May 30, 2008

Oxford Reference Online is updated and expanded

Allloway Library's Oxford Reference Online is updated at least three times a year with new titles, new editions and additional features. In addition, all content in the Premium Collection is reviewed and updated regularly. In the latest update, over 8,000 entries have been revised. As well, this update includes over 1,750 new entries and over 700 illustrations. Oxford's systematic and regular updating policy ensures researchers have access to current, trustworthy content.

The latest update to Oxford Reference Online: Premium Collection includes a wealth of new and updated science-based content ranging from nursing to cosmology, plus a host of new and revised entries on literary terms.

New to the collection is The Oxford Companion to Cosmology, by Andrew Liddle and Jon Loveday, a comprehensive and accessible overview of the structure of the universe, including detailed information on cold dark matter, galaxy clusters, the evolution of galaxies, alternative cosmologies, redshift surveys, and cosmic microwave background radiation.

Alloway Library users also benefit from the new and updated content in five new editions:

All these new editions have carefully selected entry-level web links to guide you to the best of the rest of the web.

In addition, there is a new Victorian Britain Timeline, a chronology of the 64 years of the rule of Queen Victoria, together with links to related entries in the Premium Collection.

May 29, 2008

TWU Campus Shares Generously!

The BBQ event hosted by library assistant Grace Zhang and other Chinese students was a great success. Over $4,400 was raised at Tuesday's barbecue to support the Red Cross in aiding victims of the earthquake in China.

Their goal was to raise money, awareness, and also to bring hope to those who have none. The organizing students covered the cost of food supplies so that all proceeds will go directly to the Red Cross.

The students hosting the event say to all who participated, "Thank you for your support and prayers!"

Contributed by Kara Bergstrom

May 28, 2008

New DVDs

These newly acquired videorecordings can be obtained by clicking on the title and then use the request link in the catalogue record.

Tsunami: the wave that shook the world On 12/26/04 a series of tidal waves killed thousands and devastated communities around the Indian Ocean. With around 100 tsunamis striking the world's coastlines each decade, Nova investigates what made the recent event so powerful and catastrophic. Additional resources online.

Is God Green? (Moyers on America series) For years liberal Christians and others have made protection of the environment a moral commitment. Now a number of conservative evangelicals are joining the fight, arguing that man's stewardship of the planet is a biblical imperative and calling for action to stop global warming. But they are being met head-on by opposition from their traditional evangelical brethren who adamantly support the Bush administration in downplaying the threat of global warming and other environmental perils. Preview and other online resources.

May 26, 2008

Library Assistant joins in earthquake relief efforts

Library assistant Grace Zhang is working to make a difference for China this week in response to the massive earthquake that shook her homeland on May 12. With other TWU students Grace is collecting funds and organizing a BBQ fundraiser on Tuesday, May 27th from 11 am - 2 pm

According to the Langley Advance:

Prompted to do something for their home country, Dong Yang, a 24-year-old communications major from Hubei Province, supported by Grace Zhang, a 26-year-old business major from Liaoning Province, and fellow students put up posters with captivating images and a donation box to raise money for help that would be sent back home.

Grace Zhang and Dong Yang are two of a group of Chinese students at TWU raising money for their earthquake-torn country. Mike Rathjen/TWU

Zhang and Dong Yang are two of a group of Chinese students at TWU raising money for their earthquake-torn country. "Because we are far away from China, and are not going home, and we want to help," Zhang said, adding, "We know it is little... but it's something."

Both Yang and Zhang have heavy hearts for those in China, not just because they are both from the country, but because a large number of the dead and injured were students. The quake occurred in the afternoon in the middle of a busy school day. "We are lucky and safe in Canada," said Zhang, "and we can study."

The Chinese students will be attending the display of photos in the TWU Reimer Student Centre Atrium at the university until Tuesday, where they will be hosting a barbeque to raise more money. "We want to raise as much money as we can," Yang said. "There aren't many people here on campus right now because it's summer, but if we all get together and show support, we can all help."

May 15, 2008

Making things better

Some small tweaks to Alloway Library's circulation policies, made with the goal of giving researchers the material they say they need, will provide big benefits to library users.

The first tweak is an increase to the number of times most borrowers can renew most items. The new policy allows for 2 online renewals and 2 more renewals by contacting Circulation staff. Of course, there are exceptions: 2 and 3-day Reserve material is not be renewable; faculty have one online renewal; items requested by another user cannot be renewed. Undergrad students who use Curriculum Collection material in practica may now renew that material one time online-- but no additional renewals will be granted.

To balance the increased renewals we have also increased the number of requests per borrower from 6 to 12. The increase means that researchers who find that "everything I want is out" aren't faced with the task of choosing only 6 items to request.

Email notification has played a part in these changes. Alloway Library staff note that since the change from print to email notices in January more requested items are picked up in a timely manner, and those who have material requested by another user receive prompt notification to return the item.

Visit Alloway Library's webpage for answers to Frequently Asked Questions and more information about Loan Policies.

May 14, 2008

New video titles

Educational media distributors are clearing out VHS videos at prices hard to resist! The first two on this list are new to the collection; the last one replaces a missing copy.

The Myth of 'The Clash of Civilizations'

Edward Said takes aim at one of the central tenets of recent foreign policy thinking - that conflicts between different and clashing "civilizations" (Western, Islamic, Confucian) characterize the contemporary world.

Spin the bottle: sex lies and alcohol shows the difficulties students have in navigating a cultural environment saturated with messages about gender and alcohol.

Money for nothing shows how music, which has historically been the means for popular expression and social protest, has now become the property of four or five companies who, driven by the profit motive, control what is produced and sold.

