Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Beware the Book

Artwork courtesy of the American Library Association
September 25 to October 1 is Banned Books Week – seven days of celebrating our right to read books that have been challenged for reasons ranging from sex and offensive language (too many books to name) to the promotion of cannibalism (Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein).

Despite the popularity and longevity of cautionary tales like Fahrenheit 451, book banning is still a reality, both nationwide and close to home: only earlier this month, the superintendent of Chesterfield County schools in Virginia reinstated three books that had been pulled from summer reading lists for sexually explicit language and violence. Deciding who can read what is an individual decision – according to Access to Library Resources and Services for Minors, an interpretation of the ALA's Library Bill of Rights, “Librarians and governing bodies should maintain that parents – and only parents – have the right and the responsibility to restrict the access of their children – and only their children – to library resources.” Reading as a personal choice is an idea that applies to everyone, and Banned Books Week honors the work of countless teachers, librarians, and readers of all stripes who stand up for the freedom to read.

So come join the library in exercising your First Amendment right to read without restriction!

Interested in reading a banned book? Check out our Banned Books display near the library classroom, which features old favorites like Aldous Huxley's Brave New World and Beloved by Toni Morrison, and some surprising recent additions like The Hunger Games by Susan Collins and Looking for Alaska by John Green. Also, don’t forget to check out our Banned Box up at the circulation desk to discover the fascinating stories behind tons of challenged books.

Finally, mark your calendars for this Thursday, September 29 at 12:00 PM, when Claire Guthrie GastaƱaga, Executive Director of ACLU of Virginia, will be speaking in room M229 about banned books through the perspective of past court cases and the effect of censorship on education. Please come and welcome Ms. GastaƱaga to PVCC!

So celebrate your right to read with a banned book – if you dare.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Free Book (To Keep!) in the Library

Source: Amazon.com
If you haven't already picked up your free copy of PVCC's Fall 2016 One Book, The Circle by Dave Eggers, then drop by the library: we have plenty of copies available, and getting one is as easy as registering for your tracking implant -- I mean, as signing up to let us know who's taking on the challenge. Don't forget to pick up a bookmark for more information on speakers, contests, and other events later in the semester.

So what's The Circle about?

When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world’s most powerful internet company, she feels she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users’ personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company’s modernity and activity. There are parties that last through the night, there are famous musicians playing on the lawn, there are athletic activities and clubs and brunches, and even an aquarium of rare fish retrieved from the Marianas Trench by the CEO. Mae can’t believe her luck, her great fortune to work for the most influential company in the world—even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public. What begins as the captivating story of one woman’s ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge. -- from the publisher's description

Mark your calendars for October 19, when PVCC's very own instructor of information technology, Mike Ferero, discusses "Privacy and Anonymity in the Internet Culture" in room M229. And remember: the Internet is always watching.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Frustration Friday: How to Adjust the Volume on a Library PC without Knowing the Secret Password

So your professor posts a video on Blackboard. You swing by the library to use a PC, log into your account, and click on the link. You plug in your headphones and go to adjust the volume -- but what's this?

Pop up window that reads, "Do you want to allow this app to make changes to your PC? Program name: Diagnostics Troubleshooting Wizard. Verified publisher: Microsoft Windows. File origin: Hard drive on this computer. To continue, type an administrative passowrd, then click Yes. Input User name. Input Password. Domain: PVCCNET. Show details. Click for Yes. Click for No."

What does Windows mean, administrative password? "Do you want to allow this app to make changes to your PC"? Windows is known for unnecessary changes and a user-unfriendly attitude, sure, but adjusting the volume shouldn't be this difficult. Where are you, A&P?

Fortunately, it's an easy fix. You can take either one of two steps:

1) Unplug your headphones and plug them back in, or
2) Minimize your screen

Either action will bring up a window that asks you to select the device you plugged in, like so:

Pop up that reads, "Which device did you plug in? Headphones, external speaker, Dell speaker out. Enable auto popup dialog when device has been plugged in. Select for speaker setup. Select to set default device. Select for Ok."

Select "Headphones" and click OK, and you're all set!

Join us next week for another Frustration Friday, where we give you tips on how to take the frustration out of your library experience!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Information Nation: Stay Informed with New Books

It can be difficult to stay informed in a fast-paced world. Slow down and dig deeper into current events with one of the many new books available here at the library:

Political commentator Phyllis Bennis tackles the complex issues surrounding the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, relations between the U.S. and the Middle East, ISIS, the Syrian War, and other global concerns in two primers, Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict and Understanding ISIS and the New Global War on Terror. In A Rage for Order: The Middle East in Turmoil, from Tahrir Square to ISIS, Robert F. Worth examines the aftermath of the Arab Spring five years on. Maajid Nawaz recounts the personal story of changing his political views in Radical: My Journey Out of Islamist Extremism and discusses Islam with with Sam Harris in Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue. And in Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy, and the West, the late prime minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto, makes a bold call for tolerance and justice from both East and West.

