Fall 2019 Extended Hours

Finals are here! Whether you are studying for the big final, or working on your last assignment or paper for your class, the Library is here for you!

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On Sundays in December, Vera Bracken Library will be staying open an extra two hours! Come spend some time from 1:00PM to 10:00PM on:

  • December 1
  • December 8
  • December 15

Still need a spot outside of the Vera Bracken Library’s regular and extended hours? Check out our blog post about Places to Study Outside of the Library! Each space is specially rated to address the biggest standard needs of students. Judge and choose for yourself the best option to fit you.

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International Education Week!

International Education Week (IEW) is celebrated by over 100 different countries on the third week of November.

This year MHC has planned a host of events to follow in the last week of November to celebrate IEW .

The purpose of IEW is to highlight programs and activities on campus that have an international component and opportunities for community collaboration. Visit https://www.alberta.ca/international-education-week.aspx for more information!

So far for this year we have the following planned:

  • November 23 – ‘Korea Night’ – will be hosted at the student residence community room, organized and hosted by the SA Diversity Club (TENTATIVE)
  • November 25 – ‘Celebration of Colors’, 4:30pm – 6:30pm in the Crowfoot Room –An awareness event around India and Indian culture. Join our students in an opportunity to share their culture over dinner, music and presentations. Ticketed event $12 each.  
  • November 26 – ‘Open Dialogue: Culture Exchange’ in the glass enclosure in the Vera Bracken Library  – Anonymous questions boxes will be set up around campus in November, students staff and faculty can submit questions they have related to cultural diversity on campus and in the community in the box. The questions will be discussed on November 26 a the informal session, all are welcome.
  • November 27 – ‘Wellness Wednesdays, what does mental health look like/mean to you?’ in the cafeteria hallway – We will be asking students, both international and domestic to answer this question. The idea is to get a range of responses to show the diverse responses from students across campus.
  • November 25 – 29 “refuge Canada Display, in the Cuboid – In Partnership with the Esplanade and Refuge Canada we will have an interactive raft display on campus to promote the Refuge Canada exhibition.

Needing more outside this week of events? Let’s talk about the International Resource Room!

Are you an international student who sometimes feels like this?

…but you want to feel like this?

International students studying in Canada face many challenges. Our goal in the International Resource Room is to help international students in mainstream programming succeed in their new educational environment. In order to support students on this journey, we’re available Monday to Friday from 8:30 – 3:30 in B368. In addition to the drop-in service, we offer sessions to help you take your studies to the next level. Topics include:  

  • Organizing a paragraph
  • Introductions and Conclusions
  • Sentence Structure
  • Studying and Test Taking Tips
  • APA
  • Planning assignments

Be sure to come up to the third floor above the library to room B368 and say hello!

Fall Reading Break’s Top 3 Tips

Wahooooo – it’s Fall Reading Break! I don’t know about y’all, but if you’re anywhere near as tired as we are, then this break couldn’t come at a better time. In fact, did you know that the SAMHC advocated for this break for 5 WHOLE YEARS to get it into the MHC calendar? It was hard work but so worth it – and we’re just as thrilled to be reaping the rewards with everyone else 😀

While everyone is off campus getting some needed rest and relaxation, we figured it might be good to give 3 of our top ways to beat procrastination and de-stress over break to help make the most of it!

  • Exercise – Exercise is not only proven to help lift your mood but it’s also a great way to help boost your ability to get back to work when you’re struggling with a paper or study guide. Best of all, if you’re in town still, the gym at MHC is free to students – all you need to show is your campus ID!
  • Connect – Connection is one of the major keys to happiness. Take time over the break if you’re home to reconnect with family and friends or if you’re still in the Hat, get out and get into our vibrant community. Whether it’s for a coffee or even a short walk, connecting in some way will make you ready to tackle those assignments with a fresh brain!
  • Treat Yo’ Self – As famously stated on Parks And Recreation, you gotta treat yo’ self every so often! Channel your inner Donna and Tom and go do something you LOVE! Even if it’s just taking the time to watch your favorite movie or read a few chapters of your favorite book, a little treat will go a long way to helping you de-stress and that’s really what this break is designed for!

Now get out there and enjoy the break – we’re packed and ready for a little R&R ourselves ;D

Cite it Right: Or I wish APA and MLA Were the Same

Why citing is important?

The proper acknowledgement of sources might seem like a no-brainer; as indeed it should; however, citations are not used simply to avoid plagiarism; they have a fundamental role: to discover truth by building on previous discoveries.

