Due to unforseen circumstances with the atrium renovation, PSC Library is closed for in-person services. Librarians are available to answer questions virtually through email or the "Chat Now" button at the bottom of the page. Electronic resources (ebooks, databases, etc.) remain available.

PSC Library Newsletter

PSC Library Newsletter


Click here if this email isn't displaying correctly, or to see a listing of previous Library Newsletters

What’s Newsworthy

The April 8th solar eclipse will bring another set of events, plus others to keep us out of trouble.

Library Book Club

image of the cover of Neil deGrasse Tyson's Book Astrophysics for People in a Hurry. Includes the and date, time, and information about the event, which is also listed below

To get ready for the solar eclipse on April 8th, the library will host a group reading of Neil deGrasse Tyson's Astrophysics for People in a Hurry. This event will be held in the library classroom and online on Monday, April 1st, 1:00 – 1:30 pm. We have a print copy, as well as an ebook and an audiobook. Please click this link to add this event directly to your calendar.

Solar Eclipse

image of solar eclipse in totality. Includes the and date, time, and information about the event, which is also listed below

On Monday, April 8 at 11:30 am, the Prairie State College Library, in partnership with the Natural Sciences Department and STEM Club, will host an eclipse viewing event in both the Barnes and Noble Conference Center room 1315, and the Scholar’s Garden. Come to the Conference Center to make pinhole projectors, eat snacks, and hear research by our own STEM Club students. The Scholar’s Garden will have the actual viewing with solar telescopes and glasses. Please join us to witness this amazing celestial event.

Bring your own blanket/chair and classes are welcome. Please click this link to add this event directly to your calendar.

A Mindful Moment

See if you can stay in this moment, and this one now. Join us for a mindful moment to stop and breathe to ease your stress. Shannon Word and the library bring you a chance to meditate and relax during the most stressful time of the semester. Mindful moment will take place in the library classroom on Monday, April 22nd from 12:30 – 1:30pm. Please click this link to add this event directly to your calendar.

Lunch 'n Learn, Chess with Reference Librarian Russell Guldin

image for Lunch 'n Learn which includes a fork, pen, and the PSC logo

“The chessboard is the world, the pieces are the phenomena of the Universe, the rules of the game are what we call the laws of Nature and the player on the other side is hidden from us.”

Thomas Huxley

Join the Library on Tuesday, May 7th 12:00 – 1:00 PM in the library classroom for an “infotaining” look at the beautiful game of chess. We’ll talk about the history of chess, cover the basics of the game, and learn some of the basics of chess strategy. We’ll have chess puzzles and a few boards set up for you to test your knowledge. Whether you know the differences between the Najdorf Sicilian and the Dragon Sicilian, or call that one piece the horse, you’ll get something out of this Lunch n’ Learn. Please click this link to add this event directly to your calendar.

How To Search the Library Collection

As mentioned in the “something new” section of our February newsletter, the library is joining I-Share at the end of June this year. As part of this migration, the library’s search function will also change. Right now when you search for a keyword, title, or author, on the library’s website you use a search engine called OneSearch:

image of Library's OneSearch search engine

OneSearch is front and center on the library’s homepage. Love it or hate it- you are probably used to it.

This search engine will change this summer along with several other things mentioned in the above article. Stay tuned and we will walk you through these changes. We believe they will be positive, but some flexibility will be needed during this transition.

Something New: I-Share Redux

If you are reading this newsletter in order, you just read how the I-Share migration will impact your searches on the library’s website. It will also impact our physical collection. Most of this work will be done by us behind the scenes.

However, all PSC library patrons (that’s you) will need to return physical library materials to us at the end of the semester. As such, please return all books, DVDs, calculators, interlibrary loan books, and everything else to the library by Friday, May 17th.

Librarian Water Cooler: The Power of Play in Higher Education

By Valerie Moore, Outreach and Engagement Librarian/Associate Professor

image that reads, the psc library now has legos. You're invited to join the fun

Recently I started collecting donations of Legos from other libraries with the hopes of getting a collection large enough to justify a Lego builder’s club. I figured we could unveil them for some play before finals. The thinking was that our students would have a positive way to relieve stress during a busy time. This morning I picked up the final donation hoping to deliver some primary colored fun to the library.

