December 13, 2006

Looks a lot like Christmas

Alloway Library staff decorated a tree for The Spirit of Christmas Celebration, held on campus at the beginning of December. We didn't win a prize but I think we all agreed that it was fun! A special thanks to all who participated whether it was decorating, planning, gathering supplies, or stringing popcorn.




Popcorn stringers

Decorating the tree in front of the bookstore

Our theme centered around birds and books














Not quite finished Posted by Picasa











Photos by Sharon Vose

The judges' descision was final!

Classic docs sent back to the vault

Copyright material too costly to renew.

Val Ross, writing in the Dec 6, 2006 Globe and Mail highlights an issue that affects Alloway Library's media collection and any student or instructor who uses media in the classroom.

How does this affect Alloway Library users? Take Donald Brittain's The Champions, for example. This National Film Board of Canada trilogy explores the careers of Pierre Trudeau and René Lévesque. Alloway Library has the series on VHS videotape. If those tapes become damaged or lost however, the program can't be replaced -- because, explains Ross, rights to much of the footage used in this production have expired.

"And it won't become available until the NFB decides that it is worth its money to renew the cost of image clearances," says Samantha Hodder, executive director of the Documentary Organization of Canada (DOC)

Thanks to spiralling copyright licensing costs, payable to whoever holds the copyright (unions, archives, creators, corporations) -- and thanks, too, to the rising cost of insurance to protect against copyright claims -- more and more public film footage is no longer available to the Canadian public, nor for use by Canadian creators. Even though you the taxpayer paid for a National Film Board production of Canada release, you may not be able to see it.

That's the message of the DOC's new white paper, released yesterday by the 700-member organization. The Copyright Clearance Culture and Canadian Documentaries, written by Ottawa copyright lawyer Howard Knopf, cites many eyebrow-raising cases. An example: Quebec filmmaker Sylvie Van Brabant's film Remous/Earthwalk has been withdrawn from public circulation because its main character sings 30 seconds of a recognizable tune whose rights the National Film Board has deemed too expensive to renew.

The cost of paying to use archival footage has been increasing, in part, the white paper notes, because underfunded institutions such as the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. and NFB have taken to using licensing fees as a revenue source. Filmmaker Avi Lewis was told that it would cost him $187.50 per second for CBC footage of his own grandfather, former NDP leader David Lewis, uttering the phrase "corporate welfare bums." The younger Lewis backed off.

The white paper also details how imminent changes to Canadian copyright law -- probably coming early in the new year -- could make matters even worse. The DOC has also sent the Departments of Heritage and Industry a letter -- signed by more than 130 filmmakers, including Oscar-winner Denys Arcand and Emmy-winner John Kastner -- urging that Ottawa's forthcoming copyright legislation incorporate the idea of fair use and users' rights.

"The urban landscape is saturated with trademarks, jingles and signs. We must not be constrained by restrictions on incidental use," filmmaker Kevin McMahon said. "If I inserted a wide shot of Yonge Street into one of my films, most lawyers would advise me to seek the permission of every merchant, billboard owner and advertiser." Lacking that, McMahon said, he would have to remove the shot.

December 10, 2006

Alloway Library staffer collects books for needy grade one class

A once-empty box beneath Alloway Library's brightly coloured Christmas tree is a box quickly filling with books destined for a needy inner-city school right here in Langley. Inspired by Lady Mary Wortley Montague's epigram No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting, and aware of a need, Alloway Library's administrative assistant, Sharon Vose has organized a campaign to collect and deliver books, or cash, to encourage a class of 17 Grade One students whose parents do not have extra money for books.

Working with the teacher, who has asked for "simple, emergent type books geared to 6-year olds as well as several special needs children in the class," Vose is collecting books that will become part of a classroom library. Children's books not suitable for this class will be donated to another class in the school or to the Langley Christmas Bureau.

To date, 20 beautiful books have been dropped in the collection box. Alloway Library users and blog readers are encouraged to add to the collection. The last day for cash, gift card or book donations is December 15.

December 07, 2006

Dotto demos!

I've recently cited Steve Dotto's enthusiasm for libraries and the online databases they provide. Here's a short clip from his Dotto Tech show demonstrating just how to use them. In this segment Dotto demonstrates some of the features and benefits of licensed database usage in comparison to using a Google search and walks viewers through the process of logging in, selecting a database, conducting a basic search, and then refining the search to get useful results. He also plugs Ask a Librarian services!

December 06, 2006

The Hidden Library

It's not unusual for first time visitors to Alloway Library to walk around the main level and then ask "Where are all the books?"Many do not realize that nearly 210, 000 books and media items are shelved on the upper and lower floors of the library. But many more library users are unaware of the size of an even less visible collection, our online resources.

A statistical report showing total searches and sessions for EBSCOhost products hints at the scope of Alloway Library's online resources and shines a light on a part of our collection not easily visible to library visitors. The library subscribes to 55 databases supported by the EBSCOhost platform. These include Academic Search Premier, ATLA Religion Database and for all the faculties in TWU's academic galaxy. Each database may access thousands of periodical titles. In the first 11 months of this year, over 290,000 searches were run in some 91,000 sessions. In November alone, over 2600 online periodicals and publications were accessed through EBSCOhost products.

Compare those figures to last year's in-library statistics: 190,000 people visited the library, and 145,000 items circulated. Our reference staff fielded 4500 questions. When you consider that EBSCOhost is only one of several database platforms (Web of Science, ProQuest and WilsonWeb are some others) and each platform supports thousands of publications, you start to realize that Alloway Library is much more than a collection of books in a building.

Although online resources are not as obvious as shelves of books, usage statistics indicate that many library users have discovered Alloway Library's hidden collections.


These ten EBSCOhost periodical titles accounted
for nearly 2,500 hits in November 2006:

TITLE HITS
Economist 600
Explicator 467
Maclean's 381
USAToday 249
Harvard Business Review 218
Lancet 212
Foreign Affairs 167
Time 167

November 28, 2006

Weather amnesty

Although Alloway Library has remained open every day during the last few days of snow, ice and power failures, we recognize that these conditions have prevented some of our patrons from returning library material on time. Many library users have renewed their material online, or by contacting circulation staff by phone or email. Items from the Reserve Counter, the Curriculum Collection, however, are not renewable, nor are items which have been requested or recalled, or material that has exceeded our 2+1 renewal limit. (2 online renewals + one staff-moderated renewal.)

