Welcome to Sunshine Week 2021!

Sunshine Week is a celebration of the public’s right to see U.S. government records. Initiated in 2005, Sunshine Week features events sponsored by groups interested in the public’s right to know about its government, including government agencies, news organizations, universities, and libraries. These public events are designed to raise awareness about how important openness and transparency in government are for a democratic society. This year, Sunshine Week is celebrated the week of March 14-20, encompassing the March 16 birthday of James Madison, known as the “father of the Bill of Rights.”

Sunshine Week events

A Sunshine Week events calendar describes each event, date and time, and how to register or join. For example:

  • On March 15, Open the Government will host a panel discussion of the Trump Presidential Library and records, “What Presidents Do to Keep Us from Knowing What Presidents Do.”
  • Also on March 15 is the New England First Amendment Coalition online webinar, “Keeping the Light On: Holding Government Accountable,” examining “the values of open and responsive government and how all citizens play a role.”
  • The News Leaders Association webinar on March 18 features a discussion by journalists “on how they navigated barriers to public records to tell important stories about COVID-19, official misconduct and beyond.”
  • Join the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition on March 18 for an online discussion, “Truth Be Told: The Proliferation of Online Misinformation and Disinformation — And What We Can Do About It.” Sign up at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/truth-be-told-tickets-143849839743
  • The DC Open Government Coalition is holding a webinar on Thursday afternoon, March 18. The full schedule is on their website. There are three panels exploring the laws about open data, meetings and records; education data; and accessing the state of access to D.C. records and agency compliance with public requests.

Federal agencies often celebrate Sunshine Week. This year, the events are virtual, including:

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) celebrated Sunshine Week by introducing a bill (H.R. 1929) to update the Presidential Records Preservation Act of 1978, assuring that good records management practices are applied to electronic messages.

Open Data Day

In actuality, the celebrations begin on Saturday, March 6, with Open Data Day, a global effort to bring together individuals interested in increasing access to information online. There are many online events this year, headquartered in the United States and abroad. Search for events in which you might wish to participate at https://opendataday.org/events/2021/.

NOVA students are informed citizens

Students should understand what information is available from the government and how to gain access to it. Participating in a Sunshine Week event might be your first step in discovering what to do when obstacles are in your way.

Watch this space throughout Sunshine Week (#SunshineWeek) for more about openness and transparency in government!

Learning while enjoying

With summer upon us, many activities designed for children in another time, including camps, are closed down this year. We are likely to hear some whining from little ones tired of being trapped at home: “There’s nothing to do.” If you are working from home and your day-care options remain limited, you might create a plan for your children (or your younger siblings) that will keep them on track for the coming school year but still be enjoyable and distinct from the online schooling they experienced this spring. For example:

YouTube Learning now offers #CampYouTube with options to fit any child’s interest—from A (for Adventure or Arts) to S (STEM, Sports). The site also features campfire talks, craft projects, and a recipe for S’mores bars that do not require a campfire.
• The Children’s Museum in Washington, DC, is offering STEAMwork summer virtual programs, Monday through Friday @ 3PM. Using project-based teaching to foster students’ skills in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) activities for each day of the week have a different focus: Monday is early childhood, Wednesday for elementary school grades, and Friday is for full family engagement.

If you’ve got a budding scientist in your home, there are several good resources to keep your child entertained all summer long in “Summer Science Resources for Families.”

Brooklyn (NY) Red Hook Public Library (RHPL) begins its summer programs for children on July 6 with four themed units:
• In Small Worlds, children will share their observations of ants or moths with scientists
Near Worlds will look at the community of Red Hook, creating a collaborative local map and photography project
Big Worlds looks at how Red Hook interacts with communities in the US and around the world
• For those interested in outer space, Far Worlds will be your best choice, with projects relating to astronomy and the global environment.

Children can choose to participate in any or all “Worlds.” There will be one Zoom session each week for children ages 5-7 and another for those aged 8-11. Each unit includes five days of activities. Online projects are completed via ClassDojo. Watch this site for programs geared toward children older than 11.

