Top 5 Books To Read Now That Fall Is Here

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Okay, I know the weather around here doesn’t scream “fall.” But September 23rd is the official first day of the fall season for 2019, and that has to count for something! 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.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How To Reserve The Recording Studio

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The library’s recording studio, with seating for five, is a space that will allow current Union students, faculty, and staff the ability to make audio recordings. The studio is lined with sound-dampening acoustic treatment and contains professional audio equipment for the user to make high quality sound recordings. Possible uses for the studio include the recording of voice-overs, narrations, podcasts, tutorials, and the digitizing of analog media.
*Please note, this is not a live music recording studio and, therefore, musical instrument recording and singing recording are prohibited.*
The studio is available to all current Union students, faculty, and staff on a reservation only basis and will be open Monday-Thursdays 8:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m., Fridays 8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., Saturdays Noon-4:00 p.m., and closed on Sundays. The patron should have a basic working knowledge of audio equipment and editing software and must comply with Copyright law.

FAQ

  • Who can use the studio? All current Union students, faculty, and staff.
  • Are reservations required? Yes. Reservations must be made 24 hours in advance. NO WALK-INS ARE ALLOWED. Using the Room Reservation System, located on the library’s home page, a patron can make reservations by clicking the Recording Studio box.
  • How long can the studio be reserved? The studio can be reserved for two one-hour time blocks per day. A time block can be reserved for back-to-back use or reserved to use at two separate times during a given day. Either way, a patron can reserve the studio for a total of two hours per day.
  • What are the studio’s hours?
    • Monday-Thursday 8:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.
    • Friday 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
    • Saturday Noon-4:00 p.m.
    • Closed on Sundays.
  • How many microphones and seats does the studio have? The studio has three microphones and five seats.
  • Does the studio allow for video recording? No, the studio is only outfitted for audio recording. However, a patron can do screen capture recording and editing in the studio using the available Camtasia Studio software.
  • Does the studio allow for live music recording? No. Given the nature and size of the studio, and the library environment in which it is housed, neither musical instrument nor singing recording is practical and, therefore, not allowed.
  • What type of computer does the studio use? The studio uses a Lenova all-in-one computer running Windows 7.
  • What type of audio recording software does the studio use? Audacity and Adobe Audition are both installed on the recording studio’s computer.
  • What about video editing software? The studio computer does not have video editing software such as Adobe Premiere Pro, Sony Vegas, etc. installed. However, Camtasia Studio, a screen capture recording and editing program, is available.
  • What type of equipment does the studio offer?
    • Mixer Board: Behringer XENYX QX1222USB
    • Microphones (3): Shure SM7B
    • Microphone Boom Mounts (3): Heil Sound PL2T
    • Speakers: Fostex PMO.4n
    • CD/Cassette Player: Tascam CD-A550 MKII
    • Turntable:audio-technica AT-LP60
    • Headphones (3):Sennheiser HD201
    • Headphone Amp: Behringer Mini Amp AMP800
    • Acoustic Treatment: Auralex
  • Is food or drink allowed in the studio? Food is not allowed; however, water (and water only) is permissible as long as it’s in a covered container.
  • Will someone from the library be available to assist in the recording process? Yes, someone from the library will be available to help the patron get going and offer limited assistance thereafter. However, the patron should have a basic knowledge of audio equipment and software and be prepared to produce his/her own project.
  • What storage device is recommended to save the finished audio project? A USB drive.
  • Can a patron’s audio project be saved to the studio’s computer? No, a patron’s audio project should never be saved to the studio computer. The patron should always save his/her project to a USB drive or a cloud service.
  • Can a library studio patron make digital files of analog media? Yes, digitization of analog sources is possible. It is up to the user to confirm that the reproduction complies with copyright law.
  • Can the library studio make CD or DVD copies? Like many of the computers on campus, the computer in the studio is equipped to burn an individual CD or DVD.

 

You can reserve the Recording Studio ahead of time via our website. Click here to get started!

Contact Paul Sorrell at psorrell@uu.edu if you have any Recording Studio questions.

