Knowledge to the Max

News from the Max R. Traurig Library at NVCC - Spring 2015

by Jenna Barry

You may have noticed recently that your students, colleagues, and friends have all been reading the same book. There’s a reason for that! This semester, the Library is sponsoring One Book, One College, a semester-long program centered on the novel When the Emperor was Divine by Julie Otsuka. The book tells the story of a Japanese American family living in Berkeley, California in 1942—a time when the United States was engaged in warfare with Japan following the attack on Pearl Harbor and tens of thousands of Japanese Americans were sent to live in internment camps in the interior U.S. The novel is woven into a series of first-person narratives, with each member of the family expressing their unique perspective of the time leading up to internment, living in the camps, and finally, returning to a home that has been irrevocably changed.

The true historical events at the center of this novel may inspire readers to look inward, and personally reflect on this nation’s past, present, and future. The goal of the semester-long schedule of events is to encourage participants to also look outward, and contribute to the conversation going on in the greater community. While we may all be reading the same book, our experiences and reactions will be unique to ourselves. The library is sponsoring this event in the hopes that by picking up the book and immersing ourselves in the history and culture that it represents, our college community will have learned not just from history, literature, or art, but from each other.

Departments across campus have participated in and hosted events, including a discussion with Professor Bill Foster of the English Department and a film screening of Children of the Camps sponsored by the Women's Center. Future events include several book discussions, including one at at the Danbury Public Library, a printmaking exhibit featuring artwork inspired by the novel, and an origami workshop for students. A detailed events listing, as well as a sign-up form for the One Book mailing list, can be found here. If you know students who may be interested in the origami workshop, they can sign up on that page as well.

The next event is a second screening of the PBS Documentary, Children of the Camps, on March 25th. The film screening will take place in the Playbox Theater and is sponsored by the Women’s Center. We hope to see you there!

Introducing EA Jeff Kinnard

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Jeff Kinnard joins the circulation staff this semester as an EA. Welcome, Jeff!

by Elaine Milnor

Jeff Kinnard is a welcome addition to our library staff as an EA in the Circulation Department. He brings a wealth of library and teaching experience, and has enjoyed providing library services to students and adults of all ages. Since his recent retirement from full-time work, Jeff has been volunteering at the Woodbury Public Library and at Sandy Hook Promise, where he continues to offer his talents.

Jeff is a graduate of Bard College, and received his Master of Library Science from SCSU. Thus far at NVCC, he has particularly enjoyed the tremendous diversity of our student body, along with the friendliness of students, faculty and staff he has met.

Check Yourself Out!

by Jaime Hammond

Grabbing a DVD for the weekend, but forgot your ID card? No problem! The self-check machines, located at both the 4th and 5th floor entrances, now allow you to type in your ID number (in addition to allowing you to scan the barcode on the back of your ID). Once you’ve entered your number, you can check items out, renew things you’d like to keep, and check to see what you have out- and print out a receipt. It’s very easy to use, but feel free to ask any of the library staff members to help you get started.

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Student worker Majue gets a receipt for her DVD at the self-check machine. There are two machines in the library, one on the 4th floor and one on the 5th floor.

Embedded Librarian Program

by John Leonetti

This semester I am currently in the stages of being an embedded librarian for Child Advocacy HSE H115. This entailed a semester long commitment to the class in several ways. First it started with a library instruction session tailored to the class’ specific assignment. It also involved me having access to the class in BlackBoard creating a shell of library resources appropriate to Child Advocacy.

This is beneficial to the students and instructor as it lets them know I am their contact person and it benefits the instructor as any library related questions go directly to me. I have had several emails from students in this class after I posted my contact information in BlackBoard.

The other component to this class involves me teaching on the basics of PowerPoint as the students are required to create groups projects using this software. I will then visit them the day they present their projects utilizing the PowerPoint skills from their second visit to the library.

I was very fortunate through this endeavor to learn many new things in BlackBoard. It brings the library to the students in cyberspace and it fosters instructor/librarian teamwork across departments.

I organized the library section in BlackBoard with a table of contents and my contact information.

