Monday, November 21, 2011

Library and Writer's Studio Hours This Week

It will be closed the rest of the week and reopen on Monday, November 28th at 3PM.

The Library will close at midnight on Tuesday and reopen Sunday, November 27th at 2PM.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Storage Wars

It's that season once again - crunch time.  Everything was due yesterday, test/quiz/lab tomorrow, rinse, wash, and repeat...We've all been there.

Although there isn't much we can do to help with tests (other than to provide a quiet place to study), we can make some suggestions on how to store all of those precious papers and assignments.

As some of you may know, the library computers are configured to wipe clean any files and settings changes made after you log off or shut down a computer.  Here are some recommendations on online or physical storage services and devices:

1. Flash/thumb drives are the most popular way to store files.  These are relatively cheap and can be purchased at the bookstore.  Get a big enough drive and you can travel with your music (instead of carrying a separate MP3 player) as well.  The problem with flash drives is also one of the reasons they are popular: their size.  They can get lost easily (we recover 2-3 flash drives, on average, a week), can be forgotten in pockets and run through the washing machine (I've done this, sadly), and they tend to break from time to time.  It's my suggestion not to rely on flash drives alone.

2. External hard drives are essentially large flash drives, and most computer users should own one anyway for MP3/audio, video, and photo file backup storage.  Like most things tech, these drives are getting smaller and smaller, and thus more portable.  Unfortunately, the prices for these drives will skyrocket because of severe flooding in Thailand, where most of the world's hard drives are assembled.  Before the flooding, a 2 TB drive could be found on sale for $100 - an incredible deal.  I remembered my father's office buying a massive 20 MB (yes megabyte) drive 20 years ago for several thousand dollars.

3. Cloud storage refers to a service that provides online networked data storage. Services such as,, and provide some level of free document and file service, with options for larger storage amounts for a small monthly fee.  Dropbox and SugarSync offer a referral service where you storage amounts will grow for every friend that becomes a new user.  These services all have mobile apps and are accessible on any PC or Mac.

4. Google Documents are an online office productivity suite from the people who brought you...uh, Google.  You can create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations online and are saved in Google Docs' cloud storage.  You can also upload (and convert) existing Word, Excel, or PowerPoint files for storage.  These files will be converted to Google's proprietary format, however, and you might lose some formatting (but not content).  Users can also download the files in a format of their choice.  Google Docs are a great way to work on a group project, because the common document is available online (and can be password protected).  The presentation software will also work remotely, as you could launch a presentation that can be viewed in multiple locations.  As with most Google products, it's free.

5. E-mailing the file to yourself is probably the easiest way to back up files and documents, as most of us use e-mail daily (ahem, students: you should be checking your Coker e-mail at least once a day).  I wouldn't recommend doing this with your Coker e-mail, as the storage space is fairly small (as of this writing, but that will change later this year), but it will work well with small documents.  Most free e-mail services (Gmail,  Yahoo!, Hotmail) offer huge storage space, from 5 GB to 7+ GB, and plenty of methods for organizing these files.  Simply login in to your e-mail account, create a new e-mail message with a memorable subject line, attach the file, and send it to that same account...and bam!  You've got your own cloud storage!

I would actually combine one or two of these options for redundancy - the more places you have a document stored, the smaller the chance of catastrophic file loss.  Combining one physical storage medium with an online or cloud storage is probably your best bet for keeping those files safe and for having access to them when you need to.

Photo courtesy of the Daily Trojan.  A student newspaper from the University of Southern California.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Have you seen our iPad?

Have you seen our iPad?  It is missing from the library!  It is a first generation iPad, engraved with "Coker College Library" on the back and was wearing an OtterBox Defender case.  A reward will be offered for its safe return.

Thank you.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Daylight Savings Ends Sunday at 2:00 a.m.

This is more of a public service announcement than library update, but Daylight Savings Ends Sunday, November 6 at 2 a.m.  Move your clocks back one hour, or you will be early for everything.  And we can't have that, can we?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Halloween and Day of the Dead

Dr. Rhonda Knight sent me a link to an interesting way to celebrate Halloween - All Hallow's Read.  It's easy, too - just give a friend a scary book during the week before or the day of Halloween.  Author Neil Gaiman explains further:

Don't forget your library - even recommending a scary book still counts for All Hallow's Read!

