How To Get The Most Out Of Your Library Experience

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What can the library do for you, as a student at Union? We’re glad you asked! Read on to find out how you can get the most out of your library experience.

 

Social distance and wear a mask while you are in the Logos.

Keep us safe and open by following our COVID-19 protocols!

 

Visit us at the Circulation Desk or at the Research Desk. Ask us questions!

We love to help people, especially patrons who are excited about the library. We’ll gladly point you in the right direction (or literally walk with you there). We can also give you tips on using our library website, finding library items, checking out Reserves, ordering a book through Interlibrary Loan, etc.

 

Print, copy, and scan documents with our printers.

You can use one of our desktop computers or your own laptop to print here. Just use Paw Print if you’re printing from your laptop! Our copiers can scan books and papers for you and send them to your email. Click here for a tutorial on how to do that!

 

Dig deep into the library website.

You can do pretty much anything library-related on our website: renew your books, search for articles, schedule a Research Coach appointment, view old Cardinal and Cream magazines through our online Archives, see our operating hours . . . the list goes on! Just go to www.uu.edu/library and dive in!

 

Book a study room, the Recording Studio, the Media Room, or the Interview Room.

Need a space for something school-related (and not too loud)? We have rooms for that! Book online through our website, and reserve ahead of time to beat the crowds.

 

Borrow Expo markers, pencils, highlighters, and pens- but please bring them back!

We have a limited supply of writing materials that you can use while in the library. Please bring these items back to the Circulation Desk when you’re done so that others can use them.

 

While you’re at it, borrow a book or movie!

I’ve heard alumni say how sad they are that they didn’t take full advantage of check-out privileges when they were students. Just come to the Circulation Desk to check out, or use a Self Check Machine. It’s easy!

 

For more on all of the great things you can do at the library, check out our blog post about the library’s underrated perks!

Top 5 Cozy Books To Read Over J-Term

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J-Term is the perfect time to curl up with a good book and a warm blanket. But what are some “cozy” books that will fit the wintry mood? We made a list of the best library books to read over J-Term below.

 

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

4 sisters growing up and figuring out life in 1800s New England- what’s not to like? Little Women is a timeless classic about love, loss, family, and following your dreams. If you haven’t read it yet, now is a great time to start!

 

Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns

If you enjoy books about small towns where everyone knows each other, then this book is perfect for you. A surprising marriage stirs up different attitudes in Cold Sassy, Georgia, and the gossip- and entertainment value- increases.

 

Redwall by Brian Jacques

Dive into the fascinating fantasy world of Redwall Abbey, where anthropomorphized mice fight a villainous rat enemy to protect their land and their values. These books were childhood favorites of mine and still hold up as excellent stories to get lost in today.

 

Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett

Just click the link and look at the cover of this book. If that cover isn’t the definition of cozy, I don’t know what is. Serious Moonlight is a young adult mystery/romance and a light read- perfect for any college students who need a break from heavy textbooks.

 

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

Time travel, cloning, and beloved literary characters make this book a fun and familiar read. You’ll be drawn into this clever caper without having to leave your cozy couch.

 

Click on the links to see where each book is located at the library. Happy reading!

How To Find New Movies At The Library

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We love unpacking new movies here at the library! There are two lists online that can show you which movies we’ve just gotten.

 

The New Items List

We keep an updated list of new movies and books on the library website. You can find the link to this list under our Quick Links section of the homepage; or you can just click here to see it!

 

The Recently Added Items List

To see the last 50 movies that have been added to the library’s collection, you can use the Recently Added Items list. Go to the library website and click the “Find Materials” link to the top left of the homepage. From the drop-down menu, select “Movies & More.” From there, you can see the most recent movies that we have gotten; or again, you can click here to go straight to the list.

 

All of our DVDs are located on the west side of the second floor. You can also stream movies digitally through Films On Demand, a database we subscribe to.

 

 

How To Use The Tennessee Electronic Library To View Genealogy Information

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Occasionally we have patrons who are looking for genealogy information and records. While our library does not have an extensive amount of genealogy help, we do have access to the Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL) through our Gale databases. TEL provides census records for Tennessee and other articles and data that could prove useful in regards to ancestry research.