To borrow these items, click on the the title link above to view the library's catalogue; if the item is listed as "in cataloguing" use the request link and you will be notified when it comes available for you.

May 10, 2008

Over 500 journals added to the collection

Through the work of the Public Knowledge Project Alloway Library has added 530 open access e-journals to the collection. Open access journals are scholarly journals that are available to the reader without charge. While many of these journals are indexed in Alloway Library databases such as ATLA or EBSCO others are not. All of these new titles are included on the TWU Journal List. Or browse the list of all 530 full-text titles here. (Or go to the TWU journal list , click on the organizations search tab and search for OJS (for Open Journal System.))

The diverse range of titles in this collection include Journal for the study of religion, nature and culture , Popular Music History and Working Papers in TESOL & Applied Linguistics, to name just a few.

Need a librarian this summer? Askaway!

A reminder that AskAway is once again open for the summer term until August 3.
Get online help with a live librarian!
Sundays to Thursdays 10 AM - 9 PM;
Fridays and Saturdays 11 AM - 5 PM.

AskAWay is just one of a variety of ways Alloway Library provides online services throughout the summer.

May 08, 2008

Behold the library book! A planet-cooling wonder!

You always thought the library was a good thing, right? Did you know that it has now been declared one of the Seven Wonders for a Cool Planet?

In The Vancouver Sun (May 8, 2008) Craig McInnes writes:

In a new slim volume from Sierra Club Books, science writer Eric Sorenson and the staff of the Seattlebased Sightline Institute celebrate seven ordinary things that ascend to the status of the fabled hanging gardens of Babylon in the context of climate change.

The “wonders” are all touted as antidotes to everyday activities that are poisoning the atmosphere with climate-altering greenhouse gases primarily associated with energy consumption. The villains include the car, the air conditioner, clothes dryers, factory farming and disposable products of all kinds.

The wonders represent opportunity, simple things ordinary people can make to make a difference in their own lives and in their communities, things that collectively hold the hope of surprising benefit.

The public library is a wonder because it embodies the principle of re-use. Every time a book goes through the checkout desk, the value of the paper used in its production increases. It’s one of the last bastions against our largely disposable society.

Sightline Institute explains why libraries, or more specifically, the library book can have an extraordinary impact on the fight against global warming,

The Library Book (resource conservation and reuse)

  • A typical US library prevents 250 tons of greenhouse-gas emissions each year, just from the paper it doesn’t consume.
  • The average American pays $20 in taxes a year to support libraries, but saves at least twice that by borrowing half a dozen or so free books from a library instead of buying them.
  • The most popular form of reuse currently may be the movie rental: video stores outnumber public libraries, and consumers rent three times as many DVDs as they buy
The other six planet-cooling wonders:
  1. The bicycle
  2. The ceiling fan
  3. The clothesline
  4. The condom
  5. The microchip
  6. The real tomato (locally grown food)

May 07, 2008

TWU student ACTS for African Libraries

TWU student Sarah Switzer has been working to build libraries in Africa with ACTS, (African Community Tehcnical Services) . In 2004 Sarah and her cousin built a library in Kwekitui, Tanzania using bricks made by the villagers. The library serves three schools and many members of the community.

This July, Sarah leaves for Chamazi, a rural community in Tanzania, with a team of 8 other TWU students to build another library which will serve nine schools. The project also benefits the community by providing paid employment for the villagers and will buy Swahili books from Tanzanian publishers.

This weekend Sarah hosts a fundraising birthday party at her home in Comox. Read more about the Chamazi Library Project at Sarah’s Facebook page or at the African Community Technical Services site.

To support the project financially send a cheque to the ACTS office (PO Box 1515 | Comox, BC V9M 8A2| Canada) or donate by credit card online (Click on the Donate Now icon) or phone the ACTS office (250-339-1212.) Donations for this project should be designated for the Chamazi construction fund go toward building supplies, books and furniture; or for Sarah Switzer’s program expenses.

“We rely on many hands and prayers, and we are really reaching out to ‘love thy neighbour’” says Sarah.

"Lushoto Library/Tanzania photos" by Sarah Switzer

Thanks to: Helen Preston, The Rare Bird vol. 36, No 2; April 2008.

Colour Photocopying at Alloway Library

Alloway Library now provides colour copying for just 55¢ per page. At the risk of sounding like a sales pitch, it must be said that the new XEROX copier on the upper level is more than just a copier.
  • Black & white/grayscale or colour copying
  • Hole punch and staple options are great for your handouts and projects
  • Scan- to-email function lets you send book pages or an entire document to an email address without charge.
  • All the usual features such as reduce or enlarge, multiple images per sheet and transparency creation.

To use the colour copier a debit card, sold at the circulation counter, is required. Black & white or grayscale copies are just 10¢ each, when those copy modes are chosen. TWU employee discount is currently not available on this machine.

Alloway Library also has black and white copiers on the main level and on the lower level.

May 05, 2008

Local work; global benefits

Alloway Librarian Duncan Dixon recently completed the creation of six tutorials for ANTS, The ANimated Tutorial Sharing Project. The ANTS Project addresses the significant growth in the number of online resources and the increasing need for information literacy. ANTS members coordinate and development on-screen tools that explain how to use a database, step by step. They use software that allows them to capture search screens and insert audio and/or text to create highly professional and useful animated tutorials.

Duncan’s tutorials deal with the Proquest CBCA Education database and explain how to use the database to conduct different types of searches and use the Publications and My Research tabs in this database. The tutorials can be viewed via Alloway Library’s webpage.

ANTS is a collaborative project, with the goal to create a critical mass of Open Source Tutorials for online resources used by libraries everywhere. Duncan’s work at Alloway Library will benefit library users around the world!