Library Gadgets from the Multimedia Zone

You probably know the basics of the library: you can sign out books, you can find a spot to study, you can use the drop-in computers… but did you also know that there is a whole world of multimedia gadgets accessible to you, as a student, with your library card?

What you are about to read is by-no-means a complete list of some of the fun and useful items available for you to sign out at our service desk.

You have now entered… The Multimedia Zone!

Phone Chargers

We’ll admit it. When our phone’s battery is low we get a little freaked out. The laws of the universe clearly state that your phone must die at precisely the moment that is most inconvenient to you. Maybe you’re waiting to hear back about a job interview. Maybe you’re watching the last two minutes of your favourite TV show. Maybe you’ve just told your crush that you’re in love with them and they’ve left you on read. Whatever the reason, your phone will run out of battery in that moment. It’s just a harsh reality.

But at the library, we can help! We have phone chargers of all types available for 4-hour loan periods, allowing you to extend the life of your phone’s battery at least enough for you to get the closure you need.

Photo by Will Porada on Unsplash

Flash Drives

When it comes to final projects, losing your files is the last thing you want to happen. Yes, you saved your stuff on the “Z” drive. Sure, you probably emailed yourself a copy. But what happens when the internet goes down and you can’t access your email? What will you do?!

Avoid this terrifying scenario by signing out one of the flash drives from the library multimedia desk. You can keep it for 24-hours, and know that your files will stay with you wherever you go.

Photo by Brina Blum on Unsplash

Noise-Cancelling Headphones

The Vera Bracken Library:

Spacious and comfortable? Yes!

Staffed with friendly library workers who love to help students? You bet!

A tranquil chamber of silence and solitude? Ummm… not always.

We LOVE the fact that students use the library to do group studying and big collaborative projects, but we know that sometimes you just need some peace and quiet. This is why we offer noise-cancelling headphones, available to sign out at the library multimedia desk! You can borrow these headphones for up to four hours whenever you need a break from the clamor.

Photo by Aiony Haust on Unsplash

Microphones

Testing 1-2. Check. Check.

Microphone on your laptop not working? Need to borrow a handheld for your next club meeting? The library multimedia desk has you covered with microphones of all types, available for you to borrow. Just don’t forget your library card!

Photo by Forja2 Mx on Unsplash

Sewing Machine

You have now reached the weirder part of the list, featuring a couple of items you probably wouldn’t have guessed you could sign out from the library. Imagine yourself with a hole in your favourite pair of jeans or a broken strap on your backpack. What will you do? You didn’t bring a sewing machine with you to college. Who brings a sewing machine to college? [Okay, the author of this blog post totally did bring a sewing machine to college, but that’s irrelevant and beside the point.] The point is: you can sign out a sewing machine from the library!! How cool is that? Sign it out and fix your broken stuff or sew matching pyjamas for you and all of your roommates. Get creative (literally)!

Photo by Juan Jose Porta on Unsplash

Electronic Keyboard

There is a quote by Albert Schweitzer that I love:

“There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.”

Now, I don’t mean to say that midterm exams are “miseries” exactly, but let’s be honest. A refuge from midterms would be nice. Unfortunately you can’t have cats in your dorm, but you can have music! In fact, you can make your own music with a keyboard signed out from the library. We even have books to get you started if you want to learn to play! Come sign it out and begin your new life as a rock/pop/EDM/classical virtuoso.

Photo by Martin Hexeberg on Unsplash

Were you surprised by any of these? Have any suggestions for other neat things you’d like to see offered by the library? Let us know at the desk, and come check some of our cool gadgets out!

Open Education Week 2020

This year, Open Education Week is March 2-6. Over 6450 participants across 123 countries contributed to Open Education Week in 2019.  Celebrate this year by checking out one of the many free online events being hosted by institutions around the world.

Open educational resources are meant to make education more accessible and reduce potential barriers to education caused by cost and accessibility. Open education can be delivered in a variety of ways, including open and accessible online courses, open and free digitized textbooks, or openly licensed materials that can be found online (like images, infographics, and other media) that can be used in assignments and classes.

Many instructors at MHC have already adopted open textbooks and material for use in their classes; this could take the form of a printed book available in the bookstore or a pdf or link on your course’s blackboard page.

