Library News

Henry Giroux: “A writer should cause trouble”

Submitted by libbalche on
Filed under Library News:  Archives & Research Collections
Renowned public intellectual Henry Giroux poses beside a photo of social critic, political activist and Nobel laureate Bertrand Russell, whom Giroux calls one of his “personal heroes.” The photo was taken in the Bertrand Russell Archive housed in McMaster University Library’s William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections. Giroux recently donated his personal archive, which contains significant insights into his life and work, to the Division.

Renowned public intellectual Henry Giroux poses beside a photo of social critic, political activist and Nobel laureate Bertrand Russell, whom Giroux calls one of his “personal heroes.” The photo was taken in the Bertrand Russell Archive housed in McMaster University Library’s William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections. Giroux recently donated his personal archive, which contains significant insights into his life and work, to the Division.

Henry Giroux believes it’s the job of a scholar to make a difference in the world.

“A writer should cause trouble,” says Giroux, a public intellectual, outspoken cultural critic, teacher and researcher who, through his prolific body of work, has brought scholarly ideas into the public realm and provoked societal debate on some of the most urgent social issues of the past 30 years.

“I was always willing to take risks,” he says. “Of course there are consequences to this, but I want to make an impact– I write and teach to make the world a better place."

Soon Giroux’s archive, which contains significant insights into his life and work, will be available to the scholarly community and the public.

Giroux, a Professor in McMaster’s Department of English and Cultural Studies and McMaster University Chair for Scholarship in the Public Interest, has donated his archive to McMaster University Library’s William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections. The archive will be available for researchers to access later in 2017.

From his pioneering work as an educational and cultural theorist, to his writings on youth culture, media studies, race studies and the state of public and higher education in the United Sates, Giroux says the archive exemplifies what, over the years, has become the goal of his work- to bring debates on pressing social issues out of academia and into the public realm.

“The archive shows how I was responding to very specific periods and social problems in the political academic world,” he says. “What this offers to young scholars is both a trajectory and a process by which these subjects were engaged and it opens up the historical period in which I was writing. This is not just private work– this represents a mirror to the outside world at that particular time and how I moved from being strictly an academic writer to one who started writing more publicly.”

“I wanted to maintain the rigor of academic work while at the same time making it accessible to a variety of audiences,” adds Giroux who has written extensively for scholarly journals and for a number of public and popular venues including the Village Voice, The Progressive, Toronto Star, and The New York Times to online media such as Truthout, Tikkun, and CounterPunch.

The archive contains manuscripts and articles written, or edited by Giroux, as well as books from Giroux’s own library– complete with handwritten notes– that 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.

“In the tradition of great public intellectuals like Bertrand Russell, Henry’s work addresses complex social issues in an accessible way, seeking to elevate public discourse and affect social change,” says Vivian Lewis, McMaster University Librarian. “Henry is among the most influential cultural theorists in the world today whose work has inspired students, scholars and citizens alike– we are fortunate to house the archives of such a prolific and distinguished scholar.”

Giroux says universities and academics have a valuable role to play in what he calls the “creation of a critically aware citizenry” and hopes that the archive will provide both a model and incentive for academics to become “border crossers,” moving between the academic and public realms.

“I hope people will come away and learn something from it, and use it in their own work,” he says. “I hope that it’s not just dead time for them, that it collects in their head in a way that says, “Wow, this is the kind of model I’m interested in. This is what I want to do, I want to make an impact on the world.’”

Giroux 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.

Open in Action: Open Access Week at McMaster

Submitted by libwyckoff on
Filed under Library News:  Archives & Research Collections Events Innis Maps, Data, GIS Mills Thode
Open Access Week 2016 banner


International Open Access Week is fast-approaching! Now in its 9th year, Open Access Week is an annual event that mobilizes researchers, students, teachers and librarians to discuss, evaluate and understand the importance of Open Access (OA). McMaster University Libraries invites you to a series of events scheduled from October 20 to 28. Check the Schedule at a Glance for an overview of the week's activities, or the Full Schedule for more detailed event information.

Open Access is a movement that supports the open dissemination of information, expanding participation in the scholarly conversation to a broader community. A variety of OA models now exist, provided by both dedicated OA publishers or repositories and commercial publishers. Increasingly, OA includes not only completed research but also research data and intermediate research products. Through its various forms, Open Access broadens the accessibility of research and research outcomes to those who may not have the institutional affiliations or individual subscriptions that continue to be required for access to much of the scholarly record.

This year’s theme, "Open in Action", encourages the individual to take concrete steps towards supporting OA. Everyone in the scholarly community has an active part in supporting the growth and development of Open Access research and scholarship. To see the different ways that you may support OA, visit the new Open Access Week Action Portal.

