May 28, 2010

Leno's Library Slam Bombs

Talk-show host Jay Leno bombed when he joked about Los Angeles' plans to drastically cut the city's library budget.

"People here in Los Angeles are upset that the mayor's proposed plan to cut the budget of libraries, " stated Leno, "This could affect as many as nine people."

According to Matthew Fleischer, Leno got no laughs with the crowd and he definitely got no laughs with LA City Librarian Martin Gomez, who penned an angry letter to "The Tonight Show." "Despite what you may think, these cuts are no laughing matter to the 17 million people who use the city's libraries each year" wrote Gomez.

The joke is especially unfunny, as news broke that library hours will be reduced to save the city cash.

View Leno's monologue and the LA librarian's response to it here

May 27, 2010

RefWorks Users Now Have Lifelong Access.

As announced earlier in the year RefWorks has made its Alumni Program a standard feature for TWU and more than 1,200 other universities currently subscribing to RefWorks. This means that any current or past TWU and ACTS student can continue to use or begin to use the service for as long as that Alloway Library subscribes to the service.

Researchers at all levels, from undergraduates to post-doctorates, use RefWorks to gather and manage research information. Over the course of undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate studies, they build significant personal research databases that prove valuable in their future professional and academic endeavors. The Alumni Program allows them to continue to use their personal research databases, store and share all types of information, generate bibliographies, and use all the other beneficial features of RefWorks.

Since it was launched in 2002, RefWorks has had millions of users, many undergraduate and graduate students who have depended upon RefWorks for four or more years. “We want the students and researchers that have depended on RefWorks to know that they can continue to count on it, no matter where their careers take them,” notes Colleen Stempien, Executive Director of Operations for RefWorks-COS. “And we want the universities who have subscribed to RefWorks to be able to offer their students and alumni continued access to this valuable research management tool. ”

For more information about this valuable tool view the RefWorks page at, or talk to an Alloway Librarian

May 26, 2010

Database dropped for redesign.

Alloway Library's license for EBSCOhost's Canadian Reference Centre will not be renewed and therefore expire July 31, 2010. This decision is part of the campus-wide Redesign initiative for fiscal efficiency that's seen the library cut expenses in several areas including staffing, collection development and several other online databases and periodical indexes.

May 24, 2010

Not the shushing kind?

According to the Times Online, Rolling Stone Keith Richards, the grizzled veteran of rock’n’roll excess, has confessed to a secret longing: to be a librarian. After decades spent partying in a haze of alcohol and drugs, Richards will tell in his forthcoming autobiography that he has been quietly nurturing his inner bookworm.

He has even considered “professional training” to manage thousands of books at his homes in Sussex and Connecticut, according to publishing sources familiar with the outline of Richards’s autobiography, which is due out this autumn.

The guitarist started to arrange the volumes, including rare histories of early American rock music and the second world war, by the librarian’s standard Dewey Decimal classification system but gave up on that as “too much hassle.” He has opted instead for keeping favoured volumes close to hand and the rest languishing on dusty shelves.

Richards has also acted as a public library, lending out copies of the latest Bernard Cornwell or Len Deighton novels to friends without much hope of getting them back. He leaves favoured books by the bedside for guests staying in his homes in England and the USA.

In his autobiography, Life, due to be published in October, Richards will reveal how, as a child growing up in the post-war-austerity of 1950s London, he found refuge in books before he discovered the blues.

He has declared: “When you are growing up there are two institutional places that affect you most powerfully: the church, which belongs to God, and the public library, which belongs to you. The public library is a great equaliser.”

May 23, 2010

Court throws the book at overdue patron

From the Des Moines Register

The Iowa Court of Appeals on Wednesday rejected an appeal from a man sentenced to five years in prison for not returning library materials.

The court dismissed Brian Linebach's claim that there wasn't enough evidence to support his February 2009 conviction for second-degree theft. Linebach also was ordered to pay nearly $1,080 restitution. He was accused of checking out 40 books and DVDs from the Ankeny library and not returning them.

Court records show he claimed he returned three of the items and that the value of the non-returned items would have only been $999.84, less than the $1,000 needed to support the charge.

But the appeals court said Linehart miscalculated the value of the items he claimed to have returned.

Linebach argued the district court erred when it didn't accept his brother's testimony that the library could have replaced the items for much less by buying them over the Internet, but the argument was rejected by the appeals court, which cited the lower court's decision. "Linebach chose to take items from the library, not from the Half-Price Book Store. He should not complain about his victim's purchasing practices," the district court said.

