Historic Women Across The Curriculum

March is Women’s Month, so this is the perfect time to highlight the women in our history who have paved the way not only for other women, but also for a progressive world.  Here are a few women that have made monumental strides in disciplines that are represented in the academic programs at Coastal Carolina Community College:

Kristin Hannah

Kristin Hannah is an award-winning novelist whose writing has inspired and educated readers all over the world. She is currently most recognized for her acclaimed novel, The Nightingale, which was published in 2015 and is currently in movie production. Hannah explains her motivation in writing The Nightingale. “All too often, women’s war stories are forgotten or overshadowed. I wanted to write a novel that remembered their sacrifice and courage while vividly showing what it was like to live in Occupied France during the war.” Other popular titles she’s penned include Winter Garden, Night Road, Firefly Lane and most recently The Great Alone.

This video features Kristin Hanna as she discusses her childhood, her craft of writing, and her latest novel, The Great Alone.


Tressie McMillan Cottom

Tressie McMillan Cottom is a sociologist at Virginia Commonwealth University and the author of a recently-released book titled Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy. In her book, she analyzes for-profit colleges, and in turn takes a broader look at the frustrated essence of inequalities in America. “We trust education will have a positive effect on our lives and our society,” she explains in an interview with NPR last year. “For-profits have perverted that faith.”


Alison Ledgerwood

Allison Ledgerwood is an associate professor in the Department of Psychology at University of California, Davis. She studies social psychological tools that humans use to reach beyond their current experiences. A “mover and shaker” in the field of psychology, her research is relevant to us today. In the following TEDx talk, Ledgerwood discusses how people can get stuck thinking about things in a negative manner. Her research shows that we must work hard to see the “upside” of things, but she leaves us with a thought about how powerful a positive reaction can be both for ourselves and others.

Fine Arts

Greta Gerwig

Greta Gerwig is an actress, writer and director, who has made headlines with her first solo directorial debut and award-winning drama Lady Bird. Gerwig is one of only five women in history to be nominated in the Best Director category at the Oscars. Lady Bird tells the fictional story of a 17-year old girl in Sacramento, California. Gerwig explains how she has always been a storyteller and how she sees Lady Bird as a love story between a mother and a daughter.


Maryam Mirzakhani: Mathematician – Abstract Surfaces

Maryam Mirzakhani, who passed away last year at the age of 40, was a world-renewed mathematician recognized for her pursuit of knowledge in abstract surfaces.

According to an article in The New Yorker, when Mirzakhani—an Iranian who was a professor at Stanford—was in middle school, a teacher told her she was not particularly talented in math to discourage her interest in the subject. She was not talented or at the top of her class. Twenty-five years later, in 2014, she became the first woman to win the Fields Metal, math’s highest honor. In July 2017, she lost the battle with breast cancer, but her work still inspires women who are pursuing careers in mathematics.

Note: Sarah Batcheler, an MLS intern from Texas Woman’s University who is currently working with us in the library, contributed to this blog post.


Black History Month at the Library

After observing the lack of information and recognition for the accomplishments of blacks and others of African descent, Dr. Carter G. Woodson founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History in 1915. The organization is now called the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Through this organization, Dr. Woodson started the first celebration of Negro History Week  in 1926. The celebration was expanded to include the whole month of February in 1976, and since that time, Black History Month has been a time to lift up the accomplishments of African Americans as well as learn about the history and culture of African Americans.

The Library has a vast selection of titles about African Americans as well as many poetry collections and fiction by African American authors. Please come by and check out our display!


Harness Your Passions During Write A Business Plan Month

We know December as a time to celebrate the holidays with family and friends, but it’s also a great time to lay the foundation down for new ventures and opportunities for the next year. December is also Write a Business Plan Month, so check out some the following resources to get inspired and get started on yours! Both books are available in Coastal’s library.


From Publishers Weekly: “Building a life outside of the traditional economy isn’t only possible… it’s the new definition of financial success,” argues U.S. News & World Report senior editor and personal finance columnist Palmer (Generation Earn). Looking for a flexible schedule in order to spend more time with her young daughter, Palmer launched a successful Etsy business creating PDF money planners. Other budding entrepreneurs featured here found success baking custom cakes, or even running in the Olympics. Many of Palmer’s peers are working side jobs in addition to their traditional corporate jobs, some planning to take the plunge and live entirely on their earnings from “moonlighting,” and some planning to continue a hybrid career indefinitely. Is this juggle worthwhile? According to Palmer, in addition to the additional income, having a lucrative or even steady side business can stave off the fear of a layoff, and significantly increase personal satisfaction. Palmer notes that those who make a successful career out of a side job have some characteristics in common: they’re highly motivated, have a strong passion that can be turned into a viable business, and are relentless self-promoters. She peppers the chapters with tips and resources on such essentials as funding your business and branding, and delves into the future of side hustles. Palmer’s encouraging advice tends toward the generic. The book’s real utility lies in the extremely practical worksheets, lists of resources, and exercises.


