Posted by: erinserb | May 30, 2020

What’s up with the meme/name Karen?

It seems these days that a simple name can get you in trouble, or stereotype you into some group – I say, all the good Karen’s of the world, Unite!

This must be another social media “moment” to comment on the stigma of the name Karen – as if she should even have a stigma! In the linked article, it more or less says that it must be miserable to be named Karen – I cannot disagree any more

.  Karen was a popular female name from my youth, and I can’t think of ANY “Karen’s” with nothing but the best admiration and friendship – I can say that because one of my dearest friends is named Karen, and she is one of the nicest persons you would ever want to meet. For me, the name Karen and all of the girls who are so named, are “regal-like”, and that’s all I will say. 🙂  – My apologies to all of you who don’t know a Karen in your life!

Anonymous. (2019).  A Warning, A senior Trump Administration Official.  New York:12/Hachette Book Group

I finished this book last week, and was surprised of its revelations; some I had realized, others I hadn’t yet.

Contrary to some beliefs, I don’t believe the author – who has prudently hid his/her identity – is a coward, but is a patriot.  A patriot is someone who upholds and is true to their beliefs of love and devotion to country.  I don’t believe this person has a strict monetary gain; quite the contrary!  There have been many books written about President Donald J. Trump, heretofore 45, current resident of the Oval Office of our great country.   Perhaps the revenue pool of these authors is dwindling due to many getting into the act of taking their story into print.

Personally, I don’t have an ax to grind (here) about 45.  However, I do believe that the contents written in this book are totally true because they have been mentioned in many other books which I have read, particularly the book Fear, authored by Bob Woodward.  That work, which was highly touted prior to publication was an eye-opener and expose of 45’s behavior and the power of those who are protecting 45 from rash decisions affecting national security, while protecting themselves and their collective conscience of 45’s aberrant decisions.

Anonymous provides us with a similar in-depth look into the absolute fear and chaos that 45 has created, and will continue to create.  It is somewhat dubious if Anonymous will remain in his/her position, because even the cloaked author has incurred the wrath of 45 on occasion.  Therefore, Anonymous writes to the reader the urgency with which those around 45 must act to prevent a democracy meltdown.

Anonymous uses the quotations of the great Roman orator and statesman, Cicero.  Anonymous uses the quotations and ethics of Cicero to address what is needed in a leader, and what this President has and hasn’t done – mainly to provide leadership, and uphold the Constitution.

In some parts of the book, as in even the most well-written tomes, there will be a tangential path in which the author goes astray.  In this case, it leaves the reader to hope for more revelations about the conduct of 45.  Eventually Anonymous stays on point, particularly with facts, some of which we don’t even know.

Anonymous does leave us with several pondering questions as to the future of the current administration, and gives food for thought about future leaders, who like 45, would seek to divide us as a nation and our republic.   It is Anonymous’s hope that there will never have to be another author who has to cloak their identity for fear of reprisal and the loss of job and reputation.  Alas, thus is the current politics our democracy!

Posted by: erinserb | January 15, 2020

Coming close to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

My friends, let it be known that both here and in life, that I will always strive for the truth….not matter how it may be or in what form.

There is seal in the portico of Brookings Hall, perhaps tread upon all of the time and maybe forgotten in the shuffle of life. It should ring true for all men, and particularly of the students and alma mater of my school – Washington University in Saint Louis:

“Those who come nearest to the truth, come nearest to God”


Baime, A.J. The Accidental President: Harry S. Truman and the Four Months that Changed the World.  New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2017.

Harry S. Truman, 33rd President of the United States, a faithful public servant, husband, father, and family man would not truly resemble someone who would have the qualities of leadership or “Presidental material”, however, Nothing could be further from the truth!

A.J. Baime examines, in a wonderful “reads like a novel” work, that a barely unknown politician from Missouri could rise to the office of the President upon the death of Franklin Delano Roosevelt on 12 April 1945 and come away being perhaps one of our finest Presidents is an inspiration to all, particularly the reader of this book.

Harry Truman came from humble beginnings, being born at home in Lamar, Missouri on 8 May 1884.  Truman can be considered to have an ordinary upbringing.

Truman didn’t have any special qualifications, nothing that would make him stand out among his peers.  He did serve in WW1 as an Army 2nd Lt in an artillery company.  It was in this position that he developed the street smarts and leadership of his men, and adapting and seeing through the horrors of war that gave him a start that so many of our Presidents have possessed.  However, he had no college degree, technically no formal instruction, and not much money to boot!   However, he was appointed Jackson County judge, having earned his political chops in the Boss Pendergast Kansas City political machine.

Fast forward to April 1945, a time when the United States was in the final stages of victory in Europe.  President Roosevelt, who had guided the United States out of the Great Depression, through almost 4 years of world war, was beloved by most Americans.  It was his sudden death and Truman’s ascendancy to the Oval Office which seem incredible by today’s standards.  The collective consensus of nearly anyone in and out of government was summed up in the question:  Who is Harry Truman?  He was elected on the ticket to the Vice Presidency with Roosevelt in 1944, but he nearly had to be “physically” pushed into accepting the nomination.  There was a loose connection with FDR, but it was enough for Truman to realize the tremendous popularity and responsibility which FDR commanded.

