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Odum Library Blog

Odum Library Blog

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Learn, Study, Discover

Celebrate Earth Day with Environmental Information!

by Emily Rogers on March 21, 2019 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

Earth Day 2019 officially falls on Monday, April 22, but every day is a good day to celebrate the environment. Among the best sources for information on the environment and sustainability are the U.S. and Georgia state governments.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency offers these resources on sustainability and greener living. You can learn to recycle, achieve better fuel economy, and choose greener products to consume. Learn more about how to live a sustainable lifestyle from the Centers for Disease Control.

Enjoying nature is a great way to celebrate the environment. One option is through visiting our national forests. National forests easy to visit from south Georgia include the Osceola National Forest and the Apalachicola National Forest, both in north Florida, and the Chattahoochee-Oconoee National Forests in north Georgia. Explore Georgia further by visiting our many state parks, including nearby Reed Bingham State Park near Adel.

From the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to the U.S. National Wildlife Refuge System, the government offers great resources for helping to appreciate our environment. See more resources about the environment at the government documents display case, 2nd floor Reference in Odum Library.

#BlackHistoryMonth Reading List

by Jessie Whitten on February 4, 2019 in Uncategorized

During #BlackHistoryMonth we’d like to shine a spotlight on some wonderful speculative (sci-fi/fantasy) fiction by black women. These books are just a small slice of what we have in our collection so come visit and dive more deeply into all sorts of fantastical worlds, including our own.

Cover art of Parable of the Sower

Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler.

When unattended environmental and economic crises lead to social chaos, not even gated communities are safe. In a night of fire and death Lauren Olamina, a minister’s young daughter, loses her family and home and ventures out into the unprotected American landscape. But what begins as a flight for survival soon leads to something much more: a startling vision of human destiny… and the birth of a new faith.

OCTAVIA E. BUTLER was a renowned African-American writer who received a MacArthur “Genius” Grant and PEN West Lifetime Achievement Award for her body of work. She was the author of several award-winning novels including Parable of the Talents, which won the Nebula for Best Novel. Acclaimed for her lean prose, strong protagonists, and social observations in stories that range from the distant past to the far future, sales of her books have increased enormously since her death as the issues she addressed in her Afrofuturistic, feminist novels and short fiction have only become more relevant. She passed away on February 24, 2006.

Cover art of The Fifth Season

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

This is the way the world ends…for the last time.

A season of endings has begun.

It starts with the great red rift across the heart of the world’s sole continent, spewing ash that blots out the sun.

It starts with death, with a murdered son and a missing daughter.

It starts with betrayal, and long dormant wounds rising up to fester.

This is the Stillness, a land long familiar with catastrophe, where the power of the earth is wielded as a weapon. And where there is no mercy.

N. K. Jemisin is the first author in the genre’s history to win three consecutive Best Novel Hugo Awards, all for her Broken Earth trilogy. Her work has also won the Nebula, Locus, and Goodreads Choice Awards. She is currently a reviewer for the New York Times Book Review, and she has been an instructor for the Clarion and Clarion West writing workshops. In her spare time she is a gamer and gardener, and she is also single-handedly responsible for saving the world from King Ozzymandias, her dangerously intelligent ginger cat, and his phenomenally destructive sidekick Magpie.

Cover art of Binti

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

Her name is Binti, and she is the first of the Himba people ever to be offered a place at Oomza University, the finest institution of higher learning in the galaxy. But to accept the offer will mean giving up her place in her family to travel between the stars among strangers who do not share her ways or respect her customs.

Nnedi Okorafor, born to Igbo Nigerian parents in Cincinnati, Ohio, is an author of fantasy and science fiction for both adults and younger readers. Her science fiction novella Binti won both Hugo and Nebula awards, her children’s book Long Juju Man won the Macmillan Writer’s Prize for Africa, and her adult novel Who Fears Death was a Tiptree Honor Book. She is an associate professor of creative writing and literature at the University at Buffalo.

Also don’t forget that you can borrow books from any USG library through GIL-Express if we don’t have it.

What should you read next?

by Jessie Whitten on October 31, 2018 in Uncategorized

Cover art of The Future of Humanity

The Future of Humanity by Michio Kaku.

Kaku tells us how science fiction is becoming reality: mind-boggling developments in robotics, nanotechnology, and biotechnology could enable us to build habitable cities on Mars; nearby stars might be reached by microscopic spaceships sailing through space on laser beams; and technology might one day allow us to transcend our physical bodies entirely.

“I did not expect to feel this much excitement out of this book. Like his pal, Stephen Hawking, Michio Kaku has a wonderful ability of explaining complex topics in a down to earth manner. I’m glad that I’ve finally found another science book that I absolutely enjoyed reading from cover to cover.” – Erica,

Cover art of The Big Picture

The Big Picture: the fight for the future of movies by Ben Fritz

The future of Hollywood is being written by powerful corporate brands like Marvel, Amazon, Netflix, and Lego, as well as censors in China. This book shows the first glimmers of a new golden age through the eyes of the creative mavericks who are defining what our movies will look like in the new era.

