August 28, 2009

AEMAC calls for student and faculty support

Late last month we reported on the looming closure of AEMAC, the Advanced Educational Media Acquisition Centre. AEMAC is funded by the British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development to provide efficient and cost-effective purchasing of media and other instructional resources, as well as coordinate educational software and public performance licensing, on behalf of the post-secondary institutions in BC, including TWU.
AEMAC negotiates the Maple license for mathematics and computer science departments and supplies programs to BC Apprenticeship programs for a variety of trades.

A review of Alloway Library's transactions with AEMAC reveals that the closure will have a big impact on TWU students and faculty and the growth of our media collection.

In the past 3 years Alloway Library has purchased 55 of the 66 programs made available through AEMAC. (Some were not purchased due to a spending freeze; only 3 out of the 11 not-purchased titles pertained to topics outside TWU curricula.)

It would have cost TWU over $24,000 to obtain those programs from distributors. Through the work of AEMAC, we paid just over $4,000 for those programs in DVD format (and, for some titles, also as streaming video.)

AEMAC has also negotiated public performance licences for feature films which permit TWU instructors and student groups to use media in the classroom and elsewhere on campus. Without AEMAC’s advocacy we might expect to pay about $1.20 per full-time student (FTE) to legally show a feature film on campus. If AEMAC is closed, TWU would need to earmark some $10,000 in its annual budget in order to maintain our current levels of acquisitions and performance licencing.

Few of the 26 BC post secondary institutions served by AEMAC have “extra money” to add to their budgets. The closure of AEMAC means fewer resources for advanced education in BC.

AEMAC staff are lobbying the government to rescind the closure. Assured that citizen input has a big impact, they are calling on faculty and students to raise their voices in support of this cost-saving resource for BC's higher learning institutions.

Here are some key people to you can contact in support of AEMAC:
  • The Premier, Honourable Gordon Campbell
  • Dr. Moira Stillwell, The Minister of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development,
  • Robin Ciceri, Deputy Minister of ALMD,
  • Susan B. Brown, Director, Policy Branch of Ministry of Advanced Education,
  • Dr. David Ross, President, Langara College,

August 26, 2009

Alloway Library Closed September 1

Alloway Library staff will be closing the library on Tuesday, September 1 in order to prepare for the coming academic year by participating in a professional development retreat.

August 21, 2009

Funding Announced for BC Public Libraries

Last month we reported on concerns raised by BC public libraries about the delay in receiving their annual operating grants from the provincial government. Today we learned from Stop BC Library Cuts:

On August 20, 2009 the Province of British Columbia announced that the provincial dollars to support public libraries would be $13,700,000, which is about 78% of previous years'. While this represents a reduction, the libraries of BC are pleased to see that the provincial government recognizes the integral role public libraries play in community development and literacy.

The library community will work with the province over the next weeks as the details are finalized. Issues of equity and supporting collaboration will continue to be high priorities.

These are fiscally challenging times and we understand that temporary cuts, while difficult, are necessary. It is our hope to work in cooperation with government to restore and enhance funding to libraries as the provincial economic picture improves.

Libraries in BC wish to thank the members of the public who supported us. We believe that the message was heard.

We also would like to thank the provincial government for their ongoing support.

Yes, there is more...

Unshelved, our favourite comic strip about libraries has been riffing on a familiar catchphrase lately, with insightful results:

Click on the strip or contact an Alloway Librarian to find out more.

August 20, 2009

New Companions to Philosophy and Religion

Three new titles have been added to Alloway Library's Cambridge Companion e-books as part of a recent update by Cambridge Collections Online. These books can be read online, or downloaded ; login required.

To view more about these new Companions to Philosophy, Religion and Culture click on the titles below to connect to the library's catalogue.

The Cambridge Companion to Hegel and Nineteenth-Century Philosophy
The Cambridge Companion to Boethius
The Cambridge Companion to Constant

August 19, 2009

No stereotypes here

Prior to the recent news that Alloway Library will receive funding from the federal government’s Knowledge Infrastructure Program, Alloway Library staff were pondering ways to raise funds on their own.

Here’s one idea we ruled out:

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Texas librarians are baring their skin and revealing their tattoos - all to raise disaster relief money to help damaged libraries. Photos of the librarians and their body art appear in a new calendar sold by the Texas Library Association.

The "Tattooed Ladies of TLA" 18-month calendar is a follow-up to the successful "Men of Texas Libraries" calendar, which raised $9,000 to help libraries damaged by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.(Kelly Shannon; Associated Press)

One Alloway Librarian commented that "younger classmates at library school were so worried about the stereotypical image of a librarian that they adorned themselves with various piercings, tattoos and (dare I say) outlandish clothing. They avoided the stereotype, but ended up looking somewhat alarming.”

Another Alloway Librarian suggested playing up the stereotype with “a calendar featuring all of us wearing prim, grey suits (with sensible shoes, of course), horn-rimmed glasses, tightly-wound buns in our hair (the men could use wigs), and holding our fingers to our lips, in the dour, time-honoured Librarians’ 'Shush.'”

In fact, the staff at Alloway Library are neither alarming, nor dour but, like their bolder Texas colleagues, do share a passion for libraries and the service and resources we provide to our users.

August 18, 2009

Feds Fund Library Renos

On Monday August 18; University Librarian Ted Goshulak joined TWU President Jonathan Raymond along with Information Technology Director Alma Barranco-Mendoza and Dean of Sciences Ka Yin Leung to receive a cheque totaling $2.6 million from Langley MP Mark Warawa for three campus projects. Alloway Library’s share for funding from the federal government through the Knowledge Infrastructure Program (KIP) totals $298,000.

The Big Cheque: from left to right: Alma Barranco-Mendoza, Ted Goshulak, Jonathan Raymond, Ka Yin Leung, Mark Warawa, Township of Langley Mayor Rick Green, Langley City Deputy Mayor Dave Hall.

The money which will support research through improvements to the library's infrastructure and include adding more book shelves, replacing the 20 year-old carpeting, repainting the interior, and installing an emergency power supply transfer switch so that study and research can continue during power failures. Library users can look forward to better access to resources as staff plan some major reorganization of space within the building.

Library renovations were one of three major project proposals submitted by TWU in March to the Knowledge Infrastructure Program, a two-year, $2-billion economic stimulus measure supporting infrastructure enhancement at post-secondary institutions across Canada.

Upgrades to TWU’s Information and Communications Technology infrastructure and the construction of research laboratories for Biology, Chemistry, and Nursing also met the KIP criteria, and received funding. The matching funds for these projects will be raised externally through proposals to receptive foundations.

We rejoice in this good news!

Read more here