Thursday, December 30, 2010

Got librarian?

Did you know that a librarian can make a difference in a student's academic success rate? Many of the students currently roaming our halls use questionable Web sources for their academic research, while all the time, high quality academic resources are within easy reach in the library. Using the library's resources is not very different than searching Google or Wikipedia, but when you use library sources, you are using materials that are not only trustworthy and reliable, but also top notch.

A librarian is an information expert who can help students get their hands on quality materials that can help turn out strong essays and papers. A librarian can show students how to find the information, how to apply it to their research and how to cite it properly.

The Jessup Library librarians can help improve the quality of students' work, something that goes a long way toward increasing confidence, improving critical thinking, and on a more practical plane, toward ensuring that students will feel at ease in the very demanding research world of upper-level courses in four-year institutions and beyond.

There are three ways you can involve a Jessup Library librarian in your academic life:

1. Information Literacy workshops @ the Library

These workshops normally last up to one hour and each covers different aspects of research, such as the research process, efficient database searching, developing a successful research question, introduction to the library's resources, source evaluation skills, etc. We can also tailor materials to meet your needs. To sign up your class for one of our workshops, use this form.

2. Embed a librarian in your online course.

Having an embedded librarian in your online course is like having your own personal librarian in the classroom. An embedded librarian creates and maintains materials that are relevant to your course, participates in classroom discussions to guide students with their research and points them to good sources, helps students understand citation formats, helps select reliable Web resources and more.

3. Get in touch with a librarian.

Encourage your students to get in touch with a librarian whenever they need help with their research. A librarian can point the student to a good resource and give instruction on how to use the source. Librarians are available in person or we can be contacted by phone (434-961-5309), e-mail (, Instant Message (see our Meebo chat on our blog) or through LRC Live (a 24-hour chat service).

The Jessup Library librarians are here to make a positive impact on students' academic success. Contact us today!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Congratulations! You have survived another semester, and now it's time to celebrate! As you relax, gather with friends and ring in the New Year, don't forget to take the time to catch up on your reading. With all the new books we've recently added to the collection, you'll have plenty from which to choose.

We have a number of popular books from some big-name authors like James Patterson--1st to Die, Michael Chabon--Wonder Boys: A Novel and Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni -- The Mistress of Spices.

With break comes extra time for video and computer games. Find out why it's so enticing in Melanie Swalwell's, The Pleasures of Computer Gaming: Essays on Cultural History, Theory and Aesthetics.

For you boxing enthusiasts, take a look at Muhammad Ali: The Making of an Icon by Michael Ezra and Floyd Patterson: A Boxer and a Gentleman by Alan Howard Levy.

The Presidency in the Era of 24-Hour News by Jeffrey E. Cohen discusses how new media affects the president's communications and approval ratings. Given the recent Wikileaks scandal, this topic couldn't be more relevant.

Birth: The Surprising History of How We Are Born by Tina Cassidy explains why and how women give birth the way they do. An appropriate read for this time of year!

Now might be a wonderful time to plan your garden for next year. If so, we have lots of new books on trees, shrubs and flowers.
Orchid Grower's Companion: Cultivation, Propagation and Varieties
The New Encyclopedia of Orchids: 1500 Species in Cultivation
Boxwood: Choosing the Best
Clematis for Small Spaces
Hellebores: A Comprehensive Guide
Lilacs: A Gardener's Encyclopedia
Conifers for Gardens: An Illustrated Encyclopedia
The Encyclopedia of Grasses for Livable Landscapes
Trees for All Seasons: Broadleaved Evergreens for Temperate Climates

We have many more wonderful titles to keep you busy over the holidays. Please stop by the library before break and stock up. We look forward to seeing you, but if not, have a wonderful break and happy holidays!

Library hours during break

The library will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the break; we will be closed on Saturdays. The entire College will be closed from December 23 to January 2.

We wish everyone health and happiness over the holidays! It's been a wonderful semester; have a great break!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Interlibrary loans

All library materials are due on December 6, so the library will no longer request books through interlibrary loan. We will continue to request articles through interlibrary loan until the end of the semester, however.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Join the library student focus group!

We will be holding two student focus groups, one on November 22 and one on December 1 at 12:30 p.m. in Study Room E. Please consider joining us at either time. (Did I mention there will be free pizza, drinks and brownies?)

There's no preparation involved; just give us your opinions. (And did I mention there will be free pizza, drinks and brownies?) For instance, how can we better serve you? How do you want the library to look?

If you would like to attend, simply e-mail Crystal Newell at, or just drop by. We'll definitely take walk-ins! See you then, and come hungry!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Books, books, and more books

We are less than 28 days away from the last day of regular classes. Coincidentally, that's how long you can check out a book. Perfect timing I think considering we have a whole bunch of new books for you (and just in time for the holidays)!

