Library Staff Picks: What Are We Reading In 2020?

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A new year brings with it new reading challenges! Whether you want to read one book or fifty this year, the library has many for you to choose from. Need inspiration? Take a look at what the library staff are excited to read in 2020!

 

Melissa Moore, Library Director:

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Becoming C.S. Lewis by Hal Poe

 

Olivia Chin, Circulation Manager:

Home by Toni Morrison

The Female Experience: An American Documentary by Gerda Lerner

American Predator by Maureen Callahan

Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami

Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon

 

Mya Putman, Student Assistant:

The Giver quartet by Lois Lowry

 

Stephen Mount, Systems Librarian:

1984 by George Orwell

Any book by Harlan Coben

 

Rachel Bloomingburg, Evening Circulation Supervisor:

Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly

Colors of Truth by Tamera Alexander

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

 

 

 

New: Staff Picks Display

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Ever wonder what the librarians are reading? Looking for something new and recommended at the library?

Presenting: Staff Picks! This first floor display will show you which books and movies we recommend. The display will be refreshed with new choices regularly. You can read a little about each item (and who picked it) with our handy signs.

Currently, the Staff Picks are as follows:

 

Each item is available for check out. Happy reading!

Library Staff Picks: What’s On Your “To Be Read” List?

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For some people, the “to be read” (or TBR) pile of books never stops growing. But what if you’re still looking for something else to read? The library staff are happy to share the books that they are planning to read next- and who knows, you may see some book reviews of these in the future, once we’ve read them!

 

TBR Lists Below

Olivia Chin, Circulation Manager:

  • Next up for Olivia Chin is the fourth book in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, A Feast For Crows. She is hoping to finish the current books in the series this fall; she’s also hoping that George R.R. Martin finishes writing the last two books!
  • Olivia is also looking forward to reading the true-crime biography Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson by Jeff Guinn (which she’s ordered through Interlibrary Loan).
  • And she’d like to finally read the thriller Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

 

Amber Wessies, Instruction Librarian:

 

Matthew Beyer, Library Associate:

 

Shelby Lucius, Student Assistant:

 

 

What Should I Read Next? (Summer Edition)

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It can be overwhelming trying to find new books to read. There are new stories released daily, and, if you already have a teetering to-be-read pile, adding yet another book can be intimidating. Still, there’s something exhilarating about finding your new favorite read! In this blog series, the library staff will recommend books to you based on your genre preferences. We do a lot of reading when we’re off work, and we enjoy testing out the new books that we get for the library! If you would like to get a personalized recommendation from us, please use the library chat function on our website.

So, what should you read next?

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  • If you like mysterious origin stories, North Carolina, and interesting character development: Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. Many of the librarians have given rave reviews to this bestselling book, which was released in August 2018, and all of them have different opinions about the ending!

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  • For fans of intense real-life experiences, teaching and teachers, and survival techniques: Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover. Library director Melissa Moore said that she couldn’t put this book down and highly recommends it.

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  • If you’re looking a lesser-known classic novella and a unique vampire tale: Carmilla by J.S. Le Fanu. This short, easy read has a gothic setting, mysterious illnesses, and a young female antagonist. Carmilla is also widely considered to be one of the first recorded vampire stories.

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Library FAQs

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We’re here to answer all of your questions at the library! Here are some of our most popular questions from our students and guest patrons.

Student FAQs

  1. How can I apply to work in the library as a student assistant?

Students can go online through the Vocatio Center to submit their resume. The Circulation Manager will review their resume and may invite them to an interview. If approved, the students will need to submit paperwork to the Vocatio Center and sign up for hours on the Circulation schedule.

 

  1. I need more prints. Can I buy them?

Yes, we have print cards for $1 and $5, it just depends on how many prints you need. If you need to do a print refund, though, that falls under IT- you can request one here.

 

  1. I need to request transcripts. Where can I do that?

The library does not handle transcripts. We can transfer you to the registrar’s office instead, or you can request them online via the registrar’s page.

 

4. I need to keep this book for a little longer than the due date for a project, but I’ve reached my renewal limit. Can you help?

Yes, generally we can extend the due date of a book when a student needs it for school-related purposes.

