It’s 2017. How did that happen?
What resolutions did you make?
What resolutions did you break?
Did you resolve to read more this year?
Did you embrace with the idea of reading more in 2017 with complete and absolute glee?
Yes! You did!
But where do you start? You could just pick up a book and get to reading, or you could challenge yourself to Read Harder with Book Riot’s 2017 Read Harder Reading Challenge.
While you’re at it, commit to the Good Reads Reading Challenge. You can knock out your Good Reads reading challenge with the Book Riot challenge. Two birds, one stone so to speak.
If you want some suggestions on where to start in your book challenge, check out Richmond Public Library’s Staff Picks (the blog with GIFs!) or come see us in Saunders.
Let us know if you’re accepting a reading challenge. We’ll help keep you on task.
The Saunders Family Library welcomes new and returning faculty and students to the 2016-2017 school year. As the song says, “We’ve only just begun,” but it’s never too early to start thinking about how to put your library to work for you.
We have an incredible collection of print, film, and digital resources, and are here to help connect you with what you seek.
To explore resources currently available join the Saunders Family Library Schoology Group:
And if there’s something you need that we don’t have you can request it.
Faculty: Drop a line or just drop by to request titles that might benefit your students, enrich their research, and improve their projects. We also encourage you to request titles of personal or professional interest to you and the faculty community.
Students: Stop by to request titles related to course work and/or independent study, to enhance an honors project, to fill gaps in our collection, or simply (and shockingly) for pleasure reading in your down time.
Recently purchased titles requested by Collegiate faculty and students include:
- Joe Sacco’s striking “illustrated panorama” The Great War for Vlastik Svab.
- The doorstop (read: large, heavy) history Chinese Ceramics: From the Paleolithic Period through the Qing Dynasty and the gorgeous children’s book Wabi Sabi for Mary Arzt.
- How to Make Books for Shayna Cooke’s.
- For Ling Fung-Wu, a selection of texts on the history of the Chicano Movement and a collection of Spanish language films.
- Books on the history of women’s education in the South for the Julia A. William’s Study & Archives Center.
- By Its Cover: Modern American Book Cover Design for a student honors project.
- Various fiction titles for student’s free reading assignments.
Call, e-mail, or just stop by and let us know how we can put the Saunders Family Library to work for you this school year.
We all know there are too many places on the web to go for news, to be inspired, to be challenged. Sure, it can be overwhelming, but every now and then I find something that feels different in a provocative way. My new find is JSTOR Daily: Where News Meets Its Scholarly Match.
Describing itself, the newsletter offers a fresh way for people to understand and contextualize their world. Our writers provide insight, commentary, and analysis of ideas, research, and current events, tapping into the rich scholarship on JSTOR,
Here’s how it works: I subscribe to the weekly digest of JSTOR Daily. Then I get an email with links to great, thought provoking stories with relevant links to scholarly essays on JSTOR.
This week I received these wonders:
Why We Love to Learn Klingon
with a link to Created Languages in Science Fiction
By: Ria Cheyne
Science Fiction Studies, Vol. 35, No. 3 (Nov., 2008), pp. 386-403
The Road to Utopia: A Conversation with Juliet Schor
[She’s the sociologist who for decades has been writing about the benefits of reducing the hours people spend at their jobs.]
with a link to The Triple Imperative: Global Ecology, Poverty and Worktime Reduction
By: Juliet B. Schor
Berkeley Journal of Sociology, Vol. 45 (2001), pp. 2-16
We’re all told not to do this.
That phrase has even become a way of saying, “Don’t be superficial. Take the time to look beneath the surface.” But there are some book covers that just beg the reader to pick them up. This morning I decided to take a few minutes (I know this is a luxury) to revisit the library’s collection, looking for covers that invited me to stop and engage. Now I haven’t read any of these books, but I will take home Things That Are, essays by Amy Leach. I can’t resist an essay that begins with, “In the seventeenth century, his Holiness the Pope adjudged beavers to be fish.”
My resolution for this year is to find more ways to be surprised and delighted. This little visit through the library accomplished both.
It’s true. Everybody poops. It’s also true that 2.6 billion do not have access to clean water or adequate sanitation. In response to that distressing problem, Shayna Cooke’s Biology II students are exploring ways to design an inexpensive, light, and easy-to-use toilet for densely populated regions in India.
