Monthly Archives: April 2013

Feeling Frazzled? Chillax, brah.

Paper due tomorrow?!?!  Finals coming up too soon?!?!

We’ve got tips to help you out.

Not sure when your final exam is?  Check the Spring 2013 Final Exam Schedule

Here are a few quick tips for making finals just a little better:

  1. Plan your schedule as best as you can – plan time to study and time to relax – keep your expectations realistic
  2. Take care of your physical self – plan to sleep, eat well, take breaks (listen to music, pet an animal, and/or talk to someone), stay hydrated, and take a moment to exercise
  3. Take advantage of the NVC resources that are available to you- library, open labs, writing and math labs, CaTS, tutoring, faculty office hours, study groups, and much more

Some Library Relief (we got your back):

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Viva Fiesta!

Fiesta

Here’s a list of Fiesta Events!

Going to the Fiesta Flambeau Night Parade

Battle of Flowers

Learn about the history of the Battle of Flowers Parade.

Don’t forget about NVC’s own Fiesta Events:

Viva La Vista

AND

Fiesta Fajita

AND

Fruteria

Sale date

The NVC Library even has books on the history of fiesta, including:

SA on parade
San Antonio on Parade: Six Historic Festivals

Century of Fiesta
A Cenutry of Fiesta in San Antonio

Biblio
Library mascot Biblio wishes you a happy & safe Fiesta!

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Earth Day 2013

Every Earth Day, we tend to focus on the bigger picture, such as global climate change or the conservation of the rainforest. However, sometimes we fail to look at how our actions can impact the environment. There is a disconnect, and that is where we need to sit back and connect the dots. Although we get caught up in our daily lives we are a part of a family, a community, a city, a state, a country, and most of all, a planet. It’s like a ripple effect, and our daily decisions are like the first pebble thrown across the lake. We are not singular, but a smaller part of a big world, and as such we depend on each other to be environmentally responsible.

Now I’m sure you’re wondering, “How can I help?”.  Before we move on, let’s take a look at your current ecological footprint. Take the quiz:  Footprint Calculator
Okay, were the results surprising? I know they certainly were for me. Now, let’s see what small steps we can take to incorporate more environmentally friendly habits into our daily lives.

What Can You Do at Home?
Here is a list of helpful tips from Take Care of Texas‘ pamphlet entitled Save Money & the Environment at Home, so you can be more environmentally conscious and save a little money!

  • Don’t set your thermostat too low or too high. Aim for 78° in hot weather and 68° in the cold seasons.
  • If you own a home, check around windows or doors to make sure that there are no cracks or crevices that can let the outside heat of cold in. Check weather-stripping and caulk if need. Try doing this before temperatures begin to drop or increase dramatically. Hey, you could make this a part of your Spring cleaning routine!
  • Repair leaks immediately.
  • Thinking of buying a new refrigerator or doing some home renovation? Consider replacing old appliances with energy-efficient appliances and your current toilets with low flow models. Sound like too much trouble? Well, consider this…you may be eligible for rebates! Just check with CPS and the San Antonio Water System (SAWS) for possible savings!

Now, check out some of the Library’s resources on how you can live a little greener at home:

        no impact        simple         living 

What About Your Yard?

Here’s another great place where small changes can make a big difference on the environment!  Here are even more tips from the San Antonio Water System (SAWS) and Take Care of Texas.

We all want our yards and gardens to be lush and beautiful, and believe it or not, there is a way to do this and conserve water, a precious resource in South Texas.

  • Take Care of Texas suggests that you water at cooler times during the day, like the early morning.  Because once that hot Texas sun hits, the water will evaporate much more quickly.  So, you’re doing the work, but not reaping the full benefit.
  • In Texas, when the temperatures start to soar, we must be aware of San Antonio Water System (SAWS) water restrictions.  Take a look at the SAWS Drought Restrictions page for more information.  Being aware of these restrictions can keep you from violating them and paying any fines.  That’s cash in your pocket!
  • If you’re just starting a garden, or planning to add to your current landscape, consider choosing plants that don’t require frequent watering to be maintained.  San Antonio Water System (SAWS) has a large list with a wide variety of plants that are drought tolerant.  Check out the SAWS Approved Plant List before you start your gardening.
  • You are used to recycling your paper products, cans, and plastic, but have you ever considered recycling water?  Take Care of Texas recommends capturing and reusing rain water to water your lawn and plants.   Here are some resources on that topic:

Rainwater Harvesting with Rain Barrels, A Take Care of Texas Guide via Take Care of Texas

Rainwater Harvesting via San Antonio Water System (SAWS)

The Library has some great resources on water conservation and drought tolerant plants!  Have a look:

cool  dryland  water  xeriscape

Still looking for other interesting ways that you can go green in honor of Earth Day?

