Library Renovations; Summer 2012!

Concept drawing of the new home for archives & special collections

Summer improvements to Milne Library are well underway!  A new glass enclosure is being built to house our special collections, college archives and the Genesee Valley Historical Collection on the lower level of the library.  The enclosure is equipped with UV resistant glass to better protect the collections from damaging light, while making them more accessible to library users.



In order to make way for the new special collections area, the print journals that are currently shelved on the lower level outside classroom 105 will be relocated to the upper level of the library.   Before the glass enclosure goes up, new carpeting will be installed during the first two weeks of June.

Journal train: carts of print journals ready to be moved to the upper level

The move will provided two new group study areas inside the glass enclosure and an additional group study area just outside the enclosure.

On the main floor, both the Center Academic Excellence and the Digital Media Lab will move into spaces with a bit more leg room.  Once the Genesee Valley Historical collection is relocated to the new glass enclosure on the lower level, the Center for Academic Excellence will move into that space on the main floor.  The Digital Media Lab will move into Milne 210 which once housed the Center Academic Excellence.

On the upper level, the room that once housed our college archives will house the new Census and Copy Center and provide a space for group study on the upper level.  In addition, a new study room will be available by reservation in the room that once held the X collection.  We’re sure that both of these study spaces will be popular with our students.

It is our hope that all of these changes will improve library services for our users, so pardon our dust during this exciting time!

Chrome Extension: Select and Speak

iSpeech Select and Speak, a Chrome extension

Here’s a nifty tool for those who use Google’s Chrome browser: Select and Speak.

Can it get easier?  You select the text on a website and this tool reads it aloud to you. That is handy in a number of situations (no more excuses for not  doing the dishes!) This extension uses iSpeech’s human quality text-to-speech to make this possible. Users can configure the voice and speed option by changing the settings on the options page.

It’s not perfect. The organization states upfront that due to a conflict with Chrome Beta, the first few words of a sentence are cut off and it doesn’t read iFrames nor Gmail.

It’s free, fairly easily to use, and compatible with all operating systems. Give it a try!

Finals Week Survival Guide

Although we aren’t really loaning out pets as stress relief during finals week, we do have some tips to get you through exams.

1.   Check out the Final Exam Schedule so that you know when your exams will be and plan ahead so that you give yourself plenty of time to study for each of them. 
2.    Study in chunks. Block off specific hours of your schedule to study for each test you have to take. A ten minute study break every few hours is also a good idea.

3.     Schedule in some exercise. There’s no better way to relieve stress.  Don’t plan on studying non-stop the whole week.

4.    Take advantage of study groups.  A group can motivate you to get started and discussing difficult concepts with each other can aid in understanding.

5.    Take advantage of review sessions.  Most professors will touch on certain topics more heavily than others in review sessions and this might give you a better idea of what will be on the exam.

6.    Take advantage of your professor’s office hours.  If you’re unsure about anything, touch base with your professor or TA.

7.    Make sure you have the materials you’ll need for the test the night before.  Bring a back-up pen or pencil.

8.    Get a good night’s rest  and have a good breakfast before your test.  If you follow tip #1, you won’t have to stay up all night cramming.

9.    Don’t wait until your class is about to begin to get a bluebook.  If you need a blue book, you can pick it up at the Library Service Desk for 15 cents.

10.  Don’t psych yourself out.  You’ve studied, so don’t talk yourself into doing poorly.  Put yourself in confidence mode, visualize it all going right and think A+.