Archive Page 3

Celebrate Black History through film

By Jacob Kinsman

Did you know that you can educate yourself about black history by watching a film? To celebrate black history month Kanopy is highlighting a selection of independent films.

These featured films tell the stories of African-American musicians and how their talents have affected the music industry. The following films are just a glimpse of the collection:

Thug Immortal: Tupac Shakur


An intimate look at Tupac Shakur’s life, revealing a Tupac far different from the one most of America knows.

The Girls in the Band


An untold story of female Jazz musicians as they faced racism and sexism from the late 1930s to now.

Josephine Baker: Black Diva in a White Man’s World


A revealing documentary about Josephine Baker, a superstar with grace and humility.

T’Ain’t Nobody’s Bizness


This films reveals hidden sexual realities for black women working in the blues recording industry during the 1920s.

For Kanopy’s entire collection celebrating Black History Month please click here.


It’s time for the 2017 READ posters!

By Jacob Kinsman

Attention all Kutztown students, staff, and faculty: We encourage you to come to the Rohrbach Library and participate in our annual tradition – The READ posters!

Our READ posters are featured throughout the library. We are open to working with individuals, groups and clubs.

From February 20 to March 10 [extended to March 31], stop by at the following times and locations:

Monday: RL 24, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Tuesday: RL 24, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Wednesday: RL 24, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Thursday: RL 24, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Friday: RL 24, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

If these times do not work or if you need us to come to you for a group photo of clubs, departments, or teams, please email Jacob Kinsman at to schedule an appointment.

Take a look at our past READ posters on our Rohrbach Library Facebook account for inspiration!

Note: Due to limited staff, children will only be included with a KU student or personnel member this year.

Women’s March – KU Conversations 10

By: Courtney Aaron

Good Morning and welcome to the 10th post of KU Conversations! Our topic for today is the Women’s March on Washington that took place on January 21, 2017. A lot of you readers have probably heard a lot about this event and may be wondering why it happened and what the main purpose of the Women’s March was. A large group of people gathered together in Washington for a rally (from 10am to 1:15pm) and to march to advocate and protest for multiple rights and beliefs. The Women’s March website lists the many reasons why people wanted to march listed as unity principles. These principles included  reproductive and women’s rights but also LGBTQIA rights, environmental justice, immigrant rights, and a few others. The march was prompted by concern over losing rights to these principles under the newest presidential administration, hence the march was held the day after the swearing in of President Trump on January 20, 2017. There were a lot of people involved with working on the Women’s March on Washington including setting the event up, organizing, coordination, and many others jobs.


Gloria Steinem speaking at the Women’s March on Washington (photo provided by Voice of America)

The event had four national co-chairs including Tamika Mallory, Carmen Perez, Linda Sarsour, and Bob Bland. There are also 5 honorary co-chairs including Angela Davis, Dolores Huerta, Gloria Steinem, Harry Belafonte, and Ladonna Harris. Here is a video of two of the co-chairwomen and one of the co-organizers being interviewed by Associated Press.

Some of the honorary co-chairs and national co-chairs served as speakers during the rally event before the Women’s March on Washington. We have multiple videos of a few speakers from the event and a video by ABC News covering a majority the rally before the march started. Here is a video recorded by the New York Times covering the March around the U.S. and across the world. There are also a couple excerpts from speeches. It has feminist Gloria Steinem, co-chairwoman Linda Sarsour, and transgender rights activist Janet Mock. We have videos of multiple celebrities’ speeches provided by Reflect including Alicia Keys, Scarlett Johanssen, Madonna, and Ashley Judd. We also included biographies for the speakers provided by Biography In Context. Actress Ashley Judd‘s speech was reciting a poem by 19 year old Nina Donovan called “I Am A Nasty Woman”. The poem was created in response to one of Donald Trump’s comments towards election competitor Hilary Clinton referring to her as a nasty woman. Actress Scarlett Johanssen gave a speech dedicated to basic healthcare for women through Planned Parenthood. She surprised the audience with personal stories about how Planned Parenthood helped her family and friends in the past. She also discusses how important it is to remain involved and vigilant in the affairs of the nation. Singer and songwriter Alicia Keys delivered a brief speech quoting Maya Aneglou‘s Poem “Still I Rise” and sang her hit song “Girl on Fire”. Out of all the speeches Madonna‘s raised the most controversy with her speech. It centered on the march being the start of a revolution of people who will fight for their freedom, identity, and rights to equality. Towards the end of the speech she admitted to thinking about blowing up the white house and realizing it wouldn’t change anything. However, this speech caused a lot of debate over whether her speech was amazing or wrong. Madonna herself believes that those who are worried or angry about her speech are taking it out of context and need to focus on the speech as a whole instead of just that one part.


