Finals Week Stress Relief

Contrarian Yoga Dog

“Contrarian Yoga Dog” by ikewinski is licensed with CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

Hello all! My name is Renata and I am one of your friendly NVC Librarians here to help you make it through FINALS WEEK!

As always, the Library can help you through anything! You can use our online databases as your trusty guide through this stressful time 🙂

Meditation is one of the best ways to calm yourself down and become more centered – and you can do this no matter what level of experience you have with meditation

Starting with some of our streaming video databases, here are some guided meditations that you can easily do at home:

One of my favorite ways to reduce stress and reconnect with myself is to do a Body Scan Meditation – this is a very easy way to get used to meditation and become more mindful. It can help you reduce your anxiety and also help you go to sleep at night.

Guided meditation with Jon Kabat Zinn – I find that guided meditations are so much more accessible and help you to train your mind to really focus and let go at the same time.

Short Mindfulness Meditation with Jack Kornfield 

Here are two Mindful Practice Meditations that you can do anywhere when you feel the need to re-center yourself 

If you have a bit more time, try this video on Meditative Stretching 


And of course there are tons of YouTube Videos to relax and reduce stress – these are hand picked by your NVC Librarians – guaranteed to relax you!

Deep Healing Music with Cute Puppies 

Relaxing sleep music and nature scenes – 3 hours long

The Australian Quokka – said to be the happiest animal on the planet

TV For Dogs – meant for your dog to watch but surprisingly calming.  Watch a couple of cute dogs take a walk and a swim in a beautiful setting. Filmed at the Dovestone Resevoir in England.

While working at our computers we often have these videos with ambient sound playing :

Royal Library: Rain and Thunderstorm Sounds with Crackling Fireplace

Christmas Cabin Ambiance

Ancient Library Room with Thunderstorm and Crackling Fireplace


Hoping these videos will help you get through this week of Finals and beyond!

As always know we are here for you and want to help you be successful and stress-free! Please don’t hesitate to reach out and send us a chat with any and all research questions you have!



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November is Gratitude Month!

Contributed by Rose Rodriguez, NVC Librarian

I love the month of November because of Gratitude Month!  In honor of gratitude month we would like to share what we are grateful for. I am grateful for the people I get to work with and the amazing students I get to help each day.  At the library we help many students through our LibChat and Book a Librarian service. The one thing we notice is how our students openly express their gratitude.

I chose to do a spotlight on, Kenneth Anderlitch, a student who inspires me and reminds me of the importance of staying in gratitude.  I met Kenneth a few years ago and I am always happy to help when he reaches out to the library for assistance. He is studying to become a social worker and works full time at a homeless shelter.  He runs as a form of meditation and he just wants to give back to his community. 

This morning, at approximately 4:00 am Kenneth  woke up to start his journey, where he will travel from Austin to Corpus Christi for the next two and a half days.  He will be running  223 miles in support of his Road2Healing race that is raising awareness about the issue of child sexual abuse. His goal is to raise $10,000 for Child Safe, an organization that provides children assistance that have suffered from abuse and neglect.

To stay updated on his journey or show support and encouragement for a fellow Wildcat visit his Road 2 Healing FaceBook page.  To learn more about his story listen to his interview on the In a Skirt podcast episode below. You can view where he is on the map, here.  Good luck Kenneth!!

Episode 78 – Kenneth Anderlitch

Check out our collection of eBooks on Running by visiting the NVC Library homepage:


*New Book* Spirit run : a 6,000-mile marathon through North America’s stolen land, by Noé Álvarez

Personal record : a love affair with running, by Rachel Toor

October is American Archives Month

This month we celebrate lots of things – the beginning of Fall, the vast consumption of Pumpkin Spice Lattes, pumpkins in general and of course Halloween! But there is also one celebration you may not know about – it is American Archives Month!

So, maybe this isn’t something you’ve heard of before….or you may not even know what archives are but let me tell you – this is an exciting thing you should know about! Archives are collections all over the world that hold the keys to the past – they can be collections of famous people’s belongings, collections of audio recordings, collections of an author’s papers, photograph collections, and even just collections of regular people who lived during incredible times. Archives allow us a glimpse into the life from another time , another place or another viewpoint and can help us truly understand history and humanity in much deeper ways. They are wide in their variety and scope and cover every aspect of our world.

