Library News

Quarter Century Club inductee shares analog memories from an increasingly digital Library

Submitted by plessla on
Filed under Library News:  Innis Lyons New Media Centre Mills Thode
Ice sculpture of the numbers twenty-five

Photo by Christopher Porto

photo by Christopher Porto
photo by Christopher Porto

By Lisa Cimini

Rhonda Moore's job at the Library wasn't always so digital.

In fact, her first position at the University was as a barcoder, placing barcodes on books after they were manually catalogued.

Moore now manages the Lyons New Media Centre - one of McMaster's most digital spaces - and was among the 122 university employees inducted into the Quarter Century Club Wednesday night.

After graduating with a BA in English from McMaster, Moore completed a library techniques program at Sheridan College before returning to McMaster for her first job.

Was it the game plan to stay for 25 years? Moore jokes that if she hadn’t enjoyed it she wouldn’t have stayed.

“Everything I’ve done along the way has been good, all of my experiences have developed me in who I am today and how I manage my area,” she says.

The Lyons New Media Centre is a unique space with cutting edge software and equipment – a 3D printer being one of them.

It's a long way from where she first started.

“I’m very fortunate to be given this opportunity; it’s the space and the creativity that is inspired here. It’s the whole environment - we have a rapport with the students and the work environment here is open and fun. It’s enjoyable and engaging, that’s what inspires the creativity and ideas.”

The Quarter Century Club recognizes employees and faculty who have achieved 25 years of service with the University. The new inductees were honoured at a celebratory dinner Wednesday night on campus hosted by McMaster President Patrick Deane.

“This event is our opportunity to publicly say thank you, and to acknowledge a group of remarkable individuals who embody our core mission, vision and values,” Deane told attendees. “Together, your efforts make our campus community a better place to live, work, teach, learn, socialize and conduct world-class research.”

Click here for a full list of this year’s Quarter Century Club inductees.

- Source:

Library seeks input to improve support for researchers

Submitted by balche on
Filed under Library News:  Alerts
A computer screen displaying the Ithaka faculty survey

McMaster University Library is asking faculty members from across campus for input to help support the needs of researchers on campus.

The Library is inviting faculty* to complete a survey that focuses on how advancements in digital technology have impacted teaching and research. The information gathered from this survey will help to inform decisions on how the Library can develop collections and resources that provide enhanced support to McMaster researchers.

The survey will focus on several key areas including data preservation and management, the role of the library, student research skills, digital research activity as well as access and research dissemination.

“The data collected from this survey will provide us with valuable insights into how the library can respond to the complex and changing research landscape,” says McMaster University Librarian Vivian Lewis. “This information will help McMaster University Library make investments in collections, programs and services that meet the current and future needs of McMaster researchers.”

“This survey is an important opportunity for faculty to contribute to the development of library resources that will further support the teaching and research mission at McMaster. I encourage all faculty members to complete this survey,” says McMaster Provost David Wilkinson.

The Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) is sponsoring the survey which will be conducted by Ithaka S+R, a non-profit organization that helps the academic community to use digital technologies, preserve the scholarly record and advance research and teaching in a sustainable way. McMaster is one of 12 Canadian universities participating in the survey.

This survey has been reviewed by the McMaster University Research Ethics Board and has received ethics clearance.

The survey will be conducted from January 19 to February 13, 2015. Faculty members will receive an email with a link to the survey.

Learn more about the Ithaka S+R Faculty Survey.

*In keeping with the methodology of the other survey sites, instructors from all Faculties, with the exception of clinical faculty, will be invited to participate.


Changes to LibAccess - Offsite Access

Submitted by askeyd on
Filed under Library News:  e-Resources

As outlined in an earlier news piece, effective today we have instituted more stringent MAC ID checks for offsite access to library resources. If you have been impacted by this change and feel that you should have access, please contact:

Faculty of Health Sciences students, staff, and faculty: Health Sciences Library

All others: contact Lynne Serviss of the University Library

We regret any inconvenience these changes impose on our users; these changes were necessary to ensure that we are meeting our contractual obligations to the content providers. Failure to do so could lead to blocked access to journal and book packages.

Toy and Food Drive Wraps Up

Submitted by balche on
Filed under Library News:  Alerts
The Library's Annual Toy and Food Drive has just finished for yet another year, and we wanted to sincerely thank everyone who made donations of gifts, food and pet items.

The Library's Annual Toy and Food Drive has just finished for yet another year, and we wanted to sincerely thank everyone who made donations of gifts, food and pet items. In addition, a big thank you is due to the Library staff as well as staff in many other departments who assist in the Drive each year.

