Why Libraries Matter: A day in the New York Public Library system

This fantastic short film helps capture the impact that libraries have on the lives of their users. If you have 10 minutes, it’s definitely worth watching!

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Filed under General, Internet At Large, Libraries and society

Google ads and you: want to opt out?

Google’s got a bright idea that users may not have heard about yet, if they missed the announcement last month

Last month, Google announced an update to their Terms of Service (TOS) that allows them to use aspects of your Google+ profile for targeted ads.  Which means what?  It means that Google could use your name, picture, and reviews you’ve given in ads targeted to people in your Google contacts or Google+ circles.  It also means that if you’re over 18, your face will start popping up in other folks’ searches for “doing anything from leaving a YouTube comment to starring something in Google Play to giving it the +1 treatment.”

So let’s say you’re not interested in the review of the local Thai joint popping up when an acquaintance you’ve emailed once or twice searches for good local Thai food. Can you avoid having your likeness used? The answer, fortunately, is “yes.” All you have to do is opt out via this link while you are logged into your Google account. Then go ahead and click the option to not have aspects of your profile used in this way and SAVE.

Situations like this are why it’s important to read the TOS set forth by websites and online communities in which you participate. Companies purposely try to make TOS long so that people avoid reading the whole thing; by making it more onerous to read, companies are betting that you will just click “I agree” in order to gain access to a resource, and are also betting that you won’t care much about future changes due to your usage of the site/product at a future date. Make sure you take time to educate yourself on what companies are doing with data, and what rights you’re signing away when clicking that agreement box on a TOS!

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Filed under Internet At Large, Privacy Rights, Social Media

Lost – A TV Series Review

Chances are, you know someone (or know someone who knows someone) who watched Lost. Most likely, you’ve heard people complain about how confusing it is, how dumb it got near the end of the show, etc etc. Despite all of the problems Lost does have, I can tell you that it is one of the most artfully made shows of our generation.
In case you don’t know, the show revolves around a group of survivors of flight 815, who crash on a mysterious island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The island is far from ordinary and the survivors are faced with challenges extending far beyond the usual detail for one stuck on a tropical island. Flashbacks allow us to get the know characters backstory, and we become very closely acquainted with characters like Jack, a surgeon who quickly takes on a leadership role but is dealing with some deep seated family issues.
The show spans six seasons, jam packed full of new characters, new storylines and an unbelievable amount of plot twists. But what makes the show truly exceptional is the way the characters develop and change. Truly good television has the ability to show us that we are all capable of being “the bad guy” and “the good guy” sometimes at the same time. Lost displays the complexities of human nature, wrapped up with some very complex timey-wimey stuff and a lot of breaking the laws of physics. Also, it’s super addicting. Super, duper addicting. If your curiosity is getting the best of you and you’re dying to watch, you’re in luck- the library owns all six seasons! Good luck and happy watching! Whitni S.

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Filed under AV Department, Circulation Department, Copious Amounts of Free Time, Library Collections, Student Workers

Reading Day Massages

Doesn’t this look like a great way to take a break?

As the end of the semester approaches, and it starts to finally feel like spring, library staff would like to announce that the library will be offering chair massages as a stress-buster for students as they prepare for their finals on Reading Day. The chair massages will be Friday, May 2, from 10 AM-3 PM. Massages will each be 10 minutes long, and they will be free! So how do you get one, and what’s the catch?

-Sign up will start at 9 AM on Tuesday, April 29.
-You go to the Reference Desk to sign up.
-Only current Coe students are eligible to receive a free massage
-You must come in person to sign up (no signing up for a group of friends, or by phone/email.)
-The day of the massages, you must check in 5 minutes prior to your massage. If you do not check in prior to your massage, you are liable to lose your spot to students on the waiting list.

If this appeals to you as you wind down the semester, come by the library to sign up on Tuesday. Odds are your muscles could use some pampering, after a year of hauling around heavy books. We’ll miss you this summer while you’re gone (even if you don’t necessarily miss us.) Have a wonderful summer!

-Katelyn, Head of Reference

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Remembering VHS

Many of the students at Coe seem to forget about our wonderful AV department. To me, this place has and always will occupy a special place in my heart. You don’t just browse through films in the AV department but rather you browse through history. Looking through the VHS tapes, personally, brings back fond childhood memories of rewinding a tape before watching it or the pure frustration of renting un-re-winded movie. To many this experience is foreign but to me, and surely many others, it takes me back to simpler times I dearly miss. Unfortunately, technology has made places like the AV Theater more obsolete, since with a click of a mouse you could find any thing you desire. However, I would like to challenge everyone to take a moment and walk through the aisles of not just film but history, before it is too late. Yafet M.

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Filed under AV Department, Circulation Department, Facilities, Student Workers


Computers. Super important here at Coe and I’m glad the library has so many. Last semester, my computer was broken so I spent a LOT of time in the library at one of the computers. The library also seems to be immune to whatever seems to be going on with Coe’s wi-fi (most of the time). Even though the library isn’t open all day, there’s usually a good bet that you can use a computer when you need one. ~Angela A.