The painting above by Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665) exemplifies the metaphor of dwarfs, standing on the shoulders (Latin: nanos gigantum humeris insidentes). In other words, we are the dwarfs in the painting, “but dwarfs who stand on the shoulders of those giants, small though we are, we sometimes manage to see farther on the horizon than they” (Eco, 1980, p. 93). Therefore, citing is acknowledging the research that has laid the groundwork to build your own research, which sometimes manages to produce new findings–to see farther.

So, what is a citation?

A citation is a formal reference to a source that you consulted and obtained information from while writing your research paper. Hence, a citation is the way you tell your readers that certain material in your work came from another source. There are different ways of citing sources, the set of rules that dictates how to cite your sources is a citation style.

The main citation styles based on wide-use are: (Yale, n.d.).

APA: American Psychological Association

  • Used in the Social Sciences: Education, Psychology, Business, etc.
  • Author-date citation style.
  • Emphasizes dates (years) of publication, reflecting the belief that current research, knowledge and theories has greater value, than does past scholarship.

MLA: Modern Language Association style  

  • Used in the humanities, for example, English Studies, Art, Literature, and Theater.
  • Author-page citation style.
  • Emphasizes pages because humanities research highlights how one piece of writing influences another. MLA’s author-page style allows scholars to track down easily the exact sentences you are analyzing.

Chicago/Turabian style

  • Used in the social sciences, for example, History, Anthropology
  • Two basic documentation systems: (1) notes and bibliography and (2) author-date
  • Emphasizes ease of reading, the primary advantages of using footnotes are simplicity and concision. Using footnotes instead of parenthetical author-date information allows the reader to focus on the evidence, instead of being distracted by the publication information about that evidence.

When to Cite (Ohio State University Libraries, n.d.).

Cite when you quote: if you cite word-by-word what an author has already written, you must use quotation marks around those words and give credit to the original author

Cite when you paraphrase or summarize: when you restate in your own words and tone what somebody else has said. Paraphrasing requires a good understanding of the original passage; its purpose is to make information clear in the conversation different sources and having with each other.

Cite when information is highly debatable: when information is controversial, politicized, or numerical you should always provide a citation.

Where can I find help?

MHC Libraries created a citation guide where you can find citation examples, sample papers, and video tutorials to three major citation styles:  APA, MLA, and Chicago.

Access: MHC Library Guide > Citation Guide

References

Eco, U. (1980). The Name of the Rose. Italy: Harcourt

Ohio State University Libraries. (n.d.). When to cite. Retrieved from https://ohiostate.pressbooks.pub/choosingsources/chapter/when-to-cite/

Yale, (n.d.).  Why are there different citation styles? Retrieved from https://poorvucenter.yale.edu/writing/using-sources/principles-citing-sources/why-are-there-different-citation-styles

November and Careers. What’s the Connection?

The month of November is associated with remembering those who fought for the freedom of Canadians. A time where we honour our veterans on Remembrance Day and proudly display our poppies on November 11 as a sign of our respect and thanks. And we do have a lot to be thankful for in ‘the land of the True North Strong and Free’. For it is that very freedom that has allowed us to choose our own path and be who we want to be.

Sometimes the idea of choosing our own path is intimidating to students. What if we choose wrong? But that’s the simple beauty of freedom. You have plenty of choices and options and opportunities to try and try again until you find what fits and feels authentic to who you are.

November is also Canada Career Month. Because of the freedom afforded to Canadians, you have possibilities to explore and services to help you identify your strengths and interests, articulate your personal and career goals, and help you discover opportunities that match. And whether you realize it or not, these activities greatly contribute to your career development.

The Canadian Standards & Guidelines for Career Development Practitioners (2012) defines career development as a “lifelong process of managing learning, work, leisure, and transitions in order to move toward a personally determined and preferred future”(1). This puts you in the driver’s seat to navigate your path in whatever way feels most comfortable for you. You have the freedom to make choices along the way that will affect the direction your career will take.

One way to ensure that you are making informed choices is to invest some time considering your career development and researching options. It is interesting to note that Statistics Canada says the average age of retirement is 63.5 years old (2). From the moment you first start working until the day you retire, you may have invested thousands of hours in the labour force. By comparison, how much time do you actually invest in thinking about your career development and in researching your interests, educational options, and career possibilities?

Canada Career Month is about fostering awareness of career development and reminding Canadians that they are in the driver’s seat. We have the freedom to make choices about the kind of life we want and we have access to services and supports to enhance our quality of life. As we explore the possibilities available to us, let us honour and remember those who paved the way by embracing our right to choose, investing our time in making informed choices, finding our career purpose, and creating a life well lived.