Are you traveling this Thanksgiving? Then take a look at our new books on CD -- Flight Lessons, Glimmer Palace, and The Chopin Manuscript: A Serial Thriller.

And speaking of Thanksgiving, with all the food that you will be eating, you might want to read this beforehand. America's Food: What You Don't Know About What You Eat.

Are you a big sports fan? If so, we recently added quite a few titles for the sports aficionado.
Can You Name That Team?: A Guide to Professional Baseball, Football, Soccer, Hockey, and Basketball Teams and Leagues
Love Me, Hate Me: Barry Bonds and the Making of an Antihero
Willie Mays: The Life, the Legend
Tiki: My Life in the Game and Beyond
The Ball Is Round: A Global History of Soccer
Open: An Autobiography

Do final papers have you going crazy? Well, you might be in good company with a History of Madness.

Is science beautiful? It is to George Johnson who discusses the Ten Most Beautiful Experiments.

Of course, like always, this is just a sample of our most recent titles. The new books list has more. So be sure to check out a few, especially before Thanksgiving break!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Jessup Library Book Club

The Book Club will meet this next Tuesday, October 26th, in Study Room F (727) in the Jessup Library. Please join us as we discuss The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom.

The Kitchen House is a powerful novel about life in the 1790s on a tobacco plantation in Virginia. Grissom unmasks the culture and reality of the antebellum South through voices of slaves and white indentured servants. In each character, the reader is drawn to the vivid portrayals of respect for humanity, sadness, fear, love, and tragedy in a horrible system of disrespect and terror. The characters touch your heart and it is difficult to rest one's eyes from chapter to chapter. Grissom's research into slavery and the intolerable conditions of the antebellum South is evident throughout the novel. Her tale of a white Irish girl growing up with black slaves in a kitchen house separated from the white plantation owners tells an interesting story of love and exposes the readers to the simple things in life that matter the most, love and respect for our fellow human beings.

Linda Cahill

Thursday, October 14, 2010

This is going to be big!!!

...a big new books list, that is! While you were toiling away at midterms (either taking or grading them), the library was VERY busy adding lots of new and interesting books to the collection. Now that some of the stress is over (or close to being over), why don't you take a look at some of our great new additions.

Halloween is right around the corner--not to mention that vampires are all the rage, especially with shows like True Blood. If you're a fan, check out the books on which the series is based.
Dead Until Dark
Living Dead in Dallas
Club Dead
Dead to the World
Dead as a Doornail
Definitely Dead
All Together Dead

Many books are eventually turned into television shows and movies. The Lord of the Rings trilogy is an excellent example. In the Frodo Franchise: The Lord of the Rings and Modern Hollywood, Kristin Thompson explores the impact these films had on the industry and offers an interesting behind-the-scenes view of their making.

And speaking of the Lord of the Rings, check out the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment.

We recently celebrated Banned Books Week, which reminded me of this book--Controversial Cinema: The Films That Outraged America.

Do you have a pet that you absolutely adore? If so, you may want to read The Powerful Bond Between People and Pets: Our Boundless Connections to Companion Animals.

Okay, who doesn't have a cell phone? Are you lost without yours? So, what impact have these devices had on our society? Find out in 24/7: How Cell Phones and the Internet Change the Way We Live, Work, and Play.

Spammers, hackers and trojans, oh my! See who or what is lurking behind the seemingly innocent facade of the Internet in Dissecting the Hack: The Forb1dd3n Network.

As always, this is just a few of our most recent additions. The full list can be found on the new books list.

I hope you'll find time over break to check out a few of these books, and we'll see you back on the 20th!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Ca-ca-ca-catalog...the library goes "Gaga"

Are you a fan of Lady Gaga? Imagine what she would say to this video created by the University of Washington's Information School. The library never sounded so good!

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Library has...

...another study room! We are very pleased to announce that we have added a sixth study room to our repetoire! Study Room F is located in Room 727 in the library.

Like our other study rooms, groups may sign up for it in advance. Individuals do not need to sign in; you may use it if it's available, but you must vacate the room if a group needs it. The sign up sheet is located in the black binder at the front of the circulation desk. The room may be reserved for up to three hours. Please keep others in mind; do NOT sign up for more than three hours at a time.

If you have any questions, please let us know. We hope this additional study room will be helpful, especially as we enter mid-semester...we know it's almost mid-term time!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Banned Books Week is this week.

Yes, there is a celebration for practically every month, week and day, but the library seems to be particularly suited to celebrate this week's theme.

