Thursday, September 28, 2017

Library Hacks: Holds

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Welcome to Library Hacks, a monthly segment where we give you tips on using the library.

This month learn about about HOLDS. 

What are holds?
Holds are a service the library provides to make library materials easier to access by delivering them to alternative library locations.

Why would you place a hold? 
The holds shelf at the J.W. Scott Health Sciences Library

There are a couple of reasons you would place a hold. Firstly, if an item is checked out to someone else, placing a hold on it tells the library system you want to use the material next. When you place a hold on checked out material, the person who has it checked out will not be able to renew it. If they have had it checked out past two-weeks they will get a recall notice, explaining the item has to be returned.

Another reason you would place a hold, is if material is at a different library location. The University of Alberta Libraries is a part of the the NEOS Library Consortium and therefore the library catalogue includes the collection of many libraries that are not on campus. Placing a hold brings the book to campus, to a library that is most convenient for you to retrieve it from.

How do you place a hold?
You can place holds in the library catalogue in the item record. When you click on the "place hold" button the catalogue will prompt you for your CCID and password. It will then ask you to choose a pick-up location.

The holds shelf at the Cameron Library
How long will the hold take to arrive?
It depends! Firstly, where was the material coming from? Materials that coming from another campus library, the Book and Record Depository (BARD) or somewhere in the city, typically take about 1-2 business days to arrive.  Secondly, was the material ON SHELF when you placed the hold? Material that is checked out will show a due date in the "location" area of the holdings information. If the material is checked out it could take quite a bit longer for the book to come in.

How do books get to where they need to go?
The holds shelf at the HT Coutts Library
Items placed on hold are retrieved by library staff on weekday mornings. Staff then put the holds into blue bins that get transported by our delivery truck drivers. The same delivery drivers drop-off bins they picked up at other locations. Library staff sort and place the holds on the hold shelf in alphabetical order by last name. When library staff check the materials in, the library system sends you an email telling you the hold is available for you to pick up.

You will find your holds on the hold shelf the library you selected as your pick-up location. You have five days to pick up your holds before we return them to their home location, or move them onwards to the next hold in line.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Meet the Dogs (and Cats!) in the Library

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Dog lovers rejoice! Dogs in the Library is back in session and we’re introducing an exciting new program for campus cat lovers. UAlberta Libraries is once again partnering with CAAWLS for Dogs in the Library. Together we're also piloting the new feline-centric Cats in the Library. As a sneak preview, meet a couple of the dogs and one of the cats you might see around our libraries.

Hi, my name is Percy. I’m an 8 year old Labrador Retriever-mix who’s spent the summer running, swimming, indulging in my favourite snacks (peanut butter and carrots, if you’re curious) and taking long naps. When I’m a really good boy my family will let me watch my favourite movie - Homeward Bound.

I’m looking forward to making some return visits to the library where I hope to get a few armpit scratches (I love a good armpit scratch!) and show everyone who’s a good boy… Don’t be shy in telling me if you think I am!

Hey everyone! Presley’s the name and drooling is my game. My descendants are from Newfoundland, but I was born in Saskatchewan nine years ago… Gosh, has it been that long... I still feel like a pup! Except when my mom plays fetch... Then I let the other dog I live with have all the glory.

Don’t let my size fool you (150 lbs), I’m just a big softy who loves getting plenty of hugs and kisses. I’m kind of like Dug, the dog from Up... I love that movie! This is the best time of year; the apple tree in my yard is full of apples that I can snack on and I get to visit the libraries again.

Wow… I like the looks of that Presley guy, and Percy has great taste in movies… Oops, sorry... I got distracted. I’m Gus the cat. It’s my first time working at the library and I’m super excited. Are there any birds at the library? I love birdwatching almost as much as I love my kibble and sleeping. Sometimes for a treat my family lets me eat wet food… A little slice of heaven. I’m also a sucker for cardboard boxes and big dogs.

Here’s hoping for lots of cuddles and no baths or showers when I visit this fall!

Excited to meet these guys and their many friends? Here are the dates and times where you can indulge in some canine, or feline, love.
Dogs in the Library
  • Cameron Library:  September 26, 12:30pm
  • Rutherford Library:  October 4, 2:00pm
  • Scott Library: October 5, 12:30pm
  • Coutts Library: October 12,  12:30pm
  • Cameron Library: October 25, 12:30pm
  • Coutts Library: November 1, 12:00pm
  • Rutherford Library:  November 1, 2:00pm
  • Scott Library: November 8, 12:30pm
  • Rutherford Library: November 22, 2:00pm
  • Coutts Library: November 28,  12:30pm
  • Cameron Library: November 30, 12:30pm
  • Scott Library: December 12, 12:30pm
  • Rutherford Library: December 13, 2:00pm 
Cats in the Library
  • Cameron Library: October 19, 12:30pm
  • Cameron Library: November 14, 12:30pm

Augustana students, never fear, Hutch the library dog will be keeping his usual hours at the Augustana campus library.

We encourage everyone to share their dog and cat selfies on Facebook and Instagram: #CAAWLS, #dogsinthelibrary, and #uofalibraries. We’d also love to see them in our Twitter feed, @uofalibraries.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Science Literacy Week 2017

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Join us at Cameron Library from September 18 to 21, where we will host a number of presentations, demos, and displays showcasing the diverse scientific research conducted by students and staff at the University of Alberta and by partners from across Edmonton local!

From paleontology and zoology, molecular gastronomy and board games, to robotics and makerspaces, the breadth of knowledge and research in science is amazing! Science Literacy Week gives students and staff the opportunity to get up close and personal with science and learn from those who are passionately engaged about their research and work.
Here's a sneak peak into some of the events this year!

Get Closer - Animal VisitGet to meet, learn about, and maybe even touch some of the smaller animals that live at the Edmonton Valley Zoo.
Fun with Let's Talk Science!Make your hair stand on ends with awesome experiments bought to you by Let's Talk Science!
Dino LabLearn about U of A's own Jurassic Park, the Dino Lab!
Liquid N-Ice CreamDrop by Cameron Library and grab some super chilled ice cream brought to you by CHEMSA!

Check out our University of Alberta Libraries' Science Literacy Week 2017 website for a list of planned events for the week.

Science Literacy Week 2016 Science Literacy Week 2016
In 2016, Cameron Library hosted one of the most successful Science Literacy Weeks in Canada, with a whopping 19+ events! This year, we have partnered with WISEST and many others to bring you even more exciting and informative events from the University and surrounding communities.

Let's break our own record! Put on your lab coat, find your best beaker, and come join us! Everyone is welcome!
(And don't forget to share on your experiences on social media with #scilit17 and #ualberta!)

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

A Simple Fix for Cringeworthy Crown Copyright

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There’s a provision in Canada’s Copyright Act that makes University of Alberta Copyright Librarian, Amanda Wakaruk, cringe. The clause (section 12 of the Act), states that:
Without prejudice to any rights or privileges of the Crown, where any work is, or has been, prepared or published by or under the direction or control of Her Majesty or any government department, the copyright in the work shall, subject to any agreement with the author, belong to Her Majesty and in that case shall continue for the remainder of the calendar year of the first publication of the work and for a period of fifty years following the end of that calendar year.
After multiple years of experiencing difficulty gaining permission for institutions like the U of A Libraries to digitally harvest and distribute publicly accessible government documents for research and study, Wakaruk has channelled her observations and angst about Crown Copyright into a House of Commons e-petition, sponsored by Saskatoon West MP, Sheri Benson. 

The premise of the petition - that information created and published by a government should be accessible to its people - is not unusual. In the United States, federal government publications have been in the public domain since the 1890s. And although the United Kingdom has retained its Crown Copyright provision, the provision has been updated and the country allows broad use and sharing of most public government publications under the terms of an Open Government Licence. Canada’s equivalent federal licence is more restrictive and applied inconsistently across government agencies. 

In Canada, Crown Copyright remains a significant barrier for institutions and individuals who need to use and reuse Canadian parliamentary proceedings, government reports, press releases, and statistical publications. Researchers and librarians are frustrated by the inconsistent interpretation of section 12 by government employees and by having to ask for permission to use these works in ways that should be not only allowed but encouraged in a liberal democracy.

The solution to fix Crown Copyright is simple: the petition calls for the addition of a clause (12.1) that removes copyright protection for government works once they’ve been made publicly available.

