April 30, 2009

Jeans Day 2009

Alloway Library staff marked BC Childrens' Hospital Jeans Day (and TWU Spirit Day) with smiles-- and the appropriate garb.
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University Librarian summarizes highlights for 08-09 year

At the TWU Faculty Review Day this week, University Librarian Ted Goshulak outlined some of the highlights of the academic year at Alloway Library.
  • Launched our new and enhanced library homepage late last summer
  • Implemented authority control for our catalogue resulting in see also cross‐references as well as fuller, more descriptive and up-to-date subject headings; subject headings now display in other languages as well.
  • Alloway Library expanded its electronic collections of periodicals and monographs through consortial membership. Over 11,500 e-titles added to the collection.
  • Four suites of new databases and online indices were added for our users.
  • Improved the "behind the scenes" efficiency of our Interlibrary Loan software.
  • Many high-quality donations were received and are being catalogued. Gifts included valuable collections on economics; the Brontes, and the Septuagint.
  • Pre‐Overdue notices were introduced in June 2008 ‐ to great appreciation from patrons.
  • New, improved and more efficient lighting was installed in the entire building
  • Improved and more reliable printing options were provided for students
  • The Norma Marion Alloway Library turned 20!
  • Alloway Library provided many information literacy sessions for various faculties. Two librarians were part of a team teaching a COMM course.
  • Reference librarians continued to participate in province-wide AskAway virtual reference service.
  • Library users helped raise funds through bottle collection & book sales for Tahiddi, a compassion ministry working in Beirut, Lebanon.
  • Introduced reusable book bags and phased out on-demand plastic bags

Alloway Library also overcame challenges in the past year:
  • Due to classroom space shortages on campus, our Orientation Room was pressed into service for ESLI classes. We welcomed many new ESLI students into the library, but some library‐related sessions and meetings had to be displaced and rescheduled
  • Staffing shortages lead to some unmet service needs. However, despite the challenges our users gave Library staff an “A” for quality service!

Looking forward, Goshulak reported that in the coming year Alloway Library users can expect to see:
  • Continuing enhancements to collections and resources.
  • Continuing participation in – and benefit from – our many consortial affiliations with ELN, COPPUL, e‐HLbc, CCCU, CRKN, CLC, OCLC, etc.
  • Initial work undertaken to migrate our library ILS (catalogue and circulation software) to a new platform.

April 29, 2009

The e-book revolution

According to Steven Johnson, "2009 may well prove to be the most significant year in the evolution of the book since Gutenberg hammered out his original Bible." Following an "aha" moment with his Kindle he wrote a Wall Street Journal article entitled "How the E-Book Will Change the Way We Read and Write" where he outlines a future with more books, more distractions -- and the end of reading alone.
The book's migration to the digital realm would not be a simple matter of trading ink for pixels, but would likely change the way we read, write and sell books in profound ways. It will make it easier for us to buy books, but at the same time make it easier to stop reading them. It will expand the universe of books at our fingertips, and transform the solitary act of reading into something far more social. It will give writers and publishers the chance to sell more obscure books, but it may well end up undermining some of the core attributes that we have associated with book reading for more than 500 years. There is great promise and opportunity in the digital-books revolution. The question is: Will we recognize the book itself when that revolution has run its course?
Alloway Librarian Bill Badke comments "It's a fascinating article. The idea that we may one day lose the very concept of "the book" is something that has concerned me for some time. Everything is becoming "content" without context as students search across e-book collections for snippets they can quote in papers, never giving thought to the fact that each snippet has a whole book built around it."

Among Johnson's predictions:
  • We all may read books the way we increasingly read magazines and newspapers: a little here, a little bit there.
  • Writers and publishers will begin to think about how individual pages or chapters might rank in Google's results, crafting sections explicitly in the hopes that they will draw in that steady stream of search visitors.
  • Reading books will go from being a fundamentally private activity -- a direct exchange between author and reader -- to a community event, with every isolated paragraph the launching pad for a conversation with strangers around the world.
Assessing content will become increasingly difficult as it becomes dislocated from its context. "If ever we needed comprehensive and rigorous information literacy programs," Badke notes, "it's now."

April 28, 2009

EBSCOhost introduces Image Quick View

Alloway Library's EBSCOhost databases now have a feature that provides thumbnails of the images in an article right from the Result List, Citation View, or the Folder. This feature is called the Image Quick View. Over one million images are now available, including charts, photos, maps and illustrations.

Image Quick View allows researchers to view full details of images found within a record. Image Quick View also helps patrons search for a specific image – whether it be a chart or a photograph – when performing searches.

April 27, 2009

World Digital Library Brings History to your Computer Screen

The World Digital Library , a free resource intended to make “available on the Internet, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from countries and cultures around the world” was released this month.

