Thursday, March 21, 2019

Robots have invaded the library - Borrow one today!

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Are you a student teacher looking for a cool activity to get your student’s attention? Or, are you interested in plugging into the wonderful world of robotics? H.T. Coutts Library and Bibliothèque Saint-Jean both have a variety of robot kits available to borrow.

From cute little bots that can be controlled by mobile devices to more complex robot building sets (including a few LEGO Mindstorm kits), there are kits geared towards every age and technical experience level. They are an exciting way to develop technological literacy and problem-solving skills in students - especially important in our increasingly automated world. Plus, who doesn’t want to play with robots?

Take a look at our lendable robot fleet on the Robotics page of the Teaching Science guide. Or, visit H.T. Coutts Library or Bibliothèque Saint-Jean to explore these options. Robot kits can be borrowed for a one week loan period.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Vote in the People's Choice Award for 2019 Images of Research

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At its essence, the University of Alberta Images of Research competition challenges our graduate students to share their research in a way that society can relate to and understand.

The judges have met, debated, and chosen the winners, apart from the People's Choice Award, who will be revealed at a reception on April 3. The coveted title of 'People's Choice' and the $250 prize is chosen by you from the 24 semifinalists.

The People's Choice Award voting is now open. All of this year's semifinalists will be displayed at Coutts Education and Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation Library on North Campus, University of Alberta throughout April.

How to vote:

1. Click here to view the finalists online and vote for your favourite entry with the best image and description.

2. Share this post with your community!

Voting is open to the public from March 13 to 20, 2019.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Food for Fines is back for 2019! Donate Food to Pay a Fine

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In partnership with the Campus Food Bank, University of Alberta Libraries will be running a Food for Fines Campaign and Food Bank Drive at all library locations from March 6th until April 30th, 2019. All donated food items will be distributed to members of the University of Alberta community, and monetary donations will be used by the Campus Food Bank to purchase more food for distribution to the community.

How does it work?
Visit a service desk in any UAlberta Library location.
Donate non-perishable food item[s].
While all food and toiletry donations are appreciated, the most needed items are:
  • canned meats (eg. tuna)
  • canned fruits & vegetables
  • beans (without sauce)
  • peanut butter
  • cereal
  • brown rice
  • whole wheat pasta, pasta sauce
  • rolled oats (instant oats)
For every item donated, you will be waived $5 in overdue fines, to a maximum of $100 [20 items].
Only current fines on UAlberta items and books from participating NEOS Libraries will be waived (books from MacEwan and Olds College not eligible). Charges for lost or damaged books are not eligible.
No fines?  Donate a food item anyway!

New this year: you may also choose to make a monetary donation to the Campus Food Bank as part of the Library Food For Fines Campaign. How does it work?

  • Make your monetary donation online : using the Library Food for Fines Donation Form. 
  • IMPORTANT: For your library fines to be waived, you must include the 13-digit barcode from your ONECard / library card. By submitting the donation form, you give the Campus Food Bank permission to share your name, barcode, email address, and donation amount with the UA Libraries.
  • For every dollar donated to the Campus Food Bank, you will be waived the same amount in overdue library fines, to a maximum of $100. Only current fines on UofA items and books from participating NEOS Libraries will be waived. Fines on MacEwan and Olds College books are not eligible. Charges for lost or damaged items are not eligible.
  • Fines will be waived in 7-10 business days after you make your donation.

Please ask for details at a library service desk.
Follow @uofalibraries or @campusfoodbank with #foodforfines for campaign updates.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

How you can Celebrate Open Education Week 2019!

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Every year the first week of March means it is time to celebrate Open Education Week!

Open educational resources (OER) are any freely available teaching, learning or research material. The possibilities for OERs are endless and they can include videos, podcasts, presentations and even textbooks. OERs provide the flexibility to share, collaborate and draw on course materials from around the world, while reducing the cost of higher education by challenging expensive textbook prices. OERs also provide a practical and effective way to facilitate lifelong learning, an essential skill in our changing and complex world.

We know this is a busy time for everyone on our campus, so we thought we would share some ways that you can get the scoop on Open Education around your hectic schedule. 

Here are some ways you can celebrate Open Education Week 2019:

Learn what the University of Alberta Libraries has to offer all year

Did you know we have a guide for finding and learning about OER? and publishing program for OER? Check out these pages without worrying about committing time to attending an event.

See what global Open Education Week has to share has events from around the world on any topic that interests you. If you are unsure where to start, we might suggest this webinar on adopting open practices, this webinar on making sense of open education, or the Global Open Education Web Conference.

Join a Wikipedia Edit-a-thon

Attending a lecture isn't for everyone, for those what prefer active involvement, why not join a Wikipedia Edit-a-thon? March 4, from 1-4pm PST the Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies, with support from UBC Library and the Centre for Teaching and Learning Technology, and the First Nations House of Learning, will be hosting an Indigenous Literature Wikipedia Edit-a-thon. You can also join online via this link.

