Category Archives: About

General information about the library.

Essay Contest Results!

ImageThanks to everyone who submitted essays for the Library essay contest! If you will remember, the essay prompt was to write about how the Yuba College Library contributed to your academic success. Well, we have our winners (drum roll, please) …

First Place Winner: Lisa Shepard, with an essay “Cerebral Sanctuary”

Honorable Mention: June Leal, “Success from a Library”

Honorable Mention: Kris Ramirez, “Tips on How You Can Succeed”


If you know or see our winners around campus, be sure to congratulate them on a job well done! The essays will be posted in the library for all to see. Thanks again to all our contestants!


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An Essay Contest!

The Yuba College Library presents:

An essay contest! How has the library contributed to your academic career?

Contest Rules:

  • Contestants will submit an original essay between 400 – 600 words on how the Yuba College Library has contributed to the success of their academic career.
  • Essays will be judged on originality, creativity, and substance.
  • There will be one winner and two honorable mentions chosen. The winner will receive $50 and the two honorable mentions will receive $25 each. Each will receive a certificate of recognition, and the winning essay will be posted in the library and on the library website.
  • Be sure your essay has your name, phone number, and email address on it.
  • Please submit your essay via email to your Yuba College Library at, or turn them in at the Circulation desk!
  • The deadline to turn your essay in is April 27, 2012, by 4L30 pm.
  • Winners will be notified on May 4th.

Please see the posters in the library for more information.


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Welcome Back!

Hello Yuba College students! It’s time to kick off the spring semester with a bang. Is anyone ready for academic success this semester?

Well never fear, your Yuba College Library is ready to help you succeed. We have a lot of news for you this month. First, if you don’t already have a Yuba College ConneX library card, please check out our new video to learn how to sign up for one:

The other exciting news is that Yuba College now has access to over 20 scholarly databases through EBSCO. The databases include EBSCO, the Gale Literature Resource Center, and ProQuest Nursing. These new databases are a treasure trove of highly reliable and citable information. The EBSCO access is a set of over 20 databases and include such specialized subjects as nursing, health & medicine, science & technology, education, history, and many more!

Just go to the Yuba College Library website ( and check out the list of online databases, or you can reach them from your MyCampus portal. Stay tuned for more in-depth coverage of these new scholarly resources in the coming weeks. There is a lot of ground to cover this semester, so I hope you’re ready! Happy studying!

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Students Speak About the Temporary Library

If you visited the 49er Library ConNeX this September you probably noticed a large white board on display posing the question:  “What do you think about our temporary facility?”   Students were invited to write comments on the white board sharing what they liked and disliked about the library’s temporary location in Building 300, which it currently shares with the cafeteria.

white board with responses

We asked, and you answered!  The following were the topics mentioned in students’ feedback:


  • Friendly, helpful library staff
    • We’re glad that students like the library staff.  We like you, too!
  • Research assistance 
    • We provide research assistance to students working on assignments. Stop by the reference desk and speak to a librarian for research assistance.  We’re here to help!
  • Free coffee
    • Who doesn’t love free coffee?
  • Quiet Cyber Lab
    • The Cyber Lab, located in a room separate from the main library area, is a quiet place to study and access computers.  If the cafeteria noise is bothering you, visit the library’s quiet Cyber Lab, containing 32 computers as well as individual desks and study carrels.
  • Longer hours
    • Because we care about our students, we have extended our hours to Monday-Thursday 7:45am-8pm and Friday 7:45am-4:30pm.  Stop in!
  • Shortened distance to the cafeteria
    • You’ve got that right!  If the library was any closer to the cafeteria, we’d be shelving bananas alongside our books.
  • Less formal setting than the previous library
    • A less formal setting is inevitable when the library is sharing the same building with the cafeteria.  Just maintain the quiet, please!


  • Smaller library size
    • Although the size of the temporary library is smaller than the main library, with about 4,000 books on display, the library’s remaining collection of about 15,000 books is accessible offsite.  If you find an item in the library catalog that is not currently located on the library’s shelves, all you need to do is request the item and we’ll retrieve it from storage for you.
  • Smelling cafeteria food while trying to study
    • We understand that the smell of cafeteria food can be distracting while trying to study.  Unfortunately, the aromas come with the location.
  • Lack of power outlets to plug in electronic devices
    • We’re pleased to announce that a whole row of power outlets have been installed on the cafeteria side of Building 300 to meet students’ needs.  Additionally, more power outlets have been installed in the courtyard.
  • Cafeteria noise
    • We know that the cafeteria noise can be distracting to students while working at the library’s study tables.  However, the library’s Cyber Lab, located in a room separate from the open-air space that the library shares with the cafeteria, is a quiet place to study and work on assignments.  The Cyber Lab contains 32 computers as well as individual desks and study carrels.  Visit the Cyber Lab for your quiet computer and studying needs.

