Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Ithaka Faculty Survey Key Insights and Opportunities

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Earlier this year, University of Alberta Libraries [UAL] sought feedback from faculty about the impact of digital information technologies on their research and teaching via the Ithaka Faculty Survey. In addition to the reports and data already posted here, Ithaka recently provided the Libraries with an analytical narrative of the results of the survey, that also provides some comparisons against aggregated findings of all participating CARL [Canadian Association of Research Libraries] institutions.

A key goal of the survey is to provide evidence-based strategic insights into how faculty members perceive the role of the Libraries and identify areas of opportunity for innovation. The results from the survey revealed the following strategically relevant key insights and opportunities.

Key Insights

  • In general, a substantial share of faculty value the library's role in serving as a gateway for the discovery of scholarly content
  • Across all disciplines, faculty view the library's role as a purchaser of collections as critical to their ability to conduct research
  • Arts and humanities faculty highly value and recognize the library’s role in providing access to needed research materials and scholarly content, and in the provision of research and teaching-related support for students in developing research and information literacy skills
  • Faculty in the medical/veterinary/health science and science disciplines are much more likely to prefer only electronic versions of scholarly resources including monographs and journal articles, when compared with their colleagues in the arts, humanities, and social sciences
  • In general, respondents value the library’s role in providing access to subscription-based online repositories of research data, indicating that faculty members may value specialized research content and collections in addition to access to traditional literature

Strategic Opportunities

  • To focus on enhancing engagement among faculty members in science disciplines regarding library-provided research and instructional support services
  • To enhance strategic communications or targeted outreach to faculty members in medical/veterinary/health science and arts and humanities disciplines specifically regarding how the Libraries can support faculty in organizing, managing, and preserving
  • To continue to develop services surrounding the curation of data

For Further Information

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Pet Therapy in the Libraries

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Take advantage of some four-legged TLC this fall! Throughout the term, UofA Libraries, in association with Unwind Your Mind, will be welcoming therapy dogs from the Chimo Animal Assisted Wellness and Learning Society (CAAWLS) to four of our north campus libraries (Rutherford, Cameron, John W. Scott Library and the Education Library).

Pet therapy has been shown to be a fun, enjoyable way to decrease feelings of loneliness and anxiety. Therapy dogs are wonderful listeners, love meeting new people, and are happy to indulge in a cuddle. We invite everyone to take break from their work and studies to spend some time with these canine therapists.

Upcoming dates, times, and locations are noted below.

  • October 28th: John W. Scott Library, 2:00pm
  • November 4th: Coutts Library, 1:00pm
  • November 18th, Cameron Library, 11:30am
  • November 25th: Rutherford Library, 2:00pm
  • December 2nd: Rutherford Library, 2:00pm
  • December 9th, Cameron Library, 11:30
  • December 10th: John W. Scott Library, 1:00pm
And, drop by the Augustana Library for dog therapy with Hutch the Library Dog!

                        Monday, September 14, 2015

                        Five Fascinating Items to Discover in the Rawlinson Rare Book Collection

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                        Attention all aficionados of medical history and antiquarian books! Did you know that University of Alberta Libraries has its very own rare medical book collection?

                        The Rawlinson Rare Book Collection is located in the John W. Scott Health Sciences Library. Named for anatomy professor Herbert E. Rawlinson, who taught at the UofA from 1927-1962, the collection features over 1500 volumes of books on a variety of health sciences topics, including Western Canadian medicine, anatomy, midwifery and women’s health, domestic healthcare, epidemics and public health, military medicine, and neurology.

                        There are a lot of amazing things to see at in the Rawlinson collection. Here are five items that we think are worth making a trip to the Scott to see:

                        1. Icones Anatomicae  by Andreas Vesalius - Andreas Vesalius was a 16th century physician and is now referred to as the founder of modern anatomy. In an age when human dissection was outlawed, Vesalius broke the rules by teaching anatomy through performing human dissections in a lecture theatre where his pupils could watch. Vesalius published his anatomical findings in his 1543 masterwork De humani corporis fabrica, which featured some of the most famous images in the history of anatomical illustration. Icones Anatomicae, published in 1934, features reprints of these illustrations produced using the 400-year old woodblocks created for the original Fabrica.

