Thursday, August 30, 2007

Early Closure - August 31st

On Friday, August 31st, power will be cut to the B-wing and the Vera Bracken Library will consequently be closing at 3:00 p.m.

There will be a minor disruption to online services, but they should be available by 5:00 p.m.

We apologize for the inconvenience.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Why you still need a library...

Some people think that libraries are irrelevant in the Google world. View this video to discover why we are as important as ever in the Information Age.



See? You do not want to end up like this person, do you?

It should also be said that, "Yes, we have maps."

Monday, August 27, 2007

September Hours

The Vera Bracken Library will operate for the following hours for September 3rd-4th:
  • Monday (3rd; Labour Day) - CLOSED
  • Tuesday (4th) - 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
The Vera Bracken Library will return to normal hours of operation on Wednesday the 5th.

The Brooks Campus Library will operate for the following hours during the week of September 3rd-9th:
  • Monday (3rd; Labour Day) - CLOSED
  • Tuesday-Friday (4th-7th) - 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • Saturday-Sunday (8th-9th) - CLOSED
The Brooks Campus Library will return to normal hours of operation on Monday the 10th.

For more information about the libraries' hours of operation, click here.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Medicine Hat College is Still Here

Yes, the college is still here, despite being invisible to the Internet for several hours yesterday.

There was a power outage in our vicinity and Computer Services decided to shutdown servers due to a lack of adequate ventilation in their department and no guarantee from the city that power could be maintained. Additionally, our blog was also unavailable because of a planned servicing period by Blogger.com.

Click here for the article from the Medicine Hat News about the power outage.

Click here for the official press release from the City of Medicine Hat.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Library Jobs for Students

The Vera Bracken Library is currently seeking applicants for positions as Library Shelvers. These are ideal jobs for students wanting to make a little more money over the school year.

Click here to read more about the position.

For details on how to apply, click here.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

New & Trial Databases

Library Services is continuing to expand it online resources and this week we introduce a new regular database and a trial database.

unitedstreaming (permanent database)

This database allows educators to stream more than 50,000 clips from 5,000+ full video programs via the Internet. Videos can be streamed via the popular Windows Media or Quicktime players - a high-speed Internet connection is advised. Discovery Education is the vendor for this product.

The content contained within is primarily targeted for the K-12 learning environments. Videos cover all forms of subject matter from a wide range of educational production companies.

This database is only accessible to registered Education [DEGREE STUDENTS ONLY] students at the Medicine Hat College. Education students and their instructors will be issued a special username/password combination.

You can access this resource, an other related education databases, by clicking here.

ENVIRONMENT COMPLETE (trial database)

Library Services is currently offering access to a trial of EBSCO's Environment Complete database. This database covers the related areas of agriculture, ecosystem ecology, energy, natural resources, marine & freshwater science, geography, pollution & waste management, environmental technology, environmental law, public policy, social impacts, urban planning, and more.

There are more than 1,590,000 records indexed and date back as far as the 1950s. More than 400 journals and 80 monographs are available in full-text.

NOTE: Access to this trial database can be discontinued without notice.

Any feedback that you can provide would be appreciated as we decide whether or not to retain this resource. You can let us know via the follow methods:
  • Phone: 529-3867 (local), 1 (866) 282-8394 ext. 3867 (toll free long distance);

  • E-mail: reference@mhc.ab.ca; or

  • visit us at any of the library service desks in Medicine Hat or Brooks.
You can connect to this database and other available trial databases by clicking here.

Services Disruption, August 16th - Computer Updates

On Thursday, August 16th, the Vera Bracken Library computers will be updated, and some services will not be available on this day.

STUDENTS: Printing will not be available on this day. You will be required to use you own unique user name/password set to login on and after this day, and you will have to logout at the end of each session to protect your privacy. Your future print privileges and network drive storage space is dependent on this unique user name/password combination.

VISITORS/COMMUNITY MEMBERS: Printing will not be available on this day. The means to access a computer after this day, has yet to be determined.

Upgrades will begin in the library classroom at 9 a.m., and move to drop-in and reference computer areas afterwards.

No other library service will be affected. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Wireless Network Down

The wireless network in the Medicine Hat Campus's Café and Vera Bracken Library is down indefinitely. Computer Services is working to isolate this hardware relate issue. Please stay posted for updates.

We apologize for the inconvenience.

Fall Technolgy Preview

As years progress, so does technology. Past years have introduced new online features, and technology services that are designed to empower students and make their access to resources easier. Some of the past technologies and services that were introduced, include: Blackboard, Campus Connect, Student Webmail, and Wi-Fi access in the college's café and the Vera Bracken Library.

This Fall Semester will introduce a number exciting new technological innovations. Some of the things that you can expect to see include:
  • UNIQUE STUDENT USER NAMES AND PASSWORDS. Students will no longer use generic terminal IDs and passwords to access computers. This user name/password set gives you access to your print privileges and the next feature, which is...

  • NETWORK DRIVE SPACE. You will no longer have to worry about forgetting you flash drive or [YUCK!] floppy disk and not being able save your work. Students will be allocated space on the network drive system, and they will be able to store information on the drive and access it from any other machine that they can login to on campus.

  • NEW E-MAIL SYSTEM. A new e-mail system has been implemented on campus and students will get broader and more reliable service from the new system than the previous system. All critical communications from the college will be delivered to this e-mail address.
In all cases, stay tuned as more details are released.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Fall Semester Services Preview

People often say to library staff, “Really, you’re still open? In the Summer?!” We simply respond, “Yes. Yes, we are.” Despite the slower Summer Semester at the college, there are many things that need to be taken care of, especially as the Fall Semester approaches. New materials and services are always being developed, in addition to maintaining our current high level of resources and services.

Some of the active projects that we are currently engaged in are:
  • Development of a new interlibrary loans (ILL) software package. The vendor we selected is Relais International. Once the system is in place, all patrons will have greater control over their accounts (you will create and manage your own ILL accounts now) and submitting loans will be easier and more reliable than ever – either manually or through the online databases.

  • Updating of the online catalogue public access catalogue (OPAC). The revised OPAC is the most significant update that we have made in the last 7 years. A host of new features have been added that include: news feeds via our blog, easier navigation (all features are accessible from any page), spell check added to Advanced and Basic keyword searches, and cover preview/additional publication information in records. In the latter case, a user might see the cover image of the book they are interested in. If you click on the image, you can get more information on the title that might include: author notes, larger cover image, reviews, summary, and table of contents. A prime example can be found by clicking here.

  • A new instant messenger system will be used so that patrons will have another means to communicate with the library’s information team. You can use the instant messenger client of your choosing (AIM/iChat, Google Talk, ICQ, MSN Messenger, or Yahoo! Messenger) or the built-in Meebo widget to “talk” to us. Stay tuned and keep an eye open for the launch in September.

  • We also continue to develop and maintain both our print and online collections. This is a never-ending task to bring our patrons the best possible resources we can.
As you can see, we are busy this summer. The library staff is hard at work expanding our services and your access to information. Despite all the development, we are never too busy to help our patrons and look forward to serving the faculty, public, students, and staff throughout August and the months that follow.

Friday, August 03, 2007