February 27, 2009

Disruption of online library services March 7 & 8

TWU’s Information Technology Department has scheduled a campus-wide, computer systems shutdown for the weekend of March 7-8 to address a critical software problem. E-mail, Internet, and most other services will not be operational through the campus network during this time.

Alloway Library staff want to ensure that library patrons are prepared for this outage.

Information Technology staff advise us that the public terminals in the library should be able to access the library’s catalogue, but will not be able to access databases, online journals or student portal application such as eCourses, or mytwu email. We expect that printing and Microsoft Office applications on the public terminals will be available. While the network is down there will be no access from outside of the library to the catalogue, databases, or online journals. Alloway Library staff will not be able to send or receive email during the shutdown.

During the March 7 -8 system-down period we expect:
  • In-library access to the catalogue
  • Workstation access to Microsoft Office
  • Check-out material
  • Renew material in person or by phone
  • Wireless access to the internet. See exceptions below

  • No access to databases and online journals
  • No access from outside of the building to the catalogue
  • No access from library workstations to the internet
  • No online renewals
  • No access to student portal
  • No email notifications sent
Subject to change without notice!

To assist researchers access the internet the reference librarian will have a wireless laptop during Information Desk hours on Saturday afternoon from 12:30 – 4:30.

Circulation staff will be able to check out and renew material, but may ask patrons to postpone borrowing or limit the number of items borrowed until the system is back online.

Alma Barranco-Mendoza, Executive Director of IT adds “We understand that a fix like this will be a major disruption for everyone and that no day is convenient. However, we need to do this before the system has an unplanned catastrophic shutdown and disrupts all our services for an indefinite amount of time.”

February 25, 2009

Oxford Reference Resources Updated

Alloway Library's Oxford Reference databases have been recently updated once again to add more resources and entries.

This huge update to Oxford Reference Online: Premium Collection contains five new long-entry and in-depth titles and five new editions, over 3,650 updated entries (many online-only), over 5,470 brand new entries, and many new illustrations and photos. Systematic and regular updating policy ensures current, trustworthy content from Oxford

The update includes the latest edition of the celebrated Oxford Guide to Literary Britain, hailed by The Times as ‘the finest reference book of its kind’.
The Oxford Companion to Local and Family History is also included, providing readers with all the tools and advice they need to research into their English, Irish, Scottish, or Welsh origins.
A new addition to the Natural History subject area is The New Encyclopedia of Insects and their Allies, the authoritative overview of anthropods, including hundreds of colour illustrations and photographs.
UK education professionals will be delighted to see the inclusion of the recently published Dictionary of Education, which comprehensively covers all sectors of UK education.
The Oxford Companion to Global Change is also among the new titles added, and is a fully up-to-date reference work covering a wide range of pertinent issues surrounding both man-made and natural changes in the Earth's environment.

The new editions are:
The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs
A Dictionary of Zoology (with entry-level weblinks)
A Dictionary of Food and Nutrition (with entry-level weblinks)
A Dictionary of Economics (with entry-level weblinks)
A Dictionary of Sociology (with entry-level weblinks)

Note: Your TWU login may be required to access these resources. There may be a limit on the number of simultaneous users for these resources

February 19, 2009

Mel Smith Lectures a unique resource

Every year, since 1999, Trinity Western University has had the opportunity to host the Annual Mel Smith Lecture and Scholarship Presentation.

Lecture topics in this series have ranged from proportional representation to aboriginal self-government and are a unique resource for researchers of current events and political science.

With the kind permission of these special guest speakers, the TWU Archives at Alloway Library is able to make the transcripts, or notes, of their lectures available as part of the archives' Special Collections.

Thanks to Sylvia Stopforth

February 18, 2009

Feel Free to Read February 22- 28

Freedom to Read Week 2009

Alloway Library is marking Freedom to Read Week with a display of some 100 titles from the collection that have been burned, banned or challenged at some point in history. Included in the display are statements affirming the values of academic freedom at TWU.

Titles include:
  • The Bible
  • Darwin's Origin of Species
  • Helen Keller's The story of my life
  • The Catcher in the Rye
  • The works of Confucius, Albert Einstein and J.K. Rowling
  • Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
To find out why these and other titles were burned, banned or challenged visit the display on the main level. Each item on display has an information tag that explains who opposed the book, when and why. All the material can be checked out, so feel free to read!

For more information visit Freedom to Read.ca

February 17, 2009

Now, unlimited access to CPI.Q!

If you have had trouble accessing the CPI.Q (Canadian Periodicals Index) database because of the limit on number of users, well, that's not a problem anymore!

The change in access to CPI.Q from 2 simultaneous users to 'unlimited access' has taken place thanks to Alloway Library's participation in consortia with other Canadian academic libraries.

This award-winning, full-text Canadian electronic reference combines reliable information with the convenience, comprehensiveness and speed of an electronic database. CPI.Q, the electronic version of the Canadian Periodical Index, provides the most-requested Canadian reference information available.

Useful to professionals and researchers, it contains a wealth of Canadian and international periodicals — including Canada's national newspaper, The Globe and Mail; Maclean's weekly magazine; Canadian News Facts; and encyclopedic reference materials, such as the Canadian Parliamentary Guide and Canadian Newsmakers.

Designed to meet the needs of researchers at all levels, this vast collection of periodical information is fully integrated, enabling users to search the entire database with a single query. It yields a variety of relevant periodical articles, biographies, company profiles, historical documents, science and technology essays, and much more.

