December 6, 2018
by Lisa Thornell

Finals Week @ the Library

It's hard to believe that the Fall 2018 semester is drawing to a close, but alas - finals week is next week. In the spirit of "cura personalis", the DiMenna-Nyselius Library is committed to creating a supportive atmosphere to help our students cope with the stress of final exams and assignments. This is why we present our Finals Week De-Stress activities, which are an outlet for our students to let off steam together and take a quick break from studying so they can refocus and do their best writing, reading, and researching!

Crowd favorites are back, such as therapy dog visits, the Zen Den, as well as a few new activities. Finals Week Stress Relief will kick off on the first reading day, Tuesday, December 11th, 2018, which is the start of Our 24-hour schedule

All Week:

  • De-stress Station in front of the main staircase (Coloring, Legos, Puzzles, etc.) AND "Stretch and Move" space on the lower level next to the multimedia room (yoga balls, mats, and jump rope lent by our friends at the RecPlex)
  • Giveaways! As always, after 11 pm on the nights we're open 24 hours, we'll be putting out the coffee and snack cart in front of the circulation desk! Free study supplies are available at the circulation desk. Follow us on our social media pages so that you know when our pop-up pizza party will take place.  @fairfieldulib
  • Take a quick break and write a postcard for local residents that visit area homeless shelters and soup kitchens. Next to the letter drop there will be a donation bin for toiletry items. (main level)
  • Extra study space available in room 114 (lower level) every night starting at 6pm  (through 9am)
  • Need to get up and move around? Look around for the 8 holiday pickles hidden in the library (don't worry they are plastic pickle ornaments) and turn them into the Reference Desk to claim and unwrap your prize.
  • As always Research and Citation Help is available!

Tuesday, December 11th

  • Pick up and write postcards to send home to let your folks know that you are studying hard in the library! While supplies last. Postage is on us!
  • Holiday Bingo (with prizes) 1-2pm, rm 114
  • Coloring & Cocoa Party 2:30-5:30pm, rm 114
  • Mini-Runs for Mega Minds (15 min. outdoor guided run with RecPlex staff member), 3pm & 5pm,  meet in lobby
  • Stretch & Socialize (15 min. guided stretching with RecPlex student staff member) 3:30 & 5:30pm, lower level next to multimedia room
  • Guided Meditation (15 min. with RecPlex student staff member) 4:00-4:15pm, multimedia room
  • Writing Center open 12pm-6pm

Wednesday, December 12th

  • Therapy Dogs Visit. Paws to relax with Sadie, Sundance and Honcho from Newtown Strong, 1-4pm, room 114
  • Sweet and Greet-the Interfaith Peer Minsters will be giving out holiday candy & hot chocolate in the lobby, 3-5pm
  • Walk the Labyrinth to refocus and reflect, rm 233 10am-5pm  (thank you to Campus Ministry for lending it)
  • Mini-Runs for Mega Minds (15 min. outdoor guided run with RecPlex student staff member), 3pm & 5pm,  meet in lobby
  • Stretch & Socialize (15 min. guided stretching with RecPlex student staff member) 3:30 & 5:30pm, lower level next to multimedia room
  • Guided Meditation (15 min. with RecPlex student staff member) 4:00-4:15pm, multimedia room
  • Writing Center open 12pm-6pm

Thursday, December 13th

  • Make a Stress Ball and/or Friendship Bracelets, and enjoy calming essential oils, music, and healthy snacks in the "Zen Den" with friends from the Library and Counseling, 11am-1pm, rm 114 (co-sponsored with Counseling & Psychological Services)
  • Walk the Labyrinth for mindfulness, rm 233 10am-5pm (thank you to Campus Ministry for lending it)
  • Therapy Dogs Visit.  Paws to relax with Dakota, & President Nemec's Pup, Monty, from 1-4pm, rm 114
  • Writing Center open 12pm-6pm

