Thursday, January 4, 2018

...Ready for it???

The staff of the Vise Library has some very exciting news to share! We have teased a very exciting project (to us anyways) on our social media pages and through our Tuesday Newsday videos for months and we are busting at the seams to share it!  So without further ado....

(can you tell who wrote this blog post yet?)

Since July the library has taken on a project to implement a new library catalog system.  This was no small feat and took over 5 months to complete.  There were numerous (honestly we don't want to count how many) training sessions and hundreds of hours devoted to this project.  Our previous catalog did not have the capabilities that were necessary for the library to function properly or allow for an easy patron searching experience.  After a few disasters (unplanned down times, system not working properly and a few other unpleasant experiences) with our previous system, we set out to look for an improvement (and we found one).  The library was able to rearrange its budget to make this happen and we couldn't be happier for the change.  We believe that this will be a major improvement for our patrons and for the library itself.  You are now able to view your account online, renew any items you currently have checked out (as long as there isn't a hold on the item), place holds on items, set-up text notifications and so many other great features.  We will have several blog posts to walk you through the basic functions of our new catalog!  

Searching for a Item and Other Things Associated with Searching

This post will explain how to search for an item in the library's catalog and a few additional features associated with searching for items.  If you are unsure how to access the new library catalog, make sure to read this blog post.

  In the search box you can search for a title, author, ISBN, or subject.  In the box labeled "All Fields" by the search box, you can select what you would like search (title, author, etc.).  I am just going to perform a general search for anything associated with Harry Potter (don't judge).

As you can see this generated three pages worth of materials!  I can narrow down if I want something in book form or in dvd form by clicking my desired choice under the "Material Type" section located on the left hand side of the page.  You will also notice you can narrow down your search results by author or even by the publication year. Make sure to click either the "include" or "exclude" button when narrowing down your results.  

I have chosen to narrow down to only dvd items associated with Harry Potter.  This narrows down my search to one result page.

If you want to find out where an item is located, make sure to click the "Where can I find it..." bar located under each item.  Once you click this, you will be shown the material type, call number and the location of the library item.

You can also place a hold on the item by clicking the red "Place Hold" button next to the item in the list.  You will be prompted to log-in to your library user account, which you can find out about here.  

Once you have logged in to your account, you will see a pop-up screen appear that asks you to confirm the hold you want to place.

There are two other options we want to point out.  Under the hold button, you will see two additional buttons.  One is "Text This to Me."  This is a great feature if you are searching for an item while at home.  If you have this item's information texted to you, you can then easily pull this item up on your phone in order to locate in the library (without doing an additional search).  You can also click the "Cite This" and a citation for this item will be generated (you can select the format).

These are the basic functions associated with searching for items in the catalog.  This system is a lot more intuitive when searching, but if you have any questions please let us know!

Accessing your library account

This blog post should answer any questions concerning your library catalog account.  Once you are on the library catalog page, click the "Log in" link located at the very top of the page.

You will see a screen popup that asks for your username and password.  If you are a student your username is your A number.  If you are faculty or staff member, then your username is the first part of your CU email address.

If you are unsure what your password is, click the "Forgot My Pin" link at the bottom of this box.  You will be prompted to enter your username and an email will be sent to you to reset your password for your library account.  PLEASE NOTE: THIS DOES NOT RESET ALL OF YOUR CU ASSOCIATED PASSWORDS AND ONLY RESETS YOUR LIBRARY CATALOG PASSWORD.

When you receive your email concerning your library password, click the log-in button at the top of the page and enter the appropriate information.  Once you have done this click the "My Account" button that appears at the top of the page.

Once you are in your account you have several options.  Under the "Checkouts" tab you can see any items that you currently have checked out and the due date associated with each item.  This tab allows you to select any items you want to renew as well.  Just click the box by each item you want to renew and click the "Renew" button at the bottom of the page.

The "Personal Information" tab allows you to review your contact info and change any information (including your pin). You can also sign up for SMS notifications that will alert you when items are about to be due, overdue or when a hold arrives for you.  If you want to see a list of holds you have placed you can do this under the "Holds" section.  You will also be to see any holds that are available for pickup.  Don't worry, you will receive an automatic email when items arrive for you.  The "Fines" section shows any fines that you have associated with your account.  

If you have any issues regarding your account, please let us know!

Accessing the New Library Catalog

The Vise Library recently made an announcement concerning the new library catalog.  We wanted to provide a short tutorial on a few of the key features that sets this new system apart from our previous catalog system.

