Friday, December 16, 2016

Give Yourself the Gift of A New Book

School's out!  (Unless you have Monday finals, and then in that case, I'm sorry. Your freedom is coming.)

But don't flee the premises just yet, because new books are in. We have just the book to top off your TBR pile over winter break, so come browse our selection. Need a few suggestions to get you started? Check out the books below:

Peek into other lives in these memoirs and confessionals: Lisa Kotin tells the story of sugar addiction in My Confection: Odyssey of a Sugar Addict. Stand-up comedian Amy Schumer brings caustic humor to everything from one night stands and introversion to stem cells and Hollywood in her bestselling essay collection The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo. Margo Jefferson discusses life among the black elite during some of the most revolutionary times of racial, sexual, and cultural change in the 20th and 21st centuries in Negroland. Ruth Wariner chronicles her upbringing in, and escape from, a polygamist family in The Sound of Gravel. And in Big Girl: How I Gave Up Dieting and Got a Life, Kelsey Miller guides readers through her journey out of self-hatred and into self-love.

With movies like Justice League and Wonder Woman due next year, it's never too early to get yourself into the superhero mood. On the Origin of Superheroes: From the Big Bang to Action Comics No. 1 by Chris Gavaler explores how the elements that created Superman predated him by centuries. Barbara Brownie and Danny Graydon dig into the symbolism of iconic costumes in The Superhero Costume: Identity and Disguise in Fact and Fiction. Brian Michael Bendis brings us more of Jessica Jones' adventures in Jessica Jones: The Pulse: The Complete Collection, which follows her career shift to Daily Planet journalist while juggling a husband and baby. And if you're looking for a super-powered upgrade to your own life (that doesn't include a hot bath in radioactive material), check out Level Up Your Life: How to Unlock Adventure and Happiness by Becoming the Hero of Your Own Story by Steve Kamb.

Superheroes aren't the only ones hitting the big screen in 2017. Hidden Figures, the story of a team of African-American women whose mathematical genius launched an astronaut into orbit, opens in theaters everywhere in early January. Margot Lee Shetterly plumbs their story in Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race.

Don't forget fiction. The narrator of Paul Beatty's incisive, hilarious, and award-winning novel, The Sellout, decides to reinstate slavery and segregation as a means of putting his hometown of Dickens, California back on the map. Lawyer Lacy Stoltz finds herself caught in a deadly case of corruption in John Grisham's latest novel, The Whistler. And 'tis the season for some murder in The Mistletoe Murder: And Other Stories by P. D. James, a collection of four Christmas-special mysteries.

Find all of these books and more in our catalog. Have a wonderful winter break!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Sweet Study Break

It's finals week, and it's time to indulge your sweet tooth! Stop by the circulation desk Tuesday the 13th to Monday the 19th, where we'll be treating everyone -- students, faculty, and staff -- to free cookies and coffee.

Good luck this week!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Countdown to Finals

Now here are seven glorious words we've all been waiting to hear: it's (almost) the end of the semester! Classes end Monday, December 12, and finals week goes from Tuesday, December 13 through Monday, December 19. We know you're gearing up for exams (we see you, lurking in the back of the library past 9:30pm) and would like to offer a few reminders:
  • The library is a popular place this time of year. Please keep in mind that your fellow students are as gut-churningly stressed out as you are, so please remember not to talk in the quiet areas, to keep your voice lowered in the group study rooms, and to take your in-person conversations up front.
  • Need some help with research? Fretting about those in-text citations? We can help! Our reference librarians are ready to help you with any research or citation questions you may have.
  • Need a laptop for next semester? Our G.O.A.L. program, in which eligible students can borrow a laptop for the entire spring 2017 semester, is still accepting applications until December 19. Check out the G.O.A.L. Program page for more information.
  • We know you love the library, and before closing, the library loves you! But trapdoors in the ceiling release buckets of black widow spiders at 9:30 p.m. sharp, so please be respectful of closing hours and your own bodily safety and leave on time!
Good luck in this last week. You've made it this far, and you're so close to finishing. You. Can. Do it!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Fall 2016 One Book Contest and Raffle Winners

The word "congratulations" outlined in a red and purple starburst and scattered yellow stars

The votes are in, and the winners of the Fall 2016 One Book raffle and multimedia contest have been chosen. They are:

Multimedia Contest

First place, Trevor Pietsch, winner of a free three-credit class. Listen to a recording of his song here.

