News & Notes: January 2022 – BCULibrary

News & Notes: January 2022 – BCULibrary

The Official Newsletter of Carl S. Swisher Library

A little humor to kick off 2022.

I do not know about you, but I find it necessary to plan and create positivity on a daily basis. I also find that humor is key. I subscribe to newsletters, quotes of the day, devotional plans and I have a cousin who texts daily scriptures. I do not always get a chance to do so, but reading a comic a day or visiting a museum or zoo, virtually, also helps.

A recent newsletter from Shola, reminded me of the importance of sharing commitments for the new year. Here is his with commentary:

#1: Stop Sleeping With My Phone Next to My Bed: … I’m committing to banish my phone from my bedside table so that I can intentionally start and end my days more positively.

#2: Consistently Enforcing My Boundaries: …This year, I’m committing to being more comfortable with saying “no”, especially when saying “yes” would negatively affect my time with my family, my mental/emotional health, and my overall self-respect. Equally as important, since I work from home, I’m also committing to enforcing my boundaries by stopping my work at a decent hour instead of working into obscene hours of the night. Lastly, I have some people in my life who only seem to reach out to me when they need something. I plan on setting much firmer boundaries with those people as well. Simply put, boundaries are a form of self-love, and I plan on remembering that.

#3: Prioritize Mental Health and Rest: … I have made a renewed commitment to prioritize my mental health and rest. One way that I’m doing so is by focusing on the things that I have the power to control (namely, going back to therapy, getting eight hours of sleep a night, unplugging from the news and/or social media, and engaging with people/activities that bring me joy). The difference this year, is that I’m prioritizing these things, instead of doing them when/if I have any free time.

#4: Intentionally Win The Day With Small (But Good) Habits: There are things that I know that I should do, but I am not consistent about doing them. For example (and this is not an exhaustive list), drinking enough water, flossing my teeth every day, calling my mom frequently, and meditating regularly. There’s really no excuse not to do these things, so I’m committing to make these actions become habits in 2022.

#5: Spread More Kindness: …The only way to counteract the incivility that is trending in our society is by actively and consistently demonstrating kindness to everyone, but especially to the people who need it the most.

#6: Be More Present: I spent WAY too much time in 2021 staring at screens (namely, my MacBook and iPhone), and less time focusing on meaningful and deep human relationships….

Did any these resonate with you? What are you willing to commit to this year?

January Days of Note

January 11   Poetry at Work Day

January 13  Make Your Dream Come True Day

January 16 World Religion Day

January 17  Martin Luther King, Jr. Day  

Observed each year on the third Monday in January, MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities. 

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

January 20  A Walk Outdoors Day

January 20   National Handwriting Day         

January 24-28 Data Privacy Week from January 24 – January 28

Even the previously technology-challenged do not want to return to the traditional, in-person lecture exclusively. Both students and faculty prefer the flexibility of hybrid and blended learning—the opportunity for both synchronous and asynchronous learning. The fear of technology and change is fading as staff has been forced to use technology to continue teaching, learning, and socializing over the last two years.

There is a lot of opportunity for the digital transformation of higher education. According to Butschi, there at least three “needs” driving the next phase of change in colleges and universities:

Removing data silos: Data sitting in silos delivers a sliver of its true potential to institutions. By removing data silos, colleges and universities can begin to capitalize on new, value-added opportunities to engage students.Rethinking student success: Universities continue to hone in on how they engage their students beyond the classroom. We’ll see new AI-powered assistants and tutors, as well as personalized course selection recommendations and improved accessibility to other services.An evolving student population: The “typical college student” doesn’t exist, therefore there is no approach that fits all. Universities will begin to develop flexible and scalable approaches to how they engage an increasingly diverse student body.Continue reading article.

5 Ways to Clean Up Your Computer Quickly

Is your laptop or PC a bit sluggish? Or maybe your hard drive is bursting and you’re worried about how much storage space you have left?
Just like your closet needs a seasonal cleanup to get rid of old items that you never wear to make room for the newest styles, so does your computer. Stop wasting time while your pc churns. Go through this list to get rid of irrelevant files and programs to speed up your computer.

Disk Cleanup

This built-in, maintenance utility software scans your computer’s hard drive for items that you really don’t need… like temp files, thumbnails and anything in the recycle bin. Follow the quick steps to run the Disk Cleanup in this Tech-Talk article,
Then, on a regular basis, you should empty your Recycle Bin and Downloads folders.
TIP: Set a weekly “to do” in your calendar for this task to stay on top of it.