If you want to find out more about OER, how it’s used at MHC, and where to find more resources, check out the Library’s Open Educational Resource Guide.

Freedom to Read Week

Yesterday marked the official start of Freedom to Read Week- running from February 23-29!

This may have you wondering- what is this week for? After all, it seems like it would be a pretty rare thing to hear someone tell you NOT to read.

However, Freedom to Read Week isn’t really about being stopped from reading. It’s actually to bring awareness to the limiting of reading options available to us, often without us even being aware of it.

I hate to break the hard news: censorship and the banishment of books is still -somehow- a thing that happens all over the world. 


Figure 1. Outdoor reader; female (Pixabay, 2016)

Some examples include:
>And Tango Makes Three, By Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell was removed from a Calgary elementary school library shelf in 2017 for the “theme of homosexual parenting.” (Council, 2020)

(Can be found in our library here: PZ 10.3 R52 2005)

>The Lord of the Rings series, by J.R.R. Tolkien was burned in New Mexico in 2001 for being “satanic” (Association, Banned & Challenged Classics, 2020)

(The prequel to the series, The Hobbit, can be found in our library here: PR 6039 O32 H644 1995)

>The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie was banned and challenged in various locations in 2018 for “sexual references, profanity, violence, gambling, and underage drinking, and for its religious viewpoint” (Association, Top Ten Most Challenged Books Lists, 2020)

(Can be found in our library here: PZ 7 A38 Abs 2007)

>I Am Jazz written by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings and illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas
was challenged in various locations in 2017 because it “addresses gender identity.” (Association, Top Ten Most Challenged Books Lists, 2020)

(Can be found in our library here: PZ 7.1.H47 Iam 2014 -2017)


Figure 2. Burnt book pages (Pixabay, 2014)

Books are banned and removed from libraries, bookstores, and publishing every day for reasons that are as vast and unique as we are. Unfortunately, this means there are resources out there that people find themselves unable to access.

Now, this may still seem like something that isn’t really a huge deal, and it may not raise concern for you at all. But it absolutely should. 

The more books and magazines are censored, banned and made difficult to access, the more your rights are restricted. Removing our choice to read something, because certain groups disagree with its opinions or themes, is extremely limiting to every single one of us.

A book can be challenged for religious themes just as often as another book can be challenged for anti-religious themes. And it’s the same story for every topic you can imagine.

Taking resources out of our reach for whatever reason means we lose the opportunity to explore a unique perspective- and authors lose a chance to share their voice. If the only books that are allowed to exist are books that are deemed non-offensive by every single person- we would have no books. There are not many stories (if any) in this world that can be written without offending someone, somewhere.

Figure 3. Pink glasses on open books (Pixabay, 2019)

So with this all in mind I want to encourage you – during this week and always – to read. Read everything that you have an interest in. Read textbooks, and comics, and novels, and magazines, and articles. Soak up every story and opinion and fact that you can and argue when these resources are removed from your reach. Freedom to read is accentuated during this week, but we should fight for it always. More information can be found at https://www.freedomtoread.ca/

Go forth and read, readers. 😊

References

(2014). [Online Image]. Retrieved from Pixabay: https://pixabay.com/photos/book-pages-burnt-burning-old-406806/

(2016). [Online Image]. Retrieved from Pixabay: https://pixabay.com/photos/beautiful-dress-girl-outdoors-1868725/

(2019). [Online Image]. Retrieved from Pixabay: https://pixabay.com/photos/glasses-reading-book-books-focus-4704055/

Association, A. L. (2020). Banned & Challenged Classics. Retrieved from ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom: http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/frequentlychallengedbooks/classics

Association, A. L. (2020). Top Ten Most Challenged Books Lists. Retrieved from ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom: http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/frequentlychallengedbooks/top10

Council, C. B. (2020). Challenged Works. Retrieved from freedom to read: https://www.freedomtoread.ca/challenged-works/

It’s Sexual and Reproductive Health Week!

Having sex? Not having sex? It’s February, the Looooooove month, so lets talk about IT! (; Sexual and Reproductive Health!