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Filed under Library Facilities, Library Hours

Accused–Book Review

Ever just want to sit down and get lost in a book? The Stewart Memorial Library has many books that can transport you to a different place; we have thrillers, romance, and mysteries. If you are looking for a thriller I would recommend the book Accused by Lisa Scottoline. It is a thriller about three women in the law firm, Rosato & Associates. They are given a case by a thirteen year old, Allegra Gardner; this young girl’s sister was murdered six years prior. The case at the time was solid, the man who was accused, Lonnie Stall, was seen fleeing the scene; his blood was found on the sister and her blood was on him. He also plead guilty at the trial. Open and shut, right? But there is a twist, Allegra does not believe that he is guilty and wants Rosato & Associates to reopen the case. Now the question is whether or not they should take the case; Allegra’s family is powerful and influential so taking this case would be risky. But was justice really served those 6 years ago? These three women and a thirteen-year-old will find out.

Does this book interest you? Come check it out! Located in the browsing section on the first floor of the library, the call number is PS 3569 .C725 .A65 2013. ~Ashley K.

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Filed under Book Recommendation, Circulation Department, Student Workers

Adventures of working at the library

When I first started working at the library last year I thought I was going to be very productive and get a lot of homework accomplished while working at the Circulation Desk. The opposite could not have been truer. Instead of working on my academics at work I learned a lot of other new things, most importantly improving my social life. When I walk into the library I always see a friendly face and that is what I love about Coe College; there is always a friend wherever I go, whether it is at the library, in the cafeteria or workout.
Working at the circulation desk there is never a dull moment, there is always someone to greet when someone walks in the door or say bye to when leaving. I am constantly learning new things about books and authors because everyone likes to share a story about their favorite book or author when checking a book out. There is always something to explore when shelving books or dusting. Sometimes when I am straightening the books on the shelves or doing inventory I pull out an interesting book just take a few minutes to read the back out of curiosity.
People not only come to the library to study and do their homework but some people come to the library to be social. I have seen many friends sit in a study room or at a study table chatting or playing card games. I have also seen people napping at a desk or sleeping on a couch. Many people bring food into the library as a snack; I have even seen Jimmy John’s and Pizza Hut being delivered here for dinner. There is always something interesting going on in the library and a great place to be! ~Taylor W.

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Filed under Facilities, Library Facilities, random information, Student Workers

Fault in our Stars–Book Review

Two weeks ago during my shift I was browsing the library catalog and saw that The Fault in our Stars was downstairs in the Youth section. I was quite excited because I had been on hold for it the whole four weeks of my winter break at my library back home. I had heard so many good things about the book so I started it right after my shift ended. Well now as I sit here, two weeks later, with the book finished I am saddened to say that I think it is probably one of the most overrated books I’ve ever read.

The book is about Hazel, a teenager living with cancer who knows that she only has a few years left at best. She has pretty much come to terms with her diagnosis and is just taking life day-to-day. At a cancer support group, she meets Augustus Waters who is another very charismatic teen cancer survivor. As you can assume, the two end up falling for each other and there is a lot of conflict about allowing themselves to get close to another person and make their lives meaningful given their short time that they have left. I’ve read my fair share of romance/ terminal illness books and frankly this just seemed like every other one. Other than a sub-plot about corresponding with an author who they both idolize (a storyline which in my opinion felt very unlikely, forced, and a little over the top), the plot was pretty predictable. While I liked the character of Hazel and connected with her views on life and it’s meaning, I never warmed up to Augustus. And I get that he wasn’t always supposed to be the most likeable character but I just never developed a strong yearning that he and Hazel were meant to be.

While I appreciated John Green’s attempt to try to throw a twist on your typical cancer romance novel, I just don’t think it worked for me. I’m sure a lot of my opinion on this book was influenced by the mass amount of hype that it got. I probably set my expectations way too high and expected way too much. I would like to state that it wasn’t a bad book, it definitely kept my focus and I was motivated to finish it, it just wasn’t very memorable. If you’re into teen romance novels, there’s a good chance you might like this book. As for me, I think I’m all teen romance-ed out and will be sticking with adventure/ mystery books for the forseeable future. ~Bellamy

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Filed under Book Recommendation, Student Workers, Uncategorized

Did Monkeys Invent the Monkey Wrench-Book Review

Ever wonder what it’s like to visit an old hardware store? Ever wonder how rubber came to be or who invented the Vice Grips? Look no further than the book, Did Monkeys Invent the Monkey Wrench, by Vince Staten. This book is chalk full of witty humor along with quite an insight into the world of selling nuts and bolts. Believe me, this is not a book that will bore you to sleep. It may just keep you up in the wee hours of the night, just like the running toilet did in your home. This easy to read book is perfect for those that like tinkering with hand tools, even if you are not very successful. Even the author claims to not be a handyman, but he has a plethora of knowledge on the tools handy persons use. Pick up this book and get a glimpse into a culture that may one day be gone. Tyler G.

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Filed under Book Recommendation, Funny, random information, Student Workers