Harness Your Passions During Write A Business Plan Month

We know December as a time to celebrate the holidays with family and friends, but it’s also a great time to lay the foundation down for new ventures and opportunities for the next year. December is also Write a Business Plan Month, so check out some the following resources to get inspired and get started on yours! Both books are available in Coastal’s library.


From Publishers Weekly: “Building a life outside of the traditional economy isn’t only possible… it’s the new definition of financial success,” argues U.S. News & World Report senior editor and personal finance columnist Palmer (Generation Earn). Looking for a flexible schedule in order to spend more time with her young daughter, Palmer launched a successful Etsy business creating PDF money planners. Other budding entrepreneurs featured here found success baking custom cakes, or even running in the Olympics. Many of Palmer’s peers are working side jobs in addition to their traditional corporate jobs, some planning to take the plunge and live entirely on their earnings from “moonlighting,” and some planning to continue a hybrid career indefinitely. Is this juggle worthwhile? According to Palmer, in addition to the additional income, having a lucrative or even steady side business can stave off the fear of a layoff, and significantly increase personal satisfaction. Palmer notes that those who make a successful career out of a side job have some characteristics in common: they’re highly motivated, have a strong passion that can be turned into a viable business, and are relentless self-promoters. She peppers the chapters with tips and resources on such essentials as funding your business and branding, and delves into the future of side hustles. Palmer’s encouraging advice tends toward the generic. The book’s real utility lies in the extremely practical worksheets, lists of resources, and exercises.


If you’ve ever thought about running your own business from home, but you don’t know how to get started, this book may be for you. In this book, Simon Salt covers everything from how to organize your home office, online tools to make working from home easier, and how to hold yourself accountable when you work from home during the day. This book would be a great first read for anyone who wants to know what it takes to maintain the day-to-day workflow that entrepreneurs need to make their business work. Take the self assessment from the official website for the book to determine if working full-time from home is for you.

For more resources about how to start a business, check out these links:


Resources To Help You Achieve Your Dream of Writing a Novel

Although we are in the middle of November, also known as NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month, there is still time to start that novel that has been swimming in your head! Stop by the library and pick up one of these books:


DIY MFA: Write With Focus, Read With Purpose, Build Your Community by Gabriela Pereira

An MFA, or Master’s of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing,  is the degree that many fiction writers, poets, and creative non-fiction writers pursue to polish their writing skills, immerse themselves in literature by writers whose styles they can learn from, and connect with key publishing and writing professionals who can help them publish their work. This book will show you how to create an MFA-like experience for yourself that will help you develop the discipline and structure that a writer needs to commit to completing a long creative work.

Check out this interview from The Writer magazine with  the author and creator of the DIY MFA program, Gabriela Pereira, here: https://www.writermag.com/2017/06/26/the-diy-mfa/


The Productive Writer: Tips & Tools To Help You Writer More, Stress Less & Create Success by Sage Cohen

One of the biggest hurdles for new writers who have decided to take their writing seriously is the process of getting organized to be more productive. This is one of my all time favorite resources that I recommend to all writers, new or experienced. There’s tips on how to organize your desktop so that your writing process runs smoothly without the frustration of not being able to find a draft among a million other files. There’s also chapters on time management and tips on how to find time to write while working a full time job.

Find out more about Sage Cohen, poet, writing coach, and author of The Productive Writer…here: https://sagecohen.com/


Writing 21st Century Fiction: High Impact Techniques For Exceptional Storytelling by Donald Maass

Learning to continually hone writing skills is an important skill in itself for writers who want to excel at creating great stories that resonate with others. Through this book, you will learn some of the techniques of a few of the most celebrated authors from the 21st century. All of the authors in this book have mastered the balance between the great storytelling of popular genre literature and the beautiful writing of literary fiction. If you can learn this balance, you will be on your way to creating your own 21st century literary masterpiece!

Happy Writing!

Hispanic Heritage and Spanish Language DVDs

Did you know that the library has a special collection of DVDs that are either in Spanish or about a Hispanic heritage theme? Here’s a few titles that you may be interested in:



Miguel Piñero was an award winning Puerto Rican playwright, actor, and poet. He is known as one of the founders of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, a New York City based organization that became part of the spoken word poetry movement. This movie tells the story of his sometimes turbulent life and how his work helped to create the foundation for the genre of hip-hop music.