Banned Books Week (Sept. 25-Oct. 2, 2010) advocates the freedom to read. It began in 1982 in response to the increasing number of challenges received by libraries (and other book providers) over books thought to be too explicit, too racially charged, too inappropriate for children or young adults, or too positive in their treatment of homosexuals. Since that time, over a thousand books have been the subject of debate, and some have been challenged repeatedly (

Challenged books include more recent titles like Twilight, but also include seminal works of literature such as To Kill a Mockingbird and the Color Purple.

The American Library Association compiles lists of the most frequently challenged books. If you're interested in reading any of these titles, the library has the following (in order of the number of challenges):

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J. K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Slaughterhouse-five by Kurt Vonnegut
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
Black Boy by Richard Wright
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende

So check out a book or two and celebrate the freedom to read!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

September is Library Card Sign-up Month...

So what better way to celebrate than by checking out books, and we have plenty of new ones that have just been added to the collection. The best part is, you don't even need a card at the Jessup Library. As a currently-enrolled student, you automatically have an account. All you need to know is your student ID number or your MyPVCC login. The same goes for faculty and staff; you are also in our system, but you don't even need to know your EmplID. We can look you up by name! So take a minute or two to peruse our latest additions, then stop by. Remember, no card needed!

And here are a few teasers to peak your interest. We have:

Stunning art books -- Oceania: Art of the Pacific Islands in the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Masterpieces of European Painting, 1800-1920, in the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Piero di Cosimo: Visions Beautiful and Strange; Silk; or, Vitebsk: The Life of Art.

Intriguing biographies -- Belva Lockwood: The Woman Who Would Be President; The Cynical Idealist: A Spiritual Biography of John Lennon; or, Hanging Captain Gordon: The Life and Trial of an American Slave Trader.

Incredible fiction -- The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Take a look at Mary Jane King's riveting review of this book.); Orpheus Lost: A Novel; or, Animal's People.

Fascinating historical accounts -- Justinian's Flea: Plague, Empire and the Birth of Europe; Life and Death in the Third Reich; Retribution: The Battle for Japan, 1944-45; or, So Help Me God: The Founding Fathers and the First Great Battle Over Church and State.

Helpful how-to's -- Dealing with Debt; Work, Life and Family Imbalance: How to Level the Playing Field; or, Your Rights as a Tenant.

And scientific wonders -- Deadly Companions: How Microbes Shaped Our History; The Genius Engine: Where Memory, Reason, Passion, Violence and Creativity Intersect in the Human Brain; or, Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream: A Day in the Life of Your Body.

Of course we have many more. So take a look at our full list. Remember, students can check out up to 25 books at a time; so no worries if you're interested in more than one. In fact, we highly encourage it!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

September is Hispanic Heritage Month

What do these people have in common? Each of them are Hispanic American and possesses great talent that has influenced United States culture and society. And they are but a sampling of the many Hispanic Americans who have had a profound effect. Join us as we celebrate their accomplishments during Hispanic Heritage Month by checking out a few books.

For general background and biographical information, try:

100 Hispanics You Should Know by Ivan Castro (This is a NetLibrary book. To access this book from off campus, you'll need to create a free account while on campus first.)

Artists from Latin American Cultures: A Biographical Dictionary by Kristin Congdon and Kara Kelley Hallmark.

Encyclopedia of Latin American Theater
Notable Latino Americans: A Biographical Dictionary by Matt S. Meier

*Want more, then try the following search strategy in our catalog: (hispanic OR latin OR mexican OR chican*) AND (america* OR "united states") AND biography

For information on history and culture, try:

The Cambridge Companion to Modern Latin American Culture edited by John King

Mestizaje: Critical Uses of Race in Chicano culture

*A catalog search for: (hispanic OR latin OR mexican OR chican*) AND (america* OR "united states") AND (history OR culture) also will yield many more results.

For information on and collections of literature and poetry, try:

Bordering Fires: The Vintage Book of Contemporary Mexican and Chicano/a Literature

Daughters of the Fifth Sun: A Collection of Latina Fiction and Poetry

Oxford Book of Latin American Poetry: A Bilingual Anthology

Your Brain on Latino Comics: from Gus Arriola to Los Bros Hernandez by Frederick Luis Aldama (This is a NetLibrary book. To access this book from off campus, you'll need to create a free account while on campus first.)

*To find additional titles in our collection on this topic, try searching our catalog for: (hispanic OR latin OR mexican OR chican*) AND (america* OR "united states) AND (literature OR poetry)

This is just a sample of the many items we have on Hispanic American culture. We hope you will find one of these of interest! And as always, please let us know if you have any questions.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Three new databases make research easy!

The library staff is pleased to announce the addition of three new electronic resources to the collection!