We thank you for your patience during this two year period while the main library is being remodeled and undergoing its high-tech, Library 2.0 transformation.  The temporary inconveniences accompanying our cafeteria-based location were inevitable, but in the end it will all be worth it when in two years we move into our newly remodeled, state-of-the-art library building.   We continue to try to improve our service, and we appreciate the excellent, informative feedback written on the library’s white board this September.   The library is doing its best to meet students’ needs and always welcomes students’ feedback about how we can make your library experience better.

We’re listening, and we want to hear from you.

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You’re Welcome Yuba College Students: Tips for getting through finals and getting the best grades you can!

We don’t mean to be a downer or anything, but finals are coming. Finals are awful, but the good news is they pass quickly and hopefully so will you! So, in honor of upcoming finals week, we at the library have a few resources and tips to ensure not only your survival, but also your matriculation.

First, use the resources that Yuba College has to offer. There is a wonderful College Success Center that provides tutoring, study groups, study guides, help with writing papers and more. And it’s free! The great benefit is that staff at the College Success Center know your instructors, class content, and assignments better than anyone and will be able to direct your efforts into solid results. Plus, you will have the opportunity to discuss problems, solutions, and strategies with other students.

Of course the library (dare we say) is always a good place to get assistance with your research, as well as a nice, quiet place to study. If you are off campus typing furiously away at your computer and come up with a question on the fly, you can just email or Facebook us and we’ll get back to you with an answer as soon as we can (not at 1am but as soon as we can!).

There are other things you can do to manage your stress level. This helpful article at Suite 101 offers some pointers on how to make the most of your study time. Also, check out the “Related Articles” box on the right, where you can find additional advice.

College Candy has a lot of advice on getting through finals written by your fellow college students. This article points you to some helpful web resources and apps that can help you organize your study notes, time, wardrobe, beverages and other finals necessities. However, there are many other finals survival articles at College Candy that may be helpful. Try doing a search for “finals help.” This article is kind of a bad influence and involves the library a lot, but we won’t tell where you got such ideas.

Alright, enough reading articles. Like you don’t have enough to read! Here are some additional tips that come from personal experience:

  • Easy on the caffeine. Too much will wig you out and you won’t be able to concentrate. Try eating pick-me-up foods such as fresh fruit, granola bars, or fish. It’ll help power your brain and body without giving you the shakes.
  • Find a laugh. Nothing gives you that second wind like something funny to take your mind off things temporarily. Saturday Night Live has a bunch of funny Digital Shorts that never get old. Not your sense of humor? Sorry, but find what makes you laugh and laugh!
  • Study in silence. In spite of what you may delude yourself into believing, you cannot study properly with the TV or a movie on, blaring music (the kind that makes you want to get up and dance), texting, chatting or otherwise distracting yourself online. These are distractions that won’t allow you to fully concentrate and get information firmly into your brain.
  • Don’t freak. With solid preparation, especially as described in the resources above, you will do well. Believe that and repeat it to yourself often.

We hope this helps get you through the next couple of weeks. Finals suck, but they are not insurmountable. We all had to take our finals to pass classes, finish school and become successful professionals. So consider it a right of passage….and good luck to you all!

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Weeding Happens in Libraries Too!

Last week I mentioned that the library is preparing for a move to temporary quarters in order to begin renovation on a brand new 21st century library space. One of the ways the library is preparing is by weeding its current holdings in an effort to pare down to the necessities, both for space and for efficiency.

Weeding sounds like something gardeners do to rid their petunias of harmful invaders. But the actual dictionary definition of weeding is “to remove as being undesirable, inefficient, or superfluous.” That goes for anything, including books and it’s something that librarians do all the time, whether they are moving or not.

What? Books become “superfluous” after a while? Yes, yes they do. Librarians hate getting rid of their precious books and the public might even see it as wasteful, but librarians know they must if they want to stay current for their patrons.