How to use TEL to view genealogy information:

  1. Go to the library website.
  2. Click on the “Databases, E-books, and Media” link.
  3. Scroll down the list of databases until you get to Gale Virtual Reference Library. Click it.
  4. Once on Gale, click the top left TEL (Tennessee Electronic Library) logo.
  5. Now you are on the TEL website. Click the Genealogy button in red.
  6. Once on the Genealogy section, you can search databases, articles, and census records. You can also click to go to The Tennessean, Heritage Quest Online, and various other resources.

For more help with genealogy, we suggest visiting your local public library.

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!

Top 5 Books To Read Now That Fall Is Here

pex fall September 22nd is the official first day of the fall season for 2020! For those of us who look forward to fall each year, here is a list of books that are especially perfect to read during the season of falling leaves, pumpkins, scarves, and outdoor sports:

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

Reason: “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” – Anne Shirley. Sure, it’s not quite October yet, but we’re almost there!

Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn by Kenard Pak

Reason: This is a charming children’s book about the changing of the seasons. Look for it in our Family Room!

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Reason: Get into the spooky spirit with Shirley Jackson’s classic horror novel, which was recently adapted into a Netflix show.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Reason: Fall means school, and The Secret History is all about a group of New England college students. The novel’s element of suspense just adds to its appeal.

Native American Son: The Life and Sporting Legend of Jim Thorpe by Kate Buford

Reason: For some people, fall is all about football season! Dive into football history with this fascinating biography of the formidable athlete, Jim Thorpe.

5 Steps To Study Abroad

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So you want to study abroad? You’ve fantasized about traveling to far off places, experiencing the culture, speaking a new language, and tasting foreign cuisine. However, despite the concept of living abroad making you starry-eyed, you may not know the best way to start planning such a trip. I recently returned from a six-month study abroad in Tokyo, and I am going to explain the steps I took to get there.

Step One: Deciding Where to Go

For some people, deciding where they want to travel is a no-brainer. For me, I had been interested in Japan for about as long as I could remember, so it had been my travel goal from the start. For some, the decision is not so easy. It can be daunting to pick one place out of the entire world to choose. To help you pick, making a list of your interests and expectations can weed out some options. Love soccer? Check out places in Europe or South America where the sport is popular. Noodles are your favorite food? Italy or a country in Asia might be your best bet. Even your dislikes can help you choose a place. Afraid of tsunamis? Avoid beachfront locations. Don’t want to learn a new language? Go somewhere that you already know the preferred tongue. After you’ve compiled your list, then you can work on the next step.

Step Two: Finding an Academic Program

If you’re lucky, your school will have a program available in the country you want to visit. If you’re not so lucky, you’ll have to be a bit more creative. If you don’t want academic credit, you don’t have to worry about finding American accredited programs, but you may also have difficulty finding scholarships. If you need academic credits, find programs that are either accredited or have connections to an American institution that can transfer those credits for you. You’ll want to contact that particular institution at this point and ask if they allow students at other institutions to concurrently enroll. This is what I did when I studied in Tokyo. I attended an international language school called KCP International but had my course credits transferred through Western Washington University. It may cost an extra fee to do this, but it shouldn’t cost a fortune, and it will open up the opportunity for a variety of academic scholarships.

Feel free to communicate with your study abroad advisor during this process. They are a wealth of information about a number of options you can choose regarding the international study. Once you’ve chosen an institution, bring it up to your advisor so that they can clear it.

Step Three: Bureaucracy, Bureaucracy, Bureaucracy

This is the part that will wear you out if you’re not careful. Between your school, the U.S. Government, and the government of the country you are visiting, you will have plenty of paperwork and requirements you will have to figure out. I cannot stress enough that you need to GET STARTED EARLY! It took me around two full years between initially talking with my study abroad advisor to actually departing for Japan.