 

5. Can the library schedule appointments for the Writing Center?

No, the library and the Writing Center are separate entities (that do work together, though)! You can schedule an appointment with the Writing Center through their website here.

 

6. What are the library’s hours?

You can view the library’s hours 24/7 on our website!

 

7. I need help with APA/MLA/Turabian citations. Can the library help me?

Yes, you can schedule an appointment with a Research Coach for help with citations. You can also check out the APA manual, the MLA manual, and the Turabian manual from the library.

 

Guest FAQs

 

  1. Does the library offer tutoring services?

No. The library does have research help for Union students, but not for high schoolers, children, or adults who do not attend Union.

 

  1. Does the library partner with any local home school or education programs?

No, but families with children are welcome to visit the library.

 

  1. I’m a college student at Jackson State. Can I check out books from Union?

Yes, through a local university & college agreement, higher education students at other nearby institutions can check out a limited number of Union library items. See our website for more information.

 

  1. Can I look at eBooks and articles on the library website as a guest?

Yes and no. If you are on Union’s campus, you can view eBooks and articles on our library website. If you are not on campus, you will not be able to view them without a Union login.

 

  1. I’m a Union alumnus. What can I do in the library?

As an alumnus, you qualify for a free guest card, which allows you to check out up to 3 books. You can also be logged onto a computer as a guest and print for $.10 a page.

 

  1. Can I pay with a credit card?

No, we can only accept cash or checks at Circulation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Library Staff Picks For Valentine’s Day

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Looking for a romantic movie to watch on Valentine’s Day? Or maybe you don’t like Valentine’s Day too much and would rather watch something completely different. Either way, the library has plenty of entertainment for this holiday! Here are a few of our recommendations.

 

Olivia Chin recommends:

  • Romantic Movie Pick: La La Land, directed by Damien Chazelle; starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. Music, dancing, LA, and romance- what’s not to love? I’ve watched this about 10 times since it came out, and it never gets old to me.
  • Non-Romantic Movie Pick: BlacKkKlansman, directed by Spike Lee; starring John David Washington and Adam Driver. This true story is both horrific and hilarious as a black police detective infiltrates the KKK. There’s a small romantic sublot, but it’s definitely not the main part of the movie; plus, this is a great movie for Black History Month.
  • Romantic Book Pick: North of Beautiful by Justina Chen. If you enjoy young adult novels with travel, realistic families and problems, and teenage romance, then North of Beautiful is the perfect read for you. It’s well-written with noticeable and validating character development; you’ll want to stick with these characters to the end (and will probably want to know more about them afterward).
  • Non-Romantic Book Pick: I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara. The true crime genre often gets about as far away from romantic as you can get. Before her untimely death, author Michelle McNamara chronicled her research journey as she tried to figure out the identity of the Golden State Killer. This book dives deep into the crimes he committed, the people who were affected, and the investigations that occurred.

Of course, I also have to plug our Blind Date with a Book program. It’s super easy: just walk up to the Circulation Desk, pick a mystery book from our cart, and go on a “blind date” with it!

Blind Date With A Book(2)

 

 

Rachel Bloomingburg recommends:

  • Romantic Book Pick: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. This charming YA novel about a teenage girl whose love letters cause high school chaos (and spark romance) has also recently been made into a popular Netflix movie!
  • Non-Romantic Book Pick: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. Another YA novel, this book dives into the culture of World War II espionage.

 

Hannah Shea recommends:

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  • Romantic Movie Pick: Killers directed by Robert Luketic; starring Katherine Heigl and Ashton Kutcher. Watch what happens when a former hitman, who is trying to keep this a secret from his wife, has to go on the run! This movie is available via Prime Video.

 

Cara Stevenson recommends:

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  • Romantic Movie Pick: The Big Sick, directed by Michael Showalter; starring Kumail Nanjiani and Zoe Kazan. Loosely based on the real life romance of starring actor (and writer) Nanjiani and his wife, this story follows an inter-ethnic couple who faces cultural challenges. This movie is also available via Prime.

 

Lakreasha Scharcklet recommends:

Romantic Movie Pick: A Walk To Remember, directed by Adam Shankman; starring Mandy Moore and Shane West. This is a true tear-jerker and a classic romance story!

