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From the Stacks - #8 September 2023: Home

FTS: #8 - September 2023







DIY Library

¡Sí, se puede!

How Ya Doin'?

Elizabeth Interviews.

11 Tips Take ChatGPT Prompts to the Next Level


Dr. Alma

Work easier

Scribble Scrawl

Puzzles inside

Vacant Full-time Positions

Opportunities to share

Members & Meeting Dates

Who to contact on that committee?.




By M. Quick

Loudoun does DIY! Hello guys, gals, and non-binary pals! Do you find yourself wanting to spruce up the library space, but aren’t sure what to do? Try a DIY project!

Our Instruction & Reference Services Librarian, Michael English, noticed an ad in the NOVA Daily Flyer that promoted NOVA’s surplus furniture inventory. Any department at NOVA can have these items for free, you just have to submit a request form to have them delivered. He noticed that there were four highchairs/bar stools available and figured that we could make some use out of them.

The warehouse was eager to get rid of them and delivered the chairs on the next business day. Here is how they looked when they arrived:



Depressing, right? I decided that it would be a fun DIY project to clean the chairs up and make them less horrifying. I cleaned them with wipes, broke off the orange plastic guards on the bottom. and then attempted to take them apart. This was the hardest part because the chairs are easily 30 years old and have been sitting in a warehouse. With a little elbow grease, WD-40 (actual grease), and my trusty Allen wrench/hex key multi-tool I was able to get it done.


I went to the nearby JOANN Fabric store and browsed the durable canvas fabrics. There were tons of patterns to choose from, but practicality won out and I went with two different shades of green. I got one yard of each fabric (more than I needed), one pack of hot glue sticks, and one can of black spray paint. The fabric was on sale for 60% off and the nice salesperson helped me find a coupon for the other items. I also grabbed two plastic tablecloths from the party store next door, so I wouldn’t make a mess with the paint.


While the chairs were dismantled, I took them outside and painted the legs so they would all match. I was able to find a shady spot in the grass and set up the tablecloths to prevent a mess. They had to dry outside for about an hour before I brought them inside to cure overnight. In retrospect, I could have used another can of spray paint, but I made it work.

As the chairs dried, I reupholstered the seat cushions. I brought my hot glue gun from home and chose to wrap the new fabric around the old one.



Finally, I reassembled all the chairs. Look how pretty!



It took me about a week to do the chairs (in conjunction with other work duties) and cost around $35 total or $8.75 per chair. In comparison, this Ingrid Bar Stool from the VCE website costs $225, you don’t get a cushion, and it would take two weeks to arrive. Also…it’s ugly.

We’re still figuring out how best to use the chairs, but they add a certain je ne sais quoi to the space and give us extra seating. DIY doesn’t have to be complicated – it’s a great way to be creative, have fun, and save some much needed $$$!






By E. Dellavedova

Hey, nice to meet you! How you doin’?

NOVA Libraries has been one since March 2021. It’s 2023 and we still haven’t many opportunities to really connect to our colleagues outside our own campuses and Zoom does not count. Interviewees will get the same questions and the responses are up to them. This time, please meet the Fabulous Nadia Mobely from Alexandria!

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

A: I started out being a student straight out of high school. Later, I ended up getting a job as a P-14 through a friend who was helping a colleague fill a part-time testing position. As they say, the rest is history.

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

A: I love playing/writing/listening and singing music, writing stories, and poetry. I love to cook/bake and make jewelry. And in case you haven’t noticed, I love wearing/collecting hats!

Q: What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

A: My favorite flavor of ice cream . . . I am torn between three-Moose Tracks, Pralines and Cream, and Hunka Chunka PB Fudge ice cream.

Q: Where do you fall on the “nut butter continuum”? (This means alternatives to peanut butter—your thoughts on this controversial topic.)

A: CRUNCHY PEANUT BUTTER WILL ALWAYS BE SUPREME!! LOLOL! If I had to choose a second nut butter, it would be pecan butter.

Thanks Nadia, I am going to have to find me some pecan butter and it will probably change my life.




By M. Sarmiento

Library scope with the Physical Titles search

The library scope which was previously applied only to the physical items search now also applies to the physical titles search. Staff that define a preferred libraries scope will only see search results of the physical titles that have holdings in the defined libraries. The library scope will be remembered and applied across sessions and search types. This is helpful for staff that are only interested in titles held by specific libraries. They no longer have to add a library search condition to every physical titles search.

Here's the video:





By N. Mobley

September-the end of summer, the beginning of fall, and the beginning of full parking lots, hallways, and libraries (hopefully) on campus!

Answers from August - -

Puzzle 1: ice cube


Puzzle 2: A penny for your thoughts.

This month, can you help the books get back home?






By M. Todd

Active / Advertised




AL = one Public Services & Technology Librarian and one LS1 (Reference, Outreach, & Acquisitions Specialist)

AN = one LS1 (Circulation & Intercampus Loans Specialist)

LO = one Collection Development Librarian and one LS2 (Circulation & Reserves Specialist)

LTS = one LS2 (Cataloging Specialist)

MA = one LS2 (Circulation Manager)

MEC = no vacancies

WO = no vacancies




By L. Leon

A complete list of committees, members, and the dates and times of meetings is linked here. Please contact Liz Leon [] to request corrections.




From the Stacks is published monthly, (mostly) on the second Tuesday of the month. Please contact Editor Liz Leon, Collection Development & Outreach Librarian, Manassas Campus to contribute an article or with ideas for regular features. Older issues live in the archives.

September contributors are Maddie Quick, Reference Specialist, Loudoun Campus; Elizabeth Dellavedova, Library Director, Annandale Campus; Michael Sarmiento, Catalog Librarian, Library Technical Services; Nadia Mobley, Circulation Specialist, Alexandria Campus; and Dean of the Library, Matt Todd.