Second place, Arthur Wood, winner of a Kindle Fire

© 2016 Arthur Wood

Third place, Serena Meintzschel, winner of a $150 gift certificate to the bookstore

© 2016 Serena Meintzschel

Honorable mentions: Karen Siegrist, Kathleen Cuminsky, Erin Beers

Congratulations, everyone! And wonderful work to everyone who entered.


Alicia Anderson, winner of the raffle contest and a Kindle Fire!

The One Book Program Committee would like to thank everyone who participated in this semester's events. Thanks so much for all your enthusiasm. We hope to see you again next year!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Give Thanks for New Books

November has been a long, exhausting ride from day one, and it's hard to believe that Thanksgiving -- and a five-day weekend, academically bestowed -- is next week. If you're looking for a good book to curl up with over the holiday (and/or need something to serve as a buffer between you and relatives you only see once a year for good reason), drop by to check out our selection of new books.

Practice self-care through yoga. 2,100 Asanas: The Complete Yoga Poses by Daniel Lacerda is a beautifully photographed collection that guides you through poses that range from easy to challenging, allowing you to practice and improve at your own pace.

Writing a novel in a month? While you're probably still at that stage where the only thing that matters is getting the first draft down, come plot holes or bad dialogue, it never hurts to put Lucile Payne's 1969 book, The Lively Art of Writing, on your To Be Read list for December. While Payne's book isn't specifically targeted toward fiction, her thoughtful guide to writing, from polishing paragraphs to developing your own style, is one you shouldn't miss.

Andrea Duclos shows you how to get creative with your vegetables during the Thanksgiving meal in The Plantiful Table: Easy, From-the-Earth Recipes for the Whole Family, which features over 125 quick-to-make, plant-based dishes that'll meet the approval of everyone at the dinner table.

November is Native American Heritage Month. Check out American Indian Literature: An Anthology, edited by Alan R. Velie, for an array of traditional and contemporary literature. Learn about the overlooked, but historically significant battle of St. Clair's Defeat in The Victory with No Name: The Native American Defeat of the First American Army by Colin G. Calloway.

Charity and Sylvia: A Same-Sex Marriage in Early America by Rachel Hope Cleves explores a history of same-sex marriage much older than conventional wisdom would have us believe through the forty-four-year union of two ordinary women. This Book Is Gay by James Dawson candidly answers questions LGBTQ and other readers may have about everything "from sex to politics, hooking up to stereotypes, coming out and more."

Pink Sari Revolution: A Tale of Women and Power in India by Amana Fontanella-Khan tells the story of the Gulabi (Pink) Gang, a women's brigade who help women faced with abuse and injustice. And in India Becoming: A Portrait of Life in Modern India, Akash Kapur returns to the country in which he was raised and chronicles its transformation.

Nominated for the National Book Award for Fiction, The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead follows the odyssey of Cora and Caesar as they flee a cotton plantation in Georgia via the secret tracks and tunnels of the Underground Railroad.

Find all these books and more in our catalog.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Dave Eggers vs. Reality Round Up

The fireworks flew on Wednesday, November 2, when our second One Book speaker, Waldo Jaquith, discussed The Circle and its approach to online privacy and transparency. His conclusion? Dave Eggers' dystopia is entertaining, but it's also one we don't need to fear. Covering everything from the reasons why people troll to the consequences of forced transparency to why you should never, ever read the comments, Jaquith's talk was fun and enlightening.

Weren't able to make it? Interested in listening to the talk again? You can view the recording on PVCC's YouTube channel here.

The One Book Program would like to extend a warm thank you to Mr. Jaquith for his talk!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Charge on the Go

Is your phone dead? Your charger safely ensconced at home? Has every friend, acquaintance, and random stranger you've turned to for help turned up empty-handed? (Or handed you an Apple charger when you needed one for Android and assured you it would probably fit? Shun these people; they are not of this world.) There's good news: the library is here to help. We heard your mournful cries, and we now lend phone chargers!

Two Belkin phone chargers, one for Android and one for Apple phones
Don't worry - we have more than two

We have chargers for both Android and Apple, all of which are in-library use only. All we need to check it out to you is a student ID. So whether you're in emergency mode or want to top off your battery while you study, we've got you covered.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Dave Eggers vs. Reality: A One Book Discussion

Guess what, One Book readers: we have another speaker lined up! Join us in welcoming Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) -- technologist, thought follower, working dad, Champion for Change, former Rolling Stones roadie, and rescuer of Al Gore's life -- to the stage on Wednesday, November 2 at College Hour (noon) in the auditorium (M229). His topic is "Dave Eggers vs. Reality":
"The Circle" paints a fun picture of a near-future transparency dystopia, but the reality of both government and technology is more convoluted and more interesting than Eggers knows. Learn why politicians "going transparent" would be incredibly boring, reveal nothing, and create a divided government that would accomplish nothing. 

