One Final Post

Now that the end of the semester is upon us, my time as an intern at the IUP Libraries is almost over. I graduate from IUP at the end of next semester and there are many things that I think about. Most of all, I ask myself if I will be ready to be in the “real world” or not. I still do not have all the answers, but my time as an intern at the IUP Libraries has helped me develop skills that I can use towards my future career and endeavors. It has given me opportunities to work in a more professional setting than I have previously experienced, I learned how to write a blog and improved my writing and researching skills.

For my internship, I wrote a series of entries for the Library blog (Banned Book Week, IUP: A History, Pennsylvania and the Coal Mines, and Abraham Lincoln: A Wonderful Collection), I was allowed to choose the topic of each blog post, research the topic, and then compose each blog post and submit them for review prior to publication. I then create a Facebook post and tweet to announce the new post. For each blog post, I picked the topic from what is available in the IUP Libraries’ Special Collections. I also went to the Banned Book Week event and wrote a blog post on it before the event, to advertise the event and let people know a little more back story on the event and why it’s important to read banned books.

My time as an intern was very eye-opening. I learned how to write in a different style that I had no background with, and it solidified the fact that I wanted to work in a University setting. I am very excited to enter the next phase of my life, but I will always remember my time as an intern at the IUP Libraries.

Abraham Lincoln: A Wonderful Collection


Most people know who Abraham Lincoln was and know of the great things he accomplished during his lifetime. Of course, if you were not raised in the United States, you probably might only know that he was a President of the United States and wore a tall hat. For those who were raised here, or did more research on him, you know that he is one of our most famous Presidents, governing the country during the civil war and championing the ending of slavery in the United States.


Abraham Lincoln is one of the most interesting of the past Presidents of the United States as well as one of the most iconic. President Lincoln was a politician and lawyer before his time as the 16th President of the United States. He served as President from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. President Lincoln was the first United States President to be assassinated, and it was a very hard and terrible experience for our country. The country was still divided from the Civil War – a division that was only emphasized when a Confederate supporter, John Wilkes Booth, shot President Lincoln during a performance of “Our American Cousin” at Ford’s Theater. Though President Lincoln lived for a short while afterwards, Booth’s attack ultimately resulted in his death.


There are many people who love to collect memorabilia of past Presidents, especially President Lincoln. At Stapleton Library, thanks to the donations of Dr. Earl J. and Ann S. Hunt from Johnstown, PA, we have the Abraham Lincoln Collection at the IUP Special Collections and University Archives, Manuscript Group 136. Some of the items we have in our collection is: brochures, pamphlets, papers, coins, plates, busts of Abraham Lincoln, A Civil War presidential pardon (handwritten), and many more items!


If you want more information or would like to explore our special collections, come over to the library and check it out!

Pennsylvania and the Coal Mines

If you are from Pennsylvania, you probably have family members who were or are coal miners and depending on the area, may have once relied on the mines. If you aren’t from Pennsylvania, you’ve probably figured out that this state, at one point in time, had a lot of coal mines and produced a fair amount of coal.


Some mining companies even made small towns for their workers to live in. Ernest, which is only four miles out of Indiana, was a town like this which was founded in 1904. The workers and their families lived there and by 1916, Ernest was a thriving mining community with a school, two churches, a barbershop, and a large company store. Now, no one who lives in Ernest remembers what it was like before the mines were around.



Mining was once one of the most dangerous jobs that a man or child could have. Yes, children used to work in the mines before child labor laws. Small spaces that grown men couldn’t fit into but needed worked in, they would send children. These children were normally children of other miners who were too poor to afford not to send their children in. Many lives were lost in the mines because there were few, if any, laws in place to keep the miners safe.


Now there are many, many different laws. Each and every law that is connected to the coal mines has a reason behind it. Whether someone died, got injured, or something happened that endangered the workers, there is a law that was put into place to prevent this from happening. My great-grandfather Termin lost his arm in the coal mines after a spark ignited some dynamite by his arm. During the time that my grandfather worked in the mines (1888-1955, age 8-75) there were not many laws that kept him safe, not for the majority of when he worked anyway.



My family in previous generations were very active members in the coal mining industry. Both of my grandfather’s and my father all worked in the mines, though my father was only a miner for six short months before it closed for good. Now many other people are no longer able to work in the mines, as most of the mines in Pennsylvania are shutting down. The mines have a fascinating history, if you want to learn more come to the library and visit the archives section! We have a trove of information on the coal industry in Indiana county.

Banned Books Week

One thing many people have learned through their years of schooling is that at one point books have been banned. Whether it was for religious reasons, political movements, or overall fear, books were banned. Now for thirty-four years on the last week of September, the United States of America celebrates Banned Books Week.