Depending on your stay, your steps will be different. Is your country on good terms with the United States? What kind of travel insurance is the ideal one for you? Will you be flying or using some other mode of transportation? Will you have to apply for and receive an international visa? Where is the nearest consulate for your destination country? Can you bring prescription medications and, if so, how much? Will you live in dorm housing, a homestay, or will you have to arrange housing for yourself? Will you need to research and request for disability accessible amenities? Do you have to make down payments on anything for your trip? When is the best time to book travel tickets? All these and many more are questions you are going to have to figure out during the prep stage.

Use government web resources, your university staff, and your international contact to address unexpected questions. You may need to get a physical or vaccines depending on the country or program you attend, so be sure to get that done well before your trip. If this step is done well, it can save you a lot of headache down the road.

 

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Step Four: Raise Money

While you shouldn’t wait to start building your savings, you’ll probably need to apply to a program first in order to apply for some scholarships. As boring and annoying as applications can be, it can make or break your finances. I was able to receive several thousand dollars in funds from outside organizations and federal and university scholarships. Your advisor can probably recommend some scholarships for you, but a quick internet search can provide country, language, or field-specific scholarships to apply for.

Keep good track of what you’ve applied for and received, as well as application and disbursement deadlines. For many scholarships, you’ll probably need a transcript as well as letters of recommendation. I recommend getting these one time and then saving the copies to send off to however many scholarships you apply for. Many scholarships have other requirements such as writing papers after the study abroad, completing service projects, or even working for a specific entity for a specified amount of time, so please read the fine print of whatever you want to apply for. For extra liquid funds, some students get help from family members, start crowdfunding campaigns, or work to build up savings. Between my savings from two summers and winters of interning and delivery driving, as well as a generous gift from my grandparents, I had enough cash to pay for my program fees and live comfortably in one of the most expensive cities on earth while only taking out a small safety net loan. As long as you’re willing to set realistic expectations and work hard, you likely won’t have too much difficulty getting the funds you need.

Step Five: Getting Ready To Go

You’ve gotten your passport and visa, you bought your plane tickets months ago, you’ve made mental lists of everything you want to see and eat once you arrive, and you’ve even been studying your target language with renewed vigor. Now you just have to make sure your affairs are in order.

If you have a long layover before you reach your target country, I highly recommend getting a hotel room near the airport. I made the mistake of booking a sixteen-hour layover in Shanghai Pudong Airport after my fifteen-hour long-haul flight betting that the in-airport hotel would have a room available. Upon fumbling my way through Chinese customs and immigration, I hoisted my luggage on a cart and made the incredibly long trek to the hotel only to find that they were completely booked. None of the seats in the airport recline, so I was reduced to lying on the floor of the very cold international terminal, using my jacket as a blanket and maneuvering my travel pillow into a very uncomfortable headrest. All and all it was miserable, and the few hours of sleep I did get left me sore, stiff, and cranky just in time for my flight to Narita Airport.

Also, don’t forget to go to your preferred local bank and request currency for your target country as well as any countries you stop at in between. You don’t want a delayed flight to make you choose between the unfortunate airport exchange rate or starving to death in terminal C. Always remember to weigh your baggage in both pounds and kilograms before you leave and to pack only what you need. Don’t be like me and pay an extra hundred dollars on overweight charges because of a pair of ice skates I only used once.

Make sure to read up on your airline carry-on policy and to pack your carry-on bag in such a way that you can easily access its contents. You’ll also want to check the country safety rating provided by the state department for your target country and all countries you’ll stop in. The rating for China went down just a few days before I was going to leave the country. This allowed me to decide against my plans to visit the city during my layover. Look up the country’s emergency numbers before you leave and research sim card options online. I purchased a data-only sim card for my time in Japan and it was a more cost-effective tool than buying a sim card with data and a cell plan. Ultimately you’ll have to choose which option best fits your location and budget. Once all your incidentals are in order you are ready to go! However, no matter how prepared you think you are, life will still find a way to bring in odd, confusing complications to your trip. Just remember to remain flexible, and that this will probably become a funny story in a month or two.