Jaquith is the writer behind, a community news blog about Charlottesville, and is the director of U.S. Open Data. Read more of his work at

Monday, October 24, 2016

Privacy and Anonymity Discussion Round Up

The One Book Program would like to extend a warm thank you to Professor Mike Ferero for his talk, Privacy and Anonymity in Internet Culture, on Wednesday, October 19. Professor Ferero examined the hothouse culture of Internet start ups, the assumption that anonymity leads to good behavior, transparency in non-Western cultures, and urged attendees to be proactive in knowing how the online services they use handle their privacy.

Professor Ferero teaches a variety of information technology courses, from programming to system administration to network security. To see a video recording of Professor Ferero's talk on Panopto, please click here.

And don't forget to join us for our next One Book speaker, Waldo Jaquith, on Wednesday, November 2nd! For more information, see the PVCC One Book Program page.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Anonymity vs. Honesty: A One Book Discussion

Join us in welcoming PVCC's own Mike Ferero to the stage on Wednesday, October 19 at College Hour (noon) in the auditorium (M229), where he will discuss "Privacy and Anonymity in Internet Culture" for the One Book program.

Ferero has worked as an instructor of information technology here at PVCC for twelve years and will be bringing the perspective of an engineer with extensive experience in Internet applications and computer security to the question of how online behavior is influenced by anonymity -- or the lack of it. Does transparency make us more honest? Find out on Wednesday. See you then!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

One Book Contest: Don't Let the Circle Close

What would you do without Internet for a day?

Don't just ask yourself the question -- experiment! For science! And for the chance to win some fantastic prizes.

The One Book Program is holding its first contest of the semester, and we want to see your work. The rules are simple: go without Internet for 24 hours (except for course-related work -- no one needs to tempt the Blackboard gods to further malice) and tell us about it. Was it fun? Awful? Did it free you up to do other things? Fill you with existential angst? Did your Tumblr followers assume you were dead? Let us know. The theme is "breaking the circle," and how you interpret it is up to you.

Best of all, you can express yourself through a variety of mediums. We accept the following:

Acceptable Mediums Size Requirements/Limits Acceptable File Type
Painting No larger than 20”x24” canvas/paper Original work
Drawing No larger than 20”x24” paper Original work
Essay 750 words, must include a title and be double spaced .doc; .docx; .rtf; .pdf
Poem 50 line maximum .doc; .docx; .rtf; .pdf
Photo No larger than 8x10 .jpeg; .png
Music No longer than 4 minutes .mp3

Check out what you can win:

1st – a free 3-credit class
2nd – a Kindle Fire reader
3rd – a $150 gift certificate to the PVCC Bookstore

Email your electronic works to and drop off original work -- paintings and drawings -- at the library front desk by November 4, 2016.

Good luck!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Get into a Long Term Relationship (with a Book)

Fall Break (October 10-11) -- two glorious days without classes -- is just around the corner, leaving you ample time to sleep in, study, pick up another shift at work, or relax with some pleasure reading. Going the pleasure reading route? (And as librarians and inveterate readers, we hope you do.) Interested in starting a series and need suggestions? Look no further than the list below. We've highlighted the first volumes of some of our most popular series from the Nook and Popular collections:

Diana Gabaldon combines fact and fantasy in the Outlander series, an eight-books-and-counting historical romance that travels between the Scottish Highlands of the WWII and the 18th century. Start reading with Outlander and continue on through Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, Drums of Autumn, The Fiery Cross, A Breath of Snow and Ashes, An Echo in the Bone, and Written in My Own Heart's Blood.

George R. R. Martin plays havoc with standard high fantasy tropes in the currently five book series, A Song of Ice and Fire. Begin with A Game of Thrones and continue through A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, a Feast for Crows, and A Dance with Dragons. Don't get attached to anyone -- they'll be dead by the next novel.

Vampires cross over from the mythical world to the mundane in the Southern Vampire Mysteries, also known as the Sookie Stackhouse novels, by Charlaine Harris, which were the inspiration for HBO's True Blood series. Read the first eleven novels, beginning with Dead Until Dark and continue through Living Dead in Dallas, Club Dead, Dead to the World, Dead As A Doornail, Definitely Dead, All Together Dead, Dead to Worse, Dead and Gone, Dead in the Family, and Dead Reckoning.

