Library News

Attention aspiring filmmakers: McMaster 24 Hour Film Challenge, register now

Submitted by libbalche on
Filed under Library News:  Lyons New Media Centre
Do you love making films in your spare time? Have you ever wanted to try your hand at filmmaking, but never had the opportunity?  If so, register today for the McMaster 24 Hour Film Challenge.

Attention aspiring filmmakers! Do you love making films in your spare time? Have you ever wanted to try your hand at filmmaking, but never had the opportunity?

If so, register today for the McMaster 24 Hour Film Challenge, presented by McMaster Library’s Lyons New Media Centre.*  You’ll learn how to make a film on a tight timeline, have the chance to work with good friends and, at the end of the day, be able to look back on your finished product and say, “yep, I made that!”

HOW DOES M24 WORK?

On Friday May 11@ 4:00 p.m., registered teams will gather for a kick-off eventon the 4thFloor of  Central Branch of the Hamilton Public Library (55 York Boulevard). Can’t make it? The kick-off will also be livestreamed on M24.ca

Teams need to register before the kick-off event. Register now

All teams will be assigned the same prop, a line of dialogue and a location– all elements that must be incorporated into each film. These elements will be revealed at the kick-off.

Teams will then have 24 hours to write, shoot and edit a film that is five minutes or less.

The top 10 films will be screened at a gala event on Friday May 25, 2018,  which will be held in the Performance Hall of L.R. Wilson Hall, on McMaster’s campus. The top three films will be awarded prizes.

Free online workshops are available on the M24 website to help teams with everything from how to tell a great story and how to edit and output your ‘baby’ in time for the cut-off.

Registration is open to McMaster students, alumni and Hamilton area high school students.

*Lyons New Media Centre is a space for the innovative creation and use of new and traditional media in teaching, learning and research.


11 ways the Library can help students survive the exam crunch

Submitted by libbalche on
Filed under Library News:  Mills
Deskcise all-in-one desk bikes are just one of the many resources and stress-busters available at Mills, Innis and Thode libraries to help students prepare for the exam period.

Deskcise all-in-one desk bikes are just one of the many resources and stress-busters available at Mills, Innis and Thode libraries to help students get exam-ready.

McMaster 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 and stress-busters that can help make this hectic time a bit easier.

1.  Pedal your way to productivity

Flexispot Deskcise all-in-one desk bikes are now available in Mills, Thode and Innis Libraries. The units – part stationary bike, part desk – allow you to study and get moving all at the same time, and are said to increase both focus and productivity. These adjustable units include an attached desk space and a ride computer to track the time, distance and calories burned during each session.

2.  How do like them apples?

Need a healthy snack to keep you going? The Library is offering free apples and granola bars to students. They can be found in the Learning Commons at the help desk, and at Thode and Innis Libraries, as well as at the Ron Joyce Centre.  Apples and granola bars are available on a first come, first served basis – help yourself and enjoy!

3.  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.

4.  Add a cute dog

Liam the Library dog is a certified therapy dog who loves attention from students! Visit with Liam at the following times:

  • Thursday, April 12 – DeGroote School of Business (DSB) Lobby 1:30-2:30 p.m.
  • Friday, April 13 – DSB Lobby 1:30-2:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 19 – Innis at 11:00 a.m., Mills at 1:00 p.m., and Thode at 3:00 p.m.

5.  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.

6.  Spark your curiosity and creativity at Lyons New Media Centre 

Get creative in the Lyons New Media Centre. Colouring sheets and pencil crayons, knitting, and origami available, as well as the VR glasses, and robots for students to sign out and play with. Some items can only be used within LNMC, some can be signed out for up to 24 hours. Click here for more information.

7.  Innis Library De-Stress Zone 

Take a break in the Innis Library De-Stress Zone, which includes range of activities to help you decompress including colouring materials, puzzles, word finds, Sudoku, and crosswords.  There are games to sign out, just ask at the desk.  Try out the exercise/desk bike or sign out the energy light therapy lamp. Students who complete the Innis Library word search, can submit it to our ballot box for the chance to win a prize pack that includesLibrary swag, the Stats Canada 150 humour book, treats, fidget spinner, and head massager.

