Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Opposing Viewpoints on Immigration

Today's convocation featured three immigrants who shared their stories and their efforts toward passing legislation that would allow undocumented immigrants to continue their education in the United States. Two had come to the United States as elementary school-aged children and graduated from high school in Massachusetts. The two bills that they are trying to get passed are the Dream Act and Massachusetts House Bill 1175, an act to allow undocumented immigrants the right to attend college in state at resident tuition rates. They said that the cost of higher education was prohibitive to most undocumented immigrants.
The books in our display give both sides of the immigration issue. You can look in our catalog for more books and electronic resources to help explain the immigration issues. Electronic resources can be accessed on campus or at home through passwords students can find in our library Moodle courses.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

National Gaming Day @ Your Library

Gaming Display1
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Last Saturday, November 13th, 2010, was the third National Gaming Day at your Library. This display offers you glimpses of the history of computer and video games. Did you know that the first interactive computer game was invented by an MIT student in 1961?

P.S. If you're interested, Governor's students have a gaming club. They meet Friday evenings in the library electronic classroom.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

E-Books in our catalog and print books on our shelves

We have begun collecting e-books that can be accessed by students without leaving the computer. We also still have print books for those students who prefer to come into the library to work with a more familiar format.
Yesterday I attended a panel discussion on the future of libraries at St. John’s High School in Shrewsbury. Presented by the Greater Boston Cooperative Library Association, panelists presented their visions of how expected changes in the world will transform both library spaces and offerings. While a few libraries have decided to purchase more electronic books and fewer paper books, the panelists stressed that the future library will contain books in various formats. One panelist noted that some students refuse to use Kindles when offered, preferring to wait for the paper book to return. Multiple learning styles will require us to cater to information in all its formats. One recurring theme in the presentation was that electronic sources are not yet as structured as print sources, making information more difficult to locate and less comprehensible. The ability to locate information in context, as part of a coherent and in-depth study was mentioned as a strength of paper formats. Library as space was also discussed with panelists assuring us that the library will continue to exist as a meeting, research and study space even as virtual spaces are created to house electronic materials.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Color in the New Books Shelves

New Books Shelves Nov 2010
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
The brightest fall colors are, unfortunately, already fading and it's getting dark sooner and sooner. While we cannot do anything about the dwindling daylight, we can add to the comforts of the library. We work with the school Facilities Department to adjust the temperature to just right. We turn on the lights for easy reading and studying. We make sure that work surfaces stay clean for everyone's comfort. We rotate displays for both inspiration and eye candy. And we add color to our new books shelves by facing some of the books out. I think it perks up the new books nook nicely. What do you think?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Thanksgiving Reading!

We are getting so close to the Thanksgiving break! I know that it is hard to see through the haze of exams but you are days away from freedom. Not only will you be free but you will also being eating lots of delicious food, spending time with friends and family, and catching up on all the sleep you are missing during exams.

Hopefully you will also use your time off to read something. Not a text book, not a magazine, not your friends’ Facebook statuses, but a book. Though everything you are reading for class is educational and enjoyable it is hard to see that when you are consumed with how many pages you have to read in one night. Reading isn’t supposed to be a chore, it is supposed to transport you to other worlds and make you fall in love with characters.

So, I hope that during the brief respite from class, while you are stuffing your faces with turkey and pie, you also take the time to read something that you like. It may be a trashy romance novel, a biography about your favorite football player or a Russian classic; whatever it is remember that reading is fun!

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Puzzle Has Been Solved

Each month we have one or more puzzles at the circulation desk. They give students a challenge to keep their minds and hands busy while waiting for books and laptops to be checked out. This month's puzzle is an especially difficult one - a wooden box to construct from numerous tiny pieces. It's been done, though, proving that perseverance does pay off. This student decided she would figure it out and succeeded. Perseverance paid off for many students on campus this week as grades for the first quarter were handed out. Congratulations to our puzzle solvers and to everyone who decides to make good things happen in their lives.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Hard at Work on the Laptops

While many people think of books when they think of libraries, computer access is rapidly becoming more and more important for library users. These students are busily typing essays on two of the twelve laptops that students can use in the library. We have 26 desktop computers, too, so there’s seldom a time when a student can’t find a free computer. Of course, many students prefer to carry their own laptops with them, a growing trend that caused us to upgrade our wireless access this year. We have a second wireless network to handle the extra traffic. Students can log onto our secure network for printing and to access programs that teachers have set up for them. Visitors can still use our guest network. Additional wireless hubs throughout the building have made connection much faster and smoother.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Latest Reviews: November 2010

Looking for something to read to give your brain a break, and break up your routine?

