Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Christmas!

The Library staff wish the whole NOVA community a happy and healthy holiday.

Enjoy the break!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Extended Hours Serve 500

Between Dec 7 and Dec 18th the Library once again offered extended hours to accomodate students studying for finals exams or preparing final papers and projects. The Library opened half an hour early at 8am and closed an hour later at 11pm.

Nearly 500 students took advantage of the extended hours, visiting the Library before 8.30 or after 10pm. The Library was even busier during the daytime, when near-capacity crowds of over 200 students a time found places for solo study, group study, computer use, as well as borrowing books and textbooks.

Study-break snacks were also served to the late-night studiers. Over 100 cups of coffee, tea or cocoa were consumed over two weeks, along with countless cookies.
Library staff hope that the extended hours and study-break snacks helped to make final exams a little less stressful. Wishing everyone success at the end of term!

Monday, December 07, 2009

Time for Exams. More Library Study Time!

It's that time of the semester when final prjects, term paper and exams are upon us. In order to help NOVA students prepare for all this, the Library will once again offer extended hours.

Dec 7 - Dec 10 and Dec 14 - Dec 17 the Library will open at 8am and close at 11pm. On Fri Dec 11 and Dec 18 the Library will open at 8am and close at 5pm. that's 13 extra hours of study time!

In keeping with the Final Exam tradition snacks will be served in the evenings.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Top Google Searches for DC

Google has released it's year-end list of top searches by city.

DC's top ten make for interesting reading:

Washington, D.C.

1. fcps blackboard
2. national harbor
3. e street cinema
4. nova community college
5. wtop news
6. wmata
7. nationals baseball
8. dc restaurant week
9. washington sports club
10. leesburg outlets

(as NOVA students know, fcps blackboard refers to the online learning module BlackBoard).
Hint for #4: it's http://www.nvcc.edu/!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Flanders Fields

Nov 11th is Veterans Day (Remembrance Day in the rest of the English Speaking World) commemorating the Armistice which ended the hostilities of World War I on November 11th, 1918 ("on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month the guns in France fell silent").

The events and horrible human toll of WWI were commemorated in a poem by John McCrae:

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Take a moment to remember the fallen. Express appreciation for the work and sacrifices of veterans. Events will be held at Arlington National Cemetery on Nov 11. The Alexandria Campus will sponsor several events on Nov 12th.

Or read up on WWI with one of these books:

The First World War: A Very Short Introduction. D521 H645 2008

Eleventh Month, Eleventh Day, Eleventh Hour: Armistice Day, 1918, World War I and its Violent Conclusion. D523 P44 2004

(and if you're wondering what the deal with the "red flower" is, check out the Poppy Appeal).

Monday, November 02, 2009

Matt Todd elected VLA President!

Matt Todd (Collection Development Librarian at the Alexandria Campus Library) was elected Vice-President/ President Elect of the Virginia Library Association.

Results of the state-wide elections were announced at the General Session of the 2009 Virginia Library Association Conference in Williamsburg.

Matt is the first community college librarian to serve as President and is the youngest person ever elected. Matt's presidential term will begin in 2010.

Matt has been active in VLA for 10 years, having served on the Region V committee since 2001 and serving on the Executive Board as Treasurer in 2008-9.

Monday, October 26, 2009


Alexandria students are taking a break from the rush of mid-terms and research papers to work on a puzzle:
Come by and help them out! We'll display the completed puzzle.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Got Research?

Need help completing your research for a term paper, research product, speech or presentation?

Confused about where to start?

The Library can help!

Visit the Library Homepage to access online books, magazine, newspaper & scholarly journal articles.

Stop by Bisdorf Room 232 and ask a librarian for research assistance.

Off-campus? Get in touch by phone, email or e-messaging.

You've got research. We've got help.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Fall Break

There will be no classes on Monday October 12 (Columbus Day) and Tuesday October 13.

The Library will be open on those days, with a slightly different schedule: the Library will open at 8.30am and close at 7.30pm.

Library resources are always available at www.nvcc.edu/library.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Support YOUR Library & get a great bargain at our Huge Fall Used Book Sale.

