4ca9-b712-716af66098fe_story.html?utm_term=.70c2e0eb9ef3.

3 Shepherd, Marshall. “Some Viral Weather Forecasts are Fake News—Two Reasons They Must Be Stopped Now.” Forbes. 3 Jan. 2017, http://www.forbes.com/sites/marshallshepherd/2017/01/03/some-viral-weather-forecasts-are-fake-news-2-reasons-they-must-be-stopped-now/#79b0038e5197.

4”The Classroom Where Fake News Fails.” All Things Considered, NPR, 22 Dec. 2016, http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/12/22/505432340/the-classroom-where-fake-news-fails.

5Nicas, Jack. “Google to Bar Fake-News Websites from Using Its Ad-Selling Software.” The Wall Street Journal, 14 Nov. 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/google-to-bar-fake-news-websites-from-using-its-ad-selling-software-1479164646.

6Samuel, Alexandra. “To Fix Fake News, Look to Yellow Journalism.” JSTOR, 29 Nov. 2016, http://daily.jstor.org/to-fix-fake-news-look-to-yellow-journalism/.

7”Smart Girls Understand: How to Be a Savvy News Consumer.” Amy Pohler’s Smart Girls, 22 Nov. 2016, https://amysmartgirls.com/smart-girls-understand-how-to-be-a-savvy-news-consumer-e34e3c1e2d6a#.nu0b21818.

8Dox = Search for and publish private or identifying information about (a particular individual) on the internet, typically with malicious intent.

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