Monthly Archives: December 2014

The Library Reads – “I Shall Be Near to You” by Erin Lindsay McCabe

Based oweb-i-shall-be-near-to-youn the experiences of over 200 women who disguised themselves as men to fight in the American Civil War, I Shall Be Near To You is a superb piece of historical fiction. It tells the story of newlyweds Jeremiah and Rosetta Wakefield. Rosetta decides to cast off her role as a lonely young wife patiently waiting back on the farm to assume a new identity as Private Ross Stone. She does this to accompany her husband after he enlists – against her wishes – in the Union Army with the other boys from their little farming community in upstate New York. Jeremiah’s dream is to use their Army pay to buy a farm in Nebraska after a few months when the war would hopefully come to an end. History intervenes.

Under constant pressure to protect her true identity and over Jeremiah’s objections, Rosetta marches into battle by the side of her husband at both Second Bull Run and the Battle of Antietam, which remains the bloodiest day in American history. The couple is not so much star-crossed as saber-crossed, so to speak, and the story plays itself out in a totally compelling manner. This is fine writing by author, Erin Lindsay McCabe, and has rekindled my longstanding interest in carefully researched and wonderfully rendered historical fiction.

I Shall Be Near To You by Erin Lindsay McCabe, Crown (2014)

The views expressed in this post are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. No endorsement or recommendation of any specific products or services is intended or implied.

Content contributed by Michael G. Arden, Audiovisual Librarian

The Barracks Fire of 1871

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The destroyed roof and upper floor of the barracks can be seen in this photo taken on 6 February 1871, a day after the fire, by Ordinance Officer John Pitman, then an Assistant Instructor at the Academy. The fire began in the large room directly over the sally port. The heavily damaged 4th Division is just to the right of the sally port. The West Point Hotel can be seen in the background across the Plain. (photo courtesy of USMA Library Special Collections and Archives)

At around 2 a.m. on the morning of Sunday, February 5, 1871, cadets were awoken by a long roll of the drums, meaning everyone was to form up in the Area immediately. The barracks were on fire! The flames had started in the Dialectic Hall, a multi-story room directly over the sally port that allowed passage from the Area to the Plain, and soon reached the roof and fourth-floor rooms. Quickly the blaze spread east and west along the roof and smoke filled the top-floor rooms occupied mostly by plebes.

Cadets swiftly sprang into action with hand- and steam-powered fire engines, but the extreme cold and a stiff wind caused the valves to freeze. Bucket brigades were formed and cadets carried snow and water to the 3rd floor and higher stairways and threw water up to fight the flames and to protect the lower floors. The walls and windows of the building were soon covered in thick slabs of ice. As the water fell back down from the buckets, cadets became so encrusted with ice that one was able to stand up his overcoat the next morning in the mess hall and place his cap on top.

During the fire, some plebes were trapped in their rooms and were rescued either by ladder or by cadets linking arms and going room-to-room in the dense smoke. Amazingly, no lives were lost, but there were reports of frozen noses and ears and some cadets lost nearly all their possessions. The unfortunate were later compensated by Congress for destroyed items.

The fire engines were eventually thawed out and helped to bring the conflagration under control about three hours after it began. Cadets were aided by volunteers from elsewhere on post. For much of the next day the roof smoldered as cadets from the cockloft found other rooms to live in temporarily. Luckily, the rooms on the third floor and below were habitable and life returned to normal quickly. Although accounts vary, it looks like classes resumed on the second day after the fire. The 4th Division, directly adjacent to the Dialectic Hall, was the most impacted area. In total, the fire damage was assessed at $50,000. The cause of the fire remains unknown.

Contents contributed by Dr. Jon Malinowski, Professor of Geography, and Alicia Mauldin Ware, Archives Curator.