All day, at the "Y" near the cafeteria.

Hardcover $1.00

Paperback $0.50

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sit easy

The Library has added some new chairs for the computers in the Reference area.

Previous seating in this heavily-used area was old and considerably worn out -- not to mention not veryt comfortable!

The new chairs match the seating already in place in CyberSpace.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Future of Libraries?

Are these the 'new' librarians?

According to CNN, the Future of Libraries is going to a brave new world, a world distinguished by 'loud rooms', social networking, librarians with tattoos and piercings (and dressed like they came from the streets of Brooklyn!) and possibly no books!

If books are so endangered, why does the Alexandria Campus Library's circulation of printed books keep going up?


Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Need a Textbook?

Students looking for the assigned textbook for their Alexandria Campus classes may find reserve copies available in the Library.

Textbook reserve provides students with limited access to course texts. Students may read or study from the textbooks here in the Library or make photocopies for their personal use.

A NOVACard Student ID is necessary to borrow textbooks. Most textbooks may be used in the Library only (they may not be taken out of the Library) and most have a 2-hour limit so as many people as possible can have a chance to access reserve material.

Please be aware that course reserves are very popular and in high demand -- hundreds of students make use of course reserves every day. Please be considerate of other students: do not write in, remove pages from, or otherwise damage reserved textbooks. In many cases the Library only has one copy of each book. Please also return reserve textbooks on time. Someone else is waiting!

Reserves carry a $2 per hour fine for late returns.

Students needing a personal copy of a textbook, or who need to take a textbook home, or who wish to use a textbook for more than 2 hours at a time should purchase textbooks from the campus Bookstore. Some scholarship money is availble to assist students who cannot afford to purchase textbooks. Contact the Dean of Students for more information.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dead Kennedys

No, not these Dead Kennedys:

Senator Edward (Ted) Kennedy died yesterday. To read more about the Kennedys, try

The Kennedys at War 1937 - 1945. E747 R46 2002

The Kennedys. AV E843 K4919x 1992

Road to Dallas: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy. E842.9 K25 2008

Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years. E841 T29 2007

Edward Moore Kennedy. February 22, 1932 – August 25, 2009

Or, if you really are interested in the Dead Kennedys, try

Encyclopedia of Punk Music and Culture. ML102.R6 C64 2006

Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk. ML3534 .P624 2006

Punk: The Whole Story. ML3534 .P893 2006

Monday, August 24, 2009

Welcome Back!

Welcome to Fall Term 2009! The Library resumes term-time hours (8.30am - 10pm Mon - Thurs, 8.30 - 5 Fri and 9 - 4 Sat) and anticipates a lively beginning of the academic year.

Stop in to read today's newspapers, browse for a new book, find your text book, prepare for the Placement Tests, or say hello to your campus librarians.

Need a computer? Find the Open Computer Center in room 155. Need help registering for classes? Visit Student Services in room 194.

Welcome Back! We're here to help you succeed.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Where Is My Favorite Library Source?

In response to significant cuts to the library materials budget (over 40% reduction from 2007-8), it has been unfortunately necessary to cut some library resources.

Librarians from each campus collaborate to make collection decisions, analyzing use statistics and cost to make responsible choices about database subscriptions.

Each campus library also assesses print subscriptions and monograph acquisition priorities.

If you notice one of your favorite resources is no longer available, please contact your campus librarian to find out about alternatives.

The news isn’t all bad! The college still subscribes to over 150 online databases. Alexandria campus will continue to receive many print periodicals. And of course we are still buying books (expanding print book collections is a recurring request in library user surveys). As always, please feel free to make suggestions and give feedback about library collections.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Gearing up for Fall

Fall 2009 is almost upon us (classes begin Aug 24) and your Library is getting ready. This summer we shifted all 50,000 volumes of our circulating collection to make room for even more books! Which is a good thing, as new additions to the collection are being added every week.

The air-conditioning system was completely replaced -- after 3 months of no A-C in the Library, it's now nice and cool.