Friday, December 14th

  • Craft & Cookie Buffet, 11am-5pm, rm 233. Help yourself to our buffet of random materials (and cookies) to create a quick craft to help you relax and de-stress. While supplies last. The best creation will win a prize. Direct message the library's instagram account @fairfieldulib with a photo of what you made by 5pm on 12/14.
  • Mini-Runs for Mega Minds (15 min. outdoor guided run with RecPlex student staff member), 3pm & 5pm,  meet in lobby
  • Stretch & Socialize (15 min. guided stretching with RecPlex student staff member) 3:30 & 5:30pm, lower level next to multimedia room
  • Guided Meditation (15 min. with RecPlex student staff member) 4:00-4:15pm, multimedia room

Sunday, December 16th

  • Mini-Runs for Mega Minds (15 min. outdoor guided run with RecPlex student staff member), 3pm & 5pm,  meet in lobby
  • Stretch & Socialize (15 min. guided stretching with RecPlex student staff member) 3:30 & 5:30pm, lower level next to multimedia room

Monday, December 17th

  • Button Making, Lobby, 10:00am-1pm

See the library's event page for the most up to date list of events





November 29, 2018
by Lisa Thornell

Student Book Display: Read this if…

When Courtney Krechel was on the Student Library Advisory Board last semester she asked if she could create a library book display because, well,  she is an avid reader and passionate about getting her peers to read more. Take a look at the display on the main level and use your StagCard to check one out for winter break. Courtney '20 is a Nursing major with a Peace and Justice Studies minor, a New Student Leader, Eucharistic Minister, President of Canisius Academy, and part of Students for Social Justice.

Post written by Courtney Krechel:

Ready for winter break? Fairfield students are able to take library books out over winter break which is a perfect opportunity to get some reading in for yourself without having to worry about homework, tests, and deadlines. Just you, a cup of hot chocolate, and a good book. Don’t know where to start? That’s where I come in. My name is Courtney and I am a self-proclaimed nerd. I love to read and have read quite a few books in my time, so I am here to help you find the right book for you to get swept up into this winter. I have written short explanations as to why I enjoyed these books so if one catches your eye, do yourself a favor and pick it up and do some reading this break!

To Kill a Mockingbird: Read this if you haven’t already read this book. I wholeheartedly believe it is completely necessary for everyone to read this book at least once in their lives. Read this book and rediscover just how ugly racism is alongside your spunky, clever main character, Scout. You’ll quickly fall for Atticus Finch who is the epitome of the “good father” character and will become your role model for how you want to act with your children. Even if you read it back in high school, trust me when I say it deserves a second reading. You’ll be surprised how much you missed back in tenth grade.

Harry Potter: Read this if you want to get lost in the magic of this life-changing series. J.K. Rowling is a modern genius and has created a world that has defined our generation so for goodness sake jump on the bandwagon if you haven’t already: it is never too late! The Sorcerer's Stone is the first book and the most iconic, so just do yourself a favor and read it. You’re not too old, I promise.

The Glass Castle: Read this if you think your family is dysfunctional because I guarantee this family is worse. This memoir follows the true story of Jeannette Walls and her erratic family as they travel across the country, evading the law and taxes and growing up wild. Walls paints a gorgeous picture of her unpredictable and unbelievable childhood and will make you thankful for the humdrum of your life. It is truly a story about perseverance and reality facing that you will never forget; it will answer the question of what do you do when the person you love the most also lets you down the most. It’s hilarious and heartbreaking and oh so hard to put down, so allow yourself a couple of free days in your winter break.

Night: Read this if you are looking for short book of shocking nonfiction that will leave you speechless. Elie Wiesel tells his own story of his time in a concentration camp and the horrors he endured so matterfactly that it leaves you feeling emptied. He demands you pay attention when you’re reading this book so much so that you feel like you’re there with him in the camp, watching the story play out for yourself. He delivers powerful reflections about life and religion that are gut wrenchingly sad. I don’t cry very often. I have read this book four times and have cried every single time. It is a difficult book, but it is also a necessary book.

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius: Read this if you’re not afraid of a long read that will consume your whole winter break. Dave Egger will capture your attention immediately with his absolutely incredible first-person narration that is equally parts witty and hilarious and smart and wholesome. Though the subject material is, well, heartbreaking, Eggers presents his story of his 20s in such long streams of consciousness that make it seem he’s just reliving it with you at a cocktail party. You feel like you’re in on the jokes. You’re allowed to laugh at some of the things that happen because it seems normal. You feel like you know the characters personally and you live through their trauma with them. It’s a lengthy read, but Dave Eggers is one of my favorite authors and this is my favorite book by him, so read on. If you’re entering your twenties, read this book.

