Welcome back, cadets!

All of us at Preston Library are excited to welcome back cadets from Furlough!

Locker sign-ups start Tuesday, January 15th, at 0730. Lockers are limited, and so they are assigned on a first come, first serve basis! Come sign up for yours at the Service Desk of the Library.

locker pic

Preston Library’s semester hours will resume on Wednesday, January 16th! Every Monday through Thursday during the semester, a librarian will be at the Service Desk until 2200 to assist cadets with research, finding library materials, citations, and more.

regular library hours

Military Holidays

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

Today we celebrate Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day in honor of the 2,300 Americans killed by the Japanese air raid on the United States Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii Territory on December 7, 1941. In addition to those casualties, 160 aircraft were destroyed, the U.S.S. Arizona was completed destroyed, the U.S.S. Oklahoma was capsized, twelve ships sank or were beached, and nine other vessels were damaged.


The following day, President Franklin Roosevelt announced in his address to Congress that December 7, 1941, is “a date which will live in infamy.” Congress declared war on Japan, launching the United States into World War II.

For more information, videos, and pictures, check out the Encyclopedia Britannica’s page on Pearl Harbor.

History Source: Library of Congress
Image Source: Pixabay

Archives · Events

Ring Figure: a 91 year old tradition

The very first ring was designed by the Class of 1848, but the tradition was not firmly rooted until 60 years later with the Class of 1908. The Class of 1928 was the first class to hold an official Ring Figure dance in November of 1927. This year, just like many, many others before it, the Class of 2020 will be receiving their rings on Friday, November 16th, at the Ring Figure Ball. Staff members at Preston Library recently snapped a few photos of the Class of 2020’s ring design painted on the cannonball near the Parade Ground.

For more information on VMI class rings and traditions, check out VMI’s Archives page. Peruse old ring designs, pictures, and more in this digital collection.

For more information on this year’s Ring Figure event schedule, check out VMI’s Cadet Life page on this time-honored tradition and more.

Military Holidays

Veteran’s Day

Today we honor our veterans on Veterans Day. According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, Veteran’s Day has a very interesting backstory:

World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” – officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”

Arlington National Cemetery, located in Arlington, VA

President Wilson proclaimed November 11th as Armistice Day. In his words:

“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…”

Later, when President Dwight D. Eisenhower was in office, he proclaimed on October 8, 1954, that November 11th shall commemorate “all veteran’s, all veterans’ organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose.” President Eisenhower signed in HR7786 for Proclamation 3071, officially changing Armistice Day to Veteran’s Day. In 1968, Congress moved the celebration of Veteran’s Day to the fourth Monday in October, which went into effect in 1971. However, in 1975 President Gerald Ford reinstated Veteran’s Day to November 11.

We honor and thank all those who have served and continue to serve our great nation!

Photo credit: Pixabay.com

Awards · Research

Painting a Picture with MAJ Maderik

MaderikRachel2018KN03In September, MAJ Rachel Maderik presented ThistleStat, a project on which she has worked diligently for VIVA (Virtual Library of Virginia). MAJ Maderik stated that ThistleStat is “a visualization tool for usage statistics…built to make it easier for academic libraries across Virginia to view and analyze their usage of the journals, e-books, and databases that are provided through membership in VIVA.” She goes on to say, “It lets librarians view how their usage has changed over time, and it also allows for bench-marking so that librarians can compare their usage with up to four other schools.”

VIVA provides Preston Library with more than 140,000 e-books and 65,000 electronic journals for VMI cadets, faculty, and staff.

We not only celebrate the success of MAJ Maderik’s ThistleStat project, but also her recent achievement in reaching 5 years of service at VMI! Preston Library is proud to call MAJ Maderik one of our own!


Craving Horror Movies?