We all have to worry about it, and the time to learn more is just around the corner! February 10-14, just in time for Valentine’s Day. We know that when it comes to coitus some people get queasy and some people get giggly. Nevertheless, sex is an important topic. Luckily for you, the SA can help you out!

Let’s talk about sex. [Online Image]. Retrieved from https://www.awarenessdays.com/awareness-days-calendar/sexual-health-week-2020/

What do we mean when we say sexual health? We mean a state of physical, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality- with yourself and/or with others. Let’s be serious for a minute. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences. Free of coercion, discrimination and violence. I mean –> CONSENT <– here, people!! Want it simpler? Watch this Tea consent  or this Cycling through Consent. Yea, they’re pretty obvious and to the point eh? Good. You get it now.

Did you know- thanks to over 30 different bacteria, viruses and parasites- more than 1 million sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are acquired EVERY DAY? STIs can have serious reproductive health consequences beyond the immediate impact of the infection itself (e.g., infertility or mother-to-child transmission). So, if you’re not going to sack it, go home and whack it!

Paterson, Jennifer. (2014, December 2). Thinking about sex [Online Image]. Retrieved from https://radssite.wordpress.com/2014/12/02/thinking-about-sex/

Even if you are not sexually active be sure to still join us in talking about sexual and reproductive health! Learn information on how to ensure you stay healthy in the meantime and once you become sexually active! Sexual health involves more than sexual behaviour. We will have whiteboards placed around the college starting today, February 10th, where you can answer questions and read statistics. Make sure you also check out our sexual health fair on Wednesday February 12th, and you do not want to miss our Naughty Banger Bingo on Thursday February 13th for a chance to win some awesome XXX prizes!

And remember – no glove, no love.

February 5, 2020! Don’t miss out!

What is happening on February 5, 2020? For Medicine Hat College Library, it seems like everything! And we are bringing it all here for you! From a special one time only event to our standard essential for the semester, check out the day we’ve got planned for MHC!

CBC Massey Lecturer, Tanya Talaga, will be speaking at the Eresman Theatre on main campus at 12-1PM. With her books, Seven Fallen Feathers and All my Relations: Finding a Path Forward, this renowned author is one you do not want to miss.

With topics of inter-generational trauma and its affects, the need and path towards finding reconciliation, and so much in between, Tanya Talaga is a dynamic speaker and story-teller, who will spark the discussion in all of us!

Register here today!

Following this special event is another that our college has come to look forward to each semester; Long Night Against Procrastination! LNAP Winter 2020 runs from 5PM until MIDNIGHT, with all the student services brought to you, after hours, to answer the questions you have as a student. It’s ALL-ACCESS till MIDNIGHT!

Focused on academic and mental health, each session and drop-in option is focused on giving/teaching students the resources and skills needed to be the most successful they can be. The night has so much to offer for every individual, whether you are a self-labeled procrastinator or the top of your class, looking for a quick study tip, and brush-up on APA, or an excuse to snuggle a puppy or work on that sun salutation that seems to have escaped progress since the weather turned cold.

Stay on or get back on track with this amazing night!

Pre-registration begins January 27! Find LNAP members at:

  • Monday, January 27 –> Cafeteria
  • Tuesday, January 28 –> B-Wing Hallway
  • Wednesday, January 29 –> Cafeteria
  • Thursday, January 30 –> B-Wing Hallway
  • Friday, January 31 –> Cafeteria
  • Monday, February 3 –> B-Wing Hallway
  • Tuesday, February 4 –> Cafeteria

Or, pre-register online, and check out the schedule to see what you are most interested in! Five sessions will be streaming to Brooks Campus, so all of our students can take part in the night’s events!

Get excited! With 10 days left, the count down is officially on!!

Mental Health Awareness Activities for Winter 2020 Semester

With a busy new semester, months of cold weather, and the stressors of daily life, you might find yourself struggling to cope with it all. This is normal, it happens. The Mental Health and Counselling department doesn’t want you to struggle alone. We’re here to talk to. If making an appointment to speak with a counsellor sounds a bit scary, or like too much of a commitment, that’s ok- we have other options to help you manage!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

My personal goal as Mental Health Programmer at MHC, is to help each student feel connected, and like they are a part of a community. College can be a lonely place, and it can be hard to reach out. The activities that we offer aim to increase self-awareness, and build-up your support system. They are mostly drop-in, so there isn’t the pressure of committing your time each week (but please keep coming back if you enjoy it, we’d love to have you)!

