Spring Service Project 2014: Blankets for the Homeless

He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord… (Proverbs 19:17)

On April 9, just a few days before the start of Holy Week, the Library faculty and staff participated in their spring service project by making 50 lunches to be distributed that night by Blankets for the Homeless.

Blankets for the Homeless gives blankets, clothing, food, and other essential items to around 200 of the least of Christ’s brethren each week in the cities of Hampton Roads. To learn more this local ministry and Mariah Smith, who founded it when she was 17, watch this video featured on The 700 Club:

Games in Academic Libraries

by Jason Stuart, Reference Librarian

Relax while improving you understanding of strategy by playing Go at the Library.

Relax while improving you understanding of strategy by playing Go at the Library.

Games in academic libraries… really? It seems like a topic more suited to public libraries, and some may even disagree with their place in that context. But there are times when games are appropriate in academia, and some of them may surprise you.

First though, a bit of definition of what is meant by games. This article takes the broad stance of referring to games: classic card games, social games (e.g. charades), board games, role-playing games, video games, and just about anything else one might consider a game.

Games as learning

Can games teach? Sure they can! Instead of a library tour, why not a scavenger hunt? Unlike other media, games typically put the player in the midst of dilemmas and have them actively engaged rather than passively observing. This mode of learning opens up a wealth of possibilities.

But what do they teach? Well, card and board games can be used for math and game theory. Video games can go even further, covering many subjects, such as chemistry or history. Video games also often contain the important element of narrative. Just as with books and films, video games are imbued with philosophy, culture, and a variety of beliefs and concepts just waiting for analysis by academic researchers such as psychologists and anthropologists. The narrative element in video games can be used by literature and communications students for studying story-structuring.

Games as quality of life enhancers

Playing a game allows students to have fun, interact socially, and take their minds off things; they also provide an outlet for channeling frustration and relieving stress. Unlike tests, papers, and projects, which generally permit only one or two attempts, games take pressure off the player by allowing as many attempts as necessary to achieve success.

Funding issues

Even faculty and students who agree that games have a place in academic libraries may also feel that the cost of collecting them will reduce the available funds for more important resources. So how do academic libraries typically acquire them? Well, some schools can justify the cost because they offer courses on game design or games and learning. Otherwise, grants and especially donations are common. Sometimes even student organizations devote some of their funds to purchasing games. Where there is a will, there is a way.

 Further Reading

Kim, Bohyun. “Harnessing the power of game dynamics.” College & Research Libraries News 73, no. 8 (September 2012): 465-469. Education Source, EBSCOhost (http://0-search.ebscohost.com.library.regent.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eue&AN=79730290&site=ehost-live)

Salter, Anastasia. “Games in the Library,” Chronicle of Higher Education, December 13, 2011. http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/games-in-the-library/37667.

In Memoriam: Pat Mercer Hutchens

University Chancellor M. G. "Pat" Robertson with Dr. Hutchins at the opening of The Auschwitz Album Revisited.

University Chancellor M. G. “Pat” Robertson with Dr. Hutchins at the opening of The Auschwitz Album Revisited.

The Library learned this week that Dr. Pat Mercer Hutchens went home to be with the Lord on Monday, March 31. Dr. Hutchins visited the Library in 2011 for the opening of the world premier exhibition of her 28-painting series The Auschwitz Album Revisited. The exhibition opening took place in conjunction with a memorial service held at the Library for Holocaust Remembrance Day. The service, which includes remarks by Dr. Hutchins, can be viewed by clicking here.

Please pray for Dr. Hutchen’s husband, Brigadier General James Hutchens, US Army (ret.) and their entire family.

Into the Beautiful North

And now for something different…

Nineteen-year-old Nayeli works in a taco and internet café in a poor village in Sinaloa state, Mexico. Like many Mexican villages, Tres Camarones (Three Shrimps) is almost entirely bereft of its able-bodied men, as they are almost all working in the United States. When drug dealers make clear their intention to take over Tres Camarones, high-spirited Nayeli borrows a play from John Sturges’s classic film, The Magnificent Seven: Travel north to the United States with a loyal group of friends and recruit seven brave gunfighters—her own “Siete Magnficos”—to defend their village against the bandidos.

Into the Beautiful North is a modern-day quest story set in Mexico and the United States. To succeed in their dangerous mission to save Tres Camarones, Nayeli and her friends must rely on courage, hope, ingenuity, and loyalty to each other. Combining humor and compassion, author Luis Alberto Urrea has created a novel filled with true-to-life characters and the colors, sounds, and smells of Mexico.

Into the Beautiful North was published in 2009 and is easy to read, making it a perfect book for taking a break while preparing for exams (or grading them). The Library owns three copies of the novel, and an excellent reader’s guide is available from the National Endowment for the Arts on their Big Read website. An interview with the author and an excerpt from the book are available from NPR.

The Library Book Club will discuss Into the Beautiful North on Thursday, April 24 at 12:00 in the Library Conference Room. Distance students and faculty are encouraged to join us live via Google Hangouts, Google’s free, easy-to-use videoconferencing software. Simply click here and Google will take you directly to our discussion or prompt you first to add the Hangouts plug-in to your computer.

For more information about the Library Book Club, including a current schedule, see our new webpage or contact Harold Henkel at harohen@regent.edu.

Essay & Video Contests deadline extended!

Libraries are where it all begins.
-Rita Dove, United States Poet Laureate, 1993-1995

National Library Week will be celebrated from April 13 to April 19, and the nationwide theme for 2014 is “Lives change @ your library.” This year, our most important observance will be essay and video contests open to all current Regent students. Simply tell us, in words or video, how libraries change lives, and you may win a cash prize*:

  • 1st place video and essay: $150 each
  • 2nd place video and essay: $75 each
  • 3rd place video and essay: $50 each

Entries may take the form of history, biography, stream-of-consciousness, rhythmic montage, etc.—unleash your creativity—as long as they conform to our judging criteria:

Essays: Must be no longer than 500 words and submitted via our contest webform by midnight on April 6, 2014. Essays will be judged by the following criteria:

  • Adherence to the theme “Lives Change @ Your Library.”
  • Creativity
  • Writing quality

Videos: Must be no longer than 3 minutes, posted on YouTube and the link submitted via our contest webform by midnight on April 6, 2014. Videos will be judged by the following criteria:

  • Adherence to the theme “Lives Change @ Your Library.”
  • Creativity
  • Production quality

All winners will be announced during National Library Week and posted on the Library website. The 1st place entries will be posted on the Library blog and YouTube channel.

Please direct questions about the contests to Harold Henkel at harohen@regent.edu or 757-352-4198.

*If participants are Regent employees (such as GAs), prize money will be in their paycheck and subject to tax withholding.