The most important thing you need to learn is how to get to the library catalog.  You can actually access it from the same place from the library home page.  Once you are on the library homepage, go to the link labeled "Find Physical Items" under the "Research" section.

Once you have clicked this link, you will be taken to our glorious new catalog!  Make sure to take a look around at our new digs!  From here you can do whatever you like!

One exciting feature is the new book river that shows numerous book lists.  

If you click the drop down arrow beside "New Items" you will see the list options that are available.  You can see the newest items that have been added to our catalog and the items that have been checked out recently.  Another great feature is that you can see the latest NYT best seller lists from the previous week.  You can click the arrow located to the right of the book covers to see additional items in each list and click on the book cover of an item to find out more information.  You can see if the Vise Library has any of these best sellers by clicking the red button labeled "Find in My Library" (which is found next to the book that you are interested in).  If the library owns this item, you will be shown the record for this particular item.  If the library does not own a particular item, there will be no record displayed.  However, you can always request an item through interlibrary loan for any item the library does not own.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Big Changes to Interlibrary Loan System

First, welcome back!  It is hard to believe that the summer has flown by so quickly.  We are not mentally prepared for the upcoming school year, but we will get there.  Hopefully.  We will.  Maybe...

One of the main reasons this summer has flown by is that we have taken on a huge project of revamping our interlibrary loan system.  This was a 2+ month process and we couldn't be happier with it (shout out to CU's IT department for helping!).  This will allow for an easier way and faster results for gaining access to additional resources.  

If you aren't familiar with interlibrary loan, we can fill you in!  If there is any item you need for class (or fun) that the Vise Library does not own (other than textbooks), then we can request to borrow that item from another library.  It is 99% of the time free of charge (we always let you know if there is a fee involved with the item you are requesting).  If there is a need for an item for your research project (or just for fun!) make sure you allow at least 2 weeks for your item to arrive.  This is not a service that you can procrastinate with since things take time to get here!  You've been warned.

The Old Way

If you were a user of interlibrary before then you may remember what it used to look like:

Basically it was a plain ole Google Doc that you copied and pasted information into (boooorrrrrinnnggg).  This would then be accessible to the person who handles all of the university's interlibrary loan requests (me, Ashli Wells).  The library aka Ashli would then go to the interlibrary loan system and request the item for the student, faculty or staff member and it would be up to the other libraries that we requested the item from to send the item to us.  Ashli would then email the individual that their loan request was sent and out there in the wild.  There was no way to know the progress of the item until it either arrived (happy face) or when Ashli contacted you that your request was denied (sad face).  

The New Way

But wait, this new system completely changes all of that!  "How?" you may be asking yourself.  Well, let us show you:

Start out by visiting the library's home page (  Then click on the first tab under services labeled Interlibrary Loan (You're with me so far, right?).

You will be taken to our guide that deals with interlibrary loan and answers any questions you may have!  You will then click on the "Request an Item" tab:

This is where all the new, fun stuff begins!  You will be taken to the following log-in screen.  YOU WILL USE THE SAME INFORMATION YOU USE TO SIGN INTO CANVAS in order to access the new interlibrary loan system.

Once you log-in you will see a big blue button that says "Create Request"

Once you click create request you can pick what type of material you are needing (book, movie, article, etc) and fill out the required information to submit your request.  You will also see there is an area for communication preferences. This allows you to pick the way you want to be contacted (email, text) when your item is requested, renewed, canceled, or when it arrives. 

 You can also check the status of you request at any time!  This means you won't be left wondering if you request has been processed or if it's just out in the universe somewhere.  

Also, as long as you do this SEVERAL DAYS BEFORE YOUR ITEM IS DUE, you can request for your loan period to be extended through this portal.

This interface has another way of making requesting items even easier!  If you search for an item through on campus or by going to the following link off campus ( and look for a specific item or topic, the interface will allow the information to auto populate the required information into the ILL request form.  Take a look below on how to do this:

(this is the main search screen)

Perform your search.  I used "pugs" as my search term (because, of course!) and was taken to the following screen:

Let's say I find this first book to be the most intriguing.  As long as the Vise Library does not own the item you are looking for, like this book, you will see the following button pop up after clicking the title:

Once you click this button you will be taken to the form where you will notice all of the information required (except the need by date) is filled in for us.  You will just need to hit the submit request button at the bottom of the screen to complete your request.  (If you are not logged-in to the system you will need to log-in before it will take you to the following screen.):

How is this better?

