March 31, 2010

There's a journal for that...

Working on reconciling two long lists of journals this week I came across The journal of sandwich structures & materials and knew it was time for lunch!

March 30, 2010

Groups Call on Government to Make Copyright Fair:

A collection of over two dozen organizations representing creators, innovators, educators, scholars, students and consumers have called on the government of Canada to fix fair dealing, copyright law’s cardinal user right. In a letter to the Ministers of Industry and Canadian Heritage they call for changes to Canada’s Copyright Act which" embrace Canadian values of fairness so that fair dealing applies to all dealings that are fair. No single change
could do more to address the Act's long-recognized short-comings in a technologically neutral

Fair dealing is a crucial defense under copyright law that allows the use of copyright-protected
content without permission of the copyright owner in certain circumstances. The defense has been recognized by the Supreme Court of Canada as an integral part of the Copyright Act. Fair dealing is a fundamental tool of creators, innovators, students, journalists, and others. It introduces modest flexibility into copyright law.

Unfortunately, Canada’s current fair dealing defense suffers from a serious defect: not all fair dealings qualify under the defence as currently drafted. “Right now, fair dealing only applies to five special purposes: private study, research, criticism, review and news summary”, says David Fewer, Director of the Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy & Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) of the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa. “The courts have interpreted these categories to exclude things like parody. This makes reliance on fair dealing a risky strategy for writers, filmmakers, news shows and other creators. It’s hard to see how outlawing things like parody could be consistent with freedom of expression.”

The restrictive nature of these categories also makes it difficult for the law to keep up with new technologies. “We’ve had an entire consumer technology, the VCR, come and go obsolete without fixing fair dealing to accommodate a common and fair consumer practice: time-shifting,” notes Tamir Israel, CIPPIC’s Staff Lawyer. “Recording a show to watch at a more convenient time has never been squarely legal under copyright law. Yet today, with Digital Personal Video Recorders, it is the only way many people watch TV.”

Fewer states that fixing fair dealing is as simple as changing the nature of the categories of fair dealing listed in the current law from exclusive to illustrative: “The law should state that ‘Fair dealing for purposes including private study, research, criticism, review and news summary does not infringe copyright.’ The change we seek is simple and equitable: if a dealing is fair, then it should be legal. After all, what’s fair is fair.”

March 29, 2010

Staying in the know

How do librarians stay current in a field that is constantly changing? The folks at Primary Research Group collected some highly specific data about academic librarian use of library oriented blogs, listservs, publications, association membership and attendance at library conferences. They conducted a survey of 555 full time academic librarians in the United States and Canada and found out that:
  • Survey participants spent an average of 22.26 minutes per day (median of 10 minutes and maximum of 8.3 hours) reading print publications pertaining to the librarian profession.
  • Librarians age 60 and over spent the most time reading print publications, averaging 31.41 minutes per day.
  • Librarians age 30 or less spent the most time reading library oriented blogs, averaging around 19 minutes per day.
  • Librarians in their current job for 10-20 years spent the most time reading library oriented listservs, averaging 23.12 minutes per day.
  • Approximately 72% of survey participants belong to a library professional association.
  • Canadian librarians spent over 60% more than US librarians ($2,419 & $1,484 respectively) on travel, meals and lodging associated with library conferences over the past two years.
  • Among all library departments, circulation and public services librarians spent the least on library conference fees over the past two years, averaging a mean cumulative two year total of just $142.

March 26, 2010

New Look for Alloway Library News

Yes, it's still the library blog. After 5 years and more than 400 posts, we hope that the new, fresh-looking format appeals to you and is easier to read with a larger font and clearer text formatting.

Use the comment link below to let us know what you think.

And the Survey says...

What do librarians think of Internet tools and sites such as Ebay, Bing, Facebook, YouTube, Amazon, Wikipedia, Google Books, Yahoo Groups and Twitter? Well, Primary Research Group asked 555 full time academic librarians in the United States and Canada and published the results in The Survey of Academic Librarians: Usefulness of Leading Internet Tools & Sites.

