Sunday, November 18, 2012

Check It the Vise Library: The Song Remains the Same

Nell Slattery, one of two survivors of a cross-country plane crash, wakes up in a hospital in Iowa with no memories of the accident...or anything else. As she tries to piece her life story together with help from her family and husband, she discovers that they're altering her history in a way that doesn't give her the whole truth about who she really was before the crash. Thanks to a playlist of songs her sister made her (called "The Best of Nell Slattery"), she begins to regain memories of her life, including the things that were best left forgotten.

This book started out really promising. The concept of amnesia isn't new, but the idea of regaining memories based on hearing certain songs seems unique. However, the characters aren't easy to relate to or even like very much. I often found myself asking why I should care about what happens to the characters or what the point of the story was. The book is available for checkout at the Vise Library, so give it a try and see if you enjoy it more than I did! 


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Why Are They Banned? Banned Books Week 2012 : To Kill a Mockingbird, Go Ask Alice & Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee:
Challenged or banned for offensive and racially insensitive language, racism, adult themes such as
sexual intercourse, rape, and incest

From our catalog:

Go Ask Alice by Anonymous:
Challenged or banned for depiction of drug use, explicit language, using street terms for sex,
blasphemy, and talk of worms eating body parts
From our catalog:

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown:
Banned because of the possibility of it being controversial. Yes, just because of the possibility.

From our catalog:

And there you have it, 15 books that have been banned or challenged. There are a great deal more, but we hope this inspires you to read banned books!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Why Are They Banned? Banned Books Week 2012 : Harry Potter & Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling:
Challenged or banned for encouraging lying, cheating, stealing, and witchcraft, promoting violence,
and being scary

From our catalog:

Are You There God?  It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume:
Challenged or banned due to the frank treatment of adolescent sexuality and religion

From our catalog:

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Why Are They Banned? Banned Books Week 2012 : The Grapes of Wrath & The Upstairs Room

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck:
Challenged or banned for offensive language, including the use of the name of God and Jesus in a
vain and profane manner, along with inappropriate sexual references

From our catalog: 

The Upstairs Room by Johanna Reiss:
Challenged or banned for offensive language and content not suitable for children.

From our catalog:

Monday, October 1, 2012

Why Are They Banned? Banned Books Week 2012 : I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings & Football's Best Short Stories

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou:
Challenged or banned for racism, mature content, homosexuality, sexual content, offensive
language, descriptions of drug abuse, portrayal of rape and other sexual abuse

From our catalog: 

Football's Best Short Stories by Paul Staudohar:
Challenged or banned due to violence and offensive language

From our catalog:

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Why Are They Banned? Banned Books Week 2012 : The Color Purple & Darwin's Ghost

September 30 marks the beginning of the 30th annual Banned Books Week. Banned Books Week celebrates the national book community's freedom to read. During this week, we'll be looking at books that have been banned and why. All of the books are available for checkout in the Vise Library.

The Color Purple by Alice Walker:
Challenged or banned for offensive language, being sexually explicit, descriptions of drug abuse,
and the homosexuality, rape, and incest portrayed in the book

From our catalog:

Darwin's Ghost by Steve Jones:
Challenged or banned for the content of evolution and natural selection

From our catalog:

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Check It the Vise Library: Where We Belong