The Library not only offers DVDs but also Kanopy, a database that streams a large collection of movies and documentaries on a broad variety of subjects. Kanopy also features a large selection of horror movies and thrillers, including Donnie Darko, the classic version of The House on Haunted Hill, What We Do In the Shadows, and more! Take advantage of this free service for VMI faculty, staff, and cadets in anticipation of Halloween.

kanopy screenshot

To see what Kanopy has to offer, visit the Library homepage, click ‘Databases A-Z’, sort by the letter ‘K’, and then select Kanopy. If you are off Post then you will need to sign in using your VMI username and password.

Kanopy offers a plethora of films and movies on subjects other than horror, of course! Be sure to browse other collections, like Health, The Arts, Social Sciences, and more.

kanopy browse

Photo credits: screenshots of Kanopy.com


A Cadet Tells His Ghoulish Tale

forest-1030832_1920Cadet Mike Morrison ’20 recently wrote to us with a couple of his own ghost stories, based on experiences he’s had while at VMI. Read, in his own words, the details of his supernatural tales:

“The night of the incident was during my 3rd Class Year in I believe January. I lived in a 5 man room in Old Barracks, the room right beside the Sally Port Staircase, which is a large, extensive room. It was after Taps on a very cold night, and all my roommates were doing their own thing – two were out studying late, one was already asleep, and the other had just left to go shower. I was doing my evening ritual of Netflix watching, unaware of anything going on around me, because why should I have been? After about 15min of being gone, my roommate who went to shower returned. I heard him enter and then stop in his tracks, so I glanced over to see why he stopped. He was looking in my direction with a very strange stare, and slowly made his way forward to me in the back of the room. As he came forward to my desk, he kept the same perplexed look on his face as he reached me. I took my headphones off and said to him, “What’s wrong? Why do you have that look on your face?” He then told me that when he entered the room, there was a black figure, standing at the empty desk perpendicular to mine, not only looking at me, but leaning towards me as well. He said as he approached my desk, the apparition slowly dissipated, until disappearing completely once he reached my desk in the back of the room. I had been so focused on my Netflix that I didn’t even consider taking my eyes off the screen, so his observation was completely believable. Immediately feeling a strange presence in the room, me and my roommate who saw the apparition immediately decided to turn in for the night and pushed our hays together for extra security.

The next day, a just as strange event occurred. A friend of mine who happened to be passing my room stopped me and asked, “did y’all have a late night last night?” Confused, but remembering the incident, I replied, “no…why?” He then said he got up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, around 3 in the morning, and while passing our room to get to the bathroom, he heard a loud, static like noise emanating from our room. He mentioned how our shade was down so he couldn’t see into the room if a television was on or something, but said it sounded exactly like the static that an old TV makes when not connected to a channel. I told him that we have no TVs of the sort in our room, nor were any of my roommates up that late last night.

Strange but less significant events occurred as the year went on. Multiple times through the later times in the year, me and my roommates would ALL wake up at the SAME time in the middle of the night and all look at each other confused as to why all of us just woke up. Other times I would swear I heard someone say my name in the middle of the night, only to look around and find all my roommates asleep. This name calling also happened to my roommates at different times, who all said that whenever they’d hear their name and wake up to it, everyone else would always be asleep.”

If you or someone you know has a VMI ghost story they would like to share with us then please feel free to e-mail MAJ Carroll or stop by the Service Desk at Preston Library!

Photo credit: Pixabay


Family Weekend

36621895664_8bc72c6265_zFamily Weekend is nearly upon us at VMI. This coming weekend, October 19-21, cadets’ families will be on Post to get a glimpse into the lives of their sons and daughters while they’re at their home away from home during the academic year. Parents will get an opportunity to attend classes with their cadets, meet with their professors and advisors, tour Barracks, attend the VMI vs. The Citadel football game on Saturday, and more!

Click on this link for more information, including a Family Weekend brochure detailing this weekend’s events and times. We hope you’ll also take an opportunity to tour Preston Library and see where your cadets spend some of their time studying. To all the parents and families of VMI’s esteemed cadets, we welcome you to Post!

Photo credit: VMI