Friday, August 31, 2007

Why isn't Labor Day on May 1st?

"For many workers around the world, May Day... is dedicated to to the interests of the laborer. It is observed in practically every advanced industrial country except the United States, and is a public holiday in several countries in Western Europe." -- The American Book of Days REF GT4803 D6 2000

So why do Americans celebrate Labor Day in September? The Folklore of American Holidays (REF GT4803 F65 1999) suggests that Labor Day in September makes a nice book-end to Memorial Day in May -- the opening and closing of the season.

Actually, the Knights of Labor suggested that Labor Day be observed on the first Monday in September as far back as 1882.
However, in 1890 the Second International (socialist congress) decreed that "There shall be organized a great international demonstration at a fixed date, so that on the agreed day, in every country, and in every town, the workers shall call upon the state for legal reduction in the working day to eight hours...In view of the fact that a similar demonstration has been decided by the American Federation of Labor for the First of May 1890...this date is adopted for the international deomnstration."

"Countries with socialist or communist forms of government still celebrate May 1 with speeches and displays of military strength. The May Day Parade in Moscow's Red Square is one of the better known examples [see above]." -- Holiday Symbols and Customs REF GT3930 T48 2003
So why doesn't the US celebrate Labor Day on May 1st?
The American Book of Days suggests "The communist and socialist overtones of the event [May Day], in addition to the cold war between the United States and the Soviet Union, have prevented May Day from being officially recognized as a labor holiday in the United States or from gaining popular acceptance in that regard."
To find out more about our holidays and where they came from, visit the Reference Section of the Library.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

NOVA Libraries storm the Blogsphere

Welcome Woodbridge Campus Library to the Blogsphere:

And visit the Loudoun Campus Library's blog:

If you're in the mood for blogging, don't miss the Alexandria Campus blogs!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Computers, computers and MORE computers

Are you looking for a computer on campus?

The Library has 50 networked computers available. Where are they? In addition to the computers in the main part of the Library, you will find MORE computers in CyberSpace and even more behind the stairs.

Are all the Library computers in use? If you have a lap-top, you can use free Wi Fi in the Library (just as at the Reference or Circulation desk for directions on how to configure your computer to interact with the College's security system. Or visit the IT Help Desk Page).

There are also carrels on the upper level of the Library with network cables -- just plug in!

There are additional network jacks around the perimeter of the Library (near the windows) where you can plug in. Ask at the Circulation Desk if you need to borrow a network cord.

Where else can you find computers on campus? The main computer lab (The Open Computer Center, or OCC) on campus is located in Room 155, on the lower level of the Bisdorf Building, past the cafeteria. The OCC has many additional computers as well as technical assistance.

Need help with research? Come into the Library! Our computers are set up primarily for research purposes, and will provide access to the Library Catalog, articles and e-books. Although the Library computers support many applications, including email, MicroSoft Office, and web browsing, they are designed primarily for research and may not support every application you may need. Because the library computers are accessible to the public as well as students, we also have a good bit of computer-security in place.

Remember when using the Library computers that they are publicly-accessible research workstations. Save your work often! Once it's gone, there's no way to retrieve a document from a public computer!

Need technical help? The Library staff are here to help you conduct research. While we try to help with MS Office, internet and registration questions, you may need to visit another campus office to find specific kinds of computer assistance:

Need help with MS Office or other software applications? Visit the OCC in Room 155. OCC staff are welcoming and helpful, technically proficient in a wide-range of software applications and even speak many different languages!

Need help with registration? To get help applying to the College, registering for classes, adding, dropping, or swapping classes, visit the Student Services Center in Bisdorf room 229.

Need help with financial aid? For help applying for financial aid, visit the Financial Aid office in Bisdorf Room 232 (next door to the Counseling Office).

If you need assistance using the Library, conducting research, finding sources for your classes, tracking down a text-book, or citing sources, stop by the Library today!

Friday, August 24, 2007


Is your text book in the Library? It might be! Many instructors place text books on Reserve in the Library. Reserve books are held aside for limited use (usually for use in the Library only, or to be checked out for a limited amount of time like overnight).

Reserve books are located behind the Circulation Desk, just inside the front doors. Ask if your text books are on Reserve. If they are not, you can ask your instructor to place a copy of the text book on Reserve.

Where do Reserve books come from? Most of them come from the faculty members, who place materials on Reserve that support their classes. Some Reserve books are purchased by the Library in response to high demand.

Who decides if Reserve books can be checked out? The faculty. Individual professors decide whether Reserve items can be checked out, and if so for how long. Some Reserve books are the personal property of the faculty. Library staff comply with faculty wishes for Reserves.