Baime makes a very readable transition from the point of FDR’s death.  But it was the author’s portrayal of just what Truman encountered in a “mere” 4 months that astounds the reader in understanding that this “Accidental” leader had something that transcended academics or titles or any of the typical preparations a President is expected to have.  Truman was confronted at every turn, meeting change and adversity with tremendous responsibility which Baime portrays to the modern reader in excellent prose.

Nearly every day or grouping of days is written with the feeling of just how it must have been for Truman, sometimes even to the point of his collapsing of exhaustion.  However, the Man from Missouri, with the simple traits of common sense, and the strength of leadership proved to the American people that he was THE “man” for the job.

Whether it was his interaction with his generals, cabinet, Congress, or ultimately the American people, Truman rose to the occasion when “thinking fast on your feet” was so needed.

The author finely portrays Truman’s obstacles and opportunities, the revelation of the Manhattan Project and the atom bomb,  the rigors of his trip to Europe in July 1945, his being THE link for the U.S. as one of the Big Three (along with Churchill and Stalin) at Potsdam.  Finally, as history and his first “Four Months” culminates in the intricacies and decision to use the Atom bomb on Japan, Baime raps up this work and truly reveals how this “uncommon man” with common skills, illustrates just how much that what he did was by no means an Accident.

Posted by: erinserb | October 22, 2019

22 October 1962

This day is quite important (in my mind at least).  For on this some 57 years ago during the Cuban Missile Crisis (Monday, 22 October 1962) the Greatest Generation, as well as we Boomers experienced an event that was not only terrifying but unprecedented in the history of mankind.  It was on this day at 1800 local time, President John F. Kennedy addressed an already frightened nation about the buildup of missiles in our own backyard (the island of Cuba) by our Cold War boogeyman = the Soviet Union.

I was only 5 years old in 1962 but in my own young mind, I knew from my parents and others that something was very wrong and very scary.

President Kennedy’s persona (viewed through YouTube videos) was very different that night too.  The nearly 18-minute long address has been analyzed and critiqued by so many different news people, authors, historians, etc.  I happened to watch the address this morning (not the abbreviated 8 minute version and have also on several occasions).  He listed 6 points regarding our response to the Soviets.  The third point was perhaps the most frightening.  He stated that “any Soviet missile launched from the island of Cuba against any nation in the Western Hemisphere, will be considered an attack by the Soviet Union upon the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union”.

How would some crisis like this be viewed or handled today is up to conjecture, but I know that for a few moments, just as back in 1962, everyone’s undivided attention would be given, e.g. no smartphones, no PC’s, no social media, no frivolous texting….absolutely nothing would matter.

The world was so different back then; for example, reading the St. Louis Post-Dispatch from that day, people were watching the address from TVs in department stores – how could the world relate to that now?  We owe our existence today to the level-headed, effective leadership by our President, his Cabinet, Staff and the Military because the alternative of annihilation was very real!




Posted by: erinserb | April 3, 2019

Vietnam Coverage

At the School of Nursing here, I have posted a “50 years ago today” space.  I use Proquest’s News Stream to obtain a PDF of the St. Louis Post Dispatch from the year 1969, and fortunately I have been able to maintain it nearly every day.

I always print out the “masthead” of the paper and it is a service of the library to provide instruction into looking up historical documents.  Nearly every day, the front page contains a lead story on the Vietnam War.  It’s interesting to see that around this time – circa March/April 1969, there are stories of the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong constantly shelling military bases, particularly those close to Saigon.

Also, in the interior of the paper, there is a section totally dedicated to area troops, both in-country in  Vietnam and those serving in all branches of the Armed Forces.  Unfortunately, this section (all too frequently) reports on those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.  Contrast this with our military situations in our current slice of the 21st century.  When a service member loses their life or becomes seriously wounded or maimed, the story usually makes the “film at 11” (or 5, 6, and whatever time the news comes on).   I am sensitive to Veterans of the Vietnam War, particularly for their treatment while in Vietnam, but what they have had to face at home, both initially and enduring through today’s modern culture.

When I see current members of the Armed Forces lauded at sporting events, in particular, my mind thinks back to the soldier, sailor, airman and marine who were fighting a war which meandered down a road to nowhere.   I have no problem with honoring our current service men and women, but I have noticed that there are very few Vietnam Vets who are ever honored.  Usually, the person is currently serving, has recently served, or is a WWII or Korean War Vet.

I believe that there should be a greater emphasis on the role of the Vietnam Era Veteran.  I think it would be cathartic if more events and gatherings, such as sporting events paid homage to any Vet who merely had a by-line in the local newspaper, published many years ago.  I am a post-Vietnam era Veteran, and I cannot imagine what it was like to be in Vietnam; all who so served there were affected in one way or another.


