Check This Out! – Tetris: The Games People Play

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If you’ve been alive at any point in the last 30 years, you’ve probably played Tetris at least once.  Maybe you’ve played long enough that you still see the shapes falling after you’ve stopped playing or even in your dreams (this is a documented psychological phenomenon called “the Tetris effect”).  What you may not know is that the story of arguably the most ubiquitous video game ever involves all manner of tech industry wheeling and dealing, political manipulation, questions of ownership, and one Russian computer scientist who wanted to make a simple puzzle game to amuse himself and his co-workers.  Writer/artist Box Brown covers it all in this graphic novel, along with a quick history of the video game industry and a rumination of what it is about gaming that drives us all, whether we know it or not.  It’s a fun, informative read… you’ll probably enjoy it, and you’ll definitely want to play Tetris for an hour or six when you’re done.

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End of the semester Interlibrary Loan… time may NOT be on your side.

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Photo by David Lofink, used under a Creative Commons license.

We’re always happy to help you find whatever it is you need, whether it comes from here in our own library or from somewhere out in the world via Interlibrary Loan.  But as we get closer to the end-of-the-semester crunch time, we do feel the need to remind everyone that Interlibrary Loan can take some time, particularly for physical items that may be sent through the mail.  As such, it might not be the best option for your last-minute, “Hail Mary” pass sorts of needs, even if we can find a library here in Rhode Island that a.) has the item you need; and b.) can actually supply it, because even in-state requests can take 3 to 5 business days.

Of course, if you still want to attempt the request, by all means go for it, we’re happy to help out in any way we can; that’s our whole deal here.  We just want to help manage your expectations a little and save you some frustration if the thing you’re hoping to find takes longer to arrive than you want or need.

Also, it’s a stone cold bummer to have to tell y’all that stuff won’t be here in time.

Library-Inspired Last Minute Halloween Costumes

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Need a last minute costume idea for Halloween?  Hey, the library can help you with that, too.  Here are a few suggestions that will be easy to pull off, even on a limited budget (or no budget at all):

h2g2Arthur Dent from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams – When the world ends, Arthur is still in his pajamas and bathrobe, so put on your pjs, throw a robe on, and be sure to grab your towel… no intergalactic hitchhiker goes anywhere without a towel, the most useful object in the known universe.  Not only is this one of the easiest costumes ever, it’s arguably the most comfortable.


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Day-Off Wolverine from Astonishing X-Men Books 1 and 2 by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday – Wolverine is undeniably cool, but his various comic book costumes would look weird in the real world.  On his downtime, though, his look is really easy to pull off… just a dirty t-shirt (or no t-shirt), dirty flannel shirt, dirty jeans, some heavy duty hair gel, and you’re good to go.  See?

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He’s the best there is at what he does, and he doesn’t even need to dress up for it.


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Former CEO and business guru Jack Welch – He led General Electric, he’s renowned for his business acumen, and he name dropped Bryant in his book, Winning.  Chances are you’ve got business clothes in your closet already, so grab out a shirt and tie, and walk around with either some GE small appliance or a bottle of Welch’s Grape Juice (which he had nothing to do with but it did inspire a good joke about “mind grapes” on 30 Rock a few years back, so it counts).


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Looking for Alaska by John Green – Why be a single character when you can be the whole book? Just make up a poster with a picture of the state of Alaska, write “Have you seen this state?” over it, and grab a pair of binoculars.

Look, you waited until the last minute, okay?  They can’t all be winners.


A Course Reserve Book – This one is super easy… make a big green rectangle with a black, uppercase “R” on it.  Then make a big yellow circle with a professor’s name on it.  Stick those both on yourself somewhere, say you’ll be going out for two hours, and then actually return much later after everyone else has been looking for you forever.

(Yeah, we totally notice when you do that. 🙂 )


However you spend Halloween, have a good time, be safe, and because you’re never too old for Trick or Treating, remember to avoid the houses that hand out healthy snacks or toothbrushes.

Also, if for some reason you do use any of these bizarre suggestions, we’d love to see pictures!

Also also, we’re happy to take any and all Reese’s Peanut Butter cups you don’t want off your hands.  Just putting that out there.

Virtual Reality is Actually Here with Google Cardboard at the Library!

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The actual reality we deal with every day can be pretty intense, but it is sadly lacking in the ability to step inside historical scenes, fly like a bug, safely jump off buildings, or run with dinosaurs. Luckily there’s Virtual Reality to help fill these sad voids in real life, and technology has progressed far enough that you no longer need those giant headsets seen in weird 1990s movies like The Lawnmower Man, just a viewer and a smart phone to plug into it.

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Because we support and, yeah, share your need for having dinosaurs in your life, the library now has Google Cardboard VR viewers to lend out.  Just check one of these out from the Borrower Service desk, download one or more of the many VR apps on the market from your provider of choice, slide your phone into the viewer, and you’re off!

Not sure what’s out there for VR apps?  We have you covered there, too, with our handy Virtual Reality Guide, listing a few of the many free and paid apps available as well as information on how to find even more.

The Google Cardboard viewers can be checked out for up to three days at a time, and can be renewed twice.  Contact us if you have any questions, and be sure to let us know how and where you’re using VR, what apps you like best, and what you named your new dinosaur friends.

Library Schedule for Final Exams

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As usual, there are lots of schedule changes and expanded hours for final exams.  Here’s when we’ll be open:

Friday, May 6: 7:30am to Midnight

Saturday, May 7: 10am to Midnight

Sunday, May 8: 10am to 2am

Monday, May 9 to Thursday, May 12: 7am to 2am

Friday, May 13: 7am to Midnight

Saturday, May 14: 8am to Midnight

Sunday, May 15: 10am to 1am

Monday, May 16: 7am to 10pm

Tuesday, May 17: 7:30 am to 6pm

Best of luck on your exams!

Early Openings for Fall 2016 Class Pre-Registration

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Just a reminder that we’re open at 6:45am April 6th-8th and 11th-14th to help answer any questions, offer assistance, or just provide a quiet, peaceful environment for pre-registration for Fall 2016 semester classes.

And remember, if you have long overdue and billed library items, you probably have a block on your Banner account.  If you have a block on your Banner account, you won’t be able to register for classes or housing, receive grades or transcripts, or get your diploma.  If you can’t register for classes or housing, receive grades or transcripts, or get your diploma, you’ll have angry parents.

Basically, it’s like a really negative version of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, and you’ll want to avoid that.