Wherever you decide to go, I wish you the best of luck and happy travels. Studying abroad can provide a rich experience that you can learn so many things you’ll never find in a book. I know I enjoyed my experience more than words can say. If you found this useful, don’t forget to share this post and check out what else we have on the Union University Library Blog.

Bon Voyage!

 

*written by Ruth Duncan

Top 5 Tips For A Great School Year

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The fall semester is finally here: new friends, new classes, and new school supplies. Unfortunately, you might be adding “new stress” to that list. So what can we do to make this school year a great one? We’ve got 5 tips to help you do your best and reduce stress this year.

 

Make a planning system.

Whether you use a bullet journal, a paper planner, or your phone to jot down notes, it’s a good idea to have a planning system. You’ll have a lot to keep up with- from school assignments to work hours- so find which system helps relieve your stress and use it!

 

Sleep.

As tempting as it is to stay up all night chatting with your roommates, your body will appreciate you more if you get 6-8 hours of sleep instead. Plus, your brain may remember more from your study session if you get a proper amount of sleep.

 

Ask questions.

No, really, it’s okay to ask where Cobo is, or how to use Paw Print, or what your professor meant in that last lecture. Union employees are always happy to help you and point you in the right direction- and chances are, your fellow students are, too.

 

Remember your purpose.

God is still in control, even through stressful times and bad situations. Pick up the Word regularly, and get involved in a local church, a prayer group, and/or a mentorship with a trusted advisor. There’s so much more to life than that next test. God has a purpose for you!

 

Actually use the library.

We’re more than just a study space! We have tons of books and articles that you can use for research and class assignments. Once you graduate, you won’t have unlimited access to these resources, so make the most of it while you can!

 

 

Spotlight On “Volunteer Voices”

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Are you interested in learning about Tennessee history? The Volunteer Voices project is a collection of documents, artifacts, photos, and other facets of local culture. The library provides access to Volunteer Voices as a database in our Databases, E-Books, and Media tab. You can also access Volunteer Voices via the Tennessee Secretary of State website.

So, what can you read about in Volunteer Voices? The project has many broad topics to choose from, including the following [click the links to access Volunteer Voices]:

Broad Topics
African-Americans
Architecture
Arts and Literature
Children and Childhood
Civil and Human Rights
Education
Family Life and Gender Relations
Farming and Agriculture
Frontier Settlement and Migration
Government and Politics
Health and Medicine
Immigrants and Immigration
Law and Legal Documents
Music and Performing Arts
Native Americans
Nature and the Environment
Popular Culture and Folklife
Religion
Science and Technology
Social Reform
Sports and Recreation
Trade, Business and Industry
Transportation and Internal Improvements
Wars and Military
Women

You can also choose to search the collection for specific terms, or you can simply browse the collection and see what the project has to offer. You’ll find documents like personal letters, campaign advertisements, pamphlets, photographs, and more. The collection allows you to narrow your search down by choosing subjects, genres, and the historical era of your topic.

The next time you’re searching for Tennessee history, head to Volunteer Voices and get started. You can also tour our library’s online archives, search our catalog here, visit the Tennesee Room at the Jackson Madison County Library, or visit the Madison County Archives.

 

 

How To Find Books By Union Authors

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Did you know that many Union faculty and staff members are also published authors? The library has a sizeable collection of books that were written or edited by Union authors. There are 4 major ways that you can see these books:

  1. We have a “Union Authors” list online! Just click the link to view the list. You can also find this list by using the drop down menu that says “Find Materials” on the library’s home page.
  2. If you know the author or the title of the book by name, you can search for them via our library website. The website will tell you the book’s location in the library and its availability status.
  3. If you just want to browse the collection, you can walk around the book stacks and find Union Authors by noticing books with “Union Authors” stickers. These stickers are red and attached to the spine of the books. Hint: a large amount of books by Union Authors are in our theology section.
  4. One final way to see books by Union Authors is by viewing the “Union Book Project” via www.uu.edu. You can search for specific authors or by year to see the books that were released in a particular time period. It’s a great resource!

 

Pick up a book by your favorite professor today! Chances are it’s on our shelves.