Top 5 Faculty Development Books


Professors use books in the Faculty Development section for research, teaching advice, college statistics, personality theory, leadership, and more. This section is located on the library’s second floor. The following 5 books have been checked out the most from the Faculty Development section in the past 2 years.

*Book descriptions are provided by the publishers c/o the library catalog


The Supper of the Lamb: A Culinary Reflection by Robert Farrar Capon

From a passionate and talented chef who also happens to be an Episcopalian priest comes this surprising and thought-provoking treatise on everything from prayer to poetry to puff pastry. In The Supper of the Lamb, Capon talks about festal and ferial cooking, emerging as an inspirational voice extolling the benefits and wonders of old-fashioned home cooking in a world of fast food and prepackaged cuisine.


The Road Back To You: An Enneagram Journey to Self Discovery by Ian Morgan Cron

Witty and filled with stories, this book allows you to peek inside each of the nine Enneagram types, keeping you turning the pages long after you have read the chapter about your own number. Not only will you learn more about yourself, but you will also start to see the world through other people’s eyes, understanding how and why people think, feel, and act the way they do.


Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott

Anne Lamott returns to offer us a new gift: a step-by-step guide on how to write and on how to manage the writer’s life.


Writing and Developing Your College Textbook: A Comprehensive Guide to Textbook Authorship and Higher Education Publishing by Mary Ellen Lepionka

Includes chapters on the college textbook industry, writing to reach your true audience, and more!


The Spirit of the Disciplines: Understanding How God Changes Lives by Dallas Willard

Dallas Willard, one of today’s most brilliant Christian thinkers and author of The Divine Conspiracy, presents a way of living that enables ordinary men and women to enjoy the fruit of the Christian life. He reveals how the key to self-transformation resides in the practice of the spiritual disciplines, and how their practice affirms human life to the fullest. The Spirit of the Disciplines is for everyone who strives to be a disciple of Jesus in thought and action as well as intention.



Featured Book: “Lost In Wonder, Love, And Praise” by Justin Wainscott



Justin Wainscott, a member of Union’s Board of Trustees and pastor of First Baptist Church in Jackson, recently released a new book. Lost In Wonder, Love, And Praise is divided into 2 sections: hymns and poems. The hymns section draws heavily from Scripture; Wainscott adds recommendations of familiar tunes for each hymn to be sung to. The poems section focuses on different themes such as God’s grace, dealing with anxiety, and family.

One poem that particularly stands out is “Shared Wonder,” which is about our relationships to art:

The art we most enjoy-

whether stories or sketches,

paintings or poems,

music or movies,

sermons or songs-

is the fruit of private wonder

being made public.

Wainscott goes on to write about the joy of shared wonder, which he concludes is the end result of art.

Lost In Wonder, Love, And Praise is a great resource for worship leaders, pastors, and laymen alike. Whether you’re looking for a new hymn to sing or a poem to resonate with, this book is here to help you worship God. You can check out Lost In Wonder, Love, And Praise from the library.

Featured Books About Personality Types


Chances are you know someone who can rattle off their Enneagram number, their Myers-Briggs letters, their Hogwarts house, and maybe even their astrological sign. Many people have a fascination with personality types, quizzes, and theories since they can often learn more about themselves and other people by identifying different personalities. We’ve compiled a few lists of the best personality-based books that the library has to offer. If you’re interested in learning more about the way you think, feel, and act, check out one of these books!

