February Recommended Reads

Text reads: Pull up a chair & and get cozy! Recommended Reads, recommended books from the W.I. Dykes Library Staff. Image of a side table with books next to a reading chair and lamp.

It’s time for February’s Recommended Reads! Here’s what we’re reading and recommending this month:

Lisa is currently reading, Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann. She says, ”it was named one of Library Journals best books of 2017, and I can see why.  The little known story of at least 24 murders that occurred on the Osage Reservation in Oklahoma in the 1920s is heartbreaking.  Through the lens of one family, Gann weaves information about the frankly horrendous treatment of indigenous people in the U.S. with intriguing insight about early 20th century law enforcement techniques. That he manages to do so with empathy and the utmost respect for those most closely effected by the tragedy is what, to me, makes this book so readable.”


Donovan read Star Wars: Ahsoka, written by E.K. Johnston. Star Wars: Ahsoka is a story that takes place after the events of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. At this time, Ahsoka Tano, a Togruta female who was once a padawan learner to Jedi knight Anakin Skywalker, is a fugitive hiding from the Galactic Empire. She settles on the rural moon of the planet Raada working as a mechanic named Asha. However, the empire invades the Raada moon. The oppressive presence of the stormtroopers and other imperial personnel prompts the residents to consider revolting. Sympathetic to their cause while trying to keep a low profile, Ahsoka encourages and eventually participates in their rebellion.

Donovan says, “I enjoyed reading Ahsoka because Ahsoka Tano has become one of my favorite Star Wars characters. I hoped the events of her life between the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels would be told. I liked and appreciated the vignettes of side stories that were mentioned intermittently throughout the primary narrative.

In addition, I liked that there were movie/television nods and established character cameos. The only thing I didn’t like was that the book didn’t explore Ahsoka’s time after she became an agent for the Alliance to Restore the Republic. I felt that there was not enough content about her that connects the two series together. Other than that, I would recommend this book for check-out from the W.I. Dykes Library.”


Anne is currently reading Dove by Robin Lee Graham. In 1965, sixteen year old Graham set off from California in a 24-foot sailboat to sail around the world. It took him nearly five years to circumnavigate the globe solo, and at the time, he was the youngest person to complete this feat. Parts of his boat break multiple times and pieces get lost in the sea, he has times when he nearly runs out of food or water, and he sails through terrible storms that nearly sink his little boat. He meets fascinating people and cultures along the way, even falling in love and getting married. He wants to quit his journey several times, but he perseveres and through the process, grows into his full self.

Dove isn’t available at the UHD Library, but you can request it through Interlibrary Loan!


Pat just finished reading Revenger, by Alastair Reynolds. “He is, hands down, my favorite science fiction author, and definitely one of the best writing today. His Revelation Space series is so good that I have read the entire thing twice! His most recent book is a quick, exciting read about a young woman who leaves her home with her sister to join a crew that investigates deserted planets to find treasures. A life-changing encounter with a pirate ship is the motivation for profound transformation and amazing adventure. The things that I like about Reynolds are the dark tone of his books, the fascinating plots, and, above all, outstanding character development. And, the library has every novel he has written, so if you like him, too, you’re in for a lot of great reading!”

Lynda.com Learning Library

Pictures of popular subjects available on Lynda.com

UHD students, faculty, and staff now have access to Lynda.com, an online learning platform where you can expand your business, software, technology and creative skills! From learning a new software program to expanding your customer service skills, Lynda.com has resources for everyone. Here’s just a snapshot of a few interesting training topics on Lynda.com:

  • SEO for local businesses
  • Preparing for an interview
  • Music lessons in piano, guitar, banjo, voice
  • Advanced Excel skills
  • Designing mobile responsive websites
  • Gamification for interactive learning

Access Lynda.com through the UHD website and login with your UHD username and password.

Library Hosts Black Cinema Series Event

Join the W.I. Dykes Library in room N420 on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 for the Black Cinema Series! In celebration of Black History Month, we’re screen three award-winning feature films back-to-back.