Prior to the Skype session, the Bio II students brainstormed potential user groups, researched existing toilet options and developed questions about materials, privacy issues, and cost.
The students talked with Jasmine Burton, founder and president of Wish for WASH, about her experiences and current work with Wish for WASH and the Society for Family Health in Zambia. Burton, a recent Georgia Tech Industrial Design graduate, considers herself a empathic designer, who places emphasis on getting to know a product’s users in order to design for and exceed their needs.
Burton talked about the importance of getting to know one’s users before embarking on design. What’s the point of designing and building something if the product is not going to be used. Burton also discussed how important behavior change and incentivizing that behavior change can be in getting people to accept and use products. The students also considered the different user groups designers need to consider. Not only do designers think about the person using the toilet, but they also ask how they design for the person who may be disposing of the waste and how that disposal affects the population.
Based on their research and the information they gained from their talk with Burton, the Bio II students will now design a prototype of a toilet. They plan to talk with Burton again once their prototype is finished. Burton cheered on the students’ desire to build a prototype by saying that research and ideas are awesome, but making something and bringing something into the world matters. The testing of a physical thing matters and can result in so much knowledge.
Sometimes you find a book and there is something new and magical on every page. You read. You turn the page. There is an answer to all of your questions. And another answer! There are ideas and ways of thinking you never considered.
Lynda Barry’s Syllabus: Notes from an Accidental Professor is one of those books.
Barry has been an artist-in-residence at several schools and leads writing workshops all over the country. Syllabus is a compilation of the sylllabi and homework her students encountered in her “Unthinkable Mind” classes as well as her thoughts on teaching and inspirations.
Take a look at Barry’s Syllabus for some inspiration of your own.
I didn’t know I was interested in Mars. Certainly, I wasn’t interested in colonizing Mars or in humans becoming a two-planet species. I wasn’t, until I heard Joel Levine at TEDxRVA. Dr. Levine is a planetary scientist, now a Research Professor in the Department of Applied Science at William and Mary, who spent more than forty years at NASA studying Mars.
And his TEDxRVA talk was mesmerizing.
Mars is like Earth, or it was. It had rivers, lakes, and oceans. Now Mars has polar ice. But where did the water go? That’s a critical question for humans on Earth. The answer just might give us clues about what happens when a planet experiences a catastrophic climate event.
After hearing Dr. Levine, I couldn’t stop reading about Mars.
Mars has the largest volcano in the solar system. Volcanoes produce atmospheres and oceans. The atmosphere of Mars has methane gas. That’s important because methane is produced by living systems. Living systems!
In all this reading, I stumbled on The Martian by Andy Weir in the library’s collection.
During a massive sandstorm that injures and separates him from the rest of the crew who are escaping from the planet, NASA astronaut Mark Watney is left behind, stranded on Mars. No communication with Earth…facing certain death in the inhospitable environment of the red planet.
But Watney is an ingenious astronaut. He’s a botanist, mechanical engineer, and survivalist. His story is part physics, part chemistry, part math and all tenacity. Just as I was surprised by my interest in Mars, I found myself drawn into the beauty of science and the topography of crater and plain. You can see a map of Watney’s travels on Mars at http://www.cannonade.net/mars.php
It’s no surprise that TEDxRVA invited me to explore something new, but I never imagined that it would be the Schiaparelli Crater.
This mosaic of the Valles Marineris hemisphere of Mars is composed of 102 Viking Orbiter images. It shows the entire Valles Marineris canyon system, over 2000 kilometers long and up to 8 kilometers deep. The darker red circles on the left side of the planet are volcanoes.
Our series, By Hand: The Power of Making, continues, and this month we have a new artist, Alex Johnson, exhibiting his work in the Saunders Family Library. The beauty of this series is the variety of ceramics we’ve seen; there is real pleasure in understanding all the ways this elemental medium of clay can be crafted into functional, playful, and elegant shapes.
Alex uses a wood fire kiln for his work. You can even see a photo of it here.
Stop by the library and enjoy Alex’s beautiful work.
We’ve all had them—those moments when we wish there was a word for something we’re trying to express. But the words are elusive. Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World is here to help those of us who care deeply about nouns, adjectives, and verbs.
Ella Frances Sanders has created this book of “fifty words that don’t have direct English translation.” Each word is paired with a beautifully rendered illustration.
And there’s more: Kilig, Samar, Waldeinsamkeit, Iktsuarpok…