Category Archives: Library Tidbits

Reference Quick Tips!

Reference Quick Tips

Hi and welcome to the first week of the Reference Quick Tips series, where we’ll share some strategies that librarians use to find  information. If you’ve ever wondered how librarians are able to search for information so quickly, you’re in the right spot! Whether you’re using a search engine such as Google or one of our library research databases, you can use these tips to be a more effective searcher and save time! This week, we’ll focus on the basics of searching which involves using keywords to get straight to the source.

Have you ever tried finding information using a search engine or a database only to come up with hundreds or thousands of unrelated results? The issue may have to do with how you’re searching. Let’s turn to our first tip.

Tip #1: Turn your question or topic into keywords.

Explanation: While Google and search engines are pretty good at returning search results based on typing your question as if you were speaking to another person (that is, natural language), sometimes, it can be faster to use the most important words in your question.

Rather than typing in “Why is TikTok getting banned?”

Why is Tik Tok Getting Banned Google Search.
Sample Google Search using natural language. Click to view a larger image.

You could type in “TikTok ban” or “TikTok banned”to bring up websites and other  sources of information that address your question.

Tik Tok Ban Google Search Reference Quick Tips
Sample Google search using keywords. Click to view a larger image.

When searching for information in the library research databases, it’s important to use keywords rather than full sentences. The databases don’t always understand natural language and so you may not get the results you want right away.  Sometimes, you may need to re-do your search by using different keywords to find relevant information.

The good news is that a librarian can help you come up with keywords to use in a search engine or database. Contact a librarian with your question to get started!

Stop by next week for another entry in our Reference Quick Tips series where we’ll discuss strategies for searching the library’s catalog.

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.

The Original Nighthawks

Did You Know:

Before these Nighthawks,

nova nighthawks logo
Northern Virginia Community College mascot Nighthawks logo 

there were these Nighthawks by Edward Hopper, 1942.

Late night city diner
Edward Hopper: Nighthawks. oil on canvas, 1942.

Until Feb. 23, 2020 the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond has an exhibit “Edward Hopper and the American Hotel.”

If you can’t make the exhibit, check out more of Edward Hopper’s works through NOVA’s online databases: Britannica Imagequest or ArtStor

Special Visitors in the Library!

We had some honored guests in the library on Wednesday, November 13!

Psi Beta, a club on campus, brought in some therapy dogs! The library’s typical quiet atmosphere was livened by these furry friends, with staff and students alike enjoying the company.

Emma is a 7-year-old, 60-pound golden retriever.

The stress of upcoming exams and projects melted away for the students. Dogs have been scientifically proven to improve one’s mood and help de-stress.

Rudy is a 2-year-old, 50-pound German shepherd.

Even those who claim that they “are not dog people” were completely enamored.

Lucy is a 7-year-old, 23-pound Cavalier King Charles Spaniel mix.

In addition to these cute canine companions, members of Psi Beta wrote encouraging notes and passed them around to students, reminding them that they are valued.

Owning a dog is a rewarding, and mutually beneficial relationship.

Isaac is a 3-year-old, 88-pound Labrador retriever.

You can give them a home, and they can bring happiness and calm you down on the stressful days.

Molly is a 7-year-old, 25-pound Mini Labradoodle.

Do you have a pet at home that helps you on the stressful days? Comment with your cutest pictures!

Meet the Library Technology Team!

Technology is an essential component to this modern world, which is why here at the Annandale Campus Library we strive to equip our students with the resources they need to succeed. You all may know about our public computers, printers, and charging stations, but did you know we have a team dedicated to helping students with all their technology needs?

  • Monique Clark, Technology Librarian – Our team lead, who provides technology planning, coordination, and support
  • Michelle Echols, Technology & Reference Specialist – Provides computer and printer maintenance and troubleshooting, technology recommendations and purchasing
  • Soo Bae, Reference/Technology Librarian (Not pictured) – Oversees technology training and support, social media and online research guides
  • J.P. Garces – Circulation department liaison to technology team, providing backup and support
  • Simran, Digital Media Studio Consultant – Assists with equipment checkout and Digital Media Studio maintenance
  • Saron, AcePrint Consultant (Not pictured) – Assists students with printing in the library
  • Abigail, Peer Technology Consultant – Provides technology tutoring for Digital Media Studio software and equipment
Michelle, Simran, Monique, Abigail and J.P.

The Library Technology Team exists to help students by providing assistance and access to all the resources the library has to offer. That’s why this semester the library is introducing a new member of the team, a Peer Technology Tutor, who is available to provide one-on-one assistance with Digital Media Studio software and Library equipment. The Digital Media Studio is a space within the Library that students can use for their photo, video editing, audio, or graphic design projects, equipped with the software students need. All you need to do to get started is book a seat in the studio. Stay tuned for future posts highlighting featured equipment and software. What will you create?