Because it just is!  It allows for requests to be submitted quickly and therefore has the potential for your items to get here at an earlier time.  It also allows you, the patron, to see that status of your item at any time through this process.  You also don't have to ask the library staff where your item is or if you can renew it.  The biggest thing is the potential for notifications.  Once you set up your preferences, you can receive notifications through your phone or email to keep you updated.  These notifications also let you know when your item is due and if it is past due (Don't do that and don't make me hunt you down).  

We hope you find this update as exciting as us!  If you have any issues with this system or have any questions, feel free to contact Ashli Wells at!  Good luck with the upcoming school year and we hope to help you in the library!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

2016-2017: What a year!

This week is finals week (You've studied, right???),  This is the time of year everyone wishes they went to Hogwarts:

With that being said, the Vise Library decided to do a year in review.  We thought it might be interesting (fun?) for you to see how the library was used this semester (we also used some fun .gifs to illustrate our point):

Gate count: We had over 34,000 visitors in the library this school year, compared to 23,000 this time last year.  

Circulation: We had over 3,000 movies, errrr, books I mean, checked out since the fall semester began.  This is about 700 more than last year

Reserve items: Our wonderful professors put specific materials aside that they feel would be helpful for our students to use in their classes.  These items were used 286 times, which is about 100 more than last year.

Databases: Everyone has been doing their research this semester (good job guys)!  We have had over 170,000 searches through our databases since August (130,000 last year)!  We can tell when final papers have been due...there has been a steady increase over the past month or so.

Questions:  There is no such thing as a stupid question!  Last year we were asked 3,400 questions. We have answered over 5,500 questions ranging from "How do I print something?" to "Can you help me with this citation?" to "Will you help me write my paper?" (The answer is no to the last question, in case you are wondering.)

Interlibrary loan: We have borrowed about 250 items this semester for students, faculty and staff (30 more than last year).  We have also loaned around the same amount for other institutions to use.  Sharing is caring.  (ha!)

New items: This semester we really concentrated on adding not just school related items, but also fun things as well.  We have added almost 900 new items to our collection this year (cue confetti).  That is almost 300 more than last year!!  You will find that we added quite a few movies for you guys to watch or fun books to read during all your downtime.  We think it is important to offer things that help you take a breather from school, in moderation.  

IT Requests; One million.  Kidding! However, I am sure our IT department feels that way!  We love our IT department.  They have been very helpful to the library this year and we wanted to thank them!

We wanted to thank the faculty, students and staff for being so supportive of the library this entire year.  We received many suggestions for new items and we are always happy to listen to what the people want!  This has been our busiest and best year ever, so we thank you.

Good luck to our students (and faculty) during finals week.  We will miss the seniors that are graduating and are looking forward to seeing the new and old faces in the fall!  Make sure that you stop by the library for a caffeine and sugar boost so that when you are done with finals you feel like this: 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Blog Tour: Tortured by Nicole Williams


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When he left for a twelve-month deployment, she knew it would feel like forever before they saw each other again. She didn’t realize how right she was.

When Lance Corporal Brecken Connolly gets taken as a POW, Camryn hopes for the best but steels herself for the worst. In the end, steel was what she needed to survive when he didn’t. She moves on the only way she knows how—gilding herself in more steel.

Years go by.

She builds a new life.

She leaves the old one behind.

Until one day, she sees the face of a ghost on the news. Brecken seems to have risen from the dead, but she knows she can’t perform the same miracle for herself. While Brecken was held in a torture camp for the past five years, she’s been trapped in her own kind of prison. One she can’t be freed from.  

The man she mourned comes back to join the living, but the girl he wanted to spend his life with isn’t the same woman he comes back for. Brecken isn’t the same person either. The past five years have changed them both. While he’s determined to put the pieces back together, she’s resolved to let hers rot where they shattered.

Broken or not, Brecken wants her back. He’ll do anything to achieve that. Even if it means going against the warden of Camryn’s personal prison—her husband.

