Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Dogs and Cats are Back!

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Percy, Gus, and the rest of the gang are back to brighten the dark days of winter. Once again, uAlberta Libraries and CAAWLS are partnering to bring Dogs in the Library and Cats in the Library to North Campus libraries throughout the winter term. Here’s where and when you can get some canine or kitty cuddles.

Dogs in the Library
  • Coutts Library: January 24, 12:00pm
  • Rutherford Library: January 31, 2:00pm
  • Rutherford Library: February 9, 2:00pm
  • Scott Library: February 14, 12:30pm
  • Cameron Library: February 15, 12:00pm
  • Coutts Library: February 27, 12:00pm
  • Cameron Library: March 2, 12:00pm
  • Rutherford Library: March 8, 2:00pm
  • Scott Library: March 15, 12:30pm
  • Coutts Library: March 22, 12:00pm
  • Rutherford Library: April 5, 2:00pm
  • Cameron Library: April 11, 12:00pm
  • Scott Library: April 19, 12:30pm
Cats in the Library
  • Cameron Library: February 13, 12:30pm
  • Cameron Library: March 27, 12:30pm

Monday, January 15, 2018

Interlibrary Loan Survey

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The University of Alberta Libraries is conducting an online survey regarding our Interlibrary Loan Services, and we would love to hear from you!

All University of Alberta students, faculty and staff are invited to respond to this survey - regardless of any previous experience with using Interlibrary Loans.

Your feedback will give us valuable insight into how our services can be improved, as well as address any concerns that users currently have while requesting Interlibrary Loan material. The survey will remain open until February 7, 2018.

To complete this survey, please follow the link below:

If you have any questions regarding this survey, please contact Victoria Wong at, or at 780-492-7905.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Making Meaning Through Metadata: Are We Being Culturally Appropriate?

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As a part of our commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC)’s Calls to Action, UAL has formed the Decolonizing Description Working Group (DDWG) who have been working tirelessly on our library catalogue and metadata. 

Metadata… that’s a scary word, isn’t it?

It doesn’t have to be! Metadata is just the fancy word for describing all of this:

It’s information about a material within the library. This can be anything from the title of a work to how many pages it has (which is especially important if you have a book review due in 3 hours).

Metadata seems innocent at first glance, but it can be very slippery. Look again at the image above. Do you see the “Subjects”? Here’s a blown-up view:

Subject Headings are used to connect similar resources together. These headings are actually created by a larger group of librarians within North America called Library of Congress (LOC). The purpose of LOC and other classification schemes is to make sure that all our libraries are speaking the same language by creating a controlled vocabulary so that students, faculty, and staff can travel from one University to the next and still be able to search. Plus, sharing this information makes it easy for us too -- we don’t have to create new catalogue records from scratch!

Now that you know that Subject Headings are, you may see some holes in the system. One of the biggest problems with this system is that changing it is a slow process. Language is changing so quickly everyday, that it’s tough to keep up!

At this point, we’re no longer making excuses.

With reconciliation in the air, we are asking ourselves whether or not we are appropriately and responsibly describing certain items in the library. Looking at our subject headings for Indigenous material, it’s clear that we have some work to do -- but we can’t do it alone.

Making Meaning Symposium

The DDWG has recommended that UAL start seeking advice from community members. One of the many ways that we are branching out is by hosting the Making Meaning Symposium ( scheduled for February 8 & 9, 2018 at the Faculty of Extension in Edmonton, AB.

The two day event is open for 90 participants -- all free of cost! Programming will feature: panel discussions from Indigenous scholars and community members, keynote speakers, working groups, visual components, and food. Lots of food.

We are interested in hearing from different researchers, students and scholars about how how these subject headings has impacted your research. 

Registration is now open, so hurry quick and put your name down!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

A Gift in Support of Libraries

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students discussing in comfortable chairs in the library
UAlberta Libraries are dedicated to helping every student excel in scholarship and knowledge. For more than 100 years, we have been a trusted and fully-inclusive unit dedicated to “uplifting the whole people”. During this season of hope and renewal, we hope that you will partner with us as we continue to equip students with the necessary tools for critical thinking and lifelong learning.