The latest batch of reviews linked to our "virtual collection" include for example Tinkers by Paul Harding, For the Win by Cory Doctorow, and Becoming Jane Eyre (pictured at right) by Sheila Kohler.

You can always find even more reviews through our LibraryThing profile.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Women Who Rock Display

Women Who Rock Display
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
We're currently inundated not only with fall rains, but also new displays!

Late last week we were treated to two visual feasts. This display celebrates women rockers, starting from the 1960s. Come on in and get a glimpse of how these sassy songwriters started a new wave of cool. (More rock music books can be found at the shelf location 780 and onwards.)

Monday, November 08, 2010

How the Other Half Live... Women, that is,

This month we have two displays dedicated to women. One is called “Women Who Rock,” while the second shows “How the Other Half Lives.” Books displayed on the “other half” cover women and women’s issues in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries. The timeliness of our display was evidenced when we open this morning’s New York Times and learned from the front page that Afghan wives are turning more and more often to suicide to escape their “abuse and despondency.”

Alissa J. Rubin reports that burning is a commonly sought way to escape the horrors of these women’s lives. They have little chance to get help for their depression when even admitting to mental difficulties is considered shameful. Sadly, their mental traumas are often inflicted on them by spouses or other members of their families. If you’d like more information on the lives of Afghan women, check out one of the books in our display or read today’s New York Times.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

TGA Hosts Special Olympics on Sunday

Governor's is getting ready to host our yearly Special Olympics. More than 1,000 athletes, representing more than 100 teams from across the state, gather to compete in a series of round-robin soccer matches. As hosts, our students - all volunteers - are responsible for arranging the opening ceremonies, running "Olympic Town," organizing public relations activities, registering athletes, feeding participants and overseeing the competitions.

Set-up is taking place on Saturday, and the event itself on Sunday. It looks like the weather is going to cooperate, and everywhere on campus (including the library!) you can see cheerful students carrying their bright green Special Olympics t-shirts. The excitement is certainly building! We're sure this year's Olympics will be as wonderful as last year's - just look at this photo from 2009 - and smiles will certainly abound.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

For the Love of Language

"For me, it is a cause of some upset that more Anglophones don't enjoy
Thus begins Stephen Fry's exhortation on the joys offered by English. Fry is an acclaimed writer and actor (best known for his role as Jeeves, the "gentleman's personal gentleman"). He provides us with delightful insights into prevalent attitudes about proper or correct language. If this sounds boring, believe me, it is not! Here is another quote:
"The worst of this sorry bunch of semi-educated losers are those who seem to
glory in being irritated by nouns becoming verbs. How dense and deaf to language
development do you have to be? If you don't like nouns becoming verbs, then for
heaven's sake avoid Shakespeare who made a doing-word out of a thing-word every
chance he got."

Have a look yourself:

(The rest of the audio file is available at Fry's website.)

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Free Online Courses

Feeling ambitious? Gov's classes aren't enough for you? Or maybe you're a senior and want to get an advantage over your competition for getting into your dream college? Check out the MIT OpenCourseWare!

They offer courses in Architecture, Engineering, Health Sciences, Humanities, Management, Science, and others; also cross-disciplinary courses are offered. The Highlights for High School section offers hands-on learning tools like labs, video demonstrations, and competitions. They also provide exam prep materials, introductory MIT courses, and writing tools. It's a real treasure trove. Happy discovering!

Monday, November 01, 2010

Halloween Visitors

Our library had such fantastic creatures visit us for Halloween this year. They included for instance a princess, a bumblebee, a quarterback, a beaver, and a chatty group of oPods - in several bright colors, of course! This couple, however, was the best. Don't you just love the creativity of the rainbow costume!