Women leaders are beginning to stand front and center on the world’s stage. Learn how women political leaders are breaking down barriers in Breakthrough: The Making of America’s First Woman President by Nancy L. Cohen; how power is shifting and male-dominated spaces are opening up and growing more inclusive in Broad Influence: How Women Are Changing the Way America Works by Jay Newton-Small. Irin Carmon explores the fierce, unapologetic, and inspiring story of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

With the 2016 election barely two months away, there’s still time to brush up on — or supplement — your political know-how. Take a brief look at politics and presidencies in two books from the A Very Short Introduction series: American Political History by Donald T. Critchlow and The American Presidency by Charles O. Jones. Robert E. Mutch gives readers the inside scoop on campaign funding and why it’s important in Campaign Finance: What Everyone Needs to Know. Mark Gerzon evinces hope for finding common ground between political parties in The Reunited States of America: How We Can Bridge the Partisan Divide. And in Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America, Ari Berman explores the significance of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 — considered one of the biggest victories of the civil rights movement — and reveals how we are still fighting a crucial battle for voter rights and enfranchisement over fifty years later — a battle embroiled in questions of race and representation.

These questions aren’t restricted to the ballot box. In From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor examines the nationwide protests that broke out in response to the police murders of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, and how the movement reminds us that we are not yet living in a post-racial nation — and what can be done about it. D. Watkins’ memoir, The Beast Side: Living and Dying While Black in America, is an unflinching look at an America still far from having moved “beyond race.” In White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide, Carol Anderson argues that history and media have long ignored the role of white opposition in movements like #BlackLivesMatter: “With so much attention on the flames, everyone had ignored the kindling." Kristian Williams demonstrates how police brutality is inherent to law enforcement in Our Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America. Mark and Paul Engler take a look at protests across the globe and the art of transformative unrest in This Is An Uprising: How Nonviolent Revolt is Shaping the Twenty-First Century. And in Who We Be: The Colorization of America, Jeff Chang shows how the racial and ethnic demographics are changing, and why the liberation of people of color is so urgent.

You can find all these books and more in our catalog.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Engineers, Rejoice!

AccessEngineering, a comprehensive reference tool for engineers at every stage of their studies and careers, is now available on trial through the Jessup Library. Get access to up-to-date, full text books and articles on subjects ranging from bio to software, as well as instructional videos, graphs, and calculators. The database is organized by subject, industry, and title, making both research and browsing incredibly easy.

We're trialing AccessEngineering until September 22, so be sure to take a look. Find it under the Database List on the library homepage. On-campus access is automatic. In order to access off-campus, sign in with:

Username: pvcc
Password: engineering

Let us know if this database we should keep! Email Crystal Newell at cnewell@pvcc.edu with your feedback.

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Betty Sue Jessup Library Experience, 3.0

It's the start of the semester, and here at the library, we have some big news. We've been busy over the summer, jettisoning bookshelves and defenestrating old computers (we wish), intent on creating a fresh experience for all our new and returning patrons. With the first week of classes nearly over and the library clear of construction tape, it's time to unveil Betty Sue Jessup Library 3.0:


The alcove, long a popular spot to catch Zs between classes, has been renovated. It now includes comfortable seating -- to save you the pain of sitting on a footstool with only two working wheels -- and whiteboards for experimenting with your inner Picasso. Please remember that is an area for quiet study, so be sure to take your conversations up front. But should you need a nap, go ahead -- we won't tell! (We've been here all day too.)


Keep an eye on the announcement TV to stay up-to-date on library happenings. No longer a glorified clock, the TV will keep you informed on a variety of topics, from news and policies to fun facts, book recs, and when and where to get your copy of PVCC's Fall 2016 One Book, The Circle by Dave Eggers.


Best of all, the days of staring at a blank, blue screen while waiting ten minutes to log into your student account are gone. Our new, sleek PCs are faster, equipped with Windows 10 and Office 2016, and come with bigger screens. Thank you so much to everyone in the IT department for installing them! The good folk over there have done an enormous amount of work on our behalf, upgrading all our laptops to Windows 10 and networking our copiers so that laptop users can now print to both. (Rejoice, everyone who got sick of waiting in line at Library Copier #2!)

Our homepage has undergone some changes as well. We've streamlined your experience, listing the most frequented links, library hours, and adding an RSS feed to a column on the right. And with a redesigned page that takes you step by step through the process of delving into our databases and finding books and articles, researching is easier than ever. Don't forget to check our playbooks, that provide tips on completing assignments and doing research for a range of classes.

So drop by the library -- whether you're looking for study space, an internet connection, research help, or a comfortable time out between classes, we have it all. We hope to see you soon!