It’s almost here…Spring Break!

I don’t know about you, but at 4:00 PM today I’ll be skipping out to my car with a big smile on my face because Spring Break will be in full swing! I plan to spend some quality time on my couch. Maybe I’ll even read for enjoyment! We librarians do try to do that from time to time. :) If you’d like to dive into some spring break reading, you have until 5:00 PM today to swing by the LRC and check out one of our wonderful fiction books! We’ve added many new ones lately, too. Travelling for spring break? We’ve got some audiobooks to keep you going through those long drives!

The staff at the LRC hope that you have a wonderful break. We will be closed from Saturday, March 28 through Sunday, April 5. We will reopen at 7:00 AM with our regular semester hours on Monday, April 6.


MARCH MADNESS

TAR!

That’s right, friends, it’s March. Make those brackets, scream when that big upset ruins your bracket, and then get ready for the next game. It’s basically Christmas for basketball, except it lasts a month rather than just one day.

And of course North Carolina is home to a rich basketball tradition, including the greatest rivalry ever, and what better time than March to read more about it? NC LIVE has some great ebooks to help you get started. Just search for the title using the ebooks tab on the library homepage.

I, of course, will strongly recommend Carolina Basketball: A Century of Excellence which talks about the history of the Tar Heels, the greatest team of all time (you know, when they aren’t embroiled in an academic scandal that extends 20 years). And if you want to relive the glory days, there’s also One Fantastic Ride: The Inside Story of Carolina Basketball’s 2009 Championship Season.

If you’re a fan of NC State, there’s a similar book also available: NC State Basketball: 100 Years of Innovation which details the history of the less exciting NC State team.

Duke hasn’t hit that 100 year mark yet, but there is sure to be another book published in the same vein published as its centennial draws closer. In the meantime, why not ILL a book about those Blue Devils? You have great options such as An Illustrated History of Duke Basketball: A Legacy of Achievement or Tales from the Blue Devils Locker Room: A Collection of the Greatest Duke Basketball Stories Ever Told.

And of course there are a number of books about that great rivalry between UNC and Duke, which will probably lead to Maria and I having an office divorce. In our own collection, we have Blue Blood: Duke-Carolina: Inside the Most Storied Rivalry in College Hoops and also Four Corners: How UNC, NC State, Duke, and Wake Forest Made North Carolina the Center of the Basketball Universe. I will also have to recommend the fantastically titled To Hate Like This Is to Be Happy Forever: A Thoroughly Obsessive, Intermittently Uplifting, and Occasionally Unbiased Account of the Duke-North Carolina Basketball Rivalry available through interlibrary loan.

If the ACC isn’t quite your speed, there are plenty of other books on basketball available at your fingertips. Just search our book and ebook collections for “basketball.” Maybe we can interest you in learning about The Physics of Basketball?

May your favorite team win, unless your favorite team is playing against UNC, in which case I hope they lose.

HEELS!


Check out our new laptops!

I’m sure you’ve experienced it. You come to the library mid-morning. You’re ready to tackle your next assignment and do some research. But then you see it. All of the library computers are in use. Your carefully crafted plans collapse and you are forced to watch like a hawk for the next available computer. Well, we’ve taken one step toward fixing that problem. The library has purchased a set of twelve Google Chromebook laptops for use in the library.

What’s a Chromebook, you ask? A Chromebook is a laptop designed by Google designed primarily for internet use. It does not have applications like Microsoft Word or Powerpoint. It’s ideal for anyone looking to do research, online coursework, or online readings. It is not designed for writing papers or using other computer applications.

Like our textbooks, these laptops are on reserve. This means they can be used for up to 2 hours at a time in the library only. But you are free to take them wherever you need in the library, whether it’s upstairs in the quiet zone for quiet work or use in a group study room with fellow students.

So next time you come to the library and all of the computers are full, don’t fret. Just come ask for a Chromebook and the library staff will be happy to check one out to you. And be sure to ask if you have any questions about how to use them or what you can do.


Two Words: NEW. BOOKS.

It’s that time of year again: The LRC has processed a plethora (that’s such a great word) of new books! These new books include fiction, nonfiction, and reference titles. You will start seeing new DVDs and CDs soon as well! Have we mentioned that DVDs and CDs are on the first floor and can be checked out for a week? We strongly recommend coming in and taking a look. If you’d like to see all of our new books, this page displays them by subject area.

As always, we welcome your book suggestions!

Cheers,

Maria


LRC Holiday Hours

As the last day of finals begins, the staff at the LRC wanted to make sure you were in the know about our hours for the holidays. These hours are posted in the LRC and can also be found on our calendar, located on the LRC website’s home page.