A few of the report's many findings are actually kind of inconclusive; it's hard to make any generalizations about librarians and webtools although age and level of education seem to have and influence. For example:
Age and social media preferences; Facebook vs Yahoo.
  • Middle-aged librarians between the ages of 31 - 39 found Facebook the most useful while, 65% of librarians over the age of 60 had little use for Facebook.
  • 90% of librarians under the age of 30 found Yahoo Groups not useful whereas approximately 33% of librarians in their 50s felt Yahoo Groups was a little useful or very useful in their work.
Education and the web: a digital divide?
  • Librarians with either an associate's degree or a BA/BS degree indicated that YouTube was not particularly useful (64% and 57% respectively) while almost half of those with an Master of Library Science degree and additional degrees felt YouTube was useful.
  • Librarians with an associate's degree were more likely to think that the use of Wikipedia should be strongly discouraged whereas those with a doctorate were most likely to feel it is an acceptable source of background information.
  • Librarians from PhD granting institutions found Twitter to be the least useful (76%) while approximately 40% of staff at community colleges felt that Twitter was of use.
Departmental differences
  • Librarians in special collections and archives used Bing the least, while librarians working in circulation and public services were the most likely to say that it was useful to them
  • 59% of respondents felt Google Books was more than a little useful and only 13% found Google Books to be of no use. Librarians working in administration and in acquisitions, collection development, and licensing found Google Books to be of the most use.
  • 68% of all respondents indicated that was useful to them in their work. 80% of librarians working in administration found Amazon to be of particular use whereas only 53% of their counterparts in special collections and archives found the same.
What men want: maps 'n' stuff
  • Contrary to stereotype, men were more likely than women to find Yahoo Maps useful in their work.
  • Women were less likely than men to find Ebay useful in their work; librarians at public colleges were less likely than those at private colleges to find Ebay of use.

March 25, 2010

Remembering Norma Alloway

Norma Alloway was born 88 years ago today.
Here's an excerpt from The Ponder Box: friendly thoughts for life's journey, a collection of her columns appearing in the Muskoka Sun in the mid 1980's. It captures the unique and faithful way she viewed the world:

"Open your eyes," I wanted to shout. "Don't miss the beauty! Breathe it, feel it, smell it, hear it - the brave blue gentians and gentle edelweiss, the tinkle of cow bells, the wind on your cheeks. Oh, put down your work and look."

But of necessity, on they toiled.

For some of us, Muskoka represents an "escape" kind of beauty, which infuses our lives with captured moments of serenity and peace. We'd like to bottle it, and then miserly uncork its fragrance when we're back home involved once more in "the daily round of common tasks."

But what about our daily tasks? Is there no beauty here? Is work incompatible with beauty?

I think not. God wants beauty to characterize every aspect of our lives. We view his created beauty with wonder and gratitude, but we can also experience an inner beauty of similar magnitude. God's concern is that the beauty made possible by His presence within our lives finds expression in our work.

1987 Windward Press: Don Mills, Ontario

Image from Flikr

March 24, 2010

Databases dropped for redesign.

Alloway Library has not been immune to the worldwide economic downturn. In the last few years we have weathered staffing layoffs and reductions as well as a frozen collections budget. As part of the campus-wide Redesign initiative for fiscal efficiency we’ve also cancelled print format subscriptions for journals and magazines which are available through our online holdings.

Recently, in order to work within our budget, we’ve had to make the difficult decision to cut some online databases and periodical indexes. Selections are based on a variety of factors including usage, overlap with other resources in the same discipline, and the library’s commitment to supporting the curriculum and goals of the university.

The following resources are discontinued as of (or prior to) March 31, 2010:
Canadian Research Index
EHRAF World Cultures (discontinued12/31/2009)
Iter (discontinued12/31/2009)
Gale Literary Database (discontinued 11/30/2009)
QP LegalEze (discontinued02/28/2010)

Additional cuts are anticipated for:
AccessScience 06/30/2010
Canadian NewsStand Pacific 07/31/2010
CBCA Business 09/30/2010
Wilson Indexes (7 indexes, listed below) 07/31/2010

March 23, 2010

Badke presents Travel Notes to New York academics

Alloway Librarian Bill Badke returned from New York this week after giving a presentation at City University of New York / LaGuardia Community College. Badke was invited to be the second of three speakers in the year-long series dealing with the concerns and best practices for enhancing teaching, learning, and assessment in the world of Information 2.0.

Badke's presentation, From Broker to Strategist: Notes of a Traveller in the Strange Land of Information 2.0, recounted his journey into the information age. As an unwitting pioneer in the formulation of the new discipline of information literacy, he has learned that teaching students how to handle information in a digital age is one of the most challenging problems academics face. He recalled his own transition from information broker to information navigator, and finally to strategist, as he came to the realization that today's university students are more informationally challenged than he ever dreamed they could be. In an environment saturated with data, the information world of today's student is fragmented and incoherent; a strategic approach to teaching academic information literacy, Badke concluded, will enable students to make sense of their world.

