Monday, May 4, 2020

Free audiobooks!

Every summer, Sync partners with multiple organizations to offer free audiobooks for teens 13+ for eight weeks. Most of these books are considered Young Adult (YA) but really, the books are all over the map. From non-fiction to plays, anthologies to Shakespeare, Sync Audiobooks brings a variety of texts to a YA and YA-at-heart audience. 

How does it work?
  • Program runs April 30th-July 29th. 
  • You can sign up to receive alerts, via text or email, and get two audiobook links each week.
  •  From there, you can choose to download the audiobooks via the Sora app (available via Google Play or Apple Stores). 
  • These links expire after 7 days.

First up, available from April 30th to May 6th:

Questions? Check out the Frequently Asked Questions on the Sync website or Ask an ACC Librarian

On a personal note: I've participated in this program for the last 3-4 years. These audiobooks are high quality and a great way to discover new genres, authors, and series. I look forward to this program all year! The process to download them can be a little clunky so please reach out to a librarian for help. And happy reading!!!

Images: "Sync Audiobooks for Teens" by AudioFile is licensed under CC BY 4.0

Sunday, April 19, 2020

All Aboard the LearningExpress!

LearningExpress Library Logo
If you haven't already done so, now is a great time to familiarize yourself with the excellent, information-packed LearningExpress Library. This extraordinary resource contains access to loads of terrific information designed to help you increase your knowledge and skills as well as reach (and even exceed!) your goals.

Divided into ten targeted learning centers, LearningExpress Library provides tutorials, eBooks, tools, and resources for success in many areas including:

  • Academic skills improvement
  • Adult Learning
  • Career advancement
  • College readiness and placement
  • Computer and software basics
  • Internships
  • Job and workplace skills enhancement
  • Spanish-language information including preparation for the American Citizenship and GED exams (these resources are also available in English)
  • Test preparation (and even practice tests) for exams such the ACT, GED, GMAT, GRE, LSAT, MCAT, & TOEFL
  • Vocational skill-building and exams covering disciplines such as Culinary Arts, Nursing, Real Estate, and more

LearningExpress Library is available via any device (desktop, laptop, iPad, Chromebook, smartphone, etc.). Best of all, there’s no need to download or install any software in order to access or use it.

LearningExpress Home Screen
The first time you access content in LearningExpress Library you’ll be required to register for the service and set-up your free, secure account. After you complete this step, you can then download and save the materials (such as eBooks, practice exams, tutorials, etc.) you’ve selected. In addition, LearningExpress will keep track of your work in each of the learning areas so that you can see your measurable progress. In fact, you can even download your progress as a .csv (i.e. spreadsheet) file to save to your device.

The best way to discover what’s available in LearningExpress Library is to explore the various learning centers that appear on the home page. For example, clicking on the College Center Plus button, opens a menu to all of the choices available in that particular center (Math Skills Review, Reading Skills Review, Grammar and Writing Skills Review, Science Skills Review, Prepare for Graduate School Admissions Exams, Prepare for College Placement Exams, Prepare for State Placement Tests, Prepare for CLEP® and DSST® Exams, and Search for Schools and Scholarships).

College Center Plus Button

One of the tools located in College Center Plus that’s particularly valuable for those planning to transfer to a 4-year school or program is the School Finder Tool, Here’s how to access and use it:

  • On the Home page, click the College Center Plus image
  • In the drop-down menu, choose Search for Schools and Scholarships
  • On the next screen, click School Finder Tool
  • On the following screen, click the Open School Finder button
  • Once you’ve connected to the School Finder screen, select the 2- or 4-Year Schools or Programs option, then scroll down and click the Advanced School Search button
  • You may now search for colleges by state and region, admissions selectivity, majors offered, cost, number of students enrolled, community type, religious affiliation, athletic programs, and disability support services. Choose some or all of these options
  • Clicking the Display Results button will provide you with a list of all the colleges that meet your search criteria. You can the print, download, or save these results to your secure LearningExpress Library account

As you can see from the example above, LearningExpress Library contains lots of powerful tools and great information. For more information or assistance utilizing this great resource, don’t hesitate to consult the LearningExpress Library Research Guide, which includes highlights of examples of some of the hundreds of high-quality resources available in each of the LearningExpress Library centers. Of course, ACC Librarians are also available and happy to assist you with your journey into this excellent resource. You might also consider exploring the Help section that’s located at the top of each screen in LearningExpress Library. Help contains extensive FAQs, video guides to assist you in navigating the various screens and tools contained in the database, and a long list of keyboards shortcuts as well as links to available productivity tools.

Now, more than ever, is a great time to check out LearningExpress Library.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Impress Your Professor More With JSTOR!

"Dr. Beak," a plague doctor wearing "Personal Protective
Equipment" (Paul F├╝rst, copper engraving, 1656)
Want to impress your professor by using scholarly sources for your paper or project? Including articles from the JSTOR database in your research could do just that!