8.  Unwind at Mills Library

Mills Library has board games and puzzles available for students – just visit the service desk to sign them out.

9.  Food or drink, anyone?

Vending machines with snacks and beverages are now available and being stocked regularly in Mills, Innis and Thode libraries.

10.  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.

11.  Ssshh!!

Quiet study can be found in the following spaces:

  • The Connections Centre in Mills, 1stfloor
  • 6th floor of Mills Library
  • Area on 4thth floor of Mills Library
  • All areas on 3rd and 4th floors of Mills Library
  • Silent late night study in Innis Library, Mon-Thurs, 11:00 p.m. – 1:45 a.m.
  • Lower level of Thode Library, as well as a small silent study room also in the lower level

LIBRARY HOURS FOR THE EXAM PERIOD ARE AS FOLLOWS:

Thode library is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week until the end of the exam period.

Inns Library is open Monday to Thursday: 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 a.m., Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 11p.m., Saturday: 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Sunday: 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Mills Library is open Monday to Friday 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., Saturday: 10:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., Sunday: 12:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

The Mills Learning Commons is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week until the end of the exam period.

 

 


Celebrating the archives of iconic Canadian story-teller Stuart McLean

Submitted by libbalche on
Filed under Library News:  Archives & Research Collections
Family, friends, and more than 100 members of the McMaster community paid tribute last night to the extraordinary life and work of the late Stuart McLean – one of Canada’s most beloved story-tellers – at a special event to celebrate the gift of McLean’s personal and literary archive to McMaster.

Family, friends, and more than 100 members of the McMaster community paid tribute last night to the extraordinary life and work of the late Stuart McLean – one of Canada’s most beloved story-tellers – at a special event to celebrate the gift of McLean’s personal and literary archive to McMaster.

Family, friends, and more than 100 members of the McMaster community paid tribute last night to the extraordinary life and work of the late Stuart McLean – one of Canada’s most beloved story-tellers – at a special event to celebrate the gift of McLean’s personal and literary archive to McMaster.

The celebration, which took place in L.R. Wilson Hall, included live musical performances and poignant remarks from some of those who knew McLean best. It also showcased materials from his extensive archives, produced and gathered throughout his life and career as an award-winning author, journalist and humourist, and host of the popular CBC radio program, the Vinyl Cafe.

“This archive is a living memory. Each document, correspondence, or journal is like a still frame in my Dad’s movie,” said Robbie McLean, Stuart’s son who spoke on behalf of his family. “To know that exploring his life can continue to be engaged in by friends, family, fans, or students gives me what my dad would call, ‘Big Feelings.’”

McMaster president, Patrick Deane gave welcoming remarks at the event which included performances by John Sheard, musical director of the Vinyl Cafe, who played two selections, including Movie Night in Vinylland– a medley of 33 different movie themes arranged by Sheard for a live Vinyl Cafe concert on the history of cinema.

McMaster Students Union president Chukky Ibe gave a reading of an essay written by McLean called Summer Jobs.

Meg Masters, McLean’s friend and “long-suffering” story editor, also gave remarks, recalling his generosity and sense of humour, as well as his immense talent. “I think all of us who worked with Stuart would agree that we learned so much from him about the fine art of story-telling and the sometimes underappreciated demands of humour,” she said.

“Stuart was a wonderful person to work with and he was an extraordinarily gifted writer. I’m so grateful for the work that the McMaster Archives is doing in preserving the evidence of the unique talent Stuart brought to Canadian fiction.”

Watch video of the event– starts at 18:00 (story continues below)

The archive – donated by McLean shortly before his death in 2017 – offers insight into many facets of his life and work, and provides a behind-the-scenes look at the Vinyl Cafe. 

Housed in McMaster University Library’s William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections, the McLean archive includes dozens of notepads used to scribble down story ideas; personal correspondence with notable figures such as Margaret Atwood, Farley Mowat, Timothy Findley, Ken Dryden, and cartoonist Lynne Johnston; and hundreds of original manuscripts, such as his iconic story, Dave Cooks the Turkey, complete with hand-written editor’s notes.