 Please stop in to one of our groups, or to the counselling department if you find you are needing a little extra support. We have comfy couches, a fire place, TV, and free coffee/tea/hot chocolate!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

CBT Self-Help Drop In [Mondays / 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. / C225]
Students work independently on cognitive behavioural therapy work sheets, with counselling staff support. Topics include distorted thinking, anger, communication, healthy relationships, and more. This drop-in time is ideal for students who have identified a particular area of work that they would like to focus on. Students are also encouraged to come explore different topics to learn more about themselves.   

30 Minute drop-in counselling sessions [Mondays and Thursdays / 1 – 3:30 p.m. / C233]
First come, first serve. No appointment necessary.

Photo by Avni Jain on Pexels.com

Knitting Group [Tuesdays / 1:30 – 3 p.m. / Front lounge area in the Vera Bracken Library]
Two wonderful ladies from the Medicine Hat community have volunteered their time to teach students how to knit while they also informally offering mental health support. We will be working together to make a blanket that will be donated at the end of the semester. All materials provided. No experience necessary. (Crocheters also welcome but must bring own supplies).  

Animal Therapy [Wednesdays / 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. / Front lounge area in the Vera Bracken Library]
Miss your own dog? Wish you had a dog to cuddle? Drop- in to interact with Rocky and Louie to decrease stress and build connections.

Creative Minds Group
Starting in February, time and date TBD. This group will consist of creative writing, painting, drawing, etc. and focus on maintaining mental wellness. Students must register for group. Please email
lareshenkoff@mhc.ab.ca or kmills@mhc.ab.ca if you are interested in attending.  

Photo by Oleg Magni on Pexels.com

The Inquiring Mind
This course is designed to reduce the stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness. The session is three and a half hours and consists of mental health and illness on campus, stigma and discrimination on campus, warning signs, self-care, creating a supportive campus, and practical application. Students must register for session, please e-mail
lareshenkoff@mhc.ab.ca if you are interested in attending. Time and date TBD.

Remember- you don’t have to be in crisis to start taking care of your mental health, make it part of your daily routine. We often hear about “self-care” and how you “NEED TO BE DOING SELF-CARE!!!!”. What does that even mean? Well… these groups/activities are a great place to start!

Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

If you are wanting to book an appointment with one of our counsellors, it’s quite easy. Simply stop by the advising desk, or call 403.529.3819. You’ll be set up with a quick 30-minute screening to ensure that individual counselling is the best fit for you, and then you’ll be set up with the appropriate service for your needs.

I am looking forward to meeting you all this semester!

Because the Library is a Space for Everyone

On January 2nd, 2020 we launched our Because the Library is a Space for Everyone initiative. This statement is built out of our Library’s shared values of caring and respect, opening Library up as a place for anyone, for everyone, to find something they can take part in!

Whether hunkering down to study in one of our quiet spaces or our silent space in the room towards the back of the library, or looking to socialize and group work in our collaborative study spaces, or just looking to start a new interest by picking up a new book or tinkering with a new technology, we have the space for you!

From January 2nd through till February 7th, 2020, we are focusing the spotlight on you, the learner. Follow us on instagram @mhclibrary, take a selfie of yourself enjoying the Library and tag us to be entered in to win a gift card to the bookstore. We want to see what you value about the space, what you love most about the Library, and what you want to see more of!

And while we are talking about creating a welcoming environment for all, lets chat about another initiative, Food for Fines, happening from January 2nd through till February 7th.

Photo by edwin josé vega ramos on Pexels.com

During this month long period, Library will offer the ability to pay for overdue fines with non-perishable food items. One item will equal $5.00 worth of overdue fines, and up to a maximum of $25.00 in overdue fines, per person, can be waived this way! All donations will be going to our SA’s Food Pantry, helping to assist students through the tough few months of Winter Semester.

Photo by Malte Lu on Pexels.com

For more details on either initiative, come to the Library and talk to one of our lovely staff members. We can’t wait to see you!