Citation Week: March 2nd – March 6th

DSC07391Reduce your stress by learning a better way to manage sources and cite your resources. From March 2nd – 6th, McCain Library is hosting Citation Week to answer all your questions.​ ​

Meet with a Librarian for personalized help by signing up for a 30 minute appointment: (you may need to forward the calendar that appears to the week of March 2nd).  During this appointment we can:

  • teach you about tools that will help you track and store research citation​s​ you find through the library databases or through general web searching; or
  • help you learn how to make citation decisions for difficult to cite sources.

Attend a workshop on a popular citation management tool. Workshops will be held on Friday, March 6 in McCain 211:

  • 1:00pm – 1:30pm: Zotero Basics
    2:00pm -2:30pm: RefWorks Basics

If these opportunities do not fit your schedule​,​ then check out the following resources:

Please note: McCain Library will not format your works cited page or bibliography, but we are here to help you learn the best way to do this yourself!

Focus on Copyright – It’s Fair Use Week

Fair Use Week 2015 is being celebrated nationally this week through Friday, February 27. Check out this cool infographic that shows its impact:

Also, remember that McCain Library maintains a LibGuide to help you navigate fair use questions in classroom settings.

McCain Library’s Award for Aspiring Librarians – Call for Nominations (by March 20)

Each spring, McCain Library sends out a call for nominations for the Arseneau Award.  This award was created by the Agnes Scott College Class of 1989 to honor the memory of their classmate Marjo Dobbs Arseneau, an academic librarian whose life was cut short by cancer.  At least nine past winners have gone on to complete library-related Master’s degrees and to pursue careers in libraries.

To be eligible (self-nominations are accepted), a nominee must be a current Agnes Scott College junior or senior:

  • committed to pursuing a career in librarianship by continuing her education in a Master of Library Science or Information Management program 


  • who has made significant contributions to McCain Library while working as a library student assistant.
The Arseneau Award includes a monetary prize intended to assist with graduate school costs. This year’s distribution will be $800.
A Google Form on which to submit your own information or a nomination (due by 5:00 pm on Friday, March 20) is available here: and on the library website under About/Awards.  (You will need to log in to Scottie Mail to access it.) 
People other than the McCain Library staff will help with the selection process, so please be thorough in completing the form.  Thank you for your assistance.  Any questions may be directed to Elizabeth Bagley.

Reading Habits: Amy Lovell


Question 1)

 amy_lovell_picDo you like to read? How would you describe yourself as a reader?

I love to read, but don’t always have as much time as I’d like for reading.  I read a lot of non-fiction, and love to discuss books I’ve read with other people who enjoyed them.

Question 2)

 What books would you recommend?

I like to recommend books that I found thought-provoking… I also enjoy lighter reading, but haven’t done as much of that recently.  A few recent books I have read and would recommend are listed here.

Half the Sky (the Agnes Reads book this year) is very high on my list for thought-provoking (and wrath-inducing) and I highly recommend it, but be prepared to get a bit angry and frustrated.

I Am Malala is a book I picked up in an airport over the summer to read during a flight, and I found it really interesting.  If you would like an advocate’s view of girls’ education, and a window into another culture that will help you think beyond the often simplistic view presented about women in Islam, this is the book for you.  Her affection for her homeland, her religion, and other aspects of her culture are clear, which makes this a poignant story as her family encounters threats and violence.

While we’re on the subject of women and opportunity, I also recommend Lean In (Sheryl Sandberg).  She has some important things to say about leadership and productivity in the workplace, and how we are all affected by issues of gender stereotyping and socialization (both conscious and unconscious).

Speaking of unconscious biases and other hazards of the human brain, Strangers to Ourselves (Timothy Wilson) discusses our adaptive unconscious brain functions and is a really interesting look at how we think even when we don’t know we’re doing it!  I think this book is a great companion read for the issues faced by introverts that are discussed in Quiet (Susan Cain).

Another great book about our brains is My Stroke of Insight (Jill Bolte Taylor), which documents the process of a stroke as experienced by a neuroscientist looking at herself from both inside and out.  She has a lot to say about how we understand the brain, how medical practice can improve in dealing with patients with brain injuries, and what it is possible to recover given the knowledge and the will to do so.

On the lighter side, two space books are fun and inspiring so I can recommend them as well:  Packing for Mars (Mary Roach) and My Dream of Stars (Anousheh Ansari).  Packing for Mars was recommended to me by Alan Koch, and is an in-depth look at what goes into human spaceflight in many ways that most people don’t consider.  The book is investigative and interesting, yet lighthearted, and acknowledges the humor that often intersects with humans in space.  Ansari’s book introduces the concept of space entrepreneurs, and documents her entire journey to the ISS, including her childhood dreams and nightmares in Iran.  It is another great read about a Muslim woman and her accomplishments as well as her lifelong love of space.