Stieg Larsson's Millennium series gained a fourth book in 2015 with the U.S. publication of The Girl in the Spider's Web. Millennium follows Lisbeth Salander, a computer hacker with a photographic memory, and Mikael Blomkvist, an investigative journalist, as they solve increasingly horrifying crimes in Sweden. Begin with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and continue through The Girl Who Played with Fire, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest, and The Girl in the Spider's Web.

Get into the spirit of Halloween with Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, a trilogy by Ransom Riggs that was recently adapted to film. Begin with Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and continue through Hollow City and Library of Souls.

Fairy tales get a futuristic spin in the five-book Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer, where Cinderella is a cyborg, Little Red Riding Hood's Wolf a street fighter, and Rapunzel an imprisoned shell. Begin with Cinder and continue through Scarlet, Cress, Winter, and the prequel to the series, Fairest.

In the thirteen volumes of Death Note, written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata, power over death falls into the hands of high school student Light Yagami in the form of a supernatural notebook, and the responsibility for stopping him falls onto the shoulders of the detective, L. And in the first seven volumes of Vampire Knight by Matsuri Hino, Yuki Cross serves the guardian of the vampires in an elite boarding school -- but the peace between humans and vampire may not be what it seems.

So drop by the library and pick up something fun to read. Veg a little -- you've worked hard this semester, and you've earned it.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Beware the Book

Artwork courtesy of the American Library Association
September 25 to October 1 is Banned Books Week – seven days of celebrating our right to read books that have been challenged for reasons ranging from sex and offensive language (too many books to name) to the promotion of cannibalism (Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein).

Despite the popularity and longevity of cautionary tales like Fahrenheit 451, book banning is still a reality, both nationwide and close to home: only earlier this month, the superintendent of Chesterfield County schools in Virginia reinstated three books that had been pulled from summer reading lists for sexually explicit language and violence. Deciding who can read what is an individual decision – according to Access to Library Resources and Services for Minors, an interpretation of the ALA's Library Bill of Rights, “Librarians and governing bodies should maintain that parents – and only parents – have the right and the responsibility to restrict the access of their children – and only their children – to library resources.” Reading as a personal choice is an idea that applies to everyone, and Banned Books Week honors the work of countless teachers, librarians, and readers of all stripes who stand up for the freedom to read.

So come join the library in exercising your First Amendment right to read without restriction!

Interested in reading a banned book? Check out our Banned Books display near the library classroom, which features old favorites like Aldous Huxley's Brave New World and Beloved by Toni Morrison, and some surprising recent additions like The Hunger Games by Susan Collins and Looking for Alaska by John Green. Also, don’t forget to check out our Banned Box up at the circulation desk to discover the fascinating stories behind tons of challenged books.

Finally, mark your calendars for this Thursday, September 29 at 12:00 PM, when Claire Guthrie GastaƱaga, Executive Director of ACLU of Virginia, will be speaking in room M229 about banned books through the perspective of past court cases and the effect of censorship on education. Please come and welcome Ms. GastaƱaga to PVCC!

So celebrate your right to read with a banned book – if you dare.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Free Book (To Keep!) in the Library

If you haven't already picked up your free copy of PVCC's Fall 2016 One Book, The Circle by Dave Eggers, then drop by the library: we have plenty of copies available, and getting one is as easy as registering for your tracking implant -- I mean, as signing up to let us know who's taking on the challenge. Don't forget to pick up a bookmark for more information on speakers, contests, and other events later in the semester.

So what's The Circle about?

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. -- from the publisher's description

Mark your calendars for October 19, when PVCC's very own instructor of information technology, Mike Ferero, discusses "Privacy and Anonymity in the Internet Culture" in room M229. And remember: the Internet is always watching.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Frustration Friday: How to Adjust the Volume on a Library PC without Knowing the Secret Password

So your professor posts a video on Blackboard. You swing by the library to use a PC, log into your account, and click on the link. You plug in your headphones and go to adjust the volume -- but what's this?

Pop up window that reads, "Do you want to allow this app to make changes to your PC? Program name: Diagnostics Troubleshooting Wizard. Verified publisher: Microsoft Windows. File origin: Hard drive on this computer. To continue, type an administrative passowrd, then click Yes. Input User name. Input Password. Domain: PVCCNET. Show details. Click for Yes. Click for No."

