Library News

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.

New library research examines the power of digital storytelling

Submitted by balche on
Filed under Library News:  Research @ McMaster









Brian Detlor is a big fan of Hamilton. And now he’s working on a research project that he hopes will help change the way people across the region think about the city.

Detlor, the McMaster University Library’s first ever Faculty-Member-in Residence, is researching the power of digital storytelling to promote Hamilton as a place to live, work and play.

Detlor’s research focuses on “Love Your City, Share Your Stories,” a digital storytelling initiative spearheaded by The Hamilton Public Library and the City of Hamilton’s Tourism and Culture Division. The initiative, which launched last week, highlights people and places that have played a key part in Hamilton’s cultural heritage.

“The idea of researching the impact of digital storytelling resonated with me,” says Detlor, also an associate professor in the DeGroote School of Business. “Hamilton has very rich origins. People don’t always know its history and how it’s changed; telling these stories can help raise that awareness and convey a positive message about Hamilton.”

Over the past year, Detlor has been working in partnership with the City of Hamilton’s Tourism and Culture Division, the Hamilton Public Library and the McMaster University Library to study the Love Your City, Share Your Stories initiative, exploring the characteristics of an effective digital story and looking at how recent advances in technology and digital tools can be used to create, gather and share digital stories more broadly.

Detlor hopes the findings of this research will inform policy-makers and cultural institutions, providing them with insights on how to best use digital storytelling techniques to promote a city or region.

“Promotion of a city is important,” says Detlor. “You don’t just want to send people to a fact sheet; you want something that has emotional resonance that draws people in to learn more. Many of these stories are intrinsic to Hamilton’s identity. We want to flesh them out and help people to better understand the city and the potential impact those stories have in terms of promoting Hamilton.”

Detlor developed this project last year while on a research leave, serving as the McMaster Library’s Faculty-Member-in-Residence (FMIR). The program, the first of its kind in North America, is designed to give a faculty member the chance to work full-time with the Library on research projects of their choosing.

He says his research would not have been possible had he not been working closely with the library.

“I knew I wanted to connect my research to the Hamilton community, but I didn’t have a defined project. The library helped to brainstorm ideas and provide me with opportunities to try things and take advantage of projects that came along. It was enriching, it opened up my mind to new experiences and different projects.”

McMaster University Librarian, Vivian Lewis, says working with Detlor helped to connect the Library with the research mission of the University.

“Not only have we been able to support Brian on his research projects, but his expertise has provided us with a chance to better understand how the library can undertake and support scholarly research,” says Lewis. “We hope the FMIR program will help faculty engage with the library in a new way, as more than a place where you get your information, but also as a place where you can do leading edge, impactful research.”

An open call for this year’s FMIR is currently underway. Detlor hopes that Faculty will take advantage of the opportunity to work and research with the library.

“When I look back on my career at McMaster, this research experience will be one of the highlights,” says Detlor. “I hope the next person is someone completely different than who I am and makes it their own. I want people to look forward to the call.”

Learn more about the McMaster University Library’s Faculty-Member-in-Residence program and how to apply. The deadline for applications is December 31, 2014.

7 Reasons to Visit Your McMaster Libraries

Submitted by plessla on
Filed under Library News:  Innis Mills Thode

It’s mid semester now and we hope you’ve settled into your classes. It’s also about time for those midterm and final assignments to roll around.  You may not know where to begin, but the library has a vast array of resources for you to use for research purposes, study spaces, printing and much more! We’ve compiled a list of some of the things the library can offer you:

  1. Need Help?

At some point we’ve all been stuck not knowing how to begin a research assignment, but we have some great librarians who are here to help you.  Here are all the ways you can ask for help (, don’t be shy!

  1. Study Spaces

Head on over to ( to see a list of study zones that cater to group spaces, conversation friendly spaces and everyone’s favourite, silent study spaces.