Read a review from The New York Times here: New York Times review of Piñero


The Liberator


This movie tells the story of the life of Simon Bolivar and his battle to liberate South American countries, such as Venezuela and Bolivia from Spanish rule.

Here’s a great review about the movie: Review of The Liberator from RogerEbert.com


My Family/Mi Familia


My Family is the story of a Mexican-American family that immigrated to Los Angeles in the 1920s. The movie tracks the generations of this family through the 1980s while telling a beautiful story that all American families can relate to.

Read more about this movie in this review from RogerEbert.com: Review of My Family from RogerEbert.com

Come check out the rest of the Hispanic Heritage DVD collection today! We would love to have your input about movies and documentaries to add to this collection. If you have any suggestions, please complete this form: Book and DVD Suggestion Form

Happy Watching!

Is Your Favorite Book On The Banned Books List?

Imagine not having access to your favorite book because of someone else’s objections to its content. As hard as that may be to think about, books are challenged and banned each year, and as books are removed from library collections due to discrepancies that some may have with controversial content, access to these books is denied to all students and patrons. This is despite the fact that other students and patrons have a right to read any book they decide to read. Check out this infographic about the most banned and challenged books of 2016. Some of your favorites might be on this list! Also, come by the library to see our display of challenged and banned books for Banned Book Week ( September 24-30).

Updated infographic_Top 10 for 2016_0

Here’s a few of the books from our collection that have been banned or challenged in past years:


The Color Purple by Alice Walker: Written in 1982, The Color Purple was challenged for the first time in 1984 at a high school in Oakland, CA. Since then it has been banned or challenged 14 times. Sexual content, disturbing race relations, African history, and controversial content about God have been cited as reasons for it being challenged or banned.

Push by Sapphire: This 1996 book was challenged at a school in Horry County, SC in 2011. The book was made into an Academy Award nominated movie in 2009. The book centers on a 16-year-old girl who is illiterate, impregnated by her father, and abused by her mother.

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison: The Bluest Eye is considered the 15th most banned book between 2000-2009. The book’s main character, Pecola, is a girl who suffers sexual abuse amid wishing for blue eyes.

The House On Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros: This novel is included on the frequently challenged or banned list for 2014-2015. It is the coming-of-age story of a Latina girl who is growing up in Chicago.

To Kill A Mocking Bird by Harper Lee: This classic was first banned in 1977 due to curse words that were considered to be objectionable. It has been banned or challenged 13 times.

Interested in one of these titles? Come check it out at the library today!


Research Your Family History with Resources from the Library!


The history of our families is part of what makes us who we are, so researching your family history is an exercise in both self discovery and discovering one’s heritage. In this interview with Teresa Ortega,  Library Technical Associate and genealogy enthusiast, you’ll learn about the types of surprises you may find along the journey of your research and how you can start researching your own family.

Nichole Nichols: What interested you in genealogy, and when did you get started with research of your family?

Teresa Ortega: Honestly, the only reason I started genealogy was to locate the Native American bloodline on my Father’s side. As a child, I use to hear relatives say we were descendants of Pocahontas and John Smith. I always laughed and never believed it; however, I did feel there was Native American blood in my family. I based this on my Father’s features. He had jet black hair, dark skin, high cheekbones and forehead as did his siblings.  In the early 1980s, I went to a conference about Native Americans, whose speakers were all NC Native Americans. After the conference I decided I wanted to find my Native American Heritage and my genealogical quest began. I recently had my DNA tested through Ancestry and I’m 0% Native American, but learned I am 13% Spanish. That was a real surprise.

NN: What are some tips that you would give to a beginning family researcher? What tools do you use?

