Thursday, April 21, 2016

Your New Sunbathing Companion, aka New Books Are In

After a brief but chaotic winter, spring has (mostly) arrived, bringing with it daylight savings time and summer temperatures beloved of both human and insect populations. Kill some time in the sun (after you’ve slain a few stinkbug armies, or run screaming from the room) with a new book.

If you’ve been waiting for the final installment of Ransom Riggs’ wonderfully chilling trilogy, Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, wait no more: Library of Souls is now on the shelf. If you’re just now discovering the series and would like to see what all the fuss is about before the movie hits theaters in late September, here’s your chance. Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children is full of secrets, hauntings, and creepy vintage photographs, and will linger beneath your skin for hours after you’ve finished reading. Begin your adventure with Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and Hollow City.

Looking for more books that have been recently adapted for the big screen? Check out The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey for alien invasions in a post-apocalyptic world and The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge by Michael Punke for revenge on the American frontier.

We have plenty of other fantastic tales to satisfy a taste for other worlds and epic adventure. Pop over to the Nook to find Madeleine L'Engle's Time Quintet, beginning with the winner of the 1963 Newbery Medal, A Wrinkle in Time, and continuing through A Swiftly Tilting Planet, A Wind in the Door, Many Waters, and An Acceptable Time. L’Engle’s classic tale of tesseracts and time travel has appealed to both children and adults for decades. Revisit this nostalgic favorite or dive in for the first time.

Fire Bringer by David Clement-Davies can be summed up in three words: Redwall, grown up. Fire Bringer follows the fawn, Rannoch — prophesied to become a hero among deer and oppose the tyrannical Lord of the Herd — as he travels through the dark, brutal heart of the Great Land to fulfill his destiny.

Brandon Sanderson puts a throne and a comatose emperor in the hands of the soul forger Shai in The Emperor’s Soul, telling the story of a girl forced to perform an impossible task in fewer than one hundred days. And in Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie, a novel Ursula Le Guin called “a modern Arabian nights,” ordinary citizens in New York discover that they’re not quite so ordinary after all.

The Battle of Stalingrad was a turning point in WWII, and Jochen Hellbeck gives readers an on-the-ground look at the battle and the ordinary Soviet citizens who lived through it in Stalingrad: The City that Defeated the Third Reich, using testimonies that were taken during and after the battle but were suppressed by the Kremlin and forgotten until now.

Lillian Faderman traces the fight for gay, lesbian, and trans civil rights from the 1950s to the early 21st century in The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle, using extensive research and more than 150 interviews to give readers a complete and authoritative history of the movement. And in Then Comes Marriage: United States v. Windsor and the Defeat of DOMA, litigator Roberta Kaplan recounts the battle to defeat the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), weaving her own personal story of self-acceptance with this harrowing, triumphant tale of a crucial civil rights victory.

Electronic violin virtuoso Lindsey Sterling — known for lively YouTube performances of both her original work and covers that range from popular songs to the Legend of Zelda — shares how she became a world-class entertainer in The Only Pirate At the Party.

Jennifer Jacquet explores the use of public shaming as a force of social change in Is Shame Necessary?: New Uses for an Old Tool. As a companion read, consider So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson, also available in the stacks.

Want to get meta about your reading? Award-winning book jacket designer Peter Mendelsund looks at the way readers envision fictional characters in What We See When We Read: A Phenomenology; with Illustrations, and reveals that knowing the concrete details of appearance has very little to do with how we come to know a character, no matter how vividly we picture them in our own minds.

Explore economics through the lens of pop culture and TV’s first family in Homer Economicus: The Simpsons and Economics, edited by Joshua Hall.

Rachel Swaby profiles a panoply of revolutionary women whose contributions to science range from nuclear physics to astronomy in Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science — And the World. And Andreas Wagner ponders the fascinating question of how the fittest, in Darwin’s theory of the survival of the fittest, became that way in Arrival of the Fittest: Solving Evolution's Greatest Puzzle.

You can find all these books and more in our catalog. Happy exploring, and happy reading!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

One Book 2016: We have a winner!

Announcing PVCC's Fall 2016 One Book:

The Circle, by Dave Eggers

Publisher's description:

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.

