Wednesday, February 29, 2012

What are you reading, Neil Baker?

I'll be writing a paper soon on successful dialogue in the context of religious commitments, and I thought that Gadamer's Ethics of Play by Monica Vilhauer, a book I had stumbled upon online last summer, might help. I'm still in the middle of it, but it has been a great resource so far. Not only does Vilhauer offer a very interesting take on the significance of Hans-Georg Gadamer's philosophical hermeneutics for the ethics of dialogue, she also provides a very clear and succinct overview of Gadamer's hermeneutics itself. Vilhauer definitely writes "for the rest of us."

Gadamer is known for his description of hermeneutics as the fundamental structure of understanding, or his "philosophical hermeneutics." It is his contention that all understanding takes the form of interpretation, and from this assumption he goes on to offer a description of the process of understanding itself in his magnum opus, Truth and Method. Against some of his intellectual opponents, Gadamer holds that understanding is always possible in principle, and that individuals, as well as readers of texts, are not ultimately estranged from their dialogue partners.

In this book, Vilhauer takes up Gadamer's concept of "play" as a beneficial method of engaging in dialogue in order to "illuminate the ethical conditions for genuine dialogue and understanding that emerge from Gadamer's hermeneutic philosophy." By analyzing Gadamer's description of the phenomenon of understanding and focusing specifically upon those preconditions which allow understanding to occur, Vilhauer attempts to lay out an ethical framework in which successful dialogue can take place.

I think I'll try to find a relaxing novel to read next. I'll be graduating soon, and I plan on taking advantage of the breather!

Neil Baker majors in Liberal Arts here at Hope, with a concentration in Philosophy and Theology. He is in his fourth year, and will be graduating in May.

Gadamer's Ethics of Play: Hermeneutics and the Other by Monica Vilhauer, Lexington Books, 2010.

This book can be purchased from, Banes and Noble, and Better World Books.

You may also find this book at your local library by searching

We'd love to know what you are reading. To join the fun, fill out the "What are you reading?" questionnaire and submit it by following the instructions included.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Copy Rights

Our bimonthly student newspaper, The HI Tribune, published an opinion piece by Assistant Section Editor, Connor McClain, about copyright infringement (February 9, 2012). He wrote a thoughtful piece about the significance of the SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA the PROTECT IP Act (Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act) bills currently being considered in congress.

As a librarian, I found it encouraging that the editorial staff deemed it worthy of a half-page of attention!

So why did this topic get McClain's attention? And why did the HI Tribune editorial staff deem this an appropriate use of valuable space?

I would like to think that he was influenced and/or inspired by my blog post two weeks earlier, but I doubt it. Instead, I suspect his interest, like that of his main audience (the traditional undergraduates at Hope), was more likely piqued because they were thwarted from using Wikipedia and Google in their protests of those bills. And it is likely that he and his readership had been prevented from using a site that until recently permitted easy downloads of copyrighted materials. (Of course, I don't suspect that piracy is being practiced on our campus, using our network.) But as you might expect from a news writer, McClain's point was more about the threat of censorship than concern for copyrights.

I found McClain's opinion piece encouraging because
"an information literate individual is able to understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and access and use information ethically and legally." (ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards For Higher Education)

One of the Darling Library's main objectives is to develop information literate students who are prepared for a lifetime of continuous learning post-graduation. But it is difficult to measure whether students are "getting it". McClain's article is evidence that at least one student is thinking critically about these issues. I hope it means that other students are involved in a dialog as well.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Mobile Library

Did you know that the Darling Library has a mobile search interface?

Go to and start searching the library's catalog.

Just need the hours?
Right there on top.

Faster to call or e-mail about an item?
The phone number and email address is front and center.

Will my phone work?

Chances are, yes it will. If your phone has a Web browser on it—whether or not it's a smart phone—it should work for you. Any phone capable of running JavaScript or a Java-based Web browser such as Opera Mini or Bolt is supported. No app required! (You do have to have a data plan through your phone service provider.)

