McMaster University Library has countless resources to help students at any time of year, but during the exam period when stress levels soar and students are studying feverishly, Mills, Innis and Thode Libraries have lots of services that can help make this hectic time a bit easier.
1. Trouble focusing? There's an app for that!
Relax, learn to manage your stress, and improve your ability to focus with Muse brain-sensing headbands. Using seven sensors to detect and measure brain activity and Bluetooth to send this information to the free Muse app, the headbands provide a one-of-a-kind interactive meditating experience. Muse provides feedback on your meditation by translating your brain signals into the sights and sounds of wind, which are stormy when the mind is active and settled when the mind is calm. The app reports on your session and progress, adjusts your goals, and challenges you to remain calm for increasing lengths of time. Visit the Library Services Desk in Mills, Thode or Innis Libraries to borrow the headbands for up to a week.
2. Forgot your headphones?
You’re all set up for an intense study session at the library, and realize that you forgot your headphones! You can still enjoy your favourite study playlist by borrowing headphones for four hours at a time from the Service Desk in Mills, Innis or Thode Libraries with your library card.
3. Banish stress at the Lyons New Media Centre
What could be more relaxing than origami? Visit the desk at the Lyons New Media Centre for fun and creative ways to relieve your stress. Ask for origami paper and start folding away. Check out some pencil crayons and grab a colouring sheet. Handicrafts more your style? Sign out some yarn and needles and knit for a spell.
4. Food or drink, anyone?
Vending machines with snacks and beverages are now available and being stocked in Mills, Innis and Thode libraries.
5. Just add a cute dog
Liam the Library dog is a certified therapy dog who loves attention from students! Visit with Liam on April 20. Liam will be in Innis Library at 11:00 – 11:30, Mills Library from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m., and Thode Library from 3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
6. Innis Library De-Stress Zone
Take a break in the Innis Library De-Stress Zone, which includes range of activities and treats to help you decompress including colouring materials, puzzles, cookies and apples. Be sure to participate in our contest to win a prize!
7. Thode Library Stress Busters
Visit Thode Library throughout the exam period and de-stress with puzzles, colouring and games.
8. Past Exams
The Library has a range of past exams from Humanities, Social Sciences, Business, Commerce Engineering and Science courses that can help you be more prepared. Find exams here.
9. Read...for fun!
Need a break from study notes and text books? Visit the Hamilton Public Library Open Library, located next to the Mills Services desk. The Open Library is a donated collection of popular reads and magazines from Hamilton Public Library. Students are welcome to select a book to read. No need to bring the book back, it’s yours to keep or to share.
Quiet study can be found in the following spaces:
- 6th floor of Mills Library – silent study
- Area on 4th floor of Mills Library (down the ramp on the west side)
- All areas on 3rd and 4th floors of Mills Library
- Silent late night study in Innis Library, Mon-Thurs, 11:00 p.m. – 2:45 a.m.
- Lower level of Thode Library, as well as a small silent study room also in the lower level
- NEW THIS TERM –Quiet study in Mills Connections Centre, 1st floor (evenings and weekends)
Find out more information about study spaces in McMaster libraries.
Library Hours for the exam period are as follows:
- Staring April 7, Mills Library will be open Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 10:45 p.m., Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 10:45 p.m., Sunday noon to 10:45 p.m. The Learning Commons will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- From April 7 –April 26, Thode Library will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week; The Reactor Cafe will be open from 10:00 a.m.– 11:00 p.m.
- Starting April 7, Innis Library will be open from 8:30 a.m. – 2:45 a.m., Mon–Thurs, Friday 8:30 a.m. - 10:45 p.m., Sat. 10:30 a.m. – 5:45 p.m., Sun. 1:00 p.m.– 7:45pm
The Libraries will also be open extended hours on Good Friday.
Filed under Library News: Events
Mabel Pugh Taylor Writer-in-Residence Christine Pountney and 11 aspiring authors from the McMaster and Hamilton communities gave readings of their work at a recent event hosted by McMaster University Library.
Aspiring writers who have been working one-on-one with McMaster’s Writer-in-Residence gathered recently to give readings of their work – some reading publicly for the first time – at a special event hosted by McMaster University Library.
The event was intended to showcase the work of novice authors from the McMaster community and from the Hamilton region who have spent the past several months honing their craft with the guidance of Christine Pounteny, the 2016-17 Mabel Pugh Taylor Writer-in-Residence, a program co-sponsored by McMaster’s Department of English and Cultural Studies and the Hamilton Public Library, (HPL).
12 writers, including Pounteny, read before an audience of friends and family, faculty, and community partners who gathered for the event, which was held in partnership with McMaster’s Department of English and Cultural Studies and HPL. The writers were accompanied by guitarist Niranjan Gundu who created the musical soundscape for each reading.