The arts (and crafts) online
Their doors may be closed but theaters and museums are connecting with young art lovers through free classes, art games, and activities. The weekly calendar of events at Lincoln Center at Home plainly denotes #ConcertsForKids. Add them to your calendar so you won’t forget. This week, there’s The Villalobos Brothers’ Mexican folk music (June 24 @ 7PM); previously archived #ConcertsForKids are available on-demand, including Soul Science Lab’s Soundtrack ’63 about the African-American experience in America and Celisse (Henderson).

New York City’s Metropolitan Opera Global Summer Camp is a free eight-week virtual camp for students to discover the world of opera. Each Monday, a teacher introduces campers to a new opera. (The weekly schedule is available at https://www.metopera.org/discover/education/global-summer-camp/weekly-schedule/.) While all students view the same opera each week, they are divided into two age groups, ages 8-12 (Grades 3-6) and 12-18 (Grades 7-12). This assures that daily activities and discussions are at the appropriate level. There is an informative FAQ page for those who want to know more.

During the “lockdown,” the Kennedy Center’s Artist-in-Residence Mo Willems invited children into his studio to doodle together. The 15 episodes and downloadable activities are archived at https://www.kennedy-center.org/education/mo-willems/lunch-doodles-with-mo-willems/. Children are encouraged to tag their masterpieces #MoLunchDoodles on the social media replacement for the kitchen fridge.

Children’s Museum of Manhattan launched CMOM at Home at the beginning of the pandemic. There’s a different theme each day of the week—Magical Monday, Feel Good Friday, and Storytime Saturday—featuring videos and creative art projects designed to continue the learning long after. 

Every two weeks, the New York City-based Whitney Museum of Art launches a new Kids Art Challenge presenting a work in its collection and guiding the child through the process of creating a similar work. The Whitney Summer Studio, a six-week program of free 40-minute Zoom art classes, begins on July 6.

It’s not just American museums creating art activities for children. The Tate Museum in London, UK, has a site set aside for exploring and making, Tate Kids. Children can tour the collections and learn about artists and their works. There is “instruction” for painting and drawing, crafting with scissors and glue, sculpting, and coloring. The games and quizzes are designed to teach children about color and design.

If you’re running low on coloring books look no further than #Color Our Collections available for downloading and printing. The New York Academy of Medicine asked libraries and archives from around the world to share their coloring books and related materials, now accessible to all via links at https://library.nyam.org/colorourcollections/. With over 500 institutions from around the world contributing to the collection, there is bound to be something for the budding artist at your home. If you want to combine learning with this activity, try The Library of Virginia Coloring Book 2020 that tells the story of Women’s Suffrage in Virginia.

After all, we are a library
The great thing about online is that you needn’t rely on your local public library for storytime or the Summer Reading Program. Find a library that offers programs catered to your child’s interests:
• There are live storytimes each Tuesday and Singalongs each Thursday at 9:30AM on Muskego (WI) Public Library’s Facebook page and the library’s summer reading program can be accessed at https://muskegopubliclibrary.beanstack.org/.
• The Los Gatos (California) Public Library offers storytime via Facebook; its summer reading program can be found at https://losgatos.beanstack.org/.
Robert R. Jones Public Library in Coal Valley, IL, hosts Storytime with Ms. Angie featuring “Pete the Cat” every Thursday at 11AM Central/12PM EDT.
Pickens County (South Carolina) Library System uploads videos and craft projects for kids children from museums and libraries throughout the county each day, including storytime and summer reading.

Lest you think that Facebook is the only social media site used for storytime, the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County (Ohio) has a YouTube channel. In addition to its Virtual Storytime, the Brooklyn (NY) Public Library calendar of upcoming events features events for youth and family, including summer reading, exercise, virtual sign language, and English conversation (for those learning to speak English). You can find the full virtual programming calendar at https://www.bklynlibrary.org/event-series/Virtual-Programming.

Publishers have taken up the challenge as well and there is no better example than the multiple options from HarperCollins. HarperKids from Home offers storytime with read-aloud activities each day at 12PM (EDT) and you can follow them on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. On Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2pm, the publisher offers Shelf Stuff, a home video series for children ages 7-12 is accessible via YouTube and Instagram. Virtual Epic Reads from favorite authors are posted each Friday at 4PM on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

The International Children’s Digital Library is a great place to find award-winning books for children of all ages, at all reading levels. Users can even browse for books by country. Click the dropdown menu to view books by language—there are 18, from Arabic to Thai. Pick out a title tonight and read it with your child!

