Showing posts from 2010

All the best from all of us

Everyone here at the Library would like to wish everyone at Saint Mary's a wonderful holiday. If you want to see our greeting in action, go to You'll see us about half way thru the University's Christmas video card.

In a few days (noon on Wednesday to be precise) we will be closing for the Christmas break, reopening on January 3. In the meantime, stay away from all things academic, try and relax and enjoy whatever you do in the coming weeks and we'll see you in the new year!

Follow us on Facebook

Do you belong to the world's most popular social networking site? If the answer is yes, then you have something in common with the library.

But if you visit our Facebook page hoping to find pictures of wild librarian parties or how we spend our Saturday nights, I'm afraid you'll be disappointed. What you will find is another way, a relaxed way, of staying connected to us. We'll post the latest news, updates on our services or resources, anything, big or small, that we think you would want to know.

And maybe we'll move in other directions too. Perhaps we'll share our favourite books (or web sites or blogs or Youtube videos). We don't know exactly where we're headed and we're keeping an open mind.

So pay us a visit (search: patrick power library). The more the merrier!

Extended hours beginning Saturday

Every term the library extends its hours during the exam period to accomodate the studying crowds. We open earlier and close later (for early birds and night owls). Well this year we are taking it a step further. For the first time, the library will remain open until 1:00am -not just during exams but starting this weekend.

So those students currently working on end-of-term assignments or who will be cramming for morning exams in a few weeks will have a late-night place to go - a study hall to call their own. Here's the complete schedule:

November 20 (Saturday) 10am - 1am
November 21 (Sunday) noon - 1am
November 22 - December 17 Monday - Saturday 8am - 1am; Sunday 10am - 1am
December 18 (final day of exams) 10am - 7pm
December 19 CLOSED
December 20 -21 9am - 5pm
December 22 9am - noon
January 3 9am - 5pm

Something else you should know: from November 20 - December 1 the Circulation Desk (book checkout, print credits, etc.) will be open until midnight; from December 2 - 17 it will close at 11 …

Sunday, November 21: computers down campus-wide

It is important that everyone be aware that, due to renovations in the McNally Building, the campus computer system and network services will be unavailable this Sunday. This shutdown will begin at 7:00am and last well into the evening. This is a complete IT service outage. Services which will be unavailable include:
BannerSMUportBlackboardLibrary Databases (on and off campus)Web sitesNetwork sharesInternet accessWireless networkThe outage includes the Library, Atrium, all computer labs, residences and faculty offices. In spite of this, the library will remain open. You will be able to study, get help from staff or borrow books. Please note that if you have a paper due on Monday the library does have 10 Word-enabled laptops which can be borrowed (3 hour loan).

Just a suggestion...but you may want to adjust your weekend schedule accordingly.

We open at noon this Thursday

This is just a reminder that Thursday is Remembrance Day. As a result, and in recognition of the events which mark this special occasion, the library will be closed in the morning.

We will, however, be open from noon until 11p.m and staff will be here to help you at the Circulation and Information desks.

Thanksgiving Hours

Just a reminder that the Library will be open this Monday, Thanksgiving Day from noon to 11pm. So the hours will be slightly shorter than usual but think of it as a chance to sleep in a bit. And you'll still have 11 hours to enjoy our company. Regular hours will, of course, resume the next day.

We're having an Open House!

Don't know what CAT stands for? Not sure what the Writing Centre does? Then join us this Thursday, September 30 from 1:00-3:00 for the very first Global Learning Commons Open House!

This will be a chance for members of the Saint Mary's community to find out more about the wide variety of services offered in the Atrium. Representatives from the Patrick Power Library, CAT, CAID, ITSS and the Writing Centre will be on hand to talk about the academic and administrative support we provide to students, faculty and staff.

Coffee (and tea) and cake will be served! Hope to see you on Thursday.

p.s. There's also a contest for you to enter: how many books in the Library? The closest guess wins a $50 Aramark gift card. Drop by for a ballot.

How Was Your Summer?

Amazing? Dismal? Full of wonderful memories? Or filled with too many "I wish they had never invented Facebook?" kinds of memories? Too short (they all are)? Technically, summer still has a few weeks to run but students know it's over, no matter how warm the weather. September means just one thing and it has for most of your life.