JSTOR indexes thousands of scholarly publications, especially in the humanities, social sciences, and life sciences. JSTOR also provides millions of pages of full-text, including primary source documents and books as well as journal articles, some written well over a century ago.*

Are you still trying to decide the specific topic for your paper or report? By searching a general topic in JSTOR, you are likely to discover all sorts of more specific topics that you can pursue.

For example, suppose you wish to find articles related to the Covid-19 pandemic. You could research in JSTOR on the miasma theory of the spread of plagues and diseases, John Donne's poem "The Flea" (infected fleas spread the plague), Boccaccio's The Decameron, a collection of stories ostensibly told by plague refugees, or Ingmar Bergman's film The Seventh Seal, in which a medieval knight plays a game of chess with "Death" during the plague. JSTOR has information about the spillover of zoonotic diseases through bats spreading coronaviruses, the devastating flu pandemic of 1918, and even the depiction of "zombies" as creatures driven by pathogens.

Suppose you have an assignment to write a book review. JSTOR has thousands of book reviews to serve as models for writing one. In fact, JSTOR has a box that you can check to limit search results just to reviews (illustrated in the example below)!

This search filter can come in handy for other types of reviews as well. For example, perhaps for a paper on a play the information sources required by your professor include a review of an actual performance of that play. JSTOR is very likely to have reviews of several different productions of the play (as long as it debuted more than five years ago).*

Searching JSTOR:

From the library home page at, click on the A-Z List of Databases link just below the long search box.

1.  At the alphabetical sequence near the top of the page, click on the J.
2.  Click on the JSTOR link. (If off campus, you will then need to log in.)
3.  Below the search box that appears, click on the Advanced Search link.

4.  Enter search terms in the search boxes that appear.
5.  From the drop down menu to the right of each search box, select the field in which each search term will be searched.
6.  To add search boxes, click on the Add a search box button below the last search box.
7.  Narrow by item types, such as articles, by clicking on the appropriate check boxes.
8.  Narrowing the search further by date, language, etc. is usually unnecessary.  When you are ready to execute your search, click on the Search button.

For more information on searching JSTOR, please feel free to consult with an ACC librarian. JSTOR also offers excellent guidance. JSTOR's tutorials include basic and advanced searching techniques, sorting and reviewing search results, and using JSTOR on a mobile device. Have fun exploring the wealth of scholarly resources JSTOR offers!


* Full-text coverage in JSTOR varies from publication to publication.  For most periodicals, an embargo on the most recent five years of articles is in effect. That is, JSTOR often indexes a periodical up to the present without providing full-text to the periodical’s most recent five years of articles. For more recent articles, you may wish to search some of the other great databases that ACC's libraries provide.

Monday, March 23, 2020

National Agriculture Day

March 24, 2020 is National Agriculture Day. National Agriculture Day is conducted by the Agriculture Council of America (ACA) and was created to educate Americans on how their food and fiber products are produced. The following video and infographics are some of the tools ACA uses in promoting National Agriculture Day.

Want to learn more? Visit the Agricultural Sciences Library Guide to see recent additions and recommended resources for Agriculture.
ACC has two programs for Agriculture: one is for transfer/workforce credit and one is for Continuing Education. Visit the departmental websites to see which class/program interests you and check out a 5 minute video of the amazing work done by ACC faculty, staff, and students in the Agricultural Sciences department. The video contains adorable animals and beautifully grown produce born/grown on the ACC Elgin campus!

Monday, March 9, 2020

Leisure Reading for Spring Break

Woman with glasses reading a book
"Luminescence" by Brandon Woelfel is licensed under CC BY 2.0

It’s almost time for Spring Break, and ACC Library Services has a small but mighty collection of leisure books available for checkout. Take a look at the leisure reading section of any campus library to find everything from bestselling fiction to cookbooks, comics, memoirs, and more. Don’t know where to start? Check out the recommendations from our leisure reading team below:

  • Take a dive into the fantastical imagery of Erin Morgenstern’s The Starless Sea, a story about stories, love, and adventure.
  • Check out The Water Dancer, the much-anticipated first fiction novel from author and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates.
  • Find yourself on a culinary trip through Italy with Giada De Laurentiis’ newest cookbook, Giada’s Italy: My Recipes for La Dolce Vita.
  • Get lost in gorgeous illustrations and prepare to have your heartstrings pulled with Charlie Mackesy’s The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse.
  • Phil Stamper’s The Gravity of Us has it all: love, identity, family, and space exploration!
  • If you’re looking for suspense with a touch of folklore and magical realism, look no further than Jennifer McMahon’s The Night Sister.
  • Evie Wyld’s graphic novel Everything is Teeth captures the whimsy of a youthful imagination and sharks. Lots of sharks.
  • Travel to San Francisco without ever having to leave your house with this seriously funny mystery by Christopher Moore, Noir, and travel back in time to Spain in the grips of civil war with Isabel Allende’s new novel A Long Petal of the Sea.
When you’re ready to put the books down, ACC Library Services has your back with its own version of “Netflix and chill.” Browse our catalog to see the thousands of DVD and streaming media titles available, or head over to Films on Demand and Kanopy for more streaming media options.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Celebrate Fair Use Week 2020