There are many archives located here in San Antonio – you can find a great list of all of them at the San Antonio Regional Archivists website Of course due to the pandemic you may or may not be able to visit many archives right now, but luckily they all have provided digital access to some of their collections. 

Trinity has some great digital archival collections including the fascinating Claude & ZerNona Black Papers. 

UTSA also has vast digital collections too that include lots of local history about San Antonio. 

Our very own Palo Alto College has archival collections too!

In addition to the many archives found in San Antonio, you have access to amazing archives through our NVC Online Databases too!

JSTOR gives you access to rare archival collections from all over the world

Films on Demand has a large collection of Archival Films & Newsreels from the last 100 years

Learn more about archives and their importance by looking at these ebooks too:


Archives and the Public Good: Accountability and Records in Modern Society 

The Allure of the Archives 

Personal Archives and a New Archival Calling: Readings, Reflections and Ruminations

Hope this peaked your interest in looking at some of these fascinating archival resources – go out and explore! And remember that the library is here for you – send us a chat by going to our library home page and we will gladly help you with any of your research needs!

International Podcast Day

Hello, my name is Rose and I’m one of your Northwest Vista College Librarians.  I’m excited to finally (hopefully) start contributing here because I love to write. It’s like exercise for my soul. As you can see from the title, today’s topic is all about podcasts, because it’s International Podcast Day! I have a few questions for y’all.

  1. How would you define a podcast? 
  2. When did you first hear about podcasting?
  3. What podcast(s) help you get through your day? 

When I think about a podcast, I think of an online-broadcast-audio show. I used library resources to help me gather information on the history of podcasting.  I discovered Ear Buds: a Podcasting Documentary, which is about two podcasters that travel around the world interviewing people to try and discover why podcasters had such a deep personal connection with their audience. Please let me know what your thoughts are if you watch it.

Next question! I first heard about podcasting circa 2008?  Honestly, I have no idea.  I remember listening to This American Life, a public radio program (TPR 89.1 FM) and podcast. I became obsessed and when I get obsessed I have to go back to episode 1 and catch up. Kind of like watching a series on Netflix. The information and personal stories helped me learn, connect with people around the world, and grow as a person.

Last question! My favorite podcast is…well there are way too many to choose from! Listening to a podcast is the norm for me and it helps me to actively incorporate self-care into my day. I listen to podcasts when I’m driving and especially when I’m walking my dogs.  Listening to the newest episode from my podcast library gives me strength, laughter, hope, and love, especially when I need it most.  Did you know that NVC has a podcast called NVC Voice: A Podcast from Northwest Vista College by Marisela Barrera’s students who share their insight on various topics. Also, check out the podcast, Tejano Rasquacha, by Marisela Barerra. Here are a few of my current favorites: 

The Afro Yoga Podcast

Unlocking Us with Brené Brown

The Chris Hogan Show

Backbox Pinball Podcast

Feel free to share your favorites!


Banned Books Week 2020

You may or may not be aware of the fact that there are books out in the world that people try to ban. This means they do not think anyone should be able to read them because in their opinion there is something objectionable in them – there are many reasons for the challenges to these books – this “objectionable” content often is connected to sexuality , language, violence, images, politics or religion.

This attempt at banning books strikes at the heart of freedom and censorship and this is what we think about especially during Banned Books Week (Sep 27 – Oct 3, 2020).

Since being started in the early 1980’s Banned Books Week has opened people’s eyes about how much censorship can happen and one of the main battlegrounds is LIBRARIES!

To see a list of the books most challenged click here

Go out and celebrate your freedom to read anything you want! Here are some of the books that we have at the NVC Library that have been banned or challenged – available to you as ebooks.

Title details for The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood - Available

Title details for To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - Available

Title details for Animal Farm and 1984 by George Orwell - Available



Title details for The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls - Available

You can also find even more books to put on your list by going to Goodreads – they have a list of over 500 books that have been banned, censored or challenged – so go out and read today! If you are a member of Goodreads make sure and add Northwest Vista College to your friends list – you can see all the books we are reading and check out our Banned Books Week Reading List!

