News from the Research Desk

News from the Research Desk Blog

Tales Told by Found Photographs

The stories of our families are told through  many forms of documents.  Family photographs, however, are unique because they have visually captured moments in time that now only live as memories.  A discarded photograph album lead a writer in New York to the story of black families that lived in the Crown Heights neighborhood of New York City during the middle of the 20th Century.  This writer, Anne Correal, describes the journey she undertook to discover whose photographs they were and how the album was left forsaken on the street.  Her article “Love and Black Lives, in Pictures Found on a Brooklyn Street” appeared in the New York Times in January 2017.  It traces the paths that many African American families took from the Deep South to the North in an event known as the Great Migration. The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson is a book in the Library’s collection which also illuminates this event in American history.  There are now also other books and videos on display in the Library which document African American history.  If you are interested in learning more about your own family’s history and managing your own family photographic collections, come talk to our Research Services staff who will help you get started.

 

The History of Santa Claus

The holiday season is full of traditional events and practices, many of which revolve around the figure of Santa Claus.  But who is this figure?  What is his history?  That story goes back to 280 CE in Myra, an area now in modern Turkey, where Saint Nicholas lived and worked as a bishop. After his death on December 6 in an unknown year, many stories developed about his kindness and generosity, especially to children.  These legends were adopted over the years by people in many areas of Europe where Saint Nicholas is still considered to be the source of gifts.  It is from him that Santa Claus as he is known today emerges with some help from Nordic mythology and the Protestant Reformation among other influences.  An article from National Geographic online gives a detailed description of this transition.  Additional information can be found at the Santa Claus entry on History.com and the website of the St. Nicholas Center.  This far-reaching tale reveals how many cultures have added to the legend of Santa Claus, making him one figure that belongs to everyone.

SCORE Mentoring at MPPL

Do you own a local business or are thinking of starting one? Well, if you don’t already know about SCORE—you should! The SCORE Association, a resource partner of the Small Business Administration (SBA), is a national not-for-profit organization with 320+ chapters and 11,000+ volunteer mentors throughout the United States. SCORE volunteer mentors are successful current and former executives and business owners representing many skill areas and industries. They can help you with questions like: How do I start a business? Where can I obtain funding for my business? How can I grow my existing business? How can I manage my cash flow? How can I use social media in my marketing efforts?

SCORE mentors work with you one on one to help you with your business challenges,  advising clients about options for loans and other types of business financing. SCORE and the SBA do not provide financing directly, but often they can help point you in the right direction in where to look.

Free mentoring is now available by appointment  at Mount Prospect Public Library the first and third Wednesdays of every month. You can find more information and register for a mentoring session here at MPPL at https://chicago.score.org/content/find-mentor-224. Just search using the MP zip code 60056. Feel free to contact Business Reference Librarian Joe Collier with any questions!

Local Charities

Looking to donate to a deserving cause this holiday season?

Here are some local options to consider this season:

Consumer Reports Holiday Gift Guide Is Here!

Access ConsumerReports.org free through our website with your Library card and PIN because they have just released their 2016 gift guide. Find the best gadgets for the chef in your life. Find out why you should buy an organic turkey this festive season. Discover how to be a winner on Black Friday. There are many articles, some with intriguing titles such as “Nothing Says You Care Like a Home Blood Pressure Monitor” and “Why Tires Go Flat in Winter.” Lots of interesting stuff!