Knowledge to the Max

Visit the Max R. Traurig Library to add to your knowledge

What are students learning in a First Year Experience library visit?

Tiara Arnold
Glad you asked! Here are some highlights of what happens during a First Year Experience visit to the library. As part of our involvement in the Association of College and Research Libraries' student success program, Assessment in Action, FYE students take a pre-test before their library visit. In the library, students learn how to narrow down a topic and formulate a search query that avoids bias and uses appropriate subject terminology. We discuss how to decide if a resource is acceptable for college-level research and differentiate between the many types of resources that are available at NVCC.

Students work in groups to conduct database, catalog and Internet searches, to learn tips to narrow down results, distinguish when citations are necessary, and discover tools to help with citations. The session culminates with group presentations on their findings followed with the iclicker post-assessment. Curious about the in-class assignment, pre-test, and post-assessment questions? Take a peek! Would you get a perfect score? Look below to see how students performed this semester.

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As these are only preliminary findings, the next steps to get more detailed results are:

· Determining how to match students with only pre or post test scores

· Conducting focus groups to add qualitative data to the study

· Compiling and reporting on findings both within NVCC and to ACRL

· Ongoing collaboration with faculty to address needs and weaknesses identified in the study

Learn how to make a reservation online for our group study area, collaboration studio or group study rooms

This brief 3 minute tutorial will explain how to do that. This service is for students, faculty and staff.

John Leonetti.

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Making the Library Accessible from Everywhere

Alison Wang

To provide help to students, faculty, and library patrons on the library webpage, the NVCC Library has customized real-time chat apps, knowledge based searching, and a question submission form all in one simple widget. Go to the “Ask-a-Librarian” webpage,, where you can live chat with a librarian, or submit your question to library staff and receive the answer by email.

The library provides answers via SMS questions too. Here is the number for you to text your question to the library staff: (203) 951-8189. If you are reading this article, use your smart phone, and send a text to the library staff now!

LibCal, short for "library calendar", is an easy platform for library event management. Students, faculty and library patrons can use this platform for online room booking. The NVCC Library provides the Collaboration Station, Group Study Area (4th floor), and Study Room 1 & 2 for our library users. You can book it online and get an email confirmation. Go to for Online Room Booking. You can also go to the Library Calendar Page for detailed library hours and events. Especially for those who are coming to the library for the research training class, the event calendar will tell you the class time and location as well as who is the librarian assigned for your class.

Education technology makes the library accessible from everywhere. We are here for you.

Therapy Dog Visits Library for Midterm Exam Cram

Jaime Hammond

Kodiak, an American Eskimo Dog, returned to the Library for his second Exam Cram visit! Kodi is a trained therapy dog and was brought to NVCC by his owner, Denise Marcella. Therapy dogs are used in libraries, schools, and hospitals to help ease stress and anxiety during exams, as explained in this article published on Over 100 students, staff and faculty visited the library to pet Kodi or get some studying done during Exam Cram, which ran from 5-7 pm on October 14th. Kodiak will be back for Finals Exam Cram on Tuesday, December 9th, from 10 am to noon.

Additional online journals

John Leonetti
Our vendor Ebsco Host has provided additional journals to augment our databases. These are IP authenticated and only work on campus. Here is a list I compiled by subject heading.

Book Reviews

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, by Barbara Kingsolver

Naomi Toftness
This story is a reflection in narrative as well as an objective/scientific look at one family’s journey of attempting to be in control of their food consumption. This book was an inspiration for me to attempt the same pursuit in my life! This is a staple in the local food movement!

A Garden of Marvels: How We Discovered That Flowers Have Sex, Leaves Eat Air, and Other Secrets of Plants, by Ruth Kassinger

Liz Frechette
Stamens, anthers, pistils, stigmas, phytohormones! Plants are flowering, leafing, and fruiting - on a diet of mere sunlight, air, and water - how do they do that? Ruth Kassinger will tell you all that and more! If you liked Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird’s seminal work The Secret Life of Plants: a Fascinating Account of the Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual Relations Between Plants and Man, you’ll love this rollicking dash through the history of vegetation in all its passionate glory.

The Happiness Project Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun, by Gretchen Rubin

Elaine Milnor

In this wise and witty book, Rubin zeroes in on concrete tools that I have used to focus and enjoy what’s most important in my life – not easy to do in these busy and complex times!

From Gretchen Rubin had an epiphany one rainy afternoon in the unlikeliest of places: a city bus. "The days are long, but the years are short," she realized. In that moment, she decided to dedicate a year to her happiness project. In this lively and compelling account of that year, Rubin … chronicles her adventures during the twelve months she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific research, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier.

The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience , by Carmine Gallo

Jaime Hammond

The reason I love it: This book changed the way I write and give presentations. It has made me more confident when giving talks, teaching, or even just explaining things- Steve Jobs was a master of storytelling!