Reading free ebooks while social distancing

Among other topics, our March 23 blog post, Finally, a Coronavirus-less message from your library! (https://blogs.nvcc.edu/lolibrary/2020/03/23/finally-a-coronavirus-less-message-from-your-library/), featured a how-to for finding eBooks in the NVCC library. There are resources for free ebooks that are not limited to NOVA students. For example, “HathiTrust is a not-for-profit collaborative of academic and research libraries” that have digitized more than 17 million items, including books that are out of copyright (hathitrust.org).

The Internet Archive’s (archive.org) Open Library (openlibrary.org) allows ebooks to be borrowed as one would from a traditional library. Individuals can sign-up for free and then log in to search for the books they might wish to borrow.

One of the earliest sites for free ebooks, Project Gutenberg (Gutenberg.org) allows users to search for a specific title, browse the catalog, or limit by book category (e.g., classics, children’s books, crime, education, fine arts, geography, history religion, science, social sciences). In addition to English, there are bookshelves for books in German, French, Italian, and Portuguese.

Several sources exist for downloading PDFs of “the classics, ” including ManyBooks (manybooks.net), PDFBooksWorld (pdfbooksworld.com) and Feedbooks (feedbooks.com) – Click “Public Domain” in the top navigation bar.

Two databases are a product of the OAPEN Foundation, a Netherlands-based not-for-profit organization: Directory of Open Access Books and the Open Access Publishing in European Networks
(OAPEN) Library.

• The Directory of Open Access Books (doabooks.org) strives to increase the discoverability of Open Access Books. It includes academic, peer-reviewed books, meaning that it limits its collection to open access publications that meet academic standards.

• The OAPEN Library (www.oapen.org) is a collection of freely accessible academic books, primarily in the humanities and social sciences, developed under a 30-month grant, 2008-2010. During the grant period, OAPEN worked with publishers to build a quality-controlled collection of open access books and digitally preserve the content.


Our March 25 blog post, Working from home: wfh (https://blogs.nvcc.edu/lolibrary/2020/03/25/working-from-home-wfh/), shared with you the good news that NOVA students have access to textbooks via VitalSource (https://bookshelf.vitalsource.com/#/user/signin). Another vendor, Red Shelf (https://studentresponse.redshelf.com/), has negotiated with publishers to open their digital textbooks to college students. Use your NOVA email address to sign-up and you can access up to seven free ebooks, textbooks included, before May 25, 2020.

Your NOVA librarians are compiling a list of good reads. If you’re reading an interesting book, please let us know the title and why you think it’s a good book to recommend to others. We’ll add it to the list and share it in the NOVA community. Simply complete the form below.

National Emergency Library

The Internet Archive, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, has recently announced the  National Emergency Library, a collection of books that supports emergency remote teaching, research activities, independent scholarship, and intellectual stimulation while universities, schools, training centers, and libraries are closed. Learn more.

Signing up for an Internet Archive account is free and open to the world.  Please visit https://archive.org/account/signup

Does the National Emergency Library have textbooks? They have older textbooks that have been donated from libraries, but not any recent materials.

If you need a textbook for your course, contact the NOVA Bookstore for information about the VitalSource digital textbook borrowing program.

Friday Fun

“Sometimes crying or laughing are the only options left, and laughing feels better right now.”
― Veronica Roth, American author

Nick Heath, a British sports commentator and journalist, has taken to commenting on ordinary people going about their daily activities in lieu of no live sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic…with hilarious results! View his twitter feed for more  @nickheathsports.

Working From Home (wfh)

For the foreseeable future, many of us will be working from home (wfh). Resources can help those unsure of what may await us as remote workers, including books. NOVA librarians have searched the library catalog for titles that might ease the path. All are available as eBooks, so while our physical libraries are closed, check out these titles:

In 2011, Knowledge@Wharton created a podcast, From Freelancers to Telecommuters: Succeeding in the New World of Solitary Work. For advice as you make the transition from working in an office along with colleagues, listen to the podcast or read the transcript.