Coming up on November 2, Coker College Culture Club (CCCC) will celebrate the Day of the Dead.  From Dr. Mac Williams, faculty liaison to CCCC:
We'll have it in the Davidson Hall Courtyard/Front Porch area. It is free and the entire Hartsville community is invited, so please feel free to invite friends, neighbors, and family.
The Day of the Dead, is a Mexican holiday that chooses to remember the dead with bright colors, songs, dancing, food, candles, and "altares" or altars decorated with scenes from the person's life. This celebration of the deceased's life is a major holiday in many parts of Mexico and border areas with the United States (e.g. San Diego, California and Corpus Christi, Texas), and CCCC thinks it's a fun and educational way to learn about the culture of our southern neighbor while also offering a bit of healthy remembrance of those we love who are no longer with us.
CCCC invites all of you to come and enjoy FREE chorizo tacos, snacks, and Mexican Cokes in glass bottles. We will also have sugar skull decorating, pan de los muertos (bread of the dead), and a display of several altars made by faculty and students.
Please feel free to make and bring your own altar, or simply bring a photo or memento of a deceased loved one, friend, or even a celebrity, and light a candle to their memory during this festive but low-key observance. While CCCC focuses more on the secular side of the holiday, the atmosphere will be one where a private quiet prayer offered will not be disturbed by loud music.
I will be there to answer questions as best I can, and CCCC has invited our local Mexican community to participate.

Finally, from our great art and humanities database ARTstor, comes a blog post that explains some of the history behind both holidays, and how different cultures celebrate Halloween and Día de Los Muertos.  From ARTstor's Giovanni Garcia-Fenech:
Halloween stems from the Celtic harvest festival of Samhain (roughly, “summer’s end”) held on October 31–November 1, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts. The festival was integrated into All Saints Day, a Catholic holiday observed on November 1 to honor saints and martyrs. The evening before All Saints Day was referred to as All Hallows’ Eve, which eventually became Halloween.
In countries with Roman Catholic heritage, All Saints Day and All Souls Day (November 2) have long been holidays in which people commemorate the departed. The tradition in my native Mexico is known as Día de los Muertos, “Day of the Dead,” and celebrations take place on the first two days of November, when family and friends gather to remember loved ones who have died. Similar to the evolution of Halloween, the celebration conflates the Catholic holidays with an Aztec festival dedicated to a goddess called Mictecacihuatl, the “Lady of the Dead.” I have fond memories of visiting the cemetery with my family to clean my grandfather’s grave and play with the children of other visiting families. People in Mexico often build altars using brightly decorated sugar skulls, marigolds (popularly known as Flor de Muerto, “Flower of the Dead”), and the favorite foods and beverages of the deceased. I was particularly fond of the sugar skulls; I always tried to bite into them, but they tend to be so hard that I would have to ask my father to break mine with a hammer.
Many Latin American countries hold similar celebrations, with some colorful regional differences:  In Ecuador, the Day of the Dead is observed with ceremonial foods such as colada morada, a spiced fruit porridge, and guagua de pan, a bread shaped like a swaddled infant; in addition to the traditional visits to their ancestors’ gravesites, Guatemalans build and fly giant kites; and in Brazil, Dia de Finados (“Day of the Dead”) is celebrated on November 2.
The blog post also describes some Halloween/Day of the Dead "friendly" collections inside of ARTstor.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Got Jobs?

We do...on our Kindle.  Coker students, faculty, and staff can check it out today.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Our ALA Emerging Leader: Megan Johnson

We are very excited to announce that our very own Megan Johnson has been named an American Library Association Emerging Leader!

The American Library Association (ALA) Emerging Leaders (EL) program is a leadership development program which enables newer library workers from across the country to participate in problem-solving work groups, network with peers, gain an inside look into ALA structure, and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity. It puts participants on the fast track to ALA committee volunteerism as well as other professional library-related organizations.
Megan will represent Coker College and South Carolina libraries at both the ALA Midwinter Conference in Dallas, Texas as well as the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California.

Congratulations, Megan!

Happy 10th Birthday, Windows XP!

October 25 marks the tenth anniversary of the retail launch for one of the most popular computer operating systems to date: Windows XP.

Yes, it's been ten years already.  October 2001 was a huge month for popular technology as the first iPod also launched that month.

Windows XP peaked as the most popular operating system on the World Wide Web in January 2007 with 76.1% of all Internet-connected computers. As of September 2011, XP has around 37% market share.

Microsoft released three major updates, or service packs, for Windows XP.  The second service pack, released in 2004, was the most significant adding a wifi connection wizard and many security fixes (including the addition of Windows Firewall).  The third and last major service pack was released in 2008.

The default desktop wallpaper, called "Bliss," is actually a real photograph of a Sonoma County, California field:

Sadly, Windows XP support will end in April 2014.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Book Talk: The Killer Angels

As we commemorate the 150th anniversary of the start of the most devastating war in US history, join Dr. Shawn Lay for a stimulating discussion of Michael Shaara’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Civil War novel.

