Parent and Family Newsletter

Stories from the Library...

Safiya NobleView from Jan Term Speaker Series - Safiya Noble

Protests around the world have called out bias--implicit and explicit--that occur in our interpersonal interactions and are built into societal structures. But is a less visible form of bias also encoded into our digital lives? Last month, students packed Hagerty Lounge to hear UCLA professor Safiya Umoja Noble's research on this question, as part of a January Term Speaker Series event cosponsored by the Library.





  • Pizza!Transfer Meet-and-Greet in Library with Free Pizza

    On Wednesday, Feb. 15, 1-2pm, the Library encourages transfer students to stop by to meet the librarian for their major, take a library tour and enjoy a free pizza lunch! If your student has transferred into Saint Mary's, please encourage him or her to attend so they can make the best use of the Library's resources for their assignments and projects. (February, 2017)

  • food for fines at the library"Food For Fines" Program

    This holiday season the Library experimented with it's first Food for Fines program. During November and December students could bring non-perishable food items to the Library and Library staff would forgive their overdue book fines. They received 102 items to donate to the GaelPantry, including canned goods, cereal, granola, macaroni and cheese, and oatmeal. Donating students not only got their fees waived but had an opportunity to help other students in need during the holiday season. The program was such a success that the Library will be doing it again next year. (January 2017)


  • Banned Books weekStudents Engage with Banned Books

    During Banned Books Week this Fall, students coming into the Library were confronted with an exhibit of books, drawn from around the country, that had actually been requested to be removed from classroom use. Stopping to review the examples, they were asked to imagine themselves as a public high school principal responding to a request to ban a particular title. Students engaged in discussions with each other and with librarians about the issues this raised, often writing their responses on a white board next to the exhibit. One quote represents an approach many of the students took: "Controversial topics should be able to appear in readings, as long as the topics are discussed after reading. Allow the books!" We were proud of their thoughtful and nuanced responses. (December, 2016)


  • Students enjoying hot drink time during finals in the library.The Library Offers Extended Hours and Snack Station

  • In collaboration with the Campus Activities Board (CAB), the Library will again have a "Frantic Finals Comfort" food station. The station offers cocoa, tea and healthy treats. Students can take a short break from their studying for this comfort food when they're feeling tired, frazzled, or hungry.
  • To support students as they prepare for final exams, the Library offers extended hours November 29-December 2. Beginning Saturday, December 3, the library remains open 24 hours until December 9.


  • Students at the Library booth at the Mental Health fairThe Library Cares

  • In October, the Library took part in Counseling and Psychological Services' "Campus of Caring

    Carnival," meant to increase awareness of mental health issues and ease stress at this busy time in the semester. Students donned masks, wigs, and other fun props for the Library's "unmask mental health stigma" photo booth, accompanied by a display of books on mental health. Is your student stressed about a research assignment? 

    Send them to see a librarian.


  • Principia Mathematica by NewtonA Rare Gift and a Rare Experience for Students

  • Have you ever had the chance to hold a rare (and valuable) piece of history in your hands? Saint Mary's students will now have that opportunity in the Library due to a major new gift from Professor Ron Olowin (Physics and Astronomy).  Dr. Olowin has donated a 1713 edition of Isaac Newton's Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy). It is one of the most important books of science ever published, articulating the famous three laws of motion and establishing astronomy as a branch of physics. 

    Students in classes such as history, the physical sciences, Integral and Seminar will be able to hold and examine this rare edition.  Dr. Olowin and the library staff hope that by experiencing first-hand this classic work, Newton's ideas and impact will become more real to our students.  

    Thank you Dr. Olowin for your generous gift to SMC students!


  • headphones

        Just in Time for Finals!

    The Library once again has extended hours for finals:  May 14-18, 24 hours; May 19, 1am-9pm

    Thanks to a generous donation, the Library recently acquired new noise cancelling headphones. With rich bass and high-definition sound, a hands-free microphone, and active noise-cancelling technology, students can listen to tunes, practice their pronunciation with Rosetta Stone, or reduce background noise to a gentle hum for optimum concentration. In the words of one student, "They're magical!" Headphones can be checked out at the circulation desk for up to four hours at a time.

  • Art Source 

       New Resources from the Library:  Art Source

    The Saint Mary's Library is pleased to announce that EBSCO Art Source is now part of our collection. Covering a range of subjects that includes fine, decorative, and commercial art and assorted areas of architecture and architectural design, the database covers a broad span of publishing across the European continent, with titles published in French, Italian, German, Spanish, and Dutch. Art Source includes more than 210 unique full-text journals not previously available in any database, and is a stellar resource for art scholars, artists, designers, students, general researchers, and more.

  • SportDiscus   

        "SportDiscus" Database Hits the Mark!

    This year the Library added SportDiscus with Fulltext to our extensive collection of online databases. SportDiscus covers the areas of fitness, health and sport studies and is the premier source for sports and sports medicine journals. An essential tool for health professionals, scholars and students, this database responds to the research needs of a large number of Kinesiology students interested in health promotion, sport and recreation management, and health and human performance.

  •     Rosetta StoneBecome a Polyglot with Rosetta Stone

    The Library is proud to welcome Rosetta Stone to our Database collection. The Rosetta Stone Library Solution focuses on the needs of new language learners. Planning a trip to Egypt? Taking a Jan Term class in France? With access to Level 1 of all thirty languages, our students could pick up the basics of a new language in no time. Packed with interactive modules with spoken dialogue, images, and exercises that use speech recognition software, Rosetta Stone is designed to offer a fun and fruitful experience for our enthusiastic learners.

