Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Where to Wikipedia

Wikipedia has just turned ten this year. Library Services co-sponsored and participated an interesting panel discussion to explore the past, present, and future of Wikipedia.

Our guest speaker, Sarah Polkinghorne, public services librarian from the University of Alberta, gave an informative presentation to answer some of the foundational questions about Wikipedia: what is Wikipedia really? How does it work exactly? Who created it and who uses it? Where is it headed? It is interesting for the participants to get to know that 90% of the Wikipedia contributors are male and there are so called five "pillars" that summarize the fundamental principles by which Wikipedia operates.

The panel and participants further explored issues such as: potential classroom uses for Wikipedia; the changing face of "peer reviewers"; individual versus collaborative intellectual property; critical thinking in the age of Web 2.0; quality research and non-print literacy; writing for Wikipedia as scholarly activity.

The panel members created a wiki page that lists some inspiring articles about Wikipedia. It can be accessed @ http://wiki-panel.wikispaces.com/ The wiki-panel wiki page can also be a perfect spot to carry out some further discussions on Wikipedia.

Panel members (l-r): Lilian Li, Terry Chapman, Avril Torrence,
Sarah Polkinghorne, Leigh Cunningham, Lorne Jeal
Thanks to the sponsors (Division of Arts, Library Services, Faculty Association Professional Development Committee) and to the participants for making this event a success.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Library Services Website Has Gone Mobile!

Medicine Hat College Library Services is pleased to announce the launch of a new mobile library site that enables library-users-on-the-go to access library services any time, any place through mobile web on any mobile devices.

The library mobile site features catalogue search, hours and locations, news and events, access library account, search for articles, and various ways to get hold of us for assistance. To bookmark and access the mobile site, users can initially go to the Medicine Hat Collge Library Services website. The "Go Mobile" button will take you over there!

Figure. Access library mobile site (click to enlarge).
We will continue to enhance the mobile site so stay tuned! Hope you enjoy the service and find it convenient and efficient! If you have any comments, concerns, or questions, please contact Library Services via email, instant messenger, text message (403.866.5872), telephone (403.504.3544), or in person.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Digital Books and Geekapalooza 4.0

Library Services participated in Geekapalooza 4.0, the annual event for college faculty and staff. Leigh Cunningham, Collections and Instruction Librarian, presented a session, How to Read an eBook, which provided an overview of the various types of eBooks and eReaders available today as well as issues to consider as the market matures. Various online sources for acquiring eBooks were also demonstrated, including Project Gutenberg, Google eBookstore, Medicine Hat Public Library’s Library To Go System, and the MHC libraries’ ebrary online resource.
Leigh Cunningham is holding one of the library's Kobo touch screen readers.
The Medicine Hat College Libraries provide access to more than 15,000 eBooks that can be read online on a computer, laptop, or mobile device with an internet connection. Search for eBooks through the Library Catalogue.

Five Kobo eReaders, including two new touch screen models, are available for 2 week loan periods from the library. Geekapalooza attendees had a chance to test drive the eReaders and engage in some great discussion about the potential of the technology. Thanks to those that participated; see you next year!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

New Networked Colour Printer Now Available

In the past, we handled colour printing jobs manually by the Information Desk staff in the library – meaning students had to bring their files to the staff; staff printed the document and handed it back to students, with cash involved. It is not the case anymore! Library Services just added a networked colour printer that student can manage all their printing jobs, either black/white or colour, straight from the desktop that he/she is working on and from one consolidated printing account.

The newly added colour printer and the existing black/white printer are located side by side right outside the library computer lab. The charges for the printings are as follows:

  • Black/White: 5 cents per page
  • Colour: 50 cents per page

(Figure 1: Image of the printers, click to enlarge)

Make sure to select the right printer for your job as it determines the charges that are put through your printing account.

(Figure 2: Printer selection window, click to enlarge)


It is always a good idea to check the balance and how much the printing is going to cost before sending your job. Here is the last dialog window you will see during the process that shows the information (in this case, we don’t have enough balance in the printing account therefore the printing job will never reach the printer! – time to talk to our circulation desk staff to add some more money!)

(Figure 3: Balance information dialog window, click to enlarge)

Hope you enjoy the service and find it convenient and efficient! If you have any comments, concerns, or questions, please contact Library Services via email, instant messenger, text message (403.866.5872), telephone (403.504.3544), or in person.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

APA Handouts Revised

Library Services has revised two of its American Psychological Association (APA) citation guides. The guides that have been updated are the APA Style Guide and the To Quote, Paraphrase or Block Quote? – APA Style. Both of these guides cover the sixth edition version of the citation style. Additionally, the What is Plagiarism? handout has also been revised.

APA STYLE GUIDE [PDF/DOCX versions]

The 12 page format has been retained, but some new examples of citations have been supplied—not all of which are in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th edition). Some of new and revised examples include:
  • notes on Canadian legal documents
  • dictionary entries
  • basic web pages
  • Facebook posts
  • Twitter posts
TO QUOTE, PARAPHRASE OR BLOCK QUOTE? – APA STYLE [PDF/DOCX versions]

The document is largely unchanged, but the language/phrasing employed in the examples has been modified to be more consistent.

WHAT IS PLAGIARISM? [PDF/DOCX versions]

Though it is not strictly related to the APA style of citation, our What is Plagiarism? document is a complement to the aforementioned guides that not only outlines what constitutes plagiarism, but the consequences of doing so at Medicine Hat College.

You can download and view these and other guides by visiting the "How-to and Research Guides" section of the Library Services website.

In all cases, we strive for accuracy in these documents. If you have any comments, concerns, or questions, please contact Library Services via email, instant messenger, text message (403.866.5872), telephone (403.504.3544), or in person.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Save Your Borrowing History!

By default, Library Services does not track your borrowing history (i.e., once returned, we do not know what books, periodicals, videos, etc. you borrowed).

If you want to track your personal borrowing history, you need to log-in to your library account and opt in to that feature. Library Services staff do not have access to your borrowing history if you elect to track it—assuring your privacy.

To opt in, follow these directions:

STEP 1: Log in to your library account (see Figure 1). You can log-in from the Library Services homepage or the online catalogue.

Figure 1. Library account log-in page (click to enlarge).
STEP 2: Select "Reading History" from the left-hand column (see Figure 2).
Figure 2. Select "Reading History"
(click to enlarge).
STEP 3: Select the "Opt In" button. It will then switch to "Opt Out" (see Figure 3). NOTE: Your record will start to build/retain your checkout history when you next borrow an item.

Figure 3. Opting in (click to enlarge).
VIEW YOUR HISTORY

When you next log-in to your library account and select the "Reading History" option, your borrowing history will be displayed (see Figure 4). NOTE: You can opt out to stop the tracking history or delete selected records.
Figure 4. Borrowing history display (click to enlarge).

If you have any comments, concerns, or questions, please make use of our information or social media services.