It’s Earth Day!

May/June 2010 issue of Fine Gardening
May/June 2010 issue of Fine Gardening

April 22 is Earth Day, so I thought I would share something I learned in the May/June 2010 issue of Fine Gardening, which you can find in the current  periodicals sections of the Parham and Western Campus libraries. Straw gardening!

My garden attempts in the past, few as they are, have failed due to lack of attention and weeds. But I was inspired by reading Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle for the April “Around the World through Books” program, so I wanted to try growing something. This straw garden requires no tilling or hoeing, hopefully minimal weeding, and it is raised. While it isn’t exactly sustainable–you have to start over every year or so–it is pretty earth-friendly. As the straw decomposes you get a very nice compost.

The idea is simple. You get some bales of straw, spread compost and fertilizer on the top, and water for ten days before planting. Here is a video featuring the author of the article. I’m at day three of watering, so I don’t have any green to show yet–just soil and straw.Straw with fresh compost and humus

–Lisa Bishop, checker-in of periodicals at the PRC Library

Community College Times goes online only

The Community College Times, a bimonthly newspaper published by the American Association of Community Colleges, is ceasing its print edition and moving to a freely available online-only format ( As a printed product it has been, frankly, ignorable on the library’s shelf, but the web version is dynamic and interesting–if you’re into community colleges. Check out the article “Why two-year colleges are the frontline of the president’s recovery plans” and browse around a little while you’re there. RSS feeds and email alerts are available.

More holiday safety

Holiday shopping is crazy enough without getting caught by traffic accidents. This link:

 shows real-time accident and hazard information for Henrico and Chesterfield counties as well as Richmond itself.

Another tip from the Richmond Police: “The single biggest problem right now is people leaving stuff in their cars.  GPS devices, presents, purses, etc that are visible through a window are likely to create a desire to break the car window and take the stuff.”

Be careful out there!

New PRC Library Suffers Flooding

Library soaking May 7, 2009
Library soaking May 7, 2009

What an uproar in the library this morning when security officers opening the building discovered flooding in the library near the reference area. Both levels of the building took on damage. Computers, books, and furniture had to be cleared from the area and the surfaces dried and treated.

We are having finals and would normally strive for quiet study spaces, but it is a very noisy morning. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Flooding downstairs, May 7, 2009
Flooding downstairs, May 7, 2009

Obama Inauguration at the PRC Library

The big tv in the Parham Campus Library’s current periodicals area usually stays off–we don’t have the right kind of antenna yet. But instructional support technologist John Smith set us up with a borrowed feed yesterday so the campus community could watch the inauguration.  A good number of students, faculty, and staff gathered around to watch the event.

Obama inauguration at the PRC Library

Meet Herbert Hill

He’s been around for about six weeks now, but we haven’t properly introduced Herbert Hill, our new library specialist. Herb will be Downstairs Guy in the new Parham campus library as he is in charge of stack maintenance. A very obliging fellow, Herb is shown in this picture assembling one of the new spinning display racks for our DVD and audiobooks-on-CD collection.

Herb Hill
Herb Hill