Join NOVA Online’s Book Club!


Tired of intense course-related reading?  Join in with the NOVA Online BookClub and spend Spring Break giving your brain a much-needed respite from citations and footnotes!

image of the book cover for "How I Live Now" by Meg Rosoff


How I Live Now, by Meg Rosoff, is an imagined, but wholly realistic, story of war in the 21st century of near-modern-day London, told from the perspectives of a visiting American teenager and her British cousins. Though the book is set in the near future, can we relate to what happens?

Read the book, watch the film (released in 2013) and then join us for an online chat session after Spring Break— more details coming soon! #NOVA Onlinebookclub

Of course if you have any questions or comments about the program, please contact NOVA Online’s library at NOVA


image of Otis Boykin and one of his inventions

Otis Boykin: inventor of a control unit for the pacemaker

Yesterday, Professor Pool offered some great resources for understanding slavery in the United States. In celebration of black history month, the library would also like to recommend some resources to learn more about black American history and culture.

The Songs Are Free: Bernice Johnson Reagon and African-American Music – This is a video about the history of African American music and includes performances by Bernice Johnson Reagon.

Prelude and First Curtains: African Grove Theater – Offers a glimpse in to the history of  Africa- American theater in America.

Women’s Work : An Anthology of African-American Women’s Historical Writings From Antebellum America to the Harlem Renaissance – an eBook that “… aims to bring together writings by African-American women between 1832 and 1920, the period when they began to write for American audiences and to use history to comment on political and social issues of the day.” -from

You can view these and more at the library’s homepage ( You just need your myNOVA username and password. If you have questions, please contact us at NOVA #Blackhistorymonth



"Duty Calls" comic by
  -"Duty Calls" by Randall Munroe
             Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 Generic License

We regularly hear about the harassment and bullying that occurs within social media. In fact, a Pew research study has found that “60% of internet users said they had witnessed someone being called offensive names.”  So what can you do to make the internet a safer place?

image of Civility in the Digital Age: How Companies and People Can Triumph over Haters, Trolls, Bullies and Other Jerks by Andrea Weckerle e-book cover


The book “Civility in the Digital Age: How Companies and People can Triumph Over Haters, Trolls, Bullies, and Other Jerks” by Andrea Weckerle offers great advice for handling conflict over the web.

The author offers a “30-Day Action Plan for restoring civility to your corner of the digital world.”1 Here’s some of what you will learn:

    • “Master the foundational skills you need to resolve and prevent conflict online
    • Stay cool and effectively manage conflict in even the highest-pressure online environments
    • Differentiate between what people say and what they really want
    • Create a positive online footprint—or start cleaning up a negative image
    • Recognize online troublemakers and strategize ways to handle them
    • Manage your own anger—and, when necessary, express it online safely and productively
    • Strategically manage others’ online hostility and frustration”1

Interested in learning more? Visit NOVA library’s website ( to read this e-book and to find other resources on the topic. As always, if you need assistance please contact the NOVA Online library at NOVA


 1. Excerpted from

Apps for College Students

image of a person using a tablet

Each month at NOVA Online, we will recommend smart phone/tablet apps that are helpful for your studies at NOVA Online (and beyond). NOVA has already compiled a list of useful apps by platform. Here are some of the library’s favorites:

image of blackboard mobile app icon Easily access your NOVA blackboard account on the go.
image of the myHomework app icon Keep track of homework, projects, schedules, and sync to all devices.
image of studyblue app icon Mobile and online flashcards

Check NOVA Online regularly so you don’t miss the next post on recommended apps. Don’t be left out of the loop!

Research Series: The 5Ws of Good Web Resources

image of a Checklist

The 5 W’s to Determine Good Information:

Although this is simplified, asking the following 5 questions will help you determine whether the information you are using is good information or bad information. If someone is providing good information you should be able to answer all 5 questions. If you can’t answer one of the questions or the answer you get isn’t satisfactory, it might not be good information to use.

1. WHO – Who wrote or published the information? Is it someone you have heard of? Is it an organization that you are familiar with?

2. WHAT – What are the author’s credentials? Are they clear about their experience in the subject and how they relates to the topic they are writing on?

3. WHEN – When was the information published? Is it the type of information that changes overtime (Think: Medical Information)? Or is it the type of information that stays the same (Think: History)?

