MRU Library Blog

Update on Library Support, Services, and Teaching

Update 3 – Tuesday, March 24

The Library is here to support you, with all your online information needs, in a virtual environment.


Text us your questions –– (587- 400- 8044)

  • New service!  Send your questions to the new Library SMS messaging number and easily connect with us using your smartphone.

Library hours and access

  • Library support is available virtually, 7 days a week. We are available to assist students and faculty over chat, text (587- 400- 8044), and email. Check the Library website for opening hours. 
  • During the week (M-F), the first floor of the Riddell Library and Learning Center remains open for study and computer lab access during regular campus hours for those who must come to campus. Please note that there is no in-person support available during this time. As of March 21, the University campus, including the Library, is physically closed on weekends.  Please reach out to us virtually for support.

Digitization of Course Reserves

  • While the circulation of all physical collection items has been suspended, we are working hard to connect the MRU Community with Course Reserve material. Students and faculty can now submit a request using the form now available on the Library website. All requests are subject to MRU’s fair dealing guidelines, and the turnaround time for each request and availability of this service is affected by the volumes of requests we receive.

Interlibrary loan access

  • In an effort to align with guidelines from Alberta Health Services and Mount Royal University, MRU Interlibrary Loan service has suspended the borrowing and lending of physical material (Eg. books, videos, etc.). ILL physical materials received from other libraries will not be processed at this time.
  • For Mount Royal University students, faculty, and staff: If you have an ILL loan, please do not come to campus to return it. Due dates are suspended indefinitely and we will waive any fees incurred.
  • For other Libraries: If you have borrowed MRU items, renewal requests are automatically granted, and all due dates have also been extended.

Update 2 – Wednesday, March 18

The Library is making a number of adjustments to services, teaching, and support, to meet the changing needs of campus and of Library users as follows:

The circulation of physical materials including equipment is temporarily suspended.  Due dates for all currently borrowed materials will be extended, and users will be encouraged to hold on to any borrowed materials until further notice.  Online access to books, journals, databases, and archival materials remains unchanged. A process for digitizing and providing alternative formats for Course Reserve materials is being developed.  Please visit the Library website for updates or contact your subject librarian if you have questions.

There will be some changes to Riddell Library and Learning Centre (RLLC) building access in response to the significantly reduced number of students on campus. Floors 2 to 4 will be closed. With some exceptions, the first floor of the RLLC remains open.

Library employees are focused on meeting the demand for virtual support.  Please continue to contact us using the usual virtual options.


Update 1 – Monday, March 16

The University has advised faculty to transition to alternative methods of course delivery starting Tuesday, March 17. The Library supports all directives and updates published on The situation is changing quickly as we work to follow guidelines issued by Alberta Health Services and the University; at this time, we wish to share the following information:

  • The Library remains open. We continue to teach and support all Library users via chat, phone or email, or in-person at the Service Desk. Please continue to get in touch with us as usual.
  • As the campus transitions to alternative methods of course delivery, we encourage faculty to consider adjustments to assignments requiring print materials (including Course Reserves), or specialized equipment. Please email your Subject Librarian for assistance and to discuss options for locating alternative resources, such as streaming videos, ebooks, or other licensed or open digital materials for online classes.
  • Subject librarians will continue to work with faculty to teach information literacy content virtually; we are also able to provide student support for research assignments through video conferencing using Google Meet. Students can schedule virtual appointments through the Schedule an Appointment page.
  • You do not need to come to campus to renew or return library materials. Renew online or contact us for help.
  • We will waive fines for materials temporarily, to accommodate students, faculty, and staff unable to make it to campus to return items.  Please reach out to Service Desk staff through the Contact Us email form or chat so we can make note of special arrangements.
  • The Library will temporarily suspend lending equipment with foam faceplates or accessories worn on the head or that make contact near facial features until further notice. This includes headphones, microphones with foam attachments, and VR headsets. All other equipment continues to be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • With fewer students on campus, we have made adjustments to the staffing of specialized learning and teaching spaces. Staff in the Maker Studio, Experience Lab, and Archives & Special Collections will continue to provide support and assistance to library users via scheduled appointments (either in-person or virtually) but will not be available for drop-in appointments. To schedule an appointment please email the following contacts:
  • Library workshops, instruction sessions, and other group learning opportunities will be moved to virtual delivery where possible.
  • We know the Library has many high-touch surfaces. Disinfectant wipes are available at the Service Desk. We encourage all users to wipe down work areas and equipment before use.