So you're back in school (for your first year at Saint Mary's, or your second, or third, or fourth...). At least you've got company - students, faculty, staff - we're all in this together. And we all want the same thing: everyone to get nothing but "A's". Which, of course, you'll never get if you don't use...

The library is, as always, here to help. We've got all the resources, technology and expertise you could possibly want. All you have to do is drop by and ask. Or use our web site. You'll find out about our 400,000 books, our growing number of e-books, the 1000's of journals you ca…

Getting Your ID

Check the mirror, fix your hair and say "cheese". If you're a new student, you'll need a new ID. Your official university ID card is an important little document. In addition to being your library card, you'll need it for a whole lot of things - to get your U-Pass, admission to varsity sports events, discounts at local retail outlets, banks offering reduced rates to students, travel deals and if you're 19 or older...

Normally, we produce the cards here in the library. But because there will be a few thousand of you arriving this week, we've moved the operation, temporarily, to the Conference Hall on the second floor of Loyola. Here's the schedule:

Tuesday, August 31 - Friday, September 3 10:00am-3:00pm Saturday, Sept. 4 - Monday, Sept. 6 10:00am-4:00pm Tuesday, Sept. 7 - Friday, Sept. 10 10:00am-3:00pm

After that, you'll still be able to get your card - at the ID Centre in the library, during our regular hours of Monday-Friday, 10:00am-2:00pm.

A rem…

Major renovations underway

We're always trying to make the library a better place to read, write, relax. Study, do research, work with others. Last year saw a new entrance and service desks opening on to the Atrium. This year we're going to continue upgrading library space. In fact, it starts in a few hours...

We're not talking just cosmetic improvements (although there will be some of that). We're talking the kind that involve noise, dust and disruption - demolition, reconstruction - the kind that will be worth it in the end. Here are the highlights:
The Administration offices are moving - Over the next few months the group study rooms on the second floor will be converted to offices for library administrators. This means, of course, that during this time, those group study rooms will be unavailable. Small group work can continue in that room at the end of the old lobby (the one with the words GROUP STUDY SPACES on the wall). New group study rooms will be built - in the area vacated by the admin …

Journal Articles - a better way to find them!

Academic Journals, Scholarly Journals, Peer-reviewed Journals - we tend to use these terms interchangeably. They're all research-based publications which come out periodically (monthly, bi-monthly, 4/year). They're also, of course, the principal source of the latest and most authoritative facts and findings, ideas and insights in the world of academia (that's the world where you live most of the year).

There are tens of thousands of these things on every conceivable subject, from the straightforward to the downright weird. Titles like:

Journal of Artificial Organs
Journal of Artists Books

Journal of Applied Ichthyology (that's the study of fish, btw)
Journal of Cell Death
Journal of Cereal Science
Journal of Cleaner Production
Journal of College & University Student Housing
Journal of Cryptology (it's about computers, not vampires)
Journal of Conservative Dentistry

I'm not making these up. In fact, all of the journals above (and many, many more) are available to Sain…

Climbing stairs is good exercise!

We knew it was coming - just not so soon. But as of right now, and for another 7-8 weeks, the library's public elevator is out of commission.

All elevators require regular maintenance (who wants to get stuck in one?) and ours is no exception. At the same time, the library's was in desperate need of a facelift (it was built in 1973). So this is one of those jobs that combines cosmetic improvements with mechanical upgrades.

The renovations should be completed by early July. But in the meantime...we've made the necessary arrangements to insure that everyone can get to the upper floors, whether to retrieve a book or to study.

Those unable to use the stairs will have access to our freight elevator. Don't worry, it's not one of those antique "looks like it hasn't moved in years" kind of freight elevators. Library staff use it every day. But it does require a key. So anyone needing an elevator should go to the Circulation Desk where someone will be ava…

Taking Spring (or Summer) courses?

Many students use this time of year to chalk up a few credits. Summer school classes are smaller, they're short, there can be a real sense of comraderie (you have a common goal and you feel sorry for each other) and they can lighten the load for next year. Or maybe you just need that to graduate.

Whatever the reason, whatever the course, this is just a reminder that the library is here to help. We're open most nights till 9:00 and there is always someone at the Reference Desk ready and willing to work with you to find the very best research material for your assignments.