New Tutorial: Films on Demand

by John Leonetti

This approximate 4 minute tutorial will highlight Films on Demand, what it is, the benefits it offers and how to access it both on and off campus.

Films On Demand at NVCC

A Heartwarming Tale of the Season

by Liz Frechette

A loving and dutiful daughter, Carrie worried that vision problems were further preventing activities for her 79 year-old father Michael, already limited by other health issues to an occasional board game at the local Senior Center.

One Friday afternoon, she inquired at the college library where she works if they had any large-print, non-fiction books that she could take home for her father, who used to enjoy reading history books and biographies.

Unlike most public libraries, college libraries don’t have large-print books. But the librarian prepared a top-ten list of recent large-print historical biographies, and included a brief review of each, in 18 pt. font so Michael could read it and let Carrie know which ones he was interested in reading. Then Carrie could request them through the college’s InterLibrary Loan service.

When she got home that night Carrie gave the list to her father. The very next day after work she noticed her father was already reading a large-print book from the list (Team of Rivals, by Doris Kearns Goodwin). Surprised, she asked him how he got it. Michael replied that after reading the reviews, he went on his own to their local library, got a library card, and checked out the book - - successfully raising the bar on his activity levels quite a bit.

If you can imagine a place where there are no bookstores, no libraries, and very limited Internet access (as in many developing countries), you will realize that your library and its services are truly special gifts.

Best Wishes for a Joyous Spring from the Max R. Traurig Learning Resources Center Library

What is the Library Staff Reading?

  • Gretchen Gallagher, Technical Services Assistant recommends Burial Rites by Hannah Kent (PR 9619.4 .K467 B87 2014). Soon to be a major motion picture starring Jennifer Lawrence as Agnes Magnusdottir, a woman charged with the murder of two men in early 19th century Iceland. Based on a true story, Agnes is sent to a live with a family on a farm in northern Iceland to await execution. This is a troubling, atmospheric, exhaustively researched, and beautifully written novel.

  • Elaine Milnor, Circulation Supervisor, says "One of my favorite recently read books is Abraham Verghese’s Cutting for Stone – at once a touchingly personal and captivating family saga and a suspenseful story set against the backdrop of political strife and intrigue in Ethiopia. The story evokes deep empathy for characters, events and times that are far removed from us and yet universal in their subject and scope.From “Cutting for Stone is an unforgettable story of love and betrayal, medicine and ordinary miracles - and two brothers whose fates are forever intertwined.”

  • Jenna Barry, Reference/Instruction Librarian, read No Country by Kalyan Ray (PR 9499.3 .R39 N6 2014). The story follows two family lineages, beginning in the west of Ireland during the Great Famine and ending in upstate New York in the late 20th century. Across hundreds of years and several different continents, chance events and encounters guide the lives of friends Brendan and Padraig and their offspring through times of hope and tragedy. Personal struggles are set against the backdrop of political struggles in Ireland and India, giving the book a layered plot with rich historical context. The beautiful descriptions of the novel's various settings make the book an escape to distant times and places.

  • Lisa Zandonella, Circulation Assistant LOVED Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls, a loving and often humorous recounting of the author's childhood growing up in an incredibly dysfunctional family.

  • Liz Frechette, Reference/Instruction Librarian, read The Moor's Account by Laila Lalami (PS 3612 .A543 M66 2014) Hunger, plague, insects, heat – all the privations and passions of a 16th century expedition from Spain to the New World come to bear on Mustafa, an educated Muslim Moroccan trader who sells himself into slavery to keep his family alive. As Estebanico his fate is intermingled with the exploits of conquistadors and kings. He lives to tell the tale, based on factual historical events and alive with detail and truth.

  • Jaime Hammond, Director of Library Services, shares this: "I recently read the novel, Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (PR 9199.4 .S727 S73 2014), and I can’t recommend it enough. Set in a very near future, where 99.9% of humankind has been wiped out, the survivors grasp onto Shakespeare and symphony to survive. Unreal and yet eerily familiar, this buzzworthy novel was just named a PEN/Faulker finalist. I finished it a few weeks ago, and still haven’t stopped thinking about it!