“The material and artifacts produced and gathered during Stuart’s extraordinary career have a permanent, protected scholarly home here at McMaster,” says Vivian Lewis, McMaster University Librarian. “They will be the foundation for an untold number of explorations into the Canadian character and culture and we at McMaster are proud of that honour.”

McLean’s archives join those of many other renowned Canadian authors and icons in McMaster University Library’s collection including Farley Mowat, Pierre Berton, Austin Clarke, Bruce Cockburn, and Margaret Laurence.

“McMaster has built a critical mass of archival materials and scholarly output in our Canadian collection, which is particularly strong in literature, popular culture and media,” says David Farrar, McMaster Provost and Vice-President, Academic. “We are immensely proud to place Stuart’s intellectual, creative and cultural legacy in that kind of company as a key piece of the McMaster archives.”

Over his prolific and varied career, McLean worked on and contributed to some of the biggest shows in radio. He was an award-winning documentary producer on CBC’s Sunday Morningand was a regular columnist and guest host on CBC’sMorningsidewith Peter Gzowski. In 1994, he created the Vinyl Cafe, which quickly became a Canadian institution.

McLean garnered many accolades throughout his career. He was an officer of the Order of Canada, and a three-time winner of the prestigious Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour. He also received honourary doctorates from a number of Canadian universities, including from McMaster in 2014.

 


Shining a light on Hamilton’s aspiring authors

Submitted by libbalche on
Filed under Library News:  Events
Novice writers from the McMaster and Hamilton communities, who have been working with McMaster’s Writer-in-Residence Gary Barwin, gathered for an event hosted by McMaster University Library to give readings of their work.

Novice writers from the McMaster and Hamilton communities, who have been working with McMaster’s Writer-in-Residence Gary Barwin, gathered for a special event hosted by McMaster University Library to give readings of their work.

Award-winning author and humourist Gary Barwin’s favourite piece of writing advice comes from the ever-quotable, Elmore Leonard who wrote, “Leave out the parts that readers tend to skip.”

For the past several months, Barwin, a finalist for the 2016 Giller Prize, has been offering advice of his own as the Mabel Pugh Taylor Writer-in-Residence, working one-on-one with aspiring authors from the McMaster and Hamilton communities to help them hone their craft and guide them through the writing process.

Recently, a number of these writers gathered on campus to share their work with family, friends, faculty and community members at a special event, hosted by McMaster University Library, in partnership with McMaster’s Department of English and Cultural Studies and the Hamilton Public Library(HPL).

Twelve writers gave readings of their work – some reading publicly for the first time. Works included excerpts of novels and short stories, poetry, and even literary translations.

“We are pleased to support the Writer-in-Residence program and to shine a light on these aspiring writers,” says Vivian Lewis, McMaster University Librarian. “This event is a wonderful opportunity to support writers who are at the beginning of their careers, to provide them with a platform to share their work, and to help them form connections with the local writing community on campus and across Hamilton.”

During his residency, Barwin – a writer, composer, multidisciplinary artist and author of 21 books of fiction and poetry – split his time between campus and the Central Branch of the HPL, holding more than 200 consultations with apprentice authors to share his experiences and provide mentorship and feedback.

Ben Robinson, a recent graduate of McMaster’s English and Cultural Studies Program worked with Barwin during his residency.

“The experience has been amazing,” says Robinson who gave a reading of his poetry at the event. In the audience to support him were three generations of his family – all of them McMaster alumni.

“It’s amazing to have the time and attention of a writer like Gary, he continues. “I can’t imagine what you would have to pay for that, but to have a program like this available – for a young writer, it’s the best program you could imagine.”

“It’s been a really great experience,” agrees Jeff Druery who read an excerpt of his novel at the event. “Gary gives really precise feedback. He’s very encouraging, but he’s also able to say this is the part that didn’t quite work for me or didn’t quite resonate, and here are some things to consider or options to make it better.”