APA PsycNET is a combination of databases, including PsycArticles and PyscINFO, that contains citations, abstracts and full-text scholarly journal articles on psychology and behavioral science. Also included are book chapters, full-text books and APA's Encyclopedia of Psychology.

Gale Science Resource Center offers a variety of information on science topics in the form of scholarly journal, newspaper and reference articles, multimedia clips and images. This database is an excellent resource for any science course, and even provides sample experiments with instructions. This resource also would work well for any pick-your-own-topic assignment, such as those given in English 111 and Public Speaking.

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses provides access to citations and full-text dissertations and theses on a variety of topics. This new resource may be especially helpful to faculty looking for comprehensive research.

All of these resources can be accessed both on and off campus by students, faculty and staff.

We hope you will find these new databases helpful, and please keep in mind that we are always here to help if you have trouble. So give us a call; we'll be glad to walk your though it.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A new semester brings new books

The library has been hard at work adding new books to the collection--just in time for the beginning of the sememster. Before the rush of papers begins, take a look at a few of our new titles. They might prove to be a nice diversion or just the book you need for your research.

Find out how apes, our evolutionary cousins, provide insight into human nature in Our Inner Ape: A Leading Primatologist Explains Why We Are Who We Are.

Pollen: The Hidden Sexuality of Flowers is a beautiful photographic journey of the pollen grain and its importance.

If you can't remember where you put your keys, then Can't Remember What I Forgot: The Good News From the Front Lines of Memory Research may make you feel better.

Watercolour for the Absolute Beginner offers step-by-step instructions for the tentative painter who never thought he/she could paint.

The Switch portrays a single woman ready to have kids on her own. It drew national attention when Bill O'Reilly made a comment about single motherhood. Find out the true story of why single women are choosing to have children in Single by Chance, Mothers by Choice: How Women Are Choosing Parenthood Without Marriage and Creating the New American Family.

Fascinated by the Knights Templar, then check out God’s Warriors: Knights Templar, Saracens and the Battle for Jerusalem.

Are you a philosopher at heart? Burning to know the answers to life's deepest questions? Then try What Would Socrates Say?: Philosophers Answer Your Questions About Love, Nothingness, and Everything Else

"Flattery will get you everywhere," according to Mae West. So you may want to read up on it in Willis Goth Regier's In Praise of Flattery.

Are you transferring and need to take the SAT? Well, we have study materials for that as well. Peterson's Master the SAT 2010.

And for all you nurses out there--how about the NCLEX? We've got several new titles that will help you prepare.
NCLEX-RN Excel: Test Success Through Unfolding Case Study Review
NCLEX-RN Review Made Incredibly Easy!
NCLEX-RN Exam Cram

The new books list will give you all of the titles in this group. Happy exploring! And if you need any help, please let us know!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Welcome back!

Welcome back, everyone! The Jessup Library staff would like to wish everyone a smooth start to a busy time of year and to remind everyone of some of the services we offer.

Did you know we offer one-on-one reference assistance? How about fun titles to read in between classes? We also have 24 desktop computers, but if you prefer, we have laptops available as well. Need to print? We've got that covered, too. And are you thinking about your first paper already? Well, we have many resources available that will help, including books and articles.

All of our services are described on our Web page. But if you ever have any questions, just let us know!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

At last, a new books list

The semester is coming to a close; it's time to stock up on books to read over the summer break. We've got a long list of great fiction reads, not to mention fascinating nonfiction books--all perfect for pleasure reading.

My top choice for pleasure reading is definitely Terry Pratchett's Illustrated Wee Free Men. It's a riot! If you'll be traveling over the break, we've got two audio books for you: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and Odd Thomas.

If you're like me, and use book covers to select your next book, take a look at this: By Its Cover: Modern American Book Cover Design.

If you'd rather spend your free time contemplating a poem, try this book: Catching Life by the Throat: How to Read Poetry and Why: Poems from Eight Great Poets.

If you're a gardening enthusiast, you might find some tips in this book: The Family Kitchen Garden.

And for when you really want to sink your teeth into a nonfiction book, we've got a list of intriguing titles:
Of course this isn't the full list--to see all of the new books, visit the new books link here.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A short introduction or two

The library's newest books are ready & waiting for you! The books cover subjects ranging from the Vietnam war to how to use blogs to improve literacy. Included in the list are also over 20 titles in the "Very Short Introduction" series. Here's just a small sample of the newest titles from the series:

So what are you waiting for? Take a look at the new books list and come to the library to check out some books!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Chillin' in the library

We're well into our 4th week of the semester, and some of you might have noticed that the buildings are a tad warm. There's a heating/cooling project happening on campus that will eventually make us all a lot more comfortable, but right now, things are a little warm all over...except in the library!

The library is refreshingly chilly, so when you need to cool off, head to the coolest place on campus: the library!

