Library Anxiety? Is that a thing?

Did you know that when many people walk into a library they feel intimidated and anxious? Library anxiety is real, and has been well-documented by the library field. What is library anxiety? It is the sense that one should know all about libraries, know how to do research, know how to find both physical and electronic resources, and that not knowing how to do these thing is shameful and should be hidden. Grand reading rooms like the one below, and the idea that a student is surrounded by centuries of knowledge, can often be intimidating rather than inspirational.

Picture of study tables at the reading room in the Hunt Library, NCSU
Quiet Reading Room of the James B. Hunt, Jr. Library, North Carolina State University

Now there is research that suggests another phenomena prevalent among first-year students: overconfidence that they understand the library and how things work, and so library instruction or help is unnecessary. It is thought that this overconfidence comes stems from the use of Google and other search engines for any kind of information need. Students know how to search in a general search engine, and assume that those skills translate 1:1 into the research world. The truth is that they do, but those search abilities are only one piece of what is needed. There’s a lot more to research than just picking out good search terms or knowing how to use quotes around a search phrase.

You can learn more about library anxiety in this article from JSTOR Daily.

Libraries can be a little intimidating at first, but they are friendly, welcoming places, and R-MC Librarians are excited to help you learn your way around. In fact for many of us, working with students remains our favorite part of this job. Being asked to help a student with a project is never a bother!

If you have a final paper or project coming up and you aren’t sure about your topic, research question, or your sources, schedule an appointment with a research librarian at https://rmc.libcal.com/appointments.

Or, join us for our LNAP event (Long Night Against Procrastination) on May 7, 7-11pm! Bring your topic, project, idea, or paper with with you, no appointment needed, and Prof. Treneman and I will be there to help.

Library anxiety may be a thing, but it doesn’t have to hold you back!

Three on the Third – May

Three on the Third is a monthly series in which we highlight three books new to the library collection.  Summaries of the books are provided along with shelf location and a link to the item in the catalog.  This month we are featuring several exciting new additions to our POP collection.

The Promise of Wholeness 
by Eric Ehrke
Cover of the book the Promise of Wholeness.Henosis is the Greek word for oneness/unity. Since time immemorial this universal concept has been championed within traditional wisdom, ancient philosophy and theology. The psychoanalyst, Carl Jung referred our shared human experience with the phrase “collective unconscious,” while physicists use the term “quantum entanglement” to describe how every particle is inherently connected to the whole. The missing links between the wisdom of ancient philosophy and the startling insights within modern psychology to transform suffering, transcend circumstances, and increase our capacity for love are explored in The Promise of Wholeness.
BF161 .E385 2019
Catalog Link – The Promise of Wholeness


A Heart in a Body in the World

by Deb Caletti
Cover of the book A Heart in A Body in the WorldWhen everything has been taken from you, what else is there to do but run? From Seattle to Washington, DC, Annabelle is running through mountain passes and suburban landscapes, from long lonely roads to college towns. She’s not ready to think about the why yet, just the how – muscles burning, heart pumping, feet pounding the earth. But no matter how hard she tries, she can’t outrun the tragedy from the past year, or the person – The Taker – that haunts her. Followed by Grandpa Ed in his RV and backed by her brother and two friends (her self-appointed publicity team), Annabelle becomes a reluctant activist as people connect her journey to the trauma from her past. Her cross-country run gains media attention and she is cheered on as she crosses state borders, even thrown a block party and given gifts. The support would be nice, if Annabelle could escape the guilt and shame from what happened back home. They say it isn’t her fault, but she can’t feel the truth of that. Through welcome and unwelcome distractions, she just keep running to the destination that awaits her. There, she’ll finally face the miles of love and loss behind her…and what still lies ahead.
PS3603.A43 H4 2018
Catalog Link – A Heart in the Body in the World

 

Dear Evan Hansen
by Val Emmich
Cover of the book Dear Evan HansenEvan is shy, lonely, and bullied for it. He has a chance encounter with Connor Murphy–just before Connor commits suicide. Evan’s life suddenly gets turned around, and suddenly he isn’t invisible anymore to the girl of his dreams–Connor’s sister, Zoe, who believes Evan was Connor’s only friend. As Evan goes from being a nobody to everyone’s hero and a social media superstar, Evan is filled with confidence … until things start unraveling.

