Welcome to the USC Union Library Blog.  Here you can find information on new materials in the Library, events on the USC Union campus, book reviews, helpful library hints, information about Web 2.0 tools and more.

Earth Day Celebration

 As many of you may know Earth Day was on April 22nd, 2013. The theme for this year’s Earth Day was “The Face of Climate Change”. If you would like more information on Earth Day check out the many resources available at http://www.earthday.org/.

USC-Union will be celebrating Earth Day today, Wed. 24, 2013, in the gym from 12:00 to 1:00. The biology students at USC-Union have created some really great projects that will be on display at this time.  The theme for this year’s project is entitled “Trash to Treasure”. Please show your support and look at the display of their diverse projects; there are a few that may surprise you!

Image(s) courtesy http://wordplay.hubpages.com/hub/earth-day-clip-art

Women’s History Month Celebration

In celebration of Women’s History Month there is an event scheduled in the Community Room today, March 27th from 12:00 to 1:00.  The topic that will be presented will focus on women’s reproductive health.  A lunch will be provided for those who attend the event. 


Black History Month Celebration

The Men and Woman on a Mission/African-American Association (MWOM/AAA) is hosting a Black History Month celebration in the auditorium on Wednesday, February 27, at noon. The speaker for this event will be Mr. Bakari Sellers.  Mr. Sellers is the son of civil rights activist Cleveland Sellers. He is a Democratic member of the South Carolina House of Representatives, representing the 90th district.  Mr. Sellers received his law degree from the University of South Carolina in 2008, and he was the youngest member of the South Carolina General Assembly when he was first elected in 2006 at the age of 22.  Please join us as we celebrate Black History Month with Mr. Sellers.

Welcome Back!

Whether you are a new or returning student, the beginning of a new term is a great time for getting on the right path with your classes, or for getting a fresh start from the last semester. Here are some basics tips that you can use to make sure you have a good semester. 

New Semester Basics

  1. Find a time management system that works for you. For many students managing their time is one of their biggest challenges while in college, so make sure you get a system and use it from day one. A website that provides some great tips on time management is this one from Dartmouth.


  1. Purchase your books in a timely manner. If you do not have your books the first week of class, you can quickly fall behind the class before you really get a chance to start. If you ordered you books late try to borrow a book from a friend until yours arrive.  Just make sure that you are able to get the reading/homework done for the class.


  1. Set up healthy outlets for fun and stress relief. College can be stressful, so make sure you can relieve some of the stress to keep from feeling too overwhelmed.  Some things that can help you blow off some steam are a good groups of friends, hobbies, and exercise.  However, any activity that lets you mentally check out and relax for a while when things get intense will work. 


  1. 4.    Know where to go for help, just in case. Don’t wait until you are at your wit’s end.  Find out where to go for help before you need it.  Knowing where help can be found before a crisis occurs will help you keep small problems from becoming HUGE problems.


  1. 5.    Study during your “odd hours”. There are many great opportunities to study throughout the day, if you bring your study materials with you.  Take advantage of the extra time you have while you are waiting for something, like the doctor’s office or your next class to start, and use this time to read or study for class. 


  1. Get Sleep. Sleep is important, without it you can feel sluggish and it can be harder to concentrate and remember new information.  So try to get about 7-8 hours of on school nights.  It can go a long way in helping you feel refreshed and productive. 


  1. Find a place (or two) you like to study.  Make sure you are aware of at least one study-friendly environment that works for you and your needs. Different people have different needs when it comes to studying, what works for a friend might not work for you.  Determine the conditions you need to be able to study, and then find a place that meets these requirements. 

New Logo, New Quotes

Check Out Our New Vinal Wall Graphics!!!



We LOVE our new Logo and Quotes!

New Semester, New Students


Wow! It’s that time of year again. We hope that everyone had a great summer and we look forward to seeing all of our new and returning students in the library this year!

Library Updates Continued


The library is better than ever at USC Union.  All of our new furniture has arrived and has been installed.   We are very happy about our new student lounge located in the back right corner.  We now offer four new comfortable seating options for students to use away from the foot traffic of the rest of the library.  These chairs also feature a moveable table top for books or computers.  A little bird has told me that we might be getting something new and exciting for this area  soon, but we don’t want to give away the surprise so you will have to stay tuned for our future updates!

We have also added modular seating to our children’s book area, in the form of three stools.  Thanks to a donation from the State Children’s Library we have a lot more children’s books for our patrons to read and share with the children in their lives!  So come by and check it out.



Curl up with a good book on our new chairs!

Check these new seating options for our students and patrons located near the magazine and newspaper racks.


The new chairs offer a moveable table for students to use as they read or to work upon with their laptops, and we hope that everyone will enjoy using them. Check back soon, because we can’t wait to show you the other additions to the library that are also in the works!



Exciting Changes in the USC Union Library

 If you have not been in the USC Union Library in a while, come by and check out some of our new renovations.

We are very excited to be able to provide a more comfortable and welcoming space for all of our students.  We now have new coat of paint in the library to go along with our new carpeting, which creates a much more relaxing atmosphere.  While we are still waiting for some of of new furniture, our computer carrels have arrived and are currently in the library.  These new computer carrels provide students with a larger work surface and more privacy as the work, and best of all we now have a total of 8 computers for student to use!  We also have a new table next to the computers that seats six and is avalible for studying and collaboration.  We hope by the end of summer, that all our new furniture will be in and installed.  Check back for updates about our new furniture, we will be adding more pictures as it arrives!




Boolean Operators

Looking for a way to enhance your Web searches?  Want results that are more sophisticated, effective, and streamlined?  Then try using Boolean operators during your next search.

What is Boolean?

Boolean logic is the use of AND, OR, and NOT to filter information.  It was conceived of by mathematician George Boole in the 1800s.  By using the basic definitions of AND, OR, and NOT, you can sort through lots of irrelevant data in minutes to find the specific information you need.  By using AND in a search you are telling the database that ALL search terms must be present in the resulting records.  The use of OR tells the database that ANY of your search terms can be present in the resulting records.  While NOT tells the database that the database to ignore concepts that may be implied by your search terms. 

Boolean Search Guides and Tutorials

Check out these tutorials for using Boolean operators on the Web, and in databases:




Also worth checking out is Boolify.org.  This is a simple online tool that helps users formulate a Boolean search using puzzle pieces, and it is a great resource for anyone who is not familiar with the ins and outs of Boolean searching.  Boolify.org is designed for use in school by children, and uses the Google Safe Search engine so keep in mind that results are filtered if you are unable to find some information using Boolify.org.