July 24, 2006

Ann Lamott on Libraries

Anne Lamott is a writer who stretches, challenges and entertains me. From her, I learned that “forgiveness is giving up all hope of having had a better past.“ Here’s what she says about libraries in her most recent book Plan B: Further thoughts on faith.

I am going to walk to the library, because my church is too far away to go to on foot…In a library, you can find, small miracles and truth, and you might find something that will make you laugh so hard that you will get shushed, in the friendliest way. I have found sanctuary in libraries my whole life, and there is sanctuary there now, from the war, from the storms of our families and our own minds. Libraries are like mountains or meadows or creeks: sacred space. So this afternoon, I’ll walk to the library.

studying in the library [197-]

TWU Archives

July 19, 2006

A browsers' guide to fiction at Alloway Library

"Does the library have a fiction section?" It's a common question throughout the year, but especially at holiday times as library users get ready for some leisure-time reading.

Yes, the library has fiction. However, unlike public libraries which make clear distinctions between fiction and non-fiction sections, Alloway Library, like most academic libraries, combines fiction, poetry, drama along with literary criticism and analysis.

So, if you have summer reading plans for your holiday, use our catalogue to search for an author, title or even keyword (try adding "fiction" as a general keyword.) Although you may not find the latest best-seller, you can expect to find classic works that support TWU curriculum and prize-winning novels. (The library seeks to collect works that earned the Governor-General's Award for Fiction, the Man Booker Prize or the Nobel prize.)

On the other hand, you may let serendipity guide you as you browse the shelves. The Literature and Languages collection covers over 1,000 shelves however, so here are a some tips for browsers:

At Alloway Library most "fiction" is in the P call number area on the lower level. Call numbers beginning with PR are assigned to works by British authors, and PS to North American authors, with PS 8000 being the general starting point for Canadian writers. (Other major subsections include PG for Russian writers, PL for literature of the Orient, PQ for works by French, Italian or Spanish-speaking writers and PT for works from Germany and Northern Europe.)

Within those call numbers, there is a chronological arrangement. For example, works by William Shakespeare have a call number in the PR 2800, Charles Dicken's works are in the PR4500's and JK Rowling's Harry Potter books are around PR6800.

If you're browsing for contemporary and current novels, here are some places to begin your search. You'll see that as you move to the left in the stacks you generally go back in time to writers from an earlier era. (This may not apply to other sections of the library!)

PS8200 is a good place to look for current Canadian fiction and poetry. Books like Yann Martel's Life of Pi and the works of Alice Munro, Carol Shields, Doug Coupland and Rudy Wiebe.
PS3500 and onward cover the works of USA-born writers of the past 50 or so years, while
PR6000 covers British writers from the same era, including CS Lewis's literary works (his essays and works on Christianity are shelved elsewhere) JRR Tolkien, PG Wodehouse and others.

Another place to browse is the in the Curriculum Materials Centre on the upper level. Here you'll find picture books (LT4382) and novels (LT4383) geared toward younger readers. These are great if you have younger readers vacationing with you -- or if you want a really light and engaging read!

Want to recommend fiction you found at Alloway Library? Use the comments link below!

July 12, 2006

Library Report available Online

Library Report for the 2005-2006 Academic Year details achievements, statistics, values and future plans for Alloway Library. In four brief pages, Library Report provides library users, colleagues and administrators with an overview of the accomplishments in the past year. It is available on the library's webpage in html or PDF formats.

Here is an excerpt:

What Is Important at Alloway Library
The mission of the library is to support and extend the TWU's goal of developing godly Christian leaders. As the university's key gateway to the global information and research environment, the library fulfills its mission by providing services and resources which enable users to achieve their research goals, to navigate knowledge sources intelligently and wisely, and to pursue a life-long dedication to learning.

In pursuit of this mission, Alloway Library staff are committed to three core values:

Excellence: The library is committed to the highest standards in each of its roles as educator, research facilitator, collection builder and manager, service-provider, and information broker. The library is also committed to promoting and encouraging the quality of excellence in its users.

Integrity: The Library is committed to practicing ethical behaviours and attitudes in all of its personal interactions, the professional conduct of its business, and in its public service.

Service: The Library is committed to public service, rather than the pursuit of organizational self-interest. In all of its technical and public services functions, staff members aim to provide personal help and innovative programs to meet the information needs of users

July 10, 2006

Library Staff Get Dirty

In library jargon "To weed the collection" means to get rid of unwanted items. Library staff took some time on Friday morning to do the other kind of weeding-- we got rid of unwanted plants in the Campanile Gardens adjacent the library building.

If you are unable to visit and enjoy the secluded (and once-again tidy) garden, here's some photo's to show what we were doing.

Photography by Shirley Lee

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July 07, 2006

New Video Arrivals

Several new series have been recently catalogued and added to our videorecording collection:

July 06, 2006

New music CD's

Gee, I go a way for a few days and come back to see my desk covered with new CDs and videotapes. Here's a list of music titles:

Next, I'll tackle the 30 or so videorecordings!