Library News

Posted by John Wiswell on Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - 2:13pm
Bluefire Reader app

We have one ebook collection that allows you to check out ebooks and download them to read offline.  The (EBSCO) eBook Collection has about 120,000 ebooks.  These are not bestsellers but have been published by small and academic presses.  You can browse here, but you're also likely to find them in our catalog.

Here's how to get them on your iPad, iPhone, or Android device.  You have to do these first 4 steps just once:

  1. Set up an EBSCOhost account (click on "Sign in").  If you have used EBSCO databases, you might already have one.
  2. Set up an Adobe ID.
  3. Install the free Bluefire Reader app on you iPad, iPhone, or Android device.
  4. Enter your Adobe ID information into your Bluefire Reader app.

You need to do these steps each time you find an EBSCO ebook:

  1. Log into the EBSCO eBook Collection (click on "Sign in") and find an ebook you want.
  2. Click on "Download This eBook (Offline)" or "Download (Offline)" button.
  3. Then click on "Checkout & Download" button.
  4. Finally, click on the "Open in "Bluefire Reader"" button.

Please ask for help at the service desk.

Posted by John Boyd on Thursday, May 23, 2013 - 2:06pm
American Dervish

The Summer Reading Book for 2013 is American Dervish by Ayad Akhtar. Since 1997, incoming freshmen at Appstate have been asked to read a book as part of their orientation to Appalachian State University. By participating in the Summer Reading Program, students establish a common experience with other new students.

American Dervish will be provided to all incoming freshmen at Appalachian, and Ayad Akhtar will speak to members of the campus community and others during Convocation in the Holmes Center on campus, September 10. Akhtar also will participate in other discussions on campus and in the community, on September 11.

Library Guide for the Summer Reading Book

Summer Reading Events

Summer Reading Program

American Dervish can be puchased in the University Bookstore. Limited copies will be available for checkout from Belk Library.



Posted by John Boyd on Thursday, May 23, 2013 - 10:12am
Single Stream Recycling


The Appalachian campus is now recycling in a single stream. Not sure what that means? All recyclables can be placed in a single bin that are marked with the Single Stream Recycling stickers (the above image). Not sure what can be recycled? Go to the Office of Sustainability's Recycling Guide for a complete list of items accepted for single stream.

The University has comitted to being a zero waste campus by 2022. To see waste reducation tips and facts, go to, and also check out the University's Special Programs to help reach the goal of zero waste.

Posted by on Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - 3:46pm
Central Service Desk

This summer, look to the center desk for library services.  We've moved all 1st Floor services to that center desk.  Need to check out a book, movie, or laptop?  That's the place.  Have a question about your research or need help with a tech problem?  That's right.  That's the place.

Posted by on Monday, April 29, 2013 - 3:12pm
Jeffers photograph of chair and shoes

A new photography exhibit, “Cabin in the Woods: The Early Appalachian Still Life Photography of Jack Jeffers,” is now on display in the Dougherty Reading Room in Special Collections on the 4th floor of Belk Library and Information Commons. The exhibit is accessible during the regular operating hours of the Dougherty Reading Room, Monday through Friday, 10am – 4pm. Jack Jeffers donated much of his 40 years-worth of work to the W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection in the spring of 2011. The bulk of this work represents Jeffers’ Appalachian portfolio, which he saw as capturing a vanishing way of life in the mountain south.

Curated by Appalachian Studies graduate student and Dougherty Reading Room reference assistant David Funderburk, the exhibit includes eight photographs that represent the early stages of photographer Jack Jeffers’ decades of work documenting the Appalachian region. Jeffers’ career was marked by the artist’s desire to seek out and capture images of the “true mountain people.” The images in the current exhibit track Jeffers’ 1969 discovery of an abandoned cabin in the Virginia woods, which he saw as a relic of this disappearing way of life. Jeffers’ work presents a view of mountain life that is at once elevated to the sublime by the artist’s reverence for the precious nature of his subject matter and punctuated by horrific displays of abandonment and decay.

If you are interested in learning more about Jack Jeffers, please visit his website. For more information about the exhibit, please contact the Dougherty Reading Room at 828-262-7974 or

Posted by on Friday, April 26, 2013 - 4:37pm
2013 Summer Reading Recommendations

 The wettest county in the world

Library Student Employee Haydon: The Wettest County in the World : a Novel Based on a True Story by Matt Bondurant.

Read it because: An exciting adventure and mostly true piece of history that is based close to home.


  Los Alamos

Librarian Betsy: Los Alamos : a novel by Joseph Kanon.