Now you can be productive no matter where you are—waiting in line, waiting for a class to start, waiting for a professor’s office hours—you can decide what materials you’d like to explore further at the library. You can even sign in to put a hold on a book so it will be waiting for you to check it out next time you're in the library. You can also e-mail yourself the citation for an item, so you won’t ever be stuck at the last minute with an incomplete "Works Cited" page for your paper.

And soon you’ll be seeing links to online resources like journals, scholarly articles and eBooks as well as other mobile services from the Darling Library.

Feedback is encouraged: Consider writing a review for the blog and win a library T-shirt while supplies last! Or just email us your feedback about this service at!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Dr. Rodney Vliet Rejoins the Library Staff

Dr. Rodney Vliet joins the Darling Library staff as part-time Librarian after a twenty year absence. Dr. Vliet has been the Dean of the Library at Biola until his retirement at the end of December, 2011. He led that library through an interesting time in the information evolution including oversight of the building of a state-of-the-art library facility ten years ago.

Prior to that, he worked as a librarian here at Hope (then known as Pacific Christian College) with Director, Jeff Wilson. He had originally come to Hope in 1979 and served as a professor of a wide variety of subjects over the years before, during, and after getting his Master of Library Science degree from UCLA. In fact, some of our current faculty and the Vice President of Academic Affairs (our boss) were students of his!

We are more than pleased to have him give of his time to Hope. He will be helping us in the area of online instruction and learning some new skills as he will be doing more work in the trenches than his previous responsibilities required. Additionally, as you might guess, he will be providing some well seasoned wisdom for us.

Welcome back Dr. Vliet!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Sunday Hours on President's Day

The library will be open 2:00PM to 11:00PM on Monday, Februrary 20th in observation of the President's Day Holiday.

All HIU offices (including the library staff) will be closed for the day.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What are you reading, Robin Hartman?

The first time I asked Dr. Tamsen Murray "What are you reading?" for this blog post, she suspiciusly answered, "The Bible?" (Read, "Is that the right answer?") Then, last year, Coach Czech told us about how he was actually reading the Bible. I didn't think I would be doing something as "mundane" as this, but this is exactly what I have been reading since January 1st. It was not a new year's resolution but an invitation to join a family Bible study on Facebook that got me started. I just wanted to be supportive. We have two generations participating, and we are going through the entire Bible in a year. I would recommend it to anyone with the patience to do it, but especially to people who think they have probably already read all of scripture—just not in chronological order.

It's been fascinating plowing through the books from beginning to end so quickly! I am really seeing the big picture of how God works in some of the early books. Of course, I have enjoyed some parts more than others. It didn't take long for me to realize what gave Numbers its title, and having to read all of the details of each tribe's identical offerings twelve times with a summary at the end was not my favorite part of the study. Overall, however, what I'm taking away can be summed up in 2 Timothy 3:16: "All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness."

I will be pretty busy with this study for the remainder of the year... if I can keep up! I also have some professional reading that I have been meaning to get to when I figure out how to carve out the time. Generally, however, I read a lot of journals and magazines—Library profession, health, AARP, and the Hope Insider when it comes.

I don't read for "fun" as most people think of it. I enjoy books for spiritual inspiration (like Sacred Waiting by David Timms) as well as intellectual stimulation and professional development (like In Over Our Heads by Robert Kegan).

Robin Hartman is the Director of Library Services here at HIU's Darling Library, and she has served in this capacity for six years. Before accepting this position, she had worked for eleven years as the library's Systems and Technical Services Librarian.

The Bible
Author: Various
Publisher: Numerous
Date of Publication: Often

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Student Library Reference Assistant, Neil Baker

As both Dr. K.C. Richardson’s Teaching Assistant and the Student Library Reference Assistant, Neil Baker recently had the opportunity to give a short presentation on research methods to students in the freshman level History and Literature of Ancient Israel course. This was done in order to prepare them for a paper they must write this semester. Neil took this class himself his first semester at HIU, and he hasn’t forgotten the anxiety that many of the students in this class are probably feeling as they prepare to research and write their papers.