A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time: Read this if you want to prepare for Fairfield Theater’s production of the stage adaptation of this book! I read this book back in sixth grade, so it’s quick, but it is impactful and just so beautiful. Your main character Christopher writes so honestly you fall for him right away. Like so many of these books I’ve chosen, this book challenges you to step in Christopher’s shoes and live his scheduled and particular life with him for a couple hundred pages, a life that you, like me, have probably never even thought about. As you are privileged into the mind of your brilliant main character you will be made aware of the roadblocks you have probably never had to struggle over growing up and will hopefully make you a little more conscious of people’s physical and mental needs in the future.

Armageddon in Retrospect: Read this if you’re looking for some strange short stories about war and peace for right before you fall asleep this winter. Kurt Vonnegut is another my favorite authors because he is so wonderfully odd. He mostly writes satire, which is why I love him because satire is like a game writers play with their audience, trying to see who can pick up on what in their jumble of symbolism and metaphors. This collection of short stories has to do with his anti-war stance and it does not disappoint in terms of his trademark sardonic humor. The stories are a perfect length for right before bed and his eccentric and quick-witted storytelling will keep you awake until the last sentence.

The Book Thief: Read this if you want to get caught up in the happenings of Nazi Germany through the eyes of your trusty narrator, Death. This is one of the greatest books I have ever read. I’m a sucker for historical fiction and this might just be my favorite. It is gorgeously written- the explanations of people and places are so rich and powerful it is so easy to picture yourself in the story, which makes the events even more visceral and heart-wrenching to imagine. Get lost in this modern classic and join the conversation of the people obsessed with this book. Disclaimer: this is not the quickest read, but is well worth your time. Plus you have a whole month, so read on! 

XX: Poems for the Twentieth Century: Read this if you love to learn but have a short attention span like I do. These poems are exactly what you need over break if you want to keep learning. There are 100 poems in this book, one for every year in the twentieth century and each poem tells a story from that year. In order to learn from and understand the poetic language it’s helpful to Google what the event is before you read the poem. I read this collection of poetry last semester before I went to sleep and I learned so much, so if you only read a couple poems from each decade that is enough to feel cultured and good about yourself over break. It’s a rare find of beautiful poetry and unconventional history lessons. Don’t be afraid of poetry. Read on, John Donne.

Dear Martin: Read this if you like young adult novels that deal with adult themes. Your main character’s story is told in a mix of third-person narrative, fiery dialogue, and letters that he writes to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as he connects the horrors he lives through with MLK’s thoughts during the Civil Rights Movement. This new and young author, Nic Stone, deals with racial profiling and affirmative action in a heuristic way which is sure to make you think. You’ll be outraged by the proceedings in this book and will start paying attention to the news. This book will break you out of the Fairfield bubble for sure, and might inspire you to take Dr. Sealey’s Critical Race Theory class here at Fairfield next semester as you and your main character, rightly named Justyce, tackle racism that is at the heart of America. This novel is powerful, tangible, and frighteningly real. It’s well worth your time this winter.



November 12, 2018
by Lisa Thornell
Comments Off on Human Library 2018 Recap

Human Library 2018 Recap

The third annual Human Library was a huge success, with 400 attendees, or "readers". The readers waited on line, sometimes waiting 30 minutes, to "check out" a "human book" to speak with. There were 35 books (students, faculty , staff and alumni) that volunteered to share their unique story that could challenge stereotypes through open dialogue with the Fairfield University community.

Each of the books self-titled their story and crafted a brief description. Check out some of the book's stories and more information about the Human Library:

Many thanks to the student newspaper, The Mirror, for promoting the event:

The Human Library™ is an international movement that started in Denmark in the year 2000 and has since made its way through over 30 countries. Human Library at Fairfield University was created with the permission of the Human Library Organization.

Fairfield University's Human Library was co-sponsored by DiMenna-Nyselius Library, the Office of Student Diversity & Multicultural Affairs, Center for Faith and Public Life, College of Arts and Sciences, Counseling and Psychological Services, the Office of Student Engagement, Academic Affairs and Student Affairs.

