Knowledge to the Max

Max R. Traurig Library Newsletter, November 2015

The Librarian Is In!

by John Leonetti

The library now offers students (and faculty) an easier way to schedule reference appointments with librarians. Simply go to and choose a librarian and see their availability of office hours. Also, some of the profile boxes in our current course-guides have a built-in “schedule appointment” box. For example, in my course-guides this is what my profile box with the contact information looks like. Clicking “schedule appointment” will show you my office hours.

One Book, One College, Lots of Events!

by Jaime Hammond

The NVCC Library has been busy supporting the many events connected with our One Book, One College reading of The House on Mango Street. Three book discussions, three film viewings, two lectures, and an interactive art installation have kept students, staff, and faculty busy learning, talking, and most importantly reading! The final event of the fall semester will take place on December 10th when students in the Visual Arts program showcase their works inspired by the book. The opening will be held from 4:00 to 6:00 PM in the Leever Atrium Gallery, outside of the Mainstage Auditorium.

Planning for spring House on Mango Street events is already underway! Anyone who is interested in participating in the spring events should contact Jaime Hammond ( or Ron Picard ( Nominations (and self-nominations) for a student committee member are also being accepted!

(Photo caption: A packed house listens as artist and instructor of Spanish, Edwin Alverio, discusses his works. Alverio’s show was on display in the Leever Atrium for much of the fall semester.)

What is the Library Staff Reading?

by Liz Frechette

Librarians Liz Frechette and Jenna Barry were so intrigued by the description of this book as it was being published, they each reserved a copy at their hometown library and began reading it. It is in the collection of new books being processed for NVCC readers, so the call number has yet to be determined. Here is a brief discussion we are having about the book. Please contact Liz or Jenna to hear more.

Liz: City on Fire doesn’t stop being fascinating, through its 900+ pages. The story is supported by several documents such as diary entries, a fanzine, and the rough draft of an article. There is plenty to immerse oneself in. It follows multiple themes and story lines interconnecting characters based mostly in the New York City of the 1970s with all the associated richness of life there: uptown, downtown, the arts scene, the bank scandals, and throughout finely wrought descriptions of the streets, the weather, the music and the temperaments of an era. I would recommend this book to young adult through adult readers who love the long novel format. Especially great for winter break!

Jenna: The descriptions of place are what make this elaborate novel an absolutely vivid account of time, life, and art and how all of these things can conspire together to become something greater than any one person. The main character is New York City itself—it leaves its mark on each of the supporting characters, from those young revolutionaries swept up in the fury and passion of the East Village “Post-Humanist” group, to members of a wealthy family residing on the Upper East Side with anger and resentment simmering just below the surface and a few dark secrets of their own. There is also the stark contrast of late 1970s New York City to several of the characters’ homes, from suburban Long Island to California desert subdivisions to rural Georgia, and readers can feel the pure magnetism of the city. The feelings and actions inspired by this singular setting lead a diverse cast of characters to circle each other’s lives, seen or unseen, throughout the entire novel, with the ultimate climax of the book taking place on the eve of New York City’s blackout of July 1977.

This book is recommended for anyone who loves to become fully immersed in a different time and place and to meet extraordinary characters who are extraordinarily real.

Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives, by Gretchen Rubin

by Jaime Hammond

Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project (an NVCC book group pick!), looks at our habits and how to make the good ones stick in her latest book, Better Than Before. Just like with The Happiness Project, Rubin has a way of saying things that are really obvious, and yet no one does them. And just like with The Happiness Project, it works. Better Than Before categorizes us into 4 types- upholders, questioners, obligers, and rebels, and provides numerous suggestions to hack your life to be happier, more productive, and more focused on the things that matter to us, all through habits. This is a great book to read at the beginning of a new year, and would be a perfect holiday gift for anyone in your life who needs a little encouragement to make time for the things that matter. Rubin also released an accompanying journal.

Read more about Rubin and the book at:

We've Got Study Space!

by Liz Frechette

The library has several areas where signage designates preferred use patterns, including quiet study, an eating area, and three group study areas that can be reserved: two small group study rooms, a large group study area, and a MediaScape table for laptop users to collaborate on projects.

Upcoming Library Events!

by Tiara Arnold & Jenna Barry

Please join us in the following library events through the end of the semester:

Wednesday, November 18th, 10:00 – 1:00: Spotlight on Streaming: Films on Demand”

Librarians will be in the 5th floor walkway outside the library’s entrance with snacks, activities, and a raffle! We will be demonstrating the streaming video database Films on Demand. Part of the Library Spotlight Series.

Month of December: “Write to a Friend Month”

Stop by the Library during the month of December to write and send a postcard to a friend!

Tuesday, December 1st, 12:00 – 2:00: “ExCITEting Snacks at the Citation Station!”

Have citation questions? Stop by to find Works Cited, Reference list, and Bibliography answers. Have a snack made by your friendly librarians!

Monday, December 7th,10:00 – 1:00: Visualizing History: Primary Source Images from the Digital Public Library of America”

Librarians will be in the 5th floor walkway outside the library’s entrance with snacks, activities, and giveaways. We will be demonstrating the vast visual collections of the Digital Public Library of America. Part of the Library Spotlight Series.

Tuesday, December 8th,10:00 – 2:00: “Exam Cram!”

Stop by the library for activities and snacks to de-stress and clear your mind for upcoming final exams. Participate in a yoga session, unwind while coloring, and enjoy some sweet treats!

What are OERs?

by Jenna Barry

The recent passage of Connecticut’s Special Act No. 15-18 this past summer has many educators and librarians across the state taking a closer look at Open Educational Resources.

Open Educational Resources, or “OERs,” are resources for teaching and learning that are created with the intent of being shared. They are often free and have some type of Creative Commons (CC) license attached to them that will allow for varying levels of reuse, revision, and redistribution.

I attended a workshop at Fairfield University on October 7th called “Using and Developing Impactful and Affordable Learning Material in the Digital Age: A Workshop on the Open Educational Resources (OER) Movement.” Librarians and faculty members from various public and private institutions across the state were in attendance, and we heard several engaging guest speakers. Nicole Allen of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) shared a snapshot of the college textbook market. She then highlighted some innovative and inspiring cases of OER use in campuses across the country, and provided audience members with a list of online resources for discovering OERs. Kevin Corcoran of the Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium discussed the open textbook pilot addressed in Special Act No. 15-18 as a way to build awareness of Open Educational Resources.

OERs can be anything from textbooks to lesson plans to full courses, which provides the opportunity to draw material from different sources and “mix and match” to create a customized course. A common misconception about OERs is that they are all digital, and students must have internet access in order to access course materials. While many of the resources do live online, there are also open textbooks that can be printed and sold to students, at just the cost of printing. It is an exciting time as the movement gains momentum and new ideas emerge about the many possibilities afforded by OERs.

Learning Resources Center

by Liz Frechette


A library, usually in an educational institution, that includes and encourages the use of audiovisual aids and other special materials for learning in addition to books, periodicals, and the like.

Libraries in the Connecticut community college system are referred to as Learning Resources Centers (although some do not market that phrase on their web page). Why?

The concept of learning resources may have arisen from the effort in 1928 by the Carnegie Corporation to assist colleges in the acquisition of phonograph records.

The use of such resources in college teaching is traced by Rosanne Kalick In in her book Community College Libraries: Centers for Lifelong Learning, to 1935 when the first filmed courses were used by Dr. Louis Shores, director of the library program at George Peabody College for Teachers in Nashville, TN. In 1965, papers at the National Conference on the Junior College Library held at the University of California, Los Angeles “stressed, among other things, the relation of the library to instruction and the values that accrue from a library self-study. There were also reports on "libraries in action," including descriptions of new learning resource centers; standards for junior-college libraries; and accreditation as an aid to strengthening the library.”

Today’s LRCs were designed to supply a variety of non-print learning materials, including video and audio sources, to add rich content to academic sources used in and outside of the classroom.

Many 2 and 4-year colleges and use the phrase Learning Resource Center or LRC, in the name of their library. New Jersey’s Department of Education has regional Learning Resources Centers independent of schools. Each center exists to “maintain and loan an extensive collection of professional books, in-service training resources, activity books, videos/DVDs and instructional materials to support all areas of the general education curriculum” and operates a van outreach service. They are funded by the Individuals with Disabilities Act, and a $2.00 membership fee.

Lightning Bug Lib Guide

by June Artman

The Lightning Bug is an updated online library item display on the library’s web site. For faculty and students, it is a great way to discover new materials in the library in your chosen subject area. We invite faculty to work in conjunction with librarians to build up the library collection in your particular subject areas. We have started to add new books to Allied Health, Business and Engineering subject areas on the display. Please contact a librarian at if you would like to build a subject specific display. To request new materials to be added to the library collection, please fill out a new materials request form, . You may also email me at to make requests or with any questions you may have.

The Lightning Bug online display includes new fall books that were added to the library collection. For the Holidays, we also feature holiday theme books as well as holiday cooking books from the existing library collection. In addition to this, the guide also includes holiday themed Films on Demand. The films feature holidays celebrated in America and around the world. Lastly, the guide features new and existing children’s books for students and faculty who have young children.