Now in its nineteenth year, the Writer-in Residence program is made possible through a generous contribution by the Taylor family and is co-sponsored by McMaster’s Department of English and Cultural Studies and the Hamilton Public Library,(HPL)

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, a winner of CBC’s Canada Reads competition for his book Fifteen Dogs, which he was working on during his residency.

 


Classroom Audio Visual Services gets new name, new manager

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

The unit responsible for supporting classroom technology needs across campus has a new name and a new manager.

CAVS (Classroom Audio Visual Services) – a unit of McMaster University Library – has been renamed Campus Classroom Technologies (CCT).

Chris McAllister, the new Library Computing & Classroom Technology Manager, will now be overseeing CCT.

CCT, part of the Library & Learning Technologies Division of the Library, is responsible for the design, installation, ongoing support and end-user training for audio-visual equipment in all Registrar-controlled classrooms (and other designated spaces) across the McMaster campus.

CCT collaborates with other campus units on the creation of new classrooms and the renovation of existing classrooms to meet new pedagogical needs.

McAllister says he and his team remain committed to providing excellent customer service and will continue to seek opportunities to improve the classroom experience for faculty and students campus-wide.

Learn more about CCT.

 


Open Education Week: Making learning more affordable and accessible

Submitted by libbalche on
Filed under Library News:  e-Resources
In support of Open Education Week, Library staff have created a display - located in the lobby of Mills Library - that features a 'Mini Open Textbook Library,' made up of a selection of ten open textbooks recently acquired by the Library, courtesy of eCampusOntario.

In support of Open Education Week, Library staff have created a display - located in the lobby of Mills Library - that features a 'Mini Open Textbook Library,' made up of a number of open textbooks recently acquired by the Library, courtesy of eCampusOntario.

From March 5 – 9, McMaster University Library is celebrating Open Education Week, a global event to raise awareness about how Open Education Resources (OER) can help make education more affordable and accessible to learners world-wide.

OER include teaching, learning and research resources, such as textbooks, assignments, modules, and syllabi, that are openly available for public use and can be used, shared, or repurposed by anyone, anywhere – free of cost, technical, or legal barriers.

In support of Open Education Week, Library staff have created a display – located in the lobby of Mills Library – that features a ‘Mini Open Textbook Library,’ made up of a number of high quality open textbooks recently acquired by the Library, courtesy of eCampusOntario.*

The textbooks, from eCampusOntario’s extensive Open Textbook Library, cover topics from a range of disciplines including Canadian history, environmental biology, marketing and web literacy, among others. They are available in both hard copy and digital formats, and can be borrowed or accessed by students and faculty through the Library’s catalogue.

Library users can engage with the display by completing postcards that ask why open educational resources matter to them. They are encouraged to tweet their responses to #OERweek or #OpenEducationWeek.

In the coming weeks, McMaster will be receiving another collection of printed open textbooks which will be added to the catalogue. 

According to eCampusOntario, the cost of textbooks has risen 88% over the past decade and 65% of students are choosing not to buy textbooks as a result. In January, the McMaster Student Union – along with student bodies in seven other universities – took part in the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance’s (OUSA) #TextbookBroke campaign aimed at advocating for more affordable textbooks.

There are a number of advantages – for both students and faculty – to using OER. These types of resources are generally low in cost, if not free, and they can be accessed online and/or easily downloaded for later use, making it possible for all students to access the materials before classes begin. They are also flexible and allow faculty to use, modify, or adapt existing open textbooks to suit the needs of their course. Software is available to help faculty create or adapt open textbooks, or to co-create a textbook with their students.

Learn more about Open Education Resources

For questions about OER or open textbooks, please email Joanne Kehoe or Olga Perkovic, the co-chairs of McMaster’s Open Educational Resources Working Group.

As part of Open education Week, a number of online events are taking place including:

March 7 @ 2:00 p.m.
Webinar: Collaborating Across Institutions to Advance Open Education, hosted by SPARC

March 9 @ 9:00 a.m.
Webinar: eCampusOntario - Ontario Update

*eCampusOntario is a not-for-profit leader in teaching and learning through technology and is funded through the Government of Ontario.