Remember, too, that many thousands of online journals and e-books can be accessed from our web site any where, any time. And if you need any help with these (or with any other issue/question/problem), you can always get in touch with us at or 420-5544.

So good luck and enjoy! Those six weeks will just fly by...

Exams Coming, Hours Extended

Maybe you're one of the lucky ones: you've just handed in your final assignment of a very long year. Or maybe there's just that one, last, tougher-than-all-the-rest paper that needs to be finished and sent. In either case, you'll soon, like it or not, be gearing up for exams. No more writing, "just" studying.

And to help you get that studying done, and just like we always do, the Library will be open longer hours throughout the exam period. Here's what they look like:

April 8 - April 11
Thursday & Friday 8:00am - 11:00pm
Saturday 8:00am - 11:00pm
Sunday 10:00am - 11:00pm
April 12 - 18
Monday-Friday 8:00am - 11:00pm
Saturday 8:00am - 11:00pm
Sunday 10:00am - 11:00pm
April 19 - 25
Monday-Wednesday 8:00am - 11:00pm
Thursday 8:00am - 7:00pm
Friday 9:00am - 5:00pm
Saturday & Sunday Closed
April 26 - May 2 (Intersession)
Monday-Friday 9:00am - 5:00pm
Saturday & Sunday Closed

So good luck over the next few weeks. Oh, and one other thing, remember that this an impo…

Open Easter Weekend

We know how much you need us (and our computers and our comfy chairs and our shelter from the rain). So, no matter what's happening elsewhere on campus, the Library will be open throughout the coming Easter weekend, as follows:

Friday (Good Friday) 9:00am - 11:00pm
Saturday 10:00am - 9:00pm
Sunday (Easter Sunday) noon - 11:00pm
Monday (Easter Monday) 8:00am - 11:00pm

Notice that we will open an hour later than normal on Friday morning but stay open a little longer Saturday evening. The hours on Sunday and Monday are the usual ones.

So good luck with those last minute assignments and remember that there will be staff at the Reference desk who will be more than happy to lend you a hand.

Goodbye Mr. Clare

Like most libraries, we check out a lot of books. Every year. It's one of the important things we do. Well at this library, nobody has checked out more books than Ken Clare. You may be one of the thousands of students who have had their books checked out by Ken over the years. Some time tomorrow, one of you will be the last.

That's because Ken is retiring. And we don't know who will miss him more - the people who work in the library or the people who use it.

Maybe you don't know Ken by name but you've probably seen him around - usually at the Circulation desk - that big guy with the big mustache. He's been lending journals, receiving books, collecting fines, forgiving fines and trading jokes with students (and supervising an entire department) for a very long time. Since 1982. Before most of you were born. So to say that he deserves his retirement is an understatement.

Have you ever seen a group of women wearing Boston Red Sox shirts and tiaras on the…

Our Databases Reorganized

There were some changes made this week to the way we organize the many different databases we now have. We think it's an improvement and we hope you do too. Let me explain:

You know that Databases A-Z list in the Find articles section in the middle of our web site? Well it originated many years ago when our electronic offerings were a small fraction of their current number. It was intended to bring them all of them together in one master list, with an inclusive interpretation of the term “database”. Over time, this list has grown to include not just journal indexes but electronic statistical sources and e-books as well. These sources were all electronic but they were also significantly different.

As the list grew (and the pace is accelerating rather than slowing down), it was becoming quite unwieldy. For someone looking for journal articles on a subject, especially first or second year students, that long list was pretty intimidating (and probably confusing).

We have now separated th…

New source for Irish biographies

Are you an Irish Studies major? Are you of Irish descent (the whole year, not just on March 17)? A lover of Irish music, literature, coffee or pubs? Wolfhounds?

If you've said yes to any of these, you'll be interested in a new online resource the library has just acquired (the fact that Saint Patrick's Day is next week is mere coincidence).

The Dictionary of Irish Biography is "the most comprehensive and authoritative biographical dictionary yet published for Ireland". This web-based edition includes more than 9,000 signed biographies of historical figures from politics, religion, science and the arts. It is the result of a collaborative effort by the Royal Irish Academy and Cambridge University Press.

