Monthly Archives: December 2014

Reference Desk Position Available

The Reference Department in the Nielsen Library seeks a dependable and motivated graduate student or mature upperclassman to help staff the reference desk during professionally staffed hours and to assist patrons when regular staff is not present. Student workers will provide reference service in an effective, timely, and courteous manner. Students must be available to work for at least two semesters. Evenings and weekends may be required.

Duties include:

  • Provide reference assistance to library patrons. If unable to answer question, call on reference librarian.
  • Assist users with the online catalog, print materials, and electronic databases.
  • Provide patrons with directional information in locating materials and services.
  • Answer telephone reference questions or refer callers to reference librarian on duty.
  • Assist patrons in finding information and in learning how to conduct research and to find information on their own.
  • Sorts reference books, non-reference books and current periodicals, loads on book trucks, and shelves reference books.
  • Other duties as assigned

Please email your resume to Stacy Taylor at by January 30, 2015

Best Books We Read in 2014

best books

There’s no shortage of “Best Of” lists going around this time of year. Amazon, NPR, and The New York Times are great ones to start with if you’re looking for a good book.

This year we thought we’d give you an inside peek at what the Nielsen Library staff read and loved this year. If you’re looking for something to read over Winter Break here’s 14 places to start:


All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr

NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant “New York Times” bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

Recommended by: Carol Smith, Library Director




Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future, by Robert B. Reich

A brilliant new reading of the economic crisis–and a plan for dealing with the challenge of its aftermath–by one of our most trenchant and informed experts.

Recommended by: Carol Smith, Library Director





Dark Places, by Gillian Flynn

Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas.” She survived—and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, the Kill Club—a secret society obsessed with notorious crimes—locates Libby and pumps her for details.

Recommended by: Rosanna Backen, Access Services and Distance Learning Librarian



Egg : A Culinary Exploration of the World’s Most Versatile Ingredient, by Michael Ruhlman

Offers over one hundred recipes for dishes featuring eggs, from simple techniques for making poached and scrambled eggs, to recipes for brioche and soufflés, covering a wide variety of sweet and savory creations.

Recommended by: Mary Walsh, Cataloging and Acquisitions Librarian



empire of sinEmpire of Sin: A Story of Sex, Jazz, Murder, and The Battle for Modern New Orleans, by Gary Krist

A vibrant and immersive account of New Orleans’ other civil war, at a time when commercialized vice, jazz culture, and endemic crime defined the battlegrounds of the Crescent City. Empire of Sin re-creates the remarkable story of New Orleans’ thirty-years war against itself, pitting the city’s elite ‘better half’ against its powerful and long-entrenched underworld of vice, perversity, and crime.

 Recommended by Jordan Gortmaker, Circulation Supervisor



The Invention of Wings, by Sue Monk Kidd

Hetty “Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke’s daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women.

Recommended by: Mary Walsh, Cataloging and Acquisitions Librarian


king leopolds ghost

King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa, by Adam Hochschild

In the 1880s, as the European powers were carving up Africa, King Leopold II of Belgium seized for himself the vast and mostly unexplored territory surrounding the Congo River. Carrying out a genocidal plundering of the Congo, he looted its rubber, brutalized its people, and ultimately slashed its population by ten million–all the while shrewdly cultivating his reputation as a great humanitarian.

Recommended by: Carol Smith, Library Director


kingdom of ice

In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette, by Hampton Sides

A dramatic account of the ill-fated 19th-century naval expedition to the North Pole cites the contributions of German cartographer August Peterman, New York Herald owner James Gordon Bennett and famed naval officer George Washington De Long in the team’s efforts to survive brutal environmental conditions.

Recommended by Jordan Gortmaker, Circulation Supervisor




The Martian, by Andy Weir

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there.After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive–and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.

Recommended by: Stacy Taylor, Emerging Technologies Librarian



The Museum of Extraordinary Things, by Alice Hoffman

Mesmerizing and illuminating, Alice Hoffman’s The Museum of Extraordinary Things is the story of an electric and impassioned love between two vastly different souls in New York during the volatile first decades of the twentieth century.

Recommended by: Mary Walsh, Cataloging and Acquisitions Librarian




The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman

A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother.

Recommended by: Rosanna Backen, Access Services and Distance Learning Librarian



sation ele

Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel

An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.

Recommended by: Stacy Taylor, Emerging Technologies Librarian




Tomboy: A Graphic Memoir, by Liz Prince

Eschewing female stereotypes throughout her early years and failing to gain acceptance on the boys’ baseball team, Liz learns to embrace her own views on gender as she comes of age, in an anecdotal graphic novel memoir.

Recommended by: Stacy Taylor, Emerging Technologies Librarian



hite fire White Fire, by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

Special Agent Pendergast arrives at an exclusive Colorado ski resort to rescue his protégée, Corrie Swanson, from serious trouble with the law. His sudden appearance coincides with the first attack of a murderous arsonist who–with brutal precision–begins burning down multimillion-dollar mansions with the families locked inside.

Recommended by Jordan Gortmaker, Circulation Supervisor

Finals Week at Nielsen Library


Whether you’re cramming hard or need a break, here’s what’s going on at the Nielsen Library during Finals Week:

Extended Hours:
Open until 2am
Sunday, Dec. 14 – Thursday Dec. 18

Therapy Dogs:
Monday, Dec. 15 6pm-7pm
Tuesday, Dec. 16 1pm-2pm
First floor lobby

Coloring and Crafts:
All week long in the first floor lobby

The K2 Coffee Lounge will be open until 2am, serving up coffee, tea, and more!
Come to the reference desk and get a voucher for a free hot beverage while supplies last.

Quiet Zones:
1st floor = Collaborative Zone, 2nd floor = Quiet Zone, 3rd floor = Silent Zone
Create your own Silent Zone with earplugs

Research on the Run (The Librarians are Coming!)

roaming 1 copyWith finals fast approaching the library staff is hitting the road and heading to a building near you.

From December 8 – December 15 librarians will have tables set up in various buildings around campus.

We’ll be there to help with research, citations, looking up books…any service we normally provide at the reference desk.

Stop by and ask us anything!

Monday 12/8
1:30pm-3:30pm: East Campus, West Entrance
3pm-5pm: Business, South Entrance Lobby

Tuesday 12/9
1pm-3pm: McDaniel, North Side Lobby
3pm-5pm: Porter, East Entrance
6pm-8pm: McDaniel Computer Lab

Wednesday 12/10
6pm-8pm: SUB Computer Lab

Thursday 12/11
10am-12pm: McDaniel, North Side Lobby
1pm-3pm: SUB, South Entrance Lobby

Friday 12/12
1pm-3pm: Business, South Entrance Lobby

Monday 12/15
1pm-3pm: Porter, East Entrance