Why do Reserve items have so many restrictions? Because so many students need to use them! The Reserve policies are in place to make items accessible to as many students as possible. Remember, however badly you need a Reserve book, there are many many other students who need it just as badly. Please be considerate of other students' needs when using Reserve Books. Return them on time and do not remove them from the Library.

What if Reserve books are returned late? In most cases a fine of $1 per day applies. A hold will also be placed on the student record of anyone not returning a Reserve book, which will block student registration, grades or transcripts until Reserve materials are returned.

Taking a placement test? The preparation book for the placement test, Chart Your Success on the Compass is on Reserve for students to check out for one week. Although the Library owns 50 copies of the Compass book, there are hundreds of students needing to take the placement test who want to use it. The Compass books are in almost constant circulation, especially around the beginning of the semester. If one is not available, check back often.

What happened to the Solution Manuals for the Calculus text? The Math Department faculty removed them. Sorry!

Don't see a book on Reserve you think we should have? Let us know!!

Have a great semester.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Welcome to the Arlington Center Library!

The Arlington Center Library is open for business!! The Arlington Center Library will be open from the late morning through early evening during the week as well as partial days on Saturdays. Students will find reserve materials, networked computer workstations, research assistance, and a small but growing collection of books and videos.

The new Coordinator of Library Services at Arlinton is David Anderson.

Above: The first EVER check-out at the Arlington Center Library! [left, Arlington Center Student Bassem Nammari. Right, Coordinator of Library Services David Anderson]

Visit the Arlington Center Library today!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Welcome Back!

Welcome Back to Fall Term 2007!

If you are returning to NOVA, make sure you stop by the Library and check out the changes over the summer.

If you are new to NOVA, WELCOME! We'd like YOU to stop by the Library TODAY and find out about our resources and services, some of which include:

  • over 60,000 books and videos
  • over 200 article databases (FREE articles online!)
  • free Wi-Fi in the library
  • wired carrels to plug in your laptop
  • 50 networked computer workstations with access to Library resources, MicroSoft Office, email, printing and more
  • help with research -- there's more to it than Google!
  • help with Google -- ok, if you must, did you know you there's more to Google than the basic search page?
  • tour the library -- 15-minute MINI tours are offered every day in the first two weeks of classes
  • Feature Films: check out our growing collection of classic, contemporary and international DVDs
  • Popular Reading: need a break from Calculus Homework? Visit our ever-changing collection of best-sellers and other popular fiction and non-fiction titles on the upper level
  • Need a place to relax? We have sofas and a wide selection of magazines upstairs
  • Need a place to study? Hint: it's quiet on the upper level of the library and there's a great view!
  • Need a place to study with a group? Find our Group Study Room behind CyberSpace
  • What's CyperSpace? 24 networked computers with printing

Please be courteous to other library users: silence your cell phones.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

What have we been up to all summer?

While many of NOVA's students and faculty head to the beach (or more exotic locales!) for the summer, YOUR Alexandria Campus Librarians have been busy getting the Library ready for Autumn Term '07.

Just some of the new and improved features you might notice in the Library:

You'll find five NEW stand-up computer workstations behind the stairs. These are full-service, networked computers to access the Library Catalog, online resources and article databases, email, MicroSoft Office products and more. Designed for quick searching and greater access.

Have a laptop?

These new wired carrels are each equipped with a network cable ready to plug into your laptop. No configuration needed -- just sit down, plug in, and work or surf online. There are 22 of these wired carrells (extra roomy to accomodate laptops, books, & notebooks) on the upper level of the Library.
What do Librarians get up to in the summer? Housecleaning! We checked all our books to make sure they are in the right place, and did lots and lots of dusting.

Alexandria Campus Librarians also carefully reviewed and evaluated the Reference Collection over the summer, and we withdrew out-of-date and redundant materials, creating some much-needed space in the Library (see above). Be sure to check out the Library's online reference collection as well as our streamlined print collection (located behind the reference desk).

We also shifted our reference collection to make better use of our space:

Come and check out all the new and improved features of YOUR Alexandria Campus Library!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Baby it's HOT outside!

Summer is almost over, but there is plenty of time for some relaxing summer reading.

Check out YOUR Library's collection of Popular Reading -- whether you're beating the heat at the beach or by the pool or even inside YOUR nice air-conditioned library, don't miss these and many many other great titles:

Abrams. The Lost Diary of Don Juan
Boling, Drew. Tower of Shadows
Demille, Nelson. Wild Fire
Hiassen, Carl. Nature Girl
Rapp, Emily. Poster Child, A Memoir
Zinni, Tony. Battle for Peace
The Library receives new popular titles every month, so be sure to check back often!