What makes the Superbowl so Super? And other questions

This Sunday, countless number of American football fans will gather to watch the big game (or at least the commercials). Amid the chili and chips, you might have that friend or cousin who asks “So, wait, what’s a down? And why don’t the refs just look at where the little yellow line on the screen is ? It’d be SO much easier than using that weird chain and flag thing.” (Or, if you’re like me, you maybe ARE that friend). Luckily for you, there are tons of internet sites that explain football in relatively easy to understand terms. Feel free to pass this along to your friends and family, or keep it up on your laptop so when someone asks “What’s a gridiron? Is it like a waffle iron?” you can just direct them to your laptop and enjoy your game in (relative) peace.

The Basics of Football

Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg for football resources online – but it should help any of you who might need a bit of a refresher before Sunday. Or, you could just skip it all and watch the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet.

Library Workshops

We’ve updated our workshop schedule for the Spring Semester! They range from “Research the Smart Way” which will help you get started using library services for research to Microsoft Word and PowerPoint basics. As always, our workshops are free and open to students, faculty and staff. Check with your professors to see if you get extra credit for attending!

If you use Google Calendar or iCal, you can subscribe to our events calendar:

For Google Calendar users, open our calendar and select the +Google Calendar button Google Calendar Buttonon the bottom right hand of the screen. For iCal users, copy and paste this link into any calendar program that supports iCal:

Updated: Exam Week Hours

Because of the snow closings, final exams scheduled for December 16 will be held on Monday, December 20 and final exams scheduled for December 17 will be held on Tuesday, December 21.

Downtown and Parham Road libraries will be open until 9 tonight (Monday the 20th) to accommodate the change in schedule. As always, any changes to our schedule will be posted on our calendar. Good luck with your exams, and have a safe and happy winter break!

Book Christmas Tree
Gleeson Library (San Francisco) Book Christmas Tree

Happy Halloween

James Earl Jones reading Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven”

With Halloween just a week away, what better time than now to check out some spooky stories from the library? We have great collections (both print, electronic, and audio books) from authors such as Edgar Allan Poe and Steven King to books that inspired cult movies, such as The Exorcist.  We also have some classic horror movies you

can check out, including Poltergeist and Shaun of the Dead.

Not into reading or watching scary stuff? You could always investigate the origins of the Halloween holiday.

Halloween 2006; image from modern_artifacts's Flickr photostream


No matter how you celebrate – be sure to stay safe! Looking for safety tips? NBC 12 has some suggestions.


GLBTQ Resources

We’re all aware, I’m sure, of the awful suicides in the news in the past few weeks related to teens bullied for their sexual orientation.

If you or someone you know is struggling with being bullied or is dealing with negative feelings (based on sexual orientation or otherwise) know that you are not alone. If you are feeling suicidal, please call the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

On campus, we have a wonderful chapter of the Gay Straight Alliance, which “is open to all students, faculty, and staff. Its purpose is to promote a safe and hospitable learning environment for everyone regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. [They] are a social, educational, and advocacy group open to anyone who identifies as GLBTQ or an Ally.”

As the Diversity Statement says: “The College seeks to provide its students, faculty and staff with an environment free of exclusion and bigotry, thus promoting respect for and an inclusion of both differences and similarities in gender, age, religion, ethnicity, class, race, culture, geographic location, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, size, and physical ability.”

The library also has a lot of great resources for anyone who identifies as GLBTQ or would like to know more. Here are few books from our collection that you may find useful:

As always, if you need help looking up information on any topic, please feel free to ask a librarian.

How-To: Save Money on Printing PowerPoint

Remember that the first 10 pages are free, and after that, it’s 10 cents a page — if you have a hefty PowerPoint slideshow every class period, you could end up spending a lot of money (and using a lot of paper!)

Did you know you could print multiple slides per page? This could save you lots of money throughout the semester!

After clicking the Office Button and selecting ‘Print’, this dialog box will appear:

You can decide which slides you wish to print with “Print Range” (for example, you don’t have to include title slides)

To print multiple slides per page, under “Print What:” choose ‘Handouts‘ instead of ‘Slides’.  You can determine the number of slides (between 1 and 9) printed on each handout page. Unless the text on the slides is small, or has detailed pictures, 6 slides per page should be legible.

If you need help, ask a librarian. We’re happy to show you how this works.

Welcome back!

We hope everyone had a relaxing summer! Whether you’re new to JSR or returning, we’re happy to have you! We’ve been busy this summer, and here are just a few things we’ve been working on:

Workshops – (http://library.reynolds.edu/events/workshops/) We’ve brought back the classics and added a few to the list – be sure to check out our workshop schedule for this semester and sign up – remember they’re free!

Mobile Library Website – (http://library.reynolds.edu/m/) It’s still in ‘beta’ mode, so if you have any feedback for us, please let us know!

