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Is your New Year’s Resolution to improve your college experience???

Perhaps you don’t feel the need to make New Year’s Resolutions but a New Year gives everyone the opportunity to think about improving their lives.
Do you feel as if you are making the most of your college days? Hopefully you have made a resolution to improve your college experience, here are some ways to improve your college success.

1. Are you tired? Of course, you are sleep deprived, you are in college! However, getting a good night’s sleep is one of the best things you can do to improve your grades. Attempt normal sleeping patterns. Pulling an “all nighter” does not qualify as being normal.
2. Eat a brain-healthy diet. OK, those cookies over break were delicious but your brain doesn’t need that sugar. The brain also doesn’t need many items found at fast food places. Try to eat unprocessed fresh food. I agree it is not easy!
3. Exercise. Physical activity boosts blood flow to the brain. Hey, that brain needs all the stimulation it can get. The brain would like you to work out at least 20 minutes a day; even a brisk walk around the campus counts.
4. Break your social media habit. When you should be studying, do you find your mind wanting to check Facebook or twitter or some other site? If you don’t have the self control not to check sites during times you should be studying, there are apps to block your access to the Internet or certain sites.
5. Stop procrastinating. Oh, easier said than done but try breaking down large tasks into parts and setting a deadline for each part. Your assignment will be so much better than one thrown together at the last minute. Professors will easily recognize the difference between a well-planned project and a last minute one.
6. Get to know your professor. Don’t pester them but don’t be shy about approaching them. Take advantage of their office hours. Let them know that you are making an effort.
7. Stop complaining. Are you one who spends as much time complaining about an assignment as it would take for you to simply do it?
8. Use the resources available to you here on campus. Use the library! Check out our display this month on books to improve your college success. Use the Writing Center. Use the math tutor. Central Penn wants you to do well.
9. Resolve to keep your resolutions. Write them down so you will be reminded. If you have taken the steps to get more sleep; eat right; exercise; have stopped procrastinating and are planning ahead, you should feel as if you have more control over your life. That in itself is extremely rewarding.

Charles “T” Jones Leadership Library


Yes, the name of the Central Penn College library, “The Charles T Jones Leadership Library”, is a mouthful but we are grateful to Charles T Jones for his support.
Fifty years ago, Charles “T” Jones founded Life Management Services in Mechanicsburg and then traveled the country as a motivational speaker and teacher of leadership. He wanted people to improve their lives through reading. He also made a generous donation to our library knowing that we could provide a venue for both the importance of reading and leadership. The entire library bears his name but within the library there is a leadership room that houses books about (yes, you guessed it) — leadership!
A couple of months ago, I was glancing at the Harrisburg Patriot News and noticed an article in the supplement of “Make a Change”. The article, “To climb the ladder, Be Visible, Involved” was written by Caroline Banton. She pointed out that it takes more than hard work to advance in a career. One suggestion she made is to improve your leadership skills. She said that studies have shown that leaders are made; not just born that way. Since no one leaves the hospital nursery with critical thinking skills or problem solving or team building skills, one must search for ways to develop their own leadership skills.
As you can guess, we hope that you include developing your leadership skills as part of your Central Penn College experience. Yes, make a visit to the Charles T Jones Leadership Library and see how we can help you reach your potential with our leadership books.

Research paper due? Check out CREDO.

You have a report due, where do you start to find background information on the topic?

Check out

Why do I want to access CREDO Reference?
CREDO is a great place to begin your research, with dictionary definitions and encyclopedia entries from a variety of reliable reference sources. It provides you with lots of background information. It also guides you in your research by helping you narrow broad topics and find related material.
How do I access this platform?
Go to Blackboard, click on Library. There you will select “Find Journals/ Other Online Resources” and among the options you will see CREDO. In the CREDO box, you can click to learn more about CREDO or you may go straight to the CREDO platform and begin searching. I do recommend looking at the how to use CREDO page. No, it doesn’t hurt to read the directions/recommendations!
How do I get started in my search?
Type your search term or phrase into the basic search box. The results page will have the topic pages listed at the top of the page, if a topic page has been created. There are oodles of topic pages. Topic pages in CREDO link you directly to other library online resources, such as EBSCO and Gale databases, Opposing Viewpoints, and Ebrary. If your topic doesn’t have a topic page, it will still have links to research articles. You are able to apply filters to narrow your results. To save time, use the quick view eye symbol on the right and you will have a preview of each article. Chances are there will also be related books and resources shown. You can click on the related resource and you will leave the CREDO site and be in a new database that we subscribe to but there will be no need to retype the search term.

I am a visual learner, can CREDO help me?
Yes, CREDO has the Mind Map as one of the options on the basic search page. The Mind Map provides a visual image of your topic and the concepts related to it to help you narrow broad topics and find related material.