Sponsored by UNESCO and compiled with the help of libraries and other institutions around the world, it is an amazing resource for history lovers. The collection is rich with maps, photographs, documents and even complete books, each easily manipulated by your computer mouse to view close-ups (use your scroll wheel) and change location on a page. Resources are in many languages from a variety of eras and are arranged by world region from which they come. Many have never before been seen in accessible digital format.

Here are a few samples of what you can find. Click on the links in the caption to view the WDL entry. (Use the zoom tool to see amazing details!):

Extract from a Russian missionary to Alaska’s translation of the Gospel of Matthew into the Aleut-Fox language.

Illustration from a handwritten journal describing a Swedish vessel’s journey to Canton Guangzhou) (1740s).

Portion of a map of Africa (1820)

Submitted by Bill Badke

April 22, 2009

Go mobile with RefWorks!

RefWorks, the bibliography and database manager used by many researchers has introduced a new feature for account holders to make paper writing easier: RefMobile. This new feature is a great benefit to Alloway Library users. “Researchers and students are increasingly on the go, but need to stay highly productive,” says Colleen Stempien, Executive Director of Operations for RefWorks-COS. “RefMobile puts RefWorks’ world-class research management tools at the fingertips of researchers whenever they need them, wherever they happen to be.”

The interface looks familiar to RefWorks users

RefMobile enables registered users to access and use their RefWorks account from a Net-enabled cell phone or PDA. All that's needed is a groupcode (find it here) and a Refworks user name and password.

The RefMobile interface gives users immediate access to the most commonly used RefWorks functions, including searching their entire RefWorks databases, viewing references by folders, adding and removing references from folders, creating new folders, and adding comments to Notes fields. Users can also efficiently import new references to their RefWorks account using the new SmartAdd feature.

With SmartAdd, users simply enter basic identifying information for a publication, such as ISBN number, partial title, or author and publication year, and SmartAdd searches the Internet for the reference and import it to RefWorks.

For more information about RefWorks contact Alloway Librarians.

Thanks to Bill Badke

April 21, 2009

Gandhi biography on DVD

Alloway Library now has on DVD Mahatma Gandhi Pilgrim of Peace (A&E Biography series.) The life of the charismatic moral leader who used the power of mass civil disobedience and personal self-denial to win independence for India. Includes interviews with Gandhi's grandson and the Dalai Lama.

April 20, 2009


I need at least six peer-reviewed articles, but I don’t know where to start. Sound familiar?

Getting help isn’t always easy. Sometimes we feel we’re asking something we should already know. Or worse yet, it’s something we’ve already asked about, but have forgotten how to do.

Of course the Alloway library has the more traditional types of reference – face-to-face for those who love the personal human touch, e-mail for the neo-traditionalists, and chat for those who live online. These are all available from the links on the left hand side of the library home page.

But sometimes we’re working late at night and can’t wait for a librarian to wake up. Fortunately, the library also has a less well-known form of help -- a set of flash tutorials linked from this page http://www.twu.ca/library/flashtutorials.htm

The tutorials cover a range of topics, including how to:

  • do research

  • use the library’s online catalogue

  • cite your sources.

Other tutorials show how to use databases linked to specific disciplines such as:

  • Communications

  • Education

  • Nursing

  • Psychology

  • Religious Studies


Many of them have PDF versions for those prefer to work from a print copy. Have a look at them and if you still have questions, contact a librarian.

RefWorks move affects users

Today, Alloway Library is moving our RefWorks subscription from the RefWorks' Scholars Portal servers to the RefWorks' US servers. This change will affect all researchers who use Refworks' web-based software to create databases, import references or format bibliographies and papers. The move should provide better access to RefWorks services for Alloway Library users.

Users will need reinstall Write-N-Cite from here because the version from Scholars Portal will not work once the switch is complete.

Next, users must reinstall RefGrab-It from here as the previous version from Scholars Portal will not work once the switch is complete.

There may be minimal down time for RefWorks account on April 20 while the switch takes place.

Please be sure to change any bookmarks within your browsers on your personal computer that link directly to Scholars Portal. These bookmarks will no longer grant you access to your RefWorks account. It is best always to log in through the Alloway Library Refworks' page.

RefWorks has just loaded the MLA 7th edition output style to our production servers. To view the new style, please use the Output Style Manager and add it as a favorite for your account.

Should you have any questions about RefWorks, please contact an Alloway Librarian.

Submitted by Bill Badke

April 14, 2009

Scholarly connection builds Brontë collection

TWU Assistant Professor of English Sara Pearson visited a colleague this weekend and came home with her car packed full of books. That colleague, UBC professor emeritus of English Dr. Herbert Rosengarten, was one of Pearson's advisors for her doctoral dissertation on “Religion, Gender and Authority in the Novels of Charlotte Brontë” and the more-than 200 books cover not just Charlotte, but her literary brother and sisters Branwell, Emily and Anne.

