Friday, November 13, 2015

IP Exhibit Write Ups

Missed the IP Exhibit on Nov 12, 2015? No problem. Here are the write up's that we had showcased.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

#librOERy Part 3

OER Project – Peggy O’Sullivan, Instructor

Medicine Hat College (MHC) LibrOERy Project
                                                            October 23, 2015

Influenza virion – photo credit: Frederick Murphy

            This week the LibrOERy team was interviewed by Campus Alberta OER initiative for the Campus Alberta website.  We were asked to provide some background on the project, advantages for students and instructors, importance of OER projects and what excited us the most in regards to our project.

(i)         Description and Goals:

            The LibrOERy project involved the assimilation of open educational microbiology resources into textbook form for 60 first year nursing students at MHC taking CMMB250, an introductory microbiology course. Denise Holt, library researcher, researched the CMMB250 OER textbook material.  I reviewed and assembled the material into chapters to fit my curriculum and lecture schedule.  Our copyright officer, Chelsey Reid helped ensure it fit copyright regulations. The OER draft is now in the hands of Andrea Woods, graphic designer and multimedia developer.  She is assembling the material into a book form that we will post online once the OER text is completed.

     Our goal was to have an OER textbook completed in time for the Winter 2016 term.  We are well on schedule and our OER textbook will be finished several weeks before term starts in January 2016.  We started this project in May 2015.  It quickly become apparent to Denise and I that we didn’t have much time to meet our deadline.  It was a very time consuming project completed under very short timelines thanks to the hard working team members.  We all agree that more time and compensation is necessary for OER projects undertaken in the future.

  (ii)      Advantages to Students:

              The CMMB250 microbiology OER textbook offers students a huge cost savings (approximately $200) and is freely available online.  Students don’t need to purchase an expensive textbook that they’ll only use for one course.

(iii)       Advantages to Educators:   

            As an instructor the OER project gave me the flexibility to choose and assemble lecture material to meet my curriculum rather than having to match my lecture material to a pre-published textbook.  I was also able to include videos, assignments, review questions and animation into my OER lecture notes and chapters, things I couldn’t do using a publishers textbook. 

(iv)      Importance of OER’s

            The great thing about OER projects is that the material will be in the public domain and anyone can legally and freely copy, use, adapt and re-share it.  Not only do my MHC nursing students benefit from our LIbrOERy microbiology text, but anyone around the world can enhance their knowledge by accessing our material.

(v)       What excites us about this project?

            I had a great team working with me on this project.  We are proud of the fact that MHC students can freely access microbiology material and that we are making microbiology available to everyone, everywhere.  We are also proud that we were able to put this project together in such a short time period.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Library User of the Month - November 2015

Leo Gayle

1st year
Addictions Counselling student

"I find the library a place where I can access my journals, books, printing and photocopying. The staff is courteous and fun to work with. I enjoy the space provided and I actually do my best work here. It’s my home away from home. It’s
just a natural mystic."

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Faculty - We need your expertise!

Faculty - We need your expertise!
MHC Libraries Collections Maintenance Project

We have preliminarily identified (“flagged”) books in our collection to be discarded/removed. Before these books are reviewed by the librarians, we want your input. You can visit your subject area and review these flagged books. Tell us what should be kept or replaced.

What we need from you
1.       Come visit the library, grab some “save” stickers and review the “flagged” books in the collection.
2.       No time to review? Please contact Leigh Cunningham ( to make other arrangements.

Subject Areas for Review
H – Social Sciences: Statistics, Economics, Labor, Communications, Commerce, Finance, Sociology, Social History and Conditions, Family, Marriage, Gender, Feminism, Classes/Races, Criminology, Socialism, Communism.

Deadline for Review: November 20, 2015

More information
MHC Libraries is systematically reviewing the physical book collection in the Vera Bracken Library. Collection Development is a process, and with finite space, we need to continually assess the collections to both add and discard (weed) material.

Our responsibility as a college library is to provide resources for use at the undergraduate and technical level while also providing material of general interest to promote lifelong learning.

Our first task is to identify low-use, damaged, and outdated material in the circulating book collection. Books that meet certain criteria are “flagged” with stickers for weeding consideration. Generally, this will include books that have been in the collection for 20+ years and have not been used in 10+ years.

We will regularly provide updates and ask faculty to assist in this important process. Faculty will be able to review items identified for weeding. It is useful to view flagged items in the context of the remaining collection; items will be left on the shelves with stickers on their spines. Any items that faculty deem essential to the library collection will be kept.

Who makes the final decisions?
All collections decisions are made by MHC librarians: Leigh Cunningham (Collections & Instruction Librarian), Joanne Mokry (Access & Technology Librarian), and Shawna Murphy (Outreach Librarian) in accordance with the Collection Development Policy and under the direction of Chuck Payne, Director, Library and ITS.  We value input and subject expertise from faculty and staff.

What happens to the discarded books?
Discarded books are first made available to the college community. When appropriate, books are donated to the Medicine Hat Public Library book sale or recycled.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Library User of the Month - October 2015

Dragana Vukovic

Bachelor of Business Administration
Rattlers Basketball

“Libraries have been my favorite study place since I was a kid. I have three brothers who are not very interested in school, so at a very young age, I discovered the beauty of libraries peace and quiet. Vera Bracken Library, I have learned very quickly, offers you way more than peace and quiet.
It is a perfect place to study in a group, work on a team project, or hammer your readings in a “quiet” room. There is always someone to ask for help and all the resources you need are just a few steps away. There are, as well, perfect corners to sit back, relax, and clear your mind, or choose a good book and get lost for a while. With my busy schedule, doing school and playing basketball, the library is my second home and 90% of my school work gets done there.”

OER Project – Peggy O’Sullivan, Instructor

OER Project – Peggy O’Sullivan, Instructor

What steps does one take to produce an OER textbook?
1.         Roundup resources
2.         Review resources
3.         Assemble resources into book form
4.         Review book
5.         Start teaching – by now, it’s time for a new term and teaching to begin

            My team and I have been working to produce a microbiology textbook for use at Medicine Hat College for the Alberta Open Educational Resources Initiative. 

            Over the summer library technician Denise Holt and I were very busy searching OER biology and microbiology sites to find microbiology material suitable for my on-line microbiology text.  While there is a lot of OER information available online, many of the sites containing microbiology information are not covered under a Creative Commons copyright license, have unclear copyright statements and/or require permission to use their content.  This greatly limited the amount of information available that we could use to produce the microbiology textbook and slowed down our research in the beginning.  With copyright officer Chelsey Reid checking copyright licensing on material we did access, the project was well underway and took most of July and August to assemble material. Denise and I persisted in gathering as much relevant microbiology material as we could and I reviewed and organized the material into chapters to include in the textbook.  We are now more than halfway through the project and are in the process of getting the material formatted into electronic book form by Andrea Woods. 
As we proceed with the project, things are falling into place and I look forward to my students using the free OER microbiology textbook in the Microbiology course I teach in January 2016.