What does Windows mean, administrative password? "Do you want to allow this app to make changes to your PC"? Windows is known for unnecessary changes and a user-unfriendly attitude, sure, but adjusting the volume shouldn't be this difficult. Where are you, A&P?

Fortunately, it's an easy fix. You can take either one of two steps:

1) Unplug your headphones and plug them back in, or
2) Minimize your screen

Either action will bring up a window that asks you to select the device you plugged in, like so:

Pop up that reads, "Which device did you plug in? Headphones, external speaker, Dell speaker out. Enable auto popup dialog when device has been plugged in. Select for speaker setup. Select to set default device. Select for Ok."

Select "Headphones" and click OK, and you're all set!

Join us next week for another Frustration Friday, where we give you tips on how to take the frustration out of your library experience!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Information Nation: Stay Informed with New Books

It can be difficult to stay informed in a fast-paced world. Slow down and dig deeper into current events with one of the many new books available here at the library:

Political commentator Phyllis Bennis tackles the complex issues surrounding the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, relations between the U.S. and the Middle East, ISIS, the Syrian War, and other global concerns in two primers, Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict and Understanding ISIS and the New Global War on Terror. In A Rage for Order: The Middle East in Turmoil, from Tahrir Square to ISIS, Robert F. Worth examines the aftermath of the Arab Spring five years on. Maajid Nawaz recounts the personal story of changing his political views in Radical: My Journey Out of Islamist Extremism and discusses Islam with with Sam Harris in Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue. And in Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy, and the West, the late prime minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto, makes a bold call for tolerance and justice from both East and West.

Women leaders are beginning to stand front and center on the world’s stage. Learn how women political leaders are breaking down barriers in Breakthrough: The Making of America’s First Woman President by Nancy L. Cohen; how power is shifting and male-dominated spaces are opening up and growing more inclusive in Broad Influence: How Women Are Changing the Way America Works by Jay Newton-Small. Irin Carmon explores the fierce, unapologetic, and inspiring story of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

With the 2016 election barely two months away, there’s still time to brush up on — or supplement — your political know-how. Take a brief look at politics and presidencies in two books from the A Very Short Introduction series: American Political History by Donald T. Critchlow and The American Presidency by Charles O. Jones. Robert E. Mutch gives readers the inside scoop on campaign funding and why it’s important in Campaign Finance: What Everyone Needs to Know. Mark Gerzon evinces hope for finding common ground between political parties in The Reunited States of America: How We Can Bridge the Partisan Divide. And in Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America, Ari Berman explores the significance of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 — considered one of the biggest victories of the civil rights movement — and reveals how we are still fighting a crucial battle for voter rights and enfranchisement over fifty years later — a battle embroiled in questions of race and representation.

These questions aren’t restricted to the ballot box. In From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor examines the nationwide protests that broke out in response to the police murders of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, and how the movement reminds us that we are not yet living in a post-racial nation — and what can be done about it. D. Watkins’ memoir, The Beast Side: Living and Dying While Black in America, is an unflinching look at an America still far from having moved “beyond race.” In White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide, Carol Anderson argues that history and media have long ignored the role of white opposition in movements like #BlackLivesMatter: “With so much attention on the flames, everyone had ignored the kindling." Kristian Williams demonstrates how police brutality is inherent to law enforcement in Our Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America. Mark and Paul Engler take a look at protests across the globe and the art of transformative unrest in This Is An Uprising: How Nonviolent Revolt is Shaping the Twenty-First Century. And in Who We Be: The Colorization of America, Jeff Chang shows how the racial and ethnic demographics are changing, and why the liberation of people of color is so urgent.

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

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Engineers, Rejoice!

AccessEngineering, a comprehensive reference tool for engineers at every stage of their studies and careers, is now available on trial through the Jessup Library. Get access to up-to-date, full text books and articles on subjects ranging from bio to software, as well as instructional videos, graphs, and calculators. The database is organized by subject, industry, and title, making both research and browsing incredibly easy.

We're trialing AccessEngineering until September 22, so be sure to take a look. Find it under the Database List on the library homepage. On-campus access is automatic. In order to access off-campus, sign in with:

Username: pvcc
Password: engineering

Let us know if this database we should keep! Email Crystal Newell at with your feedback.