PS3605.M565 D43 2018
Catalog Link – Dear Evan Hansen

National Library Workers Day: April 9, 2019

National Library Workers Day is a fitting time to acknowledge the recent passing of Eleanor Wallace (March 2, 1928 – March 18, 2019). Eleanor Wallace began working in the Cataloging Department in 1977 in what was then the Walter Hines Page Library. In 1987, a major library renovation and expansion resulted in today’s McGraw-Page Library. As part of the library’s make-over, the library staff oversaw the removal of the entire collection to the Copley Science building, converted the call numbers from Dewey Decimal to Library of Congress classification, and returned the collection to the renovated building. Eleanor was later part of the team which transferred information from printed catalog cards into the library’s first online catalog, MaconCat.

Eleanor was a Library Assistant in the Library from 1977-1994.  Below is the McGraw-Page library staff pictured in the 1985 Yellow Jacket Annual.

Three on the Third – April

Three on the Third is a monthly series in which we highlight three books new to the library collection.  Summaries of the books are provided along with shelf location and a link to the item in the catalog.  This month we are featuring several exciting new additions to our POP collection.

A Sucky Love Story
by Brittani Louise Taylor
Cover of the book A Sucky Love StoryWhat if falling in love meant almost losing everything? Where does a moderately popular internet star who never leaves her house look for potential suitors? Online. Tinder, Bumble, Match.com, OkCupid–I tried them all. My thirty-one-year-old self clicked and swiped her little heart out, leading to more dates than I could count, and more disappointment than I was prepared for. Maybe you can relate. Maybe you know all too well the perils of modern dating. But let’s say, eventually, you meet someone. You think to yourself, ‘Wow, they’re perfect! Take me off the market, put a ring on it, knock me up, the whole enchilada, because they are “the one.”‘ Let’s also say that they ‘feel the same way’ about you. Your life starts to make sense! All the pain, heartbreak, and frustration from past failed relationships was worth it. Slow clap. That’s how I felt about Milos. He was from Europe, a doctor, wealthy, athletic. He had an accent and a dog. Milos was textbook marriage material. For him it was ‘love at first sight,’ but for me, it was ‘anxiety on every date.’ Something was telling me to run–but for two years, the only running I did was straight into his arms. If only I would have listened. This isn’t a love story. It’s my story of survival.
POP PN1992.9236.T39 A3 2018
Catalog Link – A Sucky Love Story 

 

On the Come Up
by Angie Thomas
On the Come Up As the daughter of an underground hip hop legend who died right before he hit big, Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time– and has massive shoes to fill. She’s been labeled a hoodlum at school, and the fridge at home is empty after her mom loses her job. So Bri pours her anger and frustration into her first song, which goes viral — for all the wrong reasons. Portrayed by the media as a menace, Bri makes a choice– and becomes the very thing the public has made her out to be. The odds are stacked against her, and freedom of speech isn’t always free.
POP PS3620.H62463 O6 2019
Catalog Link – On the Come Up

Laws of Human Nature 
by Robert Greene
Cover of the book Laws of Human NatureRobert Greene’s bestselling 48 Laws of Power (1988) distilled ancient wisdom and philosophy into essential texts for seekers of power, understanding, and mastery. Now he turns to understanding people’s drives and motivations, even when they are unconscious of them themselves. We are social animals. Our very lives depend on our relationships with people. Knowing why people do what they do is the most important tool we can possess. Drawing from the ideas and examples of Pericles, Queen Elizabeth I, Martin Luther King Jr, and many others, Greene teaches us how to detach ourselves from our own emotions and master self-control, how to develop the empathy that leads to insight, how to look behind people’s masks, and how to resist conformity to develop your singular sense of purpose.
POP BF637.S4 G7384 2018
Catalog Link – Laws of Human Nature

Road Trip Reads – Why and How to Read over Spring Break

Randolph-Macon College is on Spring Break March 30-April 7, 2019!

A collage of images showing the road trip spring break exhibit in the library vestibule
Exhibit in the McGraw-Page Library vestibule, Spring Break 2019

Whether your Spring Break this year includes an exciting trip or you’re just just headed home, don’t leave campus without a good book.

Why should you read for fun?