Assisting Faculty

NOVA has done an admirable job in supporting faculty as we transition to online instruction. Inside Higher Ed and The Chronicle of Higher Education have been providing practical guidance applicable to the novice online instructor as well as those who’ve been teaching online for a while. Our top choices for reading this month include Going Online in a Hurry: What to Do and Where to Start by Michelle D. Miller, and So You Want to Temporarily Teach Online by Stephanie Moore and Charles B. Hodges.

For Students

NOVA’s Bookstores have joined with VitalSource, an online digital textbook vendor. This means that NOVA students will have free access to textbooks available through VitalSource through the Spring 2020 term. Students can register here using their NOVA email address (there is a link at the bottom to create a VitalSource account). Once you gain access, explore VitalSource’s Bookshelf to check if your assigned textbook is available, and voila!

As learning shifts online, even the best of students, accustomed to learning in a physical classroom with an instructor present, can feel unsure how to proceed. Coursera has been offering courses to students online since 2011. In response to Covid-19, their learning community has compiled a list of tips for first-time online learners, beginning with setting daily study goals and creating a dedicated study space. For elaboration on these and other tips, click here.


Podcasts are a great resource for learning as well as entertainment. As we cope with tech resets in our wfh environment, take a listen to PwC-UK’s s A-Z of Tech podcast series. The latest episode (12), K is for kids, covers how to “teach children about their digital rights and protect them from online harms.” Subscribe to the series in iTunes, SoundCloud, Acast, or Spotify.

Speaking of Children

Time and Newsweek were once the go-to weeklies for news coverage. TIME for Kids is now available in four grade-specific digital editions (K-1, G2, G3-4, and G5-6). There is even a website for teachers and parents with teaching materials for the lessons. Also, on the site is an archive of their financial literacy monthly magazine designed to help children learn about managing money on an age-appropriate level.

There have been many technology resource lists compiled in recent days. TechforLearners.org offers free grade-specific tech lessons curated from a wide range of education tech organizations. Users can specify the grade level in which they are interested (PK-5, 6-8, 9-12, higher ed, workforce) and content (e.g., math, science, reading, writing, social studies).

Return to this blog soon for additional resources to make you a successful educator, student, and worker-from-home.

Finally, a Coronavirus-less message from your library!

Now that many of us have spent at least a week at home getting acclimated to remote learning, it’s time to breathe again. Why not look at the coming weeks as an opportunity to read that book you’ve always wanted to tackle? Although you can’t come to the library on campus to roam the stacks seeking a physical book to borrow, you can visit our library virtually. Search in “Books & eBooks” and look for ways to limit to “full text online,” or see How to Find and Download eBooks for a comprehensive list of all the databases offering eBooks to the NOVA community. For those who want to listen to a book rather than read it, explore the audio books available online in Overdrive Audio.

If you’ve been spending too much time binging on Netflix, how about trying a documentary for a change? You can access thousands of movies through the college’s access to Kanopy. Explore Kanopy and other free online video collections linked in the library’s Guide to Streaming Video.

Finally, think of these weeks as a concentrated time period to learn a new language. There are over 70 languages to choose from in Mango. You can start learning a language as a novice; for most languages, that would mean Chapter 1, Small talk. If what you need is a language “refresher,” just jump right in and explore the listening and reading activities available for the language(s) you already speak. Your myNOVA login (email address/password) will get you remote access to these databases.

In the coming weeks, we’ll keep this blog active with additional learning opportunities that support your formal coursework. If you’ve been curious about how to do something in the library, learning the ins-and-outs of a particular database, or identifying tools for safe exploration of the web, send a request to LO-library@nvcc.edu and we’ll try to cover the topic in upcoming blog posts. In the meantime, stay healthy!

Banned Books Week 2018

If you haven’t already, stop by and take a look at the Banned Books Week 2018 display in the Loudoun Campus Library, LC 302.

Banned Books Week was launched in the 1980s, a time of increased challenges, organized protests, and the Island Trees School District v. Pico (1982) Supreme Court case, which ruled that school officials can’t ban books in libraries simply because of their content.

The books featured in our display have all been targeted with removal or restricted in libraries and schools. By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship.

Banned Books Week offers an opportunity for readers to voice censorship concerns, celebrate free expression and show their communities the importance of intellectual freedom.

Fight censorship, keep books available in libraries, and promote the freedom to read!

The display was curated  by library staff member Maddie Quick with  commentary provided by students from Professor Shirley Nuhn’s ESL 52 class. 