The old computers in the Reference Area were removed and replaced with 28 brand news ones.

Headphones are available in the specially marked bins (please return them when you're done!).

New study carrells have been added on the upper level, increasing the Library's available seating to over 250 seats.

New network drops have been added, increasing the internet availability to laptop users.

Library staff have been busy cleaning, sorting, organizing and preparing for the new semester. We hope to see YOU in the Library soon.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Where Did The Computers Go?

You may have noticed the computers in the middle of the Library are missing in action. What happened to the Library computers?!?

No, they haven't been kidnapped (computer-napped?).

The good news is the Library is getting NEW computers. Updated models should arrive soon -- with faster, more powerful computing all ready for the beginning of the new academic year.

To make room for the new computers, the old ones had to be moved out.

Computers are still available in CyberSpace (the partially enclosed spaced behind the magazine shelves) and the Open Computer Center is available in Room 155. The Open Computer Center (OCC) is the main computer lab on campus, complete with a very helpful staff of IT experts who are eager to help you with your technology needs. Also, the OCC has many more computers than the Library -- so be sure to pay them a visit!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Julie & Julia

Julie & Julia will soon make its debut in the DC metro area, based upon the book Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen TX649 P66 A3 2005:
If it inspires you to do some French cooking, you too can cook your way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking TX719 C454 2001

The film claims to be based on "2 true stories". If you're interested in Julia Child's true story, check out

Appetite for Life: The Biography of Julia Child. TX649 C47 F57 1997

Julia Child. TX649 C47 S58 2007

Julia's Kitchen Wisdom: Essential Techniques and Recipes from a Lifetime of Cooking. TX651 C523 2000

Monday, July 13, 2009

Chess Books

The Alexandria Campus Chess Club has donated a collection of books on chess to the Library. Have a read through these to turn your check into check-mate:

Amateur's Mind: Turning Chess Misconceptions into Chess Mastery. GV1449.5 S52 1999

Art of Attack in Chess. GV1445 V843 1998

Chess Exam and Training Guide. GV1451 K46 2004

Complete Chess Workout. GV1451 P34x 2007

How Good is your Chess? GV1451 K58 2005

How to Choose a Chess Move. GV1449.5 S65x 2005

Logical Chess Move by Move. GV1445 C473 1998

School of Chess Excellence. GV1445 D83x 2001

Secrets of the Russian Chess Masters. GV1449.5 A43 2003

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Dead Celebrities

Do you miss Michael Jackson, or some other dead celebrity?

Bring them back to life with a book!

On Michael Jackson ML420.J175 J44 2006

James Dean PN2287.D33 P47

Elvis Presley ML420.P96 M34 2003

Jim Morrison: Life, Death, Legend ML420.M62 D38 2004

Heavier than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain ML420.C59 C76 2001

Imagine: John Lennon ML420.L38 S58 1988

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Cool at last?

Is cool returning to the campus? Alexandria facilities staff suggest that the air conditioning (switched off for repairs since Spring Break) may be restored this week.

After over three months of high interior temps, loud fans to combat the heat, schedule confusion as classes move to new locations -- the end may be in sight!

Please be advised that even when the ac comes back online there will be a period of adjustment while the system is tested and recalibrated.
Meanwhile, beat the heat with a cool read:

Cool comfort : America’s romance with air-conditioning TH7687 .A25 2002

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

New Desks (new to us)

Have a look on the upper level of the Library to see the results of some redecorating.

George Mason University had some surplus carrels to give away, which have found a new home at NOVA. These "certified pre-owned" study desks closely match our existing furniture, and replace some furniture that had seen better days.

The Library was also able to expand its seating on the upper level in response to steadily growing Library use.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The Big Shift

What's going on with the Circulating Collection?

Library staff are in the process of shifting almost the entire collection to make a little more room for more books. Don't be surprised to find a few ranges of empty shelves in the circulating book stacks.

The books will remain in Library of Congress Call Number order throughout the shift, and the stacks will remain open for browsing. As always, if you have any questions, please ask a member of staff!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Library Extended Hours a Success

Despite uncomfortable temperatures throughout the last week of classes and exams week, Extended Library Hours served more students than ever before.