Remembering many of the questions he had asked as a beginning Bible student, Neil came to me for help with creating a presentation that would benefit the students. He knows that I give library research presentations in a variety of HIU classes, and that I have experience acquainting new students with the ins and outs of the Darling Library and helping them learn skills to research and write their papers. I was able to help Neil structure his presentation and tailor it to the specific needs of a Bible student.

It is exciting to watch students learn these skills and be able to pass them along!

Here is a quick overview of Neil's experience, in his own words:

“Overall, everything went fairly smoothly. I have to admit that I was a bit nervous—I usually am when speaking in front of a group!—and I don’t remember much of it. However, Dr. Richardson gave me a positive critique afterward, and at least there were no technical glitches.

"It helped knowing that I could relate to many of the students’ situation, as I had been in their position only a few semesters ago. In my case, the most difficult part of the entire process was simply trying to figure out where to begin. With so many articles and books on every imaginable subject, I remember feeling as if someone had shoved me into the deep end of the pool without a single swimming lesson. Hopefully I was able to give them some foundation.

"First, I took the students to the Library's home page and showed them the Library Catalog. The Library Catalog functions as a "discovery tool" to help students discover many print books, ebooks, journal articles, and other resources that are available through both the HIU Library and in other libraries throughout the world. After showing them some options in the Library Catalog using the "Advanced Search" option, I showed them how to search in subject specific Research Databases to find full text journal articles and other resources narrowed down to their subject area (in this case Biblical studies). I also made sure to address some of the specific questions that I asked myself as a student in K.C.'s class, such as "What is the difference between an article and a book review?"

Monday, February 13, 2012

What Superhero are You?

As I was waiting for my turn on “Word With Friends” on Facebook the other night I came across a couple of those “What Superhero are you?” posts. I resisted clicking on the links to find out until I saw that my daughter had done it. So, I gave in – reasoning that it might give us something fun to bond over. I was hoping for Batgirl whose alter ego works as a librarian by day. But without explanation, I was Catwoman, and a comic book representation was posted on my Timeline (formerly known as my Wall). This inspired friends to make comments like, “Wasn't Catwoman a villainess?” to which I replied that, like Catwoman, I too am “difficult to define.”

No one likes to be stereotyped. Librarians tend to believe we have been misunderstood and misrepresented in the media. Partly due to librarians campaigning for a fresh image, the notion that we are timid people who get to read books all day long but can shh the fun out of any situation, is probably no longer as widely held as it once was. Nevertheless, there is still the occasional comment that hits a raw nerve.

Very recently a friend of mine told me that they wanted to recommend someone to work in the library because they were socially awkward and needed a job that didn't involve much stress. They meant no offense but they didn't realize what stereotype paranoia they were feeding into! After I let out a laugh, I let my friend know that the library really needs people who are service minded people persons to work here.

I think, as a profession, librarians prefer being “difficult to define” to being stereotyped. Doesn't everybody?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Interlibrary Loans

The Darling Library provides an Interlibrary Loan (ILL) service in which we borrow books from other libraries on behalf of our patrons.

To initiate an Interlibrary Loan request, fill out an online ILL request form. A Request on Interlibrary Loan button will present itself to eligible library users who have logged in whenever an item is not available in or through the Darling Library. Printed forms are also available in the library.

Who is eligibile? Interlibrary Loan services are offered to all Hope International University faculty, staff, trustees, and registered students in good standing with the Darling Library.

Borrowers must submit an ILL request form and agree to abide by copyright restrictions, and any borrowing restrictions and costs imposed by the lending library.

ILL services are usually free but some lending library charge for some materials. When submitting an ILL Request Form include the amount you are willing to pay for the requested item.

The average turnaround time for most transactions is two weeks.

For more information, contact the Interlibrary Loan office at ext. 1223 or email

Monday, February 06, 2012

International Society for Science and Religion Library Award

The Darling Library is pleased to announce that the International Society for Science and Religion (ISSR) Library Award is ready for circulation! Please join us as we officially unveil the new collection at a ribbon cutting ceremony immediately following the Voices of Christian Thought lecture on Wednesday evening, February 8, 2012 in which Dr. Karl Giberson will be speaking on, appropriately enough, Are Science & Religion at War? The lecture is open to the public.