The lower court indicated it had taken into account Linebach's prior criminal history, interventions in the past and programs that had been offered to help Linebach. It also considered the need for Linebach to have maximum opportunities for rehabilitation and that "the court does not believe that probation would have met these goals."

"Our review shows no abuse of discretion in the court's decision to impose a term of incarceration," the appeals court wrote.

Read the full story here.

May 21, 2010

TWU email delayed

TWU's Chief Information Officer Alma Barranco advises us that as a consequence of yesterday’s power outage affecting network equipment, some library email notices have not been delivered yet. Alloway Library patrons can always log into My Account at to see information about due dates, holds filled or other items of importance.

Fire Ravages CIU Library

The G. Allen Fleece Library at Columbia International University in Columbia, South Carolina was heavily damaged by an intense early morning fire May 8. The library was closed at the time and there were no injuries, but there was heavy fire damage to both floors at the rear of the two-story library, and heavy smoke damage throughout the library. The cause of the was an electrical problem in a fluorescent ceiling light.
Since the fire, CIU Library Director Jo Ann Rhodes says she has been heartened by an outpouring of support from fellow librarians around South Carolina who say their libraries are open to CIU students to visit, if needed.

CIU President Bill Jones announced the official damage toll at $2.5 million, which is covered by insurance. Jones also said instead of just restoring the library, CIU will begin a $2 million renovation of the library. Rhodes says among the major losses are rare Bibles that were translated into the languages of remote people groups by CIU alumni.

Clean-up after the fires has seen stacks and stacks of carefully-labeled boxes carted out of the smoke-scented G. Allen Fleece Library. In the boxes are survivors; the books that didn't burn in the fire that heavily damaged the Bible, Bible commentary and theology section of the library.

The books were taken away in waiting tractor-trailer trucks by the Blackmon Mooring company of Suwanee, Ga. and hauled to Atlanta and Dallas where the books are being treated for odor and water damage. Each box is labeled with the category of book that is inside, the row it was in, and what floor it was on.

As Blackmon Mooring spokesman John Dorn was directing workers rolling the boxes out the door of the library on dollies and to the trucks, he explained what will happen to the books once they reach their destination.

"They will be put in an ozone layer to be deodorized," Dorn said. "Once they are deodorized, they'll be packed up, put on pallets and readied to be brought back here to the library."

Dorn says the books that are still wet from water damage will go through a freeze-dry process that keeps ink from running.

"And if it is wet, it will stop any microbial growth," Dorn added.

Blackmon Mooring has quite a bit of experience cleaning up libraries. Dorn says in 2006, the company loaded 17 semis with books from the University of New Mexico library after a fire there did $17 million in damages.

Columbia International University junior Johnisha Campbell was preoccupied when she hurried from the CIU library on the day before the fire. But it wasn't until she received an e-mail from a CIU staff member that she realized the flash drive, with important finals week homework on it, had been left behind. It was found during cleaning.

"The metal of my flash drive is slightly bent and it smells like smoke, but God was faithful and preserved all my hard work," Campbell said. "I truly believe this is also true for our library. Although it was damaged, God is faithful and will bless us more than we could imagine."

CIU Library Director Rhodes is hoping the library will be back to normal by the fall semester, but no official target date has been set. No donations of books are being accepted at this time because the library does not have a climate-controlled space to store them. Plus the library is still in the process of determining what has been lost from its collection. Bob Kallgren, CIU vice president for institutional effectiveness says that when actual losses are evaluated, the library will better know what it needs. "We are deeply touched by the hundreds of offers of donations and other assistance," Kallgren said.

To view more photos of the fire and its aftermath see the CIU Flickr site.

May 20, 2010

Library bill goes for second reading in Parliament

Update on the Library Book Rate front: We have learned that Merv Tweed's private members' bill (new number: C-509) will be going for second reading in the House of Commons on May 28. The Canadian Library Association (CLA) has prepared a toolkit which includes a draft letter you can send to your MP to generate support for the upcoming vote.

If you have used and Interlibrary Loan book, chances are the book rate was used to transport that book between Alloway Library and the supplying library. Bill C-509 would add videos and other media to the list of items libraries can ship at a reduced cost. Faculty and students are urged to contact their MP in support of this bill.