After five successful, relationship-themed bestsellers (Something Borrowed [which was turned into a movie starring Kate Hudson and Ginnifer Goodwin], Something BlueBaby Proof, Love the One You’re With, and Heart of the Matter), Emily Giffin has a loyal fan base.  Her new book Where We Belong had a lot of anticipation. This new book deals with heavier topics than her previous books.  This book is about a successful TV producer (named Marian) who is confronted by her daughter who she secretly put up for adoption 18 years before.
Marian is a producer for a top TV show who likes to be in control of her career and personal life.  Even though her life seems great on the outside — a gorgeous apartment on Madison Avenue, dating the CEO of her network — Marian has never told anyone (except her mother) about giving up her child for adoption.  She never even told the father, Conrad, who was her first love.  Their romance developed the summer before she left for college and produced an accidental pregnancy that Conrad knew nothing about. 
Marian’s life takes a wild turn as her daughter, Kirby Rose, shows up on her doorstep, looking for answers.   The chapters alternate between Marian and Kirby’s point of views. Their first meeting is awkward as each one tries to learn about the other.
As the two try to get to know each other, we learn about Marian’s love story with Conrad. The story is heartfelt and emotional. As in all her novels, Giffin’s gift of writing makes the reader care about her characters.
You will root for Marian and Kirby (and of course Conrad makes an appearance!) and learn about the price of secrets.  If you are a fan of Emily Giffin’s other books you will treated to the cameo of a previous character.  This is sure to be a fan favorite and gain her new readers at the same time. This book is one that you will enjoy reading but be sad about when you finish! Make sure to check this book out from the Vise Library and enjoy yourself a good read before school starts!

Monday, June 25, 2012

iPads Now Available for Use in Vise Library!

The Vise Library now has two iPads for use located at the iBar.  We hope that these will be useful to some of our upper level students.  These iPads are loaded with apps to help with research, fun, note taking, finding the latest news and CU resources.  These can also be used in the event that the library computers are full.  At this time, printing is not an available option from the iPads.  The iPads also have a survey loaded on them for suggestions of app to purchase.

There are some policies that must be followed in order to use the Vise Library iPads:

  • They may be used only by current Cumberland University staff and students that are in good standing with the library (no overdue books or fees).
  • The iPads cannot leave the Vise Library premises
  • The iPads are only available for us in 2 hour intervals each day
  • If the iPad is damaged while in use, the user is responsible for costs
  • No apps may be added or deleted
  • Before anyone is allowed to use the iPads, one must sign a liability agreement.

We hope that these will be a great addition to our library.  Please see the library front desk to get started!


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Check It the Vise Library: Are You My Mother?

What makes a mother? The answer seems deceptively obvious: a mother is a woman who gives birth to a child. But what if your mother gave birth to you, but never fully connected to you, or you to her? What if your mother encouraged your intellectual pursuits, but refused to kiss you goodnight after you turned 7 years old? What if your mother shunned intimacy and couldn't face it when you came out as a lesbian in college?

These are some of the questions cartoonist Alison Bechdel contemplates in her graphic memoir, Are You My Mother? In her previous and intensely personal memoir, Fun Home, Bechdel focused on her father: a closeted gay man who may or may not have committed suicide (he was hit by a truck and it was never determined if it was truly an accident or not) when Bechdel was in college. Fun Home has two stories: the story of Bechdel's father, and Bechdel's own coming out story.

In Are You My Mother?, Bechdel now turns her eye to her mother, a woman who comes off as cold and detached, but garners empathy nonetheless. After all, Helen Bechdel was in a loveless marriage for years. As Bechdel remembers her, Helen was a smart, educated woman with dreams of becoming an actress. She acted in local productions her whole life, but balanced out her passions with her home life, which included raising three children. Helen acts oddly aloof about her oldest daughter and instead seems to prefer her two younger boys. It's later revealed that when Helen was a child, her own mother strongly preferred sons to daughters--a preference that Helen hated, yet inherited and passed on to her children all the same.

As in Fun Home, Are You My Mother? also has a second, parallel story: that of Bechdel's experiences in psychoanalysis. She writes about her years in therapy, discussing her dreams and buried emotions with two different therapists. She also discusses her interest in psychoanalyst and pediatrician Donald Winnicott and her research on child development and psychology.

Although at times the narrative is hard to follow because Bechdel jumps backwards and forwards in time so much, Are You My Mother? is an intellectually and emotionally satisfying graphic memoir. Bechdel's tangents on Winnicott's research, the novels of Virginia Woolf, and her own childhood come together in a beautiful way that reveals the interconnectedness of life. Her illustrations are detailed enough to show the emotions of the characters, but not so detailed that they distract from the story.

Although I consider Fun Home to be Bechdel's masterpiece, Are You My Mother? proves that she has a seemingly bottomless talent and an ability to honestly--even ruthlessly--assess her own personal experiences, while not becoming cynical or alienated.