“McMaster University Library is honoured to be involved with the Writer-in-Residence program as a testament to our support for Canadian literature,” says Vivian Lewis, McMaster University Librarian who spoke at the event. “Capturing the power of the written word is something we feel very passionate about. We are pleased to showcase these apprentice authors and provide them with a platform to share their work publicly.”
During her residency, Pountney split her time between campus and the Central Branch of the HPL, holding more than 150 consultations with apprentice authors in both locations to provide mentorship and feedback, or simply talk about the writing process.
“Working with Christine was a Godsend for me,” says aspiring Burlington author Charlene Walker Arnold who read her work during the event. “She is such a professional and she looks at your work with true interest. It’s so wonderful that there’s a program with someone like her to help beginner writers.”
Now in its eighteenth year, the Writer-in Residence program is made possible through a generous contribution by the Taylor family and by funds from the Faculty of Humanities and the Canada Council for the Arts.
A number of acclaimed Canadian authors have served as McMaster’s Writers-in-Residence including Lawrence Hill, author of the Book of Negros, and André Alexis who recently won CBC’s Canada Reads competition for his book Fifteen Dogs, which he was working on during his residency.
Christine Pountney will continue to hold hours at McMaster on Tuesdays and Thursdays, in CNH 312 until the end of April 2017.
To contact Christine, email email@example.com.
Filed under Library News: Lyons New Media Centre
Team Orange Monkey took top honours at the 24 Hour Film Festival hosted by McMaster University Library’s Lyons New Media Centre for their film, ‘The Guy From Hamilton who Stole my Mail.’
McMaster students, staff and faculty gathered in Togo Salmon Hall to screen the top nine festival entries and to vote electronically for their favourite films and performances.
The festival challenged McMaster students, alumni, as well as high school students to create a five-minute film in 24 hours using three elements; a randomly assigned prop (something Canadian), a line of dialogue (“So, how does it feel?” from the 1999 Canadian film, eXistenZ) and a location (behind something).
Team Orange Monkey took top honours with their film, The Guy From Hamilton who Stole my Mail:
Known Caller by Team Pyramid Pictures and A Snowball’s Chance by Team Blue Bombers – both films created by teams of high school students – took second and third place respectively.
The ‘Best Performance Award’ went to Team Flux with their film, The Waiting Room.
To help teams prepare for the competition, the Lyons New Media Centre provided participants with access to mentorship, as well as film production resources.
*The Lyons New Media Centre, located in Mills Library, is a media space for the innovative creation and use of new and traditional media in teaching, learning and research at McMaster.
Team Pyramid Pictures, made up of high school students from Ancaster, were named the runners up for their film, ‘Known Caller.’
Team Blue Bombers, made up of high school students from London, Ontario, placed third in the competition for their film, ‘A Snowball’s Chance.’
Join the McMaster University Library and Faculty of Engineering for the informal launch of the Thode Makerspace, a new experiential learning space in which people with shared interests, especially in computing or technology, can gather to work on projects while sharing ideas, equipment, and knowledge.
The makerspace – open to students, faculty and staff from all disciplines –offers a hands-on opportunity to develop new technologies, learn technical skills, and work in collaborative teams by providing access to tools, technology, expertise, and social connections.
When: Tuesday April 18, 2017, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Where: H.G. Thode Library of Science and Engineering, lower level
Please RSVP by Wednesday April 12, 2017 to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone, (905)525-9140, ext. 27099.
The Thode Makerspace is a partnership between McMaster University Library and McMaster’s Faculty of Engineering.
The University Library and Health Sciences Library will have a new library services platform in place starting in September.
A library services platform, or LSP, supports the Libraries’ catalogue, circulation, user accounts, and the acquisition and management of library collections.
The decision to move from the current system to Innovative Interfaces’ Sierra and Encore Duet platform was made following a competitive search process. Work to migrate the Libraries to the new system is underway and will be completed in August.
Sierra and Encore will provide a number of advantages to the McMaster community, chief among them an integrated search that makes access to full-text journal content easier and more direct. You can also expect faster response times and streamlined access to your library account from the new interface.
There are a few steps that members of the McMaster community will need to take to prepare:
- Any lists that you have created in your user account must be exported and saved outside of the current system if you wish to keep them. Unfortunately, these will not migrate to the new system.
- Links to the library catalogue that you may have bookmarked or embedded in Avenue2Learn will need to be updated after the new catalogue is in place. Links directly to online content (e.g., journal articles, e-books, databases) will not be affected.
- Any screenshots or video of the library catalogue that may be included in your instructional materials will need to be updated.
Checkouts, holds, and requests for items to be recalled will migrate to the new system as part of the Libraries’ work with the vendor.