Until classes are resumed, material returned to Alloway Library will be checked in as if they were returned on Saturday, November 25. This is intended to reduce overdue fines that may have accrued during the recent disruptions.

November 27, 2006

The death of VHS


The 1979 hit "Video killed the radio star" was the first music video to be played on MTV when it was launched in the summer of 1981. Although video lives on in DVD, it's most enduring shape, the VHS videocassette has been declared dead. At Alloway Library, the trend has been to purchase DVD whenever possible, but the majority of our media collection remains accesible in VHS format.

Men With Shades posing on the floor ca 1990 TWU Archives


Writing in Variety, however, Dianne Garrett notes:

VHS, 30, dies of loneliness
The home-entertainment
format lived a fruitful life

After a long illness, the groundbreaking home-entertainment format VHS has died of natural causes in the United States. The format was 30 years old.

No services are planned.

The format had been expected to survive until January, but high-def formats and next-generation vidgame consoles hastened its final decline. "It's pretty much over," concurred Buena Vista Home Entertainment general manager North America Lori MacPherson on Tuesday.

VHS is survived by a child, DVD, and by Tivo, VOD and DirecTV. It was preceded in death by Betamax, Divx, mini-discs and laserdiscs.

Although it had been ailing, the format's death became official in this, the video biz's all-important fourth quarter. Retailers decided to pull the plug, saying there was no longer shelf space. The format flourished until DVDs launched in 1997. After a fruitful career, VHS tapes started to retire from center stage in 2003 when DVDs became more popular for the first time. Since their retirement, VHS tapes have made occasional appearances in children's entertainment and as a format for collectors seeking titles not released on DVD. VHS continued to make as much as $300 million a year until this year, when studios stopped manufacturing the tapes.

November 22, 2006

Dotto likes libraries

Steve Dotto is the host and executive producer of the popular Canadian computer show Dotto Tech, seen locally on CityTV, The New VI and Knowledge Network. In a recent column in the North Shore News he echoes what librarians at Alloway Library have said for a long time, that Google and its competitors are not always the best tool for research.


Dotto writes in his September 20, 2006 column Digital Age:

Often there are simply too many returns on a Google search to make use of the information. Plus the validity of the information is less than stellar. Separating the truth from the urban myth is a challenge. So for hard-core research, the Internet contains more promise than it actually delivers on.

He then goes on to explain how libraries can be a better solution for researchers:
Libraries have access to vast amounts of electronic information available to you right at your desktop, and all you need to access it is your library card. Visit your local library's website and you will find online resources that contain a series of licensed databases. Licensed databases are services that your library subscribes to on your behalf, and while the exact mix of databases may vary between libraries what they'll all have in common is lots of information on just about every topic under the sun. If you use your library's databases as a basis for your searches you can rest assured the information is accurate; unlike a Google or simple web search.

Experienced users may agree with Dotto when he says:

As a research tool the online databases require a little more effort than simply jumping onto Google, but the results are worth the effort.

What I like best about this article is when a "tech-guy" like Dotto sings the praises of libraries:


Librarians love to help, and they often have ideas on how to find even more valuable information nuggets. On all library home pages will be a link to Ask a Librarian, which will submit your question to your local librarian, and I guarantee, you be thrilled with the response. These are great research tools, and the best part is it's available to you anywhere you have Internet access. Maybe the best part is that it is free as part of your library membership.
(Coming in January Alloway Library will replace its Ask a Librarian service with the new AskAway service available to libraries throughout the province.)

Alloway Library is here to link learners to knowledge, you don't have to do it all on your own.

More statistics and thoughts on grades

Academic Libraries: 2004 published by the National Center for Education Statistics in Washington, DC provides findings and tables based on a 2004 survey of US academic libraries. The report presents summary data of services, staff, collections, and expenditures for academic libraries in degree-granting postsecondary institutions. Most of the data is aggregated to show the cumulative activity of academic libraries. For example, during a typical week in the fall of 2004, 1.4 million academic library reference transactions were conducted in 3,653 academic libraries.

Two interesting and applicable tables show how Alloway Library compares to US counterparts in two key fields: collection size and hours of service. I used Alloway Library’s 2005 statistics to compare the survey’s 2004 statistics to make some comparisons between our library and 2,217 others in the USA.

Alloway Library has just over 211,000 print volumes in our collection. That puts us in the upper middle category of libraries with collections between 100,000 and 250,000 items. 27% of libraries survey out of 2,217 libraries fall into this group. 42% of degree-granting institutions have collections smaller than ours and 30% have larger collections. Looking at academic libraries like ours serving 1,500 to 5,000 students we see that only 17% of those have larger collections, and well over half have smaller collections than ours.


In providing public service hours a similar picture appears. Alloway Library is open 84 hours in a typical week. 40% of all degree-granting institutions and 54% of institutions in TWU’s population category are open less than 80 hours per week. Only 19% and 13% of the libraries surveyed respectively offer more than 100 hours week.

Circulation desk of the Norma Marion Alloway Library, ca.1989 University Archives

These statistics tend to confirm the grades we received in The Globe and Mail's University Report Card. Survey respondents, using subjective criteria, gave us a ‘B’ for hours of operation; that seems about right if we were to ‘grade ourselves on the curve’ using the US data. The Report Card also gave us a C+ for total library holdings which seems a little low; I’d argue that in comparison to similar-size US institutions we deserve a higher grade. Our patrons however, compare us to the other two major universities in Greater Vancouver, both of which rank among Canada’s top ten universities and one of them ranks among the top 40 universities in the world.

The Globe and Mail's University Report Card is available from the Reserve Counter at Alloway Library Posted by Picasa

November 17, 2006

Power to serve

Alloway Library staff are committed to service. Along with excellence and integrity, it's one of the three core values that drive our mission statement. And recently, our users identified the service provided by library staff as one of the strengths of Alloway Library. You can imagine our frustration therefore, when electrical power failures prevent us from doing what we love and force us to close the library.

Unlike many other buildings on campus Alloway Library's electric supply is not supported by diesel generators even though the library is designated as an essential service. This means that when the power goes off, we are unable to provide the most basic services to users, such as looking up an item in our catalogue, or assisting researchers in finding online resources. However, during the power failures this week, staff made heroic efforts with flashlights and hunches to find material on our shelves, conduct research skills classes in improvised settings and use pencil, paper and flashlights to put over 200 books and media items into the hands of people who needed resources. Our patrons used cell phones to light their way in the darkened stacks while many worked uninterrupted beside the large windows.