 


Celebrating intellectual freedom: Check out a banned or challenged book

Submitted by libbalche on
Filed under Library News:  Mills
In support of national Freedom to Read Week, Library staff have a created a display - located in the lobby of Mills Library - made up of banned or challenged books, many of which can be checked out by students, staff and faculty.

In support of national Freedom to Read Week, Library staff have a created a display - located in the lobby of Mills Library - made up of banned or challenged books, many of which can be checked out by students, staff and faculty.

What do To kill a Mockingbird, the Satanic Verses, Ulysses and even Harry Potter have in common?  They’re all classicson their own right, and they’ve all been banned or challenged at one time or another.

From February 25 – March 3, McMaster University Library is joining public libraries, bookstores and schools across Canada in celebrating 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.

Freedom to Read Week is an is an opportunity for Canadians to think about, and reaffirm, their commitment to freedom of expression and intellectual freedom.

In support of Freedom to Read Week, Library staff have a created a display – located in the lobby of Mills Library – made up of banned or challenged books, all of which can be checked out by students, staff and faculty.

Which banned or challenged Canadian book should you read?  Take our quiz and find out!

A vast selection of books have been challenged, banned, or censored over the years  – read through a list of 100 controversial books on the Freedom to Read Challenged Works database. Many of these books can also be found in libraries on campus.

Watch videos featuring some of the world’s most famous thinkers and scientists, the price they paid for talking about, or publishing their ground-breaking, but controversial ideas, and what that might look like today if they were on Twitter or Facebook:


New exhibit celebrates achievements, contributions of Jewish Canadians

Submitted by libbalche on
Filed under Library News:  Mills
Canadian Jewish Experience: A Tribute to Canada 150 - now on display in the foyer of Mills Library - highlights the important role Jewish Canadians have played in many facets of Canadian life.

Canadian Jewish Experience: A Tribute to Canada 150 - on display in the foyer of Mills Library until February 16 - highlights the important role Jewish Canadians have played in many facets of Canadian life.

From iconic musician and poet, Leonard Cohen to Bora Laskin, the first Jewish Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada – a new travelling exhibit is shining a light on the achievements and contributions of Jewish Canadians over the past 150 years.

Canadian Jewish Experience: A Tribute to Canada 150 – now on display in the foyer of Mills Library – highlights the important role Jewish Canadians have played in many facets of Canadian life.

The exhibit recounts the history of Jewish migration to Canada in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and focuses on the experiences and accomplishments of Jewish Canadians in a range of areas including arts and culture, sports, public service, justice and human rights, business and entrepreneurship, and military service.

McMaster is the latest stop for the exhibit, which is making its way across the country, and has been on display at a number of universities and in public spaces throughout Canada including the Canadian War Museum, Parliament Hill, the Ontario and Manitoba Legislatures, as well as at municipal buildings and public libraries. The exhibit is also on display in Canadian embassies, or consulates in Israel, Los Angeles, Dallas and Chicago.

The Canadian Jewish Experience is a volunteer initiative. The exhibit curator is Sandra Weizman, with contributions from Victor Rabinovich, president emeritus of the War Museum and the Canadian Museum of History (formerly the Canadian Museum of Civilization).

For additional information about the history and contributions of Jewish Canadians to Canada, visit the Canadian Jewish Experience online exhibit.

Canadian Jewish Experience: A Tribute to Canada 150 will be on display in Mills Library until February 16.

 


Celebrating 50 years: The Bertrand Russell Archives

Submitted by libbalche on
Filed under Library News:  Archives & Research Collections
This year, McMaster University Library is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the acquisition of the archives of renowned peace activist, philosopher and Nobel laureate Bertrand Russell, widely considered one of the great intellectuals of the 20th century.

This year, McMaster University Library is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the acquisition of the archives of renowned peace activist, philosopher and Nobel laureate Bertrand Russell, widely considered one of the great intellectuals of the 20th century.

In 1968, McMaster announced that it had acquired the archives of renowned philosopher, peace activist and Nobel laureate, Bertrand Russell.

Russell was considered one of the greatest thinkers and best-known public intellectuals of the 20th century – a global household name. A number of universities were keenly interested in purchasing his papers.