William Badke is Associate Librarian for Associated Canadian Theological Schools and Information Literacy at Trinity Western University. He has been teaching information literacy in credit courses for 24 years, both at undergraduate and graduate levels, and is the author of the popular textbook, Research Strategies: Finding your Way through the Information Fog, 3rd ed. (Bloomington, IN:, 2008). Through his extensive published articles and his regular column in Online Magazine, he has been working to further both the theory and practice of information literacy in higher education.

March 19, 2010

Easter Weekend hours

Alloway library will be closed:
Good Friday, April 2
Easter Sunday, April 4
Easter Monday, April 5
The library is OPEN Saturday April 3, 10 AM- 6PM

March 18, 2010

576 New Ebooks added to the collection

Alloway Library has just added 576 ACLS Humanities E-Books to the catalogue.The works represent a wide range of disciplines and subject areas, including important new series from the American Sociological Association, Cambridge University Press, the English Institute, the Society for Biblical Literature, and the University of Wisconsin Press.

Three sample titles from the 576 added to the collection include:

Alloway Library users now have access to all of these new books added to the collection. (TWU login may be required.)

For a complete list, contact Shawn.

March 17, 2010

Robots in the heart of the library

An item in Library Technology Guides announces yet another library robot:

Evanced Solutions will unveil a prototype of its new BranchAnywhere library retrieval system at the Public Library Association Conference, next week in Portland, Oregon. The system will be powered by an industrial multi-axis robot typically used in manufacturing plants.

The U.S. designed and manufactured system allows libraries to provide books and audiovisual materials in convenient locations without the space and cost associated with constructing a traditional library branch or building. The robot will deliver library materials to patrons from storage shelves in the machine. It also re-shelves those same materials to the machine when returned

"We chose a robot as the heart of the machine because they are much more robust and reliable than other solutions. It’s the perfect low maintenance answer for this application," says Evanced CEO Todd Cutler.

The Stockholm City Library robot.

The machine will be able to hold various size books (including picture books and large hard-cover books) in addition to DVDs and other audiovisual materials. It will operate 24/7 with little to no staff intervention and connects to most common library catalog systems. Evanced partnered with two other Indiana-based companies to deliver this new product – Central Technology, a producer of library self-check kiosks, and Biehle Systems, an industrial machine systems company.

The machines, which will be manufactured at Biehle’s plant in southern Indiana, will be available the second half of 2010.

March 16, 2010

The future of the book?

What to do with that old edition of Britannica? Try the Encyclopedabrush! Sweeps out dangling participles and bad Wikipedia references in a jiffy!

Photo Source
(Thanks to Abiodun Solanke; Boatwright Memorial Library, University of Richmond for passing this on!)

March 10, 2010

Changing policy to improve services

In order to maintain our reputation for excellent service to our users, Alloway Library is running a pilot program starting March 10 that will allow patrons to request items with “in-library” status.

For researchers, the new policy means that they can pick up in the morning a book they spotted in the catalogue late at night. And commuters will have more confidence that an item they want will be here when they drive out to campus from distant points.

As a courtesy to our users, Library staff will pull requests twice a day; in the morning and again around 5 pm. That means that when an in-library item is requested it could be on the hold shelf on the same day, or by the next morning.

  • Requestable items include TWU books, Dewey Books, Curriculum items, videos and CDs.
  • Reserve Counter items, electronic books and” in-library use only” items cannot be requested.
  • If an item is checked out by another library user before being retrieved by library staff, the request will be filled as soon as a copy becomes available.
  • If the item cannot be found, library staff will continue to search for the item. Requests will be filled as soon as a copy becomes available.
  • Users can log into My Account at for current information on the status of their request, or wait for email notification.
  • Users may have up to 12 active requests at one time.
  • Although all borrowers may be able to request videorecordings, licencing restrictions prevent us from circulating this material to external borrowers; in-library use is permitted.
In addition to "in library" items, requests can also be placed on checked-out material as well as "in cataloging" and "newly acquired" titles. The library will recall material if the due date is more than 21 days from the date the request is made. Unfilled requests expire after 30 days.

If you have any comments or questions about this pilot program, please contact us.

ScienceDirect unavailable this weekend

Alloway Library's ScienceDirect database will be unavailable due to scheduled maintenance by the Elsevier Team for approximately 8.5 hours this Saturday night and into the early hours of Sunday morning. The down time is expected to run from 7:30 PM Saturday March 13 to 5:00 AM Sunday March 14.
(This is also the night when the clocks "spring ahead" for Daylight Savings Time!)