It’s Now Easier to Borrow the Tech You Need


Mount Royal students, faculty, and staff have access to a wide variety of equipment available to borrow from the Library. Everything from high-tech audiovisual cameras and light kits for special projects, to everyday essentials like phone chargers and laptops, are free to use with an MRU OneCard.

It’s now easier than ever to view and book exactly what you need through the Library website. The newly launched equipment booking system allows you to choose and reserve the device you’re looking to use with a few clicks. Once we get your request, it will be ready for pick up at the Service Desk on the main floor.

Questions? Start a chat from the homepage and we’ll be happy to help you with the new online booking system.







The Value of Information Literacy in the Workplace


Sara Sharun is exploring how information literacy is experienced in the workplace through her most recent scholarship that surveys Alberta health care professionals.

Exploring Value as a Dimension of Professional Information Literacy is a recently published study that questions what information literacy looks like through the eyes of health centre staff, and suggests how their information practices can help Library and Information Studies (LIS) researchers understand the concept of information literacy.

Sharun, who is an Assistant Professor and Librarian, conducted seven interviews with youth support specialists and medical office assistants at a Calgary community health centre in spring 2018.

The qualitative study explored the concept of information value as it emerged from participants’ descriptions of their work with clients in the context of their workplace, the network of human service organizations in Calgary, and the broader health and social care system.

“What was most surprising to me was the subjective nature of information value. The information they used in practice was valued only if it supported client outcomes and helped build and maintain relationships with clients. This relationship-based approach to information use is something I think warrants more consideration by librarians working with their own clients,” says Sharun.

She observed that key concepts related to information literacy,  largely developed in and for academic settings, were evident in the staff members’ descriptions but looked quite different within the health centre. Sharun suggests that future studies examine the nature of these differences more carefully and in other contexts to continue to build a more complex understanding of these concepts.

“I think there is a lot of space for LIS researchers to make more connections between workplace and educational settings, and develop more insight from studies of different professional, personal and everyday life contexts to inform our information literacy instruction for students and future professionals.”

Library Resources to Help During Exams


Final exams start up this week, which means students are busy preparing for tests and projects before the winter break. The Library is pleased to extend Library hours to midnight December 9-19  and provide free Barrow coffee December 13-15. In addition, we are offering a few extra ways to unwind and brighten your long study days,  which includes a draw for a chance to win a gift card to the MRU Bookstore!


Get help when you need it

Make use of the Library Chat feature that will connect you with Service Desk staff who are ready to answer questions related to sources you need for class projects or guidance around citations.

For focused research help, consider booking an appointment with your Subject Librarian. Appointments can be made through the website and are an ideal environment to get subject-specific research help.


Reserve a group study space

Reserve a Group Room or Presentation Practice Room for focused work time with classmates. It’s a busy time of year, so consider whether your study needs can be met without a reserved space, and please cancel bookings if you no longer need the room. Your fellow students appreciate the courtesy!


Access course textbooks

Course Reserve books are located behind the Service Desk and are the texts instructors request to be placed on reserve so all students can access them. Use LibrarySearch to look up a course text and confirm it’s available before you go check it out from the Service Desk.

Tip: Library staff often tweet out when popular Reserve texts become available.


We’ve got your study breaks covered

Incorporating breaks into study sessions can help students manage stress, boost productivity, and encourage physical activity. Stretch your legs and hang out in one of the Library featured break areas to recharge.


Share your #LibrarySupport and win!

Do you have a favourite study spot in the Library? A go-to set up in the Group Rooms? Or, maybe you know the best corner for perfect selfie lighting. We want to see how you’re using the Library while you’re here studying for exams. Share a photo or tweet on Instagram or Twitter with #LibrarySupport and follow @MRULibrary for a chance to win a $50 gift card to the Campus Store.