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Students Guide to The Library: At Finals

Christina Driscoll

Double Major: Management and Marketing

Class of 2019

Library Tips during Finals:

I go the 3rd floor to study because it is quiet.

Find a space large enough and lay out all your material.

Wear comfortable clothes because you will be there a while.

Bring snacks and water.

 

 

Allessandro Millor

Major: International Business

Class of 2017

Library Tips during Finals:

I mostly use the library for group study space during finals.   I also use the group study rooms on the 3rd floor.

 

 

 

Lois Morais

Major: Psychology

Class of 2017

Library Tips during Finals:

She suggests coming during lunch or dinner hours because there are fewer people.  The library is a great place to get away from your dorm environment.  It takes you away from the distractions of other students.

 

 

Madison Wong

Major: Architecture

Class of 2019

Library Tips during Finals:

Sleep and time management.  Don’t put things off until the last minute.  Snacks are important!

 

 

 

 

 

Bryan Smith

Major: Architecture

Class of 2019

Library Tips during Finals:

Procrastination is your biggest enemy; manage your time and set goals for yourself of how much work you’d like to accomplish that day.  Sleep! All-nighters just end up hurting you in the end and will make your work sloppy.  Listening to chill music is essential.

 

 

 

Daisy Alves

Major: Architecture

Class of 2019

Library Tips during Finals:

Go to the library every chance you get.  Go to the third floor, the quietest floor.  Seeing other students working hard and studying away motivates you to study as well.

 

Did You Know…???

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Annually the University Library features the John Howard Birss, Jr. Memorial Library Exhibition.  This year’s exhibit will be in celebration of the 50th year anniversary of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude.

Archer Mayor: Talking in the Library Series

by Alexis den Boggende, Connections Intern

 

On November 2, crime novelist Archer Mayor visited Roger Williams University. In his talk, Mayor discussed his writing process, how he became a successful novelist, and what it means to be a writer, as well as how we answer the question: what is writing all about?

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Mayor is the author of the acclaimed Joe Gunther detective series, a police procedural series set in Vermont. Tag Man, the 22nd book in the Gunther series earned a spot on the New York Times bestseller list in 2011. Mayor, an enthusiastic and lighthearted man, began his talk describing how he began writing murder mysteries and detective novels. He started out as a professional historian, and explained that if anybody wants to create, to pursue a career in art, such as writing, they must work hard for it, even if it means taking on multiple jobs. Mayor explained that the reason he began to write is that he was interested in asking the question, “Why do we do what we do?” and in the sociological and anthropological aspects of humanity. He delved into why we as humans enjoy reading about murder, about mysteries, about darker material. “There’s no explanation on why we love them,” Mayor says. “It’s everywhere–newspapers, on TV. It’s all around us. It’s our reality. It reflects our instinctual impulse from birth to be aggressive to one another.” In addition, Mayor explained that because of the law, we suppress these desires and are forced into good behavior. He is fascinated by the instinctual inclination for humans to be aggressive, and further investigates these aspects of humanity through writing crime novels.

Mayor then began explaining his writing process, beginning with the question every writer has asked themselves: What is writing all about? “Writing,” Major says, “is practice, practice, practice. It’s a flat, rocky road of incompetence. Writing your first book is like your first bike ride. You have to keep practicing in order to master it. Writing is a learning curve.” Mayor spoke about how being an overnight success is not always a good thing. “You can damn yourself that way,” he says. “Being a one-hit wonder…you restrain your one, true inner voice.” He explained that failure can be rewarding–but a writer must keep at it if they fail.

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Mayor discussed the process of researching for his crime novels, including being able to create a good, solid relationship with local police departments. He stressed that it is necessary for him to be embraced by the law enforcement community, and to build a strong trust between himself and the law.

 

To close out his talk, Mayor spoke of his views on fiction, and how creating good fiction allows the reader to lose themselves in the pages. Writing eloquently enough that you and your reader disappear into the story is Mayor’s advice for aspiring fiction writers. “Don’t write for the money,” Mayor says. “Bring us back to us with your story. Be engaged in storytelling. Let your reader lose themselves in a fictional daydream–that’s good storytelling.” He also addressed how writers must understand their sense of place while they write–and how he finds his. Mayor explained how he moved around a lot as a child, having lived all over, never staying in one place more than four years. Because of this, he found that his nomadic upbringing allowed him to be sensitive to people and places. “When you write, write with cadence. Write with sound, with eloquence. It will enhance the character and the culture that you’re filling your reader’s head with.”

