Showing posts from 2008

Having fun yet?

Yes, it's a student's favourite time of year - exciting papers to write, challenging exams to study for, challenging exams to write - now you know why you/your parents/your wealthy aunt/the Government paid all that money. 13+ years of public education has brought you to this point. Everything you have learned, every teacher you ever had, every class you didn't skip, has prepared you for this.

So relax (easy for me to say), take a deep breath (it won't help) and remind yourself that in a few weeks it will all be over (for now, you'll have to do it again in April - yes, librarians can be cruel).

I just wanted to mention a few (somewhat) related things:

1. We've increased our hours during the exam period. So now, if you have to study on a Saturday night, we'll be there for you (at least until 11 o'clock). For all of our expanded, student-friendly hours, go here.
2. While your thoughts are quite naturally on the tasks in front of you (see the aforementioned pap…

Because we love you...

Just a short note to let you know that

We will be open on Remembrance Day This Tuesday the University will be pretty quiet (no classes, holiday for staff and faculty). However, some dedicated library people will be here to keep the library open from noon until 11 pm. So if you need a book, a computer, a quiet place to study or help with one of the 84 papers you have to write this month, we've got you covered. As always.

Been to the 3rd floor lately?

Many of you (to be more precise, 1538 of you) saw that SMUtube clip last year which asked students about their favorite campus hangout. Not surprisingly, the Gorsebrook took top spot (how do you compete with nachos and beer?). But coming in a close second was the third floor of the library. Perhaps it was the quiet, inspiring solitude which almost guarantees the production of classic essays-the brilliant work your Grade 5 teacher knew you were capable of. But it was more likely the changes it had recently undergone: reducing the shelving to make the room more open and brighter, replacing the tired old carpet and adding comfy new armchairs. Well now the third floor's even better. We've just installed brand new study carels. Aren't they pretty? Plus, if you look closely, you'll notice that all the chairs have also been replaced-and they have soft seats-for your soft seat! If you thought you wrote great papers before, wait till you try one of these. As you can see, the l…

As I was saying...

...the other day, there have been some big (well we think they're big) things happening around here since waaaay back in April.

Big Thing #1 - Back By Popular Demand are our Library Orientation Sessions. Beginning Monday, and for the next 2 weeks, we're offering you the chance to find out how to use the library and get the most out of it. Sessions only last about 1/2 hour and are scattered throughout the day, as follows:

Tuesday, Sept 9 11:30 1:00 and 5:00
Wednesday, Sept 10 11:30 1:00 and 5:00
Friday, Sept 12 11:30

Tuesday, Sept 16 11:30 1:00 and 5:00
Wednesday, Sept 17 11:30 1:00 and 5:00
Friday, Sept 19 11:30

You can sign up in advance (in the library) or just show up. You won't regret it (however, if you do regret it...I don't know, just chalk it up as one of many regrets you'll have in the course of your life, along with all those things you won't regret).

Big Thing #2 - We've got laptops! Ever wish you could sit in one of our comfy chairs and surf the Net at t…

You're so glad to be back!

You're right - 4 months is a long time to live without the Library (I know you missed us - come on, admit it). But you're here -and we're here. It's just that getting here will be a bit of a challenge, given that bloody big...wait a minute. Sorry. I forgot, many of you have never been to the library - an 18 year old frosh from Cole Harbour or 24 year old grad student from Calgary is still figuring out where everything is.

The Patrick Power Library (Patrick, by the way, was a Halifax merchant who flourished-you have to make a lot of money for someone to say you flourished-in the 19th century) is that 3-storey building at the north end of McNally - the one that shines like a beacon of scholarly inspiration at night - o.k., the one with the bloody big hole in front. That hole, of course, will, over the next year, be transformed into a beautiful new atrium linking the Library, Science and Burke buildings. But, in the meantime, you'll have to navigate through McNally'…

You don't need a backpack for these books!

Beginning this Monday, the library will be able to make a huge selection of e-books (that's a short-cut term for books you can read online) available to the Saint Mary’s research community.

We've just acquired access to significant and diverse online databases of primary documents, books and journals, in both English and French (there's even a database of streaming video productions to watch-mostly classic plays on film). These 1000’s of publications cover subjects ranging from Chinese culture and British and Canadian history to Gender, Theatre and Slavery.

So, of course, these great books (I mean e-books) are available to you. Just go to the library's journal articles & databases page and look for the ones with the little "new" icon in front of them.
We think students and faculty will get a great deal of use out of these new additions to our growing database roster.

They're pretty easy to figure out, but if you need some help or want more information, ju…

Friday Closure

And another thing on the Atrium project...

Next Friday, July 25, the Library will have to be closed to the public. There will be some construction/demolition of the area between the exterior doors and the main entrance doors to the library.

If you know us, you'll know that we hate having to close, for any reason. But in this case, we have no choice. We have been assured that the work will be completed in time for us to re-open our usual time of 1:00pm on Sunday.

So, sorry for the inconvenience and thanks for the understanding.

Atrium update

Following up on my previous post....

Construction of the Atrium is full speed ahead. And the coming week will see (and hear) an acceleration of the preliminary work in the area just outside the north end of the Library. This work will most certainly raise the noise levels in the much-favoured Reference Room. Here is the "official" announcement/warning:

Starting Monday, July 14th, there will be extensive construction noise in this area. Paving blocks and their base will be jackhammered out of the ground.
The noise will be of intense but short duration. You may wish to find a more quiet place to study on the third floor.
A small number of portable laptop computers can be borrowed from the Circulation Desk.
Of course, for the foreseeable future, access to the library is going to be compromised (see diagram above). You will have to enter via McNally. Which means that if you are coming from Robie Street, use the McNally North door at the end of the Science parking lot. If you are comi…

It's been a while!

