Words and Music, an event hosted by the McMaster University Library, featured readings from emerging writers (from left) Denise Davy, Nichole Fanara, Ken Watson, Margaret Nowaczyk, Pamela Hensley, Janis Crowe and Robert Pasquini.
“It’s so exciting to be here tonight,” says Pamela Hensley before reading an excerpt from her work, Lola Lascaire to an audience of faculty, staff, students and community partners gathered at the University Club.
It was a sentiment echoed by all seven aspiring authors who participated in the event, many of whom were reading their work in public for the first time.
The readings were the centrepiece of a special event jointly hosted by McMaster University Library, The Department of English and Cultural Studies and the Hamilton Public Library aimed at showcasing the work of aspiring McMaster and Hamilton authors who have spent the past four months honing their craft with the guidance of Kim Echlin, the 2015-16 Mabel Pugh Taylor Writer-in-Residence.
“We often work with established authors, but this is a wonderful opportunity to support writers who are at the beginning of their careers,” says McMaster University Librarian Vivian Lewis. “Libraries traditionally focus on reading. In this case, we get to focus on the craft of writing. This event is a way for us to both provide a platform for emerging writers, and to connect with the local writing community both on campus and in Hamilton.”
The evening concluded with a reading by Echlin, who shared a passage from her latest novel Under the Visible Life. Echlin was accompanied by Pianist Jason Scozzari, a fourth year student in McMaster’s Honours Music program.
During her residency, Echlin split her time between campus and Hamilton Public Library, working with the apprentice authors in both locations. Echlin also became involved in the Hamilton writing community through initiatives like gritLIT and visited local schools to talk about the creative writing process.
The Mabel Pugh Taylor Writer-in-Residence program is funded in part through a generous donation from the Taylor family and is co-sponsored by McMaster’s Department of English and Cultural Studies and the Hamilton Public Library.
Writings from a Residency
Read excerpts from two of the writers who has been working with Kim Echlin over the past four months:
Lola Lascaire by Pamela Hensley
Pamela Hensley has an engineering degree from the University of Western Ontario and an MBA from University of Michigan. Originally from Ottawa, she worked in the US, Japan, and Germany before moving to back to Canada six years ago. Pamela is the author of several works of short fiction, her latest published in EVENT magazine, and is in the early stages of writing her first novel. She lives in Ancaster with her husband and daughter.
Our Future Forms By Robert Pasquini
Robert Pasquini is a 4th year PhD candidate in English and Cultural Studies at McMaster. His poem entitled “Dissolution” appeared in the online publication Ditch, and his short story “The Curator” was published in Hamilton Arts and Letters. Robert’s scholarly and creative work reflects his unyielding fascination with all things nineteenth century, science fictional, and evolutionary.
Students look at floor plans from the McMaster Library Space Plan in the lobby of Mills Library, part of a recent exercise aimed at finding ways to improve existing library spaces and plan for future needs.
What could McMaster University Library look like in 10 years? Visit the lobbies of Mills and Thode Libraries to find out.
Floor plans from the recent Master Library Space Plan exercise will be on display until the end of April. McMaster faculty, staff and students are invited to visit Mills and Thode Libraries to view the plans and provide feedback using the whiteboard placed beside each poster, or by submitting feedback online.
The plan, which University Librarian Vivian Lewis says could be implemented over the next decade, is the result of broad consultations with faculty, staff and students and is aimed at finding ways to improve existing library spaces and plan for future needs.
McMaster University Library, the Department of English and Cultural Studies and the Hamilton Public Library invite you to Words and Music, a special event featuring readings by Kim Echlin, the Mabel Pugh Taylor Writer-in-Residence for 2015-16.
Echlin’s reading will be accompanied by pianist Jason Scozzari, a fourth year student in McMaster’s Honours Music program. This event will also include readings by some of the aspiring writers from the McMaster and Hamilton communities that Echlin mentored during her residency.
When: March 23, 2016 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Where: Great Hall, Alumni Memorial Hall (University Club)
What if you were told you couldn’t read a book because of its so-called offensive language or graphic content? Chances are you’d want to read it even more, if only to find out why you were told not to read it in the first place.
Freedom to Read Week is 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 21-27, McMaster University Library is joining public libraries, bookstores and schools across the country to create awareness around the issue of censorship and highlight the importance of intellectual freedom.
Throughout the week, faculty, staff and students are invited to the lobby of Mills Library to explore a display featuring a wide and surprising array of books that have at one time been banned or challenged.
Faculty, staff and students can also participate in Freedom to Read Week via Twitter, using the hashtag #MacFTR16, where everyday throughout the week, Library staff will tweet out the reason a book was banned and invite people to give their own reasons why it should be read.
Although banning books is far from a common practice in Canada, there continue to be those who seek to remove books they deem offensive from libraries and schools.
Challenged and banned books have ranged from literary classics such as James Joyce’s Ulysses to popular children's books such as the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling. As recently as 2014, a patron of the Toronto Public Library challenged Dr. Seuss's Hop on Pop: The Simplest Seuss for Youngest due to the concern that it “encourages children to use violence against their fathers.”
