Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Wedding: History of British Royalty

Royal Wedding History
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Britain's Prince William and Kate wed each other early this morning (Eastern Standard Time) among lavish celebrations - and protests. There's been a lot of media attention leading up to the wedding, but that's only a part of their story. Let's not forget the preceding generations and their legacy.

Our Royal Weddings display showcases works from our collection. There are also information panels with historical scenes and items of interest. It's not too late to get a dose of royal history.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Poetry Reading Tonight!

Louise Gluck
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Today, the Governor's Academy has the honor of hosting poet Louise Gluck. In the words of Mr. Searles:

"Louise Gluck will be reading in the PAC tonight at 7:30 p.m. She will also be at dinner in the Dining Hall from 5:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. for anyone interested in eating and talking with her. She is a former U.S. Poet Laureate, and her visit will be a great acknowledgement of April, Poetry Month, at our school."

We have some of her work on display in the lobby; please come in for a taste. Also, check out her poem Fable on our blog.

We hope everyone enjoys her visit!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

First to Sit in the New Chairs!

After weeks of planning, negotiating, selecting, and waiting, our library finally got a delivery of new comfy chairs this morning!

Charles and Nick performed the inaugural ceremony for the lobby chairs. We're all very excited about the chairs.

Go to our Flickr photostream to see more pictures.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Chernobyl: A 25-Year Anniversary

On April 26, 1986, the Number Four reactor at the nuclear power plant at Chernobyl, Ukraine, went out of control during a test at low power. This lead to an explosion and fire that demolished the reactor building and released large amounts of radiation into the atmosphere. Safety measures were ignored. The uranium fuel in the reactor overheated and melted through the protective barriers. Radioactive elements including plutonium, iodine, strontium, and cesium were scattered over a wide area.

The accident was approximately 400 times more potent than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Some 150,000 square kilometers in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine were contaminated. Also Scandinavian countries were affected by the radioactive releases from Chernobyl. Radioactive isotopes were blown by wind northward into Sweden and Finland and over other parts of the northern hemisphere.

The initial explosion resulted in the death of two workers. The death toll among the firemen and emergency clean-up workers in the first three months was 29 (one of cardiac arrest and the rest from radiation sickness). In total some 200,000 people are believed to have been relocated as a result of the accident. In addition, there have been at least 1,800 documented cases of thyroid cancer children who were between 0 and 14 years of age when the accident occurred.

Nowadays it is possible to visit the Chernobyl area, even including the exclusion zone (a 30 kilometer radius surrounding the plant). Read more on the IAEA Chernobyl FAQ and the United Nations Chernobyl sites, or explore 25 years of satellite imagery over Chernobyl. Wikipedia offers links to some image collections (at the bottom of the page), or you can search Flickr for photos.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Poetry Reading This Thursday

Louise Gluck, former U.S. Poet Laureate, will be giving a poetry reading in the PAC this Thursday (April 28) at 7:30 p.m. Here is a poem from her book The Seven Ages.

By Louise Gluck

We had, each of us, a set of wishes.
the number changed. And what we wished –
That changed also. Because
we had, all of us, such different dreams.

The wishes were all different, the hopes all different.
And the disasters and catastrophes, always different.

In great waves they left the earth,
even the one that is always wasted.

Waves of despair, waves of hopeless longing and heartache.
Waves of the mysterious wild hungers of youth, the dreams of childhood.
Detailed, urgent; once in a while, selfless.

All different, except of course
the wish to go back. Inevitably
last or first, repeated
over and over –

So the echo lingered. And the wish
held us and tormented us
though we knew in our own bodies
it was never granted.

We knew, and on dark nights, we acknowledged this.
How sweet the night became then,
once the wish released us,
how utterly silent.