Knowing that time was of the essence, William Ready, McMaster’s chief librarian, moved swiftly to secure the funds needed, succeeding, in part, thanks to a gift from McMaster alumnus and financier, Cyrus Eaton.

When McMaster’s acquisition of the collection was announced, it sent ripples throughout the academic world and made international headlines.

“When the Russell papers arrived at McMaster, there was a tremendous amount of media interest,” recalls Ken Blackwell, adjunct professor and honourary Russell archivist, who has worked with the collection since 1966.

“I was 25 at the time and I was interviewed all over the place – my picture appeared in the New York Times along with a picture of the Russell archives,” says Blackwell. “So people got to know where McMaster was through the archives – it helped put McMaster on the map.”

This year, McMaster University Library is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the acquisition of the Bertrand Russell Archives, which remains the University’s largest research collection, and continues to be used by scholars from around the world.

“The collection is remarkable both because of Russell’s importance and because it’s so complete,” says Nicholas Griffin, Canada Research Chair in Philosophy and Director of McMaster’s Bertrand Russell Research Centre. “Russell was one of the major intellectuals of the last century – as important as Freud or Einstein, I would claim. Also, we have either the original or a copy of just about every document connected to Russell that’s publicly available. These two factors together make it a really special collection.”

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), the grandson of British Prime Minister, Lord John Russell, was a brilliant mathematician and logician. He devoted much of his early career to philosophy, becoming the most important founder of analytic philosophy, the dominant philosophical tradition in the English-speaking world in the 20th century.

But it was his advocacy for peace and social reform that catapulted him to global fame. It began with his opposition to the First World War, during which he was imprisoned for his activism. In 1950, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for his prolific writings championing human rights and freedom of thought.

He was also an central figure in the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. “Russell saw the Cold War and the threat of nuclear weapons as a seismic change,” explains Myron Groover, archivist and rare books librarian in the William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections, where the Bertrand Russell Archives are housed.

“He was intimately involved in the nuclear non-proliferation movement and he also became personally involved,” says Groover. “At the height of the Cuban missile crisis, Russell was sending telegrams to President Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev, pleading with them to back down – they did, perhaps at his urging. That’s how influential he was by that time.”

Throughout the 1950s and 60s, Russell corresponded with dozens of heads of state – including those from Soviet bloc countries and communist China – and with celebrities like John Lennon and Yoko Ono, and Muhammad Ali. He even exchanged letters with Alan “Tommy” Lascelles, private secretary to Queen Elizabeth II.

These letters can be found in the Russell archives, along with hundreds of manuscripts, and thousands more letters, both published and unpublished. The collection also includes Russell’s personal library of more than 3000 books, hundreds of photographs, his writing desk, audio tapes, films and his Nobel medal.

The collection, by far the largest on Russell in the world, has inspired a wealth of scholarly activity in a number of areas including peace and religious studies, philosophy, history, political science, literature and even mathematics.

“This collection is truly remarkable both for its size and for the tremendous influence it has had on scholarship since it arrived at McMaster 50 years ago,” says Vivian Lewis, McMaster University Librarian. “Russell’s political and philosophical writings provide a unique window into the 20th century through the eyes of one of its greatest intellectuals and continue to offer scholars insight on many themes – from nuclear disarmament to the struggle for human rights – which remain deeply relevant to this day.”

Throughout 2018, the Library will be marking the 50th anniversary of the acquisition of the archives in a number of ways including an exhibit of items from the Russell collection at the McMaster Museum of Art, and through a special edition of the Hamilton Arts and Letters magazine, edited by McMaster archivist Rick Stapleton.

The Library will also celebrate the opening of the new home of the Bertrand Russell Archives and Bertrand Russell Research Centre. The newly renovated space, located at 88 Forsythe Ave. N., is scheduled to open this spring.

 

 

 


Out of the Silos: Making the case for Open Access

Submitted by libbalche on
Filed under Library News:  Mills
McMaster graduate student, Hector Orozco explains why the research community should embrace Open Access, a global movement to make scholarly publications and data publicly available.