Watch videos featuring a number of famously banned literary classics, including the following video that asks the question, "What if we never got to meet Atticus Finch?"
Filed under Library News: Archives & Research Collections
Through the end of February, McMaster University Library is inviting faculty and graduate students to continue participating in a survey related to “hidden collections,” undescribed materials that currently can’t be found by students or researchers.
Library staff are working to describe these items and invite McMaster faculty and graduate students to provide input on which subject areas contained in these materials would be most useful to open for teaching and research.
On the survey site, participants will be presented with pairs of random and unrelated collections and asked to select one. As the polling progresses, the most selected items float to the top of the results, the least selected toward the bottom.
Users can vote multiple times. The presentation of options will continue in an endless cycle, so users can stop whenever they choose; there’s no pre-set endpoint.
Participate in the survey http://www.allourideas.org/researchcollectionswm
Few stars shine as bright in the history of figure skating as Sonia Henie and Barbara Ann Scott. Now a new collection is providing a unique glimpse at these and other superstars of the figure skating world.
Carl Spadoni, former Director of McMaster’s William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections, recently donated his large collection of figure skating books, photos, archive material and skating memorabilia to the Division.
The collection includes over 300 books, 1200 photos, more than 800 postcards, 400 programs, as well as medals, films, letters and autograph books featuring some of skating’s biggest stars.
The collection also provides a unique insight into local skating history and includes programs and other publications created by skating clubs from cities and towns across Canada.
Materials span more than 200 years of skating history and represent a range of figure skating ephemera from an NFB film featuring 1948 Olympic champion Barbara Ann Scott, to costume sketches for fellow Canadian stars, Brian Orser and Elizabeth Manley. Also included are the first books published on skating in Europe and North America, dating as early as 1813.
“This is one of the finest collections of figure skating materials in the world,” says Wade Wyckoff Associate University Librarian, Collections. “We are grateful to receive this unique collection and pleased to add these remarkable materials to our archives.”
Read the Hamilton Spectator article featuring this collection.
Filed under Library News: Events
3D printing is easy once one learns a few basics.
The Lewis & Ruth Sherman Centre for Digital Scholarship in Mills Library is launching its first 90-minute Introduction to 3D Printing course. Come learn the basic elements of 3D printing hardware and how to create successful print jobs. More details and registration available at Eventbrite. There are only a few spots left, but don't despair if it's full; we will be offering the course again in the near future.
A word cloud of American tweets, left, versus those tweeted from Canada. Some of the strongest language has been blurred out.
We watch the same TV shows, listen to the same music and wear the same clothes. But when it comes to what we say on Twitter, Canadians and Americans could hardly be more different.
After analyzing millions of tweets, McMaster linguists have found that Canadians tend to be a pretty polite, happy bunch of tweeters.
They also found that our neighbours’ tweets tend to be a little more, uh, raunchy.
PhD Candidates Daniel Schmidtke and Bryor Snefjella compiled more than three million geo-tagged tweets from February to October 2015. They then deleted words such as “a”, “the” and “to” and looked at what was left over.
Disproportionately “Canadian words” included “great”, “amazing”, “beautiful” and “favourite”. “Habs” and “Leafs” were both prevalent, as were “Raptors” and “Jays”. Ditto for “hockey” and “eh”.
And the most disproportionately “American words”? Well, most can’t be printed here, but they include a host of curse words, off-colour slang and even a racial slur.
Some of the less colourful, but just as negative words include “hate”, “hell”, “tired”, “hurt” and “annoying”.
“We could see the difference between the two countries’ tweets as soon as we created a word cloud of the findings,” says Schmidtke, who conducted the research in McMaster Library’s Lewis and Ruth Sherman Centre for Digital Scholarship.
In the news:
The polite Canadian is no stereotype. Tweets prove this (Huffington Post)
Canadians really are nicer than Americans...on Twitter (MetroNews Canada)
The pair is among the first researchers to use the social network to study geo-linguistic differences between neighbouring countries where English is the primary language spoken.
They also analyzed tweets from England and Scotland and found less surprising differences in the way people in those countries share their thoughts.
For instance, English tweeters tended to use the word “small”, while those in Scotland used the word “wee”.
Those in England used the word “good” where those in Scotland wrote “gid”.
The researchers also found that the “lexical border”, where language is the most similar, has crept north of the actual border between England and Scotland.
“It suggests that the English way of writing and saying things is spreading into Scotland,” says Schmidtke.
Schmidtke and Snefjella work in linguist Victor Kuperman’s lab, where researchers are mining the web for findings that could impact everything from government policy to how we understand our global neighbours.
“People exchange massive quantities of language and information every second of the day, and that big data is right there waiting to be analyzed,” says Kuperman.
Filed under Library News: Alerts
Effective January 4, 2016 printing/copying/scanning rates have dropped! Printsmart now offers the lowest rates on campus!
Black & White - single sided copies/prints - 6 cents page
Colour - single sided copies/prints - 25 cents per page
Scans - 4 cents per page
Complete details can be found on the Printsmart Price list page.