Featured Book: “A Short History of Modern Philosophy”

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What, then, distinguishes philosophical thought? The questions that philosophers ask have two distinguishing features from which we might begin to characterise them: abstraction, and concern for truth.

Roger Scruton seeks to define modern philosophy, as well as explain major philosophers’ main conclusions, in his book A Short History of Modern Philosophy. As a philosopher and writer himself, Scruton relies on both his experience and historical accounts to decipher the other philosophers’ theories.

The book is divided into several sections, each dealing with an era of thought:

  1. Rationalism
  2. Empiricism
  3. Kant and Idealism
  4. The Political Transformation
  5. Recent Philosophy  (phenomenology & existentialism)

Scruton also focuses on the philosophers of these times, including such famous names as Descartes, Locke, Hegel, and Wittgenstein. In the history of philosophy, it is important to learn about each philosopher’s predecessor, since many philosophers build off of what their mentor taught (or, interestingly, completely reject it). For example, Scruton hearkens back to Aristotle when describing how Spinoza worked:

Spinoza’s philosophy rests on two principles. First, a rationalist theory of knowledge, according to which what is “adequately” conceived is for that reason true; secondly, a notion of substance, inherited through Descartes from the Aristotelian tradition of which Descartes himself was the unwilling heir.

A Short History of Modern Philosophy is especially helpful when you need to compare philosophers, as there are sections on each of the major modern ones just a page away. This book can’t tell you everything you ever wanted to know about Kant- there’s certainly not enough space for him- but it will tell you the basics and guide you in understanding where Kant fits in the philosophical timeline.

Click here to check this book’s availability in the library. Click here to see other books by Roger Scruton.

How To Look At Union Yearbooks Online

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When you want to look up a family member or certain year in Union’s history, the “Lest We Forget” Union yearbooks can be a helpful resource. An easy way to search through the yearbook collection is by using the library website online. Provided below are instructions for access.

To access the “Lest We Forget” Union yearbooks:

  1. Go to the library website.
  2. Click on Archives and Special Collections under Quick Links.
  3. Click University Archives.
  4. Lest We Forget will come up in the middle of the page. Click the books to access them. You can find them by year and click through them like an online book to find people’s names. (If you just click this link, it will take you straight to them).

 

For other archival material, take a look at the Online Archives.

Top 5 Fitness Books & Journals

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Looking for some new workouts to try? The library has several helpful resources for keeping track of your physical fitness. Listed below are 5 of the best fitness books and journals we have to offer.

1. Journal: American Fitness

Author: Aerobics and Fitness Association of America

The library provides access to this journal from 1993 to the present- which means you can see what kind of workouts were popular in the 90’s and how fitness has evolved over the years. American Fitness has articles on everything from lunge advice to tips on avoiding sexual harassment at the gym. This journal is a great “catch-all” resource for fitness.

 

2. Book: Learning to Breathe Fire: The Rise of Crossfit and the Primal Future of Fitness

Author: J.C. Hertz

If you’ve been curious about CrossFit, this book can be your start guide. Learning to Breathe Fire details the history of the popular fitness movement as well as the science behind the exercises.

 

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3. Journal: Runner’s World

Author: Runner’s World

For those who love running or who are just getting started on their journey, Runner’s World is a must. You’ll find articles on the best shoes, fact vs. fiction with running myths, and stories of competitive runners.
4. eBook: The Official Gold’s Gym Guide to Getting Started in Body Building

Author: Ed Housewright, Gold’s Gym

Whether or not Gold’s Gym is your favorite, this eBook provides helpful information on nutrition and beginner’s exercises. It also includes inspiring quotes from leaders in sports and fitness.

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5. eBook: Yoga For Pain Relief: Simple Practices to Calm Your Mind & Heal Your Chronic Pain

Author: Kelly McGonigal

Maybe you’re wanting to exercise but are suffering from chronic pain. Yoga For Pain Relief walks you through exercises that can help, allowing you to take things at your own pace and encouraging you to keep moving forward.

 

All of these resources are available through our library’s online subscriptions or are on our shelves. Check them out today!