  • Reading about exotic places allows you to travel even if your bank account won’t let you actually get there (yet).
  • Reading builds empathy for people, cultures, and places you don’t have much experience with.
  • In an age filled with texts, Snapchat, and a million other distractions, reading helps you concentrate for longer periods of time than you usually do.
  • Reading for fun helps you read academic texts better. And it helps you write better, too!

Haven’t read for fun in such a long time you don’t even know what you like any more? The easiest place to start is the McGraw-Page Library (of course!). Visit the tables near the Information Desk to see some of our new books, or visit the POP (Popular) Reading Area near the Library entrance to the 24/7 room. There you’ll find a good mix of fiction and non-fiction, and almost all titles are related to movies, bestseller lists, or current events.

Looking for Audiobooks for a long drive? Check out OverDrive or hoopla available through the Pamunkey Regional Library, located just a few blocks away in downtown Ashland across from The Caboose. R-MC students are able to get a library card and use these resources for free!

If you’d like to explore before heading to the Library to see what we have, check out this list of suggestions from Lifehack: 17 Ways to Find Good Books to Read.

Fairy Tale Beginnings in 3D

[This is a guest post from Visiting Instruction Librarian Gardner Treneman.]

Professor Valentine Balguerie’s French 273 – “Fairy Tale Beginnings” class was always about building imagery. Based on classic folk/fairy tales, the class was asked to read several and analyze the common elements found in them. Instead of the ten-page paper, Prof. Balguerie wanted her students to try something she thought would be more fun. This is where our conversation started.

I’d seen a project posted online from the artist Tom Burtonwood. He was looking at the newer wave of open source 3D printing – providing the ability for the masses to work in a new medium. His project website says,

Within this context of free cultural products I chose to publish Orihon the world’s first entirely 3D printable book. The subject matter for Orihon is derived from 3D scans made of sculptures and reliefs, found at the Art Institute of Chicago, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural in New York and The Field Museum in Chicago.

This immediately drew my attention, and since his focus was the openness of this new platform, he provided the files on one of the internet’s largest 3D file sharing sites, Thingiverse. The idea was wonderful, but the technology as progressed quite far in the six years since he created his plates and hinges. So I took the modular plate and created a new hinge that harnessed the abilities of our Ulitmaker 3, namely the ability to print in two materials. This new hinge was able to flex like a standard paper book but still had the modular aspect. These were printed ahead of time since the students didn’t need to edit them.

3D printed book hinge with four printed strips

 

When it came time for the students’ work they were shown both Thingiverse and Sketchfab: two repositories of opensource 3D models. The idea was for them to display the themes found in the fairy tales through visual objects, placed in the book’s pages. We had a class period in the Library Lab where they started learning and working in the free modeling software Tinkercad. Over the next few weeks I received all the individual students’ work, and began printing them when they came in. Nine students with four pages a piece added up to a lot of hours on our two printers!

3D book and the book Notre Dame de Paris by Victor Hugo and a small round compact mirror
3D book showing themes from Notre Dame de Paris by Victor Hugo
3D book and the book Twilight with a small blond doll in a purple dress
3D book showing themes from Twilight

In the end every student had their own, custom book that covered their specific fairy tale. This project built on a short paper (written in French) that explained what the themes were, and how they connected to today’s world. Professor Balguerie called this a success and is now planning a project to have her class produce “classic” books: printed on paper, bound with thread. We at the McGraw-Page Library are really looking forward to helping with that!

The 3D books created in “Fairy Tale Beginnings” class have been on display in the McGraw-Page Library vestibule since mid-January.

Three on the Third March – Celebrating Women’s History Month

Three on the Third is a monthly series in which we highlight three books new to the library collection.  Summaries of the books are provided along with shelf location and a link to the item in the catalog.  This month we are featuring several exciting new additions to our collection related to Women’s History Month.

