Freedom to Read Week at MRU is February 25 – March 1 and we are proud of the selection of events lined up, open to all on campus, that encourages students and faculty to consider their right to freedom of expression. This is a week-long national celebration that encourages Canadians to reflect on issues relating to censorship and to acknowledge our ongoing commitment to intellectual freedom.
We’ll kick off the week with pop up theatre that challenges the audience to check in with themselves and decide how they feel when excerpts of challenged books are performed by experienced actors. Catch a performance between 11am-1pm on February 26 and 27 in the Arts Building, Main Street, Wyckham House, and the Library. Follow @MRULibrary on Instagram to get notice of the schedule and come out to see what scandalous content is showcased.
We want to hear your take on Freedom to Read Week and find out how material flagged as controversial has an impact on campuses. Freedom of Expression on Campus – A Conversation is a panel of students and faculty who are actively working to ask questions around censorship that don’t typically have easy answers. Come and join this discussion in the Ideas Lounge on February 28. We expect it will be the ideal setting for a thoughtful exchange that may impact how we consume and question texts in academia.
BONUS: student attendees at the panel will have a chance to enter into a draw to win a stack on banned or challenged books to take home and add to their personal collection.
Banned Book Immersion on March 1 is a twist on the traditional readings that are a mainstay of Freedom to Read Week. Step into the Immersion Studio on the 3rd floor of the Library and take in a selection of books read by MRU faculty and students that were not only banned but are in some way meaningful to the reader. This is a great way to hear about books that have been celebrated throughout history, yet deemed as problematic for reasons that may surprise you.
Learn more about Freedom to Read Week and additional details of the events taking place at Mount Royal University.
Students haven’t been shy about letting us know their wish to have more access to the Maker Studio. We are so pleased to announce that the Maker Studio will now offer extended hours for the rest of the Winter 2019 semester. This means students, faculty, staff, and the Calgary community will have more opportunities to drop in to use our large selection of cutting, sewing, and hand tools, as well as the supporting software that is often accessed for assignments, final projects, and general class instruction.
As of this Sunday, February 3, the Maker Studio will now be open from Monday to Friday 10:00am-5:00pm and Sundays 12pm-4pm. Please check the Library calendar for general hours and for any changes due to holidays, closures, etc.
Final exams start up this week, which means campus will be buzzing with students handing in final projects and studying for tests before they head into winter break. The Library is pleased to extend Library hours to midnight December 12-20 and provide free Barrow coffee December 14-16 after 8pm. In addition, we are offering a few extra ways to unwind and brighten your long study days, which includes a draw that gives students a chance to win a gift card to Barrow and the MRU Bookstore!
Complimentary Massages in the Ideas Lounge
December 12 4pm-8pm
December 13 5pm-8:30pm
Sit back, relax and enjoy a complimentary fifteen minute massage in the Ideas Lounge, courtesy of the MRU Massage Therapy Practicum students. Those studying in the Library will be encouraged to take a break and sign up for a massage to help release tension and relax their minds.
Yoga in the Immersion Studio
December 12 3pm-4pm
We’ve partnered with MRU Recreation to bring Akhanda Yoga instructor Jade Cozier to the Library for a free hour of yoga students can attend to help relax as they prepare for long study sessions leading into exams.
Intro to Stress Reduction Meditation in the Immersion Studio
December 13 1pm-3pm
Students will be introduced to stress reduction through meditation. There’s no better place to unwind than the calming vibes of the 360º experience in the Immersion Studio.
*A Chance to Win!
To shake things up this semester, we’ll also have a draw where students can enter to win a $50 gift card to either Barrow or the MRU Bookstore. Students can enter by:
- We want to see how you use the Library! Share a photo in the Library on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #LibrarySupport. Each post will be an entry in the draw. Tag @MRULibrary in your post and capture anything from your favourite Library study spot to a resource or service in the building that you rely on to get through exams.
- Grab a paper ballot when you check out at the Library Service Desk. Fill in your name, email, year of study, program and hand it to Library staff who will slip it in the ballot box on the main floor.
* Contest rules: You must be a registered MRU student to win. Contest closes on December 18 at 11:30pm MST.
Imagine taking a History course about the Cold War, that dangerous and extraordinary period which continues to impact our world today. Combing through journals and history books would be necessary for researching the final paper, but what if students could also read, touch, and analyze a collection of pamphlets published at the time by the Canadian government to prepare the population for nuclear attack? This is the type of resources that students and faculty can access in the Archives and Special Collections at the MRU Library—it’s a teaching and research resource that provide direct evidence of the past.
The Archives and Special Collections now offers an online database that allows Library users to access rare primary sources from the classroom or even from the comfort of their own homes. Archives Search, launched on October 25, contains descriptions of over 2,600 historical records held by the Archives and Special Collections. It also contains over 1,400 digitized photographs and documents, allowing far greater access to these sources while also helping to preserve fragile originals.
“Archives contain the unique unpublished primary sources that history is written from,” explains Archivist and Special Collections Librarian Peter Houston. The launch of this new online resource is a big step towards his goal of connecting as many students and faculty as possible to the Archives’ valuable collections so that they can be used for teaching and research. Since some records are so delicate, having a digital copy will also help to preserve the originals for future generations.
Archives Search is now available via the Archives and Special Collections webpage. Simply enter a search term and the database will find all available relevant records. Most records have to be accessed in person in the Archives’ Reading Room on the 4th floor of the Library, but those that have been digitized are available as downloadable high resolution images. There’s also an Archives Research Guide for those who may be new to searching and using archival materials.
The search database currently holds 10 percent of total Archives collections. Houston encourages users who don’t find what they’re looking for to contact the Archives. Descriptions and digitized records will be gradually added to Archives Search over time. Houston says the Archives team prioritizes collections that are relevant to current courses at MRU, or that are accessed most frequently by researchers or instructors who bring their classes to Archives for instruction.
“This summer we’ve digitized a new collection of medieval manuscripts (some of which are up to 800 years old) because they are already being heavily used by Mount Royal students in English and History,” says Houston. “This is a perfect example of the benefits of digitization since it not only helps protect the original manuscripts, but users can easily view and download digital copies for study.”
As part of the MRU Library, the Archives and Special Collections is open to everyone, Monday to Friday, 9:30 am to 4:30 pm.