MRU Library Blog

Keeping Up a (Virtual) Connection with the MRU Community

I think we can all agree that the past 7 months have required all of us to adapt to a new way of moving through our day-to-day activities, and this has included how we learn, connect and access services on campus. As of March 17, Library employees made the shift to primarily work from home, which meant expanding channels where we could continue to support both students and faculty at Mount Royal and showcase the many resources we have available online.

We took time to reflect, and it’s clear that we owe Mount Royal students, employees, and alumni a warm thank you. Whether you have signed up for an online workshop, reached out to us over chat and text, or made use of the several online databases and resources, you have helped us pivot and prioritize based on the immediate needs of our community.

We have been incredibly pleased by the remarkable surge in our online support options, which has included a 175% increase in chats from the same time in 2019. A few other related facts and figures have been compiled and shared through the infographic below.

This journey continues. We look forward to the many conversations, research appointments, book pick up orders, and online programming still to come.

 

Welcome to the Fall 2020 Semester

 

The Library extends a warm welcome to Mount Royal students and employees! We have been working with campus partners and with the guidance of Alberta Health Services to create a supportive Library environment for online learning this semester.  There’s no denying that we look forward to having all students and employees back on campus, but until then, we are here to support you virtually. There are so many ways you can make use of Library resources and supports. 

 

This is what you can expect from the Library this semester:

 

Online support and research help

  • Library staff are available to help answer questions over chat on our website or you can text us! (#587-400-8044)
  • Subject guides cover most disciplines offered at MRU and are available online; they include relevant subject, course and assignment-specific resources such as databases, journals, articles, as well as citation tools. 
  • Book a virtual appointment with a subject specialist, who can help you with research related questions including finding and evaluating sources.

 

Visiting the Library in person

  • Visitors must follow the on-campus activity protocol before coming to campus. There are student-specific guidelines to follow and special instructions for employees
  • Masks must be worn, as per campus guidelines.
  • A OneCard will be required to enter the building from the west entrance (across from the EA building). Tap the access pad to enter and follow instructions on signs and disinfect hands at the sanitizing station.

 

Study spaces

  • The main floor of the Library will be available to the limited number of students and employees who will be on campus. Check the hours page on the Library website for the most up-to-date hours of service.
  • Seating for study purposes will be appropriately spaced to adhere to distancing measures. Regular cleaning will take place to disinfect common areas and cleaning products will be made available to visitors to wipe down work surfaces. 
  • Group Rooms on the main floor are available for booking, but are limited to single occupancy and can now be reserved for an extended period of time (4 hours) to limit turnover. 

 

Computers and printing

  • The Computer Commons and computers in the Library Classrooms will be available to students on campus; computers will be appropriately spaced to adhere to distancing measures. 
  • No printing will be available in the Library until further notice.

 

Access to collections

 

Faculty support

 

Workshops and special events

  • Online workshops, orientations and panel discussions are regularly added to the Library calendar. Register for a session and learn about support for online course delivery as well as copyright, specialized equipment, software, and expertise related to virtual reality and the Maker Studio.

 

The main floor of the Library will reopen to all current students and employees on Tuesday, September 1. We are happy to be able to provide a study area for the limited members of our community who need to come to campus this semester and we’re asking for your help to maintain a clean work environment. Please respect the distancing measures on the main floor; the seating is intentionally spread out to give each visitor adequate space to work. Also, make use of the cleaning supplies that will be available and wipe down your study area. Remember that masks are currently mandatory on campus. 

 

We look forward to connecting with each of you, from wherever you’ll be studying and working this semester.

 


Check out the video we created for new student orientation that highlights some of the ways we’re supporting the Mount Royal community this semester.

What We’re Reading This Summer

 

If you ask us, it’s always a good time to get lost in a good book but now that summer has arrived and we’re spending more time at home, it feels like a particularly opportune moment to plow through a reading list.

Some of our most passionate readers who work in the Library have shared the books they have recently read and would definitely recommend. Some of the picks are currently available in our collection and can be requested through the Contactless Book Pick Up Service for MRU students and employees. The rest are currently on order and will soon be available.

Let us know what you’re reading this summer!


BRIAN
Associate Professor/Librarian
The Catalogue of Shipwrecked Books by Edward Wilson-Lee


ALANA
Copyright Advisor
Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez


BEVERLY
Fulfillment Specialist
So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo


ERIK
Assistant Professor/Librarian
Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker, PhD

“This is an engaging scientific work that explains why sleep is critical to our health and what happens when we don’t get enough of it”


JANE
Serials Specialist
City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong
The Face of a Stranger by Anne Perry
My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite


GEOFF
Associate Professor/Librarian
Black Elk: The Life of an American Visionary by Joe Jackson

“An epic biography of the famous mystic, cousin of Crazy Horse, participant at the Battle of Little Bighorn and the Wounded Knee Massacre. Black Elk also toured Europe to enthralled fans and met Queen Victoria and, quite possibly, Jack the Ripper.”

Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys: A Memoir by Viv Albertine

“Rock and roll plus fashion, sex and drugs”


EDITH
Information Assistant – Scholarship
The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

“So much in this book, the historical story of a female botanist in the 19th century, includes world travel, passion, rich characters, research and much more. Beautifully written.”


SADE
Public Service Assistant
Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything by Lydia Kang, MD and Nate Pedersen

“This book is filled with the gross, gruesome, and ghastly and more than a few face-palm worthy moments. Funny and well researched it is a real trip through the ages of human folly.” 

The Eye of the World (First book of The Wheel of Time series) by Robert Jordan

“This book is pure escapism at its finest. The best part? The Eye of the World is the first book in a fifteen book series so it will keep you reading all summer!”


ISHA
Communications

Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

“It’s one of those books where you try and stop reading at the end of a chapter but you can’t keep yourself from turning the page.”


**Updated August 28, 2020** to include links to books now available that were on order at the time of the initial publication date.

Mount Royal University Library’s Commitment: Black Lives Matter

 

The Mount Royal University Library stands in solidarity with the Black community and everyone who has stood up against anti-Black racism and police brutality in recent weeks. The killing of George Floyd and many others including Black people, Indigenous people, and people of colour across the United States and Canada is a devastating reminder of the deadly impact of systemic white supremacy. 

Libraries are sometimes imagined as places of neutrality: this narrative is false. Libraries, like universities, are part of the power structure that centres whiteness in our society and reinforces its privileges.

We have an obligation to dismantle oppressive narratives and structures and engage in actions that create change. We believe change will not happen with hopeful thoughts and vague aspirations. Protests from around the world have shown us that action is required and is something we are all capable of implementing in our personal and professional lives. 

As a Library, we provide resources that inspire learners to seek answers and uplift voices determined to make a difference. A sincere quest to unravel long standing systemic oppression takes time but we have identified specific ways we can act today.

 

We Commit To:

  1. Intensifying efforts to acquire library materials that challenge anti-Black racism and systemic oppression, by immediately establishing a dedicated annual collections fund for this purpose, with a priority of purchasing materials written by Black authors.
  2. Improving findability of Library materials by updating existing descriptions, subject headings, and classifications referring to works by and about Black people. Outdated descriptive terms found in library metadata are a problematic inheritance from past generations, and must be changed.
  3. Reaching out to student advocacy groups on campus engaged in the Black Lives Matter movement and other anti-racist efforts to learn about their work and how the Library can support them.
  4. Ensuring training for Library employees in identifying and confronting racism and systemic oppression, and engaging in making meaningful change.
  5. Reviewing policies, procedures, and priorities across the Library to identify and change practices that may reinforce systemic racism or exclude marginalized members of the Library community.
  6. Advocating for and supporting institutional changes that have the power to actively contribute to the success, safety, and opportunities for current and future Black students, academics, and professionals at MRU.

 

Black Lives Matter.