Interested in learning more? Join in the events hosted by McMaster University Libraries during Open Access Week!

Madeline Donnelly, Library Intern



New and waiting to be discovered!

Submitted by libwyckoff on
Filed under Library News:  Archives & Research Collections e-Resources Innis Maps, Data, GIS Mills New Books Thode
Screenshot of the Library website, showing the link to the New Items search.

Every year, the McMaster libraries add tens of thousands of new books, e-books, journals, and online resources to the collection, spanning the wide range of subject areas that the libraries support.

It can be challenging for faculty and students to keep up as new items flow into the library each day, but there’s a tool built into the Library Catalogue to help everyone do just that.

Using the "New Items" feature on the Library website, users can see the most recent additions to McMaster library collections from the previous day, the last 5 days, or the last 30 days. Results can be narrowed further by format, author, topic, language, region, or time period. Users can place a hold on most books and other physical items to be notified when they arrive, and when the search looks just right, they can create a feed to their favorite reader and have results delivered automatically.

“The University Library is committed to supporting students and researchers with a wide variety of resources,” says Wade Wyckoff, Associate University Librarian. "We know that many of our faculty and students are interested in seeing new materials available for their research or studies.  We hope that this feature will make that a little easier."

Meet McMaster's new Writer-in-Residence: Monday Sept. 26

Submitted by libbalche on
Filed under Library News:  Events

The McMaster community and members of the public are invited to join McMaster's new Writer-in-Residence, Christine Pountney  for a welcome reception and reading to take place at the Hamilton Public Library, Central Branch on Monday, September 26 2016 at 7p.m.

Pountney was recently named the Mabel Pugh Taylor Writer-in-Residence in partnership with McMaster's Department of English and Cultural Studies and the Hamilton Public Library (HPL).

She will divide her time equally between McMaster and HPL, consulting one-on-one with apprentice writers in the Hamilton community, and devoting approximately 60% of her time to her own writing, an important goal of the Residency program.

Christine Pountney will  hold office hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays between September 2016 and April 2017. For the fall, her office hours will be at the Central Branch of the Hamilton Public Library on the third floor, and during the winter she will hold office hours at the Department of English and Cultural Studies at McMaster in Chester New Hall, room 312.

Please join us in welcoming Christine to McMaster:

When: Monday, September 26 2016 at 7pm,

Where: Hamilton Public Library, Central Branch|55 York Boulevard (Hamilton Room, Ground Floor)

To contact Christine, email

Christine Pountney Writer-in-residence

Science Literacy Week 2016

Submitted by libbalche on
Filed under Library News:  Events Thode

Scientific discovery happens at McMaster every day in labs, in classrooms, in libraries, and in many other spaces on campus. It's true what they say, you really do learn something new every day.

Science Literacy Week (September 19-25) is a celebration of science taking place at universities across Canada. At McMaster, we're celebrating our love of science with the following events:

At Thode Library

Science Trivia and Daily Twitter Contest

When: September 19th-25th 
Where: In person, on the main floor of Thode Library, and online at

Test your scientific knowledge with two fun trivia games, and find out if you know enough to win the (virtual) $1,000,000 prize, or how you stack up against the general public. Look for the arcade machine in the lobby of Thode Library.

Follow us on Twitter (@thodelibrary) to participate in our daily contest, for a chance to win some Library swag, plus general bragging rights, of course.

Lunchtime Events in Thode (all events start at 12:30pm)

Monday 19th Movie Screening: Disney’s Oceans 

Journey into the depths of a wonderland filled with mystery, beauty and power. Oceans is a spectacular story, narrated by Pierce Brosnan, about remarkable creatures under the sea. It’s an unprecedented look at the lives of these elusive deep sea creatures through their own eyes. Incredible state-of-the-art underwater filmmaking will take your breath away as you migrate with whales, swim alongside a great white shark, and race with dolphins at play.  Screening takes place in the soft seating lounge.

Poster for egan eventTuesday 20th Reactor Lecture: Dr. Michael Egan on The Social History of Truth: How Science Became Science. (Talk takes place in the Reactor Café)

How do we know what we know? And how to we know it is true? What is expertise? And why do we value it? What is science? And what does it produce? Why do we trust science? And how is it that it has come to dominate our daily lives? Science is a function of society. The rules of who can do science, what and where truth comes from, and who has access to this specialized knowledge were composed over a centuries-long evolution. Valuing empirical knowledge over superstition may seem like a natural pursuit, but its practice is actually fairly recent and much more contested than we might imagine. This lecture aims to explore the cultural features of who could practice science and how their scientific method came to be ingrained as a method of forging consensus among scientists, and how their findings came to be adopted as truths to a more general public.