Here’s the event lineup:

  • Fences @ 11:00 am - A working-class African-American father tries to raise his family in the 1950s, while coming to terms with the events of his life. Runtime: 2h 19min
  • Get Out @ 1:45 pm - It’s time for a young African-American man to meet with his white girlfriend’s parents for a weekend in their secluded estate in the woods, but before long, the friendly and polite ambiance will give way to a nightmare. Runtime: 1h 44min
  • Moonlight @ 3:45 - A chronicle of the childhood, adolescence and burgeoning adulthood of a young, African-American, gay man growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami. Runtime 1h 51min

Popcorn and refreshments will be provided, so stop by!

Flier for the Black Cinema Series event, including film titles and start times.

Access Restored to Web of Science and Journal Citation Reports

As an update to a previous blog post, we are pleased to announce that access to Web of Science and Journal Citation Reports has been restored. Access to Biological Abstracts is still suspended.

Web of Science and Journal Citation Reports can be accessed via our A to Z Database List.

If you encounter difficulties when accessing these resources please contact the library at (713) 221-8187 or our online chat, which is available 24/7.

Films on Demand and Blackboard

Due to recent updates in Films on Demand’s proxy URL, please be aware that embedded video codes in Blackboard will need to be manually updated.

What exactly does this mean?

If you previously had a video from Films on Demand embedded in your Blackboard course (that is, if the video played within your course) and it no longer works, you will need to go back into Films on Demand and copy the embed code again. To find the embed code, click </>Embed/Link (step 1 below) and then select Copy (step 2 below) after the embed code line. Then you’ll need to go into your Blackboard course and completely replace the old code with this new one.

Screenshot of where to find Films On Demand's embed code. Two red circles show the order of steps. Doing this ensures that your video will load and play within Blackboard, both immediately on campus, and after logging in from off-campus.

If you’ve never embedded a video from Films on Demand into Blackboard, simply follow the steps above.

Please contact the library if you have any questions or trouble with this process. Our reference desk phone number is (713) 221-8187 and our online chat is available 24/7.

Pop-up Library @ The Marilyn Davies College of Business

The W.I. Dykes Library is coming to YOU, College of Business students! On Tuesday, January 30th, the library will be holding a Pop-Up Library at the College of Business Career Center’s Resume Dash. We’ll be there from 11am-1pm, and then again from 4:30-7pm.

We’ll have resources to help you with your resumes, cover letters, and interviews so be sure to stop by and say hello!

And don’t forget your student ID: all books will be available for a six-week checkout period!

Flyer for Spring College of Business Pop-up Library event.

January Recommended Reads

Welcome to our first ever Recommended Reads post! Each month we will be sharing book recommendations made by library staff. If you’re looking for something to read, this is the place to start!

Text reads: Pull up a chair & and get cozy! Recommended Reads, recommended books from the W.I. Dykes Library Staff. Image of a side table with books next to a reading chair and lamp.

Pat recently finished Borne, the latest by Jeff VanderMeer, master of the New Weird, and author of Annihilation, soon to come out as a movie (which the Library also has). It gets her highest recommendation. “You may not have known you wanted to read a lyrical, heartbreaking novel about a city ravaged by genetic engineering and toxic waste, starring a young woman who picks a small bit of trash out of the fur of a giant, flying bear, only to find herself raising a new life form, but you do. That life form is Borne, and he’s the most heartbreaking character you’ll ever meet in a novel. This is the best book I’ve read in at least a year.”


Naomi is currently reading Postcards from Ed, a book of letters and postcards written by environmental activist Edward Abbey. She has this to say about it: “Ed Abbey is witty, savage, and downright unapologetic about nearly everything he writes. A lot of the topics he wrote about 50 years ago are things that are still relevant with today: the overreach of politics, protecting our national lands, and enjoying the outdoors. It’s actually inspired me to write some letters of my own!”


Library assistant Michael is reading El secreto de sus ojos by Eduardo Sacheri, the source novel for Juan José Campanella’s Academy Award-winning 2010 film The Secret in Their Eyes.
A murder investigation set over the course of decades is framed by the emerging authoritarianism in the Argentina of the early 1970s and the aftermath of the dictatorship 25 years later.


From Steve: I’m currently reading Hear the Wind Sing, the first book in Haruki Murakami’s Trilogy of the Rat. I’m reading the UHD Library’s copy, an edition which includes the trilogy’s second novel, Pinball, 1973, as well.