Dig through your makeup bag…

Could your lipstick be bad for the environment?  Find out in Gorgeously Green: 8 Simple Steps to an Earth-friendly Life

Get Crafty…

Wait…don’t throw that away!  Check out Eco-craft: Recycle-Recraft-Restyle, which is full of craft projects using old materials.  The concept of the book is to repurpose, or to take something old and make it new again!

We at the Northwest Vista Library hope you’ve found this post helpful, and can incorporate some of these green-living tips into your daily routine.  And, don’t forget to come by the library and see our Earth Day 2013 display focusing on the slow food movement, sustainable farming, and community-supported agriculture!

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Why I Became A Librarian

We are celebrating National Library Week, and we asked our NVC librarians why they decided to become librarians. Here are some of their answers:

Why did I decide to become a librarian?

— “I have always enjoyed the written word. I majored in English so I could do a lot of reading and writing. Then I became an English teacher so I could foster a love of reading and writing in my students. I enjoyed teaching students how to appreciate literature and express their ideas effectively. Being a librarian is similar, but now I help students at different stages of the writing process. Now I help students explore their topic and select which aspect interests them most. I help them find and evaluate books, articles, and videos on their topic, and I help them cite their sources. Best of all, I can work in a building full of books and associate with students, faculty and staff who spend much of their time reading and writing. I have a t-shirt featuring this quote from Jorge Luis Borges, which sums things up for me: “I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library.” —  Linda Reeves

— “I grew up going to the library every week – I went to the Landa Library branch, which is a beautiful old house with rooms full of every kind of book imaginable. I would spend hours walking through the stacks looking at anything and everything and being transported to other worlds. In college I would escape to the library to find a quiet place to be, and would sit in the Reading Room in amazement at its vastness. When I finished school and realized I had to get a job (!), I realized that one of the places that made me happiest is the library.  I decided I would become a librarian and help others find out how glorious and inspiring it can be to be able to access every kind of information you can imagine – all from one great place – the library!” – Renata Gibson

— “At first, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after I graduated. I really loved helping people, learning, math, solving puzzles, instructing people, technology, books, tea, cats, and anything that would keep me on my toes. The answer that put most of those together was being a librarian. I get to “wear a lot of hats,” help people with everything from using a computer to researching nanotechnology, teach, use technology in new/interesting ways, play with numbers, be creative, and interact with a ton of interesting people. As for the tea and cats, I have the internet and a mug.” – Kristin Johnson

— “I became a librarian because I’ve always loved doing research.
In college, I was always the student that stayed until the last minute and “closed” the library. I would always get remarks on my research papers such as “Great resources!”, “Where did you find this information?” and “How were you able to find this resource?”
I know the library profession is stereotyped for being scolding and shushing. When I decided to get my Master of Library and Information Sciences, I was determined that I would never be like the stereotype, but I would always be approachable and encouraging. ” – Judy McMillan

— “There were not many public libraries in Puerto Rico when I was growing up. In fact, I never went to a library until I was in high school. My school librarian, Sra. Medina, was very friendly, knowledgeable and confident. She knew all the answers to our questions. She tried to be a part of every class. All the teachers were always teaming up with her to prepare their classes. There was always something going on at the library. She was very inventive. She hosted book fairs, speakers, poetry competitions, art exhibits, and many other activities. She wanted the library to be a place where students would go for every need. She really enjoyed her work and was very proud to be a librarian. She even formed a club for student library assistants and I decided to join. I have very good memories from that time in my life and it was the beginning of my love for libraries. Once in college, I worked as a student worker at the library in the Technical Services Department and was very impressed with all the duties the librarians performed. They were so eager to help the students, faculty and staff find information, they worked so well together in different tasks, they knew about so many topics. They positioned themselves at the center of the university. They had a mission and were ready to accomplish it. I wanted to be part of that mission and after I finished my bachelor’s degree, I decided to come to the states to get my master’s degree in Library and Information Science. I have been a librarian for many, many years. I really believe that I made the right choice. To this day I am still glad that I chose Librarianship as my profession.” –Norma Vélez-Vendrell

— “I became a librarian by accident. Growing up in rural Ohio, our Friday night ritual was a trip to town for groceries and a stop at the library. While I looked forward to those visits to the library (and also the bookmobile that visited our small elementary school), I never thought about becoming a librarian. I really stumbled into the profession while in college. A summer class I signed up for did not make and the only class available was one listed under Library Science. I really enjoyed it and went on to take enough classes so that I graduated with a minor in Library Science. I was not able to get my MLIS until many years later but that background helped me get jobs in Air Force libraries as my family moved with my husband’s new assignments.” — Karen Weiskittel