The collection includes the novels, poetry and letters of the Brontës such as Charlotte's Jane Eyre and Emily's Wuthering Heights as well as critical studies and biographies. Of particular interest is a first American edition of Elizabeth Gaskell’s Life of Charlotte Brontë (1857).

Dr Pearson can hardly wait to see these books on the library's shelves.

The donation also includes three of the definitive Clarendon editions of the novels, edited by Dr. Rosengarten. Included too are works by twentieth-century authors inspired by the lives of the Brontës' characters. When all the items are catalogued over the next few weeks, Alloway Library will have more than 300 titles on the Brontës.

The timely donation of this collection to Alloway Library by Dr. Rosengarten is greatly appreciated, since Pearson herself will be teaching a course on the Brontës in Spring 2010. Pearson’s reaction was enthusiastic: “This donation makes TWU’s collection of Brontë material an invaluable asset for undergraduate and graduate students, not to mention an indispensible aid to my own research. It’s tremendously exciting!”

April 09, 2009

Break time for AskAway

Just a reminder that today is the last day of AskAway service for this term.
AskAway will re-open May 4 when on-line librarians will once again be available to help you with your research questions.

April 06, 2009

What are you doing after graduation?

Don King, a distinguished research professor, speaking at the National Summit on Library Human Resources held in October noted :
The need for professionals in libraries is not expected to be met by the supply of MLS (Master of Library Science) librarians, and significant shortages are expected in the future. Trends in use reveal increases in access to internal collections, external collections and web; whereas e-books, general reference and referral as well as reference tools are showing downward trends in use. Most librarians would choose a career in librarianship again, reflecting the high degree of satisfaction within this profession. (page 4)
For more information on library careers visit the Canadian Library Association or talk to an Alloway Librarian.

April 03, 2009

MEDLINE database upgraded to full text version

We are happy to announce that as of April 1st, Alloway Library users now have access to EBSCO’s Medline with Full Text. This is an upgrade from our previous version of Medline which did not offer full text articles

Medline with Full Text is the world's most comprehensive source for health sciences articles with cover-to-cover indexing of over 1,300 medical journals indexed in Medline. With full-text coverage dating from the present back to 1965, Medline with Full Text is the definitive research tool for medical literature.

The majority of the publications covered in Medline with Full Text are scholarly journals; a small number of newspapers, magazines, and newsletters considered useful to particular segments of the broad medical community are also included.

View a complete list of the journal titles indexed in Medline with Full Text here

April 02, 2009

Five hundred new e-Books added to the collection

Five hundred new titles from the ACLS Humanities E-Book (HEB) site have been loaded into Alloway Library's catalogue. This addition brings the number of e-books from the American Council of Learned Societies to almost 2100 titles. The works supplement and expand our coverage to include most areas of the humanities including art and architectural history, Canadian studies, dance and performance history, film and media studies, folklore, Jewish studies, literature, and musicology.-

To browse all the titles in the catalogue, do a series title search for ACLS* to bring up 2092 titles.

Of special note are series of titles from several university presses and learned societies which offer distinguished resources of value for teaching and research. These series include:
Individual titles from these series are included in Alloway Library's catalogue.

Thanks to Shirley Lee

April 01, 2009

Alloway Library to become caffeine free; introduces new fine policy

Alloway Library, in participation with The Office Health & Safety Committee has agreed to participate in a government funded study to analyze the performance and attitudes of people who are subjected to a caffeine -free work environment. We have agreed to participate on a limited basis only by eliminating the access to coffee products in our office for 1/2 a day. One requirement of this study is that there be little or no notice given to our team members.

Accordingly, the Office Health & Safety Committee advises that coffee will not be available in the Library staff room this morning. Everyone who is a coffee drinker is asked not to leave the building to purchase coffee until the study is over. As well, our Circulation counter folks will be stopping all incoming coffee brought in this morning from vendors, family, friends etc.

Because this is controlled study we want to maintain our integrity and to ensure we comply, our Resource Protection department has agreed to monitor people leaving and entering the building this morning with our new surveillance cameras.

In other, somewhat conflicting news, University Librarian Ted Goshulak announced new fine policies effective April 1. As of today, fines may only be paid using winning “Roll Up the Rim To Win” Cups from Tim Hortons. The new fine schedule is as follows:
  • 1 Food prize (coffee, muffin, doughnut, etc) = .50 cents
  • 1 Tim card = $1.00 and the card is donated to the Library
  • 1 Laptop = $2.00 and the laptop is donated to a Library staff member
  • 1 Toyota Venza = $5.00 and the car is donated to the University Librarian