TO: The best advice I can give you is to get started now, before it’s too late! Most people become interested when they get older, but by that time many of your most valuable contacts may be deceased or their memories are gone. This was my case. Start by interviewing your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and especially great grandparents if they are still living. When you go to an interview or do research make sure you have pens, paper, family group sheets, questionnaires, a laptop, camera and or recorder/cell phone.  Make sure your questionnaire includes everything you want to ask them (which should include but is not limited to: information about them, their grandparents and their great grandparents from both sides and their siblings as far back as they can go). There are free genealogy documents online you can print out and use, as well as questionnaires. Some of the key information you want to know are: Names, dates, where they were born/lived/died, where were they married, if they were in the military (honors), where they are buried, did they leave anything of interest to anyone (Bible, jewelry, clothes, etc.), if they have any old photos, documents or possessions of your ancestors (if so use your phone/camera to take photos of them everything and be sure to record names/details) and if they know of anyone else who has done research on your family (if so you should contact that person). Make sure you document everything and fact check the info to prove it and your lineage. I suggest you save all the images and also place them in a document where you can list the name/details of every photo (example: MS Word, PowerPoint or Publisher). Publisher is my favorite because I can also save the file as a photo. After completing the interview, process the info right away and save it in a safe place. Follow up on any leads given, including your hunches. I have found my hunches are often correct. Keep a to do list and save all your research, documents and photos in a safe place and in several locations.

Tools: All my research prior to internet resources was done using primarily books and microfilm in Court Houses, Libraries, Churches, Archives, Funeral Homes and Cemeteries (photograph tombstones). These are still some of your best sources and I highly recommend you use them. There are many sources available online in digital format at the locations I mentioned and more. Check them out and make sure you also search for your ancestors in the internet by searching their name and their location. There you may find a family history page, articles and /or queries that have been posted about them. Newspapers have articles, announcements and obituaries that can contain a lot of valuable information.

NN: What has been your most exciting moment since you started researching your family?

TO: The day I received my Paternal Great Grandfather’s complete Union Pension file. There were so many documents. From them I found his exact birth and death dates (which I did not have), that he became ill while visiting his sister, died there and that his cousin inscribed on his headstone. Though there was no photo, I was given a full description which gave me his, height, weight, build and it stated that his hair and eyes were black. Since his second wife, my 2nd Great Grandmother, also applied for his pension after his death she provided information about herself. From her I learned: she was known by two last names because her mother died during childbirth, she was raised by the man that was supposed to be her father, her Step Mother was the midwife during the birth of their four children, she married a second time (they were married for 12 years, but lived most of them separated). There were also copies of letters from my 2nd Great Grandmother’s Parents, my 2nd Great Grandfather’s cousin and other relatives & neighbors regarding him and his family.


The library provides access to several online tools that you can use to start your research. Here are a few:


Biography and Genealogy Master Index  

Use this database to look up biographical data on people from any time period, geographical location, or profession. It is a collection of a wide variety of biographical reference resouces.


Heritage Quest

Heritage Quest contains primary sources, local and family histories, census data, and other resources that you may need for your family research.


Historic North Carolina Digital Newspaper Collection

This collection contains 3.5 million digitized newspaper pages from over 1,000 North Carolina county newspapers.

Happy Researching!

An Interview with Audrey Stewart, Coastal’s newest Public Services Librarian


Audrey Stewart is the newest face in the LRC! She started at Coastal as the new Public Services Librarian on July 3 after a teaching career with Duplin County Schools. In this interview, fellow Public Services Librarian Nichole Nichols talks to her about her background, what she hopes to implement at Coastal, and her eagerness to help students with information needs.

Nichole Nichols: Where did you go to school, and how did you prepare for a library career?

Audrey Stewart: I went to Cape Fear Community College my first year on a whim. I had friends that lived in Wilmington and they thought Wilmington was a great area so I came down from New York. I paid out-state-tuition to go to a community college, and I played volleyball for one year while I was there. I didn’t love North Carolina so I actually moved back to New York and did my second year of community college at Herkimer College and after my second year, I transferred to the State University of New York (SUNY) Albany and that’s where I got my bachelor’s degree in English. I majored in English and minored in History. I wasn’t really sure about what I wanted to do, so I started teaching. I thought I wanted to go into education so I went to SUNY New Paltz, which is a state school in New York, and I got my teaching degree. Then, I taught for a couple of years, but I still wasn’t sure that it was the right path for me, so I enrolled in SUNY Buffalo’s online library program in 2014-2015 and I finished December 2015 with my library degree. I continued to teach until coming upon this position.