Protestors at Women’s March in London (Photo provided by Flickr user felixbadanimal)

As you can see in this NPR article the Women’s March didn’t just happen in the U.S. but was a worldwide phenomenon. These marches in other countries and states were called the sister marches. There was also a trending hash tag on twitter called #whyimarch where people across the world shared stories and reasons why they marched. People are also talking about their respected historical figures and giving advice on ways to get involved politically. Protestors around the world weren’t the only ones to pitch in for this march. There were many small businesses that also helped with the process. This article from LexisNexis talks about how small businesses like Knitty City and design studio ThoughtMatter rose to the occasion to provide their services for the march in their own ways.

The Women’s March happened to defending multiple rights that feminist generally stand for. However there is one issue that is a divide in feminists. Reproductive rights were one of the unity principles of the Women’s march but not all feminists believe in pro-choice ideals. In these articles from NPR and The Atlantic there is a discussion about pro-life feminists and the awkward position they were put in because of this divide. Many of the pro-life feminists attended the March for Life event roughly a week after the Women’s March on Washington. There are pro-life feminists that believe in a lot of the unity principles like the New Wave Feminists and aren’t following the uniform alignment with the Republican Party. What do you think of the situation? Please post your thoughts and opinions in the comments section here or on the libraries Facebook page!

Zine sweepstakes coming to Rohrbach Library

By: Jacob Kinsman

The Kutztown University Zine Library  will be hosting a zine sweepstakes for all KU students. First place winner will receive a $500 cash prize.

Zines are independently published mini-magazines, often about a single topic. Typically zines convey their creators’ passions and expertise using text and/or graphics, original and/or appropriated content, clean simple layouts and/or elaborate jumbled collage.

Students are required to work in teams with at least one other current KU student. However, teams must include at least two students in different majors. Teams can exceed two persons and may include Alumni.

Zines will be judged by a panel that includes one representative of each of KU’s four Colleges, one Rohrbach librarian, and two at-large panelists, unaffiliated with KU, who have experience working on zines.

On Sunday February 12, a meeting will be held in the STEAMworks room (RL 18) in the Rohrbach Library to discuss the upcoming sweepstakes and workshop zines. The meeting is set to take place at 7:30 p.m. After February 12, meetings will be held every other Sunday until the submission deadline on April 16.

After the sweepstakes all submissions will be on display at the Kutztown University Zine Library across from the Book & Brew cafe in Rohrbach Library.

For information about the sweepstakes please click here.

If you have any additional questions please contact Jesse Warner at or Bruce Jensen at

Rohrbach Library acquires Philadelphia Inquirer and Pittsburg Post-Gazette Historical Newspaper Digital Archives

Students of Kutztown University now have access to one of researchers’ most sought-after primary source materials. ProQuest Historical Newspaper empowers researchers to digitally travel back in time to better understand the past.

Kutztowns’ acquisition includes access to The Philadelphia Inquirer and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette digital archives. As one of the oldest operating daily newspapers in the United States, The Philadelphia Inquirer has covered some of the most significant events in American History. Nearly as old as the country itself, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has been dedicated to serving its readership since its beginnings.