“Insightful and thoroughly researched, it’s one of the few books I’ve encountered that both seems to understand where the industry has been and where it’s going. It’s a deep-dive that I was worried would be a little too “inside baseball,” but it’s written in a very accessible way. Great for people who want to understand the recent history of Hollywood and why things have been changing so much. Should be required reading for film students and anyone else trying to break into the business.” – F. Gilmore,

Cover art of Empire in Retreat

Empire in Retreat Edited by Victor Bulmer-Thomas

This book is a grand survey of the United States as an empire. Arguing that the move toward diminished geopolitical dominance reflects the aspirations of most U.S. citizens, he asserts that imperial retreat does not necessarily mean national decline and may ultimately strengthen the nation-state. At this pivotal juncture in American history, Bulmer-Thomas’s uniquely global perspective will be widely read and discussed across a range of fields.

“This is a comprehensive study of the United States as a long-standing empire and world power by a leading economic historian of Latin America and the Caribbean. It explains why its global leadership is increasingly challenged. It is a must read for those interested in the origins and causes of this change, notably in the Trump era.”—José Antonio Ocampo, Columbia University

What should you read next?

by Jessie Whitten on September 25, 2018 in Collection, Neat Stuff, Odum Library

Cover art of Under Swiss Protection

Under Swiss Protection by Editors Agnes Hirschi and Charlotte Schallie.

Through the lens of Jewish eyewitness testimonies, this book retraces Carl Lutz’s diplomatic wartime extensive rescue operations in Budapest, Hungary between March 1944 and February 1945.

“It reads like a smooth page-turner, but it’s a piece of history. Very vivid pictures of the times and the mindset. As unbiased as possible without taking a stand of those confusing and unbelievable times!” – Eva Grausz,

Cover art of The Rise of Victimhood Culture

The Rise of Victimhood Culture by Bradley Campbell & Jason Manning
This book offers a framework for understanding recent moral conflicts at U.S. universities, which have bled into society at large. They are clashes between a new moral culture—victimhood culture—and a more traditional culture of dignity. As students increasingly demand trigger warnings and “safe spaces,” many young people are quick to police the words and deeds of others.

“Fantastic overview of the changes to moral culture on college campuses. Campbell and Manning advance the fascinating and provocative thesis that the tantrum behavior we’re seeing on today’s college campuses reflects transition from a dignity culture to a self-obsessed victimhood culture.” – Consumer #142,

Cover art of Cuba on the Verge

Cuba on the Verge Edited by Leila Guerriero

This book is an account of – and a unique glimpse at – Cuba’s moment of upheaval and reinvention whose effects promise to reverberate across years and nation. We know Cuba is changing, but from what and into what? What does this change mean for the Cuban people as well as for the rest of the world?

“One of the more comprehensive and impressive books to attempt to capture the mystery and paradox that is Cuba. The collection of voices in this book offer insightful perspectives into a country in transition and stasis.” Lagun NE,

Constitution Day!

by Jessie Whitten on September 10, 2018 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference
On Monday, September 17, 2018, 1:00-4:00 PM, to mark Constitution Day, Valdosta State University’s Odum Library will host a celebration in the library auditorium including a read-aloud of the U.S. Constitution, free pocket Constitutions, a Constitutional Jeopardy game, the chance to sign a replica of the Constitution, and a special Founding Father photo-op. Readers for the event will include VSU President Richard Carvajal, Provost Robert T. Smith, and VSU students. Additional speakers include Valdosta City Council Representatives Vivian Miller-Cody and Andy Gibbs. Refreshments will be provided.
An exhibit of books and documents relating to the Constitution will be on display in the library Reference area on the second floor through September. Members of the VSU and Valdosta communities are invited to view the display as well as attend the September 17th event.
The U.S. Constitution may be read online at the National Archives web site at  An interactive Constitution is available at courtesy of the National Constitution Center.  For more facts about the Constitution, see the Constitution Center’s site
For more information about the Constitution Day celebration at Odum Library, or if you are an individual who requires an accommodation for this event, please contact Emily Rogers, Government Documents Librarian, at or 229-245-3748 by September 13, 2018.


NMC Workshops Fall 2018

by Jessie Whitten on September 6, 2018 in Media Center, Odum Library

As you go through your career as a student here, designing a poster presentation, making a video or generating your very first portfolio may be a class project that can be daunting. Each semester the New Media Center holds workshops for students to attend covering these very subjects. If you want to learn more then check out our website, register for free, and attend one or all of our many workshop titles from the VSU training registration page. Register using your Active Directory user credentials.

Titles include:

  • Photoshop Basics – September 10 (3 PM – 4:30 PM)
  • PowerPoint: Poster Creation Made in a Snap – September 12 (3 PM – 4:30 PM)
  • Premiere Basics – September 17 (3 PM – 4:30 PM)
  • Adobe Audition Basics – Scheduled upon request
  • Camtasia Basics – Scheduled upon request

Kicking off a new semester

by Jessie Whitten on August 13, 2018 in Odum Library, Renovation

Welcome back Blazers, we hope that you have had a great summer and are ready for the new semester. There have been a few changes made around Odum that you should know about. As you may have noticed, the north side entrance is closed because of recent renovations. Because of this construction zone some areas have been shuffled around in order to accommodate.