List of Enneagram-Based Books:

  1. Mirror for the Soul: A Christian Guide to the Enneagram by Alice Fryling
  2. The Enneagram Advantage: Putting the 9 Personality Types to Work in the Office by Helen Palmer
  3. The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective by Richard Rohr
  4. The Path Between Us: An Enneagram Journey to Healthy Relationships by Suzanne Stabile
  5. The Road Back To You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile


List of Myers-Briggs Based Books:

  1. Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type by Isabel Briggs and Peter Myers
  2. Type Talk at Work by Otto Kroeger
  3. Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type by Paul Tiegger and Barbara Barron-Tiegger


Other Books About Personality:

  1. The Normal Personality: A New Way of Thinking About People by Steven Reiss
  2. Personality: What Makes You The Way You Are by Daniel Nettle
  3. 10 Best College Majors For Your Personality by Laurence Shatkin
  4. Personal Intelligence: The Power of Personality and How It Shapes Our Lives by John D. Mayer
  5. Personality Theories: A Global View by Eric Shiraey



Featured Book: “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running”


Haruki Murakami is a world-renowned Japanese author. He just recently debuted a new book, Killing Commentadore, and is well-known for his previous books such as 1Q84, Sputnik Sweetheart, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, etc. Typically, you’d expect a Murakami book to be strange yet familiar, and to feature characters who experience loneliness, isolation, intrigue, and great epiphanies about love and human understanding. However, if you pick up What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, you’ll get a glimpse at the man behind the famous fiction- a man who is not just a writer, but an avid runner.

Murakami explains that everything he knows about writing, he learned from running. He goes on to encourage writers to nourish two disciplines: focus and endurance. Both of these apply to running as well.

Murakami also reflects on aging and the life lessons he’s picked up along the way. On the art of self-acceptance, he writes:

This is my body, with all its limits and quirks. Just as with my face, even if I don’t like it it’s the only one I get, so I’ve got to make do. As I’ve grown older, I’ve naturally come to terms with this. You open the fridge and can make a nice- actually even a pretty smart- meal with the leftovers. All that’s left is an apple, an onion, cheese, and eggs, but you don’t complain. You make do with what you have. As you age you learn even to be happy with what you have. That’s one of the few good points of growing older.

Even while realizing that his aging body may not be as fast or as sturdy as he may wish, Murakami keeps running throughout, averaging a marathon a year (!). He keeps his eyes on his goals and steadily moves forward. This book documents in particular his goal of running in the New York Marathon, a prestigious race. The reader can keep pace with Murakami as he describes each rung of his journey, along with anecdotes and scattered reflections along the way.

If you’re interested in What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, check it out from the library! It’s only 179 pages long, counting the Afterword- it’s a quick read that still accurately describes a long process.

Fight Procrastination Day (September 6th)


For Fight Procrastination Day this September, library student assistant Brennan Kress gives us some tips on how to manage our time and get things done!

We all struggle with this feeling. We all know what’s it like to want to push something off until later. Every morning, when the alarm goes off, the snooze button always seems more inviting than the cold world outside of our covers. As we are working late into the night the idea that the work would be done better in the morning slowly creeps into our minds as our eyes slowly shut from exhaustion. Homework that isn’t due until next week shouldn’t be worried about or thought of, until next week.

Now, we have all been in these situations, and we have all procrastinated. But we would all admit, especially as college students, that procrastination has come back to hurt us in more ways than one. Maybe we were late to class, or forgot to complete some homework, or after pushing a project off in time, we end up cramming in days worth of work into one long sleepless night of anxiety and stress. We would all agree, that to be more productive and effective, we must all work together to beat procrastination. But this is no easy task. Procrastination has become almost a part of our culture and fighting it is not a battle for the faint of heart. So, here are a few tips on how to beat procrastination.


Forgive Yourself:

Have you ever sat down to start a project, checked your phone for texts, Snapchats, or emails, scrolled through Instagram, watched one to two YouTube videos, FaceTimed a friend, gotten a drink and a snack, and then finally gone back to the project? Then you realize you spent a solid thirty-minutes to an hour doing nothing and now you don’t have the motivation to start working at all. You feel that you wasted so much time that you might as well not start at all, but merely put it off until later. Instead of allowing this momentary feeling of guilt to keep you from your task, forgive yourself and keep working. You still have time! Certain studies have shown that this self-forgiveness helps to cultivate a more positive, and therefore productive, attitude. And, self-forgiveness may lead to less procrastination in the future. So be gracious to yourself and get back to the task at hand!