Almost 600 people studied in the Library between 8.00- 8.30am and 10.00- 11.00pm over two weeks.

Everyone at the Alexandria Campus Library joins NOVA graduates in celebrating the end of term. Congratulations Graduates!!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Donate a DVD--

--- get a baby plant!

Can YOU help build the Library's DVD collection? Donate a DVD to the Library and receive a Baby Plant with our thanks!

Please ask at the Reference Desk for details. In order to avoid duplicating titles already in the collection, please choose from this list:

Seven Samurai

The Class

Slumdog Millionaire

The Reader




Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Is it HOT in here or is it just me?

It's not just you! The air conditioning in the Bisdorf (AA) Building is being replaced. While this happens, there is no air-conditioning in the Library!

As outside temperatures rise, inside temps do also -- and since the windows in the Library do not open, there is no way to vent the hot air or blow in cold air.

Remember that the Library is opening early and closing late April 27 - May 8. Come prepared, dress appropriately:

And help yourself to a glass of lemonade during the Late Night Study Break (usually around 10pm).

Fans have been placed around the Library to help move the air. We know it's HOT, and we apologize for the discomfort. Some parts of the building to have air-conditioning, so feel free to explore to find a COOL spot.
In the meantime, dress cool, find a fan, and chill out in our warm Library.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Extended Hours

Come to the Library early and stay late to study for final exams and prepare final projects.

Once again this year the Alexandria campus Library will open early and remain open late to accomodate students needing extra study time.

April 27 - May 8

Mon - Thursday: 8am - 11pm

Fri 8am - 5 pm

Sat 9am - 4 pm

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Purple Haze

Cyber Space gets a new look with some brand new chairs!

Looking good!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

National Library Week, Part II

The Alexandria Campus Library continued its celebration of National Library Week with another of its much anticipated Book Sales.

At least twice per year (usually once in spring during National Library Week and once in the autumn) the Library holds a large book sale somewhere on campus. This year the sale took place in the Bisdorf lobby, right outside the Library front doors.

Books for the sale are donated from NOVA students, faculty, staff and library users from the Alexandria community (books purchased for the Library collection cannot be sold in book sales). Proceeds from the sales support purchase of new Library materials, Library functions and events like Late Night Study Breaks or other refreshments.

Library book sales have become popular campus events in the last few years. The sale yielded $350 this year -- thanks to all who came out to support the Library!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

National Library Week

Happy National Library Week (April 13 - 17) from your

Alexandria Campus Library.

Help us celebrate with cookies and lemonade on Tuesday April 14th.

Also, please stop by the Library Book Sale on Thursday April 16th.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Tell Us What You Think!!

Here at the Library we're interested in hearing from YOU!

What do you think about the Library services and collections here at NOVA? Do you find what you need, when you need it? Are the staff helpful? Is the Library a good place to study, research, read, & use computers?

Please take a few moments to full in our survey. (also available from the Library Homepage).

We really do listen! A few things that have happened in the Library as a result of surevy responses are
  • addition of group study rooms
  • addition of more computers
  • addition of more quiet study areas
  • addition of more reserve books
  • better reserve policies to make reserve books available to more students
  • better lighting in the library
  • new paint in the library
  • increased staffing at service desks during times of high use
  • extended hours

Thanks for taking our survey!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Why is it so HOT in here?

And what's up with all the big fans?

The Alexandria Campus is replacing the air-conditioning system in Bisdorf Phase I (the wing of the Bisdorf Building in which the Library is located).

This work includes asbestos abatement as well as mechanical work and valve replacement. For everyone's safety and wellbeing, the air-conditioning (including all ventilation & blowers) must be switched off.

This occurred at the end of spring break. The result: it has become very warm in the Library very quickly.

(why does this happen? There are no windows that open in the Library and no doors to the outside, so directing outside air in is almost impossible. Also computers, photocopy machines and printers all give off heat. Bodies give off heat. And the Library has two two-storey walls of windows, which give us a beautiful view and lots of light but also creates a greenhouse effect, especially when it's sunny outside).