Are You My Mother? is available for checkout at Vise Library!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

iRead author at Cumberland University on Sept. 28th

Our 2012 iRead title is Our Patchwork Nation. The main author of this title, Dante Chinni, will be visiting Cumberland on Friday, September 28th. He will talk about his book in a presentation beginning at 10:30 in Heydel Fine Arts Center followed by a book signing from 11:45-12:00. Dr. Josh Hayden will be coordinating the small group lunch breakout session from 12:30-2:00.
Paperback copies of the book will be distributed to incoming freshmen enrolled in the FSL course. Faculty and staff are also eligible to receive a free copy. If you do not already have a copy of the book and would like one to read it over the summer, please come by the Library and pick one up at the front desk.
Enjoy your summer break!

Friday, April 20, 2012

A new tutorial and news about the iBar!

We've had a few technology hiccups on campus this semester due to increased server usage. Unfortunately, one of the most common questions we get after a server crash is "did the computer save my paper?" Microsoft Word does have a feature called Auto Save, and we've created a short tutorial to show everyone how to activate this feature. Check it out on our YouTube page

In other news, the iBar has come together nicely over the last few weeks! We've got a few pictures of the iBar on our Facebook page so everyone can see the latest changes we've made to it. The purpose of the iBar is to provide a space which will help increase awareness of online information resources. Located in the center of the Library, it is a convenient spot to plug in your iPads and laptops. Two iPads will soon be available for student use and will be loaded with apps with a variety of information resources. We will make an announcement when the iPads are available for usage.

If you have any comments, questions, suggestions, etc, then contact us or visit our online suggestion box

Friday, April 13, 2012

Return Your Library Items! (Please)

Now that the semester is coming to an end (yippee?!!?), the library would like to remind you to RETURN YOUR LIBRARY ITEMS!  It is easy to forget them when you have papers and exams coming up, but if they are not returned it can affect you later on.  If your items (books or movies) are not returned, the business office puts a hold on your student account.  This means that if you want to check your grades, sign-up for new classes, or worse graduate, you will not be able to.  The library staff sends out friendly reminders before the hold is placed on your account, so do not ignore these.  If you have lost the items that you have checked out, then you are responsible for the cost of replacing them.

If you have any questions either contact us at or see our policies page on overdue/lost materials:

Good luck with the rest of the semester!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Hunger Games: Book vs. Movie

**Warning: This post contains spoilers about both the book and movie adaptation of The Hunger Games! Proceed with caution!**

We say it so often that it's become a cliche: "I enjoyed the movie, but the book was so much better!"

Although books and movies each have their own set of pros and cons, we can't help but be disappointed when we feel that the movie adaptation of a beloved book fails to live up to our expectations (though that rarely stops us from excitedly buying tickets to the movie anyway!).

Suzanne Collins' hit series The Hunger Games is perhaps the best loved young adult series this side of Twilight. The film adaptation of the first in the series broke records this weekend, raking in over $150 million dollars in the United States. Below, I break down the differences between the book and the movie to show each medium's advantages and disadvantages. Once again, this post is rife with spoilers!

Life in District 12

Book: Collins spends a significant portion of the first third of the book detailing the coal-rich, impoverished district that is Katniss Everdeen's home. The griminess and starvation of the majority of the residents is palpable on the page, and Collins takes her time describing Katniss' daily life: her relationship with her mother and sister, her friendship with fellow hunter Gale, her illicit trading at The Hob, and the differences between the wealthier residents of District 12 and the starving poor.

Movie: The film envisions District 12 as similar to Depression Era United States: women in plain, practical dresses, men going off the coal mine, etc. And although the film conveys the poverty of District 12, I didn't get the sense of absolute desperation that I got from the books--the fact that an illness or injury that leaves you unable to work might mean imminent starvation for your entire family. Seeing District 12 onscreen was thrilling, no doubt, but it was surely whitewashed from the horrors conjured up by Collins.