Eliminate Distractions:

We all know how easy it is to become distracted. Many times even the smallest noise can keep us from focusing in a classroom or in our dorm room. We are constantly being bombarded with questions and assignments. From teachers to friends, there is always something for us to look at or respond to. Now responding to a friend’s text or a teacher’s email is both good and necessary, but the danger can lie when we choose to do that over more urgent and pressing tasks in front of us. So, the next step is to remove distractions. Put your phone up for the time it takes to complete a task. You will be able to focus more and get more done. Then you won’t feel the guilt of not finishing your homework because you were liking sports posts on Instagram or watching an entire concert on your friends’ Snapchat stories. So, put away everything that could distract you and focus on the goal at hand. Allow time in your day for silence, so that you can study better and retain more.


Don’t Settle and Don’t Make Excuses:

Have you ever walked to class, knowing full well you have forgotten to do something, and on the way you try to think up an excuse? Many times these excuses fall short and we know they do, because we know in reality, we just procrastinated. So don’t make excuses! And this goes beyond excuses that you tell others. Don’t keep making excuses to yourself. “Well, I’m really tired right now, I’ll do it tomorrow.” “This is just how I am; I can’t help it.” We all have things we struggle with and procrastination is toward the top of all our lists, so let’s work together to cut the excuses and never settle. Always try to be better. Plan, eliminate distractions, forgive yourself when you don’t meet the plan, stop settling, and lastly…


Swallow the Big Frog First:

Let’s set the stage. You have been tasked with a Fear Factor/Survivor kind of challenge. In front of you are three plates. Each one has on it a frog. And these frogs vary greatly in size. The first in a small tree frog no bigger than the tip of your finger. The second is an average size frog small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. But lastly, on the third plate rests the African Bullfrog, one of the largest frogs in the world, which can grow to weigh almost five pounds and be eight to ten inches long. Now that’s a big frog! You have been tasked with the very unfortunate task of eating all three of these frogs. Eating any frog is gross, but eating three seems unbearable. So which would you start with? The answer is to start with the bullfrog. By conquering the largest, most uncomfortable and unpleasant task first, the other two will seem very easy by comparison. When faced with series of tasks, take down the biggest, most intimidating, and most annoying or frustrating task first. In doing so, you may find yourself easily motivated to complete the other tasks. And when the largest project is done, the others won’t seem so stressful.


Beating procrastination is a difficult ordeal, but through discipline and a few helpful hints, we can all beat procrastination and become more effective and productive in everyday life.


*post written by Brennan Kress

Featured Book: “How To Think About Law School: A Handbook For Undergraduates And Their Parents”


How many of you are preparing to enter law school after your time at Union? There’s never a better time to get ready than the present- thankfully, there’s a helpful book in the library that maps out your road to law school.

How To Think About Law School: A Handbook For Undergraduates And Their Parents was written by political science professor Michael R. Dillon. This book teaches “how to build an undergraduate resume, how to gather information about law school and legal careers, how to prepare for the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT), and how to navigate the pitfalls of the law school application process.” The chapters follow a chronological format, with its chapters detailing plans for your undergraduate years, applications, and the subsequent years of law school.

how to law achool

One of the great things about How To Think About Law School is that the author gets straight to the point, answering pertinent questions that the reader may have. On the topic of choosing a good undergraduate major, Dillon writes:

While the question, “what should my son/daughter major in to have the best chance of getting into law school?” seems reasonable, there is no simple answer. . . There is no one right or wrong major for you to become a lawyer. I have advised majors in accounting, English, biology, education, and computer science successfully applying to law school. A small number of colleges and universities actually offer pre-law majors, but most law school admissions officers recommend against such programs.

