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BOOKENDS April 2019, Volume 2, Issue 3

FEATURE ARTICLE: KU Libraries Month of Reading activities

In an unprecedented, civilized and legislative gesture for the region, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan issued the first-ever National Law of Reading, that sets legislative frameworks, executive programs and specific government responsibilities to establish the value of reading in the UAE.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, has marked March the start of the UAE’s Month of Reading.

With this occasion, Khalifa University (KU) Libraries every year in March undertakes different activities to invite and create a reading culture among KU communities’. Here are the activities:

  • Library Olympics: the activity took place at the Main campus library for about two hours, where the KU libraries team members organized three different games to encourage our patrons and let them engaged through:
    •  Kahoot (quizzes) to test the participants’ general knowledge and how well they know about KU four library branches.
    • Charades game to see who can show puns without words.
    • The last activity was library race to see how well the participants are fast in searching the book title in library catalog and finding it.
  • Reading Corner where each KU library arranged a reading corner by providing reading space and books; using items that already exist in the library collection.
  • Drop everything and read it’s UAE government initiative to encourage all government employees to set aside their daily tasks and read for one hour every day in the month of March starting at 11:00 AM
  • Book Donation: donating used books to others is a great way to contribute to spreading of the knowledge in the community. Each KU library gracefully accepted used books for donation by providing box at the entrance of each library.

KU READING INITIATIVES: A book that touched me

On the occasion of the national ‘Month of Reading’, and as part of the many initiatives that took place at ku libraries during March 2019, ‘A book that touched me’ sessions were inspiring to all participants. The three sessions that were held gave way for meaningful discussions and were a revelation to the extent of the effect the written word can have on us and the way it allows reflection and inspires us to follow our dreams.

The presenters had a difficult task of choosing one title of the hundreds or thousands of books they might have read over the years.

Kevin Garvey did a brilliant job, introducing the sessions and presenters. Julie Ross’s choice of the classic ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ was the first of the series to be presented. Julie’s vivid recollection of each and every detail in the book and her passion while conveying the story to the audience proves the impact of the power of reading and how books change lives. Sarah Bawazir’s ‘Braving the Wilderness’ compelled her to read the book from cover to cover, something she had never done before. The wilderness referred to are the boundaries we bring down and keep pushing away bravely to find ourselves and the meaning of who we really are.

‘How Starbucks Saved My Life’ found Maha Al Shamisi’s at the right moment in her life, when the decision to follow the choices she had in front of her were a turning point in her career path. This autobiography spoke to Maha in a way that no other book had. The possibilities are endless…

BOOK REVIEW: The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs

A SWEEPING AND REVELATORY NEW HISTORY OF THE AGE OF DINOSAURS

The dinosaurs. Sixty-six million years ago, the Earth’s most fearsome creatures vanished. Today they still remain one of our planet’s great mysteries. Now The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs reveals their extraordinary, 200-million-year-long story as never before. In this captivating narrative, Steve Brusatte, a young American paleontologist who has emerged as one of the foremost stars of the field—naming fifteen new species and leading groundbreaking fieldwork—masterfully tells the complete, surprising, and new history of the dinosaurs, drawing on cutting-edge science to dramatically bring to life their lost world and illuminate their enigmatic origins, spectacular flourishing, astonishing diversity, cataclysmic extinction, and startling living legacy.  He re-creates the dinosaurs’ peak during the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, when thousands of species thrived, and winged and feathered dinosaurs, the prehistoric ancestors of modern birds, emerged. The story continues to the end of the Cretaceous, when a giant asteroid or comet struck the planet and nearly every dinosaur species (but not all) died out, in the most extraordinary extinction event in earth’s history, one full of lessons for today as we confront a “sixth extinction.” Brusatte also recalls compelling stories from his globe-trotting expeditions during one of the most exciting eras in dinosaur research—which he calls “a new golden age of discovery”—and offers thrilling accounts of some of the remarkable findings he and his colleagues have made, including primitive human-size tyrannosaurs; monstrous carnivores even larger than T. rex; and paradigm-shifting feathered raptors. An electrifying scientific history that unearths the dinosaurs’ epic saga, The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs will be a definitive and treasured account for decades to come.From the Back Cover

TECHNOLOGY BYTES: PROGRESSIVE WEB APPLICATION

Typically, PWAs are apps built using web technologies such as HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript. More recent JavaScript frameworks such as Angular, React, and Ember have helped drive the development of PWAs, though this is by no means an exhaustive list. Aaron Gustafson, writing for A List Apart, describes PWAs as the following.“A PWA is a website with special powers. The term “app” in the “Progressive Web App” is not indicative of the sort of content or experience users should expect with a PWA. You shouldn’t get hung up on it; “Progressive Web App” is a marketing term. PWAs have the ability to connect with the operating system (and, thereby, its users) on a deeper level through installation and APIs offering capabilities like notifications, access to the address book, and more. Not all of these APIs require installation for access, but some do. It may help to think about a PWA as being a website++.” web developer Alex Russel outlined the primary characteristics in 2015:

  • Responsive: to fit any form factor
  • Connectivity independent: Progressively-enhanced with Service Workers to let them work offline
  • App-like-interactions: Adopt a Shell + Content application model to create appy navigations & interactions
  • Fresh: Transparently always up-to-date thanks to the Service Worker update process
  • Safe: Served via TLS (a Service Worker requirement) to prevent snooping
  • Discoverable: Are identifiable as “applications” thanks to W3C Manifests and Service Worker registration scope allowing search engines to find them
  • Re-engageable: Can access the re-engagement UIs of the OS; e.g. Push Notifications
  • Installable: to the home screen through browser-provided prompts, allowing users to “keep” apps they find most useful without the hassle of an app store
  • Linkable: meaning they’re zero-friction, zero-install, and easy to share. The social power of URLs matters.
  • To learn more about PAWs visit this page.

GRAPHIC DESIGN APPLICATION: CANVA

After taking note of all those research data and information from the Library, a researcher's challenge is how to put together relevant, visually impactful graphic document that will effectively convey his or her project's content across. Quite often, the only available tools for the researcher to create his project are normal, boring Microsoft Powerpoint or Microsoft Word software which are quite limited in options. Fortunately, there are quite a few free options available in the internet that offer people with user-friendly but highly professional and impactful graphics design applications. They provide users easier alternatives from the very basic Microsoft Powerpoint or Word and the too complicated Adobe software such as Photoshop. One of these free applications is the app called Canva.

Canva offers users a wide range of ready-made design templates for various purposes ranging from designs for social media posts (e.g. Facebook and Instagram) to refreshing resumes, posters, and snappy slide presentations. The designs found in Canva are editable (both text and graphics) and can be downloaded in PDF, PNG. or JPEG formats. Signing up for a free account is also easy can be linked to existing Facebook or Google accounts. The Library will be offering a short introduction workshop on Canva on April 25, 2019. If you want to learn an easy-to-use graphics design app for your school or personal projects, register here.