FIVE WAYS TO USE THE LIBRARY YOUR FIRST WEEK OF CLASS

COOL YOUR JETS
Whether you’re looking for a place to beat the heat, a quiet place to collect your thoughts, or just a comfy spot to eat your lunch, the library is the away-from-it-all refuge you’ve been looking for. So come in, find a comfy chair, and take a breather.

GET THAT WORM, EARLY BIRD!
Now that you’ve got your syllabus in-hand, it’s time to start strategizing. What’s that, you say? You’ve got an assignment on Othello in two weeks? Your instructor wants you to pick a novel to read for class next month? What’s stopping you from getting a head start and seeing if you can find what you need right here on campus? (Nothing! That’s what!)

DO THE LIBRARY OVERDUE WALK OF SHAME
Hate to tell you, but the jig is up! We know there are a few of you out there. What’s more? We know what it’s like. Summer semester ended and maybe you went to the beach for a few days. Not only that, your cousin Jasper invited you to his house in North Carolina for a week-long shin-dig and you just totally forgot about those books you had out. We totally get it. Don’t be shy! Bring those books in while you’re still thinking about them and before you get wrapped up in your assignments. We promise to spare you the librarian glare of death just this once.

CATCH UP ON MAD MEN
Before you get bogged down in term papers and reading assignments galore, why don’t you swing by to check out that DVD you’ve been dying to watch while you still have the free time? No tests to study for yet, no essays due for at least a few days! This, my friend, is what freedom feels like. And we’ve got tons of DVDs of any variety you can think of, movies, TV shows, you name it! So stop by and check out our collection. Come on, you know you want to!

FORGET GOING GREEN
As paperless as we try to be, sometimes you just have to print something. So bring two bucks (cash only, no coins or credit/debit cards) and get yourself a print card. You’ll need it to print all those class schedules/syllabi/essays/etc. Trust me, you don’t want to wait until the last minute! Stop by and ask one of our tech specialists or librarians for help. We’ll keep you in paper and ink!

Image credit.

The internet… 10 years ago

Google's Logo 2001
Google's Logo 2001

Google turns 10 this year, and in honor of their birthday, they’ve put an old index of the internet from 2001 on their site. This allows you to search Google and get the results you would have gotten in 2001.

From the Google blog: “…we found a vintage search index in mint condition. We dusted it off and took it for a spin, gobsmacked to see how different the web was in early 2001. ‘iPod‘ did not refer to a music player, ‘youtube‘ was nonsense, and if you were looking for ‘Michael Phelps,’ chances are you meant the scientist, not the swimmer. ‘Wikipedia‘ was brand new. Remember ‘hanging chads‘? (And speaking of that election-specific reference — if you’re a U.S. citizen, it’s not too late: please register to vote.)”

Strange how fast information changes! If you need a refresher on how to find good information using the library, check out our Research the Smart Way Workshops.

“Where’s the fiction section?”

“Where’s the fiction section?”  is a question library staff are frequently asked, but the answer isn’t simple.  Unlike K-12 school and public libraries, most college-level academic libraries today use the Library of Congress (LC) Classification System to organize their books.   Books are assigned a combination of letters and numbers that are used to arrange them on the shelf by subject.   Fiction is not separated from non-fiction on the shelves.  Instead, most fictional works fall into the literature (“P”) section, along with biographical and critical works about authors – which is really handy for doing research.  Literary works are further subdivided by country and chronological period.  For example, books by and about British writers usually have call numbers that start “PR” and books by and about American writers usually have call numbers that start “PS.”  More recent writers have higher numbers on the second line of their call numbers:  Edgar Allan Poe books are shelved in the PS 2600’s; Stephen King books fall in PS 3561’s; Khaled Hosseini’s works start PS 3608.   

It often takes 3 lines of the call number to fully locate a specific author on the shelves: Ernest Hemingway works start PS 3515 .E37; Stephen King works actually start PS 3561 .I483.  As you can see, you can’t count on finding an author on the shelves just based on their last name alone.  Use the online library catalog (http://vccslinc.vccs.edu/F/?func=find-b-0&local_base=jsrcc) to find an author’s call number area, then go to the shelves armed with that information.  It will save you a lot of time!

Fiction can also be found in other areas of the library. The Popular Titles/Bestseller Collection at each campus contain a few non-fiction titles, but most titles are fiction – recent suspense, mysteries, thrillers, science fiction, romance, and general fiction meant for pleasure reading.  Because they are only in the collection temporarily, they are not fully cataloged and are not arranged by LC call number.  (The automated library system needs to have some call number to display, so the online catalog shows these books with call numbers all starting “ZZ 9999” – but these “dummy” call numbers aren’t on the books and aren’t really used.)

Several other small collections in the library contain fiction, as well.  The Juvenile Collection (Downtown and Parham) and the ESL Collection (Parham) include works of fiction.  The Audiobook Collection (at all 3 campuses) also has fiction as well as non-fiction titles.  All of these collections are arranged by LC call number within their shelves.

Remember, the online catalog is your friend – use it to help you locate the author you want to read or research.