Feb. 24 – Feb. 28

Fair use allows you to use copyrighted materials on a limited basis for specific purposes without requiring permission of the copyright holder. Section 107 of the Copyright Act outlines guidance for fair use using all of these 4 factors:

1.   The purpose and character of the proposed use
2.   The nature of the work being used
3.   The amount of the work being used
4.   The effect of the use upon the market for the work

Purpose and Character of the Proposed Use:
-      Purposes that favor fair use include education, scholarship, research, news reporting, criticism, commentary. Commercial or non-profit uses weigh against fair use.
Nature of the Original Work:
-      Published or not published (use of an unpublished is not generally considered fair), factual or creative (borrowing from a factual work is considered more fair). For example, it is easier to prove fair use of facts and statistics than it is to prove fair use of a song, artwork, photograph, movie still or other creative works.
Amount and Substantiality of the Portion Being Used:
-      Using something from the “heart” of the work (less fair), as well as a smaller part of the work (often misquoted as a certain percentage of a work) is considered for fair use. For example, for downloading a chapter from an e-book: the e-book home page usually indicates how many pages may be downloaded at one time for fair use.
Effect of the Use on the Potential Market for of Value of the Work:
-      Will the use substitute for the sale of the work? For example, if the 5th edition of a collection of short stories omits a story which was included in the 4th edition, making a copy of that short story from the 4th edition would affect the potential market for the work and not qualify for fair use.

The “fifth factor” of fair use to consider is transformative use, raised in a 1994 Supreme Court decision, Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music. A derivative work is considered as transformative if it uses the original work in completely new or transformative ways. Examples include a parody of the original work, thumbnails used for searching, some audio/visual remixes.

If a work has a Creative Commons (CC) license, it accompanies the copyright. This means that the copyright owner retains copyrights for the work but will allow use of the work according to the CC license. A CC-BY license, for example, means you may use the work without obtaining copyright holder permission as long as you attribute the source or author of the work.

Frequently Asked Questions:
From Faculty - Can I post electronic resources in Blackboard or my ACC website?
Instructional materials may be posted to a course management system or a course website under any of the following:

  • The faculty member is the owner of the copyright in the material,
  • The material is made available by linking to rather than copying,
  • The copyright owner of the material grants permission,
  • The material has been designated open access by the copyright owner,
  • The material is in the public domain, or
  • The use intended of the material falls within fair use under copyright law or under another copyright exception.

From Faculty and Students - How may I legally use film and images?

Face-to-face Classroom Instruction

Audiovisual materials may be used in classrooms as part of regular face-to-face classroom instruction without seeking the copyright owner's permission for performance or display. As such, the presence of a faculty member or teaching assistant is required at each class meeting/audiovisual showing in order to satisfy the "face to face" teaching exceptions contained in Section 110 of the Copyright Act.

Use by Groups, Student Life, or Clubs

Clubs and other groups who wish to use audiovisual materials in classrooms or at student events must first obtain public performance rights for those materials from the copyright owner, unless those rights were purchased along with the materials -- often the case with institutional purchases from educational vendors (e.g. Films on Demand or Kanopy - streaming films available through A-Z Databases, ACC Library Services). Some music and video apps specifically state that they cannot be used in the classroom for face to face instruction or for events. Check the terms and conditions or ask for assistance.
More information on Fair Use and Copyright at ACC -
More questions? Need assistance with fair use?
Contact Courtney Mlinar, ACC Copyright Officer - 

Monday, February 10, 2020

Chilton Library

Did you know the ACC Library has an online database to help you fix your car? Whether you're a student in the Automotive Technology program or just an amateur gearhead, Gale: Chilton Library has you covered!

Chilton has long been the name in automotive repair. Now, instead of individual manuals printed for every make and model of car, you can find all their repair information in one place online!

To access this (free!) resource, follow the steps below:

1. Start at the ACC Library homepage, Click on A-Z List of Databases.

2. In the alphabetical list at the top of the page, click on the letter C.

3. Click on Gale: Chilton Library.

Once inside, you can find all sorts of information, like maintenance service schedules:

Technical service bulletins or recalls:

And even ASE practice quizzes!

So, whether you're studying for an auto tech exam, working on a classic car restoration in your spare time, or if you just don't want to be cheated the next time you go to the mechanic, Chilton Library has something for everyone!

If you have questions or if you want more information, please contact the Automotive Technology subject librarian, Betsy Young, at