Look for Opportunities to Learn 

There are opportunities to learn about Open Education all year. For example, join us on March 22 for a workshop on finding OER for teaching. Follow this link for more details!

Monday, February 25, 2019

Augustana Campus Celebrates the First Ski Lending Library in North America

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The University of Alberta (U of A) Augustana and Camrose community came together on Wednesday, February 13 to dedicate their new nordic ski library, named in honour of Garry (Gibber) and Dorothy Gibson.  The dedication was celebrated as a ‘Tea and Ski’, where in true Gibson fashion stories and beverages warmed up the crowd while a hearty handful of students, staff, and faculty took to the trails post-ceremony for a brisk -17 degree celsius loop in honour of the day.

This lending program is the first of its kind in North America, and is a multi-department collaboration between Campus Recreation, Student Life, and the Library. The Dr. Garry & Dorothy Gibson Nordic Ski Library allows Augustana students, staff, and faculty the opportunity to borrow classic cross country skis, boots, and poles in the same manner as they would check out a library book.

The Gibsons smiling holding a cake
Garry and Dorothy Gibson sit in front of two Augustana card catalogues that were modified to house nordic ski boots. Photo Credit: Jun Mah Studio

The initial concept of a winter gear lending library began a few years ago. The dean of Augustana campus, Allen Berger sought an opportunity to encourage the community to take part in a more active winter lifestyle, which married well with Augustana’s rich nordic ski history and prime location on the edge of 16 km of groomed ski trails. Funds were raised to purchase for 20 full sets of equipment, plus an additional 10 sets of poles and 10 pairs of boots. The capital was made possible through a grant provided by the U of A Dean of Students office, multiple donors through Augustana’s November 2018 ‘Giving Tuesday’ event, and the generous matching donation from U of A Protective Services Sergeant Tony Thomsen.

In his dedication speech to the Gibsons, Berger spoke of the passion and dedication to recreation and lifelong fitness Gibber and Dorothy have given the Augustana and Camrose community for over 40 years. In 1973, Gibber helped develop Augustana’s biathlon and cross country programs, and in 1978 he developed the outdoor education program based on his research to complete his PhD in physical education. Dorothy worked hard to manage and support athletes and teams every step of the way behind the scenes in every capacity one could imagine. This dedicated duo’s hard work and generosity continues to extend to the students of Augustana through student awards, recreation and athletics, chaplaincy, and outdoor education just to name a few.

As the program is in its initial season, this lending library is currently only available to Augustana students, staff, and faculty. All participants must attend a short, one-time only Orientation session with Campus Recreation staff to size their gear and learn the basics of trail safety and etiquette. Campus Recreation and the Vikings Nordic Ski Team also provide opportunities to learn or brush-up on their cross country skills through their weekly ‘Learn to Ski’ programs and their informal ski meetups.

group of people skiing on a bright, cold day in Camrose, Alberta
Even the windchill couldn't keep these folks off the trails after the dedication. Photo Credit: Junelle Mah
For more information on the Augustana Ski Library, please visit the Augustana Campus Recreation website:

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

New York Times Digital - Now at UAlberta

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The University of Alberta Libraries are pleased to provide digital access to the New York Times! But what does this mean? The libraries already provide access to the NY Times in print and to historical content online.

With digital access, you can keep up with the current news cycle and access other great online features:

  • The New York Times app for mobile devices
  • NYT Cooking app (over 17K recipes that can be saved and accessed across platforms)
  • NYT VR app - experience (with a virtual reality viewer) some NY Times content in 3D
  • The Daily 360 - two dimensional videos that provide 360° views (with mobile device or mouse)
  • Interactive media (graphics, charts, maps, polls, custom content)
  • Video library (spanning all sections)
  • Augmented reality content (requires an iPhone 6S or higher)
  • Newsletters (there are a variety of topics that you may subscribe to)
  • Article history and save options (across platforms)
  • Article comment permissions
  • New York Times inEducation (includes 16 discipline-specific areas of study, discussion prompts, learning outcomes, instructional strategies, and co-curricular activities)

What is not included with our NY Times academic license:

  • E-reader editions
  • Times Insider
  • Premium Crosswords
  • New York Times Crossword app (app is free to download, but requires in-app purchase to access Premium Crosswords)

To activate your access:
  • Register for using your UofA email address.
  • Register for using your UofA email address.
  • Download your NYT mobile app from nytimes
After registration you can enjoy access to from any network or location.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Celebrating Black History Month at the University of Alberta Libraries

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The University of Alberta Libraries are celebrating Black History Month all through February with displays at several libraries!

Stop by one of the libraries to learn some Black history, or pick up a great book.

  • Scott Library is focusing on medical milestones for Black History Month. The display will also feature profiles of pioneers in medicine and the healthcare field.

  • La Bibliothèque Saint-Jean veux mettre en vedette des documents sur des événements historiques qui se sont déroulés dans les Amériques, et sur certaines îles de la mer des Caraïbes. Toutes ces ressources seront en français. // Bibliothèque Saint-Jean will be focusing its lens on historical events that have taken place in the Americas, and in certain nearby Islands of the Carribean Sea. All of the resources in the display will be in French.