New LibGuides – We’ve added a few guides, like one on finding books , and updated some existing ones, like how to become a better writer. Be sure to keep an eye out for more in the coming weeks, or sign up for email updates!

Around The World Through Books Schedule – We will be discussing some great books throughout the year, Starting with Word Wizard by Richard Lederer. The author himself will be leading the first discussion on October 6; for more information and the rest of the schedule, please visit the website: http://library.reynolds.edu/events/bookdiscussion/

Some of our databases were given a face-lift over the summer – so if you’re having trouble with those or research in general, please feel free to give us a call or stop by. We’re happy to help!

Learn a Language Online

Image: Zine Study XIV: [language], a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike (2.0) image from shawnecono's photostream
Image by Flickr user shawnecono
Ever wanted to learn a new language (or practice one you’ve already studied) but can’t find the time to take a course? You can always check out a book or buy a language guide, but there are some great tools online as well!

The US Foreign Service Institute lessons are in public domain, and available for download on this website. Includes PDFs of textbooks and mp3s of audio lessons for several languages.

LiveMocha – an online project similar to the popular Rosetta Stone software, LiveMocha has some free (and some paid) modules for hundreds of languages. Sign up is free, and you have the option to connect with Facebook Connect.

Babbel.com – another project similar to Rosetta Stone software, Babbel is a subscription service that allows you to connect to other users while learning at your own pace.

You can also find free language resources gathered on this site, but they may not be very current or useful. You may also want to check with your local public library – many in the Richmond area subscribe to Mango.

See also: ReadWriteWeb’s 20 Ways to Learn a Language Online

Use of JSR’s libraries rising even faster than enrollments

From this month’s DOT newsletter:

The dramatic increases in enrollments at the college during the past year have also led to some amazing increases in use of the college’s library resources. In the first half of the academic year (August-December 2009), visits to the college’s three campus libraries increased by 24% compared to the same period in 2008. Total college enrollments during that period increased only 6%, so the increased use of the library came at a pace four times that of enrollment increases.

Drilling down into the data reveals some interesting trends. At the Parham Road Campus, the increases in Fall 2009 were a modest 15%. At the Downtown Campus, the number of visits increased a whopping 40% and at the Western Campus there was a 28% increase in visits.
Why the difference? The Parham Road Campus library saw major increases in the previous academic year (2008-2009) primarily due to the new library in the Massey Library Technology Center, which opened in late August 2008. Visits to the Parham Road Campus library increased 82% from 2007-2008 to 2008-2009. So perhaps the Downtown Campus is just now catching up with the Parham Road Campus library, and there is a certain spill-over effect: students who take classes on the Parham Road Campus and are attracted by the new library facilities, discover the wealth of resources available there and then when on the Downtown Campus use its library, even though it has older, more cramped space.

Another possibility is the trend toward students taking larger loads of classes (the Fall 2009 headcount actually dropped 2% from Fall 2008’s number, while FTE’s rose 6%). With larger loads of classes, students are on campus more and are visiting the library during their breaks between classes.
In Fall 2009 both the Western and Downtown campuses saw enrollment increases larger than those at the Parham Road Campus: Western increased 12.1% FTE’s over Fall 2008 and Downtown increased 10.8%, while Parham increased just 9.7%.

Are students just coming to the library to use computers? Well hardly. Total circulation of books and other materials has increased even faster than visits. For all three campus libraries, the total circulation has increased 28% in the first half of the 2009-2010 academic year compared to the same period in 2008-2009. Visits went up 24%. The circulation increases were higher at the Western and Downtown campuses than at Parham: up 33% at Western, 31% at Downtown, and 24% at Parham.

Both students and faculty have discovered the group study rooms and their usefulness for collaborative learning. On the Parham Road Campus, the uses of the eight group study rooms (six in the library’s lower level and two on the second floor of the LTC) have nearly doubled since last year. There were 2,380 people who used the group study rooms 856 different times in Fall 2009, compared to 1,204 people and 429 times in Fall 2008.
The increases in visits, circulation and group study room use are also likely due to increased focus by the faculty on students using the library for classroom assignments.

With even higher enrollment growth during the current semester at all campuses (Western is up 10% FTE’s, Parham Road is up 11.4%, and Downtown is up 20.4%), we are seeing even heavier use of the library this spring. The increase on the Downtown Campus is causing a strain on the small number of computers in the library. We are in the process of adding up to 13 new computers, bringing the total to 31, a 72% increase but still short of the 54 computers available in the Learning Commons in the Parham Road Campus library.
The renovations of the Downtown Campus, slated to begin this fall, include plans for bringing the Downtown Campus library closer to parity with the Parham Road Campus, as we create a full Learning Commons with more than 50 computers and three group study rooms on the second floor. The new Downtown Campus library will also have a dedicated library instruction classroom with 25 computers, similar to that found in the Massey Library Technology Center library.