Friday, September 26, 2014

Fast Four Friday: Have a Jolt of Java

September 29th is National Coffee Day and your can celebrate this exciting day with YOUR Alexandria Campus Library. So come to campus on Monday and have a cup of fair-trade java on us while checking out some of these caffeinated titles.

Want to know how coffee is grown, harvested, shipped, roasted, traded, packaged, marketed, and consumed? This book has the entire life cycle of coffee covered.

Learn all about the dark and exploitative side of the coffee industry, as well as ways you can purchase the commodity fairly, in this exploration of the true human and environmental costs of our collective coffee consumption.

This multi-generational saga, written by Sierra Leonean author Aminatta Forna, is set on a coffee plantation in West Africa. The novel touches on themes of family, colonialism, and the consequences of war.

Finally, for a comprehensive guide to all things java check out this academic anthology.  It covers all aspects of the coffee industry, profiles both grower and consumer cultures, and ends with discussions of the future of coffee (please say coffee robots).

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Faculty Training Opportunities at YOUR Alexandria Library

Your Trainers: The Faculty Librarians of the Alexandria Campus Library

Faculty Research: Are you conducting research for your dissertation, publication, or further education?  The Library may have resources to help you!  Contact Matt Todd ( to explore these possibilities.

Fair Use & Copyright:  Are you flummoxed by Fair Use?  Not sure what current interpretation of copyright provisions mean for your classroom & teaching?  Contact Matt Todd ( for a conversation about this.

Stroll in the Stacks:  Take a tour of the library’s print collections with Paul Chapman (  Recommendations for additions to the collection welcome!

Developing Research Assignments:  If you’re thinking about developing an assignment that includes a research component, contact Anne Anderson ( to discuss ideas, what library resources are available, and how those resources can fit into the assignment to meet your objectives.

Adding Library Resources to Your BlackBoard Site:  Want to provide access to a library database in your BlackBoard site?  Contact Anne Anderson ( for help getting these links set up so that they will work both on and off campus.

Online Research Guides:  Does the library have an online research guide for your discipline?  Chances are we do!  We can even develop a custom research guide for your course or for a specific assignment.  Contact Katie Hoskins ( to find out more, or see

Library Resources in Your Discipline:  Is there a library database you’ve been wanting to get better acquainted with?  Want to see what’s new online?  Liberal Arts: Contact Anne Anderson ( or Bruce Carroll (, STB contact Katie Hoskins ( for a closer look at what resources are most useful for your discipline, and how to get the most out of them.

New Books at YOUR Alexandria Campus Library: Bones and Souls Edition

The staff at YOUR Alexandria Campus Library cannot contain our excitement as we roll out another allotment of books.

Let’s go over some of the highlights, shall we?

Have you ever wondered about how All Hallows Eve became associated with skeletal imagery? This eye opening book on the veneration of saintly bodies makes the connection explicit. It might also haunt your dreams.

This uplifting book explores LGBTQ identities through the use of personal narratives. Therapists Ellen Riggle and Sharon Rostosky designed this book to be an affirming resource for LGBTQ individuals, their allies, and for the communities that surround them.

 Philosophy scholar Dean Kowalski designed this book, which pairs films and cultural theories, as a way to introduce and explain influential ideas in moral philosophy.You can now think of your day at the cinema as both entertaining and an enlightening exploration of the field of ethics.

Jonathan Howard’s novel features a crazed scientist who robs graves, allies himself with vampires, and is currently trying to win himself out of a pact with the devil. Read this novel if you are in the mood for humor, adventure, and a wickedly good time.

Marine biologist and conservationist Callum Roberts gives readers a detailed state of the world’s oceans in Ocean of Life, and what he reports is grim and alarming. Learn more about the threats to global waters from this passionate and disturbing book.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Fast Five Friday: Academic Skills Edition

We’re several weeks into the new academic term and there is definitely an autumnal atmosphere settling over the Alexandria campus. The air outside is getting cooler and crisper, the leaves of the trees that surround our campus are changing color, and all seems golden.

The more scholastic signs of fall are also evident inside our buildings, especially inside YOUR Alexandria library. Our students are busy at work searching our stacks, online resources, and service desks for the information they need to complete their many assignments. It is generally in these first busy of the fall term that our users reach out for extra help, so the staff at YOUR Alexandria library curated a list of books designed to strengthen and improve our students’ academic skills.

Students transitioning to NOVA from high school or work can benefit from the insight and advice put forth in Mark Rowh’s manual on community college success. Topics covered include choosing a degree path, enhancing study skills, striking a school and work balance, and handling the transfer to a university.

If you are a college student you are required to read, constantly. Use this primer to learn how to read effectively, retain more information, and maximize your understanding of the course readings you are assigned.

Most students, and non-students alike, dread making presentations. Give yourself a leg up on public speaking by using the methods outlined in this Harvard Business Review manual. 

What separates a mere student from true scholar? It is the ability to synthesize information and to research. Learn how to properly conduct a true research project using the guidance found in this book.

Success in college is possible, regardless of your academic past. Use this book to cultivate new study habits that will help you thrive in the collegiate environment.

Remember, there are people on the Alexandria campus invested in student success. There are also many other books and resources in YOUR Alexandria campus library that can empower you to be the best student that you can be. So come into the library, check out our student success resources, and emerge a better scholar!

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Treasure Hunt: Finding a Book With a Call Number

Use this tutorial to learn how to locate a book using its call number.

Treasure Hunt: Associate Yer Card!

YOUR Alexandria library has a new printing system, and associating your NOVAcard is the key to success!

Watch this video to learn how YOU can associate your NOVAcard to the Fastprint system.

Treasure Hunt: Searching for Your Booty...Call Number

What is a call number?

A call number is a unique series of letters and numbers assigned to a book in a library. The easiest way to understand call numbers is by thinking about them as addresses. Our library is a large space made up by many different subject areas. Our library catalog functions as a map of that space which library goers can use to locate books. The call numbers found in the catalog point people to the unique location of each book in the library, in just the same way that addresses on a map indicate the location of individual buildings.

Decoding a call number

Ever wonder what a call number means? Let’s break down the call number for The Book Thief, a young adult novel by the author Markus Zusak:  

The letters PR in this call number let us know that it is English Literature, while the numbers following indicate that the book is a work of fiction containing some elements of fantasy. The second third and fourth line of this call number refer to the author and to the book itself. The letter Z stands for Zukas’ last name, while the rest of the two lines are unique to The Book Thief as a work of fiction. The fifth line indicates that 2006 is the year that this edition of the book was published, and the final line of this call number indicates that this the second copy of this novel in the library system.


Go to the blue Library of Congress Subject Heading Poster located at the back of the circulating shelves in the library.

Find and then write down the two letter subject designation for archaeology as listed on the poster. Complete the call number with the following elements: 77 .U5 X15 2006. When you find the book, you will find your next clue!