December 17: 7:00am-9:30pm

December 18: 8:00am-5:00pm

December 19: 8:00am-12:00pm

December 20-January 4, 2015: CLOSED

January 5: 8:00am-5:00pm

January 6: 8:00am-5:00pm

January 7: 7:00am-9:30pm (normal semester hours resume)

We wish you all a safe and happy holiday! See you in 2015!

-Maria


Stress Relief in the LRC! (We’ll Have Food)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Unless you have exams. Then it’s often the worst time. But your friends at the library are here to make exam time marginally less painful!

On December 12, 13, 15, and 16, the library will be having its exam stress relief days. Stop by the library to unwind for a bit and grab a snack. We will have coffee, tea, and snacks for you to enjoy. On the 12, 15, and 16, you can also set up an appointment for a massage to be given by the excellent students from our massage therapy department. This is a great way to relax for a bit and relieve some tension. There will be a sign-up sheet for massages in the library this week. Space is limited, so make sure to grab a a spot before they’re all gone!

Massages will not be taking place on that Saturday, the 13. But I’ll be at the library working, so you’ll be able to come talk to me. Which is almost as good, right?

Best of luck to you in your exams!


Is Thanksgiving Real?

The leaves are changing, the weather is cooling, and November is upon us. Easily my favorite time of year, I love the good moods and good foods we associate with the holidays. As we always do, the LRC is appropriately festive — We are rocking the time-honored tradition of 4 year olds everywhere and making some seriously awesome hand turkeys.

As I was getting into the Thanksgiving festivities, I began wondering. We all know the story of the first Thanksgiving: The pilgrims, the Native Americans, the good harvest at Plymouth, the giving of thanks. But then I started wondering how true that story is, and whether or not it’s apocryphal. After all, at the library we are all about instilling good information literacy skills. And anyone who has been in a conversation with me for more than 5 minutes has probably experienced my burning desire to correct incorrect information (a trait that got me in trouble in my 9th grade English class and also makes me pretty insufferable at parties). I wanted to see if the Thanksgiving story was actually true, or if it was in fact a myth.

So I turned to a library resource to research the topic. Specifically, Thanksgiving: Biography of an American Holiday. The author is James Baker, the Director of Research at Plimouth Plantation who writes extensively on both Plymouth (the supposed site of the first Thanksgiving) and Thanksgiving. What better authority on the topic?

Long story short, yes, the basics of the story are true. However, details are scant and mostly come from Mourt’s Relation, written by colonist Edward Winslow, possibly with help from William Bradford (whose Of Plymouth Plantation you might have read for your American Lit class). So the full details are pretty vague, but there did seem to be a major harvest feast that the colonists and Natives celebrated together. If you want to get technical, it wasn’t the first Thanksgiving celebrated in America either. There are plenty of other similar celebrations in our colonial history, the earliest going back to Ponce de León in 1513, and various other celebrations in Florida, Newfoundland, Virginia, Maine, and even Texas. Of course, despite that, the Pilgrim Thanksgiving is the one that inspired the national holiday, enacted by the Continental Congress in 1777 and then George Washington in 1789.

Why write all this just to conclude “Oh yeah, the story is basically real”? Because we so often accept stories without really considering whether or not they’re true. For example, it’s commonly thought that when Columbus embarked on his famous voyages, most people thought the Earth was flat. That’s not true — even the ancient Greeks were able to determine the Earth was a sphere, and even calculated the Earth’s circumference with astonishing accuracy. By Columbus’ time, it was common knowledge that the Earth was a sphere — Columbus was actually mistaken in that he grossly underestimated the Earth’s size, which is why he believed he had reached India. Even when it comes to Thanksgiving, what we think isn’t entirely true. Picture a pilgrim. You probably imagined those silly hats with the buckles, right? Not true. The hats did not actually have buckles. And of course different Native American tribes had many different styles of dress and costume, so how you picture them might not be totally accurate either.

It’s always important to evaluate the information we receive to determine that it’s credible and accurate. Even if they’re harmless myths, there’s a lot of value in being able to investigate them and determine the truth. Look for information provided by credible sources — People who have research credentials in the field (such as James Baker whose research and work at Plymouth distinguishes him as an expert). This will help you not only in your classes, but also in your professional career to critically engage with ideas and topics and make informed choices.

But in the meantime, sit back, watch some football and the parade, enjoy some good food, make some hand turkeys, and take comfort in knowing that the popular Thanksgiving origin story is (basically) true. Happy Thanksgiving!

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