Why do we do the things we do?

During the pandemic, I decided health and wellness would help me feel some normalcy and like many Americans, I acquiesced to exercise. However, I soon realized that exercising was great but tracking my health and wellness was even better. Enter Fitbit! While I choose the device specific for its features and simplicity, I relished in its ability to not take calls and a momentary reprieve from digital content. While I used the app for a bit without social connections, it…

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HOLIDAY MADNESS with the Bell Library!

Do you ever wonder what your Library Faculty & Staff do to unwind and have a good laugh? Well, the library is full of spunky and funny individuals that come together to cheer one another on and bring smiles to each other's faces. I’m Julie Sanchez and I can tell you that behind the scenes we have our good laughs to power us through our days. We love celebrating holidays and spreading cheer and here are some funny times we've…

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Library Hacks on Finding Information

We all have questions we want answers to. Those questions can be simple, like: what time does the library open on Saturday? What is the weather like this weekend? And what was the final score of the Islander baseball game? And usually, with a simple Google search, look at the weather app, or visit to the Islander Baseball team website, we can find the answers to our questions. But sometimes our questions are more complex, and Google’s algorithm cannot give…

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The One Button Studio: A Tutorial

HEEELLLOOO ISLANDERS!! It has been a minute since an I-Create Lab blog post! I love making these blogs for you all (even if I run out of ideas most of the time). However, this month I have some very exciting news for you all! As many of you may know, the I- Create lab was under construction last semester. Being built was a One Button Studio. A One Button Studio is a soundproof room that students and staff can use…

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Virtual Reality: The Next Step in Digital Learning

The Mary and Jeff Bell Library is very excited about our next steps on our digital learning journey. Introducing zSpace, a laptop based Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technology that makes immersive learning possible without the need of VR headsets.  zSpace technology makes kinesthetic learning possible in areas that have traditionally been impossible or not feasible. Users can manipulate 3D models, pull sections apart, see how they function and interact as a system, and so much more.  This…

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April Showers Bring…a TON of events @ Your Library!

April is such a wonderful month in the library world because it’s full of celebrations. From National Library Week to the early celebration of May’s Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month - there is plenty happening and so many great ways to get engaged! National Library Week Taking place April 3-9 this year, National Library week “is a time to celebrate our nation’s libraries, library workers’ contributions and promote library use and support” (ALA, 2013). The Mary and Jeff…

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Read more about the article Unexpected and Still Historic
Dog holding a pipe in his mouth.

Unexpected and Still Historic

People expect the archives to be a serious place filled with staunch academic research. While it is that, it is also so much more. For the staff of Special Collections and Archives sometimes the unexpected is the most exciting part of our collections. The Charles F.H. von Blucher papers are historic, they document the settling of South Texas. These papers start in the mid-1800s and follow the Blucher family through several generations. The Bluchers were surveyors and engineers which makes…

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Red Flags: How to Identify Predatory Publishing

What is predatory publishing? The term “predatory publishing” refers to an exploitative academic publishing business model that involves charging publication fees to authors without checking articles for quality and legitimacy, and without providing editorial and publishing services that legitimate academic journals provide, whether open access or not. If you are unfamiliar with the term “open access,” you can read about it in another blog post, but a quick definition of one model of open access, is that instead of having…

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How I Choose What to Read Changed After College

How do books come to you?  Do you pick up books based on the recommendations of others? Do you stick to one genre? Do you wait for a sign or serendipitous encounter? We all know reading is good for us, but how do we find things we actually enjoy? Reading for pleasure might seem like a far-off dream right now, but whenever you need them, here are some creative ways I jump from book to book. Your favorite author likes…

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How to Celebrate Women’s History Month with the Bell Library!

March is here which means Women’s History Month is here! Women’s History Month is dedicated to honoring contributions of women and girls across the ages. This year’s theme, Women Providing Healing and Promoting Hope, is a tribute to the work of health care workers, caregivers, and frontline workers as well as the ways women of all cultures have provided both healing and hope throughout history. The National Women’s Alliance webpage has more information on this year's celebration and theme! Looking…

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