— “To start, becoming a librarian was not on my radar when I graduated from UTSA in 2005. Don’t get me wrong, I love libraries, having visited them as a kid (I remember wooden card catalogs!) and as a student. However, at the time I had a B.A. in Anthropology and was working at the Center for Archaeological Research at UTSA as a Lab Technician.  I loved working with the artifacts and records housed in the warehouse.  You never knew what you would find opening old site boxes:  pot shards, a shoe or bone.  Then would begin the hunt to match written records to artifacts, so you could give items an identity. But I knew I wanted to continue my education.  A history professor suggested I look into Library Science since I loved to research archived records and even arranged for me to meet several librarians to discuss the field of librarianship.  Three years later I joined the Masters of Library Science Degree program at Texas Woman’s University, where I graduated in 2010.   Since then I have worked at NVC as a Reference Librarian working with instructors to teach critical thinking skills, building our collection of knowledge here on campus, and, most importantly, helping students find their own information.”  — Amanda Gorrell

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Why I Love Libraries

This week is National Library Week – which is an annual event that celebrates libraries, librarians and library workers nationwide. So we thought it would be fitting to collect responses to “Why I Love Libraries…” and publish some of the wonderful words of faculty and staff here on campus who love libraries! Enjoy!

— Libraries exemplify the very best in us. They are examples of a genuine distribution of power and wealth – they are often supported publically (in the US), open to the public, and even provide assistance to help use the vast reserves of material. Imagine another service that is so ancient and magnanomous! – not just in the short term, (such as disaster relief) but for a life – providing wealth to the poor, hungry, disenfranchised, rich and masterful alike — a service whose benefits can’t be recinded by the next government, housing association, ethnic conflict. Once you’ve learned something, its yours, and even if you don’t retain the details – the dendrites have been opened – you’re richer. That is so profound, so generous of us as a tribe – it makes me proud to be human. — Catherine Pell, Faculty, Art

— The resources are great. The facilities are great. But what I love about the NVC library are the people who work there! They make me feel at home. It is clear they are there to help anyone and everyone – even me – who comes in the door. I appreciate their customer-focus. — Jim Lievens, Coordinator of Organizational Learning

 — I find treasures in the library…more than I can handle at one sitting and many I return to time and time again! — Raquel Beechner, Faculty, Art

— …my first memory of the library was when I was a young child. You see, my first language was Spanish so when I walked into one all I could do was smile – my thirst for learning more English was so great I just sat on the floor looking at all the picture books I could find. — Nancy Guevara, Administrative Secretary

— On the side of our nation’s first library are the words: “The Commonwealth Requires the Education of the People as the Safeguard of Order and Liberty.” I used to pass this inscription on my way to work, each day falling more in love with its message. The engraving seemed to sum up the importance of learning and literature as part of America’s past and future. This is why I love libraries, because they’re the starting place for education and everything that it brings. — Barbara Perez, Faculty, English

— My favorite thing about the library is the books.  I have been going to libraries for as long as I can remember, and the smell of books alone is enough to take back in time.  One day all the actual books in the library will be gone.  Until that day is a reality, the best thing about the library will always be the books. — Joe Rodriguez, Faculty, English

— The NVC library staff are much more than librarians. They have sponsored events on campus such as Geek Week and the Zombie Walk and discussions which featured an award winning local author. They are always very receptive to requests from staff, students and faculty. — Gary Bowling, Coordinator of Student Development

— I love the NVC librarians and I appreciate all their hard work.  I know they are doing a great job because of all the interesting comments my students make after a library vist.  Be it Nancy ‘s sense of humor, Linda’s jokes or Judy’s willingness to help, my students always leave with a positive experience.  Thank you! — Kahala Crayton, Faculty, Speech

— I love the NVC library and the librarians that work there. One of my first contacts with them many years ago was when I was involved in doing some “action research.” I requested a book on “action research” that I knew was good. A short while later, the librarian to whom I made the request told me that the book was in and she had ordered a few other books on the subject that she thought would be of interest to me. Since I did not know any of the librarians then, it impressed me that they were willing to go the extra mile without even being asked. — Ron Wojnar, Faculty, Coordinator of Digital Video & Cinema Production