Wednesday 21st Lunch with TED

Join us for a public screening of  Can You Believe Your Eyes? This TED Talk delves into magic tricks, optical illusions, death-defying defeats, digital lies. Believe it or not. Screening takes place in the soft seating lounge.

Thursday 22nd Movie Screening: Disney’s Earth

An epic story of adventure, starring some of the most magnificent and courageous creatures alive, awaits you in Earth. DisneyNature brings you a remarkable story, narrated by James Earl Jones, of three animal families on a journey across our planet – polar bears, elephants, and humpback whales. Screening takes place in the soft seating lounge.

Friday 23rd Lunch with TED

Join us for a public screening of, TED Talk, So You Think You Know … Science Myths Debunked! Simple ideas and big discoveries, battling bad science, why people believe weird things. Discover the truth. Screening takes place in the soft seating lounge.

 On Campus

Tour and View the LIVELab

When: September 20th; 12:30-1:30pm
Where: LIVELab, Room 202, 2nd floor of the Psychology Building

Located within the McMaster Institute for Music & the Mind (MIMM), the LIVE (Large Interactive Virtual Environment) Lab is a 106 seat research-based performance theatre and testing centre. The LIVELab is committed to developing a world class facility for the scientific study of music, sound, and movement and their importance in human development and human health.

Sidewalk Astronomy

When: September 21st Night Sky Viewing 7:45 pm
Where: Meet at the turning circle in front of Mary Keyes Residence
Note: These events are weather permitting. Check the Sidewalk Astronomy website in advance of the event for confirmation.

McMaster's Sidewalk Astronomy is a public outreach initiative that is run by the graduate students at McMaster's Department of Physics and Astronomy. We give the public of Hamilton, Ontario and the surrounding areas the unique opportunity to look through a powerful telescope at some of the brightest celestial objects in the sky. Everyone is welcomed to take a peek through the telescope.

The Astrophysics of Everyday Life at McMaster’s W.J. McCallion Planetarium

When: September 21st; two shows: 7:00pm and 8:15pm
Where: Located in the Burke Science Building (BSB), lower level, B149
$7 admission fee (cash only at door) – Reserve your ticket!

In our daily lives, we constantly experience physical phenomena. Driving a car, turning on a light, boiling water – physics is inescapable. But the fundamental laws that govern everyday life don’t stop there. On the scale of the Universe, these same equations have extraordinary consequences. In this show, we will take a tour of the night sky and see these principles in action. Just by looking in the right places, we’ll be able to see, for example, what it looks like when you turn on a light the size of our Solar System.

The Planetary Society’s McMaster Space Initiative Science Café

When: September 23rd; 5:30-7:30pm (doors open at 5:15pm)
Where: Bridges Café

Featuring four speakers from the scientific community at McMaster from different departments, a night of great talks about science (and of course space too!) – plus coffee, tea, and sweet treats! Open to all ages.

Around Hamilton:

Gaze at the Stars

When: September 20th; 7pm
Where: Turner Park Branch
Note: Registration required – Please call (905)546-4790

Join John Gauvreau of the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers as he takes us on a virtual tour of the universe. Presented by: Hamilton Amateur Astronomers.

Let’s Talk Science

Join Let’s Talk Science at the Hamilton Public library (HPL) for exciting public science demonstrations with McMaster engineering students (ages: 5-12 years). Registration information can be found on the HPL website.

  • September 21st, 1:30 P.M – Dundas Branch*
  • September 22nd, 1:30 P.M – Locke Branch*
  • September 24th, 2:00 P.M – Terryberry Branch*

* Registration Required

Learn more about all Science Literacy Week events taking place in the Hamilton community.

Wi-Fi Improvements in Mills and Thode Libraries

Submitted by libperkovic on
Filed under Library News:  Mills Thode

wireless iconOver the summer, the Library funded the installation and upgrading of new and existing Wi-Fi access points in both Mills and Thode Libraries.

Working closely with University Technology Services, who helped optimize and fine tune the new network, early reviews strongly suggest that both buildings now boast the fastest and most stable Wi-Fi signals on campus.

The most notable improvement is the addition of McMaster’s first, public access 5GHz wireless network. Existing alongside of the current campus wide networks MacSecure and Eduroam, MacSecure-5 uses the 5GHz frequency for what promises to be faster data transfers, less congestion and reduced interference. The caveat is that in most cases, only newer phones, laptops, and tablets have the ability to “see” 5GHz signals.

Even if your technology cannot take advantage of the new MacSecure-5 network, the addition of over a dozen new access points and the improved configurations of existing access points ensures that current users of MacSecure and Eduroam networks will also reap the benefits of these technological updates.