2. Find Large Files and Delete Them

Everyone has large files that take up space. Images, PowerPoints and video can clog your computer easily. If the files are no longer relevant, they can be deleted quickly or moved to an external hard drive or cloud storage.
Here’s a way to gather your biggest files together so you can decide which to eliminate.

view large filesIn Windows 10, first, open File Explorer by going to the shortcut folder icon in your tray or clicking the Windows + E key.Click on the View tab and make sure that in the Show/Hide section, both the File name extensions and Hidden items boxes are checked – so that you can identify the file types and find hidden items.In the left column, click the folder that you want to search. If you select My Computer or This PC, it will scan the whole computer. Or you can select a specific folder, like Documents (or My Documents).In the Search box in the upper right, 1) Type the word Gigantic and press Enter. 2) Go to the View tab, 3) Select Details and then 4) Click the Size option in the toolbar to sort the files with the largest at the top.Now you can view the files and decide if you want to leave them there, move, or delete them

3. Remove Apps and Software that You Don’t Use

There are programs that came with your computer that you may not want, as well as apps that you no longer use. It’s easy to get rid of them. NOTE: If you’re not sure of the purpose of a program, it’s best to leave it as it may have an important computer function.

Click the Windows Start button in the lower left-corner of the screen and choose the Settings icon, then Apps from the menu.Scroll through the list of Apps and features to find programs you no longer need. Select the program and click the Uninstall button.

4. Disable Background Apps and Startup Programs 

There are apps that run in the background and programs that open automatically when you boot up your computer. Although these may add convenience, they slow you down, reduce your Internet bandwidth and suck the battery power if you are not plugged in.
You can control the ones you want quick access to … and keep just those running.
To change what apps and programs are enabled, it’s as simple as turning them OFF … or disabling them. See how in this Tech-Talk article.

5. Make Sure Your Computer is Updated with the Current Version of Windows and Device Drivers

To see if you are up-to-date, click the Windows Start button in the lower left-corner of the screen and choose the Settings icon, then Update & Security from the menu.

If the status shows “You’re up to date” — there’s nothing you need to do.If it shows “Updates are available,” select the Install button and walk through the steps.

See more about how to control Windows updates in this article,

From the Library Journal (1/4/22)


In this time of continuing uncertainty, it has become increasingly important to establish and maintain a sense of peace for ourselves and those closest to us. You can create your own grounding, even while riding waves of change, through practicing acceptance and being fully present in the moment. One of the best ways to incorporate these principles is through the daily practice of meditation. Even five minutes a day can help reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress, insomnia, pain, high blood pressure, age-related memory loss, and addiction. You can also gain better emotional health, self-awareness, improved focus, and kindness toward others. A daily meditation practice has the power to make your world a gentler and more compassionate place—all from the safety of your own mind. Healthline has more medically-reviewed information on this topic.


Meditation is accessible to everyone. It doesn’t require special equipment; you can do it wherever you are most comfortable—whether that is on a couch, in a chair, or on the floor. It also doesn’t require a lot of time or an empty mind. Meditation is about becoming aware of your thoughts; when your mind wanders, refocusing on your breathing and visualizations in a nonjudgmental way. Insider provides additional tips on meditating here.


When starting a new practice, establish a time and place to meditate. Try pairing it with another daily activity, such as a morning walk or between waking and having breakfast, or make it part of a bedtime routine. This will help you integrate it more easily into your day. Consider a pleasant place, away from electronic distractions, and closer to nature, such as near a window or indoor plants. Need more tips? Mindful offers a step-by-step guide to the basics of meditation.


One of the easiest ways to arrive in a calmer and more relaxed place is to be conscious of your breathing. Taking a few deep breaths before beginning can create a relaxation response from your body and help you ease into the meditation. Learn more about the importance of breathing on Everyday Health.


It is not always easy to make the time for this practice—especially if it hasn’t solved all your problems in a few tries, but it is the practice itself that produces great results. Be kind to yourself and others and show up even when you don’t want to. Sticking to a meditation schedule pays off: Research published on JAMA Network shows that those who meditate may begin to experience its psychological benefits in as few as eight weeks.


If you’re looking for easy-to-access helpful guidance on meditating, the Headspace app is a great resource for beginners, with definitions of basic concepts, lessons, and a variety of “sleep stories.” If you are more interested in being more self-guided with access to many free resources, Insight Timer might be more for you. When you or your children need help sleeping, Calm has a great library of child and adult friendly sleep stories. Check out Verywellmind’s detailed app reviews.