Question 3)

Do you remember the first book you read or any childhood favorites?

I don’t remember the first book I read, but as a child, I really loved the ʺLittle Bearʺ books.  As a parent, I loved reading them to my kids too – the stories are so sweet and true to the nature of childhood and imagination, I never get tired of them.  My other childhood favorites were funny books like Pippi Longstocking or things written by Dr. Seuss.

Question 4)

Have you always liked to read? Was there any person in your life who really inspired you to read?

I have loved to read since before I can remember. My mother taught me to read at an early age, and always encouraged my love of books. Whenever we moved to a new town, we’d get library cards right away, and would take me to the library often. I think every summer of my childhood, I joined one of those summer reading clubs that local libraries run.

Question 5)

Did you read any interesting/memorable books when you were in college?

I read Contact by Carl Sagan… it helped inspire my interest in astronomy and space exploration.  I did a lot of reading for my classes, and while I was in college, most of the pleasure reading I did was during the summers or other breaks when I didn’t have homework!

More Valentine’s Week Activities in McCain!


Blind Date with a Book Continues!

DSC07364All 35 of the books that Rachael Scott ’17 picked out for you were checked out by 5pm yesterday! Don’t worry, we’ve got more.  Svetlana Sinanovic, Evening Circulation Assistant, spent her entire evening shift wrapping up 42 additional books.  Stop by today to pick out your date!

We hope all the early participants enjoyed the books they chose!  (Please remember to bring back the bags so we can use them next year.)

Show us your love!


Write McCain a Valentine’s note to let us know what you love most about McCain Library.  Is it the way the sun warms the “Hall of Contemplation” or the great staff like Svetlana, willing to cover her hands in smudges from wrapping “Blind Date” books in newsprint? We want to hear from you!  Look for the display table and post your note across from the Reference Desk on Floor 1.


Blind Date with a Book! Pick Out Your Date Today!

2015-02-09 10.26.46Go on an adventure this Valentine’s Day with the perfect book!  Our reference assistant, Rachael Scott, picked out 35 titles that will introduce you to some interesting characters!  Sure, you might run into an overweight hot dog vendor who starts a revolt in a pants factory, but overall our dates are pretty charming.

To pick out your date, visit the display by the Circulation Desk.

Reading Habits: Charlotte Artese


Question 1)

charlotte_artese_picDo you like to read? How would you describe yourself as a reader?

I spend more time thinking about what books to take with me when I travel than I spend thinking about what clothes to pack, and I’m pretty thoughtful about clothes. Reading is central to my life, both professionally and personally. I have long lists written down of books I want to read, both for work and play, and those two lists overlap. I don’t get involved in book groups because I don’t want someone else picking books for me. I sometimes worry that I read too much.

Question 2)

What books would you recommend?

We all want other people to love our favorite books. When I worked in a bookstore after college, I would try to sell everyone who came in the door Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude, whether they came in for a spy thriller or a book on business management. Now I try only to recommend books to someone if I think they are a good fit for that person. I think everyone in the world should read twelve Shakespeare plays and Ovid’s Metamorphoses, but even I wouldn’t recommend those to someone I didn’t think would enjoy them.

Question 3)

Do you remember the first book you read or any childhood favorites?

The first book I read all by myself was called Bears, Bears, Bears. Bears on stairs, bears with hair, millionaire bears. You get the idea. I was thrilled, and I still have that little book. As a child, I read and reread The Chronicles of Narnia. C. S. Lewis was also an important scholar of Renaissance literature, and later when I read Paradise Lost and The Faerie Queene, I recognized that he had rewritten scenes from those epics for the Narnia books. I suspect I specialized in Renaissance literature because it already seemed familiar to me when I studied it in college.

Question 4)

Have you always liked to read? Was there ever a person in your life who really inspired you to read?

I don’t remember the precise moment when I became a really avid reader. My father was in the army, and we moved a lot when I was a child. Books are an excellent way for the new kid who hasn’t made friends yet to occupy herself. They’re cheap or free–my mother took me and my brother to the library every two weeks. Lots of adults encouraged me–a school librarian pointed me to the Madeleine L’Engle books, another passion; my third grade teacher loaned me his book of Swedish fairytales; my grandmother read and told me the Brer Rabbit folktales.

Question 5)

Did you read any interesting/memorable books when you were in college?

I took five classes on Shakespeare in college. I latched on to Shakespeare and clung like grim death. I had a summer job at the Folger Shakespeare Library, and I was a volunteer ticket-taker for a free Shakespeare in the Park performance series. And yet I was dumbfounded recently when a student asked me why I like Shakespeare so much. Because he’s awesome! I need to come up with a better answer. I decided to write my dissertation on something not-Shakespeare (okay, one chapter was on The Tempest) because I thought I should take a broader view of Renaissance literature. But I’m back to my first love now.