Library Service in Guatemala

by Georgi Bordner, Head of Technical Services

First grader checking out her first library book

First grader checking out her first library book

During the last week of April, I had the privilege of joining a group of 13 “Librarians without Borders” from across the United States and Canada on a service trip to Guatemala. Our mission was to help the Colegio Miguel Angel Asturias, a private K-12 school in Quetzaltenango, with a variety of projects intended to improve the library and promote literacy. I was part of the group that cataloged and processed almost 200 new books that had been donated to the library, and other members of our team conducted a workshop for the teachers and planned activities for the children, such as stories, skits, and crafts. As one of only five Spanish speakers in the group, I also had many opportunities to serve as an interpreter for the other members of the team.

Having spent a number of years in ministry in Latin America and with Latin Americans, being in Guatemala almost felt like being “home.” However, while the culture was very familiar, working in the school environment was a new experience for me. I enjoyed helping some of the younger children with their craft projects, as we glued “capes” to popsicle sticks to create superhero bookmarks. It was also fun to see how excited the first and second graders were as they checked out their first library books. One little boy read to me from the Garfield book he had selected as he stood in line at the librarian’s desk. I know he was looking forward to reading the rest of it at home!

In addition to working with the children in the library, we had opportunities to talk with the school’s founder and director about his philosophy of education. The curriculum at Asturias is built around monthly themes that teach social values and practical skills in addition to the traditional reading, writing, and math. The theme for April was ecology and the environment, and we joined a group of the older students on a field trip to a local glass blowing co-op, where we learned how recycled glass is used to create a variety of useful and decorative items. We also visited the home of a high school student who lives in a local farming community. He makes the long trip into the city every day for school because the school in his town only goes up to 8th grade, and he wanted to take advantage of the higher education Asturias offers. His father proudly demonstrated the electric pump that he uses to water his crops, built by his older son who learned about electrical work when he attended the school.

We didn’t spend all of our time working! We enjoyed additional activities such as a tour of Quetzaltenango, a visit to a local hot spring, and stops at the city of Antigua and several towns along the shores of Lake Atitlan. I am very thankful to have had this opportunity to explore Guatemala, as well as contribute toward the improvement of the school library there.

A selection of photos from our trip can be viewed on the Library’s Facebook group and Google+ page.

Book Discussion: Far from the Madding Crowd, by Thomas Hardy

far-from-the-madding-crowd-cover-imageLooking for a great love story this summer? Then read Thomas Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd with the Library Book Club. In 2007, the British newspaper The Guardian ranked Thomas Hardy’s impassioned tale of courtship and rural English life #10 in its ranking of the 100 greatest love stories of all time.

Far from the Madding Crowd was Thomas Hardy’s first major literary success and remains one of his most popular works. Set against the backdrop of the unchanging natural cycle of the year, the novel is permeated with classical and Biblical allusions.

The Library has print and e-book versions of the book available for check-out. Our discussion of  will take place on Thursday, July 14 at 1:00pm in the Library Conference Room. An English snack (and of course, tea) will be served. We will also view clips of the 1967 and 2015 film adaptations of the novel.

Distance students and faculty are invited to join the discussion via our Google Hangouts link. For more information about this or other Book Club events, contact Harold Henkel at harohen@regent.edu.

Alumni benefits at the Library

The Library faculty and staff offer our sincere congratulations to all new graduates of Regent University. We are honored to have played a role in your accomplishment and would like to take this opportunity to remind you that Regent alumni have lifetime borrowing privileges at the Library. In addition, we are able to offer alumni access to thirteen online databases. So no matter where the future takes you, keep us in mind for your information needs.

To check out materials or use databases, please submit the online Alumni Registration Form. Processing may take up to five business days for verification and approval. For more information, please see the Services for Alumni page.

New Database Trials from ProQuest

The Library has trial subscriptions to two premium databases from ProQuest:

eeboEarly English Books Online (EEOB) contains more than 125,000 titles, from the first book published in English through the age of Spenser and Shakespeare. EEOB is an indispensable primary source archive for research in English literature, history, philosophy, theology, science, and many other disciplines. EEOB documents the magnificent English Renaissance – an era that witnessed the rebirth of classical humanism, the Reformation, the broadening of the known world, and the rapid spread of printing and education. Complete information about content as well as suggestions for using the database can be found at ProQuest’s LibGuide to Early English Books Online. To begin using EEOB, click here.

proquestProQuest Central is the one of the largest multidisciplinary scholarly databases in the world. The resource provides access to nearly 40 of ProQuest’s complete databases, with a variety of content types across over 175 subjects. Researchers will find millions of full-text, peer-reviewed articles in all disciplines taught at Regent. Comprehensive information about content as well as suggestions for using the database can be found at the ProQuest Central Libguide. To begin using Central, click here.

As always, the Library welcomes comments and suggestions about our electronic resources. Please use our evaluation form to send feedback about these trial databases.

New JSTOR Collections

jstorThe Library is very pleased to announce the purchase of JSTOR Arts & Sciences VIII – XIV. This purchase provides Regent researchers with access to more than 1,400 new peer-reviewed journals and millions of articles in full-text. The Arts & Sciences collections include titles across nearly every academic discipline.

JSTOR is one of the world’s most respected providers of scholarly literature and one of the most popular Library databases with Regent students and faculty. During the 2014-2015 academic year, Regent users conducted 377,536 searches in JSTOR. Now with twice the journal content, plus access to JSTOR’s carefully chosen e-book collection, this invaluable resource will contribute even more to scholarship at Regent.

To get started with JSTOR, click here.