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From the Stacks - #4 May 2023: Home

May 2023





 unesco’s world book & copyright day

International News


Happening Now


Elizabeth Interviews

Primo Confidential

Work Easier

Showers for students

Tips to Help the Unhoused

Dr. alma

Checkin' on the Transits

Scribble scrawl

Have fun!


NOVA library jobs




UNESCO’s World Book &  Copyright Day

UNESCO’s celebration of the enjoyment of books, reading and the fundamental importance of literature comes around each year on April 23 – a day selected because William Shakespeare, Miguel de Cervantes and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died on that day. Their theme for 2023 is Indigenous Languages. This UN is working to highlight “less rigid concepts of the book” which include oral traditions. They are also working to send books via Libraries Without Borders to several areas, including Ukraine. The Ukraine theme is “Libraries as a refuge.” Check out the LWB website and the International Federation of Library Associates for more international library news.





Manassas campus library will pause ILL lending services until a new Circulation Manager is hired. Maddie Quick was heading up Circulation at the Manassas campus until she was recently hired as a Reference Specialist at the Loudoun campus. She will begin her duties at the Loudoun campus in early May.

The MA Library will continue to submit borrowing requests for faculty and students. They would like to extend thanks to everyone for accommodating these changes.




Interviews with Elizabeth


Hey, nice to meet you! How ya doin’?

NOVA Libraries has been one since March 2021.  Thanks to the pandemic, we really haven’t any opportunity to really connect to our colleagues outside our own campuses and Zoom does not count.

I hope everyone enjoyed the National Library Week interviews from the Daily Flyer! All the participants deserve a huge KUDO for putting themselves out there.

Now it’s time to return to this feature. Let’s all say “hey” to Wicked Awesome Nathan Mueller!

Q: Please give us some background on you, like where you were born and how you came to be at NOVA.

I was born a poor…sharecropper’s son… Oh, wait, that was Steve Martin’s character in “The Jerk”. I was born in New York State and grew up in Massachusetts (which means I’m a Masshole). In high school, I was interested in science, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to study in college. I also didn’t have any money for college and didn’t want to borrow any. My father had been an electronics technician in the Navy (during the Viet Nam war), and he said that the training and experience were valuable. So, I enlisted in the Navy after I graduated from high school.

I completed the training to became an electronics technician and was assigned to the USS Peterson (DD-969), which was a Spruance class destroyer based in Norfolk, VA. Here’s a photo:

(image source)

The sea wasn’t always that calm. Here’s a photo of the ship in rougher waters:

(image source)

A few days after I reported to the ship, it went on deployment in the Atlantic. The ship conducted exercises in the Atlantic for several weeks but eventually, we reached the Mediterranean. We stopped in Spain, France, Italy, and Istanbul. I’m glad that I got to visit these countries, even if it was for just a few hours. I thought that I would like the Navy, but the rigid hierarchy bothered me; it was as if the people above you in rank were better than you. I also disliked the bureaucracy.

The Peterson was decommissioned in 2002 (a few years after I left the Navy) (source). In 2004, the ship “was used as a target and sunk 150nm SE of New Orleans in the Gulf of Mexico” (source). The ship lies in 2,400 meters of water (source). Here is a photo taken in 2014 of the ship in its final resting place:

(image source)

After I left the Navy, I used my GI Bill to go to college. I went to Thomas Nelson Community College (now named Virginia Peninsula Community College) in Hampton, VA and graduated with an Associate of Science degree. I was planning on studying biochemistry. I transferred to the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, VA and, for reasons that are still unknown to me, decided to study philosophy instead (my wife was thrilled). I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy (my diploma is written in Latin, so I can’t read it). Next, I went to Virginia Tech and graduated with a Master of Arts in philosophy. I was planning on pursuing a PhD but I did not get into the programs that I wanted to attend. Also, while I was a teaching assistant at Virginia Tech, I discovered that I (strongly) disliked grading papers. So, I had to find something else to do.

While I was a student at William & Mary, I worked in the library for a summer (in the ILL office). I also spent a lot of time in the libraries at the schools I attended. I figured that working in a library would be an easy gig, so I decided to go to library school. After I graduated from Virginia Tech, we (my wife and son and I) moved to Northern Virginia because my wife got a job with a government contractor. The nearest library school was at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. I didn’t want to get the degree from an online program (not that there’s anything wrong with that), so I commuted two hours each way to D.C. for two years. During the program, I worked in the Religious Studies and Philosophy Reading Room in Mullin Library on campus. 

The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is near the Mullin Library, so I visited it a few times. If you have the opportunity to visit the Basilica, I recommend doing so; it’s a beautiful building filled with beautiful artwork. My favorite is the Christ in Majesty mosaic, a.k.a. “Angry Jesus”:


My first job after I graduated from library school was Library Technology Specialist at the MEC Library. I worked there for two and a half years until I got the position that I have now: Technology Librarian at the Manassas Campus Library. I’ve been here for over ten years.

Q: What are some of your hobbies, things you love?

I love animals. When I was growing up, we had dogs and cats. My older sister (who became a veterinarian) and I were both in 4-H; she had a horse and I kept bantams (miniature chickens). My favorite breed was the Cochin, which are hearty birds with plump bodies and copious feathers. They even have feathers on their legs and toes, which makes them suitable for colder climates.

(image source)

Over time, I added to me collection of birds several Chinese painted quail and two pairs of pheasants: a pair of Golden pheasants and a pair of Lady Amherst pheasants.