Time and Tide
by Catherine Clay
The first in-depth study of the landmark modern feminist magazine, Time and Tide.  UniqCover of the book Time and Tide.ue in establishing itself as the only female-run intellectual weekly in the golden age of the weekly review, Time and Tide both challenged persistent prejudices against women’s participation in public life and played an instrumental role in redefining women’s gender roles and identities. Drawing on extensive new archival research, Catherine Clay recovers the contributions to this magazine of both well- and lesser-known British women writers, editors, critics and journalists and explores a cultural dialogue about literature, politics and the arts that took place beyond the parameters of modernist ‘little magazines.’ The book makes a major contribution to the history of women’s writing and feminism in Britain between the wars.
PN5124 .W6 C53 2018
Catalog Link – Time and Tide

 

Broad Strokes: 15 Women who Made Art History
by Bridget Quinn
Cover of the book Broad Strokes.Historically, major women artists have been excluded from the mainstream art canon.  Aligned with the resurgence of feminism in pop culture, Broad Strokes offers an entertaining corrective to that omission. Art historian Bridget Quinn delves into the lives and careers of 15 brilliant female artists in text that’s smart, feisty, educational, and an enjoyable read. Replete with beautiful reproductions of the artists’ works and contemporary portraits of each artist by renowned illustrator Lisa Congdon, this is art history from 1600 to the present day for the modern art lover, reader, and feminist.
N8354 .Q47 2017
Catalog Link – Broad Strokes

The Art of Feminism: Images that Shaped the Fight for Equality
Cover of the book The Art of Feminism.
Since its inception, the women’s movement has harnessed the power of the image to transmit its message. From the posters of the Suffrage Atelier, to the photographs of Carrie Mae Weems, this comprehensive survey traces the ways in which feminists have shaped art and visual culture from the mid-nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries. Featuring more than 350 works of art, illustration, photography, performance, graphic design, and public protest, this stunning volume showcases the vibrancy and daring of the feminist aesthetic over the last 150 years.
N72.F45 A78 2018
Catalog Link – The Art of Feminism

 

2018-2023 Strategic Plan – Part 3, Strategic Areas 1 & 2

My last two posts have detailed the new mission and vision of the McGraw-Page Library, as well as the values and priorities that guide our decision-making. This month’s post will outline Strategic Areas 1 and 2. Next month will wrap up this series with a focus on Strategic Areas 3-5. 

Library staff have met to discuss the timeline of when we want to accomplish these tasks over the next five years, and have also assigned an individual who is responsible for ensuring that progress is being made on these goals. The Library is working to develop an assessment plan, which, when done, will work with our strategic plan to ensure we are making appropriate progress. 

As with any strategic plan, these goals are based on our understanding of our current environment. The specific objectives or goals may change if conditions (e.g., staffing, building, budget) change significantly. 

Our Strategic Areas, Goals, and Objectives

I. Improve the user’s experience of the library.
  1. Align library resources to the current needs of the curriculum and the student body
    1. Complete weeding of the library’s collections
  2. Improve the findability of library resources
    1. Review signage for accuracy and update as necessary
    2. Ensure resources can be found where expected (e.g., Subject Guides, Discovery)
    3. Review the library website and update or redesign as necessary 
  3. Improve the look and functionality of the library’s physical and virtual space
    1. Work toward and advocate for significant renovation of the library space 
    2. Review and replace worn furniture 
    3. Review physical space and identify immediate needs 
    4. Develop a style guide for print and electronic library-produced materials 
  4. Assess the user’s experience
    1. Develop and adopt a tool evaluating space usage
    2. Identify students’ space needs
II. Enhance information and technological literacy across campus.
  1. Map current instructional efforts 
  2. Develop and promote an information literacy plan for R-MC
    1. Identify courses where information literacy instruction would be advantageous (e.g., One essential, required course per major?)
    2. Develop strategic relationships with faculty with the goal of being invited to teach in those classes
    3. Assess research skills of students 
  3. Develop and implement a technological/digital literacy plan for R-MC 
  4. Participate in curriculum review conversations 

Three on the Third, February – Celebrating Black History Month

Three on the Third is a monthly series in which we highlight three books new to the library collection.  Summaries of the books will be provided along with shelf location and a link to the item in the catalog.  This month we are featuring several exciting new additions to our collection.

We Will Win the Day
by Louis Moore

Cover of the book - We Will Win the Day.