— As a child, I experienced the limits that living in a poor, rural town places on a person’s experiences.  But every week, when my father would take me to the library, I hopped on a virtual plane and discovered a larger world with bespectacled tour guides.  Libraries and their guardians introduce you to people, places, and ideas beyond your geographic boundaries.  Sitting in between stacks of books, I could be content for hours learning, feeling, and imagining.  I remember the feeling of responsibility when I applied for my very own library card.  I ran my fingers over the raised metal attached to the paper card again and again.  The knowledge was mine to bring home.  In grade school, I found I loved the space so much, that I volunteered to shelve books every Wednesday morning.  I picked up each plastic covered volume, and just before I slid it into its appointed slot, I snuck a peek inside and made a note if I wanted to retrieve it later.   Today, I still find myself drawn to those narrow rows of bound bounty.  The silent wandering still feels like hunting for buried treasure.  I credit the library and the many kind people who worked there with much of the success and happiness I have found in my life.  In the age of the internet, we take free knowledge for granted, but I remember and value not only the knowledge, but the people who acted as my guides through it.  — Mary Dixon, Dean of Interdisciplinary Studies

— The NVC library offers our students a multitude of information that can be used in research papers and projects.  I love that our librarians are available to teach our students how to navigate the different resources and how to properly research topics.  Students are quick to Google everything and that can lead to unreliable sources and misinformation.  I just recently had a librarian do a class for my biology students so they can begin research on their project. It was entertaining to see students make comments like “wow, this has everything I need” or “I didn’t know that was there” and getting excited that they could find all the information from one convenient place, the library! JoAnn Gonzales, Faculty, Biology

— THANKS, NVC LIBRARIANS! NVC librarians make trips to the library a pleasant and non-threatening experience for students who may have never visited a library. Thanks to our friendly and down-to-earth librarians, the atmosphere at the NVC library is conducive to learning and student interaction. Do yourself a favor, contact NVC librarians whenever you need assistance with a project involving research or need help locating a particular resource! — Alicia Paez, Faculty, English and Reading

Thank you to everyone who contributed – your words are beautiful and truly show the many different reasons libraries will always be a vital part of our community and our nation.

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Comics and Manga and Librarians, oh my!

Alright, I can’t hold my tongue any longer.  Someone needs to say it, so it may as well be me.  Comics/Manga/Graphic Novels ROCK.  I love them!  I love reading them online, in the newspaper, in novel form, any way that I can get them.  If there is a newspaper around, I will always go to the comic section.  You know the one.  I don’t care if it is Prince Valiant or Brewster Rockit:Space Guy.  I will read it (I prefer Brewster Rockit…).

My first stop for comics and manga is to check out my library.  The NVC library has some excellent comics/manga to choose from, such as:

Cowboys & Aliens
Persepolis
Faeries’ Landing
Tim Burton’s
Nightmare Before Christmas

The San Antonio Public Library also has a ton of great stuff. Definitely check them out (http://mysapl.org)! In fact, they were so kind as to stop by our library for Geek Week with some comics and manga! Thank you SAPL!
Geek Week is now over, but we will see you again next year! How did you all like it? Leave us some feedback!

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Geek Week in Pictures

Some pictures (in case you missed it) of Geek Week! We have the Arcade Demo and the Costume Contest. Thank you to everyone who came out! Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!!

Geek Week Arcade Demo

Geek Week Arcade Demo

Geek Week Arcade Demo

Geek Week Arcade Demo

Geek Week Arcade Demo

Geek Week Arcade Demo

Geek Week Arcade Demo

Geek Week Arcade Demo

Geek Week Arcade Demo

Geek Week Arcade Demo

Geek Week Arcade Demo

Geek Week Arcade Demo

Geek Week Arcade Demo

Geek Week Arcade Demo

Geek Week Costume Contest

Geek Week Costume Contest

Geek Week Costume Contest

Geek Week Costume Contest

Geek Week Costume Contest

Geek Week Costume Contest

Geek Week Costume Contest

Geek Week Costume Contest

Geek Week Costume Contest

Geek Week Costume Contest

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Pssst! Hey you…yes! You!

This week is Geek Week!!  So far, we’ve had a poetry slam, a costume contest, card games, and a game truck.  Could there be more?!  You betcha!  You have two more days to get on the Geek bus.  You can even let the pidgeon drive this one.

Wednesday, April 10
Arcade Game Demo
CCC Lago Vista RM 121-122
10:00 am – 12:30 pm 

Thursday, April 11
San Antonio Public Library Manga/Comic Book
Traveling Collection
NVC Library RMs 118 & 116
9:00 am – 2:00 pm

Low-Tech (a.k.a Board Games) Game Room
NVC Library RMs 118 & 116
9:00 am -2:00 pm

Still can’t make these GW events?  No problem.  You can be a geek any time with the library’s help.  We have movies, music, books, articles, and more to get your geek on.

Now, you might be asking yourself the age old question…do I have the stuff geeks are made of?  Test yourself.  http://www.innergeek.us/geek-test.html

I’m only a major geek.  😦  39.3%

Did you know:  Batgirl was a librarian!

So, in honor of Geek Week, here is Adam West as Batman (my favorite):

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