How do I cite the information I find on the site using the APA style?
The bottom of every CREDO Reference entry includes a citation that you can copy and paste into your paper.
CREDO is available 24/7. If you need help in using it, please get in touch with the library! Go to Blackboard then Library and then Welcome! There you will find our hours and the various ways to contact us.

Your Vote Does Make a Difference!






There seems to be a common occurrence among college students that their votes do not make a difference. Shannon Gendreau has listed three reasons why it is important for students to vote.
Shannon’s first reason is that you may not care now, but you will later down the road. She points out that voting for a candidate that shares the same views as you increases your chances for a better life once you graduate. If you feel it doesn’t affect you now, think of how it may affect you in four years.
Now you may be wondering how to learn more about the candidates and their views. I recently made up a guide that has links to websites to help you make informed voting decisions. The guide also has links to information about registering to vote and obtaining an absentee ballot. I especially likes the two “Quiz Yourself” links where you can see how your values compare with the candidates.
Back to Shannon’s three reasons students should vote, her second reason is that college students can be a powerful force. If all college students voted, they would make up 20 % of the voting population. Twenty percent can change an election.
Shannon’s final reason is that it is your future! We are fortunate to live in a country where we have a say in how the government is run. Let us exercise that right!

Happy 229th Birthday!


On Friday, September 16th, there will be Constitution Day Constitution Signing Event in the lobby of ATEC from 10 to 12. You will be able to sign a Mock Constitution. With signing, you will be entered to win a cash prize.
Seeing the poster for this event got me thinking about the Constitution and its importance.
The United States Constitution will be 229 years old on September 17th. When the Constitution was signed in 1787, the young nation had just won the American Revolution four years earlier. The United States did have a constitution but the Articles of Confederation was weak. The Articles had been ratified in 1781 and it allowed each state to operate like an independent country. In 1787, it was realized that a stronger constitution was needed and Alexander Hamilton invited representatives from all 13 states to meet in Philadelphia for a constitutional convention. There were 55 delegates from 12 states who spent a hot summer debating issues. The end product, our Constitution, devised three branches of government—executive, legislative and judicial – and a system of checks and balances so no one branch would have too much power.
The Constitution has 4400 words. It is the shortest and oldest Constitution of any major government in the world.
It does not set requirements for voting. In 1789, only male property owners could vote. African-American men would be allowed to vote with the 15th Amendment and all women with the 19th Amendment.
There have only been 27 amendments added to the original Constitution.
There was concern that the large states would have too much power and the small states too little. The Great Compromise saved the Convention. The Compromise called for proportional representation based on population in the House and one representative per state in the Senate. This was later changed to two representatives from each state.
There was a question as to how to address the President. The Senate proposed “His Highness the President of the United States and Protector of their Liberties. “ As is often the case, a compromise was needed (!!!) and it was decided to call him the “President of the United States.
Here’s a trivia fact that I hope you know. The Central Penn Library has books about the Constitution. A number of them are on display on the top shelves of the book shelves on your right as you enter the library.

Let’s head to the Beach!



I was just looking at the August Activities Calendar and the all- day beach trip on August 1st certainly caught my attention. My mind started wandering and I found myself splashing in the waves. I had to quickly get it back to the Central Penn Library and I continued looking at the activities calendar. If you aren’t able to go on the beach trip, you do have other opportunities during the month to enjoy summer. There will be Water Wars at the pool on the 4th; a picnic on the 10th; sand volleyball the evenings of the 10th and 24th and a dance on the 26th with the theme of “A Night in the Tropics.”
Just as there are a wide variety of summer activities for you here on campus, there are a wide variety of books here at the library for both your reading pleasure and for increasing your brain power. Keeping with the beach theme, we have The Beach Book: Science of the Shore [552.457 HOB]. I also found another ocean science book in the Atlas of Coasts and Oceans [577.512 HIN]
I found a true crime book in our collection entitled Palm Beach Murder [364.1523 COL]
In our history section, I found The War for all the Oceans: from Nelson at the Nile to Napoleon at Waterloo [940.274] Oh, how many wars have been fought on the high seas.
Going into books that are more like beach reads ( pun intended), I found the Beach House by Jane Green that takes place is Nantucket [ 823.914 GRE] and Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman. [823.92 STED]   In Light between Oceans, a lighthouse keeper on an island off of Australia has a small boat wash up onto the shore with a baby inside. The event changes his life.
The library has a nice group of books for your laid back summer reading. I think of them as beach reads although of course, they all don’t have the word Beach in the title and you don’t need to be lounging on a beach to read them. The librarians will be glad to show you where our literature section is and to point out some “beach reads” to you.

