Book Recommendations for the Winter Break

UniversalToneThis year was filled with many great, new book releases. So why not catch up on the best books of 2014 during your winter break? To make the selection process easier for you, visit NPR’s book concierge, which lists 250 titles selected by NPR staff and book critics. Each book has been tagged with various categories so you can filter the recommendations based on your interests. Are you a music lover that enjoys memoirs? Then try Carlos Santana’s autobiography titled The Universal Tone: bringing My Story To Light. Are you into YA lit and graphic novels? WrenchiesThe app recommends The Wrenchies by Farel Dalrymple. Perhaps you like mysteries with a science fiction slant. Then check out The Peripheral: A Novel by William Gibson.

PeripheralWith over 20 filters, there are many ways to narrow down the titles you can add to your reading list. You could even use this list to generate gift ideas for your friends and family this holiday season.

Want to borrow instead of buy? Check our catalog to see if we have it. If not, use the catalog of your local public library system, like the Ramapo Catskill Library System catalog, which serves most public libraries in Rockland, Orange, Sullivan, and S. Ulster counties.

Spotlight On: Gina Shelton

The Veritas Blog welcomes Gina Shelton, the new Assistant Librarian of Periodicals & Information Literacy and Coordinator of the Learning Commons at Dominican College’s Sullivan Library. Gina received an MS in Library and Information Science from Pratt Institute in Manhattan. She has a BA in Psychology and Studio Art from Hobart & William Smith Colleges in Geneva, N.Y. Gina’s first job in high school was as a page in a public library. 


Assistant Librarian Gina in the Periodicals Room

Assistant Librarian Gina in the Periodicals Room

Q:  Why did you become a librarian?

I enjoy working with people and wanted a job in an educational environment. Plus the purpose of libraries, to provide access to information, resonates with me. Knowledge is very powerful so it is important that people have access to information. I want to be a part of this mission and to teach people how to find what they need.


Q:  What education do you need to become a librarian?

A Master’s degree in Library Science is required to be a librarian in a public, academic, school or special library. This degree can also be used in other professions like archives, digital asset management, and records management. However, there are lots of jobs within libraries, like pages, clerks and assistants, that don’t require a specialized degree.


Q:  How has technology and the internet affected libraries?

Technology has allowed libraries to organize and provide access to information in new and improved ways. Gone are the days of the physical card catalog. Now anyone anywhere can search a library’s online catalog as long as they have an internet connection. Libraries can provide access to electronic content like e-books and e-journals. And provide virtual assistance through chat services and online research guides. On the flip side, advances in technology have changed the way people use libraries. Since so much information is readily available online, people are looking less to libraries for information. So libraries, particularly public ones, have focused their attention on providing community services, like computer training and social services, and have developed themselves as community centers and maker-spaces.


Q:  What plans do you have for the Sullivan Library?

One of my first plans was to re-launch the Veritas Blog so that we can connect the Dominican College community to our services and sources. Now that I’ve checked that item off my to-do list, I plan to teach classes and workshops in the Spring semester, and make more YouTube videos so students can learn about library resources when they want (even if its 3am!). Eventually I want to hold more events in the Learning Commons.


Q:  What is your favorite genre of books?

Non-fiction, particularly memoirs and books about psychological topics. I enjoy reading about people’s personal experiences, and learning about human behavior and how our minds work.


Q:  Did you spend a lot of time in your college library?

I did! When I was an undergraduate student, I was a student worker my first year, so I shelved books and lent materials to patrons at the circulation desk. I had a hard time focusing on my course work in the dorms, so I wrote a lot of my college papers using the laptops that the library lent to students.


Q:  If you wrote a book and could have the setting be any country in the world, what place would you choose?

I’ve travelled very little so I wouldn’t write a very good book set in another country ;) However, if I could read a book set in a particular place it would be Australia. I’ve always wanted to visit this continent because I’ve met lovely people from there, and there are lots of really great ideas and research being generated by Australians.


Q: What are you reading right now? And what was the best book you read in 2014? Right now I am reading The Circle by Dave Eggers. As for my favorite book it is a toss-up between books by the Foer brothers. I couldn’t put down the book Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer, a fictional story about a young boy’s search for answers after his father’s death during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. (Editor’s note: A 2011 movie was made based on this book starring Tom Hanks as the father and Thomas Horn as the 11 year old boy, Oskar Schell, whose father dies 9/11.) I also really enjoyed a non-fiction book by Joshua Foer called Moonwalking with Einstein about memory and the world of competitive memorization.
of competitive memorization.

Stress Management During Finals


By GRPH3B18 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The last week of the semester is a struggle for many students. There’s the typical stress over final exams and papers, lack of sleep fueled by caffeine, and inconsistent meals or snack binges. Students may also be moving out of the dorms, making travel plans, and preparing for the winter holidays. All of these things are overwhelming and can lead to stress that makes us feel ill., a non-profit educational website, has put together a stress management guide to help readers reduce stress. There are suggestions that you can use right away to cope with your stress during finals, and also suggestions of what you can do long-term to prevent stress throughout the year.

To relieve stress now you can try relaxation techniques. The simplest technique you can try anywhere is a breathing meditation. Slowly and deeply breathe from the abdomen (in through the nose and out through the mouth) several times, focusing on the path the breath takes throughout your body. Counting your breaths may help you create a rhythm that will become the focus of your attention.

If you have 10-20 minutes, try a guided meditation. There are many YouTube videos and audio guides on the Internet. The UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center has many free audio guides on their website and iTunes U.

The Sullivan Library has several resources on the topic of stress management. For example, check out the print book by Jeffrey Kottler titled Stress management and prevention: applications to everyday life (Call number: 616.98 K848s). Or see Stephen Palmer’s How to deal with stress, which is an e-book available through EBSCO’s Ebrary.

All of these resources are offered for informational purposes and don’t substitute for professional care. If you want more information, or need help for stress or other issues, the Counseling Department at Dominican College can meet with you. They are located in Forkel Hall and are available by appointment: Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m – 3 p.m and Friday from 9 a.m – 12 p.m. Appointments can be made by calling: (845) 848-4036.

Spotlight On: Darcelle Lindor

Thank you for joining us again at the Veritas Blog. We hope everyone enjoyed Thanksgiving! Student Darcelle Lindor was kind enough to participate in our Spotlight On feature. Darcelle is a freshman from Groton, Connecticut. She chose Dominican College because of the scholarships offered.


Darcelle in YA section where she found her favorite book

Darcelle in YA section where she found her favorite book

Q:  What are you studying or what do you plan to major in?

A:  I am studying athletic training. When I finish college and get my degree I’d like to be a fitness trainer.


Q:  If you could do a semester abroad anywhere in the world where would it be and why?

A:  It would be in Africa because it is a beautiful and resourceful country. I would like to study athletic training in Africa.


Q:  What is your favorite place in the library?

A:  My favorite place in the library is the silent room.


Q:  What paper or project are you working on now?

A:  I am working on a research assignment for my college writing class.


Q: What are your favorite movies, books and or music?

A:  Some of my favorite movies are, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Catch Me if You Can, and The Wizard of Oz.  My favorite genre of music is dancehall and rap. I really like the book Thirteen Reasons Why (which is available here in the library!)


Q:  What are your plans for winter break?

A:  My plan for winter break is to go back to Connecticut and spend time with my family.