Library News

Celebrate Freedom to Read Week at Mills Library

Submitted by balche on
Filed under Library News:  Mills
Laura Trabucco is one of the student organizers of a display at Mills Library to celebrate Freedom to Read Week.

If you’ve ever spent hours reading Harry Potter, read the literary classic The Great Gatsby, or devoured the Hunger Games trilogy, you may not realize it, but you’ve read a banned book.

This week marks Freedom to Read Week, a nation-wide commemoration of the thousands of books that have been banned, challenged, or censored for any number of reasons, including sexuality, coarse language, racism, or religious objections.

From February 23-27, McMaster University Library is joining public libraries, bookstores and schools across Canada to host events encouraging Canadians to think about and reaffirm their commitment to intellectual freedom.

Visit the Mills Library lobby from February 23-27 and check out our Freedom to Read display.

Over the years countless novels have been challenged or removed from school curriculum in jurisdictions around the world, including here in Hamilton.

In 1993 a principal at a local high school removed Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, from the Grade 10 core reading list after receiving a complaint from a parent. The book came under fire once again in Nova Scotia as recently as 2002, and again in a Brampton high school in 2009.

The vast selection of challenged, banned or censored books may surprise you. Read through a list of 100 banned books on the Freedom to Read Challenged Works database. You can also borrow many of those books here on campus by visiting McMaster Libraries.

Which controversial Canadian book should you read? Take our quiz and find out!

Watch more videos in celebration of Freedom to Read Week.

Library Speaker Series: Academic Libraries in the Digital Age

Submitted by balche on
Filed under Library News:  Thode

On Monday March 2, join McMaster University Library for "Academic Libraries in the Digital Age: Search Engine Optimization and Linked Open Data," the first in a series of public talks to engage the campus community on issues critical to the future of scholarly research, new technologies and the role of libraries in the academy.

The series will aim to inspire new thinking and an enhanced sense of community – both on campus and beyond.

When: Monday March 2, 2015, 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Where: Lewis & Ruth Sherman Centre for Digital Scholarship, 1st Fl. Mills Memorial Library

Guest speakers include: 

  • Kenning Arlitsch, Dean, Montana State University Library     
  • Patrick OBrien, Semantic Web Research Director, Montana State University Library  

This event is open to all members of the McMaster community and will include the following sessions:

Session #1: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Digital Libraries

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM Libraries collectively spend millions of dollars each year creating websites and digital repositories, but optimizing for search engines is too often an afterthought and makes digital library use a fraction of what it could be. The overwhelming evidence that users begin their research with search engines should lead libraries to prioritize making their content accessible and comprehensible to these machines. This presentation will provide an overview of four years of research and practice that has led to increased visitation and use of library websites and digital repositories.

Break and Social Time – 3:00 PM – 3:30 PM

Session #2: Semantic Identity for Library Organizations

3:30 PM – 4:30 PM Library organizations are poorly represented in Semantic Web applications such as Knowledge Cards, which now display to the right of many Google search results. Knowledge Cards provide users with brief information about organizations or people and may include such items as location, description, hours, logos, photographs and reviews. More importantly, Knowledge Cards are a manifestation of what we call “semantic identity,” which establishes the existence of organizations and the scope of their relationships for search engines. This presentation will outline the process and challenges involved in updating library information for participation in semantic web applications.

How do you want the library to look in 10 years? Tell us what you think!

Submitted by balche on
Filed under Library News:  Innis Mills Thode
An image depicting spaces in Innis, Thode and Mills libraries at McMaster University.

McMaster University Library is asking faculty, staff and students to complete a survey aimed at finding ways to improve existing library spaces and plan for future needs.

The Library is currently working with design firm, Perkins and Will, to develop a long-term space plan for Mills, Innis and Thode libraries to be implemented over the next decade.

The planning process includes a comprehensive analysis of existing spaces and facilities and will identify areas for future development based on input from library users.

“It’s vitally important that our libraries meet the changing needs of our faculty, staff and future students, while providing improvements to the quality of existing library space,” says McMaster University Librarian Vivian Lewis. “We hope that the McMaster community will take the time to provide us with input so we can create vibrant, welcoming and effective spaces that make sense for all our users.”

Tell us what you think!   The survey is open and will close on Friday March 6.

Complete the Library Space Review Survey now


Read the #macpoem, written entirely on Twitter by digital poets

Submitted by balche on
Filed under Library News:  Thode
Niedzviecki is this year's Mabel Pugh Taylor Writer-in-Residence, co-sponsored by McMaster and the Hamilton Public Library.
My name is Hal Niedzviecki and I’m the McMaster Writer-in-Residence. That means I spend most of my time on campus hiding out in a little office either writing stuff or talking to people about writing stuff.
I thought it would be a good idea to come out of hiding and try something different: a giant poem that anyone from the McMaster community — students, faculty, staff, alumni or friends — could contribute to.
Using the hashtag #macpoem, the idea was to write the poem tweet by tweet, each line building on the last, to create a continuous narrative. There were some great creative contributions. Thank you to everyone who added their lines!
I hope you enjoy the McMaster poem!
#macpoem is a collaboration between the Writer-in-Residence and the McMaster University Library.

