MRU Library Blog

We’re Here For You During Exams

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

New Online Access to Rare Archival Collections

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.

 

Canadian Cold War pamphlet collection now available online through Archives Search

 

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.

Peter Houston (left) assists students in the Archives and Special Collections Reading Room on the 4th floor of the Library

 

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.

 

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.