Media & Communications
New Book on Bible, Presidents, Inaugerations and Changing American Culture PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Media & Communications
Written by Don Bracken   
Friday, 18 April 2014 08:37

The Bible and America

So Help Me God, a new book that traces the historical connection between the Bible and the Inaugural ceremonies of the United States and each of  the individual states, will be in book stores next week. Author Michael B. Costanzo creates snapshot affects of all the presidential ceremonies and all the governments that once occupied territory in the U.S. specifically the Republic of Texas, the Confederate States of America, and the Republic of Hawaii. So Help Me God is a complete work of the Bible and its relationship with the United States.

This fascinating book sets the groundwork for the tradition of the Bible in America by providing an overview of the use of the Bible in England’s coronation ceremonies, Bible publishing in England, and the beginning of Bible publishing in America in colonial times. It provides a fascinating view of the changing social traditions and customs in America set against the backdrop of political practices, governmental procedures, and social celebrations for each president. Starting with the simple ceremony in New York City for George Washing ton who stood on a balcony viewed by a standing crowd on the street below to the elaborate parades and dress affairs for contemporary presidents, the reader will witness the growth of America’s position in the world and the changing culture that developed with that growth.

So Help Me God 9781933909950 was published by History Publishing Company in soft cover, 410 pages, and is indexed with appendices and endnotes. Cover price is $18.95. It will available in bookstores nationally and in e-books globally.

Historian and author Michael Costanzo resides in Columbia, Tennessee with his wife and family. His forthcoming book In the Course of Human Events, the story of the remarkable and little known journey of the actual document that is The Declaration of Independence will be published in July, 2015                          

Contact Don Bracken, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , (Tel) 845-398-8161)

No Fooling - No Fees to Checkout DVDs Now at Rock Island Library PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Media & Communications
Written by Lisa Lockheart   
Tuesday, 01 April 2014 13:03

Rock Island, IL: Effective today, April 1, you can keep your dollar when checking out a feature-length seven-day DVD or Blu-ray movie from the Rock Island Public Library. The same is true when you're trying to catch up on past seasons of True Blood, Mad Men or Game of Thrones.

The Rock Island Public Library has eliminated the $1 checkout charge on its entertainment collection, which includes both feature-length movies and collected seasons of television series on DVD and Blu-ray. The library's educational (non-fiction) collection of DVDs and Blu-rays never had a checkout fee.

Cardholders may check out up to five DVDs/Blu-rays from the entertainment collection, in any combination of movies and television series. Movies check out for seven days; television series for 21. The change applies only to DVDs and Blu-rays owned by Rock Island Public Library, including collections at the library's Main, 30/31 and Southwest Branches.

Late fees do still apply, so cardholders will want to return those DVDs on time. To help you remember that due date, sign up for free phone, email or text courtesy reminders from the library. Cardholders can change their notification preferences by visiting the library, or by using the "My Account" feature in the online catalog.

For more information about services and programs for children, teens and adults, visit the library's online branch at, call 309-732-READ (7323) or follow the library on Facebook or Twitter.

Founded in 1872, the Rock Island Public Library serves the area through three locations, which include the Main, 30/31 and Southwest Branches, community outreach efforts, and online opportunities that provide resources to enhance personal achievement and stimulate the imagination.


Quad Cities Author Kicks Off Launch of Third Novel With April 26 Local Event! PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Media & Communications
Written by Lynette Kittle   
Wednesday, 26 March 2014 11:10
Local Quad Cities author Katie Ganshert’s new novel, A Broken Kind of Beautiful (Waterbrook Press, April 15, 2014) follows the life of Ivy Clark, a ten year veteran model in the fashion industry.
When Clark’s life starts to fall apart with her modeling career is at risk, she turns for help in unexpected places.
With broken relationships and the unresolved reality of her life being conceived through her father’s affair, Ivy’s life feels broken and shattered. Is it possible for her to find real beauty in her stained and shattered life?
Ganshert’s local event takes place:
Saturday, April 26, 1-3 PM CT
4000 East 53rd St
Davenport, IA 52807
To request a review copy or schedule an interview, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Created Equal Film Series Kicks Off with The Loving Story PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Media & Communications
Written by Jennifer Christiansen   
Friday, 21 March 2014 15:42

The Rock Island Public Library (401 19th Street) will host the first film screening and discussion of the Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle series on Saturday, March 29th at 2:00 p.m.  Reverend Dwight Ford of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center will lead the discussion on the 2011 documentary The Loving Story.  This event is free and no registration is required.

