October 30, 2008

Oxford Reference Online updates

This month Alloway Library received a huge update to our Oxford Reference Online: Premium Collection. New to the collection are four superb, long-entry and in-depth titles, ranging from molecular biology, to opera, to natural history, and eleven new editions, packed with up-to-date facts and information, including a new edition of the world-famous Concise Oxford English Dictionary. Several of these titles now contain entry-level links to other editorially vetted websites, offering starting points for further research. In total, this update includes over 6,300 updated entries, over 24,000 new entries, and over 1,600 illustrations and photos!

(Click on any of the titles to access the resource; TWU login may be required)

Opera fans have much to celebrate, with the addition of the scholarly and accessible Grove Book of Operas and The Grove Book of Opera Singers. More excellent core science content has been added with the Oxford Dictionary of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology – over 21,000 entries, in fact! A new addition to the Natural History subject area is The New Encyclopedia of Reptiles and Amphibians, the authoritative overview of reptiles and amphibians, including over 200 colour illustrations and photographs.

The new editions are:

A Dictionary of Computing (with entry-level weblinks)

A Dictionary of Human Resource Management

A Dictionary of Finance and Banking (with entry-level weblinks)

A Dictionary of Statistics (with entry-level weblinks)

The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Archeology (with entry-level weblinks)

A Dictionary of Weather (with entry-level weblinks)

The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy (with entry-level weblinks)

Pocket Fowler's Modern English Usage

The Concise Oxford English Dictionary

The Oxford Dictionary of Modern Quotations

A Dictionary of Opera Characters

October 27, 2008

Changes to Interlibrary Loan service

Due to staffing shortages in the Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Department, Alloway Library cannot maintain its current ILL service levels.
Please note the following changes to the service schedule and estimated turnaround time for filling requests:
  • Requests submitted between Monday to Wednesday will be forwarded to lending partner libraries in the same week.
  • Requests submitted Thursday to Sunday may not be processed until the following week. This will affect the turnaround time for requests being filled by lending libraries.

Requests could take upwards of an additional 7 days or more to fill compared to current turnaround times. Please plan accordingly and submit your interlibrary loan requests well in advance of your "Need-By-Date".

We regret the inconvenience this may cause, but thank you for your patience and understanding. Enquiries about interlibrary loans may be sent to ill@twu.ca

October 14, 2008

Mars' Hill profiles Alloway Library staffer Abraham Brake

Abraham BrakeFrom Mars' Hill

Name: Abraham Brake
Job Title: Circulation or Librarian Clerk
Birthplace: Egypt
Where you’ve seen them: Working behind the main desk at the Norma Alloway Library, often in the evenings.

Mars’ Hill: How long have you been working at Trinity Western University?
Abraham Brake: Since June 2004, almost five years.

MH: What do you enjoy about working in a Library?
AB: Interacting with students and being exposed to this huge collection of books.

MH: What is your favourite book?
AB: The Bible.

MH: What did you do before coming to TWU?
AB: I was a community support worker for disabled people.

MH: What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen students doing in the library?
AB: One Saturday I had closed the library and was leaving when I heard a knocking from inside the library. A student had still been inside; I was only three or four feet away from the door, so was able to let him out.

MH: Any advice for students?
AB: Being in Canada is a blessing [so enjoy being] here. Don’t delay your graduation; just get it done. Also work hard and play hard, but first you have to work hard.

October 11, 2008

Mars' Hill Reports on Alloway Library

Mars' Hill, TWU's student newspaper recently reported on Alloway Library's services:

By Nicole Brandsma

May contain booksIf the rigours of academics have not yet driven you to the Norma Marion Alloway Library, you may be unaware of several recent changes made to better serve the Trinity Western University community.

The library has launched a new website homepage, complete with an updated EBSCO interface for searching article databases. Students also now have access to a greater number of online resources databases and will receive e-mail reminders about almost due books. In addition to these technological upgrades, the library has put up new signs to help people navigate the library, and has made reusable book bags available for purchase.

Many of the features of the redesigned library homepage, which was launched on Aug. 18, are the result of student and faculty input. The webpage highlights features that students use most often, such as “Ask a Librarian.” This service allows students to contact a TWU librarian online, through either e-mail or chat. Students also have access to “AskAway,” which connects them to a librarian from the network of academic libraries in British Columbia.

The site underwent extensive usability testing before its launch, but Duncan Dixon, a reference librarian and the website revision project leader, welcomes any suggestions for improvements.

“We really do appreciate any feedback if something isn’t working,” he said.

Ted Goshulak, the university librarian, agrees. “It’s not a negative – if it doesn’t work for one person, it probably isn’t working for others.”

Dixon also points out that library staff have created online flash tutorials to help students figure out the new features, such as EBSCO 2.0.

Although each of these updates is an improvement, they are just a glimpse into the plans for Alloway Library that Goshulak hopes to see realized.

Due to the growing number of books being published and online sources being made available, Goshulak stresses that the need for expansion will soon be unavoidable. He would also like to address the students’ need for more group study space. This vision involves transforming the current microform room into a study area and removing walls in the upper level to create open space for more bookshelves.

