Monday, November 30, 2015

30 Years Service at FSU's Ort Library

Charlene Vassallo  joined the Periodical Staff at the Ort Library on May 22, 1985,  and Pam Williams was hired as Reference and Bibliographic Instruction Librarian on August 19, 1985. 

Both were recently honored for 30 years of service at the FSU Service Awards Luncheon and presented with commemorative glass bowls.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thanksgiving Food Baskets

Nancy Frost and Amber Harrison assembled the Ort Library's contributions for two Thanksgiving Food Baskets for area families this year. 

The Ort Library participates in the campus Thanksgiving Sponsor-A-Family campaign each year. Staff members volunteer to bring two items from a suggested list, and then select additional items that will contribute to the festive nature of the holiday meal. 

It's a month long collection, but we enjoy the process as well as delivering the end product. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Featured Online Resource - GSA Fine Arts Collection

The United States General Services Administration (GSA) recently launched an online gallery featuring their public art collection.

The Fine Arts Collection lets you search for works by the artist name or the city or state where they are located.

The gallery consists of works commissioned by GSA since 1949.  It also includes photos of paintings and murals painted as part of the New Deal programs during the Great Depression.

Some examples of art in the gallery include:

Enjoy yourself as you learn more about works of art that are already familiar to you or learn new works, or what you can expect to see in your travels!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

What-I'm-Reading-Wednesday: Red Rain by Timothy L. Wendel

Tim Wendel, Writer in Residence at Johns Hopkins, gives the reader Red Rain.   Wendel writes about a little known military tactic used by the Japanese late in World War II.  The Japanese designed a balloon with an incendiary device capable of flying across the Pacific Ocean to wreak havoc on the West Coast of the U.S.  It is estimated that nearly 10,000 devices were released, landing in 16 states in the west and Midwest.  The concept was the brainchild of the Imperial Japanese Army's Ninth Army's Number Nine Research Laboratory, under Major General  Kusaba, with work performed by Technical Major Takada and his colleagues. 

With advice from MacArthur the President made the decision to keep the balloon landings from the population surrounding the landing areas.  When the Japanese realized that no word was coming from the U.S. about the effects of the balloon flights, Japan made the incorrect assumption that their plan was not working and stopped the project.  As more information was learned after the war ended, it was discovered that the Japanese were making plans to use the balloons for biological warfare.

Wendel draws his characters from those who were involved with the fire balloon project, the Japanese internment camps in the U.S., and the fire fighters of Arizona who fought the fires.  Yoshi Minagi, a victim of the Civilian Exclusion Order, was sent to the internment camp at Manzanar, California.  While there, she and her family learn to adjust to imprisonment.   The military soon discover that Yoshi can speak English and Japanese.  Lt. Starling gives her the training and briefs her on what she needs to learn.  She leaves her family at Manzanar goes to Japan to get the intelligence needed about the fire balloons. 

Yoshi makes the trip to Japan in a submarine and meets her contact on shore.  From the beginning, Yoshi finds it difficult to separate herself from the Japanese.  Her job in a factory enables her to meet Takata, the genius behind the balloons.  As she spends time in the factory and talks with Takata, she realizes she is making the material for the balloons.  Yoshi and Takata begin to become attracted to each other which makes Yoshi’s decision even more difficult.  Does she provide the information needed to the U.S. or does she protect Takata?

While Yoshi is in Japan gathering what she needs on the balloons, Lt. Starling is in Arizona fighting the fires with the local firemen.  He knows that he cannot divulge the cause of the fire even when a damaged balloon is found.  The tension among the firefighters battling the blazes and their differences adds to the reality of the story.

For an exciting read on the Japanese in the U.S., the incendiary balloons launched by the Japanese, and firefighting scenes, turn to Red Rain.  Wendel keeps your interest and add to the history of Japan and the U.S.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Featured Online Resource: Census Business Builder (Small Business Edition)

Small business owners, marketing students, and more may be interested in trying out the Census Bureau's new tool, the "Census Business Builder."

The primary purpose of the Census Business Builder is to help small business owners review demographic and economic information for geographic areas.  This helps them to determine whether certain locations would be a good spot for starting or moving their business.

The page includes links to videos and other tutorials to help you get started.  The video below provides a basic introduction to the tool.

In addition to the Census Business Builder, the Census Bureau provides a great variety of tools that can help you with your statistical research.  Check out some of them here: Census Data Tools & Apps.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

What-I'm-Reading-Wednesday: Talk Like TED; the 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World's Top Minds by Carmine Gallo