(1) Canadian Council for Career Development. (2012). Canadian Standards & Guidelines for Career Development Practitioners. Retrieved from Canadian Council for Career Development: https://cccda.org/the-career-development-profession/what-is-career-development/.

(2) Statistics Canada. (2019). Table 14-10-0060-01 Retirement age by class of worker, annual. Retrieved from Statistics Canada: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/t1/tbl1/en/tv.action?pid=1410006001.

Lego Mindstorms

Unleash the creativity of Lego Mindstorms!

Mindstorms-Downloads-Build_Instructions-Standard-Block

Figure 1. Lego Mindstorms. (Lego, n.d.).

The Vera Bracken Library is home to a collection of 10 LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Core sets available for use. The library at Brooks campus also has 1 kit available for borrowing. These kits are available for sign out individually or as a set of 10.

LEGO Mindstorms EV3 kits contain a programmable P-brick, sensors, and LEGO pieces, these kits support the development of new skills and facilitate active learning through the creation of robotics, engineering and learning to code.

They support coursework in education, engineering, visual communications, and many others. The LEGO Mindstorms EV3 kits also provide opportunities for group learning and team-building exercises for both students and staff.

Not sure what Lego Mindstorms are? Check here for more information.

Want to know what types of things you can build? Check out the different types of builds here.

If you’re not sure what to build there is step-by-step guides available online which one can follow. There is also tutorials available online showing you how to use the programming language. To program your robot there is a few different options. There is a mobile version, which doesn’t have all the features of the full version but has all the basic functions. There is the full version which is available for PC and Mac and then there is also some developer programs. These programs are more advanced and let you use other programming languages such as python and C++.

Lego Mindstorms are great for any level of learning and how complicated you wish to go is completely up to you.

The library recently used them as a team building activity for college day. To save on time the robots were partially built but participants were responsible for finishing building them as well as programming them to run an obstacle course. In total the activity ran just over an hour and everyone spoke highly of it.

The best part of this type of activity is that it can always be improved upon. For example, if we did team building another day we would have been able to pull out the robots again and have everyone improve their programs. It’s an incredibly fun way to learn.

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Building the robots.

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Learning to program.

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Everyone hard at work.

 

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The library lineup.

If you would like more information on Lego Mindstorms please contact the library at reference@mhc.ab.ca

Reference:

Lego. (n.d.). Lego mindstorms [Online Image]. Retrieved from https://www.lego.com/en-us/themes/mindstorms/downloads

Grit for Student Success

“Grit”, defined as having the ability to persist in something and persevere when you face obstacles, is important because it is a driver of achievement and success, aside from what talent and intelligence contribute.  Being naturally talented and intelligent are great, however to truly do well and thrive,  it is important to have a skill set that allows students to persevere. Students who possess the quality of “grit” are more likely to experience academic success, and it is equally as important as talent and intelligence.

accomplishment ceremony education graduation

In order to stick with a long term goal such as earning a certificate, diploma or degree, here are some ideas and tools that can help you develop “grit”:

  1. Get Clarity: clearly define what your goals are and be sure your goals are related to your core values.  Get clear on what your course plan is, get clear on whether your program is related to your values and get clear on your “WHY”, so that when things get challenging, you can go back to the meaningful nature of why you are doing this in the first place.
  2. Prime Enthusiasm: create energy and excitement daily by consciously deciding how you want to show up everyday. Get involved, visit your goals daily and create an emotional connection to what you want.  Be responsible for the energy you are projecting and transferring to others and be aware of the energy that is being “downloaded” to you by others.  Draw clear boundaries around habits and people that are energy vampires, so you can sustain the energy that is required to work through challenges. Eat healthy, move your body, look for inspiration from positive people and make time for self-care and connection.
  3. Block Time: time management with intention is a critical skill to possess in order to sustain success long term. identify blocks of time for class, studying, sleeping, and connecting with others.  Block time to engage in school related activity as well as activities outside of school so you feel a sense of control and organization.  Plan your days with intentional tasks related to your goals.  Identify any time wasters and reduce or eliminate them.  Spend time on tasks that create value and eliminate tasks that don’t benefit you.
  4. Enlist a Team: successful students have a team of support and recognize that asking for help is a strength not a weakness. Identify what areas of development are required of you and tap into the resources available on and off campus.  Consider student supports such as writing help, academic coaching, instructors and counselors as being part of your team. Reach out to other students or people in your field of study as mentors and create an environment that allows for success.

If you would like help identifying what tools you require in order to develop grit, follow the link below to book an appointment online and see me for help!

https://www.mhc.ab.ca/Services/AcademicSupport