We will share more details on how to prepare as the transition date gets closer. If you have questions in the meantime, please feel free to contact us and we will provide the best answer that we can with our current understanding of the new system; we’re learning too, and our own knowledge of specific details is still evolving. Finally, we appreciate your patience and support as we work through these changes.
Filed under Library News: Events
When Library intern Madeline Donnelly thinks about intellectual freedom, she thinks of Galileo, Socrates and Semmelweis, and the repercussions they faced for radical ideas that challenged established norms.
To help understand their situations in the context of modern times and technology, Donnelly asked herself:
What if Galileo had a Twitter account when he published a Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems?
What if Semmelweis was on Facebook when he revealed the benefits of hand-washing on patient mortality?
What if Socrates did all his Socratic questioning on Twitter?
This week is Freedom to Read Week in Canada. Organized by the Freedom of Expression Committee of the Book and Periodical Council, FRW is an annual event that encourages Canadians to think about and reaffirm their commitment to intellectual freedom, which is guaranteed them under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Let’s celebrate our freedom to think, read, write and share.
Watch videos created by Madeline:
Filed under Library News: Archives & Research Collections
More than 150 students, colleagues, friends, and alumni gathered at the University Club to celebrate the donation of Henry Giroux’s archive to McMaster University Library and to hear him talk about the state of democracy in the age of Donald Trump.
“Collective opposition is no longer an option, it’s a necessity.”
This was the impassioned call-to-action made by Henry Giroux, director of the McMaster Centre for Scholarship in the Public Interest and Professor in McMaster’s Department of English and Cultural Studies.
He made the comments during a recent lecture in which he described what he calls the “vindictive chaos” of politics in the United States, comparing Trump’s America to the dystopian worlds of George Orwell’s 1984 and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.
“The body of democracy is on life support and the wounds now being inflicted upon it are alarming. This certainly raises questions about what role educational institutions should take in the face of impending tyranny,” says Giroux. “At the heart of such efforts is the question of what education should accomplish in a democracy under siege.”
The talk was part of a special event hosted by McMaster University Library in celebration of Giroux, who recently donated his personal archives to the Library’s William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections.
More than 150 students, colleagues, friends, and alumni gathered at the University Club to pay tribute to Giroux, a public intellectual, prolific writer and world-renowned educational and cultural theorist, who has spent the last 30 years provoking societal debate on some of society’s most pressing and controversial issues.
Giroux’s archive – which contains significant insights into his life and work as a scholar and public intellectual – includes manuscripts and articles written or edited by Giroux, as well as books from Giroux’s own library that have informed his work.
The collection also contains personal correspondence, including letters from influential philosopher, educator and social theorist, Paulo Friere – a colleague and mentor to Giroux – as well as a number of the many awards Giroux has received throughout his career.
“Henry’s archive contains the research materials that have formed the foundation of his published work,” says Vivian Lewis, McMaster University Librarian. “The collection is revealing of Henry’s incredible life as a public intellectual and, as such, will be of invaluable importance to the researchers, critics, editors, and students from around the world who will visit the archive.”
Giroux has written extensively about youth culture, media studies, race studies and the state of public and higher education in the United Sates.
He has authored, or co-authored 63 books, written several hundred scholarly articles, delivered more than 250 public lectures, been a regular contributor to print, television and radio news media outlets, and is the most cited Canadian academic working in any area of Humanities research.
The Giroux archive will be available for researchers to access later this year.
Filed under Library News: Mills
These are some of the materials used by Arts & Science and iSci students to build small electronic devices during 'Electronics for the Rest of Us,' a recent workshop hosted by McMaster Library's Sherman Centre for Digital Scholarship, that introduced students to simple circuitry and coding.
From smartphones and computers to video game consoles and TVs, most of us couldn’t imagine life without these complex electronic devices, but do you know how they work?
While you may not be building your own laptop anytime soon, believe it or not, learning how a circuit works – and even building your own electronic device – can be simpler and less time-consuming than you think.
This was the case for a group of students from McMaster’s Arts & Science and Integrated Science (iSci) programs who recently spent three days learning the basics of electronics at a workshop held by the experts at McMaster University Library’s Lewis and Ruth Sherman Centre for Digital Scholarship.
“I think for a lot of students, they perceive working with circuits, or computer code to be something that has a really long learning curve that they just don’t have the time to get into because it takes a substantial time investment,” says Jay Brodeur, Manager of McMaster Library’s Maps, Data and GIS Department, who led the workshop. “But what we’ve found is that with the right kind of introduction, they can get going on this and working on their own projects in a matter of hours.”
Electronics for the Rest of Us, introduces students to “physical” or “minimal” computing, a form of computing that uses simple circuitry and coding to build small, relatively straightforward electronic devices.