But what really is Banned Book Week? Why should we celebrate this? One thing that the United States is known for is its freedom. Its freedom to let individuals speaks yet books are still being banned or censored. This week is meant to highlight that people should be allowed to read and explore the many books that wonderful authors have written. But instead, elementary and middle schools continue to take books off of their shelves and refuse to teach certain books because they contain “offensive” material. Parents sometimes are the cause of books being banned as they do not want their child being taught something that goes against what they would teach their child. Often, parents do not want their children reading something that has racism or sex in it without direct punishment as they feel that it teaches their children that they can do these things. Examples of such books are: The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie.


Image result for Harry Potter books

The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling has been challenged and banned in some schools due to its focus on witchcraft, dark storyline, and can set bad examples for children. This particular series of books has been a favorite of mine since I was four years old. My experience with these books is nothing short of amazing. It taught me that being a good friend and surrounding myself by good friends is what will help me in life, rather than being surrounded by the rich and “powerful” families. I learned that I needed friends who would stick with me through everything, no matter what was going on in my life, like Hermione and Ron do for Harry and vice versa. It also taught me that love is one of the most important things in life and that it can save you, whether figuratively or literally in a sense. I never once thought about rebelling against an evil teacher, unless I was completely correct in doing so. Nor did I ever think that it was okay to be racist like the Malfoy family. Overall, if you want to read about a boy wizard, do it. If you do not want to read it, obviously you have that choice.


Image result for adventures of huckleberry finn

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is a classic, yet schools and parents ban this book because it’s seen as racist and can make people uncomfortable. I can understand not wanting to teach children that it is okay to be racist because that is not okay. What I do not understand is why it is not allowed to be taught to teenagers who should be able to handle knowing that racism should not be tolerated.


Image result for the absolutely true diary of a part-time indian

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie is a book that is banned because it mentions masturbation, profanity, racism and deals with very hard subject matters such as alcoholism and death. I just read this book in my English 418 class. Although it does deal with dark matters, there is nothing wrong with allowing a ninth grade student to read this book. I loved this book because even though it touched on dark matters, it made it very clear that alcoholism was never okay and there would always be negative consequences to go along with it. Alexie also made it very clear that Junior, the protagonist of the story, was never better than anyone else.

Those three books are only a very small examples of banned books. If you would like more information on which books are banned or challenged, you could go to

If you would like to participate in Banned Books Week, Monday 9/26/2016 the six o’clock series in the HUB Ohio room is focusing on “What’s Pop Culture and Why Do Diverse Pop Culture Voices Get Challenged?” hosted by the Pop Culture Methodologies group. On Wednesday 9/28/2016 from 1-2PM in the HSS Atrium there will be a read-out. Come and listen to excerpts from banned books or if you’d like to read something yourself you can sign up to do so! There will be refreshments, prizes and vouchers at this event. Hope to see everyone there!

IUP Libraries 2016 National Library Week Poster Contest

National Library Week 2016 Libraries Transform @ IUP Libraries PowerPoint/Poster Contest

Students are spending more time than ever in the library: reading books, watching videos, doing research and using computers, studying with friends, working on projects—the transformations are endless! This National Library Week, we want to know how IUP Libraries place, service or resource transforms you. We’re inviting you to create a PowerPoint poster/slide telling other students about the opportunities available at IUP Libraries and get a chance to win our Libraries Transform PowerPoint/Poster contest.


  • First place: $100 Co-op Store gift card
  • Second place: $50 Co-op Store gift card
  • Third and fourth place: $25 Co-op Store gift card

To Enter

PowerPoint Poster Submission Deadline

DEADLINE EXTENDED for entries TO MONDAY, APRIL 25, 2016, at 4:00PM

Selection of the Winners

The winning entries will be chosen by people’s popular choice vote via IUP Libraries Twitter and Facebook social media pages. VOTING CLOSES MAY 2, 2016 AT 4PM! Winners will be announced on MAY 3, 2016 DURING FINALS WEEK!

Contest Rules

Create a PowerPoint slide/poster that tells other students about the unlimited possibilities at the IUP Libraries. It must:

  • Include photos and other images taken in one of the IUP Libraries
  • Be produced entirely by IUP students
  • Demonstrate positive images of IUP Libraries resources services and/or places.
  • Be original
  • Not violate of copyright law or IUP Student Code of Conduct
  • Complete online permissions form (emailed upon submission)

Entries that do not adhere to contest rules will be disqualified.

Be sure to get permission if taking picture of people for your poster, and please do not disturb other library users while you are making your PowerPoint poster.