       In 1984 a conference was held that would launch a movement; TED.  TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design.  TED is a nonprofit foundation that sparked TED talks. These downloadable free speeches ( are given by the top leaders, scientists and artists covering a large and interesting range of topics.  The speeches are required to be under 18 minutes and to easily convey an understanding of complex topics.  The talks can range from the  status of the world's food supply to how to teach kids to love science.
       Carmine Gallo has studied the techniques of the most popular TED speakers to find out what makes a speech great.  He has compiled these learned skills into 9 rules that all public speakers can use to make their speeches successful, dynamic and fun.  This easily read and quick paced book (much like a TED talk) teaches people, who may have struggled with public speaking, easy techniques to rapidly improve their skills.
       Gallo's book, Talk Like TED, is also full of personal stories and humorous anecdotes from the TED speakers. The reader will learn that James Cameron, a diver since age 15, wanted to film the movie Titanic because it was a way to fund a deep sea dive to see the actual wreckage of the ship.  The reader will learn from artists like photographer Chris Jordan who used art at his TED talk to convey the increasing rates for cosmetic surgery on girls under age 18.  The book, while teaching the public speaking skills, also inspires the reader to be curious and invested in our world, from the global level to the small families we create.      
        If you are interested in checking out this great book for yourself, you can request this volume from the Ort Library catalog here: Talk Like TED  Click on "Availability", then click on the yellow "Request" button, and login using your last name and 14-digit Library barcode number on your ID. If you need assistance, please contact the Circulation Desk at 301-687-4395. We hope to see you soon!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

"Library Tips & Tools" Sessions, Nov. 17-18

Do you face challenges finding vital research information for your class paper or project, thesis, dissertation, article or book you are writing, or that workplace report you need to submit?  Dr. Seán Henry  will  host two open "library tips and tools" sessions to help you with these, whether you are a student, faculty or staff member.
  • Tues., Nov. 17: 3:30 – 5 PM 
  • Wed., Nov. 18: 6 – 7:30 PM
Where:  Ort Library Instruction Classroom (Library 316 – just inside the main entrance to the left) 
Light refreshments will be served!
These sessions are open to the entire FSU community.  Please bring any research questions you have. Even if you are a seasoned researcher, you might want to consider stopping by to see what’s new!
The 90-minute open sessions will cover:
  • Using expert tips to develop effective search strategies
  • Finding books, eBooks, articles, and more using the library discovery tool OneSearch
  • Navigating databases in your discipline at Databases A-Z
  • Citing, saving, and managing  the sources you find with personalized database tools
  • Manipulating Google Scholar to locate full-text research articles
RSVPs are not necessary, just come on in!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

New Library Displays for November 2015

The Ort Library is pleased to announce several new displays for November. The first display located on the 3rd floor of the library showcases Susan B. Anthony who was arrested in November 1872 for voting in the presidential election. The display includes several newspaper articles from the New York Times Historical Newspaper that discuss her trial and its outcome. 

The second display, also on the 3rd floor of the library, highlights information about the Children’s Literature Centre Storybook Holiday that will be held on December 5, 2015. The display also includes some children’s books on Christmas and winter that are available in the library.

The third display, located on the 4th floor, highlights the only president of the United States who was elected to four-terms in office, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. This display also highlights some of the books that we have in the library’s collection on FDR. 

The fourth display also located on the 4th floor, highlights Diabetes Awareness Month. It includes information on diabetes and helpful hints and tips for staying healthy. It also includes resources from the library’s collection.

The fifth display is located on the 5th floor and celebrates the 180th anniversary of the birthday of Mark Twain. It includes information on his early life and his extensive bibliography. Besides being a novelist, Twain was a prolific travel writer as well. This display also includes resources on Twain from the library’s collection.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

What-I'm-Reading-Wednesday: Haints: A Novel by Clint McCown

The Halloween season is a perfect time to read Clint McCown's novel, Haints. The story begins and ends with a sailor returning to his grandfather's property in the Tennessee Valley on February 29, 1952. Signalman 3rd Class Ronald Dawson briefly relives the events preceding the sinking of his ship, the USS Partridge. He feels responsible for the eight dead and six wounded. As he stands haunted by the memory of the disaster, he sees the dark spiral that will sweep through the small town below. The reader takes the fatal leap with him. 

Just moments before the tornado hits, we are introduced to the novel's first character, Herb Gatlin. He and his neighbors are all haunted by some secret from the past. They are entwined because they share the same small town space where evil spirits or "haints" linger. Hidden connections between characters are revealed throughout the novel.  The tornado that sweeps through the town cuts through  many facades including the invisible barrier that had divided the white and black sections of the town.

The term "haint" is Southern slang for ghost. Juba to Jive: A Dictionary of African-American Slang edited by Clarence Major defines it as "ghost, spirit, specter, phantom, apparition, a disembodied spirit; probably a corruption of haunt and dates the noun from the 1690's to 1940's." (p. 219)

The word "haints" echoes throughout the novel that also has a biographical connection. McCown shared that information during an interview in 2013.

Haints is available with New Books displayed on Floor 3 of the Ort Library. Other works by McCown available at the  library include:

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Ort Library Hosts Chinese Tea Ceremony

Jun Li, General Assistant for the Center to the Center for International Education, coordinated the volunteers for the First Chinese Tea Ceremony at the Ort Library on October 28th.

JingJing Shao (Jane) introduced the elements.

Xi Wang (Cathy) demonstrated a traditional Chinese Tea Ceremony.    

William Hao wrote “Tea” with the Chinese character. 

Theresa Mastrodonato and MaryJo Price, librarians who coordinated the event,  hold the banner written by Sheng Jie Xu.

Mian Qian's translation of the banner message, "It compares tea with wine and books with flowers to show the importance of both study and tea."