All donations go to city residents in need through the downtown Hamilton branch of the Salvation Army, a tradition dating back to almost 40 years.

Once again, a big thank you to all, and our best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season!

The Toy Drive Committee (and all their helpers)

Letters from afar: First World War Christmas cards offer rare glimpse into the past

Submitted by balche on
Filed under Library News:  Alerts
Several dozen Christmas cards from the First World War, circa 1914-1918, are located in The William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections in Mills Memorial Library. 'Greetings from the Western Front,' reads one of the cards from 1915. 'With best wishes for a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year.'

Several dozen Christmas cards from the First World War, circa 1914-1918, are located in The William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections in Mills Memorial Library. 'Greetings from the Western Front,' reads one of the cards from 1915. 'With best wishes for a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year.'

Hamilton Spectator reporter Mark McNeil recently visited the archives in Mills Memorial Library, and surveyed a unique collection of Christmas cards from nearly a century ago.

Many of the cards, letters and photos were sent back to Canada and Great Britain from soldiers on the front lines during the First World War.

Read an excerpt from McNeil's story below:

Archivist Renu Barrett says the McMaster collection is made up of British and Canadian cards, and most were acquired as part of larger collections of war correspondence or personal papers.

Curiously, there isn't much handwriting on the cards. Usually there is just a name. Barrett says there may have been paper notes with some of the cards that have since gone missing.

But she says the pictures and the typography help capture the era from which they were created.

"And if you think about it, it's remarkable for them to have survived all this time."

Read the full story in The Hamilton Spectator.


Library breaking down barriers for persons with disabilities

Submitted by balche on
Filed under Library News:  Alerts
A McMaster student in a wheel chair studies on the first floor of Mills Library

Did you know that 1 in 7 Canadians has a disability? Or that people with disabilities are half as likely to get a university degree as those without disabilities?

Most of us are aware of physical barriers, such as stairs and entrances, but how many of us have ever given thought to students who for any number of reasons can’t read their required textbook? Or can’t sit at a computer, read the screen or use the keyboard?

On this International Day of Persons with Disabilities, McMaster Library is highlighting important services that remove some of the barriers that make it difficult for students to get or use the information they need for their coursework or research.

Each year, Library Accessibility Services provides assistance to some 100 students with disabilities, ranging from getting textbooks and other materials in alternate formats, to providing assistive software and equipment, to providing accessible study and consultation rooms.

Nancy Waite, TD Coordinator for Library Accessibility Services*, knows the impact of these services first-hand. “If we didn’t provide students with their required readings or research materials in alternate formats, they would not be able to complete their courses” she says. “Also, we can make a variety of library materials available to them so they have equal opportunities to do the research that they want to do on whatever topic interests them.”

Some of the services available at the Library include:

Students who would like to use these services must be referred by Student Accessibility Services. For more information on Accessibility at McMaster, see here.

*The Library acknowledges, with thanks, TD Bank Group for its generous support of this position.

Bike Library makes getting around campus a little easier

Submitted by balche on
Filed under Library News:  Mills
McMaster University Library has partnered with a student start-up initiative, to create the Mills Bike Library, a bike-lending service meant to provide students with equal access to sustainable transportation on campus.

Books aren’t the only thing you can check out of Mills Library; bikes have just been added to the list.

McMaster University Library has partnered with Start the Cycle,* a McMaster student start-up initiative, to create the Mills Bike Library, a bike-lending service meant to provide students with equal access to sustainable transportation on campus.

There are three bikes currently available for checkout, free of charge, as well as a selection of helmets to choose from. Students simply come to the service desk at Mills Library and, using their student card, check out a bike, just as they would sign out a book.

“We know not all students can afford to buy or rent a bike. This service provides students with another option,” says Anne Pottier, Associate University Librarian. “We are so pleased to support this McMaster start-up initiative and we hope students will take advantage of this unique service.”

If the program is successful, more bikes will be added in the spring of 2015.

Check out a bike with these 6 easy steps

  1. Take a look at the selection of bikes online, or in the compound behind University Hall..
  2. Visit the service desk on the 1st floor of Mills Library with your library card and tell them which bike you would like to borrow. You must fill out a waiver the first time you borrow a bike.
  3. You will receive a package of information and the keys to unlock the bike of your choice
  4. Safety first – you can borrow a sanitized helmet or bring your own.
  5. Use the bike for 48 hours! It will be due back by 4:30pm, 2 days from the date borrowed – if you need it longer, renew it through your library account online
  6. The helmet and key must be returned to the Service Desk, not the external Book Drop. Check Mills Library hours.

