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

Friday, November 20, 2015

Just in Time for the Break -- New Books!

The Thanksgiving break is only a few days away (insert an angelic chorus here). If you're planning to relax over a good book in the aftermath of the Thanksgiving feast, the library has you covered. We have over two hundred new books, and there's definitely something here that will take your mind off your postprandial nausea. Start your browsing with our recommendations below.

Alexandra Robbins explores the troubles and triumphs of medicine’s unsung heroes in The Nurses: A Year of Secrets, Drama, and Miracles with the Heroes of the Hospital. She uses the real-life stories of four women — from a first-year nurse to a former narcotics addict — to give readers a glimpse of life behind the Employees Only door, examining everything from dealing with burnout to saving a life.

Have you ever wondered who invented beds, or which came first: the toilet seat or toilet paper? Greg Jenner digs through Egyptian tombs and Victorian sewers to bring you the answers in this romp through the history of everyday things, A Million Years in a Day: A Curious History of Everyday Life.

Improvements in technology are revolutionizing higher education, making it more widely available and providing students who face skyrocketing prices with alternatives. Explore the future of college in College Disrupted: The Great Unbundling of Higher Education by Ryan Craig and The End of College: Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere by Kevin Carey.

The ripples of Terry Pratchett’s legacy are still going strong and will be for decades to come. A Blink of the Screen is a collection of short fiction that spans his entire career, and is a fantastic, humorous read whether you’re new to his work or an old friend.

Curious about the inner life of marine creatures? James Prosek examines the myth, mystery, and biology of the freshwater eel in Eels: An Exploration, from New Zealand to the Sargasso, of the World’s Most Amazing and Mysterious Fish. And in Kraken: The Curious, Exciting, and Slightly Disturbing Science of Squid, Wendy Williams uncouples the reality of the squid, and other cephalopods, from its legendary status of giant, deadly sea monster.

Greek mythology has had a major impact on culture and literature, from Plato to Percy Jackson. In The Gods of Olympus: A History, Barbara Graziosi invites readers to follow the Greek gods across ages and cultures, from their original worshippers to the 21st century.

In the aftermath of a televised panic attack, Nightline anchor Dan Harris turns to self-help, spirituality, and brain scientists to rewire the little voice in his brain — the same voice that can be our own greatest asset or liability. He writes about his journey in 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works — A True Story. And in Rejection Proof: How I Beat Fear and Became Invincible Through 100 Days of Rejection, Jia Jiang shows readers how to use rejection as a path to personal success.

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

Saturday, November 7, 2015

One Book Program Speakers

The One Book Program presented two speakers in October: Professor Justin Wert (October 21), and Dr.  Lundy Pentz (October 28).  Both talks were well attended and provided two different views on The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

 Professor Wert's talk, entitled The Life of Henrietta Lacks: Black Community and Black Lives Matter, dealt with the sense of community that surrounded Lacks and her family, the ties between the individuals in her network, and the active support that individuals in that network gave to each other. We also learned about the migration from rural Virginia to urban Maryland, specifically Baltimore, and how black society changed because of this.

Professor Wert teaches English Composition I and II, Survey of American Literature I and II, and Survey of African American Literature I and II. 

To see a video recording of Professor Wert's talk, please click here. 

Dr. Lundy Pentz retired from Mary Baldwin College after decades of teaching biology, microbiology, immunology, physiology, and more. He got his PhD and his B.A. at Johns Hopkins University in MD. His talk,  entitled Cells, Tissues, and Money, focused on the financial aspects of cell research.  Dr. Pentz  walked the audience through the process of cell research, and debunked the idea that researchers get rich by discussing the expenses associated with this research. 

To see a video recording of Dr. Pentz's talk, please click here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

JSTOR access has been restored

Thank you for your patience while JSTOR fixed the problem!  Access has now been restored.