Thursday November 3
Faculty Research Room
Light refreshments will be served.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Library Hours for Fall Break

Our hours are largely unchanged for Fall Break, except that we will be opening at 8:30 a.m. Thursday and Friday, October 13-14th.  We will be open our regular hours Saturday and Sunday.

As always, you can check out our Hours webpage here.

We hope you have a restful Fall Break, and return to campus ready for the stretch drive to exams!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Campus Event: Résumé Writing Workshop on October 20th

Coker students: Do you need help writing your résumé?  Help is on the way!

From Deanne Frye, Director of Career services: 

Do you need help with your resume?  Unsure even where to begin?  If so, STOP PUTTING IT OFF and join Career Services for a Resume Writing 101 Workshop that will alleviate ALL stress surrounding the process!

The workshop will be held on Thursday, October 20 from 4:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. in Career Services (2nd floor- Student Center).

Please RSVP on or before Monday, October 17.  Hurry…space is limited!  Hope to see you there!  

Deanne can be e-mailed here or call her office: 383-8263.

Java City Hours for Fall Break...

...or a distinct lack thereof:

Java City will close at 11a.m. Wednesday, October 12 and reopen Monday, October 17 at 7:45 a.m.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Book Talk: PLAY

Join the students

of EDU 402

along with Dr. Darlene Maxwell

for a discussion of PLAY

and why it matters.

Long days and warm weather can make the urge to put down work and go play almost impossible to resist. So don't. The drive to play is as natural as the drive for food and sex, the authors of this book convincingly argue. "Play shows us our common humanity," they write. "It is the genesis of innovation, and allows us to deal with an ever-changing world." Science News, 7/4/2009.

Thursday October 20 3:30pm

Library - Room 228

Light refreshments will be served.

Call 383-8125 for more information.

Public Review of Proposed Textbooks

From the SC Department of Education:

The public is invited to review textbooks and instructional materials that have been proposed for use in South Carolina’s public schools.

The instructional materials are on display at twenty-seven colleges and universities throughout the state. The materials will be on display from October 10 to November 22, 2011, with evaluation forms for citizens’ comments available at each site. State Board of Education members will review citizens’ comments before a final decision is made on adopting the materials.

The materials will be recommended to the State Board of Education for adoption on December 8, 2011, by the Instructional Materials Review Panels appointed by the Board. The materials are in the following subject areas:
  • Chinese, Grades 6–12
  • Fashion, Fabric, and Design 1 and 2, Grades 9–12
  • Financial Fitness 1 and 2, Grades 9–12
  • Integrated English Language Arts, Grades K–5
  • Self-Contained Educable Mentally Disabled (Mildly Disabled), Grades K–12
  • Sports Nutrition, Grades 9–12
 The review books are in the atrium area, near the Reference collection.  Please give any reviews to a library staff member and we will forward them on to the State Board of Education.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

EBSCO e-books now available for download!

The former Netlibrary e-books - some 70,000+ titles - can now be downloaded to most e-reader devices or software (except for the Kindle, unfortunately).

The EBSCOhost e-books use Adobe Digital Editions digital rights management (DRM) software, which the PC/Mac versions are available here: .  From there, you can move the books from your desktop computer to a supported device.

The supported e-reader device list can be found here: .

I can personally recommend the Aldiko Reader for Android.

You will need to create an EBSCOhost account, which is free and can be used across the EBSCO platform for storing journal article citations, searches, and other personal items. You do not need an ID/Password from the library to use the download feature.

We are trialing this feature until early November, but I anticipate it will become a permanent feature due to positive response.

If you have any questions or comments, please e-mail me or use the chat reference.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Feastday of St. Jerome

History Of St. Jerome
Doctor of the Church b.347 d. 419
Feastday: September 30
Patron of Librarians

St. Jerome
was baptized when he was 18 by Pope Liberius. An ambitious and hard worker, St. Jerome began building a library that became one of the most famous in the world, copying most of the books himself. He continued this practice while living as a hermit, learning several languages in order to translate the works. His nights were spent writing letters and suffering the usual austerities of Living in the desert. In only a few years, he left after growing tired of the laxidity of the other hermits. While living in Rome as a secretary to Pope Damasus, and under his direction, St. Jerome completed copying the New Testament into Latin. He was only 40 years old at the time. He then continued with the Old Testament, having the assistance of several learned companions. During his life he made numerous enemies because of his fierce attacks on pagan Life, his denouncement of several heresies, and his sometimes-abrupt demeanor. On the death of Pope Damasus, who was his supporter and protector, he decided to return to the East, and eventually settled in Bethlehem with a small community he had formed. St. Jerome died in Bethlehem, with his head resting in the manger where Our Lord was born.