If you’ve ever thought about running your own business from home, but you don’t know how to get started, this book may be for you. In this book, Simon Salt covers everything from how to organize your home office, online tools to make working from home easier, and how to hold yourself accountable when you work from home during the day. This book would be a great first read for anyone who wants to know what it takes to maintain the day-to-day workflow that entrepreneurs need to make their business work. Take the self assessment from the official website for the book to determine if working full-time from home is for you.

For more resources about how to start a business, check out these links:

Resources To Help You Achieve Your Dream of Writing a Novel

Although we are in the middle of November, also known as NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month, there is still time to start that novel that has been swimming in your head! Stop by the library and pick up one of these books:


DIY MFA: Write With Focus, Read With Purpose, Build Your Community by Gabriela Pereira

An MFA, or Master’s of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing,  is the degree that many fiction writers, poets, and creative non-fiction writers pursue to polish their writing skills, immerse themselves in literature by writers whose styles they can learn from, and connect with key publishing and writing professionals who can help them publish their work. This book will show you how to create an MFA-like experience for yourself that will help you develop the discipline and structure that a writer needs to commit to completing a long creative work.

Check out this interview from The Writer magazine with  the author and creator of the DIY MFA program, Gabriela Pereira, here: https://www.writermag.com/2017/06/26/the-diy-mfa/


The Productive Writer: Tips & Tools To Help You Writer More, Stress Less & Create Success by Sage Cohen

One of the biggest hurdles for new writers who have decided to take their writing seriously is the process of getting organized to be more productive. This is one of my all time favorite resources that I recommend to all writers, new or experienced. There’s tips on how to organize your desktop so that your writing process runs smoothly without the frustration of not being able to find a draft among a million other files. There’s also chapters on time management and tips on how to find time to write while working a full time job.

Find out more about Sage Cohen, poet, writing coach, and author of The Productive Writer…here: https://sagecohen.com/


Writing 21st Century Fiction: High Impact Techniques For Exceptional Storytelling by Donald Maass

Learning to continually hone writing skills is an important skill in itself for writers who want to excel at creating great stories that resonate with others. Through this book, you will learn some of the techniques of a few of the most celebrated authors from the 21st century. All of the authors in this book have mastered the balance between the great storytelling of popular genre literature and the beautiful writing of literary fiction. If you can learn this balance, you will be on your way to creating your own 21st century literary masterpiece!

Happy Writing!

Hispanic Heritage and Spanish Language DVDs

Did you know that the library has a special collection of DVDs that are either in Spanish or about a Hispanic heritage theme? Here’s a few titles that you may be interested in:



Miguel Piñero was an award winning Puerto Rican playwright, actor, and poet. He is known as one of the founders of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, a New York City based organization that became part of the spoken word poetry movement. This movie tells the story of his sometimes turbulent life and how his work helped to create the foundation for the genre of hip-hop music.

Read a review from The New York Times here: New York Times review of Piñero


The Liberator


This movie tells the story of the life of Simon Bolivar and his battle to liberate South American countries, such as Venezuela and Bolivia from Spanish rule.

Here’s a great review about the movie: Review of The Liberator from RogerEbert.com


My Family/Mi Familia


My Family is the story of a Mexican-American family that immigrated to Los Angeles in the 1920s. The movie tracks the generations of this family through the 1980s while telling a beautiful story that all American families can relate to.

Read more about this movie in this review from RogerEbert.com: Review of My Family from RogerEbert.com

Come check out the rest of the Hispanic Heritage DVD collection today! We would love to have your input about movies and documentaries to add to this collection. If you have any suggestions, please complete this form: Book and DVD Suggestion Form

Happy Watching!

Is Your Favorite Book On The Banned Books List?

Imagine not having access to your favorite book because of someone else’s objections to its content. As hard as that may be to think about, books are challenged and banned each year, and as books are removed from library collections due to discrepancies that some may have with controversial content, access to these books is denied to all students and patrons. This is despite the fact that other students and patrons have a right to read any book they decide to read. Check out this infographic about the most banned and challenged books of 2016. Some of your favorites might be on this list! Also, come by the library to see our display of challenged and banned books for Banned Book Week ( September 24-30).

Updated infographic_Top 10 for 2016_0

Here’s a few of the books from our collection that have been banned or challenged in past years:


The Color Purple by Alice Walker: Written in 1982, The Color Purple was challenged for the first time in 1984 at a high school in Oakland, CA. Since then it has been banned or challenged 14 times. Sexual content, disturbing race relations, African history, and controversial content about God have been cited as reasons for it being challenged or banned.

Push by Sapphire: This 1996 book was challenged at a school in Horry County, SC in 2011. The book was made into an Academy Award nominated movie in 2009. The book centers on a 16-year-old girl who is illiterate, impregnated by her father, and abused by her mother.

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison: The Bluest Eye is considered the 15th most banned book between 2000-2009. The book’s main character, Pecola, is a girl who suffers sexual abuse amid wishing for blue eyes.

The House On Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros: This novel is included on the frequently challenged or banned list for 2014-2015. It is the coming-of-age story of a Latina girl who is growing up in Chicago.

To Kill A Mocking Bird by Harper Lee: This classic was first banned in 1977 due to curse words that were considered to be objectionable. It has been banned or challenged 13 times.

Interested in one of these titles? Come check it out at the library today!


Research Your Family History with Resources from the Library!


The history of our families is part of what makes us who we are, so researching your family history is an exercise in both self discovery and discovering one’s heritage. In this interview with Teresa Ortega,  Library Technical Associate and genealogy enthusiast, you’ll learn about the types of surprises you may find along the journey of your research and how you can start researching your own family.

Nichole Nichols: What interested you in genealogy, and when did you get started with research of your family?

Teresa Ortega: Honestly, the only reason I started genealogy was to locate the Native American bloodline on my Father’s side. As a child, I use to hear relatives say we were descendants of Pocahontas and John Smith. I always laughed and never believed it; however, I did feel there was Native American blood in my family. I based this on my Father’s features. He had jet black hair, dark skin, high cheekbones and forehead as did his siblings.  In the early 1980s, I went to a conference about Native Americans, whose speakers were all NC Native Americans. After the conference I decided I wanted to find my Native American Heritage and my genealogical quest began. I recently had my DNA tested through Ancestry and I’m 0% Native American, but learned I am 13% Spanish. That was a real surprise.

NN: What are some tips that you would give to a beginning family researcher? What tools do you use?

TO: The best advice I can give you is to get started now, before it’s too late! Most people become interested when they get older, but by that time many of your most valuable contacts may be deceased or their memories are gone. This was my case. Start by interviewing your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and especially great grandparents if they are still living. When you go to an interview or do research make sure you have pens, paper, family group sheets, questionnaires, a laptop, camera and or recorder/cell phone.  Make sure your questionnaire includes everything you want to ask them (which should include but is not limited to: information about them, their grandparents and their great grandparents from both sides and their siblings as far back as they can go). There are free genealogy documents online you can print out and use, as well as questionnaires. Some of the key information you want to know are: Names, dates, where they were born/lived/died, where were they married, if they were in the military (honors), where they are buried, did they leave anything of interest to anyone (Bible, jewelry, clothes, etc.), if they have any old photos, documents or possessions of your ancestors (if so use your phone/camera to take photos of them everything and be sure to record names/details) and if they know of anyone else who has done research on your family (if so you should contact that person). Make sure you document everything and fact check the info to prove it and your lineage. I suggest you save all the images and also place them in a document where you can list the name/details of every photo (example: MS Word, PowerPoint or Publisher). Publisher is my favorite because I can also save the file as a photo. After completing the interview, process the info right away and save it in a safe place. Follow up on any leads given, including your hunches. I have found my hunches are often correct. Keep a to do list and save all your research, documents and photos in a safe place and in several locations.

Tools: All my research prior to internet resources was done using primarily books and microfilm in Court Houses, Libraries, Churches, Archives, Funeral Homes and Cemeteries (photograph tombstones). These are still some of your best sources and I highly recommend you use them. There are many sources available online in digital format at the locations I mentioned and more. Check them out and make sure you also search for your ancestors in the internet by searching their name and their location. There you may find a family history page, articles and /or queries that have been posted about them. Newspapers have articles, announcements and obituaries that can contain a lot of valuable information.

NN: What has been your most exciting moment since you started researching your family?

TO: The day I received my Paternal Great Grandfather’s complete Union Pension file. There were so many documents. From them I found his exact birth and death dates (which I did not have), that he became ill while visiting his sister, died there and that his cousin inscribed on his headstone. Though there was no photo, I was given a full description which gave me his, height, weight, build and it stated that his hair and eyes were black. Since his second wife, my 2nd Great Grandmother, also applied for his pension after his death she provided information about herself. From her I learned: she was known by two last names because her mother died during childbirth, she was raised by the man that was supposed to be her father, her Step Mother was the midwife during the birth of their four children, she married a second time (they were married for 12 years, but lived most of them separated). There were also copies of letters from my 2nd Great Grandmother’s Parents, my 2nd Great Grandfather’s cousin and other relatives & neighbors regarding him and his family.


The library provides access to several online tools that you can use to start your research. Here are a few:


Biography and Genealogy Master Index  

Use this database to look up biographical data on people from any time period, geographical location, or profession. It is a collection of a wide variety of biographical reference resouces.


Heritage Quest

Heritage Quest contains primary sources, local and family histories, census data, and other resources that you may need for your family research.


Historic North Carolina Digital Newspaper Collection

This collection contains 3.5 million digitized newspaper pages from over 1,000 North Carolina county newspapers.

Happy Researching!