 

A Day in Washington D.C. – Advocating for Hamid Babaei

By Adrienne Wooster ‘19

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The day before the presidential election, Professor Adam Braver, Grace Napoli, and I traveled to Washington D.C. to advocate for Hamid Babaei on behalf of the RWU Scholars at Risk Advocacy Seminar. Babaei, a former Ph.D. student at the University of Liege in Belgium, was arrested in 2013 by the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence for his refusal to spy on fellow students. Since his initial incarceration at Iran’s notorious Evin Prison and his transfer to Rajai Shahr Prison, Babaei’s mental and physical health have been in serious decline. Furthermore, the charges against him of “communicating with a hostile government” and “acts against national security” are alarmingly ambiguous to all of those in the human rights community. Despite the politically charged atmosphere in our nation’s capital, our concerns were humanitarian, not political. We met with both Democrat and Republican Representatives to raise awareness of Babaei’s case. The purpose of our trip was to gather a sufficient amount of information to further our advocacy efforts.

Our first meeting of the day was with Congressman Lee Zeldin. As we walked to the Longworth building, the quintessential autumn day seemed oddly desolate. The colossal hallways leading to Zeldin’s office were deserted other than the occasional intern briskly passing by. An ominous sense of foreboding was undeniable. This aside, our meeting with Zeldin was relatively successful. With genuine concern, he suggested that we research whether there are any prisoners of conscience with U.S. citizenship at Rajai Shahr prison. He speculated that presenting Congress with Babaei’s case along with the cases of incarcerated U.S. citizens might motivate action. This advice was echoed by April Wells, an aide to New York Senator Gillibrand’s office. Additionally, Wells advised that we find Iranian groups in either New York City or California with detailed knowledge of Iran’s legal process who might be willing to help Babaei.

Around noon, the silence of the city was broken by the bustling of the lunchtime rush hour. As we walked through the Metro, it seemed as if every fragment of passing conversation was about the upcoming election. Street vendors displayed apparel, reading “I’m With Her” and “Make America Great Again.” Newspapers displayed big pictures of the two candidates, under passionate and bolded titles. The nervous barrage of political festivities made me realize the profound value of humanitarian work. While the polarity between parties seemed to be pulling people apart, we continued on our way, trying to better the life of an individual – politics aside.

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Our meetings with the Lantos Commission and Scott Busby of the U.S. State Department were most inspiring. At the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, we met with Senior Democrat Fellow, Kimberley Stanton. Stanton advised that we work with Scholars at Risk to assemble an application regarding Hamid Babaei for the Defending Freedom Project, which aims to protect the intellectual and religious freedom of individuals across the globe by pairing them with a member of Congress. At the State Department, Busby, the Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, recommended that because of Babaei’s health concerns, we pursue a medical furlough.

There is much humanitarian work to be done during this socially and politically tumultuous time. It was heartening to see concern expressed during our meetings about Hamid Babaei by both Republicans and Democrats. In a world where fear and ignorance are abundant, it is crucial that empathy and common ground be found over issues of basic human rights. Despite what the future may hold, the RWU Scholars at Risk Advocacy Seminar students will continue our humanitarian efforts, defending intellectual freedom and expression.

Did You Know…???

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The University Library features two service desks at the entrance, the Library Information Desk and the MediaTech Desk.

Biennial Library Assessment Conference Held

By John Schlinke, Architecture/Art Librarian

How do you effectively measure a library?  Every other year since 2006 the Library Assessment Conference (LAC) has brought people together who are engaged in answering this question.  Sponsored by the Association of Research Libraries and the University of Washington, this year’s conference was held in Arlington, VA at the end of October.  Approximately 640 people attended to discuss and debate the many ways that librarians and others seek to assess the varied aspects of libraries.

Some traditional library data like book counts, gate counts, checkouts, and others have long been used as professional assessment measures.  These important data focus on measures of quantity and use but they can only provide part of a complete picture.  Responsibilities of current academic libraries typically include library instruction, exhibits and programming, research support, development of local collections, community outreach, digitization, preservation, and many others.  As libraries’ responsibilities have evolved, assessment practices have also needed to evolve in order to measure library effectiveness.

To accurately measure an academic library is to assess all of its facets and see how those measures correlate with achieving the goals of the institution with which it is associated.  Assessment across the spectrum of library responsibilities requires a critical eye to select appropriate measurements, a variety of data collection methods (quantitative and qualitative), and a variety of data analysis techniques.  The Library Assessment Conference provided an opportunity to see concrete examples of how libraries are doing this work, as well as how they are presenting their findings to their communities in ways that are understandable and approachable.

After preparation and editing, the proceedings of the 2016 conference will be made be available via the Library Assessment Conference website.  In the meantime, the proceedings of the five previous conferences are currently available on the site.