And remember that the NVC Library is here for you! Reach out to us for help with research by going to our library home page


2020 Census – What is it and Why it matters

You have probably been hearing about the U.S. Census the past few months – and you may or may not have been interested in it! or you may not know exactly what it is. But you most definitely should be a part of it,  as it will have a huge impact on our country over the next decade.

The U.S. Census is completed every 10 years and it takes a count of every single person in the United States – it is mandated by our U.S. Constitution to happen once a decade. The data collected from the census determines how federal money is spent in your community – it funds roads, hospitals schools, fire stations. It directs funds towards community health initiatives, assistance programs, and school lunch programs. The statistics collected also determine the number of electoral college votes and congressional seats for each state. For a quick look at the kinds of data the U.S. Census Bureau keeps track of – here is a look at the most recent data on San Antonio. To learn more about how the census affects us here in Texas, take a look at the Texas Counts website

Completing the census is actually required by law  and  San Antonio ranks 4th in the nation in terms of strongest census response rates!–  lets make sure to keep our standing! The deadline to respond has been extended due to the corona virus and there are several ways to complete the census – learn more here

If you don’t complete the census you may be getting a knock on your door from an actual person who works to collect census data – maybe in this time of social isolation this is a welcome visit!

Of course the library has many resources to help you understand the U.S. Census better – here are just a few:

What is a census? 

What is the history of the U.S. Census?

Research Guide created to help you find Statistics and Demographics

As always, we are here to help you with any of your research needs – just send us a chat and we will gladly help you find the best, most credible information out there!


Juneteenth and History

The month of June commemorates major historical events that have shaped our country and world.

  • June 5, 1968 – Robert F. Kennedy was shot and mortally wounded while leaving the Hotel Ambassador in Los Angeles.
  • June 6, 1944 – D-Day, the largest amphibious landing in history.
  • June 12, 1963 – Civil rights leader Medgar Evers was assassinated in Jackson, Mississippi.
  • June 13, 1971 – The New York Times began publishing the Pentagon Papers, a collection of top-secret documents exposing U.S. strategy in the Vietnam War.
  • June19, 1865- Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, the Black Fourth of July.

Today the NVC library is celebrating Juneteenth. But what is Juneteenth?

During the war plantation owners moved their “property”, slaves, as far west as possible in an effort to shield them from the influence of the north. Two long years after Abraham Lincoln declared slaves free in the Emancipation Proclamation, word finally reached the southwest. Juneteenth (a combination of the month of June and Nineteen) is a day that commemorates the official emancipation of slaves in the southern state of Texas. It is the name for a holiday celebrating June 19, 1865, when Union troops led by Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas. The day when all slaves were declared free. General’s order three, spread word to the last remaining Confederate sympathizers that President Lincoln had delivered his Emancipation Proclamation. It is widely perceived as Black Independence Day.

It is an important historical event because it was the first step towards freedom in the African American struggle. Juneteenth is a day to celebrate, honor, and partake in African American history. To share in the triumphs of a beautiful culture and acknowledge the hundreds of years of resistance and survival.

History is beautiful because it allows the reader to step back in time and grasp the world from their eyes. Reading a history book, is like having a conversation with someone from the past about their life, dreams, struggles, and accomplishments in rich detail. Here are a couple of insightful, and informative historical books the NVC library has to offer.

      Included are descriptions and classifications of different aspects of African-American folk culture in Texas; explorations of songs and stories.

Commander of U.S. troops in Texas, his actions sparked the “”Juneteenth”” celebrations of slavery’s end, which continue to this day.

   Insightful book about constitutional law and slavery.

  Lincoln issued a proclamation intended to free all slaves throughout the Confederate states.

The NVC library also offers several databases that focus solely on the discipline of History. Databases provide access to high-quality peer-reviewed journal articles, conference proceedings, book chapters, dissertations and other sources. These databases have been especially chosen for this subject area and are used for historical research to provide an overview of important concepts, events, and figures.

