Today’s News: Separating Fact from Fiction

This year’s United States presidential election campaign may be remembered for the proliferation of fake, false and misleading news stories especially on social media sites such as Facebook. Viral news hoaxes have been around for many years but 2016 seems to be the year they exploded into the consciousness of the American public. Even typically reliable news sources, whether mainstream or alternative, corporate or nonprofit, rely on particular media frames to select and report news stories based on different notions of newsworthiness. The best thing to do in our contemporary media environment is to read, watch and listen both widely and often, and to be critical of the news sources we share and engage with on social media. To help you in evaluating news stories, Reynolds Libraries has created a guide –  http://libguides.reynolds.edu/fakenews

fake-news

Five Quick Tips for Finals

chalk board Alright, students, I’ve got good news and bad news.

The good news is that spring semester is almost over and summer is on its way!

The bad news?

Before that celebratory trip to Virginia Beach, you’ve got to pass your final exams. But after hours and days and weeks of study and preparation, is there anything more you can do to make sure they go as smoothly as possible?

Try these common-sense exam tips from test prep expert, Kelly Roell:

  1. Fuel Your Body – Should you have an energy drink before an exam? (Probably not.) Skip lunch? (Definitely not.) What should you eat the day before? (Chocolate and green tea, anyone?)
  2. Arrive Early to Chat – “The instructor said that question would definitely be on the test?? I don’t remember that!” These are the kinds of things you may hear yourself saying if you show up early and get some insight from your fellow classmates before the test begins! (Not sure when your exams start? Here’s a link to the exam schedule.)
  3. Pace Yourself – Don’t rush it! You may end up regretting it.
  4. Stay Focused – This is a hard one. The key here is to allow yourself mini mental breaks throughout the test so you don’t end up zoning out.
  5. Review Your Work – Ever get a test back and realize you answered a question incorrectly that you knew you knew? This is why it’s important to go through and review your test before you hand it in.

See Roell’s article on testprep.about.com for more detailed information on all of these great tips!

Good luck on your exams!

Image credit.

Need a resume that stands out?

Don’t miss this chance to give your resume a boost and land your next job! Attend the Resume Rescue! workshops being held at both the Parham Road and Downtown campuses. This workshop will cover:

  • Types of resumeshired
  • Action verbs
  • What to include and not include in your resume
  • How to tailor your resume to a specific job

You will also learn about the many library resources that can help you with preparing your resume.

Workshops will be held:

  • PRC – Thu, Oct. 30th, 11am-12pm, Massey LTC, Library, Room 103J
  • DTC – Wed, Nov. 5th, 10am-11am, Room 212

Los bibliotecarios participan de la conferencia lenguas extranjeras

Thank you in different languagesDenise Woetzel, Reference/Information Literacy Librarian at Reynolds Community College and Helen McKann, Librarian at John Tyler Community College attended the joint VCCS World Languages Peer Group / FLAVA (Foreign Language Association of Virginia) Conference in Williamsburg on September 26 to promote the VCCS Libraries many world language resources.  Over 700 foreign language instructors from across the state of Virginia including over 70 VCCS foreign language instructors attended the conference.

Instructors throughout the state dropped by the VCCS Libraries table to learn more about the variety of resources available that support each college’s foreign language curriculum including:

  • Print, eBooks, and audiobooks on how to learn a specific language
  • Films on Demand’s streaming video World Languages collection
  • Spanish and French databases available through EBSCOhost
  • Accessing international journal, magazine, and newspaper articles written in a specific language (e.g., Spanish, French) using the EBSCOhost and Factiva databases.

For more information check out the VCCS Libraries online World Languages Resources guide or contact the Reynolds Library.

Why I love my ugly headphones, and why it relates to good web design

If you’re one of those people at the Gold’s Gym on Willow Lawn that can lithely run with those tiny, white Apple headphones, I secretly resent you.  In theory, I like Apple headphones for their suave and hipstery connotations.  But in practice, I dislike them because I have big ears and a pirate-like gait. Apple headphones, combined with running, just don’t stay in my ears.