Read it because: A murder-mystery about the making of the atom bomb. Everything Kanon writes is good. His books are all based on history, usually Europe before and during WWII.


God's Jury

Librarian Allen S.: God's Jury: The Inquisition and the Making of the Modern World by Cullen Murphy.

Read it because: It is interesting how the author traces how the history of the investigative and record keeping techniques of church inquisitors that began in the 13th century and continued to the 20th links to modern political, military and bureaucratic techniques of acquiring, organizing and using information. In short, modern public administration and bureaucracy has roots in the infamous practices of the Inquisition.


Sunday's Child

Library Coordinator Sandy: Sunday's Child by Tom E. Lewis.

Read it because: The author is from the Rocky Mount and New Bern areas of NC, and this book is the first of the author's Pea Island Gold Trilogy. These are historical fiction based on a family line story of the NC coast. The historical side is as intriguing as the story line. I have yet to be disappointed with Mr. Lewis' offerings.


Angel's Knocking on Heaven's Door

Librarian Jon M.: The Angels Knocking on the Tavern Door : Thirty Poems of Hafez / translated by Robert Bly and Leonard Lewisohn.

Read it because: Hafiz/Hafez is a poet from 14th century Persia but his poems seem so fresh today. Their essence are to revel in loving the imperfect perfectly.


Keeping the Castle

Librarian Jennie: Keeping the Castle by Patrice Kindl.

Read it because: It's like Jane Austen-lite, the witty story of an 18-year-old beauty who must find a rich husband to help prop up her crumbling ancestral home. A delightful, quick read with a satisfying conclusion.



Library Student Employee Chris W.: Ishmael by Daniel Quinn.

Read it because: Ishmael is a philosophical novel written in narrative form that follows a man and his frustrations with mankind. The story begins after he responds to an ad in the paper that reads: "Teacher seeks pupil. Must have an earnest desire to save the world. Apply in person." Quinn is similar to Marx in the sense that once you have read his work, the concepts communicated start showing up in every aspect of your life and society. Ishmael is inspirational, optimistic, and bold.


Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell

Library Technician Chris L.: Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke.

Read it because: A wonderful mixture of historical fiction and fantasy. Immense detail with illustrations, not a fast read but worth every minute.


Emily and Einstein

Graduate Library Student Employee Michelle B.: Emily and Einstein by Linda Francis Lee.

Read it because: A heartwarming story about a girl and her dog, a novel of second chances.


In the Heart of the Sea

Library Specialist Jill: In the Heart of the Sea by N. Philbrick.

Read it because: An engrossing examination of the events that inspired Moby Dick. Includes an angry sperm whale, poor decisions, rickety lifeboats, and cannibalism.


The Shamanic way of the bee

Librarian Georgie: The Shamanic Way of the Bee: Ancient Wisdom and Healing Practices of the Bee Masters by Simon Buxton.

Read it because: Incredibly strange and fabulous story of the rituals of being initiated into bee shamanism -- with plenty of delightful mythical history and practical

knowledge of beekeeping and bees. Glorious and weird.



Librarian John A.: Matterhorn: a novel of the Vietnam War by Karl Marlantes.

Read it because: Written by Rhodes Scholar Marlantes who was a Marine in Vietnam. This is his infantryman's view of the war and its ultimate futility. A worthy companion to Michael Herr's Dispatches.


Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare.

Read it because: Read by most high school students as a tale of youth, but when read as an adult it is a very different story of conflict with seemingly forgotten beginnings and senseless continuity and how adults indoctrinate their offspring to perpetuate the conflicts. As a parent, it is a chilling story of reckless action with deadly consequences for an impetuous son and daughter. Friar Laurence, in any parent's role, tries in his very human and inexpert way to influence the outcome to go differently and fails.



Library Technician Russel: Delirium by Lauren Oliver.

Read it because: Oliver imagines a world where love is viewed as a crutch, something that the educated no longer need. A cure has been found for love's delirium, and now all are required by law to receive it at 18. The story's focus on life without one of our most basic liberties is an enjoyable, challenging idea.

Need more? Visit our reference desk for more personalized suggestions. We also have access to the book review and read-alike database Novelist Plus here.

Posted by on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 1:44pm
Golden Cables of Sympathy book cover

Special Collections cordially invites you to attend the dedication of the Maggie McFadden Collection in Women’s Studies.

Date: Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Time: 4:00 to 6:00 pm

Remarks at 4:00 pm

Location: Belk Library, Room 421

Selections from the collection will be on exhibit in the Rhinehart Room following the remarks.

For questions about the collection, please contact Special Collections at 828-262-7702 or

Posted by on Monday, April 22, 2013 - 2:32pm

Did You Know?