Our Library STATs

If you stacked up all the books in the library they would be 505 feet tall. That’s taller than the Great Pyramid (450 feet) but shorter than the Washington Monument (555.5 feet). If all the pages in all the books in the library were laid end to end it would be 533,410 feet, which is 0.4057 % of the circumference of the Earth and a 1.68 hour drive. If you were to pack up and move all the books in the library, they would fill 206.2 U-Haul book boxes. Imagine carting all those books of the college with you. Also imagine all the amazing information held in the magnitude of books that we have here at the library. Could your bedside table hold the Great Pyramid?

You can find other interesting facts about our library here!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day Display

Earth Day
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
It's Earth Day! How are you celebrating?

We made this small display with both older and brand new sources on the environment and living an eco-friendly life. Come in to have a look.

Also check out our Facebook links for today - Greenpeace International has published an intriguing report on the energy footprint of 10 popular online service providers (Apple, Amazon, and Yahoo, for instance).

Thursday, April 21, 2011

How Many Books Have You Read?

The vast majority of the world's books, music, films, television and art, you will never see. It's just numbers.
Consider books alone. Let's say you read two a week, and sometimes you take on a long one that takes you a whole week. That's quite a brisk pace for the average person. That lets you finish, let's say, 100 books a year. If we assume you start now, and you're 15, and you are willing to continue at this pace until you're 80. That's 6,500 books, which really sounds like a lot.

Let's do you another favor: Let's further assume you limit yourself to books from the last, say, 250 years. Nothing before 1761. This cuts out giant, enormous swaths of literature, of course, but we'll assume you're willing to write off thousands of years of writing in an effort to be reasonably well-read.

Of course, by the time you're 80, there will be 65 more years of new books, so by then, you're dealing with 315 years of books, which allows you to read about 20 books from each year. You'll have to break down your 20 books each year between fiction and nonfiction – you have to cover history, philosophy, essays, diaries, science, religion, science fiction, westerns, political theory ... I hope you weren't planning to go out very much.

You can hit the highlights, and you can specialize enough to become knowledgeable in some things, but most of what's out there, you'll have to ignore. (Don't forget books not written in English! Don't forget to learn all the other languages!)

This in an excerpt from NPR's Blog. You can read the whole article here.

Holmes, Linda. The Sad, Beautiful Fact that We’re All Going to Miss Almost Everything. NPR Blog, Culture and Criticism. April 18, 2011.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

One Year Anniversary: The Gulf Oil Spill

One year ago today, the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded. The explosion killed 11 men, injured 17, and sank the rig. The deepest, most long-lasting outcome of the mishap, however, was the sea-floor oil gusher that started leaking oil into the ocean. After several attempts, the spill was finally effectively capped on July 15, 2010.

The consequences of the Gulf oil spill range from economic to ecologic, and effects on health, fishing, and tourism. Legislative efforts and public reactions also followed. The various documenting efforts include recording the impact of the event in the lives of the Gulf area residents.

The new media allow us great new ways to record history as it happens and the reactions of so-called ordinary people. For example, Bridge the Gulf, a citizen journalism and new-media initiative, conveys the residents' stories and their vision for the future of Gulf Coast communities. The Southern Oral History Program in the Center for the Study of the American South at the University of North Carolina conducted a small series of interviews to begin the work of documenting the human effects of the oil spill. They have published a selection of oil spill stories on Tumblr. Historians of the future will surely find a rich source of primary materials among these and other similar collections.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The British Royal Wedding: 10 Days to Go

Royal Wedding Red Carpet
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
It’s now 10 days and counting to the biggest media event of the year – the wedding of Prince William and Catherine (Kate) Middleton. They will say “I do” in Westminster Abbey, London, on Friday April 29th.

The British royalty may have a long history, but this couple isn’t your traditional, stuffy pair of talking heads with stiff upper lips and “what-ho, old chap” remarks. Just check out all the 2.0 ways with which they are reaching out!

They’ve established an official website, and provide materials for YouTube. The Royal Channel on YouTube also has a clock counting down to The Broadcast event. Of course, BBC keeps tabs on everything wedding-related. Also Westminster Abbey, the location for the wedding ceremony, provides information on their website. Even the British government has a web page for the wedding.