As of December 2016, the following content was loaded:

  • Philadelphia Inquirer: 1860-2001. Content will continue to load through August 2017.  The complete run will include 1829-2009.
  • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: 1786-1985. When digitization is complete, the complete run will include 1786-2008.

For additional information about ProQuest click here.

Having trouble accessing our database? Check out our Rohrbach Library Blog for assistance.


KU Conversations 9- Syrian Refugee Crisis

By: Courtney Aaron

Good morning and welcome to KU Conversations 9. Today we will be delving into the Syrian refugee crisis. As a result of the Syrian Civil War, many citizens from Syria have fled their country by any means possible, creating what you’ve probably heard as the refugee crisis. You may have also noticed that this issue has also consistently been mentioned in the media in addition to the Syrian Civil War and multiple political related topics (like the elections). We’ve found a short video from explaining whether or not the major media accusations about the handling Syrian refugees and the Syrian refugees themselves were in fact true or false. For example, the real number of refugees the Obama administration plans to take in is not nearly as much as a lot of people are assuming.


Syrian refugee camp on the Turkish border for displaced people of the Syrian Civil War. Photo by: Henry Ridgwell from Voice of America News

The refugee crisis is an increasingly complicated and difficult issue. It’s not just about escaping a country and finding somewhere else to live. There are so many important aspects involved to think about including:  refugees initial escape from the country, finding a willing country to escape to, gaining access to that country (legally or illegally), locating a refugee camp or safe place to stay in, getting the necessary resources needed to survive, and many other important ideas to consider. These processes also require the involvement of many people and groups including the refugees themselves, the governments and citizens of the countries they are fleeing to, and the humanitarian organizations (and/or organizations and group who do similar work) that are assisting refugees. Each level of this process has its own difficulties and struggles. For starters escaping Syria and finding somewhere else to go is a harrowing experience that is both deadly and heartbreaking all at once, no matter how far or short of a distance the refugees need to travel. Some refugee camps are just outside the border of Syria, like the camp Za’atari. We have a photo essay from Academic Search Complete detailing the life within Za’atari and how refugees live within the camp. We also have another photo essay from Time detailing a longer journey of Syrian refugees (as well as Afghani refugees and other migrants) into Europe. This article focuses on the journey itself and important statistics describing how many refugees and migrants risk everything during their travels.

There is also the concern for risk of diseases and illnesses while traveling with very few medical resources and care. We have an article by PLoS Pathogens discussing the more common types of illnesses and diseases that spread among refugees, as well as the risk factors involved with susceptibility. Even the citizens still within Syria are at high risk of these diseases and illnesses due to the civil war’s effects on Syria’s immunization programs and health care access.  In addition to travel issues and illnesses, there’s also the problem of receiving aid for when the refugees finally find refuge within another country. There needs to be plans on how to acquire health care, food, alternative housing, and many other aspects needed for living. We have an article from Public Health Reviews detailing a few of the issues Europe is facing in terms of planning and response to the increase of refugees.

You may be wondering if there is some kind of plan to settle refugees and manage all the things they would require after they’re settled. There are multiple plans made by both the governments of the countries and also the UN and other similar organizations. It is important to remember that there is a difference between refugees and immigrants. This CNN article details and provides examples about how the process of refugees being handled by a country are different than how immigrants are handled.  Here is an article detailing the U.S.’s plan for refugees entering the country. It discusses the process on how to admit refugees into the country including what the Department of State is going to do to coordinate and manage the U.S. Refugees Admissions Program. There is also information on how many refugees the U.S is planning to accept (10,000 during the fiscal year of 2016), and how Homeland Security will be involved with the process. One of the major factors of these plans people seem to worry about are the screening plans. The refugee screening process goes through multiple organizations and departments including the FBI, the Consular Lookout and Support System, and the National Counterterrorism Center.


UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR) Antonio Guterres briefing international media in Geneva. Photo by: Eric Bridiers

There is also a plan for refugee resettlement and placement. We also did find a plan that involves governments, UN agencies, multiple non-governmental organizations, and over 200 humanitarian/development agencies called the Regional Refugees and Resilience Plan 2015-2016.