The Library Book Rate is a Canada Post service that has, since 1939, provided a reduced rate for mailing library books between libraries and from libraries to their users. With over 2,000 libraries actively using the Library Book Rate and over one million Canadians benefiting from it annually, the Library Book Rate is an indispensable part of the service delivered by Canada’s not-for-profit public, academic, school and special libraries.

The Library Book Rate is not a government program and is not currently financially supported by the federal government. Members of the library community in all constituencies continue to be concerned about its sustainability, given that Canada Post is a Crown corporation with a mandate to generate a dividend for its shareholder, the government. Yet the Rate contributes to the public policy goals of literacy, lifelong learning, inclusion, and vibrant rural and remote communities.

In June 2007, Member of Parliament Merv Tweed (Brandon-Souris, Manitoba) introduced a Private Member’s Bill which would allow the federal government to compensate Canada Post for Library Rate costs. The Bill would also extend the list of eligible materials to include CDs, DVDs and other audio-visual materials that are currently ineligible for the reduced rate.

It is vital that the Government of Canada guarantee support for this Rate beyond 2010. CLA continues to advocate that the Government of Canada allocate permanent funding in order to maintain a reduced rate of postage for library materials and support one million Canadians.

The Library Book Rate is a very important issue for Canada throughout the provinces and territories. The Library Book Rate:

  • Ensures equitable access to documents located in libraries across the country and made available to all Canadians;
  • Supports the intellectual needs of remote northern and rural communities; and
  • Affirms the concept that the collections of all libraries are a national asset accessible to all Canadians and as such supports education and maintains Canada’s global competitiveness and productivity

Write a letter to your local MP outlining your key concerns with respect to the Library Book Rate.

for more information, including draft letters visit the CLA toolkit

Wikipedia founder fears the decline of liberal education

How do you think the founder of Wikipedia feels about on-line collaborative learning, and the Internet as a replacement for a traditional college education? You might be surprised to learn that he is sceptical, if not pessimistic.

Larry Sanger is best known as co-founder of Wikipedia, and has most recently started an innovative directory of educational videos: He is also interested in educational philosophy and policy. He earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy, with a dissertation about the theory of knowledge, from Ohio State in 2000. In a recent article in EDUCAUSE Review he addressed the topic of "Individual knowledge in the Internet Age." Here are some highlights:

In the last several years, many observers of education and learning have been stunned by the abundance of information online, the ever-faster findability of answers, and the productivity of online "crowds," which have created information resources like Wikipedia and YouTube. The enormous scope of these developments has surprised me too, despite the fact that they are more or less what many of us had hoped for and deliberately tried to bring into being. These sudden, revolutionary developments demand analysis: How is this latest information explosion changing the way we live? Is the relationship between society and individual changing? More to the point for this article, how is the Internet revolution changing education?

I will analyze three common strands of current thought about education and the Internet. First is the idea that the instant availability of information online makes the memorization of facts unnecessary or less necessary. Second is the celebration of the virtues of collaborative learning as superior to outmoded individual learning. And third is the insistence that lengthy, complex books, which constitute a single, static, one-way conversation with an individual, are inferior to knowledge co-constructed by members of a group.

Though seemingly disparate, these three strands of thought are interrelated. Each tends to substitute the Internet — both a resource and an innovative way to organize people — for individual learning and knowledge. I have devoted my Internet career to creating educational tools, so I am sympathetic to the use of the Internet for education. But I believe that it is a profound mistake to think that the tools of the Internet can replace the effortful, careful development of the individual mind — the sort of development that is fostered by a solid liberal arts education.