  • Students Access The New York Times with Just a "Click"

    Have you ever tried to read a New York Times article online but got blocked by a message that you've exceeded your reading limit for the month? Well, your student never needs to face that frustration, now that the SMC Library provides a digital subscription for all current students! The Library's license provides access to all the online content, as well as the NYT apps for iPhone and Android. Students can subscribe to daily headlines and alerts to keep up with the latest news, use the Times' top-notch reporting and multimedia to do research for class, and examine different writing styles and op/ed argument strategies for composition practice. Ask your student if they're taking advantage of this resource!

  • Students Love the Library Textbook Collection

    Students are taking advantage of the Library's collection of 557 textbooks. In fact, these books were checked out over 7,000 times during the fall semester! Some of the most popular titles include Intermediate Algebra Within Reach, The Access Bible, General Chemistry and Campbell Biology. Students appreciate having access to these resources and, with the Library open 24/7 during finals, they're able to take advantage of the Textbook Collection at an important juncture in the semester. The Textbook Collection is a combined initiative of the Library and the Office of the Vice Provost Office for Undergraduate Academics.

  • Library's Collection of Music, Films and Novels Helps Students De-Stress

    As Jan Term comes to a close, students can look to the Library for a wide selection of books, films and music to relax and recharge with over the winter break. The Library's Best Sellers collection includes new and recent books cited on the New York Times Best Seller list - popular and non-fiction titles, novels, mysteries, thrillers - there is something here for almost every taste. And if it's not in the Library's collection, students may also request books from participating partner public and academic libraries in California and Nevada through Link+, the Library's interlibrary loan service. Students can also access three large multidisciplinary databases of Streaming Video: Academic Video Online (VAST), Films on Demand (FOD), Kanopy. Together, these three sources include more than 43,000 videos featuring documentaries, biographies, live performances, interviews and more. For streaming music, the Naxos Music Library offers and unparalleled depth of classical music content, featuring more than 118,000 CDs and 1.7 million tracks of music with new additions being added all the time! Whether on road or at home, students have access to books, film and music to enjoy a well deserved break.

  • Library Spotlights Local History and Beyond

    One of the research tools the Library offers students and faculty interested in studying both the San Francisco Bay Area and popular culture nationwide is the Historical San Francisco Chronicle. With coverage from 1865 to 1922, the Historical SF Chronicle is an easily searched, full text archive of first-hand accounts and nonpareil coverage of the politics, society, and newsworthy events of the time. This database includes complete page images for every edition within its coverage range, and is a stellar resource for researching the local, regional, and national history in which SMC has played such an irreplaceable role.

  • Special Finals Week Schedule

    For the second year, the Library and Campus Activity Board have allied to provide your student with warm and welcoming snacks during the challenging end of semester. With the expanded "24 hour opening" of the Library during finals, providing a break and a chance to step away from the computer/textbook for a moment has proven to be a hit! Hot chocolate, hot cider, cookies, nuts, granola bars and - yes - rice krispie treats make the path through this stressful time a little bit brighter. The Library is open 24 hours Dec. 7-9 with extended hours on Dec. 10. They resume regular hours on Friday, Dec. 11. A full schedule of Library hours can be found on their website.

  • I have a research paper due and I don't know where to start!!

    You may hear this lament from your student as the second part of the semester unfolds. Never fear! Librarians are available at the reference desk in the Library to help your student with their research questions. Typical questions are: (a) I have a paper due on [insert topic], where do I start? (b) I'm finding too much! Can you help me narrow my topic? (c) How do I find more on my topic? (d) How do I cite my sources? and (e) I need this article for my paper but the Library doesn't have it. How can I get it? Librarians are ready and waiting to help with these and other questions. Students don't even have to be in the Library! If your student tells you s/he is struggling with this, encourage them to contact us via chat, email, or telephone. They can even send us a text! The Ask Us! link on the Library home page connects them with a subject librarian who can help. (November 2015)

  • FYACs Embark on Library Amazing Race

    The SMC Library has three floors of study spaces, print materials, media, and a wealth of resources online. So how do students learn to navigate it all? The first step is often through their First Year Academic Cohorts, or FYACs. When these groups come in for their library class, librarians engage students' competitive spirit with an Amazing Race game that takes them on an adventure throughout the library. They work together to solve clues, using iPads to search online resources and take selfies at various physical locations in the library, and then present back what they learned to the rest of the class. The winning team members get candy bars, but the real prize is access to all the collections and services the Library provides.

  • Pop-up Displays Bring Timely New Info to SMC Students

    Student visits to the library are often restful and always productive, and they can now be even more informative due to our pop-up displays. SMC librarians reliably monitor current events and popular issues, both on campus and in the world at large, and showcase useful information sources that students can use to deepen their understanding of those issues. Books, videos, and referrals to other campus offices and events are just a few of the resources students can browse as they follow their path to scholarly achievement and global citizenship. See our displays and other Library happenings by following us on Facebook at the link above. (October 2015)

  • Library Creates More Study Spaces

    Students have asked for more flexible study spaces and quiet zones, and the SMC Library is meeting those needs with a newly remodeled building. We've added 97 seats, distributed computers throughout the floors, created two new silent study rooms, and doubled the number of group study rooms. We've also upgraded the wi-fi; students in the Library are now using the fastest connectivity our campus has to offer. These improvements mean our students have a greatly expanded selection of study spaces at their disposal—quiet areas for thinking and writing, group spaces for collaboration, and mixed spaces for studying in the company of their peers. (September 2015)