When you choose to support Libraries, you are making a choice to uplift knowledge and support learning opportunities that yield positive results for our students, our province and our nation. Please join us in serving as a nexus between people and information, guiding students on a path to greatness that promotes new scholarship, research, ideas and innovation.

From everyone at Libraries, it is a pleasure to extend the season's best to those we so deeply appreciate. We hope you will join us this holiday season in “uplifting the whole people”! 

Make a Gift

Monday, December 18, 2017

Binge on some holiday classics courtesy of UAL

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Exams are over… Time to sit back, grab a cup of nog and veg out in front of the television for an overdose of festive flicks. UAlberta Libraries has you covered for all your holiday movie needs. Our streaming video databases, Kanopy and Criterion-on-Demand are home to an endless supply of movies to keep you entertained throughout the holiday break.

Christmas Comfort Food
- Bonafide holiday classics; the ones that play ad nauseam through the month of December.
A Christmas Carol - Both the 1938 and 1951 versions of Ebenezer Scrooge’s tale of redemption.

It’s a Wonderful Life - George Bailey and Clarence the Angel take a Christmas Eve journey to an alternate universe where George never existed. 

A Christmas Story - All Ralphie Parker wants for Christmas is a Red Ryder B.B. Gun. 
Die Hard - John McClane takes on an high rise full of terrorists to save his estranged wife and her co-workers on Christmas Eve. 

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation - Chronic mishaps threaten to derail Clark Griswold’s perfect family Christmas. 

Home Alone - Kevin McCallister vs. The Wet Bandits in an epic tinsel-strewn battle. 

Elf - Buddy, raised at the North Pole as an elf, returns to New York City as a grown man to find his real father.

Alt-Christmas Cinema - For those tired of bells, angels and BB Guns. Films that aren’t thought of primarily as Christmas movies, but share an undeniable yuletide flare.

Meet Me in St. Louis - Vincente Minnelli’s musical that is a summer, Halloween and Christmas movie in one delightful package. Judy Garland’s rendition of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas is a showstopper.

Black Christmas - Predating John Carpenter’s Halloween by 3 years, Black Christmas is the original holiday-themed slasher movie.

Gremlins - Sticking with the horror theme... Things go awry in the picturesque town of Kingston Falls when Billy Peltzer’s Christmas gift, a mogwai named Gizmo, gives birth to a horde of destructive gremlins. 

Edward Scissorhands - Tim Burton’s fairy tale about a young man with scissors for hands traversing a suburban minefield in search of love and acceptance.

Eyes Wide Shut - Stanley Kubrick and Tom Cruise take viewers on a strange odyssey of desire, jealousy and betrayal through the streets of New York at Christmas time.

Carol - Todd Haynes’ sumptuous romance between a shop girl and a high society woman.

Christmas Movies? Bah humbug! - Don’t celebrate Christmas or despise anything holiday related? We offer access to hundreds of movies that have nothing to do with the holly jolly season. Here’s a few worth checking out.

Safety Last! - If you’ve never watched a silent film, you could pick worse places to start. This highly entertaining Harold Lloyd film is famous for the sequence where Lloyd scales a building and dangles from its clock.

The Young Girls of Rochefort - Infectiously enjoyable, Jacques Demy’s love letter to MGM musicals features missed romantic connections, an axe-murderer sub plot, and then Gene Kelly shows up…

McCabe and Mrs. Miller - Set in a wintry Pacific Northwest logging settlement that grows into a town, Robert Altman’s revisionist western about a gambler and madame who build a successful business only to fly too close to the sun is breathtakingly beautiful and melancholic. The gorgeous Leonard Cohen soundtrack adds to its mournful allure.

Take Shelter - Michael Shannon plays a father plagued by visions of impending apocalypse. Is it the onset of mental illness; or is there something to his visions of doom?

Hunt for the Wilderpeople - Funny and touching, Taika Waititi’s tale of a city kid, Ricky, on the run from New Zealand’s Child Protective Services with his countrified foster uncle. The unlikely duo must work together to evade the authorities in the New Zealand wild.