Hope International University was selected as one of 150 institutions worldwide to receive this competitive award. (See the full story on the HIU website.)

Dr. Curtis Holtzen, Associate Professor of Philosophy & Theology, who applied for the Library Award on our behalf will be cutting the ribbon.

Why are these books special?

Although these books are all available for purchase individually, the ISSR Library Project added value to this collection in a number of ways that warrant special library handling as a set:
  1. The books underwent a peer review screening process in which the original 2000 submissions were reduced to 224.
  2. Introductory essays have been written for each title.
  3. Each book has been rebound in matching durable library binding. (They look like they belong together.)
  4. Cataloging records have been developed for librarians to easily shelve the books together.
Preference was be given to "applicants willing to house the ISSR Library as a complete whole within the circulating collection." Therefore, we created a showcase reading area for them. (We already had a casual reading area in the center of the first floor to which we added some bookshelves that were in the basement and, voila!)

To learn more about the ISSR, visit

By the Numbers
  • 2000 - Books submitted to the ISSR for peer review
  • 224 - Titles in the ISSR Award
  • 250 - Volumes in the ISSR Award (some have multiple volumes)
  • 404 - Total books now in the Darling Library cataloged under the Library of Congress Subject Heading, Religion and Science
  • 167 - eBooks included in the total books cataloged under Religion and Science
  • $6,250 - Estimated value of the collection if purchased individually (paperback)
  • $0 - Amount spent on the acquisition of the ISSR Library
View the list of books included in this collection.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Course Reserves

Do you know how to find books on reserve for your courses?

Go to the library's website and look for Course Reserves under the Search Tools menu.

Then search for your course by name or course number.

You can also search for an item you think might be on reserve. For instance, select the Reserve Items radio button and search for a keyword such as "bible" to see what books with the word bible in the title are shelved in the reserve section for any course. You can even search within inactive courses.

What are Course Reserves?

Traditionally, Course Reserves are books, photocopies, recordings (or even rocks) shelved behind the Circulation Desk in the Library. These high demand materials are reserved for students in a particular class during the current term. In order to use the traditional Course Reserves, students are required to come to the Library to check out items for a limited period of time (usually 2 hours) for use within the Library only. These can include library books that are usually available for check out for 30 days, or from the Reference collection. They can also include privately owned books that professors put on loan to their students through the library. (Note: Most textbooks are not on Reserve but are for sale at the HIU bookstore.)


Some required readings are available online for downloading directly from the Library’s catalog. You can find them on the Course Reserves lists the same way. Click and read!

Other eReserve items are available only through course home pages (rather than the library.) Check your course webliographies for more resources.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

What are you reading, John Turek?

I chose Stephen Lawhead's Byzantium because I enjoy reading Christian historical fiction, and as I read it became clear that the author did lots of research. Not only did the author's fast-paced plot line include lots of action, it was also very accurate, historically speaking. I took away a greater appreciation for the impressive commitment of early church clergy.

Recently I've really gotten hooked on Lawhead: last year I read every novel he has published. He also has a "fantasy" side which is very good. The Arthurian Legend is a five-book series with a very interesting storyline. Arthur, Merlin et al. are all Christians!

I usually read about 40-50 books every year, mostly fiction. However, I'm also on my fifth time through Oswald Chamber's My Utmost for His Highest—so I guess I'm all over the place. I like to read!

The announcement was made last May that John Turek had been hired as HIU's seventh full time Athletic Director. A well-known Fullerton sports figure, John brings over forty years of educational experience to the Royals' family, including fifteen years as Athletic Director of one of Southern California's finest high school sports programs—Troy High School. See his full bio on the HIU Athletic Department's webpage.

Byzantium, by Stephan Lawhead, Harper Voyager Publishers, 1997.

This book may be purchased from, Barnes and Noble, and Better World Books.

You may also find this book at your local library by searching

We'd love to know what you are reading. To join the fun, fill out the "What are you reading?" questionnaire and submit it by following the instructions included.