Friday, May 27, 2016

University of Alberta Libraries Extends No Charge Reciprocal Interlibrary Loans on Non-Returnable Items Effective July 1, 2016

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The University of Alberta Libraries is pleased to announce its decision to extend reciprocal interlibrary loan (ILL) / document delivery privileges to all COPPUL/OCUL/CAUL-CBUA/BCI member institutions at no charge for non-returnables (eg. articles, book chapters) effective July 1, 2016.

The University of Alberta Libraries has been a strong resource sharing partner for many libraries in Canada and elsewhere and we provide unique resource sharing agreements that allow for exceptional service to other libraries. We are strongly committed to our regional and national resource sharing agreements and to the promotion of consortial principles for resource sharing in Canada.

Questions regarding the University of Alberta Libraries ILL/document delivery fee structure may be directed to CJ de Jong, Access Services Coordinator,

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Invitation to Web Archive Collaboration Talk

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The University of Alberta Libraries is excited to host Ian Milligan (Assistant Professor, History) from the University of Waterloo and Nick Ruest (Digital Assets Librarian) from York University for a discussion of web archiving collections and research methods on Thursday, June 2 from Noon to 1 p.m. in Room E2-001, Engineering Teaching and Learning Complex (ETLC).

In their presentation “Walking the WALK: Facilitating Interdisciplinary Web Archive Collaboration” Ian and Nick will highlight work from their Web Archives for Longitudinal Knowledge project.

The growth of digital sources since the advent of the World Wide Web in 1991, and the commencement of widespread web archiving in 1996, presents profound new opportunities for social and cultural analysis. In simple terms, the 1990s cannot be studied without web archives: they are both primary sources that reflect how people consume and understand media, as well as repositories that document the thoughts, opinions, and activities of millions of everyday people. These are a dream for social historians.

However, with all this opportunity comes challenges: large data, the need for interdisciplinary collaboration between historians who might have the questions but not the technical resources or knowledge to work with these sources, and basic questions around what a web archive is and how to access them.  Libraries and archives are perfectly positioned to work in this new emerging field that brings together historians, computer scientists, and information specialists.

In this talk, our speakers will discuss the fruits of one collaboration that has emerged at York University, the University of Alberta, and the University of Waterloo. Bringing together librarians, historians, and computer scientists, as well as an interdisciplinary team of undergraduate and graduate students, this distributed group is developing several web archival analytics projects.

They work using a combination of centralized and de-centralized infrastructure to run data analytics, store web archives, provide a publicly-facing portal, and collaborate. Ian and Nick will discuss the challenges of working in an interdisciplinary environment, and give insights into how the team has been working through in-detail case studies of their work with, Twitter archiving and analysis, Compute Canada, and warcbase, a web analytics platform.

The combination of computer scientists and humanists is not always a simple one, but it has proven to be worthwhile.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Library Support for Fort McMurray Evacuees

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University of Alberta Libraries (UAL) is open to all Albertans. Everyone is welcome!  If you are a Fort McMurray evacuee, please feel free to:  

  • use our library spaces. They are open to all. Check out our library locations and hours.
  • access to our public workstations and computer labs. Request a temporary ID at any of our library service desks.
  • borrow materials from our collections. K-12 curriculum materials, children's books, board games and puppets can be found at Coutts Library. Use your library card, or get one at any UA library service desk. 
  • use our group study rooms with UAlberta student tutors, particularly Fort McMurray students. UA student tutors can book a study room online for you to use.

The Libraries have also begun collecting website, social media, videos, and photos relating to the fire.  We'd like to invite anyone to nominate sites for inclusion in the web archive.  Submit your suggestions online.

We have also been in touch with our library colleagues at Keyano College in Fort McMurray. Keyano library staff have been safely evacuated, ​and the college is safe.  Keyano, like UAlberta, is a NEOS member.  If you are a Keyano student or staff member, please note that:

  • you are able to use all other NEOS libraries seamlessly.
  • fines on items checked out from Keyano or by Fort McMurray clients will not accrue.
  • It is anticipated that books lost in the fire will not accrue charges.
  • All books requested by Keyano students and staff for delivery from other NEOS libraries will be held until Keyano is ready to accept them.

Randy Reichardt @ Library/Info table at Lister Hall
Over the course of this week, library staffers have mobilized to provide a Library/Info table at Lister Hall to contribute to the much larger UA volunteer effort to assist Fort McMurray evacuees.  In addition, staff have been responding to calls for volunteers to help serve food during meal times at Lister.

Li-Kwong Cheah, Diane Schaub and Ruma Daulay serving lunch

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Research and Collections Resource Facility (RCRF) Update

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The RCRF building site has been busy this month with site preparation, fencing, breaking ground, drilling and more! To date, construction is on track. The below pictures capture some highlights of these first stages in the project.

The Libraries continue to focus on making decisions about the building. Last week interior and exterior finishes were discussed, as well as the colour scheme. We also met with colleagues in Information Services and Technology and Facilities and Operations to sort through IT infrastructure and access control system requirements for the RCRF.

Preparing for the move of over three million items from BARD to the RCRF is no small task! We need to ensure we have workflows and processes in place to support their safe and smooth transfer, and consider issues like cleaning and digitization. Some activities currently underway include:

  • Developing software so we know the location of every item in the collection as it moves from BARD to the RCRF, be it in a bin, on a shelf, or on a truck. We want to ensure we can locate items requested for our users throughout the move process.
  • Working with Risk Management to review our environmental health and safety processes and procedures at BARD and update them as needed for the RCRF, given that staff work with forklifts and cherry pickers to manage and access our large, heavy, and high up collections!
  • Reviewing best practices regarding large scale digitization at other institutions to inform how we manage our five new scribe scanning stations.

    Visit the RCRF web page for more information and updates.

    Post any questions or feedback you have below and we’ll get back to you!