OER Faculty Fellow Marcella Recher on incorporating OER into sustainability studies

by Marcella Recher

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Sustainability courses are interdisciplinary in nature; they involve looking at interrelationships among contemporary environmental, social and economic problems.  Consequently, it is difficult to find a textbook that covers all these topics. It becomes necessary to rely on multiple books/resources when teaching sustainability studies courses. This past summer I looked for OER materials to include in a digital course pack for the SUST 101 Intro to Sustainability Studies course. I also sought out case studies to use in class to help students develop a more comprehensive understanding of how individual topics fit into the “big picture”.

Equipped with information from the OER workshop, I found several excellent sources for case studies on contemporary sustainability topics. I incorporated a number of case studies into the SUST 101 curriculum. I also created an OER course pack comprised of articles, websites, audio tracks, TED talks and excerpts from books maintained in the RWU online library. With the help of the IT instructional design staff, I made the course pack available to students on Bridges. As current events unfold, I will be able to easily add updated news and articles.

To date, I have received some favorable feedback on the case studies from students and plan to do more in-depth assessment of whether the students feel the OER materials supports their class work.

 

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Marcella Recher Bio: After receiving her Ph.D. in Environmental Management from Vanderbilt University, Marcella spent close to a decade in industry consulting with Fortune 500 companies on a wide range of sustainability initiatives. She joined RWU as an Adjunct Faculty member of the Sustainability Studies program in Spring of 2016.

 

Source of image: adapted from the case Global Climate Change: Evidence and Causes  found at http://sciencecases.lib.buffalo.edu/cs/collection/detail.asp?case_id=478&id=478

Description: The United States Capitol Building in Washington DC, framed with the Supreme Court columns.

Author: ©Michael Shake Source: Dreamstime.com, ID: 11882582 Clearance: Licensed royalty free.

 

Did You Know…???

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There are 6 full time librarians located in the University Library and 1 librarian in the Architecture Library.  If you want to know which librarian is the liaison to your major, the list is available online at http://library.rwu.edu/lib/library-info/people/liaisons.

Innovation in Teaching 2016 – Session 2

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Meet The Learning Commons: Advising and Peer Mentorship – Where exploration and supported self-advocacy happens!

Written by Morgan Cottrell, Associate Director, Advising and Peer Mentorship Office

Did you know that 75% of undergraduate students change their majors at least once?  Did you know that RWU has an entire office ready to help students make the right decision about their major?  A student’s choice of course of study is ideally based on personal interests, skills, values and future goals.  At the Advising and Peer Mentorship Office, professional advisors and a team of Peer Mentors meet regularly with students who are deciding their major or considering changing majors to guide them and ensure that helpful resources are readily available.  Students at RWU are uniquely positioned to be exploratory learners.  What does that mean?  It means students can graduate with job ready skills and be prepared for a meaningful career no matter the major, so taking the time to explore your options is very important!

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Here are some interesting facts related to major choice

  • Only 27% of college educated people currently in the workforce are employed in jobs directly related to their college major.
  • This data supports that no matter the major, you can use your college experience to gain the skills that employers desire.
  • What are those skills? They are teamwork, communication, critical thinking and a good work ethic.
  • A 4 year degree has value regardless of major. Among all majors, the median income difference between someone with no education and someone with a 4 year college degree is $17,500 per year. Statistically, it is clear that after working several years, a college education will offer a solid return on investment no matter the major.
  • Many folks have the misconception that certain majors offer drastic differences in income. While this is sometimes true, incomes across majors begin to even out over time and with professional experience.  Research based on recent census data shows that many mid-career professionals with a liberal arts degree surpass the income level of their peers who have professional degrees.

What does this all mean?  It means that students can and should use their 4 years in college to explore.  It also means that students shouldn’t let the pressure of employability and projected income be the sole or primary determining factor in their choice of major.  A job is something adults spend most of their waking hours doing, so it needs to be something that is enjoyable, fulfilling and draws upon a person’s natural strengths and interests. Students at RWU are uniquely positioned to change their mind about their major and take the time they need to make the right decision.  Students can be a philosophy major, a writing major, a business major (and many others) and still gain the valuable competencies that will support a long and rewarding professional career after graduation.

 

Let the Advising and Peer Mentorship Office help you by visiting us on the 2nd floor of the library, or calling us for an appointment at 401-254-3456.

 

The office also supports students in the following ways:

-Every new student at RWU is provided a trained and experienced Peer Mentor.

-Professional staff meet with students about maintaining academic good standing and/or meeting scholarship requirements.

-Professional advisors meet with students to educate them about available resources on campus and to help them navigate university policies, systems and processes.

-Professional staff field concerns from faculty and staff about students who need academic assistance and reach out directly to students to provide support.

-Professional advisors help students navigate warning grades and prepare for registration and advisement.

-Sometime it is appropriate for students to consider taking time away from college.  Students in this situation should visit the office to speak with an advisor.