Thursday, February 25, 2010

Reading for College, Reading in College

We all know how important reading is for your education. It is also a recognized fact that as you advance in your education, there seems to be less and less time for reading amidst assignments, labs, papers, exams, talks, presentations, conferences, and other projects.

One way to tackle the increasing load is becoming a more efficient reader. Timothy Burke at Swarthmore College writes about college reading in particular, and offers the following helpful and humorous advice:

"The first rule, in some ways the only rule, is skim, skim,
. But skimming is not just reading in a hurry, or reading sloppily,
or reading the last line and the first line. It's actually a disciplined
activity in its own right."

Skimming should give you an idea of the structure of the piece (book, article, etc.) to move on to finding the central concepts and the sequence of the arguments.

You should, of course, also read the footnotes, of which there are five different basic kinds: 1) Logrolling; 2) Weird little stuff that distracts from the main point but which is still kind of interesting; 3) Oh, by the way, there's one teeny tiny little exception; 4) Look, Ma, I did the reading; and the 5) You want proof? I'll give you proof footnotes.

Also, even if it seems cumbersome and time-consuming,
"if a term recurs regularly in a text, or seems particularly central, you MUST
learn to pick up a dictionary and find out what the author means. Learn to keep
one by your side and don't try to bluff your way past such a term. An initial
mistake about the meaning of a term can rapidly multiply into a gigantic
misreading if you're not careful."

Last but certainly not least, take notes and prepare for discussion.

Read more - even skim! - at Staying Afloat: Some Scattered Suggestions on Reading in College.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Creature Comforts

Rainy, chilly days like today are perfect for cozying up with a book. The new books shelves have just been refreshed, and the tower display in the front hall has plenty of new reads in it.
If you are more of a visual person, check out our DVD shelving. Both the non-fiction and the entertainment collections have new items. And yet another batch of books and visual materials is currently being processed.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Taking my life for a walk

Taking my life for a walk
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
It's not unusual to see faculty members walking their dogs and children past the library. This is the first time we've seen one walking his children and video equipment. It was a lovely day for a walk, though.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Washington on Excuses

Washington on excuses
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
"It is better to have no excuse than a bad one."

This thought, accompanied by President George Washington himself, currently adorns the library lobby. Students have been very taken with it.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Personal ILL delivery

Personal ILL delivery
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Our library is very active in Inter-library Loan. As a member of the MassCat network, we loan to readers across the state and bring in books and videos to our students. Thanks to our regional library system, we have delivery Monday and Thursday afternoons. We also 'give and take' from the libraries of the schools in the Greater Boston Cooperative Library Association. These books usually travel by mail. A recent meeting, however, had librarians exchanging books in person.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Dummer Influence from 1700s

Paul Revere's midnight ride to Portsmouth is well known in in these parts of Massachusetts. Less known are the efforts of one Wentworth Cheswell, an alumnus of the school. He acted as town messenger for his home town, Newmarket, NH, and rode to Exeter with instructions to militia men much like Revere.
Wentworth's grandfather Richard had been a slave in Exeter who won his freedom and purchased 20 acres of land for himself. By all accounts Wentworth's mixed racial background was of little concern in his life in New Hampshire and at Dummer: he also served in the army, worked as schoolteacher, and held several public office positions.
Stories like Wentworth Cheswell's reinforce the value archives can provide to an institution. We are enriched by a better understanding of our history and the contributions our alumni make to the society. Read more of this fascinating story at the Governor's Academy Archives blog.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ah, February!

resting up for a busy day
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Snow outside, warm and cozy inside. What a nice place to catch a nap!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Historical Fiction

Among the latest new books there are a few based on, or inspired by, historical events or people. Interested in Shakespeare? Check out Lisa Klein's re-imagining of Macbeth from the point of view of Albia, gifted with second sight and raised on barren moors by three sisters (Lady Macbeth's Daughter). If spy action is closer to your heart, try Lauren Willig's take on espionage in nineteenth-century Europe (The Betrayal of the Blood Lily). Or conspiracy, political backstabbing, and scheming in ancient Rome as imagined by Robert Harris (Conspirata).

Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy Year of the Tiger!