  • American History in Video

Streaming video access to commercial and governmental newsreels, archival footage, public affairs footage, and important documentaries for the study of American history.

  • Daily Life through History

Provides details about past eras that make historical accounts relevant and meaningful from their modern-day perspectives.

  • U.S. History In Context

Provides a complete overview of our nation’s past that covers the most-studied events, decades, conflicts, wars, political and cultural movements, and people. Includes primary sources.


Access to many scholarly journals in the arts, literature, botany, ecology and the social sciences. The most recent 3-5 years of each journal title are NOT available here.

History supplies a depository of information that helps the world understand people and societies. Historical information gives perspective to the past, present, and future. The NVC library understands the importance of history and has resources available to help aid students and faculty research the past.

Happy Juneteenth!!!

Coronavirus – how does this affect your summer?

After three months of quarantining we are faced with, most likely, one of the strangest summers of our lives. Summer of 2020 is one like no other and we all have to find a way to exist in it and maybe even have some fun in it despite all the stress and disorder our world is in. But since COVID cases are on the rise again in San Antonio, we all need to make sure that we educate ourselves about the virus and how to be safe with it in our midst this summer. Knowledge is power and knowledge can make you safe!

We all probably have many questions as to what is safe to do and what is not safe to do – there are many factors to consider when thinking about socializing – some of them to think about are here

Wondering how effective face masks are? How to social distance correctly? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are a credible resource – they are a highly respected governmental entity – remember that WHERE you get your information is SO IMPORTANT!

Because there is a lot of misinformation out there, many not-so-credible news stories and half-truths  – the World Health Organization has created a page that deals with many of these “myths”

And of course your NVC Library has many many credible sources that will help you educate yourself about this virus that is such a big part of all of our lives – Opposing Viewpoints page on Infectious Diseases, Films on Demand film on How the Coronavirus Changed the World in Three Months. Both sides of the issue are addressed in this pro/con topic page on quarantines and travel bans 

It is up to you to make sure that you have all the facts and that they are from credible sources – luckily your NVC Library is here to help you navigate all the huge amounts of information you come across while doing research. The information on the Coronavirus changes every day and it is a bit overwhelming.

Remember that you can always send us a chat and get research help

We are here for you!


Police Brutality, Racism, Protests – Library Resources to Help Understand these Issues

File:Protesters along and around 38th Street in Minneapolis on Tuesday after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, 08.jpg
Protesters along and around 38th Street in Minneapolis on Tuesday after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Wikimedia Commons.

The NVC Library can help you get to credible resources that can help us all who are trying to make sense of all the things we are seeing on the news these past few weeks – finding reliable information that can help us be better able to talk about how society is dealing with racism, police brutality and the protests we are seeing is so important. NVC’s online databases give you access to this kind of credible information.

JSTOR is one of our databases that helps us put things into perspective and spur conversations – their blog posts link to credible content both within the database and out on the Internet. Jennifer Cobbina, a professor of Criminal Justice at Michigan State, wrote a post examining whether hiring more black police officers would help reduce police violence – read it here

Also on JSTOR’s blog, there is an entire post for educators and students alike on Institutionalized Racism helping you put what happened to George Floyd in historical perspective.

We have many databases that cover controversial issues and social issues that are in the news – they all have topic pages covering police brutality :

Points of View Reference Center’s topic page in Police Brutality

Gale in Context Opposing Viewpoint’s topic page on Police Brutality

Facts on File Issues and Controversies’s page on Police Brutality

Facts on File Issues and Controversies’s page on Militarization of the Police

Gale in Context Global Issue’s page on Racism and Law Enforcement

We have also created a “Black Lives Matter” LibGuide as a way to guide you to even more credible information.

The NVC Library is here for you – don’t hesitate to send us a chat with any questions you have – just go to the library home page to get started.

Gardening and the library

Gardening is something that may have been a part of your life in the last couple of months – across the country people have been planting outside and inside in record numbers. Gardening helps us feel better on so many levels – but perhaps you are new to gardening or want to learn more – We have created a gardening guide for those of us who are experienced gardeners and those who are new to it too! Check out our “Gardening in South Texas” LibGuide. This guide will tell you what and when to plant , link you to gardening videos and articles, and you can even see some pictures of gardens created by some of the people who work at the NVC Library.