As an actor and filmmaker, Sir Sidney Poitier strove to bring layered Black individuals to the screen at a time when that was rare.

By Noel MurrayJan. 7, 2022, 12:19 p.m. ET (New York Times)

Sidney Poitier has died at age 94. A perennial Oscar nominee in the 1960s, Poitier became a movie star at a time when Hollywood tended to relegate Black actors to roles as servants, appearing for just a scene or two, often as comic relief. But he was rarely a supporting player, even at the start of his career. He took leads, specializing in a specific type: the educated, well-mannered, middle-class professional who had assimilated into the parts of white society willing to accept him.

Throughout his first two decades in show business, Poitier’s films often promoted powerful messages about the ignorance of bigotry. His charisma and grace made him popular with white and Black audiences alike, and played no small part in easing some of the racial tensions in America — just by giving controversial issues an amiable advocate.

These 11 Poitier movies span the ’50s to the ’90s, when he semiretired. They offer a good overview of not just the scope of his career, but of how the country changed during his 50-plus years in show business.


After a relatively short stint as a New York stage actor, Poitier made an auspicious big-screen debut in 1950 with the writer-director Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s unusual hybrid of social drama and film noir. As a doctor struggling against the ingrained racism of his patients — including a career criminal played by Richard Widmark — Poitier allowed audiences to see what even accomplished Black Americans were facing every day, and how that kind of abuse could rattle a person’s psyche.

Stream it on The Criterion Channel; rent or buy it on Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Google Play, Vudu or YouTube.


In Poitier’s best 1950s film, he plays a longshoreman who becomes fast friends with a co-worker (played by John Cassavetes) who’s secretly AWOL from the military. Though one’s an upstanding citizen and the other’s a deserter, they are treated differently by their cruel boss (Jack Warden), who doesn’t like seeing any of his people getting chummy — especially not when one’s white and one’s Black. Less preachy than many of Poitier’s pictures from this era, “Edge of the City” has a bracing naturalism, born of its roots in the adventurous, progressive New York theater and television scenes.

Rent or buy it on Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Google Play, Vudu or YouTube.


In a sublime bit of cultural kismet, the playwright Lorraine Hansberry’s masterpiece arrived when Poitier was the right age to tackle one of theater’s great characters: the pragmatic, prickly Walter Younger. Unlike the softer-edged, friendlier men Poitier had been portraying up to then, Walter doesn’t have much faith in the great dream of integration. He argues with his more idealistic family members about whether they should use a financial windfall to move into a white neighborhood, and his cynicism brings to light arguments that were being had by Black families everywhere in the ’50s and ’60s — except on the big screen.

Rent or buy it on Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Google Play, Vudu or YouTube.

Poitier opposite Ruby Dee, a frequent co-star, in “A Raisin in the Sun.”Poitier opposite Ruby Dee, a frequent co-star, in “A Raisin in the Sun.”Credit…Columbia Pictures/Alamy


Poitier won a best actor Oscar for “Lilies of the Field” (1963), which would become the first of a short string of films (including “To Sir, With Love” from 1967 and “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”) in which he played handy, disarming individuals, helping white people improve their attitudes. Most of these movies are more interesting now for how they reveal the subtle racism of well-meaning left-leaning filmmakers, but “A Patch of Blue” is a refreshing exception, and the first movie to watch from this batch. As a kindly soul who helps a poor, abused blind teenager stand up for herself, Poitier is saintly but grounded. And the writer-director Guy Green’s adaptation of an Elizabeth Kata novel is unusually wise about how sometimes class matters as much as race in America.

Rent or buy it on Amazon Prime, Google Play, Vudu or YouTube.


In between his social-issue films, Poitier made plenty of genre pictures where race was a key element of the plot (as in the two-fisted 1958 adventure “The Defiant Ones,” and the 1966 western “Duel at Diablo”). The most popular of these is the best picture-winning “In the Heat of the Night,” in which the actor plays a brilliant Philadelphia homicide detective, Virgil Tibbs, who is drafted to help a small-town Mississippi police department crack a difficult case. Refusing to defer to his virulently prejudiced hosts, Tibbs carries himself as a truly free man, in ways that audiences back in 1967 found thrilling. He’d go on to play the character twice more: in “They Call Me Mister Tibbs!” (1970) and “The Organization” (1971).