  1. RACER

This is a great resource if you’re looking for material not held by McMaster University Libraries. You can request it at no charge through RACER. Head to ( for more information.

  1. Technology

The library offers tons of tech resources for students. You can borrow projectors and use software you may not otherwise have access to. For more information visit:

  1. Lyons New Media Centre

This section of the library is a gold mine for media resources. You can borrow cameras, use the green room or even take a break in the games room. Head over to ( for more information.

  1. 3D Printing

The Lyons New Media Centre has recently purchased a 3D printer and it’s free for all students to use. You can find more information here:

  1. Not a Book Club Events with Writer in Residence Hal Niedzviecki

If you’re someone who’s interested in writing, this is a great resource for you to start. It’s “an opportunity for anyone working on and thinking about a creative writing project—no matter how small or big—to get feedback and vital encouragement.” Find more information here:

Written by Ayesha Nisar.




Santa Claus is Coming -- To Mills Library!

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

A vector-based drawing of Santa Claus. Illustration created by Kelly Penfold.Santa Claus has taken time out of his very busy schedule and will be joining us again this year for a couple of visits at Mills Library. He is assisting us in our annual Toy Drive by offering to have his photograph taken with you--for a price of only $2 per person! All the money raised will go directly to the Hamilton chapter of the Salvation Army. All toys, food, pet gifts, gift certificates and money are distributed by them to less fortunate members of our local community for the holiday season.

We have been running the Toy Drive for at least 38 years now from the campus Libraries and luckily Santa has agreed to help us out once again this year. So come and get your photograph taken with Santa on November 24th or 25th, both days from 1:30-3:30PM in the First Floor Lobby of Mills Library. You'll be helping out families in our community and will get to meet Santa!

Remembrance: Voices from the Great War

Submitted by balche on
Filed under Library News:  Archives & Research Collections Events
The Bach Elgar Choir and prominent stage actor, Lorne Kennedy, recently performed a moving portrait of life during the Great War told through songs, letters and diaries from McMaster’s extensive World War 1 Archives.

Wednesday, June 1, 1915, France

“The battle raged loud and fiercely in front of us and over us – shells, trench mortar bombs, grenades, bullets, all swelled the chorus of battle in the moonlight...The tragic moment was when Allan, in a few words, reported that the attack had failed … stopped by machine guns, many killed and wounded. So it is – this is just one of many of the “situations” one encounters and I tell it so that it may be in my story of these days. Our letters, dear heart, how they will live with us."

Charles Hammond Mitchell captured the brutality of war in this letter home to his wife Myra, while ­serving as an intelligence officer in the First World War.

This was just one of the many moving passages read aloud during Remembrance: Voices from the Great War. The performance recalled a number of poignant moments and everyday occurrences recorded by the people who experienced the war both on the home front and on the battlefield.

Sponsored by the McMaster University Library and the McMaster University Alumni Association, The Bach Elgar Choir and prominent stage actor, Lorne Kennedy, presented a portrait of Canada at war told through letters, diaries and popular music drawn from the McMaster Library’s extensive First World War Archives.

The performance was inspired by Kathy Garay, Assistant Professor in McMaster’s Arts and Science Program and member of the alto section of the Bach Elgar Choir. Working with the choir’s artistic director, Alexander Cann, Garay transcribed and curated the written materials and provided Cann with access to sheet music from the era to create a picture of Canadian life during the war years.

Read more about how Garay and Cann brought these war archives to life as featured in The Hamilton Spectator.

“The First World War archive is truly a jewel in our collection,” says McMaster University Librarian, Vivian Lewis. “This concert provided a wonderful opportunity to share this remarkable collection with the community, to listen once again to the music of the time, and to shine a light on the stories and experiences of ordinary people, living in extraordinary times.”

Explore some of the materials featured in Remembrance: Voices from the Great War from the McMaster University Library archives.

Take a selfie with AskGirl and you could win!

Submitted by balche on
Filed under Library News:  Alerts

Forget about Waldo, where’s AskGirl?