I don't usually post a lot in the "off-season" - there just aren't that many people around to read them (and most students want to forget about school stuff for a while once April is over).

But there's a big hole outside the Library and I can't ignore it any longer...

As you've probably heard, Saint Mary's has begun construction of the new Atrium which will enclose the area between the Library, the new Science Building and the Burke Building. Which means, as you would expect, that there's a bit of a mess out there right now (and will be for some time). Which means that getting into the Library these days, especially if you come from McNally or the Science parking lot, is a bit of an adventure, considering that there is a giant hole in the ground where Tim Horton's used to be. Not to mention the dumptrucks and excavators outside the Reference Room windows. Which also explains all that noise last week.

Of course, the atrium is going to look grea…

Extended hours

So, it's your favourite time of year - writing all those papers you love so much, studying for all those exams you enjoy so much. The next few weeks should be a ball!

I'm afraid at this point the Library can't do a whole lot for you, except stay open longer so you have a place you can go to escape the party next door. We can be your home away from home, before you go home once all the dust settles. So, in recognition of your need for a quiet refuge in which to read those notes, finish that novel and get ready for all those A's you deserve, and in honour of another fine year, here are the Library's extended hours for the next few weeks:

March 24- April 6
Monday - Friday 8:00am - 11:00pm
Saturday 10:00am - 7:00pm
Sunday noon - 11:00pm
April 7 - April 20 (Exam Period, Extended Hours)
Monday - Friday 8:00am - 11:00pm
Saturday 8:00am - 7:00pm
Sunday 10:00am- 11:00pm
April 21 - April 27 (last week of exams)
Monday & Tuesday 8:00am - 11:00pm
Wednesday 8:00am - 7:00pm
Thursday …

New Books, and More New Books

There really is "something for everyone" here:


Critical thinking in psychology / edited by Robert J. Sternberg, Henry J. Roediger

Philosophy in the modern world Anthony Kenny

Philosophy of Edith Stein / Antonio Calcagno

Common Sense: its history, method, and applicability / Marion Ledwig

Introduction to facet theory: content design and intrinsic data analysis in behavioral research / Samuel Shye

The self awakened: pragmatism unbound / Roberto Mangabeira Unger

Preferences and well-being / Serena Olsaretti

Seeing red: a study in consciousness / Nicholas Humphrey

Privileged access: philosophical accounts of self-knowledge / Brie Gertler

Schiller as philosopher: a re-examination / Frederick Beiser

The abusive personality: violence and control in intimate relationships / Donald G. Dutton

In the room with men: a casebook of therapeutic change / Matt Englar-Carlson


The serpent's gift: gnostic reflections on the study of religion / Jeffrey J. Kripal

Everyday relig…

Library is Open!

Wednesday, February 13 - Please Note: Although Saint Mary's University is closing today at 2:30, the Library will maintain its normal hours of operation. We will therefore be open until 11:00pm.

Food For Fines!

Still owe the Library money because back in October you used your card to check out books for your then boyfriend/girlfriend because they didn't have theirs at the time and they just had to have them and you've since split up and you never want to see them again but you just found the #!*$+%* overdue books under the bed?

Luckily, it's that time of year again. The Library's annual Food for Fines campaign is back. You can reduce or even eliminate your library fines and help a great cause at the same time.

Here's how it works: From February 4-15, drop off non-perishable food items at the Circulation desk. For every item you donate we will reduce your fines by $2 (maximum $20). And everything goes to the Feed Nova Scotia food bank! So a 75 cent can of peas gets you $2 off your fine total - a good deal. So help yourself (and someone else) - you'll be glad you did.

A bunch of new books....

A lot of you enjoy perusing our periodic list of those books which have been newly added to our shelves. So with that in mind...hold on a sec...I forgot to remind you that many of these particular titles, because they are, by definition, new, can be found in the nice little new book display in the lobby. Look for the bookcase with the gentle light spreading a heavenly glow (read: yellow) over the accumulated wisdom and imagination of the many great minds who wrote their contents. Where was I? Oh yeah, the list:


Engaged philosophy: essays in honour of David Braybrooke / edited by Susan Sherwin and Peter Schotch

True to our feelings: what our emotions are really telling us / Robert C. Solomon

Presocratic philosophy: a very short introduction / Catherine Osborne

Plato and the virtue of courage / Linda R. Rabieh

Freedom and neurobiology: reflections on free will, language, and political power / John R. Searle

The legacy of Socrates: essays in moral philosophy / James Rac…

Yes, it's 2008!

Have a nice break? Did you miss us?

So, the turkey's history and you can't wait to start writing papers again. Or something like that...

A few library things (old news, new news) we wanted you to know:

- We're back to our usual hours: M-F 8am-11pm, Sat 10am-7pm, Sun noon-11pm

- Need a quick print job? Don't wait in line. We now have express printing in the Reference Room

- If you use APA style and you use electronic sources (who doesn't?), you should be aware that there have been some recent changes to how to cite these. For more information (they can explain it better than I can), go to

- "Due to popular demand" we're trying to find ways of making the library a little less noisy, with a little less conversation (maybe you saw the ad in The Journal a while back?). Do your part, keep it down.

Remember, these next 4 months will fly by and you'll be free again. Or something like that...