Of course, if you want even more gardens in your life there are tons of books where the garden plays a main character! The most classic of all is “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett – but here are some others  for you to escape into:


Book Jacket

Sydney, Milsons Point, 1926. Entire streets are being demolished for the building of the Harbour Bridge. Ellis Gilbey, landlady by day, gardening writer by night, is set to lose everything. Only the faith in the book she’s writing, and hopes for a garden of her own, stave off despair.

Book Jacket

The Lost Garden moves along two parallel lines. In one, we relive the family saga of Zhu Yinghong, whose father, Zhu Zuyan, was a gentry intellectual imprisoned for dissent in the early days of Chiang Kai-shek’s rule. After his release, Zhu Zuyan literally walled himself in his Lotus Garden, which he rebuilt according to his own desires. Forever under suspicion, Zhu Zuyan indulged as much as he could in circumscribed pleasures, though they drained the family fortune. Eventually everything belonging to the household had to be sold, including the Lotus Garden. The second storyline picks up in modern-day Taipei as Zhu Yinghong meets Lin Xigeng, a real estate tycoon and playboy. Their cat-and-mouse courtship builds against the extravagant banquets and decadent entertainments of Taipei’s wealthy businessmen. Though the two ultimately marry, their high-styled romance dulls over time, forcing them on a quest to rediscover enchantment in the Lotus Garden. An expansive narrative rich with intimate detail, The Lost Garden is a moving portrait of the losses incurred as we struggle to hold on to our passions.

Beatrix Potter’s stories featuring adorable animals have the garden as one of the most important locations – during the heat of our summer visit a quintessential English garden full of adventure.

Take a look at these books that talk about the therapeutic power of plants and nature and the history of plants – to inspire you even more!

Title details for The Aromatherapy Garden by Kathi Keville - Available

Fragrant plants can be as therapeutic as they are intoxicating, and it is easy to add them to gardens large and small. The Aromatherapy Garden reveals the scents, secrets, and science behind fragrant plants, and shows you how to successfully create your own plant-filled sanctuary of health and happiness

Book Jacket

Garden writing is not just a place to find advice about roses and rutabagas; it also contains hidden histories of desire, hope, and frustration and tells a story about how Americans have invested grand fantasies in the common soil of everyday life. Gardenland chronicles the development of this genre across key moments in American literature and history, from nineteenth-century industrialization and urbanization to the twentieth-century rise of factory farming and environmental advocacy to contemporary debates about public space and social justice–even to the consideration of the future of humanity’s place on earth. 

Book Jacket

Today, in a global level, the health sector and social services need alternatives to traditional medical treatment, therapy, rehabilitation, and work training. Green care is the use of agricultural farms and the biotic and abiotic elements of nature for health and therapy-promoting interventions as a base for promoting human mental and physical health, as well as quality of life.

Book Jacket

Those suffering from dementia often live in care homes and spend much of their time indoors with little provision for them to enjoy one of life’s fundamental pleasures and necessities, the restorative energy of natural light and nature. This important book sets out the argument for helping dementia patients get the most out of the great outdoors and gives a voice to dementia patients who have felt the benefit of getting closer to nature. It explores different ways dementia patients can experience and interact with nature through pursuits such as farming, gardening and walking

Book Jacket

People have always grown food in urban spaces–on windowsills and sidewalks, and in backyards and neighborhood parks–but today, urban farmers are leading an environmental and social movement that transforms our national food system. To explore this agricultural renaissance, brothers David and Michael Hanson and urban farmer Edwin Marty document twelve successful urban farm programs, from an alternative school for girls in Detroit, to a backyard food swap in New Orleans, to a restaurant supply garden on a rooftop in Brooklyn


Just a little taste of all the wonderful ebooks your NVC Library has to offer – take some time to explore and find your passion! And don’t forget we are here to help you with any of your research or leisure reading needs! Just send us a chat!