Over and over again, users turn to CPI.Q for:

  • Indexing of nearly 1,200 Canadian periodicals (English and French) with full-text articles from 550 Canadian periodicals
  • A bilingual interface (English and French)
  • Current periodical articles integrated with Canadian biographies, company profiles, historical information and many other types of information
  • Coverage of a broad range of subjects related to Canada
  • Indexing from 1980 to present
  • Full-text articles from 1983 to present
  • And much more
For further information and assistance using this database contact a TWU reference librarian at the Information desk, or, Telephone: 604-513-2121 extension 3903, or, Ask A Librarian Online

February 08, 2009

Preserving the Paper Trail

If someone asked you to define the term “archives,” what would you say?

Outdated web pages?...Filed copies of email messages?

At the TWU Archives, we preserve the recorded history of our unique institution. We collect University records from departments all over campus – from the Board of Governors to TWUSA - and have also been entrusted with records documenting the careers of several fascinating individuals.

TWU Archivist Sylvia Stopforth says "Come visit us on the upper level of Alloway Library if you want to know more."

In a way, you could say archives are all about preserving the paper trail. But … information isn’t recorded on paper alone. It's on CDs and DVDs, flash drives and in born-digital packets transferred directly from one hard drive to another. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg … In the TWU Archives, we also have print photographs, slides, reel-to-reel tape recordings, 16 mm films, and even antique codices printed on vellum.

In the vast majority of cases, these archival materials are original and irreplaceable. We can’t order another copy from amazon.com. So we need to do everything we can to ensure that they’ll still be around five, fifty, even five hundred years from now.

Digitize, you say?

Yes, well, that’s a great solution for access, and sometimes for creating back-up copies. However, sometimes the original doesn’t survive the digitization process. Magnetic tapes become brittle, and break. The paper in old books turns yellow, and crumbles after one pass of the scanner.

We also need to be sure that the pdf or tiff we create today will still be accessible to future researchers. The Archives' records have historic value, but some also have legal, evidentiary, or fiscal value. And so the question arises: "If a legal contract has been scanned, migrated, and reformatted, how can we guarantee that it still accurately represents the original?" How can we be sure the content has not been tampered with?

So we digitize to provide access today … but we also take steps to preserve the originals for future users. As a rule of thumb, cooler and drier is better for most items stored in the archives. It’s especially important to maintain stable conditions over time, and to avoid fluctuations.

Last year TWU Archivist and Assistant Librarian Sylvia Stopforth received funding from Library and Archives Canada to purchase environmental monitoring equipment for the TWU Archives. The equipment allows Stopforth to track conditions such as humidity and temperature in the archive and to document patterns, trends and anomalies.

If you’d like to learn more about the archives – or just see what an eight-inch floppy drive looks like – contact Sylvia to make an appointment.

Or visit the University Archives online.

Thanks to Sylvia Stopforth

February 04, 2009

Bottle fund more than halfway to $1K goal

Alloway Library users have helped us get past the halfway point in our goal to raise $1000 for Tahiddi, a Beruit charity. Most of the money has come from cans and bottles brought to the recycling bin in the library's entryway.

You can help us send poor kids to summer camp just by dropping off your refundable beverage containers next time you visit Alloway Library.

February 03, 2009

British Columbia by the numbers

BC Stats is an important tool for anyone seeking statisitcal information about British Columbia. All data is compiled by the central statistical agency of the Province of British Columbia and is the provincial government's largest concentration of statistical products, services and expertise.

Alloway Library users have access to BC Stats through the BC Electronic Library Network. (Login may be required from off campus)

BC Stats' objectives are:
  • to produce and interpret statistical information relating to all facets of life in British Columbia, including the demographic, social and economic conditions of the province and its population.
  • to serve the needs of a variety of clients in the public and private sectors, for timely and reliable statistical information and analytical services with respect to the Province of British Columbia.
  • to assist British Columbia provincial government ministries and agencies with their statistical activities, (e.g., collecting, compiling, analysing and distributing statistical information) and in establishing appropriate technical standards and procedures to avoid duplication in collecting information.
  • to coordinate statistical matters between the British Columbia Government and statistical agencies of other governments within Canada.

The statistics contained in their publications and reports come from various sources, including Statistics Canada, surveys conducted by provincial government ministries and agencies, as well as from administrative files.

Subject areas at the BC Stats website include
  • Aboriginal Peoples
  • Business & Industry
  • Census Data
  • Economic Statistics
  • Environmental Statistics
  • Exports & Imports
  • Labour & Income
  • Mapping & Geography
  • Population & Demographics
  • Regional Statistics
  • Social Statistics
  • Surveys & Analysis

February 02, 2009

One for the books: Baby born at Denver library

By Kirk Mitchell The Denver Post 01/27/2009

A woman got off a bus in front of the main Denver library last week and asked for assistance — to deliver her baby.
"It was all so quick," said Celeste Jackson, spokeswoman of the library. "They just went to work on her."

A library employee spotted the woman just as she got off a bus. She wasn't feeling well and needed help inside the building, Jackson said. Security guards helped her inside the east entrance of the library and got her off to the side of the foyer, where the woman delivered a healthy girl.

Paramedics soon arrived and took mother and baby to a hospital, Jackson said. "That's the first time we had a birth at the library," she said. "It's pretty exciting." Everything happened so quickly, library employees didn't have time to get the mother's name. "We're trying to track her down so we can send her some flowers," Jackson said.

There was no word on whether or not the baby was overdue.