NN: Why did you become a librarian?

AS: Part of it was a love for information and part of it was the uncertainty of whether or not teaching was going to pan out. The good news is that teaching did pan out, but then I was sitting on my library degree and that was kind of bothering me that I wasn’t using it. I grew up going to the library as a child. My mom took us to the library every week. I was always around books. All through college, I loved being a student. I’ve always been studious and around information, so I think it was more my passion for information and disseminating information.

NN: What’s your favorite thing about Coastal so far?

AS: The people! Everyone has been wonderful. I love my office. I love my staff so far. Everyone has their own personalities that I’m learning and liking, so that’s a good thing.

NN: What are some new things that you would like to implement in the library?

AS: I would love to have a student book club that would focus on their interests as well as new books that could be wide open for anyone to participate. I know that we have a graphic novel book club, and I know that there’s a staff book club. I also really like the idea of “one school, one book” where the staff reads a book as part of professional development.

NN: What is an interesting fact about you?

AS: I used to be a ballerina. For ten years, I danced ballet and I thought that I was going to be a prima ballerina and go to ballerina school and probably Julliard and all of that. When I was in middle school, I was mildly athletic, but wouldn’t describe myself as being athletic. One night my parents were away, out to dinner, so my brother and I decided to go in the backyard and kick a soccer ball around barefoot in the summer time. I slipped and I fell and broke my growth plate of my ankle. That ended my future of being a prima ballerina because still to this day, I can point and flex my foot, but I can’t point it to the degree that it would need to be to be in a point shoe…and I had just gotten on to point shoes. Ironically, my husband wanted to be a professional soccer player.

NN: What’s one thing about you that you really want students to know?

AS: I am eager and willing to help with their library needs. Even though I may be busy, they are the first priority, so whatever I have to do, I feel like that can wait. I want them to feel like they are a priority.

Contact Audrey via email (stewarta@coastalcarolina.edu) or phone (910-938-6278).


Celebrate LGBT Pride Month with the LRC!


On the evening of  June 27,1969, police in New York, New York raided a popular gay bar, and the protests that resulted afterwards launched the LGBT Rights movement that we know today. An integral part of this movement is Pride Month, which is celebrated each year in June. Pride parades, parties, and other events take place all over the country to honor members of the LGBT community and spread the message that love knows no bounds.

Join the LRC’s celebration of Pride Month by adding one of these books to your summer reading list! Each book features a story that centers on LGBT characters. All of these books can be found in our fiction collection.


Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Leuithan

From Publishers Weekly: “In alternating chapters, the authors track two teens, both named Will Grayson, who accidentally meet halfway through the novel, perhaps changing the trajectory of both of their lives. One Will is vintage Green: a smart nerd whose rules to live by include “don’t care too much,” with a scene-stealing sidekick—Tiny Cooper, a large, flamboyantly gay classmate intent on staging an autobiographical musical. The other will (lowercase throughout) is angry and depressed; the one bright spot in his existence is an online friendship with “Isaac.” When will agrees to meet Isaac one night in Chicago, readers know nothing good will happen—and they will be wrong. A well-orchestrated big reveal takes the story in a new direction, one that gives (lowercase) will greater dimension. The ending is laudable but highly implausible. The journey to it is full of comic bits, mostly provided by the irrepressible Tiny, who needs his own novel. Frank sexual language—a shot at a bar “tastes like Satan’s fire cock”—pushes this one to high school, where its message of embracing love in all its forms ought to find a receptive audience.”


The Normal State Of Mind by Susmita Bhattacharya

From Goodreads.com: “Dipali, a young bride, is determined to make her marriage a success story. But her plans are cut short when her husband is killed by a bomb blast in Mumbai. Forced into a life of widowhood, her brother expects her to sacrifice her own independence for the sake of caring for their elderly mother, but Dipali has other ideas.

Moushumi, a school teacher, discovers that her attraction to women is not just a girl crush. As her parents discuss potential husbands, Moushumi escapes to her high-flying lover. But how long can she keep being a lesbian secret beyond the safe walls of glamorous art-crowd parties?

