Christmas Break

Christmas Tree 2014 009A big congratulations on finishing out the quarter! Finals are done, the last papers have been submitted, good byes have been shared all around – and now it’s time for rest and relaxation.

We will be open through some of the break, in case you need a good book or are still finishing up some last minute work. From December 11-23, our hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  On Christmas Eve, we are open from 8:00 a.m. to noon. We then take part in the university-wide Christmas closure December 25 through January 1, 2014. We return on January 2, 2015 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Come check out a DVD, a book from the Popular Fiction Collection, or enjoy the quiet of our reading room, and the lovely Christmas tree made of books therein.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all!

Thanksgiving Break

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

With finals around the corner, we hope you have a restful and recharging break – full of turkey, pecan pies, and perhaps a little snow.

The Library is taking a break on Thanksgiving day and the Friday after (we believe a full day is required to recover from fantastic amounts of food and football) but will reopen on Saturday at noon and be open till 8:00 p.m. We will also be open on Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to midnight. Regular hours resume thereafter until the last day of exams on December 10th.

We will be ready to help you with finals preparations as soon as you get back and are gearing up for the home stretch.

Have a good weekend!

GS2950: Digital Wisdom for Work

digi

Led by University Librarian, Michael J. Paulus, Jr., and Head of Library Technology Ryan Ingersoll, this 1-credit class will help students assess and enhance their digital readiness for work. In addition to focusing on digital literacy and technological skills for professional development, this class will provide an opportunity for students to reflect on the relationship between vocation, technology, and career preparation. The course will also aim to help students define and develop “digital wisdom”, focusing on concepts that include digital identity, the integration of digital technologies, seeking information, and the ethics and values of creation, community, and citizenship in the context of technology.

The View (from Downstairs)

Here is the latest message from Ryan Ingersoll, Head of Library Technology at the SPU Library:

1 dual displays

Did you know the Tech Desk is more than just a place to print your documents? Our goal is not only to provide collaborative space, but also to provide relevant tech tools for students to use in the creation of digital projects. All computers near the Tech Desk are equipped with an extensive suite of software. Whether you need to create a brochure or flyer in Adobe InDesign, edit an image in Photoshop, create floor plans in AutoCAD, analyze data in IBM SPSS, or edit a film in Premier Pro or iMovie.
Additionally, the Tech Desk provides numerous tech tools for students to check out. We have iPads, iPod touches, and video cameras. If your iPhone, Android, or Windows phone is running out of juice stop by to check out a charger! If you want to study on the Third Level looking out over campus or use a large display in a study room—check out a MacBook Pro (use in library building only). Not only do we have basic cameras, but we also provide access to a DSLR camera. Finally, in addition to most of the computers on the Lower Level being equipped with dual displays, we also have three workstations that you can connect to your notebook computer!

2 mobile device station

What if you don’t know how to make a movie or use Evernote, for example? Ask the Tech Desk! Our staff is trained to provide assistance with many of the technology tools we provide. If we don’t know the answer we will research it for you. As you finish up your projects for the quarter we encourage you to stop by to see how we can help you. If you need one-on-one assistance, send us an email and we will schedule a time with you. Visit our website to learn more about the support we offer, access helpful tutorials, and see all the different tech tools we check out.

Library Tech Desk (Lower Level)
206.281.2211 or librarytechdesk@spu.edu

Open during normal library hours.

Learn more on our knowledge base: spu.edu/techdeskkb

Book Review: The Blue Castle

The Blue Castle, by L.M. Montgomery

anneYou may know L.M. Montgomery as the author of the widely popular Anne of Green Gables – the delightful tale of a red-headed orphan who cannot go two days without getting into a scrape. But did you know that Montgomery also wrote a book that was actually banned from libraries? The beloved Canadian author enjoyed the status, wealth, and position that the popularity of Anne gave her, but she did not like being labeled as a children’s writer. So in 1926 she wrote a novel with more mature themes. The Blue Castle tells the story of Valancy Stirling, a 29 year old woman who is quite distressed that she is still unmarried. Worse, no one in her tight-knit, busy-body, bound-by-tradition extended family will let her forget that she is unable to “get a man.” After learning that she only has a year to live, she boldly decides to flaunt all conventions, and go out with a bang. One thing she does is move in with an old friend (who is also dying) to give her the care that her alcoholic father cannot provide. The trouble here is that the old friend had had a child out of wedlock. According to Montgomery’s biographer, Mary Henley Rubio, this was the specific content that many parents, teachers, and librarians found offensive1. After all, in 1926, one simply did not talk about such things let alone put them in a book where the main character of a highly regarded “children’s author” is sympathetic! However, Valancy’s new confidence and charity pay off in the end since, even though Montgomery pushed the boundaries, she could not go far enough to have a non-happy ending. If you can accept this, you will find a compelling story of courage and rebellion as Valancy stands up to the “what will people think?” mentality. For example, Valancy switches from the Anglican church of her clan to the Free Methodist church for its simpler service; in response, her mother needs to spend a day in bed to recover! Meanwhile Valancy’s friend’s father exclaims that he has no use for Free Methodists since he is a Presbyterian2. In addition to social commentary, The Blue Castle contains Montgomery’s trademark beautiful descriptions of nature, strong story-telling techniques, and spot-on humor. Her true fans would expect nothing less no matter what the themes.

- Liz Gruchala-Gilbert

1. Rubio, MH. Lucy Maud Montgomery : the gift of wings. Toronto: Doubleday Canada, 2008.
2. Montgomery, LM. The blue castle. New York: Bantum, 1989.