Ultimately, once the battery-powered emergency lights go out, safety dictates the closure of the building. Based on information from BC Hydro, and consideration of road conditions, (Library staff live throughout the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley) provisional plans are made as to whether a reopening later are considered. Alloway Library does what it can to link learners to knowledge, even in difficult circumstances.

Alloway Library's big windows let in a lot of daylight. However, when the power goes down it's usually not a clear, sunny day!

Patrons can always call the library at 604-513-2023 to check our status. Alloway Library strives to remain open even when classes are cancelled.

November 13, 2006

Another Alloway Library

Norma Marion Alloway Library is a special place. Participants in the Globe and Mail's University Report card confirmed that it is staffed with great people providing excellent service. The Report Card also ranked Alloway Library at the top among Canadian university libraries for providing quiet study space. TWU's library provides over half a million resources to over 4000 patrons. Special as it is however, it's not the only Alloway Library in the world!


I learned, while testing search engines, that there is an Alloway Library serving the village of Alloway, Scotland. Alloway is famed for being the birthplace of the poet Robert Burns and the setting for some of his poems and stories. It is now a suburb of Ayr, a town south of Glasgow.

The main road, Alloway Scotland. The village library is down the road from the Burns' Birthplace, seen on the left and the Tam O'Shanter Experience.

So if you notice Scots accents from the staff and if you start logging on to the Wee Webbies web page, you may have crossed the Brig O' Doon into Alloway instead of the Salmon River bridge into Trinity Western.



Norma Marion Alloway Library. Submitted photo

November 11, 2006

The Anti-Librarian


Have you met Ms Dewey? She is the front-end, human face for Microsoft's Windows Live search engine. Initially she's comes across as an entertaining, hip version of a librarian, but the personal touch wears thin pretty fast as you start to realize how self-occupied, impatient and sometimes downright rude this sultry "personal assistant" can be. The Flash technology that animates her and generates her usually sardonic comments seem to slow down search results and she's not too good at asking "Do you mean...?" if you make a spelling mistake. As a substitute for a living librarian, she fails miserably, especially when you compare Ms Dewey to Alloway Library's friendly and polite professionals.

Ms Dewey typifies a sort of Anti-Librarian. Certainly, she's not the hair-in-a bun, glasses and cardigan-wearing stereotype of a librarian one sees in popular media. She also lacks an inquiring mind and ultimately represents the antithesis of what researchers need in a librarian. As such, she highlights the weakness of search engines in comparison to good librarians. As Steven Abram points out in his blog:
Librarians aren't just about search; we're about improving the quality of the
question. End users are about "find and discover." We need to be clear on that.
If we focus on search, we are focusing on Google's best game. If we focus on the
question, the human touch, and overall customer experience, then we will not
only survive, we'll thrive.
Addressing libraries and their personnel, he continues:

We also have to get search down to the context of the question. Users shouldn't
have to search the entire universe of knowledge in a single commercial engine.
Nor should they have to search dozens of repositories and resources serially. We
should offer users the ability to search just the content sets that match their
needs and literacy levels. We have to segment federated search so that it
addresses the subject context of the user, based on where they are coming from.
Biology students can search just the right databases; grade six students get the
database results based on their reading level; and business searchers work in
their specific R&D milieu... All of the Googles are still focused on the
broad consumer markets --not a researcher's needs.


Talk to an Alloway Library staffer today; when we smile, we probably won't be acting.

November 09, 2006

Study Room Improvements

In response to user demand, Alloway Library has added whiteboards to Group Study Room 8 and Group Viewing Rooms #5 and #7. This means that all seven Group Study Rooms have a big board for groups to collaborate on. Erasable markers for use with the boards may be checked out for a renewable, two-hour loan along with study room keys at the Reserve Counter.

At the same time as the boards were installed, worn out chairs in all the study rooms were replaced with new chairs.

Dr Ken Davis at chalk board TWU Archives

November 08, 2006

Reading Break/ Remembrance Day Hours

Alloway Library is open through reading break with a slight change from our regular hours in recognition of the Remembrance Day holiday. Library hours will be:

Thursday, November 9 7:45 am – 11:00 pm
Friday, November 10 10:00 am - 6:00
pm
Saturday, November 11 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sunday, November 12 1:30 pm
- 5:00 pm


Camp Sewell, Manitoba 1915 Submitted photo

RefWorks and the Patriot Act

Recent news reports have highlighted the risks to privacy that the USA's Patriot Act poses to researchers in Canada using RefWorks. According to a CBC News report:

Dozens of Canadian university and college libraries are changing how they arrange for their students and faculty to do online research, in part because of a U.S. law intended to detect possible terrorist activity. The universities subscribe to RefWorks, a popular American research tool that helps academics with research, as well as with completing citations and bibliographies. However, the U.S. Patriot Act — created in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in New York and Washington — allows government officials to sweep through databases, including RefWorks, as part of routine surveillance.
Alloway Library is considering joining with a number of other universities which have abandoned U.S.-based servers, and are now using facilities at the University of Toronto. Alloway Library includes a Protection of Privacy Notice on it's RefWorks information page which states:
RefWorks is available to you as a member of the TWU community, though your use
of it is voluntary. Please be advised that all information in your RefWorks account is stored on servers located in the United States of America. Canadian privacy laws do not apply to personal information you provide directly to RefWorks. You may wish to review the RefWorks Privacy/Security Policy before using their service.

November 02, 2006

Access TWU webmail in the library

In recognition that email is an important tool in the research process, Alloway Library has opened up its web terminals to allow TWU students and staff access to TWU webmail accounts ( @agape.twu.ca and @twu.ca) via TWU's Student Portal.

Student posing at her computer 1992
TWU Archives

Now, researchers can view their email to see articles sent from online databases such as Academic Search Premier. It is also possible to open, edit or print email attachments such as Word, PowerPoint or Excel --if-- you open the attachment by saving it to your USB drive.

Because library terminals are intended for research purposes and all TWU members have TWU email accounts, Alloway Library has chosen to block access from library computers to third-party email accounts such as Yahoo, Gmail or Telus.

October 31, 2006

A Solid B

Ever since The Globe and Mail's University Report Card came out this week, the sound of academic spin has been heard across Canada. It's coming from campus administrators as each institution finds ways to account for low grades and brag about the high ones.

TWU was included among the 49 institutions graded and is rightfully proud for being at the top of the heap for it's 'A+' for Quality of Education. TWU also aced the Student-Faculty Interaction category and the Class Size category with an "A+" in each, and scored exceptionally well in the Quality of Teaching category and the Most Satisfied Students Category, with an "A" in each.