In 2020 I attended the Professors at Play’s Playposium, a half-day symposium dedicated to bringing play to higher education. You can watch it here and one of the event’s organizers (Lisa Forbes) is cited at the end. Since attending, I’ve been curious to explore how play can be used in higher education, hence the Legos. Not only did I learn enough to scribble through multiple pages of a notebook, but it was a joyful experience, which I lacked at the time.

Looking at our own PSC students we know that “College students today face many unique challenges, and while it may not always be obvious, the library can play a role in addressing students’ needs holistically by developing creative solutions with campus partners.” (Adams et al., 2024, p. 55) I believe that playing in the library and your classroom can be one solution to these challenges.

Children learn through play, and just because play is underutilized in higher education, doesn’t mean it should be. While studying play in her counseling courses, Forbes (2021) said, “As participants described the experience of learning through play, they spoke about play in higher education as an atypical and underutilized approach.” Besides being enjoyable, play does several things well: it “cultivates relational safety and a warm classroom environment,” “removes barriers to learning,” “awakened students’ positive affect and motivation,” and “ignited an open and engaged learning stance to enhance learning.” (p. 63) In other words, play is student-centered active learning.

Further, play has been used strategically in higher education to help students adapt to new and unfamiliar educational settings. Many PSC students are first-generation, making the whole experience a new and unfamiliar setting. In their research paper, Ajibade & Hayes (2022) successfully used the Lego Serious Play Methodology to help nursing students from Nigeria adapt to learning in the U.K. Ajibade & Hayes also concluded that play allowed the students to remove both power imbalances between instructor/researcher and student, as well as those power imbalances among the students themselves. “Using the bricks to facilitate storytelling resulted in rich data collection…from shy or quiet participants that might have been suppressed by dominant and self-appointed expert participants who might present as having more knowledge about the topic of discussion.” (Ajibade & Hayes, 2022, p. 3) Your quiet students might just come out of their shells if allowed to participate outside of a typical discussion session.

“Just remember that carving out time to nurture creativity doesn’t mean Plein-air painting over your lunch break–it can be as simple as giving yourself whiteboard space to reimagine a better way to complete a daily task. It helps to know what inspires you and look for ways you can naturally fold creative inspiration into your day-to-day life.” (Adams et al., 2024, p. 57-58)

The library fosters creativity and play with a small collection of toys and now Legos. Our large, novelty chess game attracts a few heavy users who stop by to play regularly, and many students just move a piece while walking by. We have puzzles, coloring sheets, and crafts as well. The hope is that students (and you) will find these activities pleasurable, and relaxing. They might also bring the campus together. As the Outreach and Engagement Librarian, I take this seriously. When discussing a poetry club as a creative outlet, Adams et al., (2024) said that “it was truly about connecting people, new ideas, and community resources.” (p. 57

With all of the above being said, I encourage you to do a few things- if you are feeling stressed, please stop by the library to play yourself. This year’s Finals Fest activities will include some playtime. Consider yourself invited, but you can stop by anytime.

My second call to action is to bring play to your classroom. I had to stop myself from researching further mostly due to my looming newsletter deadline, but there is room for novelty, play, and creativity in the academy. It will help your students learn, bond, and remove barriers between you and your students. It might also be a pleasant change of pace, and be joyful.

Adams, S., Forrest, L., & Falciani-White, N. (2024). Creativity in the Library: Intentionality and the Art of Making Space. College & Research Libraries News, 85(3), 103. doi: https://doi.org/10.5860/crln.85.3.103

Ajibade, B. O., & Hayes, C. (2022). Using LEGO® Serious Play® Methodology in supporting Nigerian nursing students’ sociocultural transitions to UK higher education: A phenomenological research study. Nurse Education Today, 119. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nedt.2022.105582

Forbes, L. K. (2021). The Process of Play in Learning in Higher Education: A Phenomenological Study. Journal of Teaching and Learning, 15(1), 57–73.

Featured Videos

To celebrate the April 8th solar eclipse, this month’s book display features books on astronomy, including gorgeous pictures. Please stop by the library to see them in person, or enjoy some featured videos below:

Apollo 13

Apollo 13: The Untold Story

For All Mankind: The Apollo Space Missions

Hubble: The Wonders of Space Revealed, BBC Part 1

Hubble: The Wonders of Space Revealed, BBC Part 2

NOVA: Apollo's Daring Mission

Solar System: The Secrets of the Universe

The Universe - Season 1

The Universe - Season 2

The Universe - Season 3

The Universe - Season 4

Lastly, the library is here for you; reach out with any questions at Ask a Librarian!