Check Your Connection to Google Scholar

Submitted by adling on
Filed under Library News:  Alerts e-Resources

Off-campus?  No longer able to see GetIt @ Mac links from your Google Scholar results?  There's a solution!  

Recent browser updates may lose the link to Mac.  To relink, set up your preferences in Google Scholar:

  1. from the Google Scholar home page, click Settings
  2. select Library links on the Scholar Settings page
  3. in the Library Links box, type mcmaster
  4. on the results list select McMaster University Library - get it @ Mac
  5. click Save

And you once again will see GetIt @ Mac links connecting you to fulltext from McMaster's subscribed or purchased collections.

For more tips and screenshots, check the library's video, Searching Google Scholar.

Please contact us if you have any questions!


Hidden gems on display at Mills Library, if you can find them

Submitted by balche on
Filed under Library News:  Events Mills
Students in Sally McKay’s third year Studio Arts class, New Directions in Painting and Drawing, install their art work in the library stacks.

Students in Sally McKay’s third year Studio Arts class, New Directions in Painting and Drawing, install their art work in the library stacks.

There are 10 new works of art on display at Mills Library, but you’ll have to look hard to find them.

Hidden among the shelves and designed to look like books, the pieces are actually works of conceptual art created by students in Sally McKay’s third year Studio Arts class, New Directions in Painting and Drawing.

“It’s a different way of thinking about the art experience for both the audience and the creators,” says McKay, a professor in the School of the Arts. “It may be that hardly anyone sees this art, but those who do will have a different kind of experience and a surprise because they’re not expecting these little objects that look like books on the outside, but have all kinds of surprises on the inside.”

The artists have used a range of unexpected materials to create a tactile or sensory experience. Intended to be an interactive display, audience members are encouraged to touch and interact with the art.

Student artist and contributor to the exhibition, Abedar Kamgari, say it’s exciting to be a part of this kind of installation.

“I like to see people’s reactions to the art,” says Kamgari “It gives you an opportunity to do something interactive, that you wouldn’t get to do in a traditional gallery setting and also, in a place as busy as Mills, you never know whose going to pick it up, which is also cool, it’s a new venue.”

Associate University Librarian, Wade Wyckoff, says the library has a history of displaying student art and was happy to partner with McKay on such a unique installation.

“Students usually come in to study and use the Wi-Fi, and do all the traditional things students do in libraries, so it’s great to give them the opportunity to find unexpected things,” says Wyckoff. “It’s also a very practical way to support teaching and learning at McMaster in a different way; giving students the hands-on experience of taking their work and putting out there into the world so people can interact with it.”

The installation will be on display at Mills Library throughout February.

The following students artists contributed art to the display:

  • Talysha Bujol-Abu
  • Mary Duncan
  • Vincent Farrauto
  • Abedar Kamgari
  • Bryan Kellman
  • T.J. Poplar
  • Samantha Raymond
  • Lydia Santia
  • Britanny Sostar
  • Whyishnave Suthagar

What's the next line of the McMaster poem? You tell us!

Submitted by balche on
Filed under Library News:  Innis Mills Thode
Hal Niedzviecki is the 2014-15 Mabel Pugh Taylor Writer-in-Residence.

My name is Hal Niedzviecki and I’m the McMaster writer-in-residence. That means I spend most of my time on campus hiding out in a little office either writing stuff or talking to people about writing stuff.

I thought it would be a good idea to come out of hiding and try something different: a giant poem that anyone from the McMaster community can contribute to.

Anyone who considers themselves part of the McMaster community; students, faculty, staff, alumni or friends are welcome to contribute.

Just send a tweet containing your lines and the hashtag #macpoem. Your contribution to the poem will be automatically added. You are welcome to send multiple tweets if you want to keep adding to the poem.

What if I’m not a writer? Everyone at McMaster knows how to write, and so by definition all of us are writers. You don’t have to be a poet to write poetry or anything else. Don’t over-think it, nobody is going to judge you, we’re all here to have fun and experience the poem’s many twists and turns.

What do I write? Whatever you want to happen next in the poem.

Does it have to rhyme? Some poems rhyme, but many others don’t. Your contribution can take the form of rhyming couplets or free verse or any other kind of poetic writing that strikes your fancy.

I hope you’ll take the time to check it out and add a line or two!

Go to the McMaster Poem

Hal Niedzviecki is the Mabel Pugh Taylor Writer-in-Residence, co-sponsored by McMaster’s Department of English and Cultural Studies and the Hamilton Public Library.

Niedzviecki's book The Peep Diaries was named as one of Oprah’s “25 Books You Can’t Put Down.”  He is a writer, speaker, culture commentator and is the author of 8 books of fiction and non-fiction. He’s also the founder and publisher of Broken Pencil: the magazine of zine culture and the independent arts. 

#macpoem is a collaboration between the Writer-in-Residence and the McMaster University Library.


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.


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