Dillon also immediately pinpoints which credentials are crucial to being admitted to law school:

When it is time to submit your law school applications, generally in the fall of senior year, there are two key credentials upon which your application will succeed or fail- your undergraduate grade point average (GPA) and your LSAT score.

From there, the book dives into how you can prepare for your future career in law. Dillon encourages law school hopefuls not to lose sight of their other passions, as they may be prove to be helpful in the legal world later. He recommends saving faculty recommendation letters and outlines a mission for succeeding in undergraduate course work. Finally, he talks about different study methods, dealing with other law school students, and studying for the bar exam.

How To Think About Law School is a comprehensive guide written by someone with personal experience. It’s easy to read and understand, and the advice offered is paramount for future lawyers. You can click here to check this book’s availability in the library. Click here for LSAT test prep resources.

Top 5 Education Databases

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Education majors learn everything from classroom theories to hands-on teaching. If you’re studying education and looking for quality research, the library has several excellent databases that can help you. All of these databases can be found on the library’s website.

1. ERIC (Ebsco)

This database gives you the option of advanced searches on subjects from adult education to teaching students with learning disabilities. ERIC also allows you to export your results to RefWorks and locate full-text options available through other library databases.


2. Educator’s Reference Complete

Whether you need to use the Topic Finder option to find new keywords or the Publication Search to find a specific resource, Educator’s Reference Complete has it all. You can even narrow your search down to be as specific as the country of publication.


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3. Professional Collection (Gale)

Striving to cover a variety of topics, Professional Collection provides a good balance of education articles. Regardless of which subject you plan to teach, Professional Collection probably has an in-depth study on it.


4. ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (Global)

When you need to view someone else’s scholarly work, this is the database for you. More than 70,000 dissertations and theses are added every year. Be sure to use the helpful “date range” when searching, if you need articles within a certain time frame.


5. General OneFile (Gale)

A “catch-all” database, General OneFile houses research of every kind. General OneFile will link you to articles on diverse classrooms, teaching controversial topics, and more.


Check out the Education Research Guide for more help with resources!

Yoga For Readers

In honor of International Yoga Day, student assistants Kayla and Shelby have agreed to demonstrate their favorite poses for exercising both mind and body. Whether you are a seasoned bookworm or you are using the library for the first time, we have a way for you to settle in and get the most out of your library time!

Level: Beginner

BlogPhoto1Relaxed Pose: This is a comfortable position for marathon-reading a fun book of your choice. The arms of the chair provide support for your back and elevation for your feet, combining to create the ultimate casual reading experience. Note: This move is not recommended for use while studying or reading intense fiction.


BlogPhoto9The Finals Week: To properly execute this move, you must get to the library early in order to claim enough space and furniture to stretch out to your full length. This is perfect for the evening before your most difficult exam, as it allows you to switch back and forth between studying and power naps efficiently.


Level: Intermediate

BlogPhoto6Modified Plank: This position will allow you to strengthen the two most important muscle groups- the core and the brain. Form is particularly important to prevent excess pressure on your elbows and strain on your eyes.



BlogPhoto5The Upside Down Turtle: When you’ve been sitting in uncomfortable classroom chairs all day, this pose will relieve back pain by elevating your feet and taking pressure off your spine. It is enhanced by reading John Green’s latest novel or any turtle-related book in our Family Room, which will cure textbook-induced headaches.


Level: Advanced

BlogPhoto2The Inverted Bookworm: Sometimes it is helpful to get a different perspective on what you are reading. Turning upside down is the perfect way to do just that! Having your head closer to the ground will change the way you see the world while improving circulation to your brain.


BlogPhoto10The Sneaky Reader: This pose is perfect for when you see your Welcome Week Crush in the library studying. Bonus points if you can do this with their favorite book so you have something to talk to them about when you finally get the nerve.



What are your favorite reading and/or yoga poses?

The Best Books To Learn Programming Languages


Learning to program? Looking for help on a specific language? The library has some books- both in print and online- that can help!