The Belk Library and Information Commons was the first building on campus to incorporate many of the goals of the LEED (U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environment Design) program.

Some highlights of your green library:

*The carpet is made of partially recycled material and is itself completely recyclable

*Cork flooring is used on the 4th floor. Cork is a sustainable resource because cork can be harvested by stripping the bark from cork trees without damaging or killing the tree.  Cork also absorbs sound and is less expensive than solid wood flooring. 

*The steel structural frame is made of 75% recycled steel

*Recycling bins are located throughout the library

Do your part, check out our Biking and Walking Library Resource Guide 


Green Reads

Cover ArtCover Art
Green Cinema


Posted by Allan Scherlen on Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - 3:32pm

Date:  Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Time: 6:00 pm

Location: Belk Library -- Room 114

Admission: Free, open to the public

Students, faculty and community members are invited to read the graphic novel Persepolis:  the library has placed copies of the book on 24-hour reserve.  There will be a showing of the film Persepolis on Tuesday, April 30th at 6:00 pm at the library (Rm 114). Both the book and the film will be discussed afterwards.

Persepolis is a 2007 animated film based on Marjane Satrapi's autobiographical graphic novel of the same name.  The film received numerous awards including being a co-winner of the Jury Prize at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival.  It was also nominated for many awards including an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.  The story follows a young girl as she comes of age against the backdrop of the Iranian Revolution.

The film will be introduced by Dr. Renee Scherlen, who will also lead discussion on the film and book following the showing.  Dr. Scherlen is a professor of Political Science at Appalachian State University; comparative politics, foreign policy, international politics, and gender are among her areas of specialization.

The event is presented by ASU Library in conjunction with the ASU Humanities Council and the Muslim Students Association with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) program.  This is the fourth in a series of programs that compose the 2013 Bridging Cultures, Muslim Journeys Program.

More on the film:  Filmmakers Vincent Paronnaud and Marjane Satrapi collaborated to co-write and co-direct this adaptation of Satrapi's bestselling autobiographical graphic novel detailing the trials faced by an outspoken Iranian girl who finds her unique attitude and outlook on life repeatedly challenged during the Islamic Revolution.

The Guardian described the film as “superbly elegant” and goes on to note: “Persepolis gives us the sheer pleasure of narrative, rarely found in modern cinema or indeed fiction: a gripping story of what it is like to grow from a lonely imaginative child into an adult, and to find this internal tumult matched by geo-political upheaval.”

For more information contact: Allan Scherlen, Belk Library -

Posted by on Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - 1:38pm
Georgie Donovan, Associate University Librarian; Freshman Stephanie Filotei & Zachary Mennona and Information Literacy Librarian Amanda Bird

The first Information Literacy Skills Prize Awards were presented at the Celebration of Student Writing on April 17, 2013.  Belk Library and Information Commons sponsored the contest, with help from the University Writing Center, the Composition Program, and Writing Across the Curriculum Program.  

The prize recognizes an outstanding research paper written by a first-year Appalachian State University student for a class in UCO 1200 (First Year Seminar) or English 1000. Information literacy is the ability to find, evaluate, and use information effectively and it is an educational goal for every Appalachian State University graduate. 

This award promotes students' active engagement in the processes of library research and encourages them to synthesize library research skills with the reading, writing and critical thinking skills developed in their first year at Appalachian.

The first place award, was a $300 gift certificate to the bookstore and it went to freshman Zachary Mennona for his paper entitled Motivation of Soldiers, Slaves, and Statesmen in the American Civil War. Zachary made abundant use of primary resources, and wrote in his reflection statement:

“Being a complete newcomer to the field of research, I am grateful to my English professor and the staff of the Belk Library for their assistance in teaching me the strategies involved in crafting a research paper….Skills like critical thinking, book analysis, information collecting, and interpretation of data developed out of necessity and allowed me to answer the rhetorical question when time finally came to writing the research down. The skills developed throughout this project will be of tremendous service to me for the remainder of life as a researcher and writer.”

The second place award, a $200 gift certificate to the bookstore, went to freshman Stephanie Filotei for her paper Borderline Personality Disorder.  Stephanie noted in her reflection “At first, I dreaded finding twenty sources because that seemed like too many. In the end, I learned that it only helped me to find an abundant amount of information that would help me recognize useful sources from the useless ones.”  Stephanie also made several trips to the University writing center and found they helped her improve the grammar and flow of her paper significantly.

Image:Georgie Donovan, Associate University Librarian; Freshmen Stephanie Filotei & Zachary Mennona and Information Literacy Librarian Amanda Bird