While you're here, think about browsing the Popular Collection for a fun novel, or ask a librarian for help with an assignment.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

New library computers are here!

As most of you know, the library has had problems with its student computers. Many of our older computers worked very slowly or froze unexpectedly. This certainly made research assignments and writing papers difficult, to say the least.

The good news is that this is now all behind us. Just last night, 24 brand-new computers were installed in the library! These great desktop computers are all Vista and have Microsoft Office 2007 installed on them. They work wonderfully so far, but if you do notice any kinks we have to iron out, please let us know. We want them to be in tip-top shape for you as you work on course assignments.

We hope these new computers will make your life easier and less stressful. It certainly makes the library look beautiful, especially with all those out-of-order signs gone.

So enjoy! And if you have any questions, please let us know!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Database outage this Friday and Saturday

Due to system maintenance, all library resources will be unavailable June 4 and 5. That means that databases like EBSCO and Literature Resource Center will NOT be accessible during this time, nor will the catalog, find e-journal and LincIt. The disruption is only temporary, and service will resume on June 6.

If you have any questions, please let us know. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Get your summer semester off to a good start

The library is a great tool for you as you work on summer classes at PVCC. It's a good idea to find out what the library can offer to you before you're in a panic about a research assignment. We have online resources for research as well as a big collection of books available in the library.

We can offer online help with our chat feature here on the blog (available 8 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday), or answer questions through e-mail (, or on the phone (434-961-5309). And last, but certainly not least, if you need help when the library isn't open, there is another online chat feature available around the clock.

We encourage face-to-face questions as well, so please be sure to come to the library sometime soon. We're easy to find: right next to the bookstore, and directly across from the Mermaid Express coffee cart.

The library home page is full of useful resources, including electronic collections of articles and images--not to mention our virtual tour and online tutorials.

Please take a look around the library home page, and visit us when you're on campus. We look forward to helping you!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Marietta McCarty wins the Nautilus Book Award

Congratulations to Marietta McCarty who recently won the 2010 Nautilus Book Award for her new publication, How Philosophy Can Save Your Life: 10 Ideas That Matter Most. She received the top honor in the category of Personal Growth/Psychology - the Gold Award.

Nautilus Book Awards recognize books that "promote spiritual growth, conscious living, and positive social change as they stimulate the imagination and inspire the reader to new possibilities for a better world." The Nautilus Awards Showcase Exhibit at BookExpo American will be held in New York, May 26-27, 2010.

Check out Marietta's facebook page for more information.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Fun summer reading--just for you

The semester has ended, but the library is still adding new books to the collection. Rather than list all of the academic books you won't be needing for at least the next ten days, let's take a look at the less-than-academic things you might want to read.

We have humorous nonfiction like David Sedaris's book, When You Are Engulfed in Flames.

If you prefer some intrigue, try Takeover--there's a forensic scientist, a bank robbery, and hostage negotiations! What more do you need for a thrilling read? Maybe a book with Soviet State Security Force agents out to get one of their own--a man who claims a murderer is in their ranks: Child 44.

Q: What is a "stranger room?"
A: A room set aside in homes built in the 1800s that would allow "unsavory guests" to stay without giving them access the rest of the house.

What does this have to do with fun new library books? Our new book, Stranger Room, features just such a room in a house in Virginia...with a twist: a murder was committed in the stranger room, and then, more than 100 years later, another murder is committed in the same room! Why? How? Read the book to find out.

Not everyone considers reading murder mysteries fun, so for those of you who might prefer books with some history, we have The Good Thief, set in the mid-1700s in New England.

If 18th century stories are a bit too old for you, how about one set in the 1950s? The Piano Teacher is set in Hong Kong in the 1950s, and follows the story of a piano teacher who finds herself involved in an affair.

And, moving even closer to the present day, we've got Under the Lemon Trees, a novel set in California in the 1970s. The main character is a teenage girl struggling to find where she fits into the world.

And then we have those readers who prefer romance in their novels. Try Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet: A Novel.

Maybe fiction isn't appealing to you; how about The Calculus Wars: Newton, Leibniz, and the Greatest Mathematical Clash of all Time? Or, if you're a fan of digging in the dirt, how about The Essential Garden Design Workbook?

And last, but certainly not least, is my favorite title from this list: Snoop: What Your Stuff Says about You.

Of course there are more books where these came from, so check out the full New Books List to see them all. (If you're interested in fun summer reading, select "Popular"--or "Social Sciences & Education/Current Events"--from the drop-down box.)

So come on in and check out a few books--we've got a lot to offer you whether you're studying this summer or taking time off from classes. See you soon!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

May is...