Rent or buy it on Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Google Play, Vudu or YouTube.


The critical reputation of this Oscar-winning blockbuster hit has diminished in recent years. It’s been held up as an example of Hollywood’s heavy-handed social messaging — rather than as a groundbreaking interrogation of some purportedly open-minded white and Black families’ conflicted feelings about interracial marriage. Nevertheless, Poitier gave one of his most memorable performances in the film, using his charisma and wit to peck away at the underlying prejudices of the older generation, represented here primarily by characters played by the venerable movie stars Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. The points that the director-producer Stanley Kramer and the screenwriter William Rose are making may be blunt, but Poitier delivers them in electrifying fashion.

Rent or buy it on Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Google Play, Vudu or YouTube.


After acting in films almost nonstop throughout the ’50s and ’60s, Poitier slowed his output from the mid-70s onward, in part because he began working more behind the camera. He made his directorial debut in 1972 with this offbeat western, which arrived toward the start of the blaxploitation era, when the movie industry began to realize the commercial potential of films about self-actualized Black protagonists. Joined by Harry Belafonte and Ruby Dee, a frequent co-star, Poitier cast himself in “Buck and the Preacher” as a skilled scout having lightly comic adventures on the frontier. While attuned to 19th-century racial strife, this film is more an amiable entertainment than a hard-hitting commentary. As such, it has held up better than some of the star’s more incendiary projects.

Rent or buy it on Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Google Play, Vudu or YouTube.

Poitier as a skilled scout in “Buck and the Preacher,” which he also directed. Credit…Columbia Pictures


Many of the Black-themed films that filled American theaters in the ’70s were raunchy and R-rated, but Poitier had hits in that era with three PG caper comedies, which he directed and starred in alongside Bill Cosby and a host of A-list African American entertainers. The first in this loose trilogy was “Uptown Saturday Night,” with Poitier and Cosby playing buddies who go on an all-night odyssey through their neighborhood — encountering colorful characters played by the likes of Belafonte, Flip Wilson and Richard Pryor — while searching for a stolen lottery ticket.

Rent or buy it on Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Google Play, Vudu or YouTube.


One of Poitier’s first feature films was a 1951 adaptation of Alan Paton’s best seller, “Cry, the Beloved Country,” an unusually forward-thinking exposé of the horrors of South African apartheid. Poitier returned to that theme 24 years later with “The Wilby Conspiracy,” a chase thriller in which he plays a revolutionary on the run from the authorities with a sympathetic white buddy (played by Michael Caine). Though essentially an action picture, the movie does a fine job of making injustice come alive. Poitier and Caine would later team up again for the 1997 TV movie “Mandela and de Klerk,” dramatizing apartheid’s last days.

Stream it on Tubi; rent or buy it on Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Google Play or YouTube.


Poitier made some baffling professional choices during the ’80s and ’90s, when he rarely acted, and directed more than his share of duds. But it’s hard to fault him for joining Robert Redford, Dan Aykroyd, David Strathairn and River Phoenix for the ensemble adventure-comedy “Sneakers.” As a former C.I.A. agent aiding a team of well-meaning super-hackers, Poitier makes good use of his iconic screen presence, representing one of the last sparks of ’60s idealism in an increasingly synthetic age.

Rent or buy it on Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Google Play, Vudu or YouTube.


One of Poitier’s last screen performances was in this 1999 TV movie, in which he plays an intensely private, self-sufficient, elderly Georgian whose mental competency is questioned when he refuses to sell his land. Noah Dearborn is the kind of character Poitier played throughout his career — skilled, stubborn and deeply decent — but it says something about how the culture changed during his lifetime that his race is no longer the defining element in his story. That’s a direct consequence of how Poitier spent his career defying stereotypes and fighting to bring layered Black individuals to the screen.

Stream it on IMDbtv; rent or buy it on Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Google Play, Vudu or YouTube.

Click each box below to explore a variety of information ranging from Black inventors, podcasts, new music/movies, and reader’s advisory to exploring research guides, databases, and all things Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune.

20 Best Online Escape Rooms14 Great Readers’ Advisory Tools to Find Your Next BookDr. Patricia BathAthletic TrainingThe Stoop: Stories From Across the Black DiasporaNCJRS/ National Criminal Justice Reference ServiceJANUARY 2022 NEW MUSIC RELEASESMary McLeod Bethune Council House

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Author: Jason Lewis