Non-Romantic Movie Pick: Same Kind Of Different As Me, directed by Michael Carney; starring Greg Kinnear, Renée Zellweger, and Djimon Hounsou. Same Kind Of Different As Me is about unlikely friendship and overcoming racial barriers. You can read the book here.

Library Staff Picks: Musicals

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Did you know that the library has around 6,000 items in our media collection? That includes audiobooks, CDs, and, of course, DVDs!

We were asked recently by a group of patrons for any movie recommendations. That started a conversation about some recent musicals that have been released. Listed below are our library team’s favorite musicals!

1. Susan Kriaski used to work at The Ned in Jackson, and her daughter is currently a manager at a theater in Orlando. Needless to say, Susan has spent a lot of time around musicals and has several favorites. The two that she keeps returning to time and again, however, are Hamilton and Wicked. Check out the library’s new book about Hamilton here and the original Hamilton biography that inspired the musical.

 

 

2. Olivia Chin tried to resist the allure of La La Land. But, lo and behold, she has now watched this film around 15 times since it first debuted in 2016. Maybe it’s the music, maybe it’s the colors, or maybe it’s how annoyingly relatable Sebastian turns out to be. Either way, you can check out La La Land from the library’s DVD collection.

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3. For Matthew Beyer, Disney’s The Lion King is the way to go. You can check out the animated version here.

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4. We’re all in this together with Lakreasha Scharcklet, who chose High School Musical as her favorite.

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What’s your favorite musical? Come by the library’s DVD section to find your favorite!

Library Staff Picks: Apps

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Apps can make your life easier- or they can distract you from your homework. It all depends on how (and when) you use them!

I’ve asked some of our library team members to share their favorite apps. Most of these are for fun, but who knows- some of them could help you out!

1. Jeff Walker chose The Podcast App as his pick. With access to over 300,000 different podcasts, all for free, this app can be a great tool for learning and information sharing!

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2. For Olivia Chin, the new Paste Music & Daytrotter App is the way to go. This free app gives users access to an entire vault of live music, interviews, and comedy routines.

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3. Shelby Lucius enjoys the creative photo editing app Enlight. Enlight can be used to make graphic designs, double exposures, and special effects. While it does have a price, Shelby finds it to be perfect for her editing needs.

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4. The YouTube app is the one Teri Jelks spends the most time on. Another free app, YouTube makes it easy to watch videos, stream music, and discover new content.

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5. Janice Baumgardner likes to play games on her phone. One of her favorites is Cookie Jam, a free app filled with bakery-themed puzzles and prizes.

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6. Brandon Johnson recommends SongPop 2- Guess the Song, where users can compete with friends on guessing which song is playing. It’s free and easy to play!

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7. For Callie Hauss, Duolingo is the way to go. This free app helps users learn different languages like French, Spanish, Danish, etc. and keeps track of their progress.

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What’s your favorite app? Would you be interested in a library app?

 

Library Staff Picks: Podcasts

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Have you ever booked the library’s Recording Studio? It’s a great place to record your very own podcast!

If you’re looking for inspiration for making your own podcast, or if you just want something new to listen to, this blog post is for you! We’ve got recommendations from several members of our library team.

 

1. Paul Sorrell recommends “The Bowery Boys,” a podcast that focuses on the history of New York City, and “The Art of Manliness,” a lifestyle podcast aimed towards young men. The latter regularly interviews authors.

 

2. For Jenny Manasco, the best podcast is “Welcome To Night Vale,” which operates in the style of community updates for the small desert town of  (you guessed it) Night Vale.

 

3. Stephen Mount enjoys “LeVar Burton Reads,” a sort-of Reading Rainbow for adults. Host LeVar Burton handpicks a short story to read in each episode.

 

4. True crime reader Olivia Chin chooses “Criminal”: “a podcast that tells the stories of people who’ve done wrong, been wronged, or gotten caught somewhere in the middle.” *listener discretion advised for content

 

Whether you enjoy people’s stories, movie reviews, or fun advice, there’s probably a podcast out there waiting for you.

What are your favorite podcasts to listen to? Do you ever listen to podcasts in the library?