Mental Health Month! With the stress of studying, exams and papers (not to mention personal responsibilities), your health and well-being can be affected. That's why Mental Health of America, a non-profit organization, celebrates and promotes mental health month.

This year, the theme is Live Your Life Well. The Web site offers a quiz to evaluate your stress level and 10 helpful tips and techniques to help manage it. Some of these techniques can be implemented now, even during exams!

If stress is negatively affecting your life and you want additional information, try these electronic sources:
Conquer study stress!: 20 problems solved by Peter Levin (This is a Netlibrary book. To use this resource from off campus, be sure to make a free account first.)
Manage stress by James Manktelow
10 minute guide--stress management by Jeff Davidson

We also have these print sources:
Under pressure and overwhelmed: coping with anxiety in college by Christopher Vye, Kathlene Scholljegerdes, and I. David Welch
Why zebras don't get ulcers by Robert M. Sapolsky

And just doing a simple "subject keywords" search for stress in the Jessup Library catalog will get you many more books about the topic.

So read up on how to alleviate stress, and have a successful exam week! And, if you have any questions, please let us know.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Alice in Wonderland: Free Movie Night

PVCC's Free Movie Friday feature is Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. Please join the Student Art Club for this free event on Friday at 7:30 p.m.(located in the V. Earl Dickinson Main Stage Theatre).

Did you know, however, that there are many different film versions of this classic by Lewis Carroll according to IMDb? Tim Burton's remake is just the latest (and most 3D) version; you may be more familiar with Disney's 1951 classic animated movie.

If the movie has inspired you to read this classic tale, we have it in the library. Of course, if you'd like to read other tales by Lewis Carroll, we have those too!

Need to delve a little further? Check out Open Culture's article and compilation of Alice in Wonderland works and derivatives.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

What I'm Reading Now...

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, a review by Mary Jane King, Director Institutional Advancement and Development

Must be the season of the wunderkind. No sooner had I said farewell to the precocious Paloma in The Elegance of the Hedgehog than I met 11-year-old Flavia in The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. This debut mystery by Alan Bradley introduces a new and unforgettable sleuth. Flavia lives in one of England's crumbling ancestral homes in the years just following World War II--peace has returned but the war simmers just beneath the surface. She is a self-taught chemist whose specialty is poisons. PVCC's beloved professor emeritus of chemistry, the late Ray Bratton, would have loved her. Everything is chemistry, he was fond of saying. Flavia would most certainly agree. The leisurely pace of life at the manor is interrupted by two events--the arrival on the doorstep of a dead snipe with a postage stamp impaled on its beak and the subsequent discovery of a dying man among the cucumbers in the kitchen garden. Of course, Flavia ultimately solves the case but not before many adventures and hilarious ruminations. Be prepared to laugh out loud. The publishers have promised that a new Flavia mystery is in the works. They'd better be right.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

April is...

National Poetry Month. For starters, read a poem by Nikki Giovanni about librarians at the Academy of American Poets site.

Find out all about National Poetry Month in the FAQs at the Academy site, too.

Check out some of these additional online resources: The Poetry Archive, an "online collection of recordings of poets reading their work." This PBS series about contemporary poetry "intends to engage a broader audience with poetry through a series of thoughtful, in-depth reports on contemporary poets and poetry."

YouTube videos of interest: Rita Dove reading her poetry. A Cornell professor discusses reading poems aloud.

Books in the Jessup Library:
Then: Poet’s Choice Columns, 1997-2000
Connecting Lines: New Poetry from Mexico
Using Poetry in the Classroom: Engaging Students in Learning
Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets of Virginia

E-Books on NetLibrary (you need an account to view these from off campus; let us know if you need assistance):
Facts on File Companion to World Poetry: 1900 to the Present
Science and Poetry
The Dead Are So Disappointing

Friday, April 9, 2010

National Library Week

Join the Jessup Library in celebrating National Library Week (April 11-17, 2010). This week is sponsored by the American Library Association in hopes of promoting the use and appreciation of libraries. This year's theme is Communities Thrive. (Visit ALA's Web site to learn more.) And in the mean time, show your support of the Jessup Library and check out a book or two, or maybe even three!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A special invitation

Do you want a break from studying, researching and writing papers? Join us for an open house in the Periodicals Room of the library on Wednesday, April 28. This is a special time in the semester to relax, eat and browse through new books selected by the library staff. Drop by any time from noon to 2 p.m. and enjoy a moment of peace during your hectic schedules. We look forward to seeing you on April 28.

Friday, March 26, 2010

What I'm Reading Now...