This is a tricky endeavor. It’s not just about tossing out “old” books. It’s about strategically determining which books hold value to the patron and to the community and to ensure that only materials that are needed, wanted, and used stay on the shelves. Another way to think about it is the approach stores take when clearing out their inventory – if something ain’t moving, it ain’t making profit and it becomes desirable to no one. As such, the following are the main reasons why librarians weed:

  • To remove clutter from the shelves and make material more accessible
  • To remove material that is so outdated, it ceases to hold value from an information perspective
  • To remove material that may cause harm to others due to outdated information
  • To remove material that nobody wants or uses or that hasn’t been checked out in a long time
  • To remove unsightly material that is physically deteriorating and difficult to use

Last summer, I was interning at a small public library in Southern California, and I was given the task of weeding some of the shelves. I was originally told to set aside anything that hadn’t been checked out in three years and to leave them in a pile to go over with the librarian. I soon found that what she ultimately decided to keep, yes, had something to do with its lack of relevance (sewing books on bell-bottom pants and satin shirts), but it also had to do with its status as a “classic” (copies of Catcher in the Rye), and her own personal attachment to the book (stuff from the 60’s I wasn’t sure anyone still cared about). I learned that weeding was part- science and part-gut reaction. I also saw that what guided the philosophy of weeding was what would ultimately serve the community good and that meant knowing one’s material and the community need thoroughly.

At Yuba College our Librarian, Elena Heilman, is greatly aided in weeding by the expert faculty. Right, who else knows their subject best and what is current and what is not? Recently, some biology faculty got together for a weeding party. Check out the photos.

Bio Faculty Weeding P2










After books are selected and weeded out, they are officially withdrawn from the library catalog (so they won’t show up in a search) and then shipped off to Better World Books, which sells them and donates the proceeds to the National Center for Family Literacy.

BWBooks photo 2311The library also receives a percentage, which is re-invested into new book purchases.

Alas, libraries are in the information business. Not in the same way as Barnes & Noble, mind you. Libraries don’t make money and give away their product for free (some business savvy, eh?). Nevertheless, the product is still expected to hold value, be useful, and serve a current need. What good is a library if it has nothing you want? Libraries, like botanic gardens, need to be weed-free so that you can enjoy the beauty of what they have to offer and that is where the process of weeding comes in. Your petunias and your research books greatly thank you when you weed.


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On the Virtues of Ebrary (With Apologies to Google)

Last Fall, Yuba College Library acquired access to Ebrary, a searchable e-book database with access to thousands of titles. Now, you may be thinking, “why do that when we have Google for free?” And the answer is something along the lines of “because you get what you pay for.” Let me explain.

Library systems are highly specialized. People who work for them spend countless hours devising cataloguing standards that allow you to conduct simple keyword searches, title searchers, subject or topic searches, searches within searchers, and further segment your results by date, relevance, type of publication, or whether it is available in full text. In theory, this means that you will get more accurate information faster and, because you can save your search results, will be able to retrieve it again easily in the future.

Yes, I know, with its advanced search features, Google Books can do much the same thing…with one exception: On Google Books the really good stuff is for pay.

You don’t believe me? Try a search on Google Books and before you get too excited, look on the left side bar and click on “Free Google eBooks.” Now, watch your fancy list of results whittle down to a bunch of old, government-sponsored, irrelevant, and generally sad-looking publications. On a library system like Ebrary, while it, too, does not necessarily have immediate access to every book in creation, it is not stingy about providing you with access to good, current titles. That’s because what the library does is generously pay for access to those titles on your behalf. Google will never do that.

In fact, “free” is the whole purpose of Ebrary’s existence. As Ebrary co-founder Christopher Warnock said recently, “If every library acquired information digitally, all the world’s information would be free to everybody.” Generally speaking, that is what librarians want to do also, which is why we are always dissing Google. We know, we know, Google is so much easier and friendlier to use. But if you can’t find what you’re looking for and you have to pay for it when you get there, what is the point? I’m sorry, are you rich? This economy too successful for you? The library gives it away for free, FREE! You might as well take advantage of that.

Also, Ebrary offers some key benefits to disabled learners or users with accessibility issues. This video helpfully explores those options. As the video points out, Ebrary is akin to a free electronic library, so users can still acquire the materials they need, as well as take advantage of technological features that help facilitate access.

We hope you will try Ebrary the next time you need to do your research, or simply want to read a (good) free book. And if you need book suggestions, don’t forget to ask us at the library!

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