The Circle received 225 votes, Now I See You received 153 votes, and The Omnivore's Dilemma received 71 votes.

Please watch this space and your email for more news about the fall 2016 One Book Program, including information about when you can claim your copy of the chosen book. 

Thank you for voting!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

New Databases Keep on Coming!

VIVA, our statewide library consortium, continues to purchase new databases that all PVCC students, faculty, and staff can now access both on and off-campus.  Check out these additions:
  1. Mergent Intellect - This brand-new database provides extensive information on private companies, both active and inactive. It also includes Whitepages Pro, which has residential contact information.  

  2. Mergent Investext Snapshot - This database, also known as the Thomson Reuters Embargoed Research Collection, includes authoritative analyses of companies, industries, products, and markets that are written by analysts at investment banks and independent research firms. It can be found as a new tab within the Mergent Online platform.

  3. Oxford Journals - We have added 16 new e-journals, which brings our collection to approximately 150 e-journals published by Oxford. Most are in the areas of political science, history, and medicine.

  4. Advanced Technologies & Aerospace Collection - This new full-text database brings together the most comprehensive coverage in the areas of aeronautics, computer and information technology, electronics, communications, solid state devices, and space sciences.

  5. Earth Science Collection - This new full-text database provides access to articles in the earth sciences. It includes GeoRef, the most comprehensive database available in the geosciences.

  6. Engineering Collection - This new database expands our access from abstract-only engineering databases to full-text access for a wide range of journals in many different engineering disciplines.
Recently deleted abstract-only databases from ProQuest include: Applied Social Sciences Index and Abstracts (ASSIA), Mechanical Engineering Abstracts, PILOTS: Published International Literature on Traumatic Stress, Social Services Abstracts, and Sociological Abstracts. 

Friday, February 5, 2016

What's that I hear? New books are here!

Welcome back to another season of the Spring Semester, episode 2016. All your favorite characters and plot twists are back, from waning post-holiday blues to the occasional blizzard. Best of all, there are new books here at the library, and we’ve got lots of recommendations for you.

Looking for the next book in Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles? We have all five: Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Winter, and Fairest: Levana’s Story. If you enjoy new takes on old tales — everything from cyborg Cinderella to computer hacker Rapunzel — The Lunar Chronicles will be right up your alley.

Neil Gaiman also explores fairy tales — and every other sort of wonder tale — in his latest collection of short fiction, Trigger Warning: Short Fiction and Disturbances. The anthology includes a “Nothing O'Clock,” written for the fiftieth anniversary of Doctor Who in 2013; “Black Dog,” a tale from the world of American Gods; and “The Case of Death and Honey,” a spin on Sherlock Holmes.

Still in the mood for short stories? Check out Stephen King’s latest collection of short fiction, The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, his first collection since Night Shift came out thirty-five years ago.

If you've seen The Martian but haven't read the book, we have you covered. Andy Weir's bestselling novel about an astronaut stranded on Mars is sure to appeal to anyone interested in science, space westerns, and the classic tale of humans (armed with only ingenuity, engineering skills, gallows humor, and a roll of duct tape) versus nature.

Journeys through time and space don’t have to stop with The Martian. 500 years after escaping an uninhabitable earth, humans return to the alien planet they once called home in Neal Stephenson’s nearly 900-page door-stopper, Seveneves. And in Ready Player One, Ernest Cline fast forwards readers to the year 2044, when today’s pop culture has become tomorrow’s path to fame, fortune — and a brush with murder.

Isabelle Allende’s latest novel, The Japanese Lover, chronicles the romance of Alma and Ichimei, lovers torn apart by World War II and the forcible internment of Japanese Americans by the United States government. Infamy: The Shocking Story of the Japanese American Internment in World War II by Richard Reeves is a nonfiction exploration of this tragedy.

Between You & Me:  Confessions of a Comma Queen by Mary Norris is a humorous romp through the most common and vexing problems in spelling, punctuation, and grammar. In Cool: How the Brain’s Hidden Quest for Cool Drives Our Economy and Shapes Our World, Steven Quartz and Anette Asp explore the science behind trends and why the things we consume — from the food we eat to the cars we drive — may say so much about our personal identities and beliefs. The Art of the Start 2.0: The Time-tested, Battle-hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything by Guy Kawasaki is a crash course for entrepreneurs in using 21st century tools to get their businesses off the ground. Don’t forget to check out Kawasaki's The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users for a more detailed look at harnessing the power of social media.