The Elegance of the Hedgehog, a review by Mary Jane King, Director
Institutional Advancement and Development

Muriel Barbery’s The Elegance of the Hedgehog is one of the funniest, cleverest but ultimately most touching books I’ve ever read. Translated from the French by Alison Anderson (would that my French were good enough to read this in the original), Hedgehog takes place in an elegant apartment building in Paris where a concierge, RenĂ©e, and a 12-year-old from the fifth floor are living oddly parallel lives until a new arrival, Mr. Ozu, shatters normality and brings them together. The concierge—short, plump and ugly—has the brilliant inner life of an autodidact—a life that began on the day her first-grade teacher took her hand, called her by name, and began to teach her to read. The 12-year-old, Paloma, has startling intelligence which she hides behind a mask of mediocrity as she plots to kill herself and burn down the family flat when she turns 13. From sublime philosophical constructs to mundane aspects of life, this book unfolds in layer after gorgeous layer until it reaches a heart-breaking ending.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Jessup Library Open House

Do you want a break from studying, researching and writing papers? Join us for an open house in the Jessup Library on Wednesday, April 28th. This is a specical time in the semester to relax, eat and browse through new books selected by the library staff. Drop by any time from noon to 2 p.m. and enjoy a moment of peace during your hectic schedules. We look forward to seeing you on April 28.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

As promised, here's Women's History Month!

March is Women's History Month. Celebrate by reading the President's proclamation. Check out the History Channel's coverage of Women's History Month to read about the history of the celebration itself and of famous women.

If you'd like to read a book about women in history, you can start with Ladies of Liberty: The Women Who Shaped Our Nation. If you'd rather read about one woman, try Circus Queen & Tinker Bell: The Memoir of Tiny Kline. If you're interested in the women's movement, you might like to read about its origins: Seneca Falls and the Origins of the Women's Rights Movement. If you're interested in more modern material, try Feminists Who Changed America, 1963-1975. And last, but certainly not least, is this book which needs no explanation--the title says it all: In Her Place: A Documentary History of Prejudice Against Women.

If none of these suggestions looks good to you, do your own search in the library catalog. My search was for "women and history and (american OR "united states")" but you could do something more specific, like "female and atheletes and history" to find something that suits you. Don't forget that you can always ask a librarian for suggestions for a book to read--we're happy to help!

The library is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. the week of spring break if you're looking for a good book or for help with your research.

Enjoy your break!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Librarian Presents at Annual VCCS Technology Conference

Crystal Newell, Jessup Library's circulation/access librarian, participated in the Spring 2010 Instructional Technology Innovations in Teaching and Learning Summit at Blue Ridge Community College on Friday, February 26. She and Greg MacDonald from Lord Fairfax Community College presented Copyright Topics for Teaching in Blackboard. Congratulations for a job well done and for representing Jessup Library at a Virginia Community College System event.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Books, books, and more books!

We have added more books to the library--and I want you to be the first to know. The full list can be seen by following this link--browse by category or select 'All' to see every single book we've added to the library in the last year or so.
The list includes books about religion, sports, history, medicine, biology, ecology and more. Check out the special "Popular" category for books you might want to read over spring break.

So far, my favorite title on the list is McMafia: A Journey through the Global Criminal Underworld. Which one is your favorite? Check out the list; let me know through the 'contact us' link on the right.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

February is...

...African American History Month. Read President Obama's 2010 proclamation here.

Your library is full of books, eBooks and videos on a wide range of topics relating to African American history. For example, there's this book featured in our new books list not too long ago, The African American Experience: Black History and Culture Through Speeches, Letters, Editorials, Poems, Songs, and Stories. Another recent publication is Best African American Essays, 2009. If you're considering doing any traveling over spring break, you might want to check out On the Road to Freedom: A Guided Tour of the Civil Rights Trail. If you prefer to read your books online, try this eBook, Unfinished Business: Racial Equality in American History. (You'll need an account to view the book from off campus--call or e-mail us to set up an account.) If you would rather watch a video than read a book, we've got a fabulous series, Eyes on the Prize. The first series covers the time period of 1954-1965, while the second series covers 1965-1985. (Our videos must be used in the library, but never fear--we have equipment in the video viewing room.)

There are a lot of great online resources for learning about African American history, too. Federal Resources for Educational Excellence (FREE) is a great place to start.

Have you ever wondered who started African American History Month? The answer is: the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Click this link to read more about the association and its role in founding African American History Month.

If you're a numbers person, try this link for fascinating statistics from the US Census Bureau. (For example, did you know there were 2.5 million African American college students in 2008? That is more than double the number from fifteen years ago.)

Let's say you're a visual person. Never fear: there's something for you as well. YouTube's educational collection has more than 200 video lectures relating to African American history; click the link to browse the list.

Open Culture provides links to free educational videos (sometimes whole college courses) and podcasts; check out this video from Stanford University: what would Martin Luther King, Jr. think of the U.S.A. today?