One of the most important changes is the move of our main Circulation desk. All circulation services are now located at the new location of our main circulation desk on the first floor, near the southside entrance and the internet cafe and auditorium. You can check out and return books as normal or find your reserves there as well. The study rooms next to the Internet Cafe have been repurposed for Circulation staff and are unavailable for student use.

eLearning and ILL offices are still in their original locations and can be accessed from the south side of the library. The computer lab 2633 is also operational and open, unless there is a class. You can use the inner elevator normally but the 2nd floor option is closed for the construction. Signs are posted in the area for additional reminders.

The TRU Helpdesk has been moved to the 1st floor where the microfilm/microfiche machines and printer were located previously. So if you need assistance with connecting to the Wi-fi, VSU accounts, etc. they are still available to lend you aid. The microfilm/microfiche machines have a new home in the north corner of the 1st floor passed the stairs and bathrooms.

Please note that while the north side entrance will remain closed until these renovations are complete, we are open for business as usual. To enter the library you will need to come through the south side entrance (the doors that face the Fine Arts building). We will have updates throughout the project so keep an eye on the Odum Blog, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

So that about sums up what’s new here at Odum. As always if you have any questions about these changes or need assistance please don’t hesitate to ask any of our librarians or staff. Or check out our LibGuide on the renovation changes for even more information. We wish everyone a wonderful Fall semester and hope to see you in the library!

Welcome to campus and the local community!

by Emily Rogers on August 9, 2018 in Archives & Special Collections, Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

Welcome to Valdosta State University! Welcome to Odum Library!

Need community information on utilities, schools, and other necessities? Visit the City of Valdosta “I Want To…” page for information about recycling, trash pickup, local ordinances, and more. Other local government websites are also listed; these include Dasher, Remerton, Hahira, and Lake Park.

Visit the Lowndes County, Georgia, Community page for further information about parks and recreation, county facts, schools and universities, and more.

Check out local and area news via the Valdosta Daily Times web site. Odum Library also gets the Times in print every day; you’ll find recent issues on display at the first floor library, south side, with popular magazines and newspapers. We also have more than 100 years of back issues on microfilm–just ask us through our chat, email, phone, or text services!

Are you living in a dorm or cooking on your own for the first time? Consult the USDA’s Food Safety Tips for College Students.

Valdosta has just opened a new location for the Valdosta-Lowndes branch of South Georgia Regional Library. Visit the new Willis L. Miller Library at 2906 Julia Drive in Valdosta as well as the newly launched website for SGRL!

Odum Library has a lot of books on local history (many located within the VSU Archives and Special Collections), maps of the area, and friendly people. Odum Library is also a Federal Depository Library, with collections of United States and Georgia government publications available to the community. Come see what’s up at Odum Library!

Upcoming Library Renovations – Starting July 5th

by Michael Holt on July 2, 2018 in Uncategorized
Starting on July 5th, Odum Library will begin renovations to transform the north side of the second floor.  To make these changes, this area of Odum Library will be closed during the renovation.  
A map of the second floor of Odum Library. The Northeast quadrant of the floor is greyed out, signifying that it is the area under renovation.
Once this project is complete, students, faculty, and staff should expect to see the new location of the Academic Support Center, additional study rooms, and an upgraded, modernized study space.
To help you plan accordingly, please note the following:
  • The entire north side of the library will be closed July 5th and July 6th. During this time, the south side will remain open.
  • The entire library will be closed on Saturday, July 7th.
  • The entire north side of the library will remain closed July 8th – 9th, but the south side will resume usual operations. 
During the renovation, the only access to Odum Library  will be through the south side entrance facing One Mile Creek and the Fine Arts Building. 
Odum Library's south entrance, taken from the pinetum, showing the stairs up to the entryway.
In addition, during this period of time, please visit our first floor circulation desk (located near the south side entrance) to check out/return books, access Reserve Materials, and pick up InterLibrary Loan and GIL-Express requests.
Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding! We look forward to seeing these changes and upgrades to our library space.
If you have any questions about the renovation process, please feel free to contact us


June is National Oceans Month!

by Emily Rogers on May 31, 2018 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

National Oceans Month, observed in June, celebrates oceanic, marine, and coastal life. See the National Ocean Month exhibit of U.S. and Georgia government documents in the Reference area on Odum Library’s second floor.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is the federal government’s home for information about climate, weather, oceans, and fisheries. June 1 also marks the opening of the 2018 hurricane season, covered in great detail by NOAA’s National Hurricane Center. The Climate Prediction Center forecasts the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane season as “near- or above-normal” in activity. You can also see a list of forthcoming hurricane names.

In addition, the National Ocean Service provides data about tides and currents. Interesting details about ocean life, ocean economy, ocean ecosystems, maritime transportation, and more are available at NOAA’s Ocean Facts site.

However you decide to enjoy the ocean and its effects this summer, you’ll find plenty of sources for research about oceans, hurricanes, marine life, and more through these and other government information sources.