McMaster graduate student, Hector Orozco explains why he's encouraging researchers to embrace Open Access, a global movement to make scholarly publications and data publicly available.

Picture this: you’re finishing up your first first-author paper. You find a relevant paper on Google Scholar and, judging from the title, it’ll help you wrap up the discussion section. You click on it… and you hit a paywall.

If you think this was an isolated event, think again. Grad students and researchers all around the world hit paywalls every day.

Publicly funded research should be publicly available. Government institutions, such as the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), distribute tax-payers’ money to the scientific community. With it, principal investigators further our knowledge through basic and applied research. We then publish our findings in a scientific journal that nicely tucks our hard work behind a paywall. The Open Access movement aims to get around this by promoting free and immediate online access to scientific & scholarly articles with full reuse rights.

My name is Hector Orozco. I’m in the last year of my master’s degree in Psychology, Neuroscience, and Behavior at Mac. I was recently awarded the McMaster University Library Travel Scholarship to attend OpenCon—the international conference that brings together the world’s leaders in Open Access. SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), OpenCon’s organizer, aims to empower the next generation of Open Access, Open Data, and Open Education advocates.

OpenCon focused on several aspects of Open Access and included a “Do-A-Thon”, a day dedicated to advocacy and taking concrete steps toward Open Access.

It was an eye-opening experience for me and helped me realize how lucky we are to be in an institution that has the means to pay for the journal subscriptions we need in order to keep doing such innovative research. I also hadn’t realized how important small, grassroots actions are – making your work openly available can be as easy as self-archiving one of the versions of your manuscript in your institution’s repository.

You may be asking, “Why should I care about this?”

Making your work openly available has clear benefits for both society and for you as a researcher. Look at the recent opening of all data in the Montreal Neurological Institute. This initiative aims to digitally share data and findings in real time so we can further science and our understanding of neurological diseases.

Open Access will translate into better visibility, greater public engagement, and higher impact of scholarship, as well as less duplication. It’s also being increasingly embraced by funding agencies around the world including Canada’s Tri-Agencies, who recently introduced a requirement that all Tri-Agency funded research be made public within 12 months of publication.

As researchers, there are multiple ways you can make your work open. One of them is self-archiving in your institution's repository (without the need to publish in Open Access journals). McMaster’s repository is MacSphere; and, if you want to archive your work there, McMaster Library staff will be happy to help. The Library has also developed a number of resources to help researchers navigate the world of Open Access.

McMaster’s implementation of openness is at an early stage, but there are grassroots initiatives already underway. For example: Haley Kragness, Michael Galang and I – all McMaster OpenCon alumni – were awarded a Student Proposal for Intellectual Community & Engaged Scholarship (SPICES) grant this year to fund our OpenMac project. Our first step is to distribute a survey to understand what people think about the Open Access movement so we can develop events that are tailored specifically to Mac. We will then put together workshops and a “self-archive-a-thon” to encourage faculty and grad students to deposit a copy of their work in MacSphere.

While Open Access has clear benefits, it is not a panacea. Though the movement gives us the freedom to explore different publishing schemes, some of these are not yet optimal. For instance, several journals charge scientists “Article Processing Charges”. Some hybrid models also practice “double dipping”, where traditionally “closed” scientific magazines will make an article open (for a very steep price) and still have universities pay yearly subscriptions to access the whole journal in which the (open) article is published. The best way to publish (or even self-archive) is to always consult with your supervisor and with the Library.

I was first introduced to Open Access in 2015 while I was doing research at McGill University. From the very beginning, it made sense to me: publicly funded research should be publicly available.

The open movement presents a big opportunity for academics to engage with the general public and democratize their knowledge. As Eunice Mercado-Lara, the Science and Technology Policy Deputy Director in Mexico’s CONACYT, states, “open science is a new and different paradigm of doing science: science shouldn’t be in silos, science should be discussed by anyone anywhere; of course, you need experts guiding the discussion, but at the end of the day every single actor [person] should be involved.”

 *OpenCon 2017 conference materials can be found, freely available, online.

 


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