Monday, September 28, 2009
We recently received a donation from a faculty family of once-loved books. We're anticipating lots of smiles when these books are discovered on our shelves.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Academic honesty is taken seriously at the Governor’s Academy. As headmaster Doggett reminded us, our reputations will follow us throughout our lives. Once tarnished, a reputation for dishonesty is hard to refurbish.
One tool that we provide to help our students avoid unintentional plagiarism is Noodle Tools. This program connects a student’s online note cards with the information needed for their citations and bibliography. If they desire, they can copy and paste entire sections of an electronic source on one card and type the actual words they intend to use from that source on another card. These two cards will remain in a group with the source card so the student can easily locate and document their sources.
We remain committed to helping our students be ethical users of information. Noodle Tools is just one of the library’s tools for supporting our community.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
The juniors have started researching their history thesis papers. The library can help make this process easier. We offer many helpful books from how to formulate a topic to answering your thesis statement. Books are not the only resource the library has, however. There are links to electronic databases and various guides on the library Moodle site, Classrooms on Elmstreet.
One useful tool for collecting and formatting your citations is NoodleTools. You can access NoodleTools most easily through the U.S. History Thesis course; there is a link to it (and a video tutorial!) at the end of the page. Once you have created an account with NoodleTools, you can create a citations list for your paper and type in the information for every source (title, author, publication year, place of publication etc.). NoodleTools will format your list automatically according the bibliographic style that your professor specifies. You can then save that citations list in Word format and export it; incorporating the citations into your paper is as easy as cutting and pasting. And don’t be shy – you can always ask the librarians for help!
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Writers have joined in the frenzy and are now creating mashups of books. In Woodsburner, John Pipkin takes the true story of how Henry David Thoreau started a wildfire and creates a novel of the life and philosophies that might have been inspired by that event.
In Vanessa and Virginia, Susan Sellers looks at the life of Virginia Woolf through her older sister’s eyes, inventing thoughts and ideas that may or may not have been true.
While these mashups are more the norm in historical fiction, with real lives being looked at through a fictional lens, other authors have taken the idea of combining two literary ideas a step further. In The Heroines, Eileen Favorite brings Madame Bovary, Scarlett O'Hara, and other literary heroines together to find strength and solace in each other so they can continue the lives destined for them by their original authors. Caroline Cooney's Enter Three Witches, mashes Shakespeare’s Macbeth with a novel about a young woman raised in the court of the times. In Saving Juliet, a young actress from New York is transported into the world of Romeo and Juliet in a way somewhat reminiscent of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.
Perhaps the most ambitious new mashup in our collection is Seth Grahame-Smith’s insertion of zombies into Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Our students and faculty aren’t a homogeneous group. Some of them love the feel of a book in their hands. Some don’t want to keep another battery charged constantly. Others complain of eye-strain. Many like to take books to the beach or on vacation or on the team bus and don’t want to worry about losing a $500 e-reader.
Our students also have many different learning styles. Some are easily distracted by online materials and would have a difficult time staying on task if doing all their reading on the Internet. With email, twitter, and facebook messages popping up, reading an e-book can be difficult at best. When surrounded by electronic gadgets, some students will automatically begin searching YouTube or their favorite sports sites. For many, the ability to escape the electronic realm provides a quiet, calming, and focusing influence.
Perhaps more importantly, the use of a solid book for research gives the reader a type of order and organization not readily apparent in an electronic book. The table of contents is in the front; the index is in the back. The author has organized the material by chapters so that ideas are developed in depth. E-books can be searched for a particular word or a factual answer. However, having that ability invites the opportunity to skim and to avoid reading deeply. Research requires students to read long passages and absorb meaning and make inferences. The type of reading that is made possible by electronic books has its place; links can be followed to see how different threads of information are related. But the printed book teaches organization and understanding in a way the electronic book does not.
We also teach our students that not every book can be found by searching the catalog. Browsing a set of shelves often leads to serendipitous finds that wouldn’t occur if we searched online for a particular list of keywords. The way we arrange books on the shelves leads readers to find related ideas in proximity to each other.
At Governor’s Academy we will continue to make a variety of formats available for students to use. As we continue to add to the number of materials that we make available electronically, we won’t abandon the technology that has served us so well.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Remember, there is hand sanitizer and tissues available at the front desk, should you feel the need to freshen up a bit. And check out the flu display on the main floor, across the front desk!
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
I'm your new evening librarian. Although I'm only three days into the semester, I can already tell what a great community the Governor's Academy is, and how cool our students are. It is exciting to start the semester with you! Please don't hesitate to ask questions, or just come say hello.
Mrs. Eppu Jensen
Monday, September 14, 2009
Unity Days gives each class an opportunity to spend some time together before classes begin. This year's freshman class played games on campus, toured Newburyport and the campus, and went out for ice cream. Sophomores participated in team and trust activities and went roller skating. Juniors devoted their weekend to community service including hosting a field day for students from Kipp Academy. The Senior class camped at Brantwood and hiked Mount Monadnock.
Everyone seems happy to be back together again. We're looking forward to a great year.