Chinese Picture Books
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
The Pesky Library celebrates the Lunar New Year with a (visual) bang! We have a display of various decorations and Chinese books. We have cook books, folk tales, and books about the rich culture of China. The children's books have texts both in Chinese and English, and wonderful illustrations. Come, browse, and enjoy!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Pondering Librarians

Pondering Librarians
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Yesterday, we hosted the February meeting of the Greater Boston Cooperative Library Association. This group is composed of private school librarians working to share ideas, make collaborative purchasing agreements, and promote professional education. Suzanne Levasseur shared what she learned from the New Hampshire School Library Conference. In this slide, she shares what Doug Johnson said about knowing ones’ worth: understanding what school librarians do better than anyone else in the school, and making sure that the faculty and administrators understand how much we contribute to student success. We also heard from Liz Gray who shared information gleaned from her trip to the Oxford libraries as part of an Oxbridge Academic summer program, “The Library and the Academy.” We also had a chance to congratulate Liz Gray on her wonderful interview in the New York Times, Do School Libraries Need Books? Great job, Liz!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Problems with Prints

We're currently having problems with our printing machinery. Both the front desk printer and the color printer are out of order, and the copy machine is also acting up.

When printing in the library, please send your document to the Library Classroom (i.e, the electronic classroom) or the Library2ndfloor printer. Please do not use the LibraryCopier as printer if it should appear in the printer list; you'll fill up the job queue with jobs the copier can't handle.

Hope these tips help. We're sorry for the trouble; we're working to solve the problems.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Valentine Station

Valentine Station
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Roses are red,
Violets are blue.
Come make a valentine
for someone sweet to you!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Another Puzzle Solved

Another Puzzle Solved
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
If you're waiting for a video or a textbook to check out, or if you just want to exercise your mind, stop by the front desk and try out our puzzles. In fact, we'd love to have you come in and introduce yourself, tell us what you like to read, and get to know us. Or, if we already know you, we've got a new puzzle out! Come test your spatial abilities.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Author on Display

Ray Bradbury Display
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
“There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.”

This month we highlight Ray Bradbury and learn about his likes from an ALA poster.He eats a can of Campbell's tomato soup "every week of my life." And when he dies, he plans to go surfing in Paris. (We are all bemused by that one....) Stop by to learn more about his life and peruse a story collection or grab an episode of The Ray Bradbury Theater.

Friday, February 05, 2010

New Art and Recreation Books in the Library

700s February 2010
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
We're excited about two of our new arts book. Obey: Supply and Demand/ The Art of Shepard Fairey takes us on a delightful romp through stamps and propaganda. The free poster that came with the book is nice, too.

For something a bit different, try Drawing Down the Moon/ The Art of Charles Vess. As Susanna Clarke says in her forward, his art is reminiscent of "the Golden Age illustrators of Edwardian story-books." Whatever your taste, stop by and enjoy these or one of our other art books.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Green copying instructions

Green copying instructions
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Saving energy is only a part of the on-going Green Cup Challenge. You can also make a difference by cutting down on your paper consumption. (After all, it does take energy to turn trees into pulp into paper, and transport all that to the various places of processing.)

Our new copier has a double-side function. We made a cheat sheet for you, and posted it on the cork board above the copier. The next time you need to make a copy, try going double-sided!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Roots of Science Fiction

Have you ever thought about where fiction comes from? What about the different genres of fiction?
"Science Fiction came of age in the 19th Century under the talents of writers like Mary Shelley, Jules Verne, and H.G. Wells. But before these authors stands a long history of proto-science fiction tales, replete with voyages to the moon, socially and technologically advanced civilizations, and visions of the future." (Read more at io9.)
It's easy to believe that inventions like railroads, vaccinations, and mass media give authors wilder ideas than a two-man saw, for example, even if the latter represented a significant advantage over the one-person model. But would you believe that the first space opera was written in the 2nd century CE? Lucian of Samosata's A True Story places inhabitants not only on the moon but also on the Sun, and does not stop there. Our library does not carry Lucian's works, but we have plenty of sci-fi and fantasy for those days when you'd like to really get your feet off the ground.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Get Your Green On

Get Your Green On 2
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
At the library, we are encouraging awareness of the on-going Green Cup. We are reducing our electricity consumption by turning off the lights upstairs and the study rooms between 4 and 6:30 p.m. If you need the lights on in order to study, please ask at the circulation desk.

As always, feel free to pop in for information and enlightenment. We currently display some materials in the reference area, and we'd be delighted to help you with research.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Student Art in the Student Center

Artwork is on display in the Student Center following last week's student art show. Many of these works were entered in the Boston Globe Scholastic Art Awards competition, netting the school 25 awards including four Gold Key Portfolio Awards. At this morning's all-school meeting, kudos were given (a headmaster's tradition) to winning students and their teachers . The Governor's Academy has a history of excellence in art education, and this year's students are all to be congratulated for their outstanding accomplishments.