Large pedestal fans have been brought into the Library to help move the air and keep the temperature down. These fans are noisy, but they definitely help!

Also please be aware that many computer labs and computer classrooms had to be closed for the duration of the work. This will affect computer availability on campus. While Library computers continue to be available, you may experience some waiting time to access one.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Spring Break Extreme Makeover

What happened over Spring Break? The Library was completely repainted (the first time some parts of the Library had been repainted in over 30 years!). The previous tan/ beige wall color was replaced by brilliant white. Some of the columns on the lower level and the trim throughout the Library was also freshened up.

Having the painting crew in the Library necessitated a 2-day closure during Spring Break. We hope the new, fresh spaces in the Library was worth the wait!

Library staff also completed some much needed shifting in the Reference collection.

Come in and check out our New Look!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Library Extreme Makeover -- Spring Break Hours

Maybe not an extreme makeover, but a much-needed freshening up of the interior paint in the Library will take place over Spring Break.

Library hours for March 9-15 are:

Monday-Wednesday, March 9-11 8:30am – 7:30pm
Thursday-Sunday, March 12-15 Closed

Some areas of the library may be inaccessible Monday-Wednesday.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Budget Cuts...

...or where are all the new books?

According to NOVA president Robert Templin, Library purchases have been cut by over $200,000 in 2008-09. What this means for Your campus Library is a significant reduction in the number of new monograph books the Library will be able to acquire this semester.

The Library continues its commitment to online resources, including full-text newspaper, magazine and journal articles, as well as fine art images, selected reference books, and full-text Information Technology Titles (see library databases to access these online resources in such databases as ProQuest, JSTOR, ArtStor, Gale Virtual Reference Library, Oxford Reference Online, and Safari Books). Online resources are available from every campus computer and also accessible from home (off-campus users will need NovaConnect user name and password to access online library resources).

The Library will continue to receive a very small number of new print titles (books) as well as print periodicals (magazines and journals).
Of course, the Library continues to provide computer access, Library and Research instruction rto individuals and classes, printing and photocopying services, course Reserves, group study facilities, Popular Reading and Feature Films (DVD and VHS), VCR & DVD viewing, quiet study, and wireless internet access.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Oxford African American Study Center

The Online Authority on the African American Experience:

Do you know who refused to go to the back of the bus in August 1952, more than three years before Rosa Parks refused to do so?

Can you name the first black man and woman in the United States to travel to space?

Do you know in which famous jazz singer and bandleader's group Miles Davis debuted?

Can you name the first black woman millionaire in the United States and how she made her fortune?

Do you know which US President has been described as doing more for civil rights than any other president since Abraham Lincoln?

Can you name three important musical acts in hip-hop's early years?

Do you know which black infantry unit helped Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders capture San Juan Hill?

Can you name the founder of the city of Chicago?

Do you know where rap music originated?
Get your final answer at the Oxford African American Studies Center. Visit the Library Homepage to find it, on the "Articles" page under History.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Libraries and Art in Philly

Sylvia Rortvedt (ESS Associate Director) and Matt Todd (Collection Development Librarian) accompanied AL Fine Art faculty member Rebecca Kamen to view her exhibit Manuscript as Muse at the American Philosphical Society. Kamen's show was inspired by manuscript holdings of the APS, including Ben Franklin's Magic Circle of Circles, river diagrams by Luna Leopold as well as other examples of historical natural history.

[above, l-r: Rebecca Kamen, Sylvia Rortvedt, Matt Todd, Ron Brashear (Director of the Chemical Heritage Foundation), Madeline Copp (Librarian at the Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College]

The librarians were also interested to visit the APS vault and view some of the treasures of the collection, including Merriweather Lewis & William Clark's journals of their expedition to the Pacific, Benjamin Franklin's manuscript letters, and a copy of the Declaration of Independence in Jefferson's handwriting. The newly renovated and remodelled reading room was also a highlight.

The group also visited the nearby Chemical Heritage Foundation to view their new exhibit space and visit their very fine library [above].