These improvements are limited to Mills and Thode alone with no current plans for expansion. If you find yourself in these spaces, we encourage you to log in and find out for yourselves. Please let us know what you think! 

Everything on Paper Will be Used Against Me: Quantifying Kissinger: Sept. 30

Submitted by libbalche on
Filed under Library News:  Events

Scarcity of information is a common frustration for historians. For students of 20th- and 21st century history, however, the opposite problem is also increasingly common — overwhelmed by a deluge of information, historians have begun to struggle with what is now understood as ‘big data’.

On Friday, September 30, 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., join Micki Kaufman, from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, for her presentation, Everything on Paper Will be Used Against Me: Quantifying Kissinger.

Kaufman will discuss how she is using digital research methods and data visualization techniques to study the Digital National Security Archive (DNSA)’s Kissinger Collections, which is comprised of 50,000 documents and includes approximately 18,000 meeting memoranda (‘memcons’) and teleconference transcripts (‘telcons’) detailing the former US National Security Advisor and Secretary of State’s correspondence during the period 1969-1977.

Learn more or register

This event is hosted by the Lewis and Ruth Sherman Centre for Digital Scholarship located in Mills Library.

Micki Kaufman (MA CUNY, BA Columbia) is a fifth year Graduate Student Researcher in US history, Big Data, Visualization and Cultural Analytics at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (GC-CUNY). Micki’s current PhD dissertation, “‘Everything on Paper Will Be Used Against Me:’ Quantifying Kissinger,” researches diplomatic history using network and text analyses/visualizations of the National Security Archive’s Kissinger Collection. Micki is a former GC-CUNY Digital Fellow, former Project Manager of the CUNY Academic Commons and DHDebates sites, a three-time winner of the GC-CUNY’s Provost’s Digital Innovation Grant, and the recipient of ADHO/ACH’s 2015 Lisa Lena and Paul Fortier Prizes.


Your MAC ID: Keeping Your 'Digital Key' Safe and Secure

Submitted by libkemperd on
Filed under Library News:  Alerts e-Resources Innis Mills Thode Web Resources

With the start of a new term upon us, the McMaster University Library is encouraging new and returning students to adopt stronger digital security practices.

Your MAC ID is your personal digital key to unlocking access to expensive databases and journals and other licensed content offered through the University Library.

Treat your MAC ID as you would treat your online banking:

  • Use a strong MAC ID password.
  • Never share your MAC ID password with anyone or any organization.
  • Do not click on unfamiliar links or attachments in unsolicited emails, as they may be malicious attempts to steal your MAC ID password
  • Report suspicious emails to UTS (

Remain vigilant while computing. Keep your MAC ID password safe and secure.

Update: Completed - Crane work closes some areas of Mills Library

Submitted by libpottier on
Filed under Library News:  Mills

Several areas of Mills Library will be unavailable on Thursday August 25th, as a precautionary safety measure while some very large crane work related to HVAC replacement is taking place just outside the building.

The following areas will be closed - no access will be permitted to:

1st floor:  corridor leading to and including the main floor washrooms, the Connections Centre and Media Production Services. The west entrance doors will be locked.

2nd floor: the entire Administration wing (Business Office, Human Resources, Library Development, University Librarian's Office)

3rd floor: the corridor leading to and including the staff lounge, CAVS office, Community Room, staff washrooms and custodial lounge

4th floor: the corridor leading to and including the Quiet Study Space, the Grad Study Room, and three librarian offices 

These areas will re-open on Friday August 26th.

We appreciate your patience while this work is being done.

Graduate Student Travel Scholarship Available!

Submitted by libwyckoff on
Filed under Library News:  Innis Mills Research @ McMaster Thode

McMaster University Library is pleased to offer a travel scholarship for one McMaster graduate student to attend OpenCon 2016 in Washington, DC from November 12-14, 2016. This conference is organized by SPARC, an international organization devoted to openness in research and education, and the Right to Research Coalition, a student arm of SPARC.

Now in its third year, OpenCon brings together early career researchers and scholars from around the world to learn about and advance Open Access (to research and scholarship), Open Data and Open Education. The program is designed to help participants build skills in key areas from raising institutional awareness about Open Access to working with community members on a national level.    

The scholarship, valued at $1,500USD, will cover the cost of the successful candidate’s registration fee, flight and hotel (shared accommodation).

In return, the University Library asks that the successful candidate produce a short (800-1000 word) report on his/her experience at the conference with recommendations on how to advance the Open cause at McMaster. The candidate may also be asked to participate in activities related to International Open Access Week, Oct. 24-30, 2016.

To apply, complete the secure online application form. Applications will close on Tuesday, September 13, 2016.

For more information, please contact Olga Perkovic, Research and Advanced Studies Librarian.


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