Here at Alloway Library we have been mulling over our own grades. We too are rightfully proud of our 'A-' in "Service Provided by Library Staff" and an 'A' for providing quiet study space --beating out the major institutions on the lower mainland, and elsewhere, in those categories. (Although, according the G&M's methodology: "Because sample sizes are significantly smaller when comparing one university to another, there may not be statistically significant differences separating universities that receive different letter grades, although their mean scores are different. ")

Our overall GPA, according to the TWU undergrads who responded to the Globe and Mail's survey, is 3.9, which is not quite a 'B+.' And there's the rub-- 'B' is a respectable mark, and 'B+' is satisfying, but it's not an 'A.'

Alloway Library's report card:
Availability of quiet study space A
Service provided by library staff A-
Online library resources B+
Library hours of operation B
Library Services B
Overall Library B
Availability of journals/articles/periodicals B
Total number of library holdings C+

With a mission to provide "excellent services and resources" and a commitment to excellence as a core value in pursuit of its mission, Alloway Library staff have been talking about the grades: "There's always room for improvement!" is a common comment, and most staffers would agree with a colleague who said, "I have a feeling that the lower grades on resources are at least in part linked to a lack of understanding of what we have available. We need to be rethinking how we educate our students about databases. As well, we absolutely must get going on revamping our website."

Watch for more responses to the report card here and in the library in the days and months to come.

October 30, 2006

New Books and Newly Acquired items

Alloway Library's New Books shelves are always a browser's delight and a good way to stay current with our growing collection. Last Thursday, six shelves of new books were put on display on the main level.

University Librarian Ted Goshulak presents TWU President Jonathan Raymond with Reasons For The Hope Within a book representing the Inauguration Collection at the Inaugural Chapel October 13, 2006

New books may be checked out and should not be confused with the "newly acquired" status for items in the catalogue. Place a request on a newly acquired item and it will be ready for you, usually by the next working day.

Books from the President Jonathan S. Raymond Inauguration Collection will begin to be processed by the library as they arrive over the next few weeks and months.

Nearly 50 of the 70 titles nominated by members of the TWU community have been donated by departments, groups or individuals in recognition of Jonathan Raymond's inauguration this fall. Contact the TWU Bookstore if you would like to see your name on a bookplate as part of this collection-- there is still time. Prices for currently unsponsored books range from just $12 for Killer Germs: Microbes and Diseases that Threaten Humanity by Barry E. Zimmerman all the way up to $9,610 for the 20 volume Microscopic Anatomy of Invertebrates by Frederick W. Harrison.

October 26, 2006

New material on the sale shelf

This week I added over twelve full shelves of books to Alloway Library's sale shelf. Included are 6 shelves of brand new material plus an assortment of paperback novels, and , including some nicely bound and illustrated German-language materials published before World War II. Hardcover items are just $1 and softcovers only $.50.

October 25, 2006

RefWorks rewritten


RefWorks is our amazing biographical manager that lets you download citations from catalogs, databases and the WWW, store them in folders, and use them in the production of research papers and bibliographies. Over the past couple of years our information page for RefWorks on the library web has become increasingly complex and difficult to navigate. Now a rewrite has put the information you need right at your finger-tips. See it at http://www.twu.ca/library/refworks.htm
Submitted by Bill Badke

October 23, 2006

AskAway coming to Alloway Library

Did you see the supplement focused on promoting library services in the Saturday October 21st editions of the Vancouver Sun, Prince George Citizen, Kamloops Daily News and Victoria Times Colonist and the Monday October 23rd edition of the Kelowna Daily Courier?

One of the stories features a new virtual reference service which Alloway Library will be joining in the New Year. AskAway will replace Ask a Librarian, Alloway Library's in-house virtual reference service.

According to the press release:

"VICTORIA – British Columbians will have better access to more information thanks to a new virtual reference library service called AskAway, Education Minister Shirley Bond and Advanced Education Minister Murray Coell announced today during the Libraries in Dialogue with Government conference.

“AskAway lets British Columbians get the information they need from a real librarian in real time using a simple live chat format – no matter where they live in the province,” said Bond. “By putting the knowledge and resources of librarians online, AskAway will help make B.C. the best educated, most literate jurisdiction in North America.”

The Province is partnering with public and post-secondary libraries to provide the AskAway virtual reference, which is available at www.askaway.org. The Province has provided $530,000 in start-up funding and will contribute $350,000 in ongoing annual funding. AskAway will be staffed by public and post-secondary librarians.

AskAway uses special software to connect 160 librarians from 46 public libraries to residents across the province. AskAway also connects 100 librarians from 20 post-secondary institutions. The academic librarians provide specialist resources for post-secondary students, including access to academic research databases.

“This information age has created a more focused, competitive world for post-secondary learners,” said Coell. “To thrive, our students need fast access to the real research and high quality information that AskAway librarians can provide, whether they are in Fort St. John or Vancouver.”

AskAway is a key component of the government’s election commitment to expand library access and services to British Columbians across the province. It also expands on a pilot project carried out by post-secondary institutions. Since the start of the pilot in late September, college and university librarians have fielded more than 800 questions on topics ranging from political figures of the past to psychology research papers.

B.C. has one of the highest rates of Internet connectivity in the country, with almost 70 per cent of residents having online access, either at home or through a local community centre. With AskAway, Internet users who can’t get to a library during regular business hours or live in remote areas will still be able to get the information they need.

“AskAway dramatically enhances access to the important service that librarians provide,” said Lawrence Lavender, president of the B.C. Library Trustees’ Association. “It puts expert help just a click away.” "

Watch for the AskAway launch at Alloway Library sometime in January, or give it a try 10am to 10pm Sunday through Thursday and 10am to 5pm Friday and Saturday.

October 22, 2006

Empty bottles add up for Mbale

Alloway Library is a bottle drop-off point for a TWU student initiative raising funds for a hospital in Mbale Uganda. We're happy to reports amazing news about the project!!

Heather Davies who is spearheading the project tells us "As for the bottles, we have been blessed out of our socks. This is the second week in a row we've had too many to handle.... but there are several students who have been helping sort and take the bottles in, and a couple of people volunteering trucks and vans. Right now we have about $220.00 from bottles and about $250.00 from donations, total just under $500.00. So it's not so little anymore! "

They cannot believe the amount of interest that this is generating. To put things in perspective, the library launched this campaign in April 2006 and raised just over $200 in three months

In Uganda it costs the equivalent of 6 empty pop cans to save a child with malaria from dying. One man’s trash is truly another man’s treasure.