Mildred and Richard Loving knew it was technically illegal for them to live as a married couple in Virginia because she was of African American and Native American descent and he was white. But they never expected to be woken up in their bedroom and arrested one night in 1958. The film narrates the lives of Mildred and Richard Loving and their fight for the recognition of their marriage, all the way to

the Supreme Court. The film’s immediacy derives from the inclusion of footage dating from the 1960s depicting the daily life of the couple and their three children while they were in hiding in a house in Virginia. The Loving Story brings to life the Lovings’ marriage and the legal battle that followed through little-known filmed interviews and photographs shot for Life magazine.

Reverend Dwight Ford has served as Director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center since 2012.  He has a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School and a Bachelor of Arts majoring in business management from Western Illinois University.  He also served in the United States Marine Corps from 1989 to 1994, serving in Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm, and received several medals during his service.  He grew up in Rock Island and has been a featured speaker at the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Service and Awards Celebration.


Created Equal is presented as part of the six-week series Created Equal and Changing America, which explores our nation’s civil rights history through film, exhibition, and presentations.  More information can be found online at, by visiting the library at 3210 41st Street, or by calling 309-524-2470.

Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle is made possible through a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, as part of its Bridging Cultures initiative, in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

Changing America is presented by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and the National Museum of American History in collaboration with the American Library Association Public Programs Office. The traveling exhibition is made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.

Local support for Created Equal and Changing America has been provided by Friends of the Moline Public Library, WQPT, and The Moline Dispatch/Rock Island Argus/QCOnline.

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FOIA Oversight Hearing - Grassley Statement PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Media & Communications
Written by Grassley Press   
Friday, 14 March 2014 08:19

Prepared Statement of Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa

Ranking Member, Senate Committee on the Judiciary

Hearing on “Open Government and Freedom of Information:

Reinvigorating the Freedom of Information Act for the Digital Age”

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  I always enjoy this hearing.  It provides us an opportunity to focus on how the government handles the Freedom of Information Act.  As I’ve said before, it’s been my experience that every administration, whether Republican or Democratic, has challenges in providing the degree of transparency desired by so many.

Unfortunately, the current administration, as administrations before, continues to fail to provide the transparency that the President promised.  This is troubling, as we all were told this would be the most transparent administration ever.  We need to do better than the status quo.

I expect we’ll hear about some of the changes in technology that are taking place to make the Freedom of Information Act process better.  This is important and improvements are needed.  But we also must remain focused on improving the way the government thinks about transparency and Freedom of Information.  All of the changes to technology will be futile if there’s not a change in attitude.

On this point, at last year’s hearing I questioned what the Justice Department was doing to improve the way people think about transparency.   I hope to hear today what’s been done to change the so-called “culture of obfuscation among Freedom of Information officials.”

The Justice Department and its Office of Information Policy has a unique and special role with regard to the Freedom of Information Act.  The Office of Information Policy can have a profound impact on Freedom of Information Act policy.  It can tackle head-on the government-wide “culture of obfuscation” problems.  I’m concerned, though, that rather than lead in a positive way, the Justice Department has acted in a way that’s contrary to the President’s transparency promise.

I’m frustrated with the legal argument the Justice Department and the Federal Election Commission made in a recent Freedom of Information case.  In Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington v. Federal Election Commission, the Justice Department made an argument that, in the view of many, undermined the Freedom of Information Act. 

Fortunately, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a unanimous decision, rejected the Obama Administration’s argument.  The D.C. Circuit said the government’s position would create a “Catch-22” situation, leaving requesters in limbo for months or years.  That result isn’t what Congress or the law envisions.  I’m glad the court got this one right, but it’s a shame that it even had to consider the question.

What message does the Justice Department’s argument send to other agencies?  I fear this “do as I say, not as I do” approach emboldens agencies to craft legal maneuvers that undermine Freedom of Information compliance.  That’s what the Federal Election Commission did and the Justice Department was right there to help them in court.

Given the Justice Department’s leadership role with respect to the Freedom of Information Act, this is disappointing, if not downright alarming.  If Justice makes these kinds of arguments, why should anyone be shocked about lack of transparency claims against the government?  As a Senator, I’ve had my own challenges in obtaining information from this administration.  If it’s this difficult for a senator, I can only imagine how much more difficult and frustrating it is for a private citizen.

So, this problem is something we need to address.  I know we’ll hear from the witnesses today about proposals to strengthen the Freedom of Information Act.  These may in fact be needed, but we must first ensure current law is followed, rather than undermined.

I’ll note that recently the House of Representatives unanimously passed bipartisan Freedom of Information legislation.  That’s a real accomplishment these days.  I understand, Mr. Chairman, our staffs are reviewing this legislation and hearing from those in the transparency community.  Overall, the reception seems to be positive, but there are some questions that have been raised regarding, for example, the technology used for handling requests.  We’ll continue to examine this issue and others, but here’s a bill that we should take serious and examine closely.

There’s a lot of room for improvement and I look forward to asking our witnesses about some of these concerns I’ve raised today.


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