Thank you to all the staff and volunteers who made the event possible, and of course to the brave faces of the event, the human books themselves.


October 29, 2018
by Lisa Thornell
Comments Off on New Exhibits on the Lower Level

New Exhibits on the Lower Level

Check out two new exhibits on the lower level of the library:

Armistice Day Centenary (1918-2018)

This exhibition recognizes the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day and the signing of a treaty that brought an end to the First World War.  Featuring original posters, militaria, documents, and soldier’s letters from the Special Collections of the Fairfield University Libraries, this exhibit highlights how World War I contributed to the story of American life during the early 1900's.  The exhibit is located on the lower level and lobby and runs from September 30 – December 21, 2018.


The Refugee Crisis: Through the Eyes of Children

On loan from Loyola Marymount, Los Angeles, this photo exhibit depicts children and families seeking refuge in Greece from war-torn Syria and hopes to put a human face on this unprecedented exodus. Robin and Robert Jones photographs and narrative tell a compelling story of families fleeing from cities and towns where they feared for their lives. This traveling exhibit is co-sponsored by JUHAN and Center for Faith & Public Life, and the DiMenna-Nyselius Library.  The exhibit is located on the lower level and runs from October 29 – November 25, 2018.



October 24, 2018
by Mat Blaine
Comments Off on Open Access Week 2018: How Can Fairfield U Faculty Promote Open Access?

Open Access Week 2018: How Can Fairfield U Faculty Promote Open Access?

Monday, October 22nd marked the beginning of International Open Access Week, an initiative organized by SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) to increase the awareness of the benefits that open access materials and resources offer the academic and research community. As directed, we're spending this week reflecting on our practices here as part of this community, both at on and off campus. Longtime fans of the Library will remember our Open Educational Resources (OER) workshop back in October 2015 when we welcomed SPARC's Director of Open Education, Nicole Allen and several of our colleagues from across Connecticut to present and lead discussions on OER topics like the rising cost of textbooks, research paywalls, and publishing restrictions, among others.

Let's rekindle the passion we felt after hearing those testimonies to the benefits of OER and explore a few ways that we can support open access.

Submit your research articles to Open Access journals

It shouldn't be a surprise that articles in OA journals are seen by a broader audience since they are not blocked by a paywall. This leads to increased citation and usage as well as an overall greater engagement between your work and both the public and academic communities. Moreover, OA journals are proven to have a faster impact on the research community.

Use the Directory of Open Access Journals to find those available in your field.

Deposit your research in our Digital Commons

DigitalCommons@Fairfield makes the scholarship of Fairfield University easily available in one location online, enabling increased access to colleagues (both at Fairfield and beyond), students, and the greater internet community.  Works placed in the repository are more easily discovered in common internet search engines as well as other academic search portals.  This greater access makes it easier for researchers around the world to discover your work.

In addition, because a permanent URL is established, researchers can cite these works without the normal concerns regarding content online disappearing or moving.  DigitalCommons@Fairfield is a valuable way to extend the scholarly output of Fairfield University to include greater reach and increased circulation not only in Connecticut, but throughout the country and beyond.

Consider using Open Textbooks in your classes

One of the most publicly discussed issues relevant to OA/OER is the affordability, or lack thereof, of textbooks. Perhaps you have even noticed manifestations of this issue in your own classes- like students buying older editions or even worse, not buying one at all and depending on the kindness of their classmates to lend them their copy. So, while there might be no way around the necessity of a certain textbook, it is worth considering using one of the many Open Textbooks, compliant with OA/OER, as an alternative.

Visit the Open Textbook Hub to see if there are any options to use in your classes.

Take advantage of the Library's resources & services

Another way to ease the economic strain on your students is to utilize the collections, resources, and services that we have in the Library. As you're designing your syllabi, consider looking through our catalog to see if any of the materials you plan on using are available here. You can easily embed permalinks to e-books and articles in Blackboard and put physical items on Reserve for your students to access in the Library. Speaking of Course Reserves, we welcome personal copies of textbooks, books, articles, & media being placed on reserve- a gesture that significantly helps encourage your students' success and limits their financial stress.

Discover more ways that you can help promote OA

SPARC's Director of OER, Nicole Allen's presentation on the textbook crisis