West Point Feature Films LibGuide

LGLThe Library now has a GUIDE to feature films about West Point, many available on DVD here in the Library.  Prior to the 1950s, the film industry’s “take” on life here was by turns noble, sappy, sweet, insipid, flag-waving, and awesomely inspired. Some films were more successful than others in capturing that special West Point spirit. The 1950s was the golden decade of West Point as captured on film, including three popular movies from the first part of the decade, plus a definitive television series from the second half, featuring a number of unknown actors who would soon emerge as major motion picture and television stars. Perhaps the most essential West Point film of all is The Long Gray Line, directed by Hollywood classic director, John Ford, treating the life of Academy legend, Marty Maher.

Why not check one of these out for the holidays?

Contents contributed by Michael Arden, Audiovisual Librarian

USMA Library 2014 Holiday Hours

USMA Library will operate the following hours during the holiday break:

Monday 15 – Friday 19 December 0700-2315
Saturday 20 December 0700-1900
Sunday 21 December CLOSED
Monday 22 – Wednesday 24 December 0700-1630
Thursday 25 – Sunday 28 December CLOSED
Monday 29 – Wednesday 31 December 0700-1630
Thursday 1 – Saturday 3 January CLOSED
Sunday 4 January 1100-2315
Beginning Monday 5 January – Regular Academic Term Hours Begin

Full hours are available on our website.

App of the Week – Army GameDay Live

We are continuing a series called App of the Week, wherein we recommend the best apps to support the academic experience. Please let us know what you think, and feel free to provide suggestions for apps we should review.

Are you anarmysportsjpg Army college sports fan looking for an easy way to keep track of Army Athletics? Do you need a way to watch Army-Navy from afar? This week’s app, Army GameDay LIVE, allows you to track not only Army Football, but ALL of Army’s talented sports teams in one simple, easy to use app.

Army GameDay LIVE, which is the official app of Army Athletics, is an intuitive mobile tool that provides access to the latest stories, scores, and Army sports updates.

The headlines screen uses a simple scrolling feed to feature the latest Army athletic news for all sports:

HEADLINES

Just select a byline, and the news story pops up in an easy-to-read screen. Tap to close in order to read the next story you select. Find a story you would like to share? You can AirDrop, Mail, or copy the story by tapping on the upload icon in the upper right corner of the story.

NewsStory

Most helpful features:

  • The app is visually appealing and easy to navigate.
  • If you are not able to attend every Army game, you get an up-to-the-minute game day visual through Game Tracker live scoring integration. This is a plus when you are on the road!
  • The Events Calendar displays Army Sports for the day, with times and location in an easy scrollable display. This allows you to find the specific Army Sport you are looking for and get an instant update.
  • The sidebar tabs are helpful and useful – you can choose any Army sport to get specific news and game information; a Twitter tab congregates all of Army’s social media sports updates (photos and more); a tickets tab to get you to the game in person, and a store tab allows you to buy that all-important Army Sport Team wear!
  • The app provides information on the facilities for each Army sport, including seating, parking maps, and directions.
  • You can set up mobile alerts to ensure you don’t miss the updated score!

Downsides:

  • Premium content for streaming is per subscription pricing through CBS sports network. You cannot stream live audio without a premium subscription. A work around: listen to Army Sports on local radio via a streaming app on your computer, phone, or iPad while watching the visual integration on Game Tracker.

Bottom Line: While the app does require you to pay for premium content (and local CBS affiliates usually carry Army Football, so you’d be paying for free content in that case), this free app provides one-stop comprehensive coverage for any Army sports fan.

Further Reading:

GO ARMY, BEAT NAVY!

The views expressed in this post are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. No endorsement or recommendation of any specific products or services is intended or implied.

Contents contributed by Darrell Hankins, Reference Librarian

 

App of the Week – Zinio

We are continuing a series called App of the Week, wherein we recommend the best apps to support the academic experience. Please let us know what you think, and feel free to provide suggestions for apps we should review.