Here in the library, we’re following the story and counting down as well.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Keyboard Shortcuts

Have you ever been frustrated about how slow it is to operate a web browser with a mouse? There are a number of keyboard commands you can adopt to speed things up.

For example, to select just one word, double click it. To copy a highlighted section, press CTRL and C; to paste, press CTRL and V. To select everything on a web page (or in a document), press CTRL + A. CTRL + O opens and CTRL + S saves a file.

Use the F5 key to reload and CTRL + F to find something on the current page. Navigate quickly to the top or bottom of your web page (or document) with HOME and END. If you’ve opened several applications (several windows), you can move between them with ALT + TAB; CTRL + TAB switches between browser tabs.

Some of these shortcuts work not just with browsers, but also in a Windows environment (Word, Excel, etc.) – try them out!

For a full list of Firefox, Windows, or Mac keyboard shortcuts, see their respective support pages.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Grandparents Day 2011

Grandparents Day 2011
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
Today we welcome grandparents to the campus!

They can attend classes with their grandchildren. At midday, there is a lunch reception in the Whiston-Bragdon arena with a musical performance and a student reflection.

We hope everyone enjoys our school and this gorgeous weather!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Light in the Library

Now that spring is finally here student life will take to the great outdoors. However the floor to ceiling windows in the reference section of the library makes sitting inside and doing homework a lovely event. The sunlight and fresh air fill the library as we open our windows to the beautiful weather. After you’ve had your fill of walking outside and it’s time to study or curl up with a good book come to the library when you can sit and enjoy the view from all our windows.  

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Poetry at Circ Desk

Poetry at Circ Desk
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
The latest donation to our library is of the anonymous kind.

This poem at the circulation desk was left behind by a creative student (we think). What better way to spend a rainy afternoon than with your favorite literature!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Check out what we've been collecting - maybe it's yours!

Can you guess the correct number of headphones in this photo? How about find the button? Who’s ID tag and key is that….? Which white plug is the Apple plug? Do we have to find new homes for ALL these items, or do they belong in yours???

Here’s three calculators, two with their covers, and three lonely covers.  All the students here at the Academy appreciate their fellow students’ generosity in sharing their scientific calculators, but, in the event you need your own back for exams, this is what we have here!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Civil War Scrapbooking

Did you know that the Governor’s Academy’s archival collection holds many military-related items? One of them is the Civil War-era scrapbook of Captain William White Dorr. Born in 1837, Dorr entered the army at age 25 and served in the battles of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, and at Spottsylvania Court House. His scrapbook holds a number of letters from the battlefield, journal entries, newspaper clippings, sketches, pressed flowers, and memorabilia from the Civil War era.
Read more at The Governor's Academy Archives blog.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

New Study Room

New study room
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
This spring, we were able to convert an office on the first floor into a study room. We know how much demand there is for an enclosed space for working with a small group, or for tutors to meet their students in. Step in and make yourself comfortable!

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Lost and Found Desk

Lost and Found Desk
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
You'd be surprised how many little odds and ends people forget in the library. To reunite these possessions with their owners, we've set aside a convenient corner of the front desk.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Latest Reviews: April 2011

Looking for something to read other than textbooks or assigned reading?
The latest reviews linked to our "virtual collection" include Flirting with Pride and Prejudice by Jennifer Crusie, Wench: A Novel by Dolen Perkins-Valdez, and Give Me Your Heart: Tales of Mystery and Suspense by Joyce Carol Oates.

Give Me Your Heart
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
You can always find even more reviews through our LibraryThing profile.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Revisit Days 2011

Revisit Days 2011
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
We welcome all those revisitors! After visiting classes, students had a scavenger hunt. In the library, Mr. Ramos-Glew taught the intricacies of tying a bowtie.

Friday, April 01, 2011

National Poetry Month Begins!

To celebrate the start of National Poetry Month, listen to one of our Common Book Authors read "Rain."