My colleagues and I encountered a similar challenge this past year.  Lots of people liked our old website.  And the site worked well for some people. (They tended to be the people that had used the site for the longest time).  The problem was that the majority, especially new users, couldn’t navigate our byzantine site very well.  I’d find myself explaining to students the four steps it took to find a library sub-page.  Or, I’d need to check something on the site using my iPhone and I’d have to pitch and squint to find exactly what I needed.

The new site attempts to address those issues by making three major changes.  First, the site now functions fully regardless of the device that you are on. The first image is the old site on an iPhone; the second is the new site.  A key difference is that you can do everything on the mobile version that you can do on a regular PC (including searching).  Also, the old mobile version was only six pages. The new mobile version encompasses the whole site.

Old Site New Site

 

Second, the site uses more visual nodes in an effort to make highly used content easier to find.  An experiment: find the link to citing sources in the two graphics.  Which took more time to find?

oldmenu_newmenu

Third, the site attempts to do away with as much library jargon as possible.  What makes more sense to us: “Interlibrary Loan” or “If We Don’t Have It?”, “Popular Databases” or “Best Bets.”

This project is over a year in the making, and it has been a deeply collaborative effort.  Starting in August of 2013, armed with data from Google Analytics, a small group of library web soldiers (a.k.a. “The Digital Initiative Committee”), identified key user needs.  From there, we spent a great deal of time exploring other library websites and determining what we would like to incorporate into our new design.  In January, we created several mock-ups, and then evaluated three (web) templates; ultimately, we selected the design that we felt would be most supportive to our students.  In March, using Camtasia, we recorded library staff and students actually navigating the new redesign and made changes based upon those usability studies.  In May and June, we shared the site with more students (during library orientations) and received additional feedback.  Finally, in July, we shared the site with Reynolds faculty and staff.  This was a very recursive, but essential process.  We sought feedback.  We made a change.  We sought more feedback.  We made more changes.  Faculty and student input mattered and will continue to be the fundamental determinant for our site decisions.

So here we are: not at a perfect site –there’s no such thing- but hopefully at a more functional and usable site: an ugly headphones kind of website.  We hope this site works for you, but if not, the best way to change it is to let us know that change is needed.

 

Mary Hanlin (mhanlin@reynolds.edu) and the Digital Initiatives Committee (not a rock band, just yet, but almost as cool as one).

Lisa Bishop

Maureen Hady

Suzanne Sherry

Kate Goodfellow

Denise Woetzel

 

 

iPad and eBooks: Library in your Pocket

Library in your Pocket series: iPad and eBooks @ Reynolds Library

Check out how EBSCOhost eBooks work with your iPad!

Library in your Pocket: Go Mobile @ Reynolds Library Guide

The guide outlines how each type of Reynolds Library eBook works with iPad.

And also public library and open resources.

Questions? Contact us! Library staff are happy to help you one-on-one with your device or with any of our resources.

Library in your Pocket: Go Mobile @ Reynolds Library

Got a cool new tablet and want to know more about how to use it?

Thought about what a mobile device could do for your research—as well as your recreational reading?

Check out our new guide!

Library in your Pocket: Go Mobile @ Reynolds Library

The guide covers

  1. iPad
  2. Kindle Fire
  3. Kindle Paperwhite
  4. Nook HD
  5. Nook Simpletouch

What’s included?

  1. Info about which Reynolds Library eBooks work with your device—and which ones DON’T.
  2. Public library resources to try
  3. Open resources to explore
  4. Apps that enhance your reading experience
  5. Printable PDF for offline reference

Find the guide:

  1. Library home page: http://library.reynolds.edu
  2. Click on Research Guides tab
  3. In the search box, type eBooks (or Kindle or Nook or iPad)
  4. Find Library in your Pocket: Go Mobile @ Reynolds Library (http://libguides.reynolds.edu/pocketlibrary)

Questions? Contact us!