(image source)

(image source)

(image source)

They were all gorgeous birds. I wouldn’t keep pheasants again, however, because they’re wild birds and, therefore, should not be kept in an enclosure. 

I also had an aquarium with freshwater tropical fish. My favorite fish was (and still is) the three-spot gourami (the blue ones).

(image source)

Gourami are freshwater tropical fish that are native to Southeast Asia. Currently, I have a 40-gallon aquarium with four gourami in it.

My favorite breed of dog is the German Shepherd. We’re on our third one. I love their ears. My favorite cats are black shorthaired cats. We’re on our second one.

In one of the philosophy classes that I took at William & Mary, we read Peter Singer’s Animal Liberation. The book made me aware of factory farming and the terrible suffering that it causes. After reading the book, I stopped eating meat and drinking cow’s milk. I should have stopped consuming all animal products, but I can’t resist cheese and eggs. Yes, that makes me a hypocrite (like everyone else). 

Here are a few more things that I like or am interested in:

  • Favorite foods: German, especially knackwurst with spätzle and German potato salad, (My father’s parents were from Germany and my grandmother made it for us when we visited.) Mexican, especially tacos and burritos, and Italian, especially pasta
  • Favorite TV shows: Millennium (1996-1999), Seinfeld, The Three Stooges (Moe, Larry, Curly), Bugs Bunny/Looney Tunes, the Simpsons (the early years), SpongeBob (the early years), Breaking Bad, Wallander (the British version with Kenneth Branagh), The Killing (the American version), Band of Brothers, The Pacific, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Top Gear (with Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May), The Grand Tour (with Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May)
  • Favorite movies: Interstellar, Inception, Tenet, The Dark Night trilogy, Joker (2019), Apocalypse Now (Redux), Full Metal Jacket, Platoon, Saving Private Ryan, The Jerk (Steve Martin), Dumb and Dumber, Terminator series, Pirates of the Caribbean series, Sherlock Holmes series (with Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law), Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Monty Python’s Life of Brian, Fight Club, Das Boot

In the interest of consistency, here are some things that I don’t like:

  • humidity (higher than 50%)
  • playing games (I don’t like to lose)
  • authority
  • passive voice
  • washing dishes
  • going to a dentist or doctor
  • getting my hands dirty (literally)
  • using nouns as verbs
  • vegetables
  • heat (higher than 70F)
  • clocks that make ticking sounds
  • going outside
  • the sound of people eating and drinking
  • manual labor
  • reckless drivers
  • getting old

Q: What is the type of music that gets you through stressful times? You can give shout-outs to artists, song titles, or albums?

The question seems to imply that there are non-stressful times. In my experience, this is not the case. I’ll just list a few of my favorite styles of music.

  • Chicago blues, especially Muddy Waters, Otis Spann, Elmore James, J.B Hutto
  • Delta blues, especially Muddy Waters, Mississippi Fred McDowell and Son House
  • Blues/Rock, especially Chuck Berry, George Thorogood, Stevie Ray Vaughn, ZZ Top, and the Black Crowes
  • Americana (this is my label), especially the Dead South, the Legendary Shack Shakers, and Tejon Street Corner Thieves, the Reverend Peyton and his Big Damn Band, and 16 Horsepower
  • Psytrance, especially Ace Ventura, Paul Okenfold, and Deadmau5

Q: Where do you fall on the “nut butter continuum”? 

I don’t know what the “nut butter continuum” is. It sounds like something hippy. If it’s related to peanut butter, my favorite style is crunchy. Once in a while, I’ll have a peanut butter and jelly (fruit spread, actually) sandwich. When I was growing up, I would eat peanut butter and fluff sandwiches, but I haven’t had one since then.

If you’ve read this far, I admire your perseverance. If you have any comments, questions, aphorisms, memes, etc., please let me know!



 Primo Confidential

Use this advanced Primo search tip to find the books / ebooks most recently added to the catalog:


Showers for Students

A NOVA student asking their library staff, “where can I take a shower?” may be unhoused. For this reason, it is important for front desk staff to be able to answer the question accurately and without making the student repeat their question at other campus locations. Please distribute this information to your front desk staff so that they can compassionately direct students to their campus hygiene facilities:

  • AL – The Fitness Center in the Fine Arts Building (AFA) Room 230.
  • AN – The Fitness Center in the Richard J. Ernst Community Cultural Center (CE) Room 102B.
  • LO – On the 1st floor of the Reynolds Building (LR) across from the Fitness Center.
  • MA – The Power Technical Building (MT) where automotive classes are held.
  • MEC – No shower facilities. Direct students to another NOVA campus.
  • WO – The Arts and Science Building (WAS) Room 210.



Dr. Alma

In-transit items widget - Use this widget to check the status of in-transit items between campus libraries (ICL) or newly cataloged items sent by LTS:




Hello everyone! Were you able to guess last edition’s rebus puzzle?  If not, here’s the answer: Arm and Hammer Baking Soda!

This edition’s picture is the title of a song.  Do you know the answer?  It will be revealed in the next edition!



Vacant Full-time Positions

By M. Todd

Active / Advertised

AN  =  Collection Development and OER Librarian []

            Circulation & Intercampus Loans Specialist LS1 []


AL = one Collection Development/Lead Librarian and one LS1

LO = one LS2 in circulation / reserves

LTS = one LS2 in cataloging

MA = one LS2 in circulation

MEC = no vacancies

WO = no vacancies