Wakaruk sees an important role for librarians in critiquing government information policy and how it affects the public good, and she’s not alone. Her petition is being supported by organizations and individuals from across Canada, and had gained over 1000 signatures at the time of this post.

For more information about Crown Copyright, and to view the e-Petition, which closes on September 23, visit

More information about Amanda’s work on this issue can be found here:

Monday, September 11, 2017

Scientific Experiments in Streaming Video

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Have you ever read a description of a scientific experiment and wished that you could visualize how it’s performed? Now you can! UAlberta Libraries subscribes to the complete contents of JoVE, a peer-reviewed scientific journal that publishes experimental methods in video format. Launched ten years ago as the Journal of Visualized Experiments, JoVE has published over 7,000 high-quality videos demonstrating experiments from laboratories at the world’s leading research institutions, including the University of Alberta.

JoVE Video Journal contains cutting-edge experiments, accompanied by detailed text protocols. Collections include Biology, Developmental Biology, Genetics, Neuroscience, Medicine, Cancer Research, Immunology and Infection, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Engineering, Bioengineering, Behaviour, and Environment.

JoVE Science Education videos allow educators and students to better teach and learn key concepts and fundamental techniques at the undergraduate course level. These simple, easy-to-understand video demonstrations cover a wide range of STEM subjects including Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Psychology, Clinical Medicine and Engineering.

 JoVE today for a new perspective on lab experiments.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Five Things to Know About University of Alberta Libraries

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We have a library for that!
We have ten libraries covering all fields of study:
* Augustana Campus Library (Camrose)
* Bibliothèque Saint-Jean (Campus Saint-Jean)
* Bruce Peel Special Collections & Archives
* Cameron (Science and Technology)
* H.T. Coutts (Education and Physical Education)
* John W. Scott (Health Sciences)
* John A. Weir (Law)
* Rutherford (Humanities and Social Sciences)
* Winspear (Business)
* Research & Collections Resource Facility (RCRF)*

Feel free to visit and use any of these libraries, no matter your field of study. 

*Please note that RCRF is not accessible to the public. To access an item housed at RCRF, place a hold on it and have it sent to the NEOS library of your choice. 

Your ONECard is your library card 
How long can you borrow books? What are your borrowing privileges? Find out here

To avoid fines:
* Read your email notification of due dates
* Renew books online with My Account
* Return recalled books by their due date

Your ONECard can also be used to borrow materials from Edmonton Public Library by registering for the free L-PASS program. You can also use your ONECard to get a TAL Card to borrow from libraries across the province, including Camrose!

Search our collections online 
The University of Alberta Libraries is Canada's second largest research library, with a print and electronic collection exceeding 4.7 million titles and over 8.7 million volumes. In addition to using your ONECard to borrow books, as a member of the U of A community you can use your CCID and password to access more than 110,000 scholarly ejournals, over 1.3 million ebooks, and over 1,700 online databases to help you succeed with academic research projects. And if we don’t have what you need, request it via interlibrary loan.

Browse our guides for information by subject, or start your search at

You can also borrow laptops and other electronic devices. Visit our equipment lending guide for more information. 

We have space for you 
We have great spaces and technology for you to get your work done, including:
* Designated common, quiet and silent areas, which have everything from individual carrels and comfortable soft seating to silent, technology free zones and large quiet reading rooms
* Late night study hours in Cameron, Rutherford, and Augustana Libraries
* Over 50 study and practice presentation rooms, varied in size and setup, that are bookable online
* Over 700 Windows and over 100 Mac workstations, equipped with a wide range of browsers and office productivity software
* Charging lockers that offer a secure option to power up your cell phone

Our spaces are open to everyone!

Ask us for help!
Feel free to come to any of our libraries to get research assistance at our service desks. Our staff can help you find what you need and teach you to use our resources. Can’t make it in person?  Chat, text, email, or call us.

We have librarian experts for every field of study. If you need in-depth assistance for a major project make an appointment with a librarian.

Questions? Ask us!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Join the 2017/2018 Student Library Advisory Committee

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You can make a difference on campus and share your voice with the UAlberta Libraries! We're looking for new members for SLAC, our Student 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.

Previous committee members have played an active role in helping the Libraries make key decisions related to its technology lending pilot program, 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

Deadline for application: September 17, 2017

Questions? Contact one of the Co-Chairs: Angie Mandeville at or Lindsay Johnston at