Using a microcomputer called an Arduino, students learn how to build their own circuits as well as how to write simple computer code to sends instructions to their device.
“Their first task was to build a circuit with an LED light and make it blink,” says Brodeur. “Then we told them to change the rate at which the LED blinks. To do this, they had to modify the code to make the device work. This helped them understand how these two things work together.”
Brodeur says by the final day of the workshop, students were working independently to create devices that performed a range of tasks, from reacting to noise levels to sensing changes in light.
“I found the workshop to be nothing short of amazing,” says Abbey Hudecki, a third year student in McMaster’s Arts & Science program who says she started the workshop with no knowledge of electronics and ended up building a device that not only sensed the room’s temperature and sound levels, but responded by lighting LEDs and playing music.
“The highlight for me was the last day of the course when we had free time to create pretty much whatever we wanted to. By then, I had enough understanding to actually make things on my own,” she says. “I would strongly encourage students to take this course, since there’s always someone there to help, and it can completely change your attitude towards electronics for the better.”
Electronics for the Rest of Us is offered each term and is open to students from all Faculties.
Students in Electronics for the Rest of Us built circuits that, among other things, made an LED light blink:
Filed under Library News: e-Resources
The National Film Board's collection of streaming videos is now available for classroom use! If you enjoy watching movies, this is the resource for you.
The Library has recently licensed the NFB's CAMPUS collection, providing online access to more than 3,000 features, documentaries, and animated films in English and French. The CAMPUS subscription allows McMaster faculty and students to incorporate these films directly into classes. You can access additional features, including custom playlists, by creating a personal account from the library site. And of course, you can watch these movies at any time, on campus or at home.
The NFB complements our second major streaming resource, Criterion on Demand, making a wide array of films available for educational use. Each film can be accessed from the library catalogue.
Filed under Library News: Archives & Research Collections
The newly re-designed Madeleine and Monte Levy Virtual Museum of the Holocaust and the Resistance uses moving personal accounts and other primary sources to help scholars and the public better understand the Holocaust and resistance movements of World War II.
“The most indelible memory I have is the moment of arrival in the camp at Ravensbrück. As a child, I always had a sort of childish picture of how I imagined hell and, suddenly, there it was. An arched iron gate opens upwards, clanging and grating. Red lights of some sort. Night. And there we are, entering a black abyss. Pushed and shoved, we fall over each other. I had the feeling that we were descending into hell.”
This story, recounted by Holocaust survivor Irena Matusiak, is just one of the many poignant narratives contained in a recently re-designed and expanded online exhibit dedicated to helping scholars and the public better understand the Holocaust and resistance movements of World War II.
Using passages from concentration camp letters, first-hand accounts, videos, images, and explanatory text, the Madeleine and Monte Levy Virtual Museum of the Holocaust and the Resistance places the Holocaust and underground resistance movements in the larger context of World War II and documents the often devastating and tragic experiences of the people who lived during this time.
The display, developed by scholars and librarians at McMaster University Library, incorporates items from the extensive World War II collections housed in the Library’s William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections.
Across five modules, the Virtual Museum explores a number of themes including life in the concentration camps and prisons, the Jewish resistance as well as the resistance movements in France and Poland, Nazi culture, the war effort in Germany, and Allied and German propaganda from 1933 to 1945.
The site also includes oral history interviews with Holocaust survivors. These clips, extracted from the USC Shoah Foundation Institute’s Visual History Archive,* add to the powerful, first-hand accounts contained in the exhibit’s static documents.
“The Madeleine and Monte Levy Virtual Museum of the Holocaust and the Resistance weaves together a range of primary source materials with historical narrative that helps us continue to shed light on these years of upheaval, destruction, and genocide,” says Wade Wyckoff, Associate University Librarian. “It shows both the depths of the tragedy and the strength and perseverance of the many who resisted and survived. We are proud that through our collections and expertise, we can help preserve and share these important stories.”
McMaster University Library began collecting materials related to the Holocaust and the Resistance in 2008 after acquiring a large collection of books, posters, newspapers, Nazi propaganda materials and letters–including 2000 letters to and from prisoners in concentration camps–from noted collector, Michel Brisebois.
Over the past decade, the collection has continued to grow with several additional donations from Brisebois and others, as well as an ongoing effort to purchase books and documents on the subject.
The Virtual Museum was created with the scholarly contributions of post-doctoral fellows Noah Shenker and Ekaterina Neklyudova and librarian Myron Groover.
The site was created in part with funding from Madeleine and Monte Levy.
* The full Visual History Archive database of more than 54,000 eyewitness testimonies to the Holocaust and other instances of genocide from around the world is available to McMaster students, faculty and staff, and to visitors in the campus libraries.