Discover all these books and more in our catalog!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

New Database Trial

The VCCS is currently trialing a new database called PrepSTEP™.

PrepSTEP™ is a dynamic online platform that can change the lives of students through academic success and preparation for today’s workplace. It is packed with powerful skill-building resources in English, math, and science—for use in self-directed study or as supplemental materials for developmental programs. Students can also build workplace skills, explore careers, prepare for occupational licensing exams, build basic computer skills, and more. On the website, each icon represents a separate center with valuable resources that include interactive tutorials, engaging practice tests, and downloadable eBooks.

The trial account is now active and provides access to all of the platform's features. To begin using the site, please follow these steps:

1. Go to the trial site
2. Sign in with
User Name:
Password: password

Email Crystal Newell at with any feedback.  The trial ends on Feb. 29.  Would this be useful for the library to have?

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Database Roundup!

The Jessup Library has access to several new databases this year! Some of these are accessible only to PVCC faculty, students, and staff; while others were purchased through VIVA, our statewide library consortium. Those are accessible to college students all across Virginia.

Here's what's new:
  1. Statista - Looking for accurate statistics for a research project? Statista integrates data on over 80,000 topics from over 18,000 sources onto a single platform. Categorized into 21 market sectors, you can find quantitative data on media, business, finance, politics, and a wide variety of other areas. A really cool feature of this database is the ability to download the infographics and charts into a PowerPoint slide or Excel spreadsheet.

  2. Women and Social Movements International, 1840-present - This digital archive contains a vast collection of primary source materials documenting the activism of women all over the world. You will find personal letters, diaries, memoirs, and the proceedings of conferences at which pivotal decisions were made. So, if you're doing research in the field of women's studies, this database will be helpful!

  3. OVID - Unfortunately, the statewide subscription to OVID's complete journal collection was cut due to budgetary constraints. However, we do retain access to articles published during our old subscription, from August 2015 and prior. In addition, the Jessup Library has subscribed to the Basic Nursing Journal Collection, which includes complete access to five important nursing journals.       

  4. American Mathematical Society (AMS) Journals - We now have perpetual access to the 2010-2014 content from four journals: Journal of the AMS, Mathematics of Computation, Proceedings of the AMS, and Transactions of the AMS.  Courtesy of VIVA.

  5. New EBSCO products: CINAHL with Full-Text, EconLit with Full-Text, Political Science Complete, and SocINDEX with Full-Text - We have several new databases from EBSCO in the areas of economics, nursing, political science, and sociology.  You can use the search box on our homepage to search all of these (and other EBSCO databases) at once. Courtesy of VIVA.    

  6. IEEE/IET Electronic Library (IEL) - Interested in engineering?  Our subscription to IEEE Xplore Digital Library has been upgraded! We now have access to 6 additional journal titles, 1400+ additional conference titles, 2800+ active and selected archival IEEE standards, backfiles to 1872 (for select titles), and over 3,000,000 full-text documents (an increase from just 324,000). Courtesy of VIVA.

  7. IOPscience and IOP Ebooks - We have subscribed to journals published by the Institute of Physics for many years, but our subscription has also been upgraded! We now have access to almost all of the current IOP journals. We also have several new ebook packages that focus on the leading voices in physics research today, as well as some introductory texts. Courtesy of VIVA.

  8. Oxford Scholarship Ebooks - We have access to hundreds of recent ebooks published by Oxford University Press in 20 subject areas. To see the books we have, visit the database and click the Search button in the top right corner and limit the results to "unlocked" and "free." Courtesy of VIVA.

  9. Wiley Journals - We have also increased the number of Wiley journals to which we subscribe. Our core collection has increased by 217 titles for a total of 1,485 journals.  These journals cross many different subject areas.  Courtesy of VIVA
The following databases were cancelled:
  • PAIS
  • ProQuest Congressional