Saturday, February 27, 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010

Help Us Help You!


All current Medicine Hat College students, faculty and staff are invited to participate in a library quality improvement survey to help us serve you better. Check your college email for the link or take the survey here.

Results of the survey will be shared with the college community and will be used to improve library services and resources.

How can I complete the survey?
  • You will receive a link to the web-based survey in an email from Campus Announcements on Monday February 22 and on Monday March 1. Check your college email account. Missed the email? Take the survey here. If you have problems accessing the survey, please contact Leigh Cunningham.

  • Completing the survey will take about 5 minutes. The survey will remain open until 4pm on Friday March 12.
Is there an incentive?
  • Yes! To thank you for your participation, we invite you to enter a prize draw for a chance to win one of five $25 iTunes gift cards or one of five $25 gift certificates for the college bookstore. Be sure to provide your college email address when you submit your survey. Your email will not be linked to your responses.
Are my responses confidential?
  • Yes. No identifying links between responses and the individual responding will be retained. Only combined data will be reported. Your participation is voluntary. This project has been reviewed by the Medicine Hat College Ethics Review Board.
Do I have to answer all questions?
  • Yes. If you do not know how to answer a question, you can select “N/A” or “I don’t know”. The survey format is designed to capture your expected, desired and perceived levels of service and this is why there are three responses required for each question.
What is the LibQUAL+® survey?
  • LibQUAL+® survey measures library users’ perceptions of their libraries’ service quality and identifies gaps between minimal, desired and perceived levels of service. LibQUAL+® is a rigorously tested web-based survey offered by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) that helps libraries assess and improve library services. Over 1000 libraries in Canada, the United States and internationally have used the survey since 2000.
For more information, please see the LibQUAL+® website:

Many thanks for your help!

Questions about the survey can be directed to:
Leigh Cunningham, Collections and Instruction Librarian
Phone: 403-504-3654

Friday, February 19, 2010

Library Staff Complete Their Own Torch Relay

1 country, 25 participants, 106 days, 26,000 kilometres – Go!

In October of last year, 25 library staff members signed up to participate in the Library Services version of the Olympic Torch Relay. The challenge was to convert any physical activity into steps and as a team, to follow the real Olympic Torch across the land portion of its journey across Canada. 26,000 kilometres in 106 days!

Each participant was handed a pair of Olympic red mittens, a pedometer and the encouragement to go ‘swifter, higher, stronger’. We totaled our step counts for walking, cycling, running and climbing stairs. We calculated our minutes of aquasize, swimming, weight lifting and yoga. We tallied dog walks, dancing, grocery shopping and vacuuming. A large map of the relay route was posted as motivation and as a visual representation of our efforts. A record was kept of each person’s activity and the number of steps they contributed. While this might have discouraged some of the non-competitors in our group, in reality it had the opposite effect. We encouraged each other in our physical activities, we discussed what people did in their spare time and admittedly it did generate a little bit of friendly competition.

So, did we manage to finish the relay in time for the opening ceremonies on February 12th? Yes we did, with a few hours to spare. But perhaps the bigger achievement was the sense of community and teamwork that developed as a result of the challenge. And isn’t that what the Olympics are meant to inspire in all of us?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

WARNING: Beware of Fake Wireless Networks on Campus

IMPORTANT: When connecting to the wireless network on campus, only connect to MHC-Public (see Fig. 1).

Fig. 1. The one and only official college wireless network you should connect to.

connect to any other wireless network on campus, because they are not official college networks—this includes one that might say MHC-Library.


Unfortunately there are individuals on campus that are creating “rogue” networks. These rogue networks might look like free wireless access points (see Figs. 2 & 3), but you are not connecting to a network, you are connecting to someone’s computer directly. An intention of these rogue networks could be to steal your private information (e.g., user name and password sets) that you use to access secure information online (e.g., banking and credit card information, Facebook, myMHC, etc.).

Fig 2. A rogue computer-to-computer network.

Fig. 3. Another rogue computer-to-computer network.

Another problem these rogue networks create is that they will disrupt the functions and services of the MHC-Public network. The effects of which include: making the network unavailable or unstable.

  • Do not access banking and other confidential information using the public wireless network (this includes MHC-Public).

  • Do not have your laptop configured to automatically join networks—always manually connect to networks out of your home network.

  • Never make a computer-to-computer connection—regardless of what the name of the network is.

  • Do not accept any prompts when you are asked to allow someone to join you.

  • Turn off your wireless card if you are not browsing the Web—this also saves power.

  • Have up-to-date security software installed on your computer—antivirus, firewall, etc.

  • If you have the technical expertise, create a personal virtual private network (VPN) before connecting to a public wireless service.
Information Technology Services (ITS) is actively seeking a solution to resolve this issue.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Student Study Break/Family Day Hours - 15-19 February

For the Student Study Break (15-19 February 2010), the Vera Bracken Library (Medicine Hat Campus) and the Brooks Campus Library will be open regular hours, with the noted exception:
  • Monday, February 15th - Closed for Family Day
For more information about the libraries' hours of operation, click here.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Twitter Contest Winner

What is a good way for Library Services to start a new year? Have a contest!

Library Services held a Twitter related contest for the first several weeks of 2010 and we would like to congratulate our winner--Jan Stalwick. She is the winner of a green iPod Shuffle. We definitely appreciate her enthusiasm and hope she enjoys the prize.

Thank you to everyone else that entered. Look for more contests, events, and prize draws throughout the year from your friends in Library Services.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Library User of the Month - February 2010

Sharon Allan, Coordinator
UT Education and University of Alberta Education

Pictured (l-r): Standing: Jeremy Molzan (2nd year UT Education), Jen Karpiuk (4th year U of A Education), Greg Elgie (4th year U of A Education), Michelle Alberts (1st year UT Education), Rachel Lesko (4th year U of A Education); Seated: Sharon Allan, Coordinator

By learning you will teach; by teaching you will learn.
~ Latin proverb

“It is an honour to share the Vera Bracken Library User of the Month Award with Education students from our Medicine Hat College University Transfer program and our University of Alberta Collaborative Bachelor of Education program. As teachers we are called to lifelong learning and the resources offered within our library have enhanced both my work as a teacher and my curiosity as a learner.

In addition to our library’s main collection Education students and faculty find valuable support and guidance within our growing curriculum collection. Reflecting the Alberta Program of Studies, this collection includes teaching resources selected and placed together to assist Education students as they plan for and work with children in classrooms. When a student teacher needs help with lesson planning, classroom management techniques, manipulatives to teach mathematical concepts, or a big book to share with primary children during story time, the curriculum collection offers resources to support our developing professional practice.

The Vera Bracken Library enriches the learning of Education students and enhances the work of faculty as together we explore engaging and effective methods of teaching children and young adults in classrooms throughout our community.”