Library Happenings

March, 2014: Has Spring Sprung?

Same Faces, Different Places!

Jaime Hammond

Acting Director of Library Services

This semester, you may have noticed a new face at the Reference Desk. Naomi Toftness (NVCC ’08), who has served our library as a student staff member, Circulation EA, and Interlibrary Loan/Serials Assistant, was recently asked to step into the role of Reference Librarian. Naomi, who just graduated with a Master of Library Science degree, was offered the Reference Librarian position after the departure of David Vrooman.

Meanwhile, Allyssa Bruce, Circulation EA, has stepped into the role of Interlibrary Loan/Serials Assistant, in addition to staffing the “Circ” desk. Allyssa also works as a Teen Librarian at the Canton Public Library, and was recently featured in a Hartford Courant article about her great work there:

Black History Month Library Display: Students speak from the heart

Elaine Milnor

Circulation Supervisor

Our library staff members – including student staff! - create displays throughout the year to heighten visitors’ awareness of historical, commemorative and seasonal events. Some displays are educational, like our current wall featuring the accomplishments of women across numerous cultures, as we celebrate Women’s History Month.

Throughout February, one of our Black History Month displays was participatory in nature, as we solicited students’ comments in response to the question, “What does it mean to be a young black person in the United States today?”.

Among the responses were the following:

“It means to be an educated person who is not intimidated by past, present or future obstacles. We are a glorious people.”

“Gifted and talented. Glad to be an American.”

“Suppressed, no matter how diligent you are about your goal.”

“Harder than an average American kid but we continue to make our mark as powerful African Americans.”

“It sucks, but it’s getting better.”

“As a young African American male I feel like a target – bullseye marked.”

“Struggling, but living.”

“Being a young black person means just messing around until life is over to others, but to me it’s standing out, being different. Martin Luther King, Jr. wasn't the only one with a dream!"

“Black and Proud.”

Want Access to Your Favorite Newspapers?

Jaime Hammond

Acting Director of Library Services

The Max R. Traurig Library has access to many of your favorite newspapers, including (but not limited to):

· Chronicle of Higher Education (requires username/password)

· Waterbury Republican-American (requires username/password)

· Hartford Courant (access through library databases)

· New York Times (access through library databases)

Visit the library’s Articles and Databases page ( for links to the Courant and NYT from on campus OR home (using your myCommNet login) or contact Jaime Hammond at for usernames and passwords!

Clicking Away: FYE Classes benefit from library instruction

Tiara Arnold

Reference & Instruction Librarian

John Leonetti

Ref. Instruction/Technical Services Librarian

The librarians have completed their fourth successful semester of library instruction for FYE classes! In February we met with over 150 students in 12 classes, where students learned how to conduct research using the library catalog, databases, and the web. Each session then featured a group activity, where small clusters of students conducted research together into various topics, using the skills they had just learned. Finally, students shared their methods with the class. Each session ended with an outcomes assessment exercise, using clickers.

Photo (below): An example of some of the great student work created in the FYE library instruction sessions.

Self-Checkout is Coming ...

Alison Wang

Head of Technical Services/System Librarian

When you come to the Max R. Traurig Library, you may notice the new security gates and computer stands by the library entrances on the 4th and 5th floors. Those gates and stands are for self-checkout and return, using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology.

RFID remotely stores and retrieves data using devices called RFID tags, placed inside each library item. The system is similar to the one you encounter when you enter and leave your local department store. The NVCC Library’s RFID tags will accomplish several important functions:

1. Enable patrons to check out and return their own library items, enhancing the privacy and the convenience of each transaction.

2. Serve as an anti-theft system.

3. Streamline the library’s item-inventory procedure.

4. Compile various statistics - i.e. patron traffic, library item use.

The library staff looks forward to offering patrons the increased privacy and convenience of the self-checkout/return system. Currently, it’s “all hands on deck” as the staff continues the arduous process of tagging over 50,000 items in the library’s collection. Keep in mind: the library staff will still be there to help you when you need it!

You Can Look it Up!! Library Databases

Elizabeth Frechette

Reference/Instruction Librarian

Did you know?

  • The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5 (aka DSM-5) is now available full text as a database, accessible on the library’s web page from on- or off-campus.
  • Articles in Opposing Viewpoints can be translated from English into 13 languages, and can be accessed as an audio file. Articles in SIRS Knowledge Source can be translated from English into 11 languages, and can be accessed as an audio file. Audio files in both databases are in English.
  • A Personal User Account set up in one EBSCO database can be used in all EBSCO databases. You can save articles to your Personal User Account (PUA) and access them later. You can also generate new searches to run automatically and notify you of new findings in your favorite subject areas. Select Sign In, then Create a New account. Once you have your PUA set up, a yellow banner will appear over the EbscoHost button, so it reads “My EbscoHost“. Then the folder icon will be active, and you’ll be able to” Save to Folder”.
  • There's lots more! Explore the NVCC Library’s databases at (or log in from your page) to discover what you can do to make academic and personal research easier and more fun.

As always, you can also call a Librarian for assistance at (203) 575-8244 or stop by the Reference Desk in L523.

"Vacation Book Group"

Elaine Milnor

Circulation Supervisor

The library continues its “Vacation Book Group” series of discussions, open to all members of the NVCC community, led by Circulation Supervisor Elaine Milnor.

Nearly twenty NVCC faculty and staff members recently enjoyed a rousing discussion of 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 Yale Law School graduate Gretchen Rubin. With a healthy dose of wit and wisdom, backed up by timely research, Rubin addresses some of life’s most important questions, offers her own “secrets of adulthood”, and ponders how we all might find more enjoyment amidst the demands of daily life.

Many folks in the group were inspired to create their own “happiness projects”, and expressed an interest in gathering periodically to share ideas and strategies for living life more happily. Stay tuned …

Elaine Milnor