10 new laptops for the library —Thank you CP Education Foundation!

laptop cropped pic

Need to borrow a laptop? The library has recently added 10 new laptops, thanks to the Central Penn Educational Foundation. You may borrow a laptop and keep it for one week. When it is due, you may renew it unless someone has requested it. The library is thrilled to have more laptops for you to use. In the past, often all of our laptops were in use and we could not accommodate everyone who wished to borrow one.
Personally I am amazed with computer technology. Perhaps it is my age – yes, my birth certificate says I am old—but I never imagined what can be done today using a computer. When I was a librarian here at Central Penn in the late 1990’s, the internet was only available in the librarians’ office, not for general student use in the library. There is no way one could imagine borrowing a laptop and using it anywhere.
It seems as if computer technology is everywhere, but it wasn’t always this way! The library has a display of books on the history of computers. The display is just on your right as you enter the library. The display shares the area where we have the new books and DVDs.
Come to the library to check out the display or one of our new laptops or a book or DVD or video game or board game….

Independence Day

When you think of the 4th of July or Independence Day what comes to mind? Is it a barbecue or a picnic with family or neighbors? Does it include fireworks or at least sparklers? Do you go to a parade? Is it simply a day off from school or work when you get chance to sleep in?
Let’s take a moment to reflect on why we celebrate Independence Day. We are celebrating our freedom, especially our right to govern ourselves. We have the right to vote for our leaders. We don’t have to bow and curtsey to a king or queen. We can thank the Founding Fathers for our freedom. On July 2nd, 1776, the members of the Second Continental Congress voted for a legal separation from Great Britain. The sixty members of the Congress then spent the next day fine tuning the Declaration of Independence to explain why they wanted to no longer be ruled by Great Britain. The Declaration of Independence was presented to the public on the 4th of July.
With representatives from each of the colonies, the members of the Second Continental Congress were taking a bold move in telling Great Britain that they wanted their freedom and realized that they would have to fight for it. I wonder if I had been living in colonial times, if I would have made the bold move of joining the rebel Patriots. Would I be afraid to make a stand for independence or just let British rule continue? What would you do? It is something to ponder.


There are various books and DVDs about the colonial leaders and beginnings of the American republic on display on your right as you enter the library.

The Library can help you “Get a Job!”

Many of you are very much looking forward to graduating and starting a career. You are ready to apply your knowledge into a job in the workplace. You are ready to start earning a paycheck.
Oh, I got ahead of myself there. First you need to find a position and the library can help! The library has a collection of books that we call the Work Place Collection and it contains books that will help you get into the workplace.
We have books to help you with the process of hunting for a position.

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We have books to help you in writing a resume. Yes, we have more resume books than just these three.

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We have books to help you write the important cover letter.  Here  are just some of the cover letter books we have.

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GOOD NEWS! They want you to interview for a position. These books are just some of the books in our collection that will help you be prepared for the interview.

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We hope you graduate to a GREAT JOB and remember the library can help!



Celebrate Cultural Diversity at Central Penn

In 2002, the United Nations declared May 21 the “World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.” (

On May 20, 2016, Central Penn College will celebrate its third annual Festival of Nations. (

The United Nations added the words “Dialogue and Development” to the concept of “Cultural Diversity” in naming this Day because they knew that simply recognizing the existence of cultural diversity is not enough.  According to Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization):

“In a diverse world, the destruction of cultures is a crime, and uniformity is a dead-end: our aim must be to enhance, in one movement, the diversity that enriches us and the human rights that bring us together” (2016).

Diversity picture

Ms. Bokova is saying that all cultures are valuable and should be preserved and celebrated.  Understanding cultures other than one’s own requires dialogue (interaction) with members of other cultures.  Through this dialogue, we can all experience positive development (growth, progress) in our societies and hopefully within ourselves as well.

When I think about “cultural diversity” in a society, I think about the United States of America.  Although there are many countries in which multiple cultures exist, the United States, as part of its collective identity as a country, has welcomed people from other countries and cultures and encouraged them to express and preserve their cultural heritage.

Unlike most other countries, we are a nation almost entirely of immigrants and their descendants.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, less than 2% of the U.S. population identifies as either American Indian or Alaska Native—so 98% of Americans have ancestors from another place of origin (2014).

Among the Library staff, we have quite a range of different cultures and places of origin represented.  My background is similar to many East Coast natives—ancestors from several Western European countries.  My family’s largest connection now to our cultural heritage is our New Year’s Day dinner of pork and sauerkraut, which began as a German and then became a Pennsylvania Dutch tradition.

In contrast, the mother of our Director was born and raised in Colombia, South America.  Several of our student workers were born in other countries, including Haiti, Jamaica, and Liberia, and they later emigrated here with their families.  I enjoy learning about their cultures and seeing (and smelling!) the food that they bring in to eat.

On Friday, May 20, Central Penn is offering a great opportunity to experience other cultures and perhaps reconnect with your own—the third annual Festival of Nations will be held on campus.  It will include performances, games, activities, and food vendors representing many different nations and their cultures.  Come out and celebrate with us!

Bokova, I. (2016). Message from Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO. Retrieved from

U.S. Census Bureau. (2014). Quick facts: United States. Retrieved from