August 24, 2011

Are your library privileges up to date?

While most TWU student records are automatically uploaded from the Office of the Registar into Alloway Library's database that is not the case for TWU staff and Faculty. Consequently library staff rely on information on TWU ID cards to determine if an employee has library privileges and update those library users' records manually.

Keeping your library privilege current will ensure speedy checkouts and full access to Alloway Library’s eLibrary all year long.

If you are a  TWU employee with 2012 expiry date sticker on your card show it at the library’s circ counter and staff will quickly update your record.

If you need to update your ID, ask for an expiry date sticker from your Faculty Assistant or visit the Campus Services office – then stop by the library so we can update your record

August 23, 2011

Library-GPA connection "statisically significant"

In 2010, the England’s University of Huddersfield shared results from its analysis of library usage data. Looking at the graduating grades of students in some 700 courses over four years and the number of e-resources they accessed, the number of books they borrowed and the number of visits to the University Library. They found a strong correlation between library usage and degree results. However, the correlation between library usage and grade had not been significance-tested and that it was not known whether the Huddersfield findings were an anomaly or the norm. As a result, eight universities launched studies to prove the hypothesis that:

‘There is a statistically significant correlation across a number of universities between library activity data and student attainment’

The researchers had a big, complicated task and recognized some pitfalls including:
  • library usage alone is not an indicator of how well students will score in their assignments,
  •  some students may only need a small amount of material to achieve high grades in some courses
  • certain disciplines have less need for books or electronic resources

Factoring in those considerations, they looked at each student who graduated in a given year, and tracked:
  • Final grade achieved
  • Number of books borrowed
  • Number of times e-resources were accessed
  • Number of times each student entered the library, e.g. via a turnstile system that requires identity card access
  • School/Faculty

Upon completion this summer, The Library Impact Data Project found statistically significant relationship between resource usage (both book loans and e-resources) use and student attainment. Where they didn’t find a statistical significance was in entries to the library, in other words just hanging out in the library didn’t improve grades.

The researchers were careful to point out that a statistical correlation between library use and grades is not a causal relationship

August 22, 2011

Community, Vocation, Delight

This morning Alloway Library is closed as we join with our colleagues in the annual TWU in Community event and next week on August 30 library staff will take a day away to be together for professional development and community-building.

This article by Thom Turner from Everyday Liturgy seesm apropos as we start our new year.
The Writer's Almanac's Definition of Vocation

Each day, when Garrison Keillor has finished with the daily poem on The Writer’s Almanac broadcast, he says the words “Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.”

In a nutshell, what Keillor is doing is giving his definition of vocation to his daily listeners. The purpose of our lives, in Keillor’s mind, is to delight, do work, and be in community.

This threefold view of vocation is a powerful reminder of how all of these things are intertwined.
Our delight should be in our work.
Our work should build community.
Our community should be delightful.
Our community comes through hard work.
Our work should give us delight.
Our delight leads us to invite others into community.

This definition of vocation is a holistic approach to our work. When we pray to God “establish the work of our hands” or “build our community” or “make us happy” these are all good things. Pushing deeper though, we should begin to see how these separate thoughts should be intertwined in our spiritual lives and practice, informing one another and spiraling forth into a truer sense of our personal and corporate vocation.
For many of us at Alloway Library, our work is a vocation, a service to our community, and a delight (even with the challenges we face.) We look forward to a year of community with all our academic partners.

August 19, 2011


Today marks a new era for TWU’s Norma Marion Alloway Library as staff go live with SirsiDynix Symphony, a new computer-based system that manages all aspects of the library’s operations.  This integrated library system provides a whole new interface designed to meet library users’ needs wherever they are -- in or out of the library -- and includes a powerful, user-friendly, web-based discovery portal known as eLibrary.  

"This is a good news story!" says University Librarian Ted Goshulak. "Something to celebrate at this time of year." Library staff  have been working since the early spring with SirsiDynix technicians to implement  all the behind-the-scenes work required to launch both the new eLibrary interface for public use and  the internal staff client software.  Staff underwent many hours of web-based and teleconferenced training sessions to gain familiarity with Symphony’s features.

"It truly is a miracle that the new system has finally becoming a reality, " notes Shirley Lee, Alloway Library's Systems Librarian and Project Coordinator. "The change could inspire fear and relief at the same time for those of us who have come to know the former Horizon operating system. Thankfully we have not gone through this transition on our own,” she adds. "We have dedicated support from SirsiDynix and our own IT department."

SirsiDynix Symphony is the most complete and customizable integrated library system available today. Comprehensive features will allow Alloway Library to highlight the breadth and depth of our collections and better serve our researchers’  ever-growing information needs. It will also provide the library with tools that we can use to further improve our users’ experiences. 