Enjoy! (Next month is Women's History Month--so stay tuned.)

Photo courtesy of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Valentine's Day: A History

Valentine's Day is this Sunday! Have you thought about what you'll be getting your sweetheart or loved one? Have you made special plans? Perhaps, while preparing for Valentine's Day, you wondered about its history, or maybe you're interested in finding out more about romance or love. If so, let us suggest a few sources to satiate your curiosity!

For history buffs:

For a history of Valentine's Day, check out the Stanford Storytelling Project (available through iTunes U).

Diane Ackerman explores A natural history of love in this book, while Martin Bergmann is on a quest to define what love is in The anatomy of loving: the story of man’s quest to know what love is.

Curious about the history of Valentine's Day cards? Check out the University of Indiana's A Flowering of Affection: Victorian Valentine Cards at the Lilly Library.

Bundling? What's that? Check out the Puritan custom as told on BackStory, with the American History Guys.

Modern day love and advice:

Are you and your sweetheart celebrating Valentine's Day from afar? Read up on how to keep your love alive in Maintaining long-distance and cross-residential relationships by Laura Stafford.

What do the modern-day man and woman expect from a relationship? This video, Women and men unglued: marriage and relationships in the 21st century, will explain all through candid interviews.

Does love have you confused? Try Conditions of love: the philosophy of intimacy by John Armstrong.

Too busy or tired for love? Joseph Bailey has some suggestions in Slowing down to the speed of love: how to create a deeper, more fulfilling relationship in a hurried world.

Got the Winter Blues?

It's tempting to surf the Web all day and build snowmen when the College is closed due to inclement weather. But is your homework backing up? Are you running behind on papers because you cannot get to the library? We're sure many of you need the resources available at the library to complete your assignments, and if you do, just remember you have options.

All of the library's resources can be accessed from off campus, including databases like EBSCO or Literature Resource Center. (See our remote access instructions for assistance.). The best way to access these resources is to log in to Blackboard first. If you click on the "Research" tab in the upper, right hand corner, you'll notice there is a link to the Jessup Library home page. Simply open the library's home page from there and you'll be good to go.

The Jessup Library Catalog may also be used off campus--and you don't have to sign in. You'll be able to find books, both print and electronic, and government documents through the catalog. If you need to use a NetLibrary book from off campus, you'll have to create a log in while on campus first. Since that can be a problem right now, we suggest you e-mail your request for a username and password to We'll set you up with an account as soon as possible, i.e. when we actually get to the College ourselves. Many electronic books found through the catalog relate to information technology. These books will only require you to sign in with your MyPVCC username and password. (These books are from our Safari collection.)

If you're not sure which resource would be best, try using our subject guides for direction. Also, don't forget, we have tutorials on how to use all of our databases as well. Also, feel free to e-mail for assistance. We'll answer your question as soon as we're able, which hopefully should be soon!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Students Agree--Using the Library Helps

The student satisfaction survey conducted in the fall showed that 90% of respondents were very satisfied or satisfied with the library. 97.5% of students who responded said they would recommend the library to others. This is very good news--tell your family; tell your friends! And best of all, 63% of those who answered the survey strongly agreed or agreed with the statement, "I am a more confident library user/researcher than I was before coming to PVCC." This is the news we like to hear.

If you'd like to give us feedback on how we're doing, and don't want to wait to take next year's satisfaction survey, feel free to use the "contact us" link on the right side of your screen. We're always happy to hear from you.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Welcome Back!

Welcome back, students! The Jessup Library staff hopes that you had a wonderful winter break, which in turn means that you are ready for the new semester.

As everyone knows all too well, the semester will soon be in full swing. With papers to be written and tests to be taken, you may be wondering what the library can do for you. The answer is -- a lot!

Did you know we have over 36,000 books in our circulating collection and that you may check out up to 25 at a time! All of these books circulate for 28 days and may be renewed twice. All you need to check out a book is your EmplID or MyPVCC username. It's as simple as that.

The library also has a solid collection of textbooks! We don't have every one for every class, but one of the books might come in handy. Use the catalog to find the book you need or just ask us. (Note: These are in-library use only.)

Need articles for your paper? Well, you certainly have a lot from which to choose. The library has access to millions of scholarly journal, magazine, and newspaper articles through EBSCO and Literature Resource Center, just to name a few. We also have access to fine art images through ARTstor. It really is a one-stop shop! These databases are even available from off campus.

Are those databases a little overwhelming? Check out our online tutorials for assistance, or stop by! We would love to help you find any information you may need. Because, really, we're here to help!

For a more detailed description of our services, visit the library's Policies and Services Web page. But, as always, let us know if you have any questions!