4. WHERE – Where did the author get their information? Are they properly citing their sources? Are they clear on where their facts, statistics, graphs, etc. are coming from?

5. WHY – Why are they publishing this information? What is the author’s motivation? Are they showing a bias?

Need more help deciding if the information you’ve found on the web is appropriate for academic work? Contact the library at NOVA Happy Searching!

Learn More About The Man And The Movement This MLK Holiday

King, Martin Luther mlk jr 4 Martin Luther King / Photo / 1961
 Martin Luther King  Media Preview Held For The Martin Luther King National Memorial  mlk jr 2

This Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, learn more about Dr. King and his legacy.

Here is a landmark interview with Dr. King filmed in 1957:

Martin Luther King, Jr.: Look Here

image of the documentary Martin Luther King Jr.: Look Here

We also recommend this e-book for more information:

image of book cover for Becoming King: Martin Luther King, Jr. And the Making of a National Leader




Becoming King : Martin Luther King, Jr. And the Making of a National Leader


To access these items, use your myNOVA username and password when prompted. For more resources on Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement, please visit the library’s website or contact us at NOVA

Research Series: Citation Basics

picture of person holding a [citation needed] signphotograph by Dan4th Nicholas shared via the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License

In a previous post we learned about plagiarism and the importance of citing your work. So, how do you properly cite a resource? There are several citation style guides that provide a standard format for referencing your sources. Most of your instructors will require you to use one of these popular guides: American Psychological Association (APA), Modern Language Association (MLA), or the Chicago/Turabian.

Need help getting started? NOVA offers tutorials for each of these style guides!




If you need more help, please contact your NOVA Online library staff at NOVA Happy Searching!

Start a New Hobby This Winter Break

image of young man knitting image of woman painting
 Young woman seated on chair and playing acoustic guitar  image of man reading a book


Now that finals are over and you have some free time, why not use the library’s resources to start a new hobby? Hobbies offer many benefits and now is the time to get started!

Here are a few free resources available through your NOVA library. Use your myNOVA username and password to use each item:

1. Learn to sew with this video:

Sewing Basics

2. Learn about electronics and complete projects with this e-book:

Make: Electronics by Charles Pratt 

3. Learn about french cuisine and how to cook it with this video:

World Foods: French Cooking

4. Learn Chinese with this audio book:

Starting Out In Chinese 

5. Learn to play classical guitar with this e-book:

Classical Guitar Lessons for Beginners : Teach Yourself How to Play Guitar

6. Discover new music with this database:

Music and Performing Arts 

This is just the beginning! Try searching for information about these and other hobbies on the library homepage. Have fun and enjoy the break!



What do the pictures above have in common? Here’s a hint: each one can be found in Britannica’s ImageQuest database.

If you’ve ever needed to add an image to an assignment and you weren’t sure where to look, ImageQuest is a great place to start. All the images are free to use for personal, non-commercial use.

All you need to access ImageQuest is your myNOVA username and password. If you need help using this database, please contact the library at NOVA  Happy searching!

Research Series: Plagiarism

image of thief stealing form a safe with a red x superimposed on top; caption underneath reads: "Don't steal someone's work!"Everyone knows that directly copying another author’s work is plagiarism, but there are also less obvious forms . Plagiarism takes many forms and the consequences can be severe, so it pays to be well informed.


What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is copying an author’s work and passing it off as your own.

This definition may seem simple, but plagiarism can be much more complicated.  Did you know that you could be held responsible for plagiarism if you paraphrase (i.e., to put in your own words) an author’s work without providing a citation?  Even if you cite your source, if paraphrasing is not done correctly, you could still be plagiarizing.

Why bother citing?

The purpose of college-level research is to locate and analyze literature created by experts in your field, then process all of the information that you found to create your own new ideas or conclusions. Citations are important, because they give credit to the authors who helped you develop your ideas.  Citations also give your paper authority, because they show that you have read literature on the topic and that your conclusions build upon work of other authors. When you provide proper citations, your professors will see that you understand the purpose of college-level research.

When in doubt, cite!

When in doubt, cite it!  There are some cases where you may not need to cite (e.g., common knowledge [explained later]), but plagiarism is a “better safe than sorry” situation.  If you are not sure whether a source needs to be cited, go ahead and cite it!

If you aren’t sure how to cite, ask a librarian! Your NOVA Online librarians are citation/plagiarism experts and we are happy to help you. Please contact us at NOVA for more help.