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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Beyond Distraction: Finding Focus in a Digital Landscape

Most of what we do relies on digital technology, whether it’s to work, stay in touch with family and friends, or order takeout. And while we agree these technologies are very useful and fun, they also have a never-ending appetite for our attention to keep us engaged. For example, when we're trying to focus on the task at hand - researching a topic, studying for a test, completing a grant application – inevitably, an email, text, news flash pops up…

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Why Are You Here?

I have posed this question to our student workers for years, it is not a difficult question, it is not a trick question, and I still receive glazed looks of confusion. Possibly, this question is too easy.  Or maybe they feel that it should be common knowledge why people attend college, and everyone should know the answer to that question.  That could explain why I have seen the “duh” expression from some of our student workers over the years.  For…

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How to: Heart Shaped Pillow

Valentine’s Day is here! Many may disagree but Valentine is my favorite holiday with the hearts, crazy cards, and colors are so fun! No matter who you are spending it with or if it's a day full of self-care we at the I-Create lab want you to have an amazing Valentine's Day! I will be showing how to create a heart-shaped pillow perfect for every day and a very cute Valentine's gift! The best part is you can create this…

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IDEA in the House!!!!

For this week’s post, we decided to do something a little different. Following a format based on questions, we wanted to present insight into ourselves and the work we are currently completing as the chairs of the Mary and Jeff Bell Library’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA) committee. We both are committed to the work (hence our willingness to serve as co-chairs!) but the unique perspectives, stories, and experiences we each bring have incredible value to the committee’s work.…

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