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Betty Sue Jessup Library Experience, 3.0

It's the start of the semester, and here at the library, we have some big news. We've been busy over the summer, jettisoning bookshelves and defenestrating old computers (we wish), intent on creating a fresh experience for all our new and returning patrons. With the first week of classes nearly over and the library clear of construction tape, it's time to unveil Betty Sue Jessup Library 3.0:

The alcove, long a popular spot to catch Zs between classes, has been renovated. It now includes comfortable seating -- to save you the pain of sitting on a footstool with only two working wheels -- and whiteboards for experimenting with your inner Picasso. Please remember that is an area for quiet study, so be sure to take your conversations up front. But should you need a nap, go ahead -- we won't tell! (We've been here all day too.)

Keep an eye on the announcement TV to stay up-to-date on library happenings. No longer a glorified clock, the TV will keep you informed on a variety of topics, from news and policies to fun facts, book recs, and when and where to get your copy of PVCC's Fall 2016 One Book, The Circle by Dave Eggers.

Best of all, the days of staring at a blank, blue screen while waiting ten minutes to log into your student account are gone. Our new, sleek PCs are faster, equipped with Windows 10 and Office 2016, and come with bigger screens. Thank you so much to everyone in the IT department for installing them! The good folk over there have done an enormous amount of work on our behalf, upgrading all our laptops to Windows 10 and networking our copiers so that laptop users can now print to both. (Rejoice, everyone who got sick of waiting in line at Library Copier #2!)

Our homepage has undergone some changes as well. We've streamlined your experience, listing the most frequented links, library hours, and adding an RSS feed to a column on the right. And with a redesigned page that takes you step by step through the process of delving into our databases and finding books and articles, researching is easier than ever. Don't forget to check our playbooks, that provide tips on completing assignments and doing research for a range of classes.

So drop by the library -- whether you're looking for study space, an internet connection, research help, or a comfortable time out between classes, we have it all. We hope to see you soon!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

New Books for Balmy Days

As June winds down, summer thunderstorms pick up, and you find yourself in the mood for a good book, drop by the library to check out the new additions to our collection. Here are some recommendations for what to read while sunbathing:

Kate Bolick reclaims the term "spinster" and chronicles the ups and downs as life as a singleton in Spinster: Making a Life of One's Own. She examines the history of single women in America through the paradigm-shifting stories of five pioneering women, from poet Edna St. Vincent Millay to novelist Edith Wharton.

In Quitter: Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job & Your Dream Job, New York Times bestselling author Jonathan M. Acuff shows readers that, with the proper care and feeding, daydreams can become full-fledged careers. Creatives interested in turning their art into a living should check out Make Your Mark: The Creative's Guide to Building a Business with Impact by Jocelyn K. Glei. Interested in writing professionally? Jeff Goins shows readers how he overcame self-doubt and turned passion into a profession in You Are a Writer: (So Start Acting Like One), and offers insight into how aspiring writers can do the same. Writer for Hire: 101 Secrets to Freelance Success by Kelly James-Enger digs into the details of writing freelance.

Just as the prohibition of alcohol faltered and gave way to legalization in the early 1930s, so the legalization of marijuana is changing the face of America. Christian Hageseth explores this dawn of a new industry from the perspective of an entrepreneur in Big Weed: An Entrepreneur's High-Stakes Adventures in the Budding Legal Marijuana Business. Essayist Bruce Barcott journeys into this same strange, new world in Weed the People: The Future of Legal Marijuana in America, interviewing everyone from botanists to scientists about this cultural change.

Math and lasagna have a lot more in common than you think. Eugenia Cheng uses insights from the kitchen to tackle questions like “what is math” and “how exactly does it work” in How to Bake [Pi]: An Edible Exploration of the Mathematics of Mathematics.

Ian Tattersall explores the often overlooked complexities of paleoanthropology in The Strange Case of the Rickety Cossack: And Other Cautionary Tales from Human Evolution. He challenges the tradition of “human exceptionalism” to reveal the wonder and random happenstance of how we evolved and why this matters.

Curious about the “physics, biology, chemistry, metallurgy, psychology, and neurobiology” behind that Happy Hour beverage? Adam Rogers digs into the details of alcohol production in Proof: The Science of Booze.

Mona Eltahawy’s passionate and hard-hitting first book, Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution, calls for women in the Middle East and North Africa to wage a twofold revolution against oppressive regimes, continuing the work begun by the Arab Spring, and against the political and economic systems that oppress them. “A manifesto motivated by hope and fury in equal measure, Headscarves and Hymens is as illuminating as it is incendiary.” (From the publisher’s description.)

You can find all of these books and more in our catalog!

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