These changes all depend on an increased budget.

Currently, Alloway Library focuses on meeting the immediate needs of students and faculty.

“We are a curriculum-driven library. If we teach it, we support it,” said Goshulak.

To become a research-driven library would require more funding. TWU’s library is, however, gaining recognition as having a strong core of resources and staff knowledge in the field of theology, which Goshulak comments is something unique that TWU can offer other libraries.

The desire to improve Alloway Library is grounded in creating a facility that focuses on usability, extensive resources and open communication with library staff.

Dixon wants students to know that the library staff are there to help. “Don’t be afraid to contact us with whatever medium is most comfortable for you,” he said.

To stay informed about library updates and news, visit the blog at www.twulibrarynews.blogspot.com or follow the “Alloway Library News” link on the library homepage.

October 09, 2008

Defining the e-book

Over recent years there has been considerable confusion over the use of the term ‘e-book’. A new article by Chris Armstrong entitled Books in a virtual world examines the variety of definitions used to date while proposing a definitive construct. Beginning by examining the definitions of ‘book’, the paper moves on to consider the essential element of a book – the content, and to examine publishing and structural aspects of e-books, as well as their place in libraries, before arriving at a final definition. The definition and its derivation embrace all of the issues that affect the way in which e-books are understood and used today. In conclusion, the article looks at both the genesis of e-books, and the stage of acceptance and adoption that they have reached, with brief reference to 3rd-generation e-book readers available at the time of writing.

Two quotes from the paper:
The conceit of an e-book seems entirely appropriate and yet ‘e-book’ remains a term of which people are unsure, which is defined variously, and which is still, after some years, struggling for acceptance. Given that codices – manuscript volumes which were the prototype of the modern paper book – were in common use by the sixth century and we still have variations in understanding of the term ‘book’ in the twenty-first century, it is hardly surprising that e-book has no universally accepted definition after so few years.
So we arrive at a definition. An e-book is:
any content that is recognisably ‘book-like’, regardless of size, origin or composition, but excluding serial publications, made available electronically for reference or reading on any device (handheld or desk-bound) that includes a screen.
Researchers using Alloway Library's catalogue and online resources have access to over 24,000 e-books and e-journals, (however you may define them!)

October 08, 2008


VICTORIA - The Province is proclaiming October 2008 as Library Month in British Columbia, Education Minister Shirley Bond announced.

"B.C.'s libraries help British Columbians of all ages access the information and tools that they need to live, work and learn," said Bond. "Library Month is an excellent opportunity for all of us to recognize and celebrate these valuable public resources and the amazing people who work in them."

The concept for a month dedicated to library and information services in British Columbia was developed by library partners from across the province to help raise public awareness about the fundamental role that libraries play in people's lives.

"Libraries are gateways to learning and the world of ideas. It's wonderful to have a month celebrating these vital institutions in communities, large and small, all over the province," said B.C. Library Association executive director Alane Wilson. "What's more, library month allows us to celebrate the hard work of staff, volunteers and stakeholders."

This year's theme for Library Month - "Your Library, Your World" - reflects the many ways in which libraries contribute to the fabric of B.C.'s education, culture and community.

"Libraries are a key component of our government's goal to make B.C. the best-educated, most literate jurisdiction on the continent," said Bond. "Thank you to the B.C. Library Association, as well as all of the library staff and information professionals from across the province for bringing us the excellent services that will help ensure we reach that goal."

This is the third year that British Columbia is officially marking Library Month. In October 2005, Canadian Library Week was held across the country; the celebration was expanded in 2006 to Library Month.

October 07, 2008

Streaming video added to library collection

The 8-title series, The Adventure of English, is now available via streaming video through Alloway Library's catalogue. It can be accessed on- and off-campus in high or low resolutions.

The Adventure of English (2003) is a British television series on the history of the English language. Presented by Melvyn Bragg in the form of an adventure story or a biography, as if English were a living being; it covers the history of the language from its modest beginnings around 500 AD as a minor guttural Germanic dialect to its rise as a truly established global language.

Series titles, with links to the catalogue to view or request.
Birth of a Language
English Goes Underground
The Battle for the Language of the Bible
'This Earth, This Realm, This England'
English in America
Speaking Proper
The Language of Empire
Many Tongues Called English, One World Language

October 02, 2008

Pulbic workstations upgraded

To better serve researchers at Alloway Library, our public computer workstations have been upgraded with additional RAM and Microsoft Office 2007, (Word, PowerPoint and Excel.)

Users familiar with other versions of this software should be aware that with the upgrade comes a new look and the rearranging of familiar tools.

A new feature is a tool that allows conversion of documents to PDF format which is especially useful when printing or sharing some types of documents.

For additional assistance on using the workstations talk to Alloway Library Information Desk Librarians.

October 01, 2008

Cell online

Through some judicious spending decisions and the cooperation of our periodical provider, Elsevier, Alloway Library users can now access online all issues of Cell from 1995 (volume 80) to the present. Prior to last week there was a 12-month embargo on this important biology journal for online access.