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PASO Grant-Funded Library Materials: October 2018 Snapshot


For two successive years, the STEM PASO grant has provided approximately $20,000/year for new STEM-related library materials. In 2017, we ordered approximately* 400 print (physical) books and 80 e-books. In 2018, we ordered similar numbers of each type.

To support the PASO project goals of increased LAVC community awareness of and interest in STEM careers, increased persistence and retention rates, and increased academic self-efficacy, and (per Title III HSI) increased number of Hispanic and other low income students obtaining degrees in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics and decreased time to completion, we ordered materials in the following categories:

  • Problem Sets & Supplemental Practice
  • Overviews, Introductions, Visual Guides, & Student Guides
  • Encyclopedias, Dictionaries, Handbooks, & Guides
  • Prep for Careers, Vocational, & Placement Tests
  • Fun: Fiction, Memoir, Biography, Pop Culture, Literary Classics, & Narrative Non-Fiction
  • Fun: Outdoor Activities, Field Guides, Sports, Gardening, Transportation, & Cities
  • Fun: Hands-On Applications of STEM Concepts

*Please note: Numbers reported here are approximate because we are still in the process of acquiring, cataloging, and processing these materials, and during those processes we encounter many variables. For example, availability from the vendor may change during the time our orders and payments are being processed, and multi-volume sets may be counted as a unit or by individual volume.

Prior to 2017 ordering, STEM faculty specifically requested books of problem sets (such as Schaum's Outlines), preparation for higher-level professional school exams (such as MCAT, LSAT, PCAT, and DAT), and career-development support such as books about copyright and intellectual property (e.g., for a chemistry student who wants to pursue a career in law). 

Prior in 2018 ordering, STEM faculty expressed the most support for ordering more in the categories of Problem Sets & Supplemental Practice; Overviews, Introductions, Visual Guides, & Student Guides; Prep for Careers, Vocational, & Placement Tests; and Fun: Hands-On Applications of STEM Concepts. We had requests for books to help students figure out a career purpose (including general and STEM-specific titles); certification and vocational exams not already covered by other Library materials (e.g., Microsoft Office Specialist Exams, Adobe Certified Expert Exams, and some specialized Nursing certifications); materials to reinforce lab methods, protocols, and safety; and other specific single titles in various disciplinary areas.

Several faculty also requested subscriptions to peer-reviewed scholarly journals, which we were not able to consider using this funding source, which is only available for one-time purchases.

[NOTE: Updated March 2019]

The other box on this page highlights new materials currently available to students. To see all materials ordered in 2017, go to the Library Purchases 2017 tab on this guide. (Similar information for materials ordered in 2018 is not yet available.) While 2017 materials are now available to students, we're still updating their locations in this online guide. To find their correct locations, follow the links in this guide or search by title in  at > All / Everything).

While most 2018 PASO-funded print (physical) books are not yet available to students due to a large processing backlog in our Library (which requires at least 2 years for most new books to become available to students), we have expedited processing for certain categories of materials, including faculty requests, and materials that are particularly time-sensitive (e.g., annual or semi-annual MCAT study guides) or expensive (e.g., print reference books). 

All ebooks ordered in 2017 are now available to students via the Library database called Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL).
Ebooks ordered in 2018 are now available via the search box on the Library's homepage

2017: Now available to students!

Reference Ebooks

Before PASO STEM, our Library already had access to Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL), but its STEM content was sparse. In 2017, we added 78 new STEM titles, including subject-specific encyclopedias, dictionaries, student guides, and career resources.

Logo for Gale Virtual Reference Library

Problem Sets & Supplemental Practice

For students in Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Mathematics, and Physics, books of extra problem sets to supplement coursework and get extra practice. Includes Schaum's Outlines, McGraw-Hill's "500 Questions" series, and similar materials.

Cover of Schaum's Outlines for Beginning Chemistry

Core STEM Reference Titles

Current editions of core STEM reference books, such as the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, the Merck Index, and citation style guides for ACS and CSE.

Cover of the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics

Test-Prep Books for Professional Exams

Comprehensive, up-to-date study resources for students pursuing admission to medical school, law school, pharmacy school, or dental school.

Cover of Princeton Review, MCAT Biology Review
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