Love Makes the World Go Round: Books about Immigration & Refugees

A book display on immigration


Did you know that NOVA  is the ninth most internationally diverse institution of higher education in the nation? Included in our international population are many immigrants and refugees from all over the world! We at the library are excited about the richness of our community and encourage everyone to learn about immigration policy and history and to read stories by and about refugees. To learn more, come check out our book display, “Love Makes the World Go Round,” located near the reference desk. Here are a few of the titles:


Book Cover: Becoming American, Fariborz GhadarBecoming American : Why Immigration is Good for Our Nation’s Future
Author: Ghadar Fariborz

Book Cover: RefugeesRefugees
Author: Margaret Haerens

Book Cover: Flight to Freedom, Rossana PerezFight to Freedom: The Story of Central American Refugees in California
Authors: Rossana Pérez, Henry Ramos 

Book Cover: The Lightless Sky, Gulwali PassarlayThe Lightless Sky: A Twelve-Year-Old Refugee’s Harrowing Escape from Afghanistan and His Extraordinary Journey Across Half the World
Authors: Gulwali Passarlay, Nadene Ghouri

Book Cover: The World Comes to America, Leonard DinnersteinThe World Comes to America: Immigration to the United States Since 1945
Authors: David M. Reimers and Leonard Dinnerstein

Book Cover: Forced to Flee, ArsdaleForced to Flee: Human Rights and Human Wrongs in Refugee Homelands
Peter W. Van Arsdale



Treat Yourself to a Good Book this Halloween!

Happy HalloweenHello everybody!

We hope you had a fun and spooky Halloween weekend! To celebrate, the Annandale Library staff has a few fun Hallow’s Eve picks to keep you on the edge of your seats.  Here they are–all treats, no tricks! 😉

1.) Anansi Boys, Neil Gaiman

Anansi Boys

“In this darkly funny tale, an unspectacular and unsuspecting Londoner discovers he is the direct descendant of the West African Spider god Anansi! Delightful, spooky, and humorous, this book will make a great Halloween read!”
–Heather Darnell, Library Media Specialist


2.) Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life, Bryan Lee O’Malley

“What would you do for love? Scott Pilgrim has to go up against the 7 Evil Exes of the girl of his dreams, Ramona Flowers! This is the first of six volumes that start off his epic battles, hard-taught life lessons, and nostalgia galore!”
–JP Garces, Library Technology Specialist


3.) Heart-Shaped Box, Joe Hill

“An aging rock god buys a haunted suit off of ebay (on purpose) only to find the included ghost is out to get him. A creepy read, but not too scary. Some good musical references and loving parody–the main guy’s name is Judas Coyne, for example. Also, Joe Hill is Stephen King’s son!”
–Sarah Lawless, Library Specialist

Banned Books Week Librarian Podcast!

Hello everyone! And thanks for keeping up with our Banned Books Week Podcasts. We have already heard for Professor Shirley Nuhn and her students, Anh Truong and Faiza Mebarki. Now I’ve got a few words of my own! Enjoy:


Thank you to all of our listeners for tuning into this year’s Banned Books Week podcast! Every year, the NOVA Annandale Library collaborates with Professor Shirley Nuhn’s English as a Second Language students to create podcasts for Banned Books Week. How fitting, then, that this year’s theme is “Celebrating Diversity!” We’ve already heard the voices of Ahn Truong and Faiza Mebarki.

According to the American Library Association, 52% of books that are challenged over the past decade are considered to have “diverse content,” including books by and about people who experience language or literacy barriers, economic distress, cultural or social isolation, racism, and discrimination on the basis of appearance, ethnicity, immigrant status, religious background, sexual orientation”

Several black authors that are frequently challenged and banned at schools and libraries include Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, and Richard Wright. One book that has faced multiple challenges this year is “I am Jazz,” because it features the story of a transgender girl.

Do you want to know why I love being a librarian? Because I get to surround myself with thousands of great thoughts and ideas. Each book is like a person—with a different perspective and worldview. Sometimes these points of view are uncomfortable, challenging us to confront our own thoughts, biases or privileges. But that doesn’t mean we should fear them! Instead, we should rise to the challenge! By understanding someone else’s experience, we can develop empathy, compassion, and understanding.

I am white, heterosexual, and squarely in the middle class. This means that I benefit from privileges that many others are not afforded. In an age of police brutality against black people, widespread anti-immigrant bigotry, where laws are still being passed discriminating against transgender people, it is important that I understand that my experience is not the same as others.   And I can do that through books.

So here is my challenge to you: Pick up a book that does not mirror your own experience! Read a different point of view! You don’t have to agree with it, but you do have to listen!

And if you guys have any books to recommend for me, list them in the comments. My promise: I will read every book that a commenter recommends and make a podcast about it!

Until next time, this is Heather Darnell, Library Media Specialist. Happy reading!

Banned Books Week Professor Podcast

Banner with two superheroes that says "Defend the first amendment: Read a banned book"

As you might have already read, the Annandale Campus Library is celebrating Banned Books Week through a podcast a day! We’ve already heard podcasts from two wonderful English as a Second Language students, Anh and Faiza. Now, let’s hear their professor, Shirley Nuhn!



“We can get our knowledge from the internet and loads of apps to download. But deep learning can improve the quality of life. In fact, reading books for 3.5 hours a week can reduce the risk of dying withing one year. Sure, I would like to live longer, being healthy and happy. And a major way to make me happy? Having time to read more books! Banned Books Week, celebrated every fall, reminds us about the freedom and right to read. To read books is to open windows and doors. To learn more and to catch some books, visit your library. Maybe you’ll see me there! I’m Shirley Nuhn, professor of ESL at NOVA Annandale.”

To learn more about Banned Books Week, read our first post. Also, stay tuned for tomorrow’s podcast from library media specialist Heather Darnell!

Happy reading!

Banned Books Week Student Podcast #2

As you might recall from yesterday’s post, we are celebrating Banned Books Week with a podcast each day! Today’s podcast comes from Anh Truong from English as a Second Language 33:


“I am very glad because I am invited to share my feelings about Banned Books Week from September 25 to October1. I think Banned Books Week is a wonderful and happy time for authors whose books were not issued, or admitted to introducing them to readers. Actually, I may not be a good reader. In other words, I do not spend too much time reading. In contrast, I know that books have an important role, and they bring many great values for people.

I want to tell you a story about my friend. Now she uses books as a treatment method, and she is getting better day-by-day. Three years ago, she had a problem about feelings. Her mood was irregular. She easily got mad at people. Sometimes she could not control her emotions. Her doctor diagnosed that she had post traumatic stress disorder because something serious had happened to her before. My friend is being treatwd by medicines and reading. The doctor recommends that she read short-story books that tell about valuable things in life for two hours every day. She told me that now she feels better. Those stories help her calm down and think about beautiful things. She also said that they taught her great lessons. She becomes careful and friendly in communication. Her mood is happier.

In addition, the article “Read Books, Live Longer?” was written by Nicholas Bakalar, and published in the New York Times in the Life Section on Wednesday, August 3, 2016. It gave a report to answer the question in the article’s name. Research results indicated that people who spend more time in reading lived somewhat longer than others who did not read as much. In short, reading is a wonderful gift from God. The reading book brings to us interesting experiences. It also teaches us how to live, talk and think. Books are the brainchildren created by authors. Each book has its own value and a deep significance. Authors and their products deserve to be respected and readers have a right to choose books that they like to read freely.”

Stay tuned tomorrow for our next podcast!