Irish poet Seamus Heaney calls the publication of the DIB "an epoch-making event in the history of Irish scholarship" while another Irish man of letters, Colm Toibin (who visited Saint Mary's not long ago), feels that it "will be greeted with…

Grad student help

Most of you are familiar with the libguides which we've created for various academic subjects (see the Getting started in links on our main page). And some of you will have used the one we developed specifically for international students. These guides bring together various kinds of information, from how to use the Library's resources to campus services and support.

Well now there's a guide designed to meet the unique needs of Graduate students. It includes important info on borrowing privileges, research help, journal and statistical databases, citation management and everything you need to know about theses and dissertations (there are even links to e-books on thesis writing).

To find the graduate student libguide you can go here or follow the Library guides link in the left hand column of our web site. Always trying to help...

Interested in all things Japanese?

The Nippon Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization which supports a variety of projects designed to promote an understanding of Japan overseas (go here for more info). They do a lot of different things, including donating "...carefully selected books that provide information on contemporary Japan” to libraries around the world - including this one.

Because of our Asian Studies Program, we applied for and received a great collection of about 40 of these books on subjects ranging from Japanese film, Manga and literature to politics, business and history. They are currently on display in the Reference Room (far right corner), they're all in English and they can all be borrowed.

To show you what I mean, here's the list of titles:

Manga: Sixty Years of Japanese Comics
The Midnight Eye Guide to New Japanese Film
Oe and Beyond: Fiction in Contemporary Japan
Broadcasting Politics in Japan: NHK and Television News
Constructing Civil Society in Japan: Voices of Environment…

The Food Bank Says Thanks...

...and so do the students who use it.

We had another successful Food For Fines campaign this year! Thanks to you, our campus food bank received 343 food items as well as $108 in donations. This is a win-win-win situation. Students get their fines cut in half, the food bank gets re-stocked and we get our books back.

And it's not just here at Saint Mary's. This is a Novanet initiative. So food banks in communities across Nova Scotia benefit - Halifax, Sydney, Antigonish, Truro, wherever there's a NSCC campus.

So congratulations to whoever came up with the original idea and congratulations to those of you who make it work year after year.

Nylon, Interview, Esquire, Rolling Stone...

Or perhaps your taste runs more to The Walrus, Maisonneuve, Film Comment or Wired. Whatever magazines you like to read in your spare time (yeah, I know, what spare time?), you can now find a lot of them in the library.

We've started a bunch of new subscriptions this year (including all of the above) to go along with the old favourites (Time, MacLeans, National Geographic, etc.). You can find them, and many more, in what was, until recently, the library's lobby (everybody but first years know where I mean). Come into the library, go through the glass doors in the far right corner and you'll walk right into them. Well, actually, you'll walk right into shelves of newspapers. But keep on going. Persevere. Eventually you'll hit a tall grey display unit full of the latest issues of about 80 of the most popular magazines around. Maybe you'll discover one you didn't know about.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to drag you away from your academic pur…

Food for Fines - save $$$, help others

It's time for our annual Food for Fines campaign - a chance to clear your overdue fines (if you have any), save money and help Saint Mary's students - all at the same time!

Here's how it works, in 4 easy steps:
you bring non-perishable food to the library's Circulation Desk we reduce your fines by $2 for each item you donate (maximumof $20)all the food is delivered to the Saint Mary's campus food bankother Saint Mary's students enjoy the benefitsOf course, you don't need to have fines in order to help. We'll take food (or cash) from anyone! This year's campaign runs from January 18 -27. See you at the Circulation Desk!

A Big Welcome Back

So, it's the first day of a new term and you're thrilled/crushed to be back and filled with enthusiasm/dread.

There's probably nothing I could say to make school any easier. I could say that this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to expose your young mind to a magical world of ideas and imagination. I could say that a college education is your chance to secure a glowing future, filled with prosperity and happiness. But then I'd just sound like your mother or high school guidance counselor.

Fact is, you wouldn't be here unless, deep down, you wanted to be. You've been a student most of your life so you already know the routine, the work and the reward.

Of course, the Library can help with that work part. In fact, helping students, students like you, is what we do. Long papers, short ones, easy ones, tough ones, we've got the resources, space and people you need. Drop by. Talk to us. Find a computer, find a book, find a secluded spot where a noisy world won&#…