Contributed by Janet Kreiter

October 19, 2006

Ten years of voluntary service


Alloway Library staff marked a special anniversay with Monica Weymer this week. Monica has been volunteering in the library since 1996 coming in weekly throughout the academic year to shelve material

During a special coffee-break celebration with the staff Monica was presented with a ten-year certificate from Trinity Western University as well as tokens of appreciation from library staff.

October 18, 2006

Potpourri

Sale material-- The used book sale shelf is quite full lately with new additions, including three-ring binders for $1 each.

Cabling project -- New Cat 5e cabling has been installed throughout the library to replace the aging CAT3 lines. Once the connections are complete, Alloway Library's computers should show improved perfomance.

Printer woes -- Alloway Library apologizes for recent printer outages and is working with the IT department to resolve the problem.

Librarian Ted Goshulak stacking Hollinger boxes filled with archival records ca 1988 TWU Archives

October 12, 2006

Library Elf -Treat or trick?

Library Elf is a neat web application that many people find helpful but,

Dobby the house elf from Warner Bros Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Source)

like its mythological namesake, also has the potential for harm. Library Elf will keep track of your due dates and email you when your due dates are approaching; it will even let you know if material you have requested is waiting for you. But many librarians warn that Library Elf may also compromise your privacy by making your library record accessible to others.
In a recent article in Library Journal Elizabeth Burns notes:
"The trade-off, of course, is privacy. Just as it's simple for a patron to create a (Library Elf) account, it is also easy for one user to log in as another, or for the email to be read by someone else. Patron privacy is very important to libraries and is protected by law.
... Libraries insist on subpoenas for releasing this information to third parties; libraries don't allow family members to pick up one another's holds. So why can Library ELF get this information?"

Ultimately, it's the patron who is asking to share his or her library account information with someone else-- in this case with an Elf. Library Elf's Privacy Policy states "Unless ordered by court order, we will not sell, rent, disclose or otherwise make available your email address or other personal information to any outside party. " They go on to warn however, "We would like to be able to tell you that the information you provide us is absolutely safe. Unfortunately, several well-publicized instances of computer security breaches make it impossible for anyone to be so confident. The most we can tell you is that we employ security safeguards to help protect your confidentiality."

Librarians concerned about patron privacy also discovered that how Library Elf users choose to receive notification may be the weakest aspect of the service. Burns writes:

"A final privacy risk is through RSS feeds. This was highlighted in 2005, when Mary Minow of the Law Library blog discovered that Library ELF users who had RSS feeds going to popular web aggregator Bloglines had inadvertently made public their borrowing information, even for private Blogline accounts.


Library ELF immediately addressed the issue. An update on the What's New page of the Library ELF web site explains that the way the RSS feed link was generated had been changed so that the email address would not be part of the feed. Once a user changes the Library ELF password, the RSS feed changes, too. This is not a panacea, though, and ELF notes that if this new RSS link were to be published, then others may be able to view your feed again.


Public RSS aggregators can treat RSS as public even if profiles have been marked private. The most secure solution is to unsubscribe from the ELF RSS feed and specify email delivery only. The FAQ section is even more blunt, naming Bloglines specifically as an RSS aggregator that treats RSS feeds as public even when a profile is private, owing to its shared database of feeds."

I have read Library Elf''s website statements carefully including the FAQ section. I also looked at how other libraries and librarians are responding to this application. Based on my research, I decided to use Library Elf for myself. Today, I logged into my Library Elf account and saw that in the past year, Elf has sent me 30 notices in advance of my due date (sad to say, it also sent me 18 overdue notices!) as well as 3 notes about requested items. Working in a library daily, it's a bit moot but it's clear to me that Elf is a useful tool for those who want to manage their library account.

I've recommended ELF to many who want someway to decrease fines or receive email notification (something Alloway Library is unable to provide effectively.) Their feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. But you need to investigate for yourself and decide if Library Elf is a trick or a treat.

October 10, 2006

Changes in the CINAHL database

EBSCOhost recently announced that Pre-CINAHL content has been successfully integrated into CINAHL with Full Text. As a result, they are removing Pre-CINAHL as a separate database in an effort to limit end-user confusion when selecting a database to search. Alloway Library users will be able to simply access all of Pre-CINAHL content through the CINAHL with Full Text database. Any links to Pre-CINAHL have been removed from Alloway Library's website, as they will no longer link to a separate database after the end of November 2006. (Source)

CINAHL® with Full Text provides indexing for 2,737 journals from the fields of nursing and allied health. The database contains more than one million records dating back to 1982. Offering complete coverage of English-language nursing journals and publications CINAHL with Full Text covers nursing, biomedicine, health sciences librarianship, alternative/complementary medicine, consumer health and 17 allied health disciplines. In addition, this database offers access to health care books, nursing dissertations, selected conference proceedings, standards of practice, educational software, audiovisuals and book chapters. Searchable cited references for more than 1,150 journals are also included. CINAHL with Full Text provides full text for 329 journals, plus legal cases, clinical innovations, critical paths, drug records, research instruments and clinical trials. PDF backfiles to 1982 are also included. (Source)

Photograph of Carla Stockberger sitting on the lawn in a nursing uniform [ca. 1988] TWU Archives

CINAHL stands for Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature. (Source)

Ten things libraries do well

Stephen Abram, in an online article titled Waiting for your cat to bark - Competing with Google and it's ilk writes:

What do libraries do well?
1. Libraries are nonpartisan. We cannot overemphasize this point. We are not unbiased. We are biased towards our communities’ needs. We’re biased towards quality information and safe environments. We are biased to user privacy. We share a common value system that focuses on protecting the record and empowering the user.
2. Libraries are all about community – workplaces, neighborhoods, research, and learning communities.
3. Libraries are about learning – schools, colleges, universities, and lifelong learning. We understand that learning happens in a magical way. It’s not just about reading, literacy, and providing access to and delivering “content.” It’s a much broader experience than that.
4. There is a difference between algorithmic ranking and filtering. Libraries filter – we select or provide the key tools for our users to select the best. In a world overwhelmed with information, this critical capability and talent trumps everything. I think this is the most salient insight from
Chris Anderson’s The Long Tail. Read it.
5. Librarians are strong protagonists in the economy of questions. Google is a protagonist in the economy of advertising. We both work with information as a key tool. Librarians excel at improving the quality of the question before it is asked. Google tries to guess at the question and deliver a best guess answer. Often this works. Sometimes is doesn’t.
6. “How?” and “Why?” are the tough questions that librarians use in interviewing techniques to get at the root needs. No computer is nearly ready to inform the search equation with the knowledge derived from a well-done research interview. We need to promote and develop new respect for these skills. Give unto Google what is Google’s. Give unto librarians what is the librarian’s.
7. The human quality of sense-making is a very special skill. It is about understanding context and delivering what is right for that context. Libraries excel at understanding context. We are challenged by making this work in a virtual world. We need to find new ways to introduce sense and context back into the virtual world - specialized search, pathfinders, interactions through virtual reference and IM, etc.
8. Libraries do “local” well. Whether we are the center of the campus, the school, or the community, we do local very well. Our challenge is to use the new technologies to extend our reach into the community – both physically and virtually. We need to go beyond our traditional “Outreach” initiatives and just do “Reach.”
9. Libraries do collections well. Things have changed, though. While we once bragged about collecting comprehensively, we now must move to collecting selectively to meet a need. It won’t be hard. Our core skills and competencies for developing collections, resource sharing, and connecting core collections to the world at large – through search and ILL – mark us as the first of the “g-locals.”
10. One weakness of the digital world was identified many decades ago by John Naisbitt in Megatrends (1982). The first trend was that high tech would drive a need for greater “high touch.” This should be known as our greatest strength – the personal human touch. Can we position this for the new age?



Read the full article and find out what libraries do poorly, according to Abram.

Or comment on this article and tell us what you think Alloway Library does well.

October 06, 2006

Pop cans save lives

Alloway Library is again partnering with TWU students by collecting clean refundable beverage containers to help the JOY hospice in Mbale, Uganda.

Photo: Dr Jan White left, attending a young patient


In the current Mars' Hill we read:

Pop cans save lives
Bringing medication to the poor in Uganda
By Heather Davies

I held a little baby girl in my arms, with wide black eyes and fragile skin as thin as paper covering her slender frame. She was dying of malnutrition because she couldn’t keep any food down. Due to her critical condition, the baby would need to be taken to Kampala, a trip that would cost the family a couple of month’s wages and some weeks away from home...

When I came back to Trinity Western University, Uganda felt a long way away. I’d spent every last cent on school; what could I give? I started collecting pop cans in my dorm and returning them for refund. The library staff heard what I was doing and offered to help me. Friends dropped off money and in the end I collected almost $400. It wasn’t much, but I sent it to the hospital in Uganda to pay for medications for those who couldn’t afford them.

This year I’m doing the same thing again. My passion is to help people in other countries who are suffering and dying because they simply don’t have the money to pay for medical treatment. ... The cost of six pop cans could provide minimal malaria treatment for a baby. A dollar a day could supply antiretroviral drugs to a mother with AIDS so she can live to raise her children. A Starbucks coffee could pay to treat two children dying of typhoid. Two bus tickets could pay for a blood transfusion for an adult.

It’s not hard to save bottles, walk instead of taking the bus, make my own coffee instead of buying Starbucks, or put aside a dollar a day, when I know that I am saving the lives of fellow human beings. After all, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, whatever you do for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you do for me.”

So I invite you to participate with me this year. There will be a bin in the library for your recyclables, or you can take them into the Langley Bottle Depot and donate the money to the TORN Project. If you wish, you can choose something to give up and save the money, put aside a set amount every week, or donate your tithe. The money will be sent to JOY Hospice and Clinic in Mbale, Uganda, where it will be used to buy medications for those who can’t afford them otherwise...

For more information or to help in other ways, email Heather.Davies at hotmail.com

Read the full Mars' Hill article)

October 05, 2006

New Art:21 Video

What goes on inside the minds of today’s most dynamic visual artists? How do they make the leap between insight and finished object? What inspires artists to break through the barriers of convention to arrive at new ways of seeing? These and other intriguing questions are explored in Season Three of “Art:21—Art in the Twenty-First Century.” Catalogued as Art in the twenty-first century: art 21. This unique PBS series focusses exclusively on contemporary art and the people who create it. Like the great biennial art exhibitions that regularly showcase current artistic activity, Art:21 returns to television every two years to profile working artists who build our living culture with each painting, sculpture, photograph or installation that they create.

As in previous seasons, each hour of Art:21 is organized around a unifying theme that helps audiences analyze, compare, contrast, and juxtapose the artists profiled. Power explores issues of violence, domination and control that pervade contemporary society. Memory delves into how an artist’s personal background, as well as our shared historical past, emerge in artistic expression. Structures profiles artists who investigate context and order in the organization of their art. Play reveals artists who fearlessly tap improvisation and games, spontaneity and mundane objects, to make art that is simultaneously whimsical and profound. (Source)

Art:21 is supported by an extensive website which includes previews, slide shows and supplementary materials. Alloway Library also has season one from 2001 and the companion book to the series.

October 03, 2006

Oxford English Dictionary now at online at www.twu.ca/library

Alloway library is pleased to announce the addition of an important new database to our array of resources available to our users. The premier dictionary of the English language, (and the world?) The Oxford English Dictionary Online can now be accessed using the Dictionary link (or New Databases) link on the library's webpage. (TWU logon is required for off-campus access)

The Oxford English Dictionary is the accepted authority on the evolution of the English language over the last millennium. It is an unsurpassed guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of over half a million words, both present and past. It traces the usage of words through 2.5 million quotations from a wide range of international English language sources, from classic literature and specialist periodicals to film scripts and cookery books.

The OED covers words from across the English-speaking world, from North America to South Africa, from Australia and New Zealand to the Caribbean. It also offers the best in etymological analysis and in listing of variant spellings, and it shows pronunciation using the International Phonetic Alphabet.

As the OED is a historical dictionary, its entry structure is very different from that of a dictionary of current English, in which only present-day senses are covered, and in which the most common meanings or senses are described first. For each word in the OED, the various groupings of senses are dealt with in chronological order according to the quotation evidence, i.e. the senses with the earliest quotations appear first, and the senses which have developed more recently appear further down the entry. In a complex entry with many strands, the development over time can be seen in a structure with several 'branches'. (Source)

The new Oxford English Dictionary Online, provides unparalleled access to the wealth of material contained in the acclaimed 20-volume Second Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary and the 3 volumes of Additions. Online publication also enables the "treasure house" of the English language to move with the times as never before possible.

