Thursday, February 27, 2014

Spring Break Hours

Some people may be vacationing over spring break (March 3-9), but we will be here! Come see us as the library will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Thursday. Keep in the mind, however, that the whole College is closed on Friday, March 7. Have a great spring break!

Barcelo-Punta Cana 
Barcelo-Punta Cana (Creative Commons/Sarah Ackerman) 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Monthly math puzzle: Welcome to Mathville!

Did you know that solving puzzles exercises your math "muscles"? Puzzles sharpen and develop your reasoning abilities, and they can be a lot of fun. The more puzzles you solve, the more your brain is primed for the reasoning needed for math. And you know what's even better news? You can exercise your math muscles by participating in the Jessup Library's monthly math puzzle, and you can win a prize for placing first, second or third!

Here's how it works: every month I (Laura) will challenge you with a math puzzle. These puzzles do not require that you know any math -- you just have to know how to figure things out using your thinking skills. You will have a few days to work out the solution to the puzzle and send me the solution via email. I will draw three winners from the correct solutions, and these winners will get some prizes:

First place -- a $30 gift certificate to the PVCC Bookstore
Second place -- a $15 gift certificate to the Mermaid Express (coffee and pastries and fruit, oh my!)
Third place -- a big Hershey's milk chocolate bar

For the complete rules, please scroll to the bottom of this post. Please read the puzzle and the rules very carefully.

The Dog Agility Meet

One sunny June Sunday in Mathville, Susan Himes stood at the Northwest corner of Euclid Park, next to the dog agility field, with her three dogs (Ella, Emma and Todd). They had just competed and won some ribbons. A woman approached Susan and said, “I just saw your dogs perform and I’m impressed with their agility! How old are they?”

Susan replied, “I will give you a hint. If you multiply the dogs’ ages, the product will be 36.”

The woman thought for a while. “Hmm,” she said, “I’m afraid that’s not enough information.”

“OK,” replied Susan. “I’ll give you this: If you add up the dogs’ ages, the sum is the same as the number of events we had today.”

Again, the woman thought for a while, then shook her head. “No,” she said. “That’s still not enough information.”

Susan said, “Well, the oldest dog took first place in the fence jumping event.”

The woman smiled and gave Susan the correct ages of the dogs. 

Now it’s your turn. Using the given clues, find the ages of the dogs and the number of events at the meet. 

Contest Rules
  • You must send the solution via email to Laura Skinner at
  • You must email the solution from your PVCC email address.
  • Only correct solutions with explanations of the reasoning used to arrive at the solution will be considered.
  • Three entries will be drawn from all the correct solutions, to determine a first, second and third place.
  • The first place prize will be a $30 gift certificate to the PVCC Bookstore.
  • The second place prize will be a $15 certificate to the Mermaid Express coffee cart.
  • The third prize will be a big Hershey’s milk chocolate bar.
  • Solution due by Friday, February 28th at 11:59 p.m. Solutions sent after the deadline will not be considered.
  • Drawing will be conducted on Saturday, February 29th. Winners will be notified by email, and their names will be published on a blog post. 
  • The solution to the puzzle will be published on the blog after winners have been announced.
  • Winners must pick up their prizes by Thursday, March 13th, at 9 p.m. or they forfeit their prizes.

Friday, February 7, 2014

New books at Jessup Library!

What does the beginning of a new semester mean?  That's right -- an assortment of exciting new books for you to read in the library!

Are you waiting for season two of Orange is the New Black to begin?  In the meantime, check out the book that inspired the hit series: Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison by Piper Kerman.

We have several books for aspiring detectives.  The Annals of Unsolved Crime by Edward Jay Epstein is an exciting collection of mysteries.  Or you can choose to read about one of the most famous deaths in antiquity in The Murder of Cleopatra: History's Greatest Cold Case by Pat Brown.

Still upset that Pluto is no longer considered a planet?  Read astronomer Mike Brown's account of his discovery that led to Pluto being de-classified as a planet in How I Killed Pluto and Why it Had it Coming.

Fans of Twilight and True Blood would be interested in reading American Vampires: Their True Bloody History from New York to California for "true" accounts of vampires in the United States.  And for fans of Dracula, perhaps the most famous literary vampire, be sure to read Who Was Dracula?: Bram Stoker's Trail of Blood by Jim Steinmeyer.

Muhammad and Jesus may be two of the most important figures in history -- but how much do you know about their lives?  Read The First Muslim: The Story of Muhammad by Lesley Hazleton and Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan for more information about these fascinating figures.

There certainly has been a lot of media coverage about the NSA and government surveillance.  How else is Big Brother watching us?  Find out in Conspiracies and Secret Societies: The Complete Dossier by Brad Steiger and Sherry Steiger.

For fans of the numerous ghost hunting and paranormal shows on television, we have several books that would interest you.  Skeptic Joe Nickell investigates paranormal mysteries in Real Life X-Files: Investigating the Paranormal, while Haunted Ground: Journeys Through a Paranormal America takes the reader from Area 51 to an annual dowsing convention.

This is just a small sampling of the fun books we have available.  Please check the new books list to see them all!