“It’s been six years. Everything’s changed. I have. You have.” My eyes lifted. “Why? Why are you trying to win me back?”
He exhaled, his lips parting. “I’m going to win you back.”
When his hand slid around the bend of my waist, winding behind my back, I jerked. His touch was different tonight, hungry, determined. My head clouded, blocking out reason or letting it surface to the top, one or the other.
“I married him,” I whispered even as my hand found his chest.
“But you belong to me.”
My eyes closed as he bowed me against him. I wasn’t sure how two bodies that had been as broken as ours could be so strong when joined. “How do you know?”
“I can see it in your eyes. Every time you look at me.” His other hand lifted to my chin, tipping it until our eyes connected. His brow rose slowly, like I was proving his point right that very moment.
“That’s a confident statement.” My voice shook, but my body felt steady. Unwavering.
“It’s the truth.”
My chest was moving so hard, it brushed his with every breath. What was I doing? Where had I found myself? The man holding me had died only to be resurrected six years later. It was too late, but it wasn’t over.
No matter what, Brecken Connolly and I would never be over.
“Twenty-six days,” I said slowly. “That’s all I have to give you. That’s all I have to give. Four weeks. Once he’s back, you know the way it has to be.”
His face broke, but his hold didn’t budge. “It’s not enough.”
My fingers curled into his shirt, looking for some way to hold on to him. “I know.”
His other arm suddenly looped around me and he lifted me off the ground, his grip going around my backside when my legs tied around him. “But a fucking eternity wouldn’t be enough either, so it’ll just have to do.”
He carried me through the sand and up the stairs of the cabin, then he propped me against the wall so he could open the screen door. Something slipped out of my mouth when he flexed his hips into mine.
“Told you it wasn’t a morning issue,” he whispered in my ear, but I could hear the smile in his voice. “Just a Camryn one.”
He made the same motion with his hips, applying a little more friction this time, causing a louder sound to echo from my lungs.
Opening the screen door as silently as he could, he carried me inside.
“You can set me down, you know?” I whispered.
“I know,” he said, his arms tying tighter. Once all of the lights were off, the cabin closed up for the night, he padded down the hall.
“You know where you’re going?”
His head nodded beside mine. “I’ve always known.”
My hands went behind his neck. His skin was warm and familiar. “And where’s that?”
He exhaled against my skin as he closed the bedroom door. “Toward you.”
He set me down once he’d untied my legs from around his waist, and he took a few steps back. He stared at me for a moment then reached for the lamp on the dresser.
“What are you doing?” I asked.
“Turning on the lights.”
I watched him flip on another. “Why?”
“Because I want to see you. Because I want to watch your face as I move inside you. Because I want to see your skin flush when I make you come.” He flipped on one more light, then all of his attention turned to me. “Because I want to see everything.”
My heart took off as I imagined being intimate with him with every light in the room on. My body wasn’t the same one he’d left. It had carried a burden; it bore the scars of a shattered soul and a broken body. “I don’t want you to see me. Not like that. In the dark, you can imagine the way I was before.”
When I reached for the closest lamp to switch it off, he stopped me. “I don’t want to imagine.” His hand curled around mine, guiding it away from the lamp. “I want the real thing. I want the real you.”
“You’ve seen my body. You know what I look like beneath all of this.” I motioned at the fresh clothes hanging off of me, covering me from my wrists to my ankles to my neck.
“When I look at you, I see beauty and strength, and the one person in the world who gives me a reason to live and a reason to die.” He drew me to him, his face creased in lines of concentration. “That’s what I see when I look at you.”


So I've pretty much decided that Nicole Williams is one of my favorite authors.  Even though I haven't read every single book by her (I'm making my way through them, I swear!), I find that I have liked every single one of them.  That's not an easy task, but somehow she always writes a good one.  I was immediately intrigued when I found out about this book and its description!  This is a story about Brecken and Camryn.  They have loved each other all their lives, but Brecken has to go overseas for his job in the military.  Camryn is, of course, very nervous about his stint in the Middle East, but Brecken reassures her that he will be back.  However, Brecken is taken captive and Camryn witnesses his execution on TV.  She is of course devastated and that is where this book takes off 6 years later.  It turns out Brecken wasn't executed, but was instead held captive for the entire six years that Camryn has thought him dead.  Camryn has a new life now that included a husband and a child and it turns her world upside down (in more ways than one) when Brecken returns home.

I can't give you anything else past this point, because it would give too much of the plot away.  Just know that this is an intense story and the beginning of the last chapter made my heart stop.  This book has several great twists to it and has very lovable characters like all of the author's books.  You will love it!

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Nicole Williams is the New York Times and USATODAY bestselling author of contemporary and young adult romance, including the Crash and Lost & Found series. Her books have been published by HarperTeen and Simon & Schuster in both domestic and foreign markets, while she continues to self-publish additional titles. She is working on a new YA series with Crown Books (a division of Random House) as well. She loves romance, from the sweet to the steamy, and writes stories about characters in search of their happily even after. She grew up surrounded by books and plans on writing until the day she dies, even if it’s just for her own personal enjoyment. She still buys paperbacks because she’s all nostalgic like that, but her kindle never goes neglected for too long. When not writing, she spends her time with her husband and daughter, and whatever time’s left over she’s forced to fit too many hobbies into too little time.
Nicole is represented by Jane Dystel, of Dystel and Goderich Literary Agency.