Today's library users expect the same speedy and relevant search results, added content and social networking features at the library that they enjoy elsewhere.  Alloway Library’s  eLibrary has many great features that will enhance research and library-use including:
  • Easy-to-use searching, with full-text and unlimited index searches
  • New navigation tools that make it easier to move through lists of search results
  • Online solutions allowing library users to manage their library accounts, place and manage holds and renew items on loan
  • The ability to maintain and manage search results with MyLists
  • Enhanced record descriptions that provide more than just a call number. Now, a search in the catalogue provides features such as book cover images, reviews  and even a look inside the item.
  • Flexible hold policies, with the ability to create and better manage requests for library material.
  •  mobile library access using the BookMyne app for iPhones.
Coinciding with the introduction of the new operating system, and in response to user requests for access to more resources for extended periods of time , circulation policies have been overhauled.  Sure-to-be-popular  changes include increasing the number items that grad students can borrow and permitting up to four online renewals for most items.  Existing user-friendly services, such as advance due-date notices and low fine rates, remain unchanged.

Because Symphony is a completely customizable and configurable platform, watch for changes in eLibrary features and appearance as library staff continue to refine it to create a tool that best meets the needs of our users. 
Alloway Library’s eLibrary can be found online at

August 17, 2011

Art Books

Kylie Stillman is carving out  a name for herself in the art world by carving books.

August 16, 2011

What librarians & Google are for...

This was posted by Phil Bradley on his weblog at the end of June and is worth reposting here

Librarians are there:

To help, aid, assist. To teach, collate, enthuse. To catalogue, index, arrange, organise. To find, discover, promote, display. To interest, intrigue, amuse and amaze. To instill wonder. To help children, adults, old people, the underprivileged, the rich, the poor, those with voices and those without. To protect resources, to archive them, to store them, to save them for the future. To provide differing viewpoints, to engender thought, conversation, research, fun. To provide the best answer possible, to match the answer to the enquirer, to provide just enough information without overwhelming the user, but enough to always help. To better a local community, a company, a school, a college, an organisation, a country, the world.

Google is there:
To make money.
 Take your pick!

August 15, 2011

Latest Cambridge Companions Online Update:

Three more titles have been added to the Companions to Philosophy, Religion and Culture ebook collection bringing the total to 153.

The new additions are:
George M. Logan, The Cambridge Companion to Thomas More
Judith Brown, Anthony Parel, The Cambridge Companion to Gandhi
Graham H. Twelftree, The Cambridge Companion to Miracles

TWU Login may be requried to access these titles.

August 12, 2011

An Innovation in book formats

Take the thin strong paper traditionally used in Bibles, Dutch innovation, and the 21st century penchant for (and frustration with)  reading from  handheld electronic devices and you start to understand the popularity of  Flipbacks.  Flipbacks are small printed books, but flipped 90 degrees so that  you flip the page up rather than turn them from right to left.

The innovative format was launched in Holland in autumn 2009. The inventor—Jongbloed, a printer and publisher of Bibles—had a vast stock of very thin Bible paper and machines configured to non-traditional book formats. Jongbloed partnered with one of Holland's biggest publishers and did  extensive market research. There are now over 100 titles in Dutch and 1 million copies in print—(which is phenomenal when you think there are only 16 million people in the Netherlands!)

Flipbacks aren’t just a sideways version of the paperback novel and they're not just for short works. Each Flipback is a hardcover book sewn, glued and bound in such a way that it falls open fully without breaking the spine. In effect you are reading a normal paperback page that can fold in half. The very fine paper used means that the Flipback is far lighter than a paperback - 145g on average.

These these small-format hardback books were launched in the UK  this summer by the publisher Hodder & Stoughton. The first batch features titles by Stephen King, John le Carre and other popular fiction writers. No North American release has been announced yet.

Based on an article in LibraryThing: State of the Thing

August 02, 2011

Take a Sneak Preview of Alloway Library’s new eLibrary catalogue today!

Alloway Library’s new Symphony operating system provides a whole new interface designed to meet users’ needs wherever they are -- in or out of the library -- and includes a user-friendly and powerful discovery portal known as eLibrary

For a limited time, until August 11, on-campus users have an exclusive opportunity to look at eLibrary and explore some of the great new features such as:
  • Easy-to-use search, with full-text and unlimited index searching
  • Online solutions allowing you to manage your library account, place holds, order books for delivery, or submit interlibrary loan, purchase or other requests. (Data displayed in your account is NOT current Interactive tools and account management features are NOT active during the sneak preview.)
  • Enhanced content results that provide more than just a call number. Now, you’ll get everything from book cover images and reviews to a look inside.
  • Flexible hold policies, with the ability to create and better manage your library holds.
  • New navigation tools that make it easier to move through lists of search results.

Because Symphony is a completely customizable and configurable platform, watch for changes in eLibrary features and appearance as library staff work to refine it into a tool that best meets the needs of our users.  A mobile eLibrary app is expected to be launched later this year.

This eLibrary sneak preview is a great opportunity to become familiar with the new interface expected to be launched on August 18, 2011. Please note that the sneak preview of Alloway Library’s eLibrary is not a “live” version. That means that information such as item due dates or your account may not be up-to-date.  Interactive tools such as Holds, Requests and Renewals done in eLibrary will be ignored as well as address corrections and emails sent from eLibrary. 

Ready?  Click here for your exclusive on-campus preview of Alloway Library’s eLibrary!

For more information, please contact Circulation Coordinator Shawn Brouwer