Administrator of the UN at the Ratana celebrations in 2008. Photo by: Sugnaguy

This plan was created to help coordinate multiple plans and ideas for humanitarian needs, refugee protection, and long-term socio-economic impacts of the Syrian refugee crisis on other countries. This plan also includes extensive statistics on important information like how many refugees are in which countries, funding requirements of each country, agency requirements of each country, and many others. It is both a plan and an extensive progress report. The UNCHR (Office of the high Commissioner for refugees) and the WRC (Women’s Refugee Commission) created and manage the GRYC (Global Refugee Youth Consultations). The GRYC was created from 56 sub-national and national consultations in 22 countries about youth refugees. It is essentially a collection of findings about what are the major struggles refugee’s youths face, explains why it is important to consult with refugee youths, and core actions to take to help refugee youths.

Do you think these plans will be helpful for refugees? What else can countries and organizations do to help refugees? Feel free to discuss your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below or on our Facebook post!


Groundhog Day

By Jacob Kinsman

Groundhog Day is an odd day. Every year on a February second we put our trust in a rodent to predict the future.  To most, this day is insignificant, but to the Pennsylvania Dutch this day is immensely meaningful.

Every  year on Groundhog Day, some Pennsylvania Dutch congregate at a Grundsau Ladsch (Groundhog Lodge) to participate in a Groundhog Day ceremony.  The 78 year old tradition has been a cornerstone for the preservation of Pennsylvania Dutch language.

According to the Lynn-Heidelberg Historical Society, In March of 1933 William “Pumpernickel Bill” Troxell, Rev. Thomas Brendel, Dr. Edgar Balliet and Harry Spanuth gathered in Allentown, Pennsylvania to form the first groundhog lodge or “Grundsau ladsch nummer ains an der lechaw” (Groundhog Lodge #1 at the Lehigh River). Due to poor relations with Germany, many Americans were apprehensive about embracing German culture. Thus the lodge was formed with hopes of preserving the Pennsylvania Dutch Language.

The lodges acted separately until 1987 when the Grossdaai Lodge (Grandfather Lodge) was established to increase communication between the independent establishments.  Since its creation, the Grossdaai Lodge has assisted affiliated lodges in promoting and preserving Pennsylvania Dutch Heritage. One of the Grandfather Lodges most remarkable achievements is its assistance in developing the Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center on Kutztown University of Pennsylvania’s campus.

The Pennsylvania Dutchs’ celebration of Groundhog Day is very spiritual. Meetings begin with the members singing “America”, followed by the pledge of allegiance, a moment of silence, and an opening prayer. After their prayers, members pledge allegiance to “exalted ruler” (the groundhog) and acknowledge their faith in its weather forecasting ability. Next members dine on typical Pennsylvania Dutch cuisines while enjoying small talk and ethnic music. Following dinner, the guests acknowledge each other and business talk is conducted.  The groundhog ceremony comes next. Finally, at the conclusion of the ceremony and before dismissal there is one final moment of prayer.

To the outside world, Groundhog Day seems to be nothing more than an extreme weather forecast, but to the Pennsylvania Dutch it symbolizes the preservation of their culture.

For more information about the origins of the Grundsau Ladsch please visit:

The Rohrbach Library also offers a plethora of additional Groundhog day related content:

  • Columbia Pictures presents: Groundhog Day, Starring Bill Murray. A comedy about a sarcastic weatherman reliving the worst day of his life over and over again.
  • Check-out “Serious Nonsense: groundhog lodges, Versammlinge, and Pennsylvania German heritage” by Professor William Donner of Kutztown University from the Rohrbach library for additional information.

Interestingly enough early ceremonies involved the consumption of our furry forecaster. Read more by Jennisfer Latson at Time.




Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,092 other followers

The Elusive Sea Cow Tweets

Rohrbach Library Tweets



Blog Stats

  • 1,934,882 hits


Kutztown University is part of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.

%d bloggers like this: