MRU Library Blog

SAMRU Partners with the Library to Buy Textbooks

Cordelia Snowdon (Left) and Katharine Barrette (Right) browse the Reserve Collection shelves behind the Service Desk on the main floor of the Library.

 

 

Did you know the Library Reserve Collection includes required textbooks for a variety of courses currently offered at MRU?

The Students’ Association of Mount Royal University (SAMRU) and the Library partner every semester to purchase new textbooks from the MRU Bookstore that are kept behind the Library Service Desk. The selection covers a variety of subjects and new additions to the collection are often decided based on demand from students as well as course popularity and class size.

“Partnering with SAMRU on the Textbook Purchase Program helps us to make as many assigned textbooks available for loan to students as possible”  says Library Public Services Associate Dean Katharine Barrette. “Assigned textbooks already held by the Library are moved down to Reserves each semester but SAMRU’s contribution to this partnership is what helps us to add new texts each semester and provide more free access to required readings for our students. The MRU Bookstore also gives this project a discount on each book purchased so our shared budget for book-buying goes further.”

Many of the popular books in the Reserve Collection are available to students on a two hour loan while others can be borrowed for up to one week. Having course textbooks available for students to borrow is typically seen as a convenient option for students while on campus—this allows them to stop in to the Library and review course content before an exam. But there are a portion of Library users who rely on this resource as a temporary measure while managing their finances.

“SAMRU partners to support the Library Reserve Collection to help make textbooks more accessible and affordable for students,” says Cordelia Snowdon, SAMRU Vice-President, Academic. “This program helps ensure that students do not have to choose between their finances and academic success, and represents our commitment to learning excellence.”

The recent Fall/Winter 2018 textbook purchase allowed us to bring in textbooks for 36 courses offered here at MRU, which means that 1,800 students now have free access to their course text.

Find textbooks the Library has available in the Reserve Collection by using LibrarySearch Course Reserve function. Enter the course name in the search tool and review results to find relevant materials available at the Service Desk.

 

 

 

 

 

Learn Something New—Fall workshops in the Library

 

We are proud to feature spaces that are often catalysts for teaching and learning across many subjects, industries, and interests. The Library calendar has been updated with workshops that range from creating a smartphone stand to learning how to protect content and understand your rights when publishing online.

 

 

Copyright and Data

Copyright Workshop – Using Electronic Images
September 19, 10am-11:30am
*Registration is required*

Knowing how to incorporate electronic images in your course materials in a copyright friendly way can be confusing. Join Copyright Advisor Alana Gaulin in a workshop that will answer your questions. In this session you will explore:

  • Copyright basics
  • Your user rights under the Copyright Act
  • How to source copyright friendly electronic images
  • Where, when and how to incorporate these images in your teaching

 

Copyright Workshop – Copyright for MRU Students
September 20, 10am-11:30am
*Registration is required*

Students need to understand how copyright affects them in their school work and how they can rely on their user rights to prepare assignments. In this workshop, Alana Gaulin, MRU Copyright Advisor, will take students through a broad overview of students’ rights and obligations under the Copyright Act in a digital world.

 

Research Data Management and the Tri-Agency’s Draft Policy
October 11, 10am-11:30am
*Registration is required*

A growing number of funders and publishers are implementing policies requiring researchers to plan and document their data management practices and to archive their research data. In this session, we will discuss the Tri-Agency’s Research Data Management Draft Policy and go over the principal elements of research data management, including organization, documentation, storage, and data publishing.

 

Creating a Data Management Plan
November 16 1pm-2:30pm
*Registration is required*

In this workshop, we will introduce the fundamental elements of research data management planning using the Portage Network’s DMP Assistant. Attendees will have the opportunity to sign up for a DMP Assistant account and begin writing a data management plan. Participants are encouraged to come with an existing research project in mind, but practice projects will also be available.

 

 

Maker Studio

Use Illustrator to create a phone stand for the Laser Cutter with Bree Smith in collaboration with START
September 25  2pm-4pm
*Registration is required*

This hands-on workshop shows you how to make a custom phone stand using Adobe Illustrator to be output on the Laser Cutter. You will learn how to use the tools in Illustrator to customize a template, as well as how to get your file ready for the Job Control software. By the end you will have a completely custom design ready for you to cut on the material of your choice.

 

Finishing School – with Edith Koprek
Thursdays 12:30pm-1:30pm, Drop in

Join our master in all things fibre and finish an ongoing project or just get started. This event is weekly on Thursdays between 12.30-1.30 just outside of the Maker Studio.

 

Photoshop for etching on the Laser Cutter with Bree in collaboration with START
TBA

Learn the basics of Photoshop to be able to etch images into surfaces on the Laser Cutter. Examples will be shown and file set up for the Laser Cutter software Job Control will be explained. Registration is required.

 

Learn 3D modelling with Tinkercad to create a ring for 3D printing in the Maker Studio
October 2, 2pm
*Registration is required*

This Tinkercad workshop will teach you how to design a 3D model of a wearable ring you can 3D print on the Maker Studios 3D printers. Options for making your design in metal once it is refined will also be explained.

 

Hand Embroidery 101 with Milena Radzikowska in collaboration with Information Design
October 17 2pm-5pm
*Registration is required*

Information Design professor, Milena Radzikowska will run a workshop on how to plan and start a hand embroidery project. You will learn how to transfer an image onto fabric, prepare your materials, and three basic hand embroidery stitches. We will focus on giving you confidence to do hand embroidery and use it in creative, unexpected ways!

 

Building DNA using 3D printing with Lars Petersen in collaboration with the Biology Department
October 29 2pm-3pm
*Registration is required*

Biology Instructor Lars Petersen will demonstrate his 3D printed DNA models and explain his process in developing this educational tool. Come and use the model while learning about DNA and the trials and tribulations of iterative design and 3D printing.

 

How I made my own 3D printer with Stian French
November 1 10:30am-11:30am
*Registration is required*

Health Sciences student, Stian French will explain how he built his own 3D printer from scratch using some of the technologies in the Maker Studio. In this presentation, Stian will guide participants through the process of research, purchasing parts, building the machine and programming the various elements of the 3D printer. Stian will be available for questions afterwards to help participants understand how 3D printers work and how they can build their own.

 

Button Making Affirmations
November 14 2pm-3pm

Discover why affirmations are an important part of wellbeing. Make a button, fridge magnet or keychain to enforce this practice of improving mind and body. Registration is required.

 

Knitting for Wellbeing
TBA

Learn the research and science behind how knitting can promote wellness. Learn knitting basics and create an object based on the simple beginner stitches of knit and pearl. Registration is required.

 

 

Visualization + VR/AR/MR

Advanced Visualization Wall Techniques  
October 18, 2018 / November 8, 2018 / November 29, 2018
Visualization Classroom
10:00 am – 11:30 am

Learn how to create engaging and interactive presentations, exhibits, and research displays on the MRU Library Visualization Walls. We will explore advanced features of the wall(s) including; recommended web applications/tools, presentation design tips, and custom setups/displays and how you might incorporate them into your teaching/learning, outreach, and research.

 

VR, AR, MR, Oh My!  
October 25, 2018 / November 15, 2018 / December 6, 2018
Visualization Classroom
10:00 am – 11:30 am

Explore Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Mixed Reality (MR) and learn about the newly opened MRU Library Experience Lab (EL1355), available library services, headsets, 360 cameras, types of content and how to integrate it into your classes and research.

 

VR Sculpting with Oculus Medium
November 1, 2018 / November 22, 2018 / December 13, 2018
Experience Lab
10:00 am – 11:30 am

Learn how to create a sculpture utilizing the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset and Oculus Medium application in the newly opened MRU Library Experience Lab (EL1355). You can then 3D print your sculpture in the Maker Studio to take home.

Students make a lasting impact with temporary positions in the Library

The Library’s student employee team members consistently rise to the occasion, tackling projects that are not only intricate but will have a meaningful impact on Library spaces long after graduation.

Being a student is busy and hard work. MRU Library is fortunate to have countless highly skilled and talented students apply to work various positions, while pursuing their studies, that support the greater MRU Community. Projects like a custom web application, mapping data, and a process to track the user experience have been led by ambitious undergrads.

An appetite to improve the status quo

Shuntian Li, who also goes by “Eddie”, is a true self-starter. The 4th year Computer Information Systems student has created an app that tracks the use of Library spaces, which ultimately provides insight on staffing, hours, and allocation of  Library resources. When Li is asked to speak to the process he took to draft, design and program the app, the 24-year-old buzzes with excitement as he explains the countless hours he has spent combing through online resources to teach himself Swift—a programing language required to complete the project. This is the first app Li has ever created but he was recommended for this position by his professors who recognized his potential. He says has genuinely enjoyed being able to apply many of the teachings he’s received through his courses and acquire a specific skill that will help him as he builds his career.

“I knew this would be a good chance to learn something new. I wanted to take that challenge,” says Li.

Shuntian Li

The international student originally from Zhongshan, China is currently training Library staff on how to use and export data from the app that allows them to easily enter and track the amount of users in the Library, which informs how Library spaces are used. The ability to track this information digitally is very necessary since the Library moved from the Lincoln Park Campus building to a 16,000-square-metre space in the Riddell Library and Learning Centre in 2017.

“Our current head counting system with paper and pencil worked fine with our old simple Library layout”, says Beverly Van Horne, Library Public Services Manager. “We now we have 4 floors of Library spaces to track our users, including 31 bookable group rooms, and we needed a better process to capture that data. This new head counting app that Eddie has developed will be more accurate, allow us to use the information more creatively by grouping like spaces together to determine types of usage, and will be much easier and quicker for those collecting the data.”

 

Spot a problem, be the solution

Zoe Slusar is an engaged student who absolutely loves the journey she’s on here at MRU. Slusar is one of many student staff members who work on the Library Service Desk and her goal is simple: help other students access the countless resources available in the Library while doing her part to improve campus life for current and future peers.

As a student entering her final year at MRU, she has carved out many opportunities to volunteer and work with a variety of departments and groups across campus and she admits that she couldn’t resist a chance to work in the Library when she was offered a position as a Service Desk Casual shortly after the grand opening of the Riddell Library and Learning Centre last September.

Zoe Slusar

”I feel like [the Library] is a legacy space on campus. I tell my parents that I prolonged my degree because I needed to use the new Library”, says Slusar with a laugh.

She’s lighthearted and has a sense of humour as she thinks back on everything she’s been a part of on campus that will end with her attaining her degree in June 2019. But when Slusar speaks to her role on the Library Service Desk, the Anthropology major comes across as measured, focused and confident about what she and her peers can achieve.

Slusar has taken the initiative to propose a system that involves her and fellow students who work on the Service Desk to strategically gather feedback from Library users as they are helped during the checkout process or throughout the building. Slusar noticed that student staff members who typically work a few shifts a week, in the evenings, have a particular advantage when it comes to observing and relating to Library users during night shifts since it is mostly students working on assignments.

”We’re staff who are connecting with the customers because we have also shared that lived experience. That’s a really special relationship,” says Slusar. “We know what it’s like if a paper is due and you can’t print it.”

Slusar’s proposal is simple: a process to record feedback, comments, concerns, and positive remarks that students often feel comfortable sharing with someone they may have had a class with. She’s confident this process, which is currently being put in place, will allow for the Library and the general MRU Community to hear suggestions on how to maintain or adjust elements of campus life that will help to improve students’ experience on campus.

“I’m thrilled to have Zoe as part of our casual Library team,” says Denise Upton, Library Evening/Weekend Supervisor. “She is a wonderful ambassador for the Library and MRU as a whole, and truly cares about student success.  Her positivity is infectious and makes the Library a welcoming place for all.”

 

From the classroom to the office

As a new graduate with a Bachelor of Computer Information Systems degree, Mark Ladoing is now starting a new chapter after completing a major accomplishment. He secured his first information technology (IT) position all before he walked the graduation stage.

Ladoing, 23, worked with the Library Information Systems team as an Information Technology Assistant for a four month work term, which he completed this past April, and was a requirement for his program. It was an introduction to the real world application of what he was learning in classes since he was tasked with projects that allow digital spaces in the Library to run efficiently as well as data recording that will help direct maintenance priorities for the Library website.

Mark Ladoing

Ladoing, who is incredibly detail oriented, tracked and recorded the responsiveness of each page on the Library website, which will allow the design elements to be evaluated and potentially updated in an effort to connect them to various devices.

He also worked on scripts, a sequence of code, to assist with presentations being displayed properly on the Visualization Wall in the Ideas Lounge. Ladoing, who first started his degree program in 2013, also assisted with programming that will allow the Library to include wayfinding for users in LibrarySearch—  the newly launched online search platform.

“Initially when I started working here I was so nervous,” explains Mark, who describes himself as reserved. “As time went on I was able to open up more and it became easier for me to collaborate with everyone.”

Ladoing reflects on this work placement and adds that it felt good to be part of a team that wants him to succeed. He is now back in his hometown of Strathmore, Alberta and looks forward to securing his next IT position.