Monthly Archives: December 2012

It’s the end of the world as we know it (and I feel fine)

Today is the last day of finals, and the last day that the library will be open in 2012. So this will most likely be our last entry in 2012.

The Mayan Calendar ends on December 21, 2012, and some are predicting the end of the world (despite NASA’s assurances to the contrary). There have been many other Ends of the World that have been predicted in the past:

  • Nostradamus predicted that there would be a King of Terror in July of 1999, leading many to believe the world would end.
  • The Japanese group Aum Shinrikyo predicted the end of the world by nuclear war by the end of November 2003.
  • Harold Camping has predicted many dates for the End of the World, including May 21, 2011 and October 21, 2011.

And of course, when Orson Welles first broadcast “The War of the Worlds” on radio, people thought the end was near due to martian invasion. Take a listen and see if you can hear what the fuss was about.

We’ll be optimistic, and conclude it’s just the end of the semester. Have a great new year, and we’ll see you in 2013!

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Taking a break from Freud

Tired of reading psychology textbooks? Looking for some reading over the break? Here’s a small sampling of titles from our McNaughton collection, a collection of popular fiction and nonfiction located near the Reference Desk:

  • The Christmas Wedding by James Patterson and Richard DiLallo, Call Number F Patterson
  • Soulacoaster, R. Kelly, Call Number ML 420. K3 A3 2012
  • Stunning: A Pretty Little Liars Novel, Sara Shepard, Call Number F Shepard
  • The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth: Popularity, Quirk Theory, and Why Outsiders Thrive After High School, Alexandra Robbins, Call Number HM 753. R63 2011
  • All I Did Was Shoot My Man, Walter Mosley, Call Number F Mosley
  • Gone Girl (audio), Gillian Flynn, Call Number F Flynn

Pick up a little something different, and take it home for your holiday. Don’t forget to bring it back!

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December 14, 2012 · 6:46 pm

Need a laugh?

By this point in finals week, you might be getting a little stressed. Besides the usual advice to get some sleep, take deep breaths, eat well, and rest your brain every once in a while, we’d like to offer a few links that might offer you some laughs:

  • Cake Wrecks: if you’ve ever wanted to see the horrors of holiday cakes gone horribly wrong, this is the web site for you.
  • XKCD: Humorous web comic with stick figures, and even math puns (didn’t think that was possible, did you?).
  • I Can Has Cheezburger?: a website dedicated not only to cute cats, but also wacky videos and the occasional dog in a raincoat.
  • Garfield Minus Garfield: Garfield comic strips are hysterically funny without the fat cat.
  • Sports Pickle: you like sports? You like humor? You like jokes about zambonis?

What are some of your favorite humor websites?

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Filed under Humor

Getting Ready for Next Semester

Today is the first day of finals. The library has a different kind of buzz to it, as people are using the space for studying; most papers have already been turned in. There are a lot of questions at the Reference Desk about MLA and APA citation style.

The library staff is quite busy getting ready for Textbook Lending Library next semester. This program allows students to check out up to three textbooks for the full semester, free of charge. Textbooks are really expensive, so being able to save some money on at least one book can be really helpful. These textbooks are often donated to us by other students, wanting to pay it forward. We also get money from the Ventura College Foundation to help pay for textbooks, as well as funding from a Title V grant and from the Associated Students of Ventura College. How popular is this program? During our Lending Library Day at the beginning of the fall semester, we had 911 students check out 1500 textbooks. Phew! what a day that was!

We sometimes hear stories about how the Lending Library has benefited students. One alum, who was enrolled in a nursing program at Cal State Northridge, told us that she never would have made it through the nursing program here at Ventura College if it hadn’t been for the Lending Library. It was so wonderful to hear that our books could help her out.

Lending Library books are available for checkout throughout the entire semester. And if a textbook isn’t available through Lending Library, don’t forget that there are many textbooks on reserve at the Circulation Desk.

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The Secret History of Fantasy

We just got a new book here in the library: an anthology of stories called The Secret History of Fantasy.

Edited by Peter S. Beagle, the author of The Last Unicorn, it features stories by such authors as Neil Gaiman, Patricia A. McKillip, Octavia E. Butler, Francesca Lia Block, T.C. Boyle, Stephen King, and Gregory Maguire. These aren’t your usual fantasy stories: King’s story “Mrs. Todd’s Shortcut” is about the unusual occurrences that happen while driving through the Maine woods, while Maureen F. McHugh’s “Ancestor Money” is about claiming money in the afterlife.

If you need something to read over winter break, this might be the book for you!

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Reading for fun(?)

When you’re worried about papers and tests, or asked to read books with long chapters and serious titles, it can be hard to remember that reading can actually be enjoyable. For many of us, nothing is more fun than curling up with a favorite book and getting lost in its pages.

Some of us lose that ability to enjoy reading. We had it when we were kids, an eagerness to have someone read yet another Dr. Seuss book to us. By the time we got to high school, however, reading seemed uninteresting, or a chore. Here’s an idea: maybe you haven’t been reading the kinds of books that really speak to you? Just because the book “The Hunger Games” is really fascinating to a friend of yours doesn’t mean it will be interesting to you; you might be more into in the true-life adventure of “The Perfect Storm.”

The library has a lot of different types of books, from graphic novels to mysteries, from Nicholas Sparks romances to true crime books, from the Harry Potter series to books for foodies. You may find that one of these sparks the desire to read, whether it’s a biography of football great Walter Payton or a war story. If you need help finding something to read, ask at the Reference Desk: we would be happy to help you out.

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