Point: Book

Katniss' Thoughts and Psychological Process

Book: The book is written from Katniss' point of view, which gives the reader plenty of insight into her thoughts and feelings. We see everything from her growing anger at The Capitol over the indignity of the Games, to her mixed feelings toward Peeta. In the book, for example, Katniss believes Peeta's romantic feelings for her are entirely a strategy for winning sponsors and thus, the Games. Her feelings toward Peeta change and evolve over the book, ranging from annoyance, to distrust, to betrayal, to affection.

Movie: The filmmakers wisely stay away from using voice overs (I am not a fan of voice overs in movies generally) to convey Katniss' thoughts. Instead, the movie focuses on action and plot points, rather than Katniss' psychological state at any given moment. This definitely takes something away from the emotional experience of reading the books and seeing Katniss transform. However, Jennifer Lawrence, who plays Katniss in the movie, does an excellent job of conveying terror, suspicion, and in some cases, love (especially for little Rue).

Point: Book, although the film is definitely helped by Lawrence's excellent performance.

Secondary Characters

Book: Although Katniss and Peeta are the main characters, Collins' novel is filled with colorful (literally!) supporting characters, such as drunken mentor Haymitch Abernathy, perky District 12 escort Effie Trinket, and TV personality Caesar Flickerman. The supporting characters often provide comic relief in the book, and either serve as mentors and helpers to Katniss, or, in the case of the other Tributes, adversaries.

Movie: This is one area where the movie really succeeded. The supporting characters in the film adaptation are perfectly cast and light up the screen. I was especially impressed by Stanley Tucci's performance as the gregarious Caesar Flickerman and Lenny Kravitz's (yes, him!) performance as Katniss' wonderful, warm stylist Cinna. The supporting characters are excellent foils to Katniss and Peeta (who, being from District 12 and in constant danger of dying during the Games, are often introverted and grave). They bring humor, color, and fun to an otherwise (understandably) grim tale.

Point: Movie

The Actual Hunger Games 

Book: One thing the book dwells on is how hungry and thirsty Katniss is and how much time she spends looking for food during the Games. This detail is taken for granted in the film, which focuses on more exciting (and violent) action sequences. But the suffering Katniss endures during the Games is so much more intense in the books. Additionally, the descriptions of the terrifying obstacles the Gamemakers place in the Games, such as the Tracker Jacker wasps and the Muttations at the very end are so much scarier in the book than on the silver screen.

Movie: The film faithfully adapts all the major deaths and occurrences from the Hunger Games, from Rue's death to Katniss blowing up the other Tributes' food. But even on the big screen the terror and excitement I felt while reading the book was never fully replicated. This is especially true at the end when Katniss, Peeta, and Cato are chased by the Muttations. In the book, these werewolf-like creatures are genetically engineered to resemble the fallen Tributes, making the attack all the more psychologically horrifying. In the film, they're still scary, but not quite to the same extent.

Point: Book

Take away: The Hunger Games movie is a great film and is very faithful to Collins' novel. I will definitely see the second and third movies when they come out and am looking forward to seeing Katniss' budding revolutionary tendencies and love triangle with Gale and Peeta unfold on the big screen. However, there is no substitute for the power of imagination while reading a novel. On the page, everything was more intense: sadder, gorier, grimier, scarier, more emotional. While the film is entertaining and fun, Collins' dystopic novel (the first in a trilogy) is the far more satisfying pop culture snack.

Find the books at Vise Library!

The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay are all available in our Juvenile Collection. Ask a librarian to help you find them!

Friday, March 16, 2012

2012-13 iRead selection

The 2012-13 iRead selection is...

(drumroll please)

Our Patchwork Nation by Dante Chinni!

The description calls it a "proactive counterargument to the blue/red divide that illuminates our country's multidimensional political spectrum." This book is a timely choice duing the Presidential election season and will help readers see that politics consists of more than being in a "red state" or "blue state".

Chinni, along with political geographer James Gimpel, has divided the nation into twelve distinct community types, such as Boom Towns and Tractor Country. The book shows the differences in Americans' shopping, voting, and behavior patterns.