With the OED online you can:
Search the equivalent of 23 volumes of information with speed and ease
Find a term when you know the meaning but have forgotten the word
Find words that have come into English via a particular language
Search for quotations from a specified year
Search for all quotations from a particular author and/or work
Display entries according to your needs - for the first time you can turn pronunciation, etymologies, variant spellings, and quotations on and off
Gain unique online access to at least 1,000 new and revised words each quarter
Compare revised entries with entries from the Second Edition to see how language has changed and how new scholarship has increased understanding of our linguistic and cultural heritage (Source)

One of the many cool features of this resource is the ability to sign up to receive the Word of the Day by email or RSS feed from OED!

October 02, 2006

New videos on Youth Mental Health Issues


A powerful, 3-part series on child and youth mental health sheds light on the current situation and offers practical tools to understanding the problems and knowing where to find solutions. Depressed kids don't just have a bad attitude--they have an illness. And the illness is treatable. Produced in BC by the Knowledge Network.

Anxiety motivates us to get things done, but for some people, anxiety is not a driver. For many children, anxiety disrupts everyday life, interfering with their ability to make friends or go to school. Through interviews with experts and three young people, Fighting their fears outlines the causes, symptoms and treatments for anxiety disorders and emphasizes the importance of early identification and intervention. In all of these stories there is hope. (Source)

Statistics reveal that depression in children and youth is on the rise. In fact, it has increased by one-third in the past 30 years. Untreated depression costs a teenager in many ways: lost eductional opportunities, lost social opportunities and lost time.Through the personal stories of three young people, Beyond the blues traces the journey of depression, from early signs and symptoms, to assessment, diagnosis and treatment. The documentary also helps shatter some stereotypes. (Source )

A MAP of the mind fields: Until recently a diagnosis of psychosis was seen as the end to normal life. With onset occurring most often in youth from 13 to 25, this serious mental health disorder often has tragic consequences when undiagnosed or improperly dealt with. Psychosis is a brain disorder where an individual experiences some loss of contact with reality. Symptoms include hallucinations, delusions, paranoia and disorganized thoughts and speech. Three people share their personal stories: Amanda, 16, Max, 12, and Tara, 18. (Source)

September 29, 2006

New Health Videos

In the precious moments between life and death, it’s our responsibility to provide the best care possible until trained medical professionals take over. Providing first aid means knowing how to recognize an emergency situation, getting involved and making a difference. First Response: The First Aid Series guides the viewer through the causes, prevention, signs and symptoms of sudden illness or injury, and demonstrates the first aid procedures required to safely and thoroughly deal it. Using real life scenarios, animated graphics, and instructor-led demonstrations, the program provide an informative, step-by-step approach to the effective prevention, recognition, and treatment of a wide variety of emergency situations encountered at work, home, rest, and play. What you learn may help save a life. Approved by the Canadian Red Cross.

Programs in Series: Bleeding and Soft Tissue provides basic knowledge and skills required to recognize and treat injuries such as major internal and external bleeding, shock, and soft tissue injuries such as cuts, bruises, burns, and frostbite.
Head & Spinal Injuries, and Muscle, Bone & Joint Injuries provides basic knowledge and skills required to recognize and treat head and spinal injuries, as well as bone, muscle and joint injuries.
Medical Conditions and Poisoning, shows how to to recognize and treat illnesses such as asthma attacks, severe allergic reactions, diabetic emergencies, seizures, as well as heat stroke and hypothermia. There is also a segment on first aid for various types of poisoning.

Community Voices: Exploring cross-cultural care through cancer uses cancer as a lens to explore the many ways that differences in culture, race and ethnicity affect health and the delivery of healthcare services. Its six clearly defined sections are intended as triggers for discussion. They explore language, interpretation and communication styles; the meanings of illness; patterns of help seeking; social and historical context; core cultural issues; and building bridges. Read a review here

September 28, 2006

New videos on food issues

It's been called the world's first man-made epidemic, and it's killing us. Cheaper production, "super-sized" fast foods and a $12 billion advertising industry are proving to be lethal when mixed with a car-dominated culture, urban sprawl and labour-saving technologies. Although North America is the epicentre of obesity; this disease is being exported worldwide as a by-product of western culture. Infiltrating low-income communities and developing nations, obesity may bankrupt our health systems. The Weight of the World features leading international scientists offering persuasive arguments on reshaping our lifestyles and surrounding environments and also highlights communities whose rigorous public programs are diverting this global tide. With lively animation and hard-hitting science, the film reveals that obesity is not an individual problem, but one that requires changes in public policies and attitudes.
Visit the website for guides, activities and more.

The Yaqui Valley is one of Mexico's largest agricultural areas, providing much of North America's fresh fruit and vegetables. It is also home to neighboring towns in which children exhibit significant and disturbing neurological differences. Toxic Legacies (also known as Playing with Poison) investigates this phenomenon and its relevance to children across North America. U.S. anthropologist Elizabeth Guillette learned in 1993 about problems in the Yaqui Valley. The valley children are far behind those of the foothills in physical coordination, energy and learning capabilities. The only difference she observed was that pesticides have been used in the valley since the early 1950s, while in the foothills there is no agricultural industry and virtually no pesticide use. The program follows Dr. Guillette as she meets with eminent laboratory scientists in her search for corroboration and possible solutions. Neurotoxicologist David Carpenter of the University of Albany says, "I have suspected for a long time that pesticides cause these effects, but no one has demonstrated it so convincingly."
Timely and chilling The Montreal Gazette
Subtly dramatic and scary The Globe and Mail
As frightening as it is sad The Calgary Herald

A very current topic, Biotech is just the most obvious example of what will be a nutrition-agriculture-food crisis. Watching Brave new foods: the biotech revolution viewers learn that even those organic apples or free range chicken breasts from the local health food grocery are products of extensive genetic manipulation. Learn that almost every food we eat today is shaped by centuries of "tampering with nature" that changed often inedible and even poisonous plants into tasty and nutritious foods. Scientists see crops as building blocks for energy, chemicals, plastics, and even construction materials. The biotech revolution could change our society from one that runs on hydrocarbons to one based on carbohydrates. Explore the potential benefits and risks of bio-engineered foods.

September 27, 2006

NEW Drugs, Crime, Courts and Racism videos

The Truth About Drugs is a powerful program that graphically demonstrates to teens the effects of various types of drugs on their self, friends, babies, and family. The damage drugs do to their body is not always apparent and today's teens often overlook the dangers they face when using such as rape, homelessness, suicide, jail time, and the inability to focus and study.