*Start the Cycle is a non-profit company that develops bike share programs for youth to encourage them to live a healthy lifestyle by being active in their city. The company’s co-founders are Charles Burke and Justin Hall, two McMaster alumni.

Citation management tool, RefWorks, to be phased out

Submitted by balche on
Filed under Library News:  Alerts

McMaster is phasing out RefWorks, one of the University’s primary citation management tools.

As of August 15, 2015, McMaster faculty, students and staff will no longer have access to their RefWorks accounts. In preparation for this, it will no longer be possible to create new accounts as of January 1, 2015.

McMaster’s RefWorks license was negotiated as part of the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL) consortia. Earlier this year, OCUL announced that its members had opted not to renew this product, affecting a number of universities across the province.

“We understand that this decision will significantly impact our RefWorks users,” says Anne Pottier, Associate University Librarian. “To help ease this transition, McMaster University Library has identified a variety of citation tools that should meet the needs of most of our students, faculty and staff. We invite current users to explore the options and find the tool that works best for them.”

McMaster University Library has created a list of citation management alternatives and is encouraging users to begin the process of exporting their references from RefWorks into another software tool.

Users also have the option of purchasing an individual subscription to RefWorks.

Learn more about how to migrate your references and citations from RefWorks.

For more information contact Ines Perkovic, McMaster’s RefWorks coordinator.

Late Night Studying in the Libraries

Submitted by pottier on
Filed under Library News:  Alerts Innis Mills Thode
Late night hours image

This year you will once again have lots of options when it comes to late night studying during exams.

Thode Library will be open 24/7 from December 2nd to December 19th.   The Reactor Café will be open December 6th-18th from 10am to midnight. Don't forget there is an ATM to Thode so you will have easy access to cash for use at the café and the vending machines.

The lower level of Thode is the Quietest Study Area in the building. In addition there is a small Silent Study room on the lower level.

Mills Library moves to extended hours next week – the main library will be open 8am to 10:45pm, 7 days per week. 

The Mills Learning Commons (2nd floor) is open 24/7 until December 19th.

The entire 6th floor of Mills is designated as a Silent Study Areaand we will do our best to patrol this area.  Feel free to send an email to or use the online form if students in the area are not respecting the Silent Study guidelines (no talking, no socializing, no cell phones, no music). A large area on the  4th floor is  designated as a Quiet Study Area.  During exams, all seating areas on the upper floors (3rd – 5th) are considered Quiet Study Areas and will be signed as such.

Innis will also move to extended hours next week – Monday to Friday 8:30am to 10:45pm / Saturday 10:30am to 5:45 pm / Sunday 1pm to 7:45pm. 

You will find  more information on the various study spaces available in our libraries here.

All libraries have bookable Group Study Rooms.  Please remember that these are to be used by groups of 2 or more, and cannot be booked for more than 2 consecutive hours by one group. The library reserves the right to remove bookings which do not follow these guidelines.

Food and beverage vending machines in all libraries will be stocked daily during exams.

Good luck on your exams!

McMaster Libraries Host The Annual Toy and Food Drive

Submitted by penfold on
Filed under Library News:  Events Health Sciences Innis Mills Thode

Santa Claus winks in this image with a large white Christmas bulb next to him that reads "McMaster University Libraries Toy and Food Drive"McMaster's Libraries are once again pleased to host this year's Annual Toy and Food Drive, in support of the Hamilton chapter of the Salvation Army's Christmas Bureau. The Bureau collects and distributes new toys, gift cards, non-perishable food items as well as toys and food for family pets, all going directly to their clients in need of assistance here in our community. This year's drive runs from November 23 to December 17, with drop-off boxes in each of the 4 campus Libraries. 

The Toy Drive dates back to the mid-1970's--the purpose being to assist community residents in need; in partnership since then with the local branch of the Salvation Army. Each year, the Toy Drive Committee commemorates the contributions of one of the founding members, former Library employee Frances McCrone. She ran the drive for many years, and in fact was chosen for and received a President's Choice award in 1999 for her many years of work. There are many now-grown children in the community who have Frances to thank for making their Christmas season much brighter over the years.

One of our current Committee members is Sylvia Dion, who notes: "A few years ago, working with Frances, we expanded the drive to include non-perishable food items, as well as pet items, which has proven to be very popular--children love to give their pets something for Christmas. We've also included older children, teenagers to the age of 16, and gift cards have proved to be an excellent choice for them. Any donation for the drive is a big help, and is greatly appreciated!"

This year's Drive runs from November 23 to December 17. Donation bins are at all 4 campus Libraries. Gift card donations may be left at the Service Desks of any of the Libraries.

For further information, or for any inquiries, please contact Sylvia Dion or Kerry Jay at university ext. 22077.


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