Monday, August 31, 2009

What I'm Reading Now...

“Microtrends, Under the Microscope," a review by Katie Smith, Academic Advisor
Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow's Big Changes by Mark J. Penn

For people drawn to both macro- and micro-sociological and societal trends, this book is a definite must-read. Penn describes "microtrends" as phenomena that catch on with one percent or more of the American population, (or at least three million people). Basically, microtrends are small, but potentially powerful and influential social movements.

Each chapter covers a different microtrend in the US, and some of my favorites describe the increase in teenagers who knit, individual over team sports, commuter marriages and pet ownership. As a reader, I recognized aspects of myself and my own lifestyle reflected in several microtrends. More telling, Penn explains, is the impact that these small movements can have on the political and business climate in the US through their powerful effect on voting and consumer trends. For people who want fascinating insight into emerging social and political movements, this book is highly recommended reading!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Before school gets too crazy

Welcome back! Before your assignments make you forget what reading for fun is all about, let me draw your attention to some of the fun "eye candy" we have for you.

Our catalog has more than 40 titles using the words "comic books" or "comic strips" or "graphic novels" in the description. Some of these books are graphic novels like Aya and Persepolis. Some are only available online, like Hackerteen, Vol. 1. (You'll need to prove you're affiliated with PVCC to open the link--log in with your MyPVCC username and password.) Others are books about the art of creating these types of books. For example, there's Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels. And then there are books for people who would like to create their own comics or graphic novels. Our most recent purchase in that category is Drawing Words & Writing Pictures: Making Comics: Manga, Graphic Novels and Beyond. And there's even a series of eBooks full of academic essays about anime, manga and fan arts: Mechademia is the series name. This volume is called Networks of Desire. (This one's in NetLibrary--you need a free account to view the book from off campus, so stop by school and create the account or ask a librarian for help.)

So hurry up--before school responsibilities take over your free time--stop by the library to check out a graphic novel or two. Happy reading!

P.S.--Have you seen the post asking for your input on what to name the reference desk? Check it out--it's not too late to express an opinion.

Friday, August 14, 2009

What I'm Reading Now...

In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan

Never has a book so altered my life's choices as this one. That may sound dramatic, especially considering the title, but it's true. Recently, I have been inspired by all things natural and organic. Basically, I have been inspired to return to a simpler life with less-processed foods; a return to whole foods. (And no, I'm not talking about the store.)

In Defense of Food is a treatise written by Michael Pollan on the benefits of food and eating. One may wonder why either of these things would need explicating or defending, but in a world of processed, food-like substances and food industry lobbyists, it is wholly necessary. Pollan basically argues three things: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants" (1). He goes on to describe what each of those tenets mean to the average person fighting his/her way through the grocery aisles in search of what to have for dinner. Along the way he introduces and discusses ideologies like nutritionism (not so good) and organic (not as benign as you may think). The result is an eye-opening experience laden with practical advice. So, if you are looking for a book that is more than just a good read, try taking a look at In Defense of Food. You might just have a life-altering experience (or at the very least, learn what it means to truly eat healthily).

Michael Pollan is an award-winning journalist and author whose writing focuses primarily on gardening and food. Pollan's other works include The Botany of Desire: A Plant's Eye View of the World and The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. You may read more about Michael Pollan here.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Meet the Jessup Library Staff

Hello, my name is Linda Cahill, and I am the Coordinator of Library Services at PVCC. I have been in the Jessup Library since 1992 and have observed many changes in library services and resources during this time. In my position, I oversee and coordinate library activities and services for all students, faculty and staff at all college locations.

My background includes library work in public, college and special libraries. My undergraduate degree is from Columbia College (Columbia, SC) and my master’s degree is from The University of Michigan (Ann Arbor).

I love the community college environment, helping students use the library and locating materials to support their research. Our mission is to make your library experience successful and enjoyable at the same time. If you have questions about library services or resources, please let us know.

I am currently reading classic novels that somehow escaped my earlier reading lists. I love non-fiction, how-to-do-it-yourself and gardening books.

Please stop by soon and introduce yourself!