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If you are a magazine lover and have an Army Knowledge Online (AKO) account, and the idea of having free access to over 200 subscriptions sounds appealing, then this week’s app is for you. Zinio is a digital newsstand that allows you to read full copies of your favorite magazines on a computer, tablet or mobile device using the free Zinio Reader app. Once a title is checked out, it is yours to keep – forever! For titles accessed through the USMA Library/Army, there is no limit to the amount of magazines you can check out and no waiting periods because multiple people can simultaneously borrow the same title at the same time. Many popular magazines are available through Zinio – such as: Newsweek, Women’s Health, Cosmopolitan, Popular Mechanics, Esquire, National Geographic, Popular Science, and ESPN the magazine.

For those of you without an AKO account, you can still use the Zinio app, however, you must subscribe to magazines you are interested in viewing.

To access magazines via Zinio and the free Zinio Reader app you must create two separate accounts.

First, you create a library Zinio Collection account using the AKO library services page, and then a second, personal Zinio.com reader account to view the magazines. Here’s how it works!

Login to AKO – and select – Self Service – My library.

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Scroll down the page and select the Zinio Icon.

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You should now see the Zinio Collection page. To access these titles – Select “Create New Account” from the top right of the screen.

You will be prompted to enter an access key – use AKO and complete the registration form.

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Now you are ready to check out a magazine! Browse the titles, and when you find one you want – click on it. You will see the word “Success” as a confirmation of check out. Next – to “Start Reading” – you will have to create a SECOND, personal account – which will allow you to read the magazine in Your Library tab on Zinio.com or the Zinio Reader app.

Now install the Zinio Reader App on your device to read your magazines. Sign in using the second, personal reading account you created to download and read your magazines.

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More helpful features:

  • No waiting or checkout periods.
  • Interactive elements such as audio and video.
  • Multiple viewing platforms (computer, smartphone, tablet, etc.).
  • Intuitive searching and navigating within each magazine.
  • Current Issues — new issues are released simultaneously with the print edition. Many are available before they arrive at your library and are ready for immediate download.
  • No limit – permanent check out — check out as many issues as you want and keep them in your account as long as you wish.

Downsides:

  • You can only use the Zinio app to read your magazines.
  • You have to manage your account on a Web browser (to browse, check out or permanently delete library magazines).
  • Mobile devices with small screens may cause slow loading or prevent loading of content altogether.
  • You need to download the magazine to read it – requiring internet/network access.
  • If you download too many magazines, it can take up lots of storage on your mobile device.
  • There is a monetary subscription service offered through Zinio.com, which can cause confusion if you only want to access free titles through the library. If you need help figuring out what’s what, please ask!

Bottom Line:

Using the library’s Zinio magazine subscription service provides you with access to over 200 magazine titles for free. Use the Zinio reader app to store and read selections at your leisure. If you need any help accessing Zinio through AKO, please let us know – and as always, feel free to let us know what you think!

More information:

Zinio for Libraries Overview (8 minutes)

Zinio Magazine Newsstand & Reader | PC Mag Review

Is Zinio Pushing Digital Publications Forward?

The views expressed in this post are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. No endorsement or recommendation of any specific products or services is intended or implied.

Contents contributed by Karen Shea, Reference Librarian

The Library Reads – Ike and Dick: Portrait of a Strange Political Marriage by Jeffery Frank

Author Jeffery Frank Ike_and_Dick_covercomes up with superlative portraits of the two politicians, concentrating on their personal relationship over the years. It’s a balanced, warts-and-all view of both men, and one even tends to feel sorry for Nixon considering how often his mentor Eisenhower slighted and snubbed him. Eisenhower comes across as considerably less jovial than the public perceived him to be. The most likeable person to appear in the story is Julie Nixon Eisenhower. By falling in love with and marrying Ike’s grandson, David, Nixon’s daughter sealed the two families by blood. Ike and Dick is just a great read for anybody interested in American politics at mid-century. Highly recommended, especially for those fascinated by Nixon’s long descent into Watergate and where it all began.

Ike and Dick: Portrait of a Strange Political Marriage by Jeffery Frank (Simon & Schuster, February 2013)

The views expressed in this post are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. No endorsement or recommendation of any specific products or services is intended or implied.

Content contributed by Michael G. Arden, Audiovisual Librarian