Library staff hopes to be able to bring the author to campus during the Fall 2012 semester to discuss his book. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

App of the Month...iRecycle

It seems like everywhere you look businesses, schools, etc are trying to be more environmentally conscious. Even Cumberland is trying to improve its carbon footprint by placing recycle bins throughout campus. However, if you do not live on campus it can sometimes be difficult to find places to recycle. This installment of "App of the Month" helps with finding different recycling locations (wherever you are, and whatever you have to recycle!) with iRecycle!

Let's say you are wanting to find out where you can recycle all of the cereal boxes that you have collected over the semester.  To get started when you open the app your screen will look like this:

You will notice that the next screen has quite a few options available. It has everything from cars to hazardous materials to everyday household items available as options to recycle. Since cereal boxes are paper - that's what we will select.

The next page shows all of the paper categories that are available for recycling.  They are arranged alphabetically to make it easy to find.  Cereal boxes are near the top of this list (if you do not see exactly the item you are looking for, you can click a similar item).

This app will then find any location around you that allows for recycling of the item (or items!) that you are wanting to recycle.  It will show the location closest to you.

Once you select the location that is closest to you, the screen will show you a lot of information about the recycling place.  It will show their address (which is really important!), phone number, hours of operation, if there are any restrictions, etc.

This app is also great for finding articles that deal with recycling, diy crafts, etc.

If you aren't convinced that recycling paper or cereal boxes makes a difference, read some of these facts (from 
BulletRecycling a single run of the Sunday New York Times would save 75,000 trees.
BulletIf all our newspaper was recycled, we could save about 250,000,000 trees each year!
BulletIf every American recycled just one-tenth of their newspapers, we would save about 25,000,000 trees a year.
BulletIf you had a 15-year-old tree and made it into paper grocery bags, you'd get about 700 of them. A busy supermarket could use all of them in under an hour! This means in one year, one supermarket can go through over 6 million paper bags! Imagine how many supermarkets there are just in the United States!!!
BulletThe average American uses seven trees a year in paper, wood, and other products made from trees. This amounts to about 2,000,000,000 trees per year!
BulletThe amount of wood and paper we throw away each year is enough to heat 50,000,000 homes for 20 years.
BulletApproximately 1 billion trees worth of paper are thrown away every year in the U.S.
BulletAmericans use 85,000,000 tons of paper a year; about 680 pounds per person.
BulletThe average household throws away 13,000 separate pieces of paper each year. Most is packaging and junk mail.
BulletIn 1993, U.S. paper recovery saved more than 90,000,000 cubic yards of landfill space.
BulletEach ton (2000 pounds) of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space, 4000 kilowatts of energy, and 7000 gallons of water. This represents a 64% energy savings, a 58% water savings, and 60 pounds less of air pollution!
BulletThe 17 trees saved (above) can absorb a total of 250 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air each year. Burning that same ton of paper would create 1500 pounds of carbon dioxide.
BulletThe construction costs of a paper mill designed to use waste paper is 50 to 80% less than the cost of a mill using new pulp.

 There are tons of places to recycle just in the Cumberland University area, so imagine the possibilities of recycling while you are away from home.   Hopefully this app of the month helps you become more aware about how easy it is to recycle and what a difference you can make by recycling!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Cumberland University’s Vise Library hosts Cella Neapolitan art exhibit

Cumberland University’s Vise Library is hosting a mixed media exhibit, “Words & Pictures,” by award-winning artist Cella Neapolitan from March 1 to April 30.

A nationally recognized photographer and mixed media artist, Neapolitan combines photography, collage, and writing to create genre-defying works exploring themes ranging from the power of negative space to the hidden stories behind antique postcards.

Featuring more than 20 works of photography, collage, and mixed media, “Words & Pictures: An Exhibit in Three Parts” will include pieces from Neapolitan’s “Labyrinth,” “StoryBoard,” and “Dive-ins” series.  From Rothko-inspired photographs of horizons to collages of art fabrics, objects, and postcards, the diverse works explore the artistic synergy of text and photography in mixed media.

“A picture may not be worth a thousand words. However, each medium holds power that, when combined, sparks new circuitry,” says Neapolitan. “That’s my hope: that these Words & Pictures will ignite a new way of seeing, thinking, feeling, wondering.”