Graphic profiles of four families afflicted by domestic violence reveal the traumatic impact of these experiences -- during childhood and later on in life. Hidden Victims: Children of Domestic Violence follows a domestic violence crime unit, to let viewers witness a 10-year-old boy's struggle to help his physically abused mother. The program also visits adults who are perpetuating the cycle of violence -- abusing their spouses just as their parents once abused each other. Breaking free of the violence, one woman has found refuge in a shelter and is getting her life back on track after years in an abusive relationship.

Juvenile justice usually takes place behind doors closed to public scrutiny. But this FRONTLINE documentary takes us inside the system in Santa Clara County, where we follow the fates of four teens... Their stories stir a range of emotions -- sorrow, pity, fear and disgust -- and provide no easy answers. (Wall Street Journal review)

Your best shot is a fictional story about an Appellant preparing for his Review Tribunal hearing. The program provides: a snapshot of the Review Tribunal process, useful tips to assist in an appeal, and answers to many commonly asked questions. The Office of the Commissioner of Review Tribunals made this video to help you get ready for your appeal. An accompanying booklet is also available.

Equipped with cameras, a diverse group of BC youth set out to expose the realities of internalized and systemic racism and find ways to help dismantle and overcome it. Featuring vignettes both comical and disturbing, Racism for Reel is a fast-paced and candid examination of racial biases expressed through the media and in everyday life.

September 26, 2006

Five new videos


Survivors of the Red Brick School is a moving tribute to the courage of the Baptiste Family and to all the families who survived the trauma of Canada’s residential school system for First Nations people. Travel back to Cranbrook, BC, with the Baptiste family (Osoyoos Indian Band, BC) as they revisit the school that changed their lives forever. This moving story takes you into the minds and hearts of Virg, Cindy, Bugs and Lloyd when they return as adults to face their living nightmare

Locally produced, Project Eagle Feather was inspired by the recent rise of in the number of aboriginal children taken into care in British Columbia. This documentary uses the aboriginal tradition of storytelling so individuals can share their background, their experiences as survivors, their experiences as children of survivors, and their efforts to heal.

Salmon are considered an excellent source of nutrition. And farmed salmon provide it inexpensively. But at what cost to their wild cousins…and, some scientists ask, to humans?
The Price of Salmon explores the complex issues involved with aquaculture here Canada, in Scotland and in Norway.

FRONTLINE's Dot Con investigates the financial forces behind the unprecedented rise and seemingly overnight fall of the Internet economy. When the Internet bubble burst in March 2000, unlucky investors watched more than $3 trillion of their money disappear. What spurred the incredible dot-com bull run on Wall Street? Was the public blinded by dreams of small fortunes and easy living or did the nation’s investment banks manipulate the IPO market and exploit public trust?

Outlet: Queer youth speak out gives audiences the straight goods on growing up queer in a heterosexual world. Featuring candid stories about the challenges of coming out, Outlet reminds us how complex identity is and how rarely people are supported in exploring it. Includes accompanying guide

Macdonald Wood chronicles the fight to protect a small woodland in Comox, BC. Against considerable odds, the Macdonald Wood Park Society and other community members galvanized government interest and raised more than $300,000 of a $1.7 million price tag to help preserve the property. The dust has now settled and key players on all sides of the issue talk candidly about their experience.

September 25, 2006

New Videos on Parkinson's and Alzheimer's Diseases

Parkinson's disease: an update exames the drug medication, surgery and alternative therapies for this degenerative brain disease affecting 1% of Americans over the age of 60.

The diagnosis of celebrities such as Rita Hayworth and Ronald Reagan has brought Alzheimer's disease out of the closet and into the national spotlight. The Alzheimer's mystery traces the century-long initiative to understand the disease first described by Dr. Alois Alzheimer. Patients in the early stages of Alzheimer's and family members discuss how they cope with the illness, while medical professionals address the disease's pathology, research toward a cure, and the importance of compassionate healthcare.

The Alzheimer's Challenging Behaviors Series consists of three parts: Resisting care...Putting yourself in their shoes; Agitation...It's a sign and Wandering...Is it a problem? Each program from this award-winning series has an accompanying video guide.

Created specifically to help caregivers, the Alzheimer Journey series explores the challenging journey that Alzheimer's disease brings to individuals with the disease, their family and caregivers. The Road Ahead, helps caregivers prepare for the beginning of the journey. On the Road examines topics such as how to provide care for the person with Alzheimer's disease and for the caregiver. The third video, At the Crossroads deals with how to handle decisions such as long term care placement and end-of-life issues. Fourth in the series Understanding Alzheimer disease looks at how Alzheimer disease affects the brain itself. Each title has an accompanying workbook

September 22, 2006

Five more new videos

Another title from John Gottman: In The Seven principles for making marriage work, Gottman presents his research-based principles that guide couples on the path toward a harmonious and long-lasting relationship.

Drawing on three decades of experience in residential schools, Rick Lavoie provides powerful strategies for teaching friendship skills in the classroom, the homefront, and the community. It's so much work to be your friend explores the causes and consequences of "social incompetence" and provides advice on how to help children work through daily social struggles and go from being picked on and isolated to becoming accepted and involved.

V6A 1N6: the six letters and numbers of a postal code which identify the poorest and most dangerous neighborhoods in Canada: the downtown east side of Vancouver. The film takes us to the life on the street, interviewing and listening to the stories of how people got there and how they survive. We walk the beat with the local police officers, visit public health outlets and hostels to hear strategies of coping and some initiatives on finding a better future for the neighborhood, the residents and workers.


On May 4, 1970 the National Guard opened fire on university students in Ohio who were protesting the war in Vietnam. Thirty years later, the blood shed is not forgotten. “This extraordinary documentary (13 Seconds: the Kent State shootings catalogued as Kent State: The day the war came home) is so good, so well - constructed, that it can’t help but leave the viewers feeling as if they themselves were on the bloody scene of the Kent State carnage 30 years ago.”- The Hollywood Reporter.

In Search of Shakespeare is a four-part series exploring the life of the world's greatest and most famous writer. Surprisingly, it is the first time that a full-scale life of William Shakespeare has been attempted on TV. It explores the life of the poet and the turbulent times in which he lived. Presenter-led, mixing travel, adventure, interviews and specially shot documentary and live action sequences with the Royal Shakespeare Company on the road, this is an innovative TV history series . PBS has an extensive web companion to the program