You may have seen her in her usual spot beside the service desk at Mills Library, but this week, AskGirl is going on a campus tour and you’re invited to come along.

From Nov. 10-14, AskGirl will appear in different locations across campus from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday to Thursday and 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Friday.

All you need to do is take a selfie with AskGirl and tweet your photo using the #findaskgirl hashtag for a chance to win one of five $25 gift cards to the Campus Store.

Winners will be picked daily, with a grand prize draw for a $50 Campus Store gift card taking place on Friday afternoon.

Stay tuned to the McMaster & Library Facebook and Twitter pages to find out AskGirl’s secret location.

Like maclibraries on Facebook

Follow @maclibraries on Twitter

Who is AskGirl,anyway?

AskGirl is the Library’s superhero symbol for Ask a Librarian, an province-wide online service that provides research help to students, anytime, anywhere. Just type in your question, and get help from librarians and library staff from McMaster and other participating Ontario universities.

Ask your research question here


Not Your Mother's Book Club- November events

Submitted by balche on
Filed under Library News:  Alerts
Niedzviecki is this year's Mabel Pugh Taylor Writer-in-Residence, co-sponsored by McMaster and the Hamilton Public Library.

Niedzviecki is this year's Mabel Pugh Taylor Writer-in-Residence, co-sponsored by McMaster and the Hamilton Public Library.

The McMaster community and members of the public are invited to join McMaster's Writer-in-Residence, Hal Niedzviecki, for a series of free events taking place throughout November.

Niedzviecki is author of The Peep Diaries, named one of Oprah’s “25 Books You Can’t Put Down.” He is also a writer, speaker, culture commentator and editor, whose work challenges preconceptions and confronts readers with the offenses of everyday life. He is the author of 8 books of fiction and non-fiction and is the founder and publisher of Broken Pencil: the magazine of zine culture and the independent arts.


Niedzviecki will be hosting the following events:


Publishing in the Era of Kindle- Answering your questions about when, why and how to publish.

When: Tuesday November 11 12:30-1:30

Where: Mills Library 3rd Floor, McMaster Campus.  


Writing Memoir: A workshop-  Getting started on writing memoir and personal essay

When: Wednesday November 19 10:30-12:00

Where: Dundas Branch of Hamilton Public Library  


In the Future We’ll be Robots: Creativity in the Digital Era A workshop and conversation about creativity in the present-future.

When: Monday Nov. 24th 12:30-1:30

Where: Mills Library 3rd Floor, McMaster Campus.

To contact Hal, email
Niedzviecki is this year's Mabel Pugh Taylor Writer-in-Residence, co-sponsored by McMaster and the Hamilton Public Library. He is dividing his time equally between the Dept. of English and Cultural Studies, and Hamilton Public Library, consulting one-on-one with apprentice writers in the community, and devoting approximately 60% of his time to his own writing, an important goal of the Residency program.  

Taking Care of Business for 40 Years: A Brief History of Innis Library

Submitted by perkovic on
Filed under Library News:  Events Innis

In the late 1960s, when the plans for the Arts III building were being finalized, it was decided that the new home for the Faculties of Anthropology, Business, Economics, Political Science and Sociology would also include a study space for the students in those Faculties.

In 1971 when the newly dubbed Kenneth Taylor Hall opened to the campus community its new study hall featured seating for about 90 students as well as a caged area that housed reserve material for courses offered by the various Faculties. Materials would be accessible only for a few hours a day, courtesy of a temporarily transplanted staff member from Mills Memorial Library. 

This new space was named after Harold Innis, famed economist, communication theorist and McMaster alumnus. The Innis Room was quickly embraced by students from the moment it opened its doors.

The heaviest users of the Innis Room were from the Faculty of Business. To compete with business programs at other universities, McMaster pursued accreditation. One of the requirements for this level of certification was to have a dedicated business library.