A Cookeville-based artist, Neapolitan has shown works in nearly 200 exhibits around the world. Her photographs have won awards from Canon, Kodak, and USA Today, and her “porTRAITS” series has appeared in Art-o-mat machines at institutions such as the Smithsonian and TPAC.

In 2007, the Tennessee Arts Commission named Neapolitan to the Southern Arts Federation. She was also selected as Cookeville’s Artist of the Year in 2002 and won Nashville’s Artrageous Jury Prize in 2009. Neapolitan’s work can be seen in her Cookeville gallery misCELLAnea or online at

The “Words & Pictures” exhibit is free and open to the public. Vise Library is open 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Monday-Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, and 2 to 10 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, contact Vise Library at (615) 547-1299or

Thursday, February 23, 2012

It's survey time!

Vise Library is assessing its resources and services and needs your help!  You can contribute to a better understanding of what our campus thinks about its library services by participating in a very important electronic survey called LibQUAL.  It should only take five minutes of your time and your response will be greatly appreciated.  You can also register to win a digital camera or an iTunes gift card.

Here is the link to the survey:  Click Here!

The survey will go through March 12. Thank you to everyone who has completed the survey so far!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Oscar nominees that are based on books

The 2012 Oscar Nominees list was recently announced, and many of the nominated movies were actually books first! The list of nominees (for major categories) is below. Any title in bold is one that is based on a book that the Vise Library has a copy of. If you want to check out any of the titles we have, come see us! Titles that are italicized are based on books, but the library does not own them. If you want to borrow those titles from another library, fill out an Interlibrary Loan request form. 

Best Picture: 

  • "War Horse" (Ashli says: "Great story about how war affects everyone in different ways.") 
  • "The Artist"
  • "Moneyball" (Ashli says: "Even if you don't like baseball you'll enjoy this story about going against the grain!")
  • "The Descendants" (None of us have read this one, but one review calls it "an audaciously comic debut novel")
  • "The Tree of Life"
  • "Midnight in Paris"
  • "The Help"  (Amber says: "This book is great! Highly recommended")
  • " Hugo"  (Amber says: "This 2008 Caldecott Award winner may look daunting at 533 pages but is beautifully illustrated")
  • "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close " (Amber says: "A tearjerker but worth reading")
Best Actress

Best Actor:

Best Supporting Actor: 

Best Director: 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

App of the Month - Easybib

Since all incoming freshmen receive iPads at Cumberland University, the library has been looking for apps that can be helpful (and some fun) to students in their everyday (college) lives.  Whatever your major is, you can count on a couple of things: studying and writing papers!  There is no way you can bypass these and have a successful (and passing) college career.

This month the library is focusing on the writing papers aspect of college.  No, the library is not going to write your paper for you, so don't even ask!  But what we can show you is an app that helps with works cited in papers. The app that the Vise Library recommends is Easybib.  It helps with any format that you need citations for, whether it is APA, MLA, or Chicago format.   Plus it's free, which is always exciting when you are in college!

Easybib has a search feature where you can search for a particular book you are looking to cite. Easybib also has a scan feature as well.  Say for instance you are in the Vise Library and see a book that is useful to a paper you are writing, just grab your iPad (or other iPod) device and scan the barcode on the back of the book!  It's that easy!  

The picture below shows the search feature:

Here is a picture of the the actual citation after selecting the book.  As you can see this citation has been selected for MLA format.

Another great feature Easybib has is an email citation button.  If you don't have your paper in front of you just click the "email citation" button (which you can see in the previous picture in the bottom right hand corner).  Once you do that an email is generated with the citation and you can select who you want to send the email to.  

Here is showing the email citation feature after clicking the button :

If you do not have a device that allows you to get this app don't sweat it!  You can simply go to and use all of their great features on their website! The Easybib website also helps with citing not only books, but also journals, newspapers, websites, etc.  

Hopefully this app helps to take off some of the stress for Cumberland students when it comes to citing papers.  Check back next month for another recommendation!