Posted by: erinserb | March 20, 2019

Missouri State Board of Nursing Site Visit

Today, we are having our first official visit by the Missouri State Board of Nursing since I started at Lutheran on 10 December 2018.

There hasn’t been too much of a rush on library requirements prior to this particular visit. I have incorporated a few sites which can help for this visit, however, I feel that these will help in cataloging and further the library pedagogy here. I have included WorldCat here for purposes of cataloging and of doing research and reference work.  Also, by serendipitous searching yesterday, I came across a powerful tool for teaching and reference:  WikiVisually!

The most exciting phase of this visit (from my perspective) is a visit with the staff today at 1500.  We will see how our administrative side has fared.

I will be in touch as to the juicy outcomes!



Posted by: erinserb | January 30, 2019

On vaccines!

I cannot at this time, think of any analogies to present my point regarding parents not get their children vaccinated.  I believe this is going to be a hot button issue, particularly as more states grant waivers to those whose personal beliefs are not in sync with vaccination required for school, activities, participation in social programs, etc.

Someone’s faith or personal beliefs are acknowledged and sacred, and there isn’t anyone who more firmly believes that these rights are foremost protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution than myself.  However, there are those who by opting for their children to not get vaccinated, are directly presenting a danger to the public at large.

Some of the anti-vaccine advocates point to the damage done to their children, who they believe have suffered life-changing disabilities, particularly developmental disabilities such as autism or Asperger’s Syndrome because of ingredients in the vaccine.   These people point to pseudo-scientific studies which have been long been debunked.

Going back in history, particularly the 1950’s when some of the most famous vaccines were developed, “what if” there was a large anti-vaccine campaign?  Can anyone estimate the harm this would have caused, particularly in the case of polio with its two delivery methods (injection and oral)?  Polio is perhaps the key illness that spurred on the vaccine movement, largely because of the fear and effects of the disease, but also the widespread media that pushed for vaccination.  If there were a group of say, 500 anti-vaccine advocates decrying the polio vaccine, one can only imagine the harm this would have caused, due to a ripple effect.

There is no vaccine which is perfectly 100% safe!  There will always be the minuscule exceptions which will promote fear or the inherent fear, anxiety, and disbelief of the few children who suffer, sometimes with grave results.

There really can be no balance between the anti-vacciner’s and those of the majority who want their children to be vaccinized; the analogy that escaped at the beginning is now clear to me (of course after I’ve had a night to sleep on it 🙂 ).  Would you want your children to grow up in a world without say, the police when someone commits a crime against you?  Something to think about it!


Posted by: erinserb | January 2, 2019

The Lutheran School of Nursing

This is my first post within a long time, perhaps years.  I know I did tests but that was to assure that I would still have an account, but then I realized that these words never go away in cyberspace – forever are they contained on some tiny, minuscule, tiny bubble in a far distant server.

The purpose of this post is to welcome the New Year 2019, and I do wish all of you have a Happy and prosperous New Year.

The second reason for posting is that I am hanging out my shingle as a regular contributor to my new job as Medical Librarian of Lutheran School of Nursing in St. Louis, MO.    My last digs were at Vatterott College in Saint Louis, MO, but they are no more since they lost their accreditation and the school closed down permanently.  I don’t really have words for what happened there, but I departed just merely two weeks prior to their demise.

The worst thing about the closure is all the goodwill, hard effort, and friendships that are totally lost.  Vatterott was a for-profit career college, which had been in business since 1969.  The closure happened in nearly a heartbeat, as the employees (my friends and workmates for 9 years) had been told at 1500 to pack up their personal items, and leave by 1600.  1 hour is barely enough time to process what is happening to you.  Thus, Vatterott closed its doors permanently at 1600 on Monday, 17 December 2018.   This dashed the hopes and the dreams of students who were working hard at gaining an education to make a mark on the world.  They were left with a skeleton website,  and not much else – here’s your hat, what’s your hurry!

Fast forward to my new position, an area of Library Science which I have always aspired to since my days at library school at The University of Alabama SLIS – 2006 to 2008.

Lutheran School of Nursing is a quality, diploma based RN program which has been in continuous operation since 1898.  The library (formally) is the Louise Krauss Ament Memorial library.  I take on a big responsibility to provide the best in LIS services for the fine and dedicated students who want to make a difference and have a higher calling in their lives – I’ve determined that Nursing is “awesome” and for 15 consecutive years,  has been the most trusted profession by the general public.

This blog will be a professional website, which will (hopefully) grow into a full-service repository of the current and best practices within health science librarianship, and the practice of Nursing education.  I have much to learn, but every journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, and I hope that (at times), you will enjoy these chronicles of my journey with the Faculty, Staff, and foremost, the Students here.

Posted by: erinserb | May 2, 2018

A test of WordPress

This is a test!

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