In the fall of 1973, after much deliberation and negotiation with the adjoining Faculties, it was decided that the Innis Room would become known as a business library. A full-time librarian was hired and plans for the transition began to take shape.

In the early summer of 1974, the Innis Room was closed so that the reserve cage could be removed. Books, shelves and furniture were also transferred from Mills Library.

On July 2, 1974 the Innis Room officially re-opened as a business library and soon boasted over 5,000 reserve items. Despite its modest size, the space saw approximately 180,000 people pass through its turnstiles in its first year of operation.

Traffic at Innis continued to grow at a steady pace throughout the seventies and into the eighties. By the end of that decade, it had become quite clear that overcrowding had become a problem, exacerbated by the steady growth of its book and periodical collections.

By the early nineties, when construction began on the DeGroote School of Business building, a major expansion and renovation of Innis was integrated into the plan, eventually more than doubling its floor space and seating capacity and most symbolically, changing its designation from “Room” to “Library”.

Over the decades, microfilm and print have slowly been usurped by the proliferation of online databases which provide access to countless reports and articles in thousands of periodicals. Despite the changes in technology and access to information, the needs of McMaster’s business and commerce students remain very similar to those of the early seventies; to find reliable and relevant information, quickly and efficiently.

Innis Library has proudly been taking care of business for 40 years and will continue to strive for new and innovative ways to serve its users. We will be celebrating this milestone with balloons and free cake from 1:30-2:30 PM on Wednesday, November 5, 2014 (which happens to coincide with our namesake's birth date). We hope you can join us!

by Alessandro Erasmi

It’s ALIVE! Frankenstein resurrected from Library archives

Submitted by plessla on
Filed under Library News:  Archives & Research Collections Innis Mills Thode

The Silhouette published this review of Frankenstein, co-written by Dave and Ian Thomas, and first performed at McMaster in 1971. The playbill, score and lyrics were among the materials recently donated to the McMaster Library by Ian Thomas.

Dave Thomas (left) as "Dr. Frankenstein," Eugene Levy (right) as "Igor"  during rehearsals.


1971. The Pentagon Papers have just been released, “All in the Family” makes its television debut, Tom Jones' "She's a Lady" tops the charts and Frankenstein comes to McMaster.

Co-written by famed Canadian actor and McMaster alumnus Dave Thomas and his brother, award-winning musician Ian Thomas, who composed the score, Frankenstein made its theatrical debut at McMaster’s Robinson Theater in March of 1971.

In addition to Dave and Ian Thomas, the production involved a who’s who of Canadian comic talent including Eugene Levy and Martin Short.

Ian Thomas recently donated his archives to the McMaster Library which included the script and score of Frankenstein.

More than 40 years after Frankenstein premiered, we asked Dave and Ian Thomas to share their memories of the production. Read full story on the Daily News.


Library Announces Winners of OpenCon Travel Scholarships

Submitted by balche on
Filed under Library News:  Alerts
Zack Batist, and Lorraine Chuen, each received a $1500 travel scholarship from the University Library to attend an Open Access conference in Washington DC.

Zack Batist, and Lorraine Chuen, each received a $1500 travel scholarship from the University Library to attend an Open Access conference in Washington DC.

The University Library is pleased to report that Zack Batist (a PhD candidate from Anthroplogy) and Lorraine Chuen (a Masters student in Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour) have been awarded travel scholarships valued at $1,500 USD to attend OpenCon in Washington DC next month. 

OpenCon  is a 3-day conference intended to inspire the next generation of scholars to change how research outputs are shared through open access, open data and open educational resources.  For details about the conference, please see:

Zach and Lorraine were chosen from among a large pool of talented graduate students vying for the travel awards. The selection panel was struck by the calibre of the candidates, many of who already displayed strong commitment to expanding the dissemination of scholarly output.  The Library looks forward to working with Zach and Lorraine on their return to help formulate effective strategies for supporting Open Access on campus.



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