I read how Murakami was inspired to write a novel and it piqued my interest. In the introduction of the book, he describes the experience as an epiphany, like something that fluttered down to him out of the sky. He was attending a baseball game and heard the crack of a bat. He says in that moment he realized he could write a novel.

In the story, the narrator introduces us to his friend, the Rat, and spins tales of their exploits together. It’s an odd friendship. The story also has moments of magical realism, which is one of my favorite genres of modern fiction.

I recommend this book for anyone interested in magical realism, modern Japanese culture, and the joy of discovering a new author.


Suspended Access to Web of Science

**UPDATE 1/26/2018

Access to Web of Science and Journal Citation Reports has been restored. Access to Biological Abstracts is still suspended. See post  for additional information.


Due to circumstances beyond our control, the W.I. Dykes Library will no longer have access to the following resources after January 1, 2018:

Web of Science
Journal Citation Reports
Biological Abstracts

We are working on restoring access to these or similar resources, but please be aware that the process may not be complete by the end of the Spring 2018 semester.

In the meantime, there are a couple of avenues you can use for citation searching that are not as complete as Web of Science, but may provide you with some material. In the two history databases, America: History and Life and Historical Abstracts, when you go directly to the database (as opposed to searching through LibSearch), you will see a link for Citation Searching in the top bar. This is not as sophisticated as Web of Science, but you may find something through there.

Another avenue is to search Google Scholar; if you go to it through the link http://ezproxy.uhd.edu/login?url=http://scholar.google.com it should tell you what we own. You can look up an article, then click on the link “Cited by” and find things in Google Scholar that cite the article. These things will not do the same kind of definitive search that Web of Science does, but for the purposes of finding new relevant material, they may be helpful.

Additionally, this guide by Pace University provides other alternatives: http://libguides.pace.edu/c.php?g=63911&p=410572

Ready, Set, Write: It’s National Novel Writing Month!

Welcome to the 3rd annual observation of National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo, to you veterans) at the W.I. Dykes Library!

Unfamiliar with NaNoWriMo? Here’s basic info from the NaNoWriMo site:

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing.

On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30.

Throughout the month of November, the library will be hosting the following events in celebration and support of those choosing to embark on this crazy, mad-dash adventure!

Wednesday, November 1st
Stop by to learn more about NaNoWriMo, grab a plot bunny, and find out about the cool contests you can enter!

Wednesday, November 8th
Workshop: “Once Upon a Time, There Were Two Bears”: Bedtime Stories
Have you ever been told a bedtime story? Have you ever been asked to tell a bedtime story? Let’s talk about what goes into a story that works for the teller and the small (but demanding) audience.   Facilitated by Dr. Dressman.

Wednesday, November 15th
Workshop: Plot-a-palooza!
Trying to write a story without a plot is like trying to boil spaghetti without a pan.  From epic quests to daring escapes to bitter rivals, Dr. Nicholson has plots to spare and share. Come learn about twenty master plots and unleash your characters in the story that they deserve.

Wednesday, November 29th
NaNoWriMo grand finale party! If you’re finished, come celebrate! If you’re still writing, come do a final mad dash with us! Contest winners will be announced, & light refreshments provided.

All events will take place in Library Room N-453, from 2:30pm-4pm.

In addition to these workshops and events, the library’s fifth floor display table has all kinds of useful titles on how to write a murder mystery, fleshing out your characters, heroic plots, and various other genre support book. We also have plot bunnies out in case you need some help getting started or are feeling stuck in your writing.

Feeling competitive? This year we’ve added contests to the mix:

Design: Book Cover
Show us your best selling book cover art!

Write: Dust Jacket Blurb
Write up your book selling summery that would appear on the inside flap of your novels dust jacket!

Design: Main Character
Create your best artistic rendering of your protagonist!

Produce: Book Preview
Make a short video advertising your novel!

Produce: Playlist
Create a playlist to go along with your story!

Contest entries should be turned in to Dr. Nicholson-Preuss at any NaNoWriMo event.

Intimidated? Not to worry! Although most writers aim for 50,000 words, you can set your own goals for the month and still participate. We’d love to see you there!