James “Mudcat” Grant would not sing the right words. He knew they were a lie. Home of the Brave. Land of the Free. For who? Not black Americans. Not in 1960. Grant remembered vividly growing up in poverty in Lacooche, Florida, in a shack that had no hot water, no electric lights, or an indoor toilet, while his widowed mother supported her family on her menial wages working as a domestic in white people’s home and then trying to supplement her meager wages at the local citrus plant. He remembered the white kids who would bully the black kids and call them racist names, the white cop who pointed a gun at him while his partner kicked him in the rear, and the unequal school system where black kids received old school supplies deemed unfit for white kids, where he studied in a school that was really a house with blankets dividing the classrooms. There were the segregated spring training games in Florida, his Cleveland Indians teammates who yelled racist remarks at black fans, and his pitching coach, Ted Wilks, who in 1947 as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals tried to organize a boycott to avoid playing Jackie Robinson and the Brooklyn Dodgers, and as a pitcher regularly threw at the heads of black batters.
GV706.32 .M66 2017
Catalog Link – We Will Win the Day

Voices of Civil Rights Lawyers
Edited by Kent Spriggs

Cover of the book Voices of Civil Rights Lawyers

While bus boycotts, sit-ins, and other acts of civil disobedience were the engine of the civil rights movement, the law provided context for these events. Lawyers played a key role amid profound political and social upheavals, vindicating clients and together challenging white supremacy. Here, in their own voices, twenty-six lawyers reveal the abuses they endured and the barriers they broke as they fought for civil rights. These eyewitness accounts provide unique windows into some of the most dramatic moments in civil rights history–the 1965 Selma March, the first civil judgment against the Ku Klux Klan, the creation of ballot access for African Americans in Alabama, and the 1968 Democratic Convention. The narratives depict attorney-client relationships extraordinary in their mutual trust and commitment to risk-taking. White and black, male and female, northern- and southern-born, these recruits in the battle for freedom helped shape a critical chapter of American history.
E185.615 .V63 2018
Catalog Link – Voices of Civil Rights Lawyers

Let the People See
by Elliott J. Gorn

Cover of the book - Let the People See

Everyone knows the story of the murder of young Emmett Till. In August 1955, the fourteen-year-old Chicago boy was murdered in Mississippi for having–supposedly–flirted with a white woman named Carolyn Bryant, who was working behind the counter of a store. Emmett was taken from the home of a relative later that night by white men; three days later, his naked body was recovered in the Tallahatchie River, weighed down by a cotton-gin fan. Till’s killers were acquitted, but details of what had happened to him became public; the story gripped the country and sparked outrage. It continues to turn. The murder has been the subject of books and documentaries, rising and falling in number with anniversaries and tie-ins, and shows no sign of letting up. The Till murder continues to haunt the American conscience. Fifty years later, in 2005, the FBI reopened the case. New papers and testimony have come to light, and several participants, including Till’s mother, Mamie Till Mobley, have published autobiographies. Using this new evidence and a broadened historical context, Elliott Gorn delves into facets of the case never before studied and considers how and why the story of Emmett Till still resonates, and likely always will. Even as it marked a turning point, Gorn shows, hauntingly, it reveals how old patterns of thought and behavior linger in new faces, and how deeply embedded racism in America remains. Gorn does full justice to both Emmett and the Till Case–the boy and the symbol–and shows how and why their intersection illuminates a number of crossroads: of north and south, black and white, city and country, industrialization and agriculture, rich and poor, childhood and adulthood.
HV6465.M7 G67 2018
Catalog Link – Let the People See

2018-2023 Strategic Plan – Part 2, Values & Priorities

My last post detailed the new mission and vision of the McGraw-Page Library. This month’s post will explore the values and priorities that the Library uses to guide its decisions. Much of what is mentioned below is fairly self-explanatory, but if anyone would like to engage in a conversation about why the Library considers these values to be worth explicitly stating, I would love to hear from you.

Our Values

The McGraw-Page Library is committed to:

  • Liberal arts teaching, research, and scholarship
  • Ease of access
  • Innovation
  • Life-long learning
  • Preservation of knowledge
  • Continual improvement of collections
  • Intellectual and academic freedom
  • Collaboration with the campus community
  • Mutual respect and civility
  • Responsible stewardship

Our Priorities

  1. Randolph-Macon College Students
  2. Current & Emeriti Faculty
  3. Staff & Administrators
  4. Alumni
  5. Community Members

We felt it was beneficial to state these priorities in our strategic plan because we do weight the needs of these groups differently when we make decisions. Ideally, we would love to support all of these groups equally, but because both space and budgets are tight, choices sometimes need to be made. This list helps to guide those choices, especially when they are difficult.