2016 End of Year Staff Picks!

Howdy y’all,

If you’re like any of the librarians here at Loudoun Campus Library, you’re probably looking for a good book to read while the college shuts down for Winter Break. Well, look no further! Here are some picks from our staff members for you to peruse. Some of the selections were published in 2016, and some were simply read in 2016, but all of them are mighty good reads.

If you’re intrigued, click on the image to be taken to the catalog record in the NOVA Libraries system, where you can place a hold on the book!

Happy Holidays! Happy Winter Break! Take a Load Off! Cheers!

Chrystie Greges, Collection Development Librarian

The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

My favorite read this year was Elizabeth Gilbert’s novel The Signature of All Things. One of the main characters is a brilliant woman who dedicates her life to the study of moss, and she develops a theory of evolution along the way. Amazingly this makes for a beautiful and adventurous page turner. Trust me. It is glorious.


Courtney Hunt, Reference Specialist

Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik

For fans of the stalwart Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (or just interested parties), this is a must read. Coming out of a blog project paying homage to Ginsburg’s lengthy law record, the two authors of this book gathered personal recollections, photographs, and a solid biographical history of RBG. It is a quick read and immensely interesting. It also offers a good perspective on what it may be like to work with those who don’t necessarily agree with you, as well as sheds light on the operations of the Supreme Court. Recommended reading for sure!


Eliza Selandar, Librarian

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

This was a quick, lovely read. It’s a memoir of sorts—written by a neurosurgeon dying of lung cancer who also had advanced degrees in philosophy and literature—as well as a meditation on meaning, life, God, family, time, work. Everyone dies, he muses, but everyone has some life. How much life, we don’t know. Make it mean something.

When Breath Becomes Air

Julie Combs, Emerging Technologies Librarian

Girl in the Dark: A Memoir by Anna Lyndsey

A fascinating memoir about a young women who succumbs to living in darkness after developing a painful and debilitating sensitivity to light.

Girl in the Dark

Marion Karol, Circulation Specialist

The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons  by Sam Kean

Through the misfortune of head wounds, strokes, addictions, and other horrendous accidents Sam Kean pulls the reader into a world of medical oddities that have changed the way that we understand the brain. Kean explains how the brain is supposed to work and how it can malfunction, how it is altered after trauma, and how the medical oddities have influenced the scientific discoveries made today. The book is witty, fun, and a fast read that you won’t want to put down.

The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons: The History of the Human Brain as Revealed by True Stories of Trauma, Madness, and Recovery

*All images were taken from the GoodReads website, where you can read more reviews on each of these books.

LGBT History Month and Welcome to Our Blog!

Hello Loudoun Campus Library users! This is the new blog for your library. You can follow us here for longer updates than you might find on social media.

To get us started…this month is LGBT History Month, and today’s post is featuring some books on LGBTQ  artists that you can find right here at your campus library!

LGBT History Month & Robert Mapplethorpe
Loudoun Campus Library celebrates LGBT History Month during October. If you’re interested in this book on the photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, click on the image to request it!

LGBT History Month is put on by Equality Forum every year, and if you are interested in learning more about the official month, you can visit their site here.

For us at Loudoun Campus Library, LGBTQ History Month is simply about celebrating the diversity our community! We have put together a display on the 3rd floor of some LGBT artists, musicians and writers and those who have dealt with those themes in their work. Please feel free to come peruse and check one out today!

Here are some of the titles on display…click on the thumbnail to request the item or see more information! The images were found on GoodReads, where you can also go to find numerous reviews of each item.

Image result for annie leibovitz at work
Annie Leibovitz is a photographer best known for her photographs of high profile celebrities and politicians. In this book, she describes the history of her career and some of the events that helped to shape it.

Romaine Brooks was an artist considered part of the Symbolist movement working in France in the early twentieth century. She was famously a lesbian whose arguably most important relationship was to a woman named Natalie Barney. This book chronicles that relationship and the time in which these women lived.

Interested in cinema? This book might be for you! As the title states, this book is a history of gay and lesbian film in America. Some sample chapter titles include “Hollywood and the Sexual Revolution” and “A Matter of Life and Death, AIDS, activism, film and video” among several others.

There are many more from where that came from! Come visit the library to check out the display anytime during October.