  • Being able to read (or view) anything quickly on a topic can provide one with information, but actually having a knowledge of or understanding about the topic will always require critical study. The Internet will never change that.
  • ...the point of a good education is not merely to amass a lot of facts. The point is to develop judgment or understanding of questions that require a nuanced grasp of the various facts and to thereby develop the ability to think about and use those facts. If you do not have copious essential facts at the ready, then you will not be able to make wise judgments that depend on your understanding of those facts, regardless of how fast you can look them up.
  • To possess a substantial understanding of a field requires not just memorizing the facts and figures that are used by everyone in the field but also practicing, using, and internalizing those basics. ... surely the only way to begin to know something is to have memorized it.
  • There is no reason to think that repurposing social media for education will magically make students more inspired and engaged. What inspires and engages some people about social media is the passion for their individual, personal interests, as well as the desire to stay in touch with friends. Remove those crucial elements, and you merely have some neat new software tools that make communication faster.
  • The Internet in general is the greatest educational tool that has been devised since, perhaps, the invention of the printing press. But the whether the mere existence of such learning resources somehow...makes it possible for social learning to replace or displace more traditional individual learning.
  • To be well educated, to be able to pass along the liberal and rational values that undergird our civilization, we must as a culture retain our ability to comprehend long, difficult texts written by individuals. Indeed, the single best method of getting a basic education is to read increasingly difficult and important books...there are some people who are very well trained for various trades without reading many books. But when it comes to getting a solid intellectual grounding — a foundational, liberal education — nothing is less dispensable than getting acquainted with many books created by the "complex, dense" minds of deep-thinking individuals.
  • The key assumption underlying my view is that liberal education and the Western enlightenment ideals that it inculcates not only are valuable but are essential to our future.
  • Reading, writing, critical thinking, and calculation, however much they can be assisted by (social learning) groups, are ultimately individual skills that must, in the main, be practiced by individual minds capable of working independently.

The educational proposals and predictions of the Internet boosters described above point to a profoundly illiberal future. I fear that if we take their advice, in the place of a creative society with a reasonably deep well of liberally educated critical thinkers, we will have a society of drones, enculturated by hive minds, who are able to work together online but who are largely innocent of the texts and habits of study that encourage deep and independent thought. We will be bound by the prejudices of our "digital tribe," ripe for manipulation by whoever has the firmest grip on our dialogue. I see all too much evidence that we are moving headlong in that direction. Indeed, I fear this is already happening. I honestly hope that I prove to be an alarmist, but I am a realist reporting on my observations. I wish the news were better.
Read the full article, and feedback here.

May 19, 2010

Alloway Library introduces after hours pick up service.

From May 25 to August 23, Alloway Library users can pick up items on hold, including Interlibrary Loans, even when the library is closed! The Summer Learning Commons in the Atrium will provide pick-up service on evenings and weekends when the library is closed. That means that busy students taking evening classes (and the faculty who teach them) can get the library resources they requested, sometimes within 24 hours of making the request.

It’s a simple 3 step process: First, request material you want in the library’s catalogue; next, wait for an email confirming that it has arrived for you (or check your library account online); Finally, check-out the material in the library, or show ID and sign for it at the Learning Commons.

Excluding Statutory Holidays, Alloway Library is open 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM weekdays throughout the summer. From May 25 to the end of June we are also open till 8 PM on Tuesdays and 10-4 on Saturdays. The Learning Commons is open till 9 PM Mondays to Thursdays, and till 5 PM Fridays and Saturdays throughout the Summer, excluding Holidays

May 18, 2010

Google to enter e-book market

According to CBC News, Google plans to start selling digital books this summer through a service called Google Editions. The service, launching in late June or July, would put the search-engine giant in competition with Amazon and Apple, with one difference: Google's service would work through a web browser and wouldn't be tied to a specific device.

Google said users would be able to buy digital copies of books they find through the Google Books search engine. The e-books would be accessible on any device that has a compatible web browser. That sets Google Editions apart from Amazon and Apple which are tied to specific devices including Kindle, iPad and iPhone. Because Google Editions works through a browser it can be used on a variety of devices: desktop computers, netbooks, smartphones — even the Kindle and iPad.

Google's e-book store plans appear to be separate from the company's effort to digitize out-of-print books into a searchable database.

Read more:

May 14, 2010

System maintenance on Sunday, May 16

On Sunday May 16, there may be a temporary loss of access to to the TWU Journal list due to maintenance work at Simon Fraser University where the software for this database is hosted. The "Find Article" or "Where Can I Get This" buttons databases such as Ebsco, Proquest, and other vendors will likely produce a "Server not found" or other such error message.

The down-time is scheduled to start at 8:00 AM and could last until 10:00 PM

Our partners at SFU are working to provide continued access to this resource but want to prepare users for possible service interruptions or downtime throughout this 10 hour period.

Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience this will cause.

May 05, 2010

TWU Campanile Photo Album

The TWU Campus Campanile was erected in 2000
The TWU Campanile, also known as the bell tower is a campus landmark housing a 15 bell chime.  The bells sound on the hour and at 10:55 every morning they play a tune to accompany TWU members to chapel.
The Campanile, adjacent to Alloway Library is a campus icon

"You sound out the word of the Lord" is taken from St Paul

1 Thessalonians 1:8