All posts by amills

Healthy Diversions

We’ve all heard it said that these are “strange and unprecedented times.” In all the turmoil, it’s important to step away from the news and find fun ways to keep busy or activities to engage with our families or roommates. That’s why we’ve compiled a healthy diversions guide  you can use for entertainment and enrichment during COVID-19. The library may be closed, but we’re still here to provide you with the resources you need to excel in any circumstance. If you have ideas about activities to include, you can reach out to Paula Deroy. Her contact information is on the guide.

National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month

January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. While slavery may seem like a dark and distant time in our history, slavery still happens all over the world, even in the United States, while many people are unaware. In fact, over 40 million people are enslaved around the world, according to UN News.  According to the United Nations, modern slavery “is used as an umbrella term covering practices such as forced labour, debt bondage, forced marriage, and human trafficking.”

These horrible acts need to be stopped, which is why in January many try to raise their voices and bring awareness. As Obama said in his Presidential Proclamation in 2016, “During National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, we resolve to shine a light on every dark corner where human trafficking still threatens the basic rights and freedoms of others.”

What can we do to bring about change to this significant problem?

First, we ourselves need to be informed of the reality of modern day slavery. Some resources include organizations like the End It Movement and Hope for Justice, or for a more in depth look, there is a fact sheet of external resources compiled by NCTSN.

Second, we should raise our voices and try to bring awareness so our friends, classmates, co-workers and colleagues can also be informed.

Finally, we need to keep our eyes open to our own safety and the safety of those around us. You may have heard the mantra, “See Something, Say Something” and this is extremely important! Do you know about the college safety resources available to you at NOVA? Your safety is a priority, so please use these resources and encourage others to do the same. Toward the end of his Proclamation, Obama reminded us that “We must always remember that our freedom is bound to the freedom of others.”

Unveiling of the Yarn Stormed Library Chair!

Throughout the Fall 2019 semester, students, faculty, and staff knitted and crocheted 6×6 inch squares. Some were experienced needle workers, while others had never attempted it in their lives.

United by yarn, there was one goal in mind: To yarn storm the library and cover a chair with our own, unique patchwork. On Thursday, December 12, we unveiled the finished chair!

For some, knitting this semester served as a much-needed reprieve from studies. Others used it as an opportunity to learn a new skill. 

There’s a life lesson that can be learned from these little knit patches. One square can’t cover a chair on its own, and yet, when people come together, contributing their time and effort, even if they just make one square, something beautiful can be created. 

Next time you stop by the library, take a seat and admire the handiwork!


Birthday Cards for Kids

This week, we invited students and staff to join us in making birthday cards for hospitalized children!

The Confetti Foundation is a nonprofit organization that exists to throw birthday parties for children who have to spend their birthday in a hospital, pediatric oncology clinic or a hospice facility.

Creativity flowed as students stamped and scribbled sweet, adorable cards.

The positive messages and bright colors are sure to make the kids smile!

It’s important to make time in our busy lives to find time to serve others and spread joy.

If you want to learn more about the Confetti Foundation, check out their website at

Adobe Lightroom Classic in the Digital Media Studio!

Photography is a fun and popular art form, and a useful life skill. If you love taking photos and want to up your skill to the professional level, learning how to edit is extremely important! Adobe Lightroom Classic is a software used by professionals to touch up a photo, and it is available at the Annandale Campus Library for student use in the Digital Media Studio! Some of its features are similar to Photoshop, however Photoshop can be used for manipulating an image, whereas Lightroom is used mostly to enhance images. You can use presets which instantly edit the photo with certain adjustments, or you can manually adjust the photo to fix the exposure, contrast, white balance, and more.

When trying to capture the pretty sky, the mountains were underexposed! This image seemed like it just needed to be deleted….

If you are editing photos taken on a DSLR camera, many photographers recommend changing your camera settings. Most cameras are set to shoot JPEG, which is a compressed image file format. Professionals typically prefer to shoot in RAW, a camera setting which does not process the photo at all but gives total control of editing to the user. RAW files are much larger than JPEG files, which users must be wary of when taking a bunch of photos or storing them on their computer, but it is definitely worth it. The big difference with shooting in RAW is that it makes it easier to salvage underexposed (too dark) images.

Instead, the image was saved by being edited in Lightroom!

First, open up Lightroom, and import the images you want to edit. Then, have fun using the tools and make adjustments until you are satisfied with the image. While it does not have the capabilities to manipulate images like Photoshop, portraits can still be edited with features like smoothing skin, whitening teeth, removing spots, changing colors, and more! Once a RAW image is edited the way you want it to look, you can then save it as a JPEG, and it will be ready to print, post, or publish!

If you want to try out Lightroom, book a room in the Digital Media Studio! Feel free to check out these tutorials to learn more about how to use Lightroom, and if you want to use these for your own at home, you can also get the entire Adobe Creative Suite at a discounted price if you’re a student.