Listed below are some of our best books on popular programming languages. Click their links to see where they are located in the library (or to read them online, if they’re eBooks)!

Learning C#…



This eBook introduces the C# language, how it connects to other languages and shares elements with them, and explains processes like remoting & creating intranet applications.




  • For those who already know some C#, we recommend C# In Depth.



This book covers C# from version 2 onward, so if you’re looking for older versions, this may not be the book for you. However, it’s a great resource for more up-to-date developments. C# In Depth also moves at a faster pace since it assumes that you are not starting from scratch, which may be a plus for more experienced developers. The author writes with the tone of someone who knows and loves what he’s talking about, making this manual an enjoyable- as well as instructional- read.


Learning Java…




This guide has definitions for everything, from algorithms to vectors and everything in between. It is written at an easy-to-understand level and explains the basics without embellishment.




Learning JavaScript…




This bestseller takes you from your very first JavaScript script to document object model essentials. It’s a large book, but the descriptive chapter titles make it navigable. Interactive examples and exercises will have you understanding JavaScript in no time.







With a tagline like “Rich, fast, versatile- JavaScript the way it should be!,” you know the authors concentrated their full efforts on streamlining jQuery. This book contains in-depth examples on various jQuery UI components, the jQuery UI library, event parameters, and more.




Learning Objective-C…

If you want to write applications for Apple products, take a look at Objective-C for Absolute Beginners. The library has this book in both print and eBook form.

ob c



Equally helpful for new programmers and those who have never used OOP languages, this book allows you to learn in a visual manner. With a focus on debugging to really learn the language, Objective-C For Absolute Beginners will help you understand what you are doing each time you write an algorithm.



Learning Python…

Python Programming Fundamentals  provides both practice exercises and solutions for learning Python.

python book


From installing Python programs to get started, to emphasizing creativity in your programming, this manual does it all. It also takes into consideration the differences (and similarities) in using Python on Macs vs. Windows. Finally, there are even games you can play to increase your Python knowledge.



Visit the library for the programming manuals you need! We may have just what you’re looking for.

How to Download eBooks to Read Offline

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The library provides access to thousands of eBooks. Many of these e-books are newly published, with up-to-date information about current events, which makes them useful resources. The e-books can be viewed through the library website online.

Sometimes, you may want to check out and download an eBook to read offline. Oftentimes eBooks can be downloaded for around 20 days before they expire from your device, and most e-books are multi-user (meaning multiple viewers can check them out simultaneously). However, a few are limited-user, which means that they cap the number of people who can view them at a time.

Here’s a simple “how-to” list for downloading e-books to read offline:

1. On the library website, click to view the e-book of your choice. Usually this link will say “View eBook” on the eBook’s information page.

2. The eBook will pop up in a database, usually one like EBSCOhost. On the left of the page, click the “Download this eBook (Offline)” link.

3. Create an account on EBSCO- it’s free! The prompt will say “Please sign in to your My EBSCOhost account to check availability and download.” Then you can click the “Create New Account” or sign in if you’ve previously made an EBSCO account.

4. Once you’re signed in, a window will pop up. Select the amount of days you wish to check out the eBook from the drop-down menu. Then click “Checkout and Download.”

5. Here’s where it can get a bit tricky. The eBook will then be downloaded to your eBooks folder on EBSCO. To download it to your device for offline reading, make sure that you have the suggested Adobe program, Adobe Digital Edition 4.5.7. It is a free download and will allow you to read the eBook offline. Do NOT click to install Norton Security if you are on a library computer (instead, uncheck the box and click next).

6. Give your computer access to Adobe Digital when prompted.

7. Click to download the eBook again, and it will open with the new Adobe software you have downloaded.

8. Enjoy your reading material!

*this guide was written for current UU students, faculty, and staff


UPDATE: Here’s a helpful tutorial, made by Jenny Manasco in our library: