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COM Library Newsletter

The monthly newsletter of the College of the Mainland Library.

Today's Hours


September 6th for Labor Day

Want More News From COM Library?

Try the COM Library News blog--you'll find some of the stories from the newsletter plus even more! See our most recent posts below. 

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Home Access

""It's true, you can access most COM Library resources at home! COM Library’s catalog, and the thousands of eBooks and articles in our databases can all be accessed off campus. Just login with your COM account for off campus access.

More on Home Access


We Have Space for You in the Library

Looking for a separate room to study in away from others?  Book one of our six study rooms in the library.

Need a whiteboard so your group can work out something?  Book one of our whiteboard spaces.

Are you looking for space for a group of you to use a computer and study anatomy together?  Book one of our two techstations.

Just need a place to hang out before and after class?  The library has lots of those spaces too!

Please book study rooms, whiteboards and tech stations before coming to the library.  Click this link to make a reservation.

Get more information on spaces available in the library from our library spaces guide.

Library Instruction for Your Students

Let us help you get your students up to speed for their research assignments! We can show them the best resources for college level research and include hands-on training.

Training for a specific assignment is especially effective. Not only are students more engaged, if they run into problems during class they can get immediate help, and that makes it easier for them when they’re on their own.

And that's not all! COM Library also offers library workshops for COM students, faculty, staff and community. Workshops for faculty are offered on demand.

See more on our Library Instruction for Your Students page. 

Hispanic Heritage Month

September 15 to October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month and COM Library has a great collection of sources!

The term Hispanic American refers broadly to persons of Spanish descent living in the United States. It is not in itself an ethnic designation as it encompasses peoples of diverse national backgrounds, histories, and cultural traditions. Nor is it a racial category—Hispanic peoples may trace their forebears to Caucasian antecedents or to a blend of Caucasian, Indian, and black populations. Latinos is also used to designate this general population, and several terms refer to a specific Hispanic ethnic group; for example, people of Mexican descent may speak of themselves as Chicanos or La Raza (the race), while Puerto Ricans may use the Arawak Indian word boricuas (brave lords).

Learn about the history of Hispanic Americans or see our other Hispanic American, Latin American & Spanish Guides and Colección Española

Read Hispanic American History

Learn more about Hispanic American History by checking out one of these books from our collection. 

Mexican Americans in Texas: A Brief History by Arnoldo De Leon. In this book, De Leon provides readers with a concise political, cultural, and social history of Mexican Americans from when the Spanish ruled to the area to the twentieth century. 

Mexicans in the Making of America by Neil Foley. This book discusses the history of Mexicans and Mexican Americans within American history, from before America's annexation of Mexican territory to the modern day. Foley talks about the political and cultural shifts happening in America as the population of Americans identifying as Latinos increases. 

Our Migrant Souls: A Meditation on Race and the Meaning and Myths of "Latino" by Hector Tobar. Through his own experience as a child of immigrants, a reporter, and a teacher Tobar discusses what it means to belong to be labeled as a Latino. Tobar also discusses how people labeled as Latinos are received by American society and the impact Latinos have had on American society. 

Del Pueblo: A History of Houston's Hispanic Community by Thomas H. Kreneck. This book discusses the history and influence of the Hispanic-American community and culture in Houston, Texas. In this edition, the author looks at the 1980s as the "Decade of the Hispanic." 

Hispanics in the American West by Jorge Iber and Arnoldo De Leon. In this book De Leon covers the history of Hispanics, focusing on Mexican Americans, in the American West. He covers the daily lives of Spanish-speaking communities from pre-colonial times to the present. 

Want more books by Hispanic history? Check out our Hispanic American History guide. 

Banned Books Week--Read a Classic Banned Book

Go to banned books

What is a Banned Book?

Books have been banned as long as there have been books and continue to be banned or challenged even today. COM Library stands firmly behind freedom of speech and the American Library Association (ALA) code:

“We uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library resources.”

A banned book is a book that may be:

  • removed from a library or libraries;
  • not allowed to be published;
  • not allowed to enter an entire country;
  • not allowed to exist: to be physically destroyed, typically by burning, such as the notorious book burning in Nazi Germany.
  • The most extreme form of banning is the death or demand for the death of the author, as during the Inquisition, or more recently with Salman Rushdie.
  • A challenged book is one that someone has tried to ban, but did not succeed.

Why Are Books Banned or Challenged?

The reason to ban books generally boils down to ideas that are perceived as dangerous in some way to an individual, group, or government that does not want other people to have access to that idea, whether the idea is about God, government or society.

Issues to Consider

  • What happens when people are denied access to books and the ideas contained in them?
  • What happens when an author’s right to freedom of speech (in this country) is denied?
  • Is it a coincidence that some of the greatest books ever written are also some of the most banned or challenged books?

Go to Banned Books. See all Book & eBook news.

Book Bans - A Short Video from PBS

Banned Books Week is October 1-7, 2023.  Book challenges have become more prevalent in the last couple of years, even in local school districts and public libraries.  

In its report, the American Library Association documented more than 1,200 challenges to library books and resources last year. That's nearly twice as many as 2021, about 3 times the pre-pandemic average, and the highest since the ALA started collecting data 20 years ago. It also lists the 13 books that have been most challenged this past year, including the top 3-- Gender Queer, a memoir by Maia Kobabe, All Boys Aren't Blue by George M. Johnson, and Nobel Prize winning author Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye.

This short video chronicles an interview with Deborah Caldwell Stone, Director of the American Library Association's office for intellectual freedom and discusses current book challenges and potential issues.  Watch it now on Films on Demand (6:00).

Find out what books are most challenged, where COM library stands on books and the history of book banning in the library's online Banned Books guideGet an overview of the issues and pro/con viewpoints from the Opposing Viewpoints database.