                        2. Corpus of the anatomical studies in the collection of Her Majesty, the Queen, at Windsor Castle by Leonardo da Vinci - Among his myriad of interests, da Vinci was an avid anatomist whose reputation as a great artist garnered him special permission to dissect human corpses. He sketched hundreds of stunning drawings in a number of notebooks that were believed to be lost in the centuries that followed. Many of these notebooks reappeared in the art collection at Windsor Castle. In 1978 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II allowed 998 copies of da Vinci’s anatomical sketches to be made available for the public in this gorgeous three volume set. If you are a fan of da Vinci’s artwork these images are a must see.

                        3. Description anatomique des parties de la femme (...) by Jan Palfijn and Francois Mauriceau - Both Palfijn and Mauriceau were physicians concerned with obstetrics and female anatomy, and this volume, published in 1708, contains some wonderful foldout illustrations on the subject. What makes this volume unique is the second half, Traité des monstres, de leur causes, de leur nature, & de leur differences. Traité des monstres features numerous illustrations of rare birth defects including a multitude of siamese twins and some more imaginative half-human creatures with the heads or bodies of animals.

                        4. Plastic surgery of the face : based on selected cases of war injuries of the face including burns by Harold Delf Gillies - Not for the faint of heart, Gilles 1920 book takes a look at facial reconstruction procedures utilized during the First World War. This volume is filled with photos and illustrations from actual cases from this era and is fascinatingly macabre.

                        5. Speaking of the macabre, let’s not forget the most infamous book in the Rawlinson collection, ​Celsi de medicina libri octo. Published in 1722, this is the book that is purported to be bound in human skin.

                        Items housed within this collection do not circulate and can only be accessed in the Phyllis Russell Rare Book Room during business hours at the John W. Scott Library. All visitors to the Rawlinson must present their ONEcard, or other government issued identification, to staff at the Scott service desk. Be sure to have the titles, author names, and call numbers of the books you would like to view handy when you come to the service desk. You can find more visit procedures and information on the Rawlinson Collection in our History of Medicine Library Guide.

                        Thursday, September 10, 2015

                        Seeking members for Students' Library Advisory Committee

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                        Do you want to make a difference on campus? Are you eager to develop your skill set outside of the classroom? Apply to become a member of the University of Alberta's Students' Library Advisory Committee.

                        If selected, you will work collaboratively with your peers and library staff to enhance and improve library services to better meet the evolving needs of undergraduate and graduate students, now and in the future.

                        Last year's committee members, pictured below, played an active role in helping the Libraries make key decisions related to its Course Textbook Initiative, communication efforts with students, new furniture purchases, and web site usability.

                        For more information about SLAC's mandate, membership, and expectations, and to submit your application, go to http://library.ualberta.ca/slac/

                        Deadline for applications:
                        September 22, 2015

                        Questions? Contact one of the Co-Chairs:
                        Angie Mandeville at afm1@ualberta.ca
                        Kim Frail at kim.frail@ualberta.ca

                        Tuesday, September 1, 2015

                        Course textbooks are expensive! Borrow one from the Libraries.

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                        The Libraries' Course Textbook Initiative's aim is to increase student access to textbooks and offset student costs on them. Just over $100,000 has been allocated to the purchase of select course textbooks, funded by UAL and the Students' Union.  

                        After consultation with its Students' Library Advisory Committee last year, the Libraries decided to prioritize the purchase of one copy of all required undergraduate textbooks that cost $50 or more and that support courses with a total enrolment of 20 or more students.  For courses with large enrolments, one textbook is ordered for every 75 students.  A small portion of the budget has been set aside to respond to individual requests for textbooks that fall outside of these two priority areas.    

                        This new initiative will be reviewed at the end of each term to assess the use of purchased materials as well as purchasing priorities for future terms.