  • Rutherford Library is featuring books on Black History in Canada and as well as leisure reading books by Black authors. 

  • Coutts Library is featuring Black History in Canada with highlights on athletes, academics and activists.

  • Cameron Library is showcasing a selection of Black scientists, inventors and engineers from a variety of fields of study, and time periods.  Stop by the display cases near the entrance to Cameron for a look! 

Friday, February 1, 2019

Now Open! Library Publishing for Open Textbooks

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Open Educational Resources Publishing Program
Alongside the University of Alberta’s mission of “For the Public Good” The University of Alberta Libraries is introducing an Open Educational Resources (OER) publishing program to increase access to and use of free and accessible textbooks and other learning resources.

OER are teaching and learning materials that are accessible without cost and allow for free use, reuse and redistribution. OER often have a Creative Commons license that states specifically how the material may be used, reused, adapted, and shared.

If you are interested in creating, adapting or using open textbooks or other OER in a course, the Libraries’ can provide you with the tools, expertise, and free hosting to get you started.

For more information, see or contact to see if our service is the right match for your learning materials. You can also check out the OER Awards, to see if you are eligible to apply for additional support for your project.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Teaching Truth and Reconciliation: New Curriculum Materials Available

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Are you looking for teaching materials to help students learn about truth and reconciliation between Indigenous peoples and Canadians? 4 Seasons of Reconciliation is a multi-media initiative that promotes a renewed relationship through transformative multi-media learning. The materials include a 3-hour in-class unit and a 2-hour online component using teacher guides, presentations, readings, instructional videos, class discussions topics, quizzes, and the film 3rd World Canada. Professional development materials are also available. With a focus on truth, reconciliation, and restitution, 4 Seasons of Reconciliation could complement the University of Alberta’s Massive Open Online Course NS 201 Indigenous Canada course.

The curriculum materials are inspired by the Reconciliation Certificate at First Nations University of Canada. An Indigenous Advisory Circle, composed of partners ranging from Canada’s long-established Indigenous-controlled post-secondary institutions, Indigenous Elders, knowledge-keepers, and specialized educators, participate in key executive decisions for the teaching materials. Collaborators include Indigenous Education, Aboriginal Healing Foundation, and the Legacy of Hope Foundation. 

The University of Alberta community may use these educational materials in these ways:
  • Unlimited simultaneous use of the films and media for students and teachers; 
  • Free public showings of the films (no ticket sales allowed); and 
  • Printing, copying, and displaying unit materials including maps, readings, and presentations.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Capture the Essence of Your Research in a Single Image

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The University of Alberta Images of Research Competition & Exhibition is the ultimate test of knowledge transfer for any graduate student. The challenge is to portray your research in a single image. Are you up for the task?

Semifinalists will have their image and description immortalized in the University of Alberta's Education & Research Archive (ERA) Images of Research Collection.

Submissions will be accepted from January 21, 2018 to February 8, 2019. Visit the competition website for more details

We will be holding two submission preparation workshops on January 17 and 23, 2019. The workshops are approved as Faculty of Graduate Studies & Research Professional Development credits. Register for the workshops here.

To spark inspiration here are some entries from the 2018 competition and visit the Rutherford Library Galleria's teaser exhibit happening throughout the month of January.

Augmented Phobia by Anna Chakravorty
First Place Award 2018

A Cold Breath by Nicole Boucher
Semi-finalist Award 2018

Where do I fit? by Kirsti Van Dornick
Semi-finalist Award 2018

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Dogs in the Library the 2019 Winter Edition

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University of Alberta Libraries and the Chimo Animal Assisted Wellness and Learning Society (CAAWLS) are bringing the dogs back to brighten everyone’s day. Here’s when and where you can bask in some canine kindness.

* January 17th: Cameron Library, 2:00pm
* January 24th: John W. Scott Library, 12:00pm
* January 24th: Rutherford Library, 2:00pm
* January 30th: Herbert T. Coutts Library, 12:00pm
* February 7th: Herbert T. Coutts Library, 12:30pm
* February 12th: Rutherford Library, 2:00pm
* February 14th: John W. Scott Library, 12:00pm
* February 26th: Cameron Library, 2:00pm
* March 7th: Cameron Library, 2:00pm
* March 19th: Rutherford Library, 2:00pm
* March 21st: John W. Scott Library, 12:00pm
* April 4th: Cameron Library, 2:00pm
* April 9th: J.A. Weir Library, 12:15pm
* April 17th: Rutherford Library, 2:00pm
* April 18th: John W. Scott Library, 12:00pm

While a visit with a dog is a great way to improve your mood, sometimes we could all use a little extra support. If you are looking for some extra academic help, or looking to connect with some of the mental health services on campus, the ACCESS Outreach Team can help. You can find more information on their webpage: