Thursday, August 21, 2014

New Books at Your Alexandria Library: Time for Lunch!


A fresh semester and new books means that the staff members at YOUR Alexandria Library are as giddy as kids hopped up on sugar at a birthday party. Here are some highlights from our latest crop of new acquisitions.


Megan Elias’ book outlines the social history of our country’s most public meal. Learn how Americans forge bonds, tackle poverty, work, and fight for equality during our midday meals.


Iraqi war veteran Kevin Powers’ collection of poems examines the impact of violence, love, memory and loss on the soldier’s psyche. New York Times book critic Michiko Kakutani described this volume as “a classic of contemporary war fiction” while other critics compare Powers’ gifts to those of Owens, Hemmingway, and O’Brien. 


Popular history solely credits Charles Darwin with the theory of evolution, but fails to take into account the influence of fellow scientist Alfred Russell Wallace on both Darwin and the general understanding of early evolutionary thinking. Author John van Wyhe attempts to correct the popular view by exposing readers to Wallace’s own deeply important scientific voyages and observations, and by teasing out the relationship between Wallace and Darwin that led them both men to present similar material at the July 1, 1958 meeting of the Linnaean Society.


Before Abraham Lincoln was a president, a commander of a wartime army, a polarizing figure, or a martyr he was a practicing lawyer in rough, rustic, and rural Illinois. Editors Roger Billing and Frank J. Williams curated a collection of essays that explore how Lincoln understood the law, and how that understanding influenced his subsequent political career.


The Wild West was full of drugstore cowboys, drummers, charlatans and snake oil salesman who treated the aches, pains, and ailments of their fellow citizens by dubious and often deadly means. Wayne Bethard writes entertainingly about the colorful and dangerous history of patent medicine and quackery on the America western frontier.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

OOPS!: Finding 14 Week Dynamic Session Classes


You forgot to register on time. Maybe you were away for the summer. Maybe you meant to register on time, and you lost track of the date. The situation is not ideal, but the staff of YOUR Alexandria Campus Library understands that these things can happen. Students who missed registration for the regular 16 week classes have options. So do not despair, YOUR Alexandria Campus Library is here to show you how to find open 14 week Dynamic session classes to register for.

To find an open 14 week class, log into MyNOVA, choose "Class Schedule," and then select "Class Search" from the list of options.


Once on the search page, begin to carefully input criteria for the type of classes you require. Students who wish to take on-campus 14 week sessions need to select the Fall 2014 term, a subject and course number, a campus, and the "In Person" mode of instruction in the module. It is also important for searchers to check the "Show Open Classes Only" box near the bottom of the course search section, as shown in the example below.



After entering the basic information in the class search module students will need to click on the "Additional Search Criteria" option, and enter the additional information needed to recall only open 14 week dynamic session results. To do this students must select "Dynamic Sessions" from the drop down sessions menu. They must also make sure to list Alexandria as their class location.


After students press green search button on the bottom right of the page they will be directed to results that look like the example list below. Students can select the class that works best for them from the list of options, and then write down of all the relevant enrollment information like class number, section information, instructor, and date times. They will need to use this information when they add classes during the enrollment process. Remember, students have until 11:59 pm of September 2nd to register for 14 week sessions.


Need some inspiration to get over your initial disappointment about being locked out of the regular fall session classes? YOUR Alexandria Campus Library has also set up a helpful display featuring materials related to some of the great 14 week classes being taught this fall at the Alexandria Campus. So come into the Library, check out our display, and get to registering!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

YOUR Alexandria Library and Reserve Textbooks: What You Need to Know

There are very few hours left until the start of the 2014-2015 Academic Year at Northern Virginia Community College’s Alexandria Campus. The library staff knows that by this point most of our students are registered for their fall classes, buying school supplies, readying themselves for learning, and looking for ways to access their textbooks.  Purchasing a textbook might not be in your budget but that is where the library can help. Did you know that students can borrow some course texts through our fabulous textbook reserve program? If you did not, let’s take a minute to talk about how the reserve system can save students time and their hard earned dollars.

So, What Are Reserve Textbooks?
Reserve Textbooks are textbooks that are donated by professors and academic departments for student use. Most of these textbooks are available for 2 hour loan and cannot be taken from the library. A few titles are available for 3 day or 7 day loan on a first come, first served basis.

The textbooks on reserve are lent by the professors and are the same course texts assigned in course syllabi. The reserve system enables many students to use a single or a few copies of a course text, which allows students to save time and money. The system relies on courtesy to function best. This means that students should be very aware of the high demand for reserve items and make sure to return textbooks on time so that other students can use them.

Our Reserves Guru, Kevin, and three of our most popular reserve texts

There are two crucial things that students must remember about reserves. The first is that not all textbooks used in NOVA courses are available on reserve. The second is that reserve items carry fines if not returned on time. Students must pay 4 dollars per hour for each reserve item that is not returned on time.

Locating a Reserve Textbook Online
Students can check to see if their textbooks are on reserve by looking online. Students can go to the library homepage, look at the “For Students” box near the bottom left of the page, and click on the “Course Reserve Module” option. 



Students will then need to select "Search our Course Reserve System" on the following page.



Once in the module students can easily search for their textbook by the name of the text, course number, campus or by the name of their professor.



How to Check Out a Reserve Textbook

Any NOVA student with an active student ID card can borrow reserve items at the circulation desk, as long as they do not owe any overdue fines on their library accounts. They must simply come to the circulation desk and ask for their class text by course name, course number, and book title or by their professor’s name. Students who borrow reserve items will be told exactly when their reserve textbook is due back by library staff at the time of checkout.

Friday, August 15, 2014

YOUR Alexandria Library: A Magical Place!

Do you love the Harry Potter series? Have you ever imagined attending Hogwarts? Are you looking for a fun and accessible way to explore theories of race, class, and gender influenced by intellectual giants like Freud and Marx? Then why not sign up for Professor Amey's English 245 course "Harry Potter and the Cultural Critics" being offered in Fall 2014?


Interested students, wizard and muggle alike, can come by the library and check out many of the texts and materials being utilized in the class. They can also marvel at the Library's full scale model of Hedwig the snowy owl. Remember, perspective students have until 11:59pm on September 19th to register for this and all other 16 weeks courses.
Remember to register, before your class slot disappears!
So come by YOUR Alexandria Library, and check out our many displays of magic.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Gearing Up for Fall with YOUR Alexandria Library

There are only a few more weeks until the start of the kick off of the Fall Semester, and YOUR Alexandria Library wants you to be ready. Here is a list of things students and library patrons absolutely need to know to fully prepare for the 2014-2015 Academic School Year.



Library Updates and Improvements
Our summer was spent making updates to our materials and improving patron services. YOUR Alexandria Campus Library added thousands of new resources to our collections, and enhanced our computer systems with important software updates over the break. Students can browse our shelves for these new items, search through new databases for new articles and ebooks, and explore the updates made to software at any of our computer stations. Our staff is really excited about the changes and improvements made to the library on behalf of our patrons. This means that students are absolutely encouraged to ask a staff members to highlight new materials or help them navigate upgrades made to our technology.



NOVA Cards and the New Print System
A key technical improvement made over the summer was the installation of the new FastPrint System. This system will allow students to quickly link to tens of multi-use machines across each individual campus, and then conveniently print, copy, or scan the documents they need.  Alexandria Campus Library staff is trained on the new system and ready to assist patrons with the FastPrint machines located inside of the library. 

One of the most important things students can do to get ready for the semester, and for using the new printing system, is making sure they have up to date NOVA cards with them at all time. It is important for two reasons. Students need NOVA cards to check out library materials. Students also need the NOVA card to pay for FastPrint services. Library staff members know from experience that a student with an updated NOVA card is well prepared to quickly utilize library materials and services.


Start Strong: Six Policy Changes
To be ready for the academic year, new and returning students will need to be familiar with policy changes mandated by the college that concern placement tests, developmental courses, student orientation, advising, registration, and due dates for tuition payments. We highly recommend that students review the policy changes here, to smooth their transition into the new academic year.



Save Your Seat: Important On-Time Registration Deadlines
Starting in the Fall Semester of 2014 all students MUST register for their classes by 11:59 the day before an academic session begins. Enrolling students MUST also remember to pay the tuition and fees for their classes by 5 pm the next business day to secure their place in each of their classes.


Graphic courtesy of Sarah McIntyre

Come See Us
As you prepare for the new school term please remember that there are always people here ready to help you. Our staff is expert at assisting students with research, and at connecting our patrons to the information they need to be a successful. So come check out the resources and services available to you at YOUR Alexandria Library!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Whew! Finals are over!

The Alexandria Campus Library once again provided extended hours to accommodate student research, final assignment & research needs through the last week of classes and final exams (April 28 - May 9).

The library opened early at 8am and closed late at 11pm, and served study-break snacks after 9pm to all those burning the midnight oil.


128 students came to the Library before 8.30am and 381 stayed past 10pm, for a grand total of 509 students who took advantage of the early opening and late closing to conquer the end-of-term.

Many thanks to Student Activities who provided a banquet of snacks and drinks as part of their "Stress Relief Week" for Finals.  And thanks to all the Library Staff who voluntarily re-arranged their schedules to come in early to get the doors open by 8am (or sometimes earlier!) and to keep the doors open all the way until 11pm.

Summer classes begin May 19th, when the Library's Summer Schedule will take effect:

Monday - Thursday 8.30am - 9.00pm
Friday 8.30am - 5.00pm
Saturday: closed


Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Congratulations Anne!

Instruction Librarian Anne Anderson was the 2014 Administrative/Professional Faculty winner of the Jean C. Netherton Award.


Named after a former provost, the award recognizes employees for outstanding service to the Alexandria Campus community, and is bestowed by the faculty and staff through Campus Council.

The Alexandria Campus Library boasts five Netherton winners on the current staff (l-r: Matt Todd, Anne Anderson, Kevin O'Hagan, Kim Gross, Bruce Carroll):


Congratulations Anne!