This stirring and important novel brings to the forefront the issue that, in the midst of communal riots and gay rights movements, India too has to make her own decisions about which traditions she must keep, and which she ought to let go.”



A Place At The Table by Susan Rebecca White

From Publishers Weekly: “In this latest from an emerging Southern literary voice, White (A Soft Place to Land) muses on friendship, the connecting power of food, and the effects of a Southern heritage on one’s search for identity. The tale begins with Alice Stone and her brother James, a close-knit pair growing up in 1920’s Negro-owned Emancipation Township, North Carolina. James is sent to New York because of his “uppity” attitude, and the book’s focus abruptly shifts to Bobby, a white boy from a strict religious family in 1970’s Georgia. His later career as a chef in a famous New York restaurant is foreshadowed in his love for cooking with his mother and grandmother, whose pound cakes are legendary. The savings from thousands of sold pound cakes fund Bobby’s escape to New York when his family ostracizes him for being gay. Here he meets renowned chef and cookbook author, Alice Stone. However, their stories don’t truly intersect until Amelia, a wealthy Connecticut woman in a failing marriage, happens upon the scene. Once again, food, prospective cookbooks, and Southern influences link characters before they discover a deeper connection through guarded secrets from the past. White’s prose is graceful and evocative, but the plot stumbles as the disparate characters’ trajectories become muddled in each other’s stories.”

Almost Like Being In Love Cover

Almost Like Being in Love by Steve Kluger

From Publishers Weekly: “Kluger’s latest epistolary novel (after the well-received Last Days of Summer ) is an engrossing, often laugh-out-loud tale of two unlikely lovers. High school jock Craig McKenna and Broadway musical–obsessed Travis Puckett fall in love during their senior year at the Beckley School in Tarrytown, N.Y., spend a summer in Manhattan, then drift tearfully away to different colleges: Travis to USC, Craig to Harvard. Twenty years later, oddball Travis, now a history professor at his alma mater, is a favorite with students thanks to some unorthodox teaching methods, but he’s laughably unlucky in love. An injury ended Craig’s college football career, and he’s now an upstate New York attorney with activist inclinations and a soft spot for runaways. He’s also about to marry long-term boyfriend Clayton—though he’s never forgotten his first romance. As Travis wades through the dating pool (most of his dates score badly on his “Boyfriend Checklist”) and doles out advice to his straight screenwriter roommate Gordo, Craig takes on the biggest case of his life: a run for the state assembly. When Travis becomes determined to reunite with Craig, he sets off on a wild cross-country adventure, providing perfect fodder for Gordo’s ultimate screenplay. In true fairy-tale fashion, Travis insinuates himself back into Craig’s life, but will the pair end up happily ever after? Though the narrative is overlong, Kluger keeps it absorbing with a parade of newspaper articles, letters, diary entries, checklists, court transcripts and charts, all composed to brilliant comic and dramatic effect.”


All I Love And Know by Judith Frank

From Publishers Weekly: “In Frank’s deeply moving second novel (after Crybaby Butch), Matt Greene and Daniel Rosen, a couple in Northampton, Mass., cope with the deaths of Daniel’s twin brother and his wife—Israeli citizens who are killed in a terrorist bombing in Jerusalem. Their will gives Daniel custody of the couple’s children, Gal and Noam, and Matt, who is used to getting by on good looks and charm, isn’t sure he can handle instant fatherhood. But while Daniel and the rest of the family are paralyzed by grief, Matt jumps in feet first to take charge. The couple is thus dismayed to learn that the Israeli courts, which can override wills for the sake of child welfare (or, in this case, homophobia), may deny custody of the children to them because they are gay. Moreover, Daniel causes controversy after he is interviewed for a newspaper story on the adoption case and, in the course of the interview, expresses sympathy for the Palestinians. As Daniel becomes more immersed in the custody battle, Matt feels increasingly ignored, until he explodes, creating a rift between the men. Frank shows a profound empathy for her characters, making this book heartbreaking, yet jubilantly hopeful.”

Happy Reading!