#vetyoursouces is a campaign launched in the fall of 2020 by MHC Library to challenge our students to critically examine the content they’re viewing online. 2020 has moved so much of our social, work, and academic lives into the digital space, now more than ever, it’s important to evaluate the information we encounter online. 

Are you ready to critically evaluate your information sources? 

The Association for College and Research Libraries (2016), encourages teaching that “information resources reflect their creators’ expertise and credibility, and are evaluated based on the information need and the context in which the information will be used” (para. 8). Dependent upon the intended use of a piece of information, the source can be evaluated as both credible and not credible. For example, a scientific claim presented over Twitter by a Hollywood celebrity might not be considered a credible source if used in a paper examining that claim. However, that same source may be considered credible if you use it in a paper examining celebrity influence in science.

Fake News

Beyond finding a source suitable for inclusion in one of your course assignments, the same critical eye should be applied to your everyday consumption of information. A growing vocabulary of terms used to describe the inaccurate content you may come across online reinforces the growing need to be critical of what you read. Fake News is one of the many terms used to describe inaccurate information online, but what exactly is it? And, how do you spot it?

First, note that the term “fake news” characterizes the information landscape as either true or false, good or bad, verified or biased (Robinson & Gariepy, 2019). Just remember, the suggestion that there are simply two types of news; real and fake, doesn’t leave much room for nuance.

What kinds of fake news exist?

There are four broad categories of fake news, according to media professor Melissa Zimdars of Merrimack College.

CATEGORY 1: Fake, false, or regularly misleading websites that are shared on Facebook and social media. Some of these websites may rely on “outrage” by using distorted headlines and decontextualized or dubious information in order to generate likes, shares, and profits.

CATEGORY 2: Websites that may circulate misleading and/or potentially unreliable information

CATEGORY 3: Websites which sometimes use clickbait-y headlines and social media descriptions

CATEGORY 4: Satire/comedy sites, which can offer important critical commentary on politics and society, but have the potential to be shared as actual/literal news

No single topic falls under a single category – for example, false or misleading medical news may be entirely fabricated (Category 1), may intentionally misinterpret facts or misrepresent data (Category 2), may be accurate or partially accurate but use an alarmist title to get your attention (Category 3) or may be a critique on modern medical practice (Category 4.)  Some articles fall under more than one category.  Assessing the quality of the content is crucial to understanding whether what you are viewing is true or not.   It is up to you to do the legwork to make sure your information is good.

Fake News Libguide, by Indiana University East Campus Library, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

How to Spot Fake News, by The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

Experts are available

MHC library staff are happy to help you #vetyoursources. You can contact us via email, chat, virtual drop-in or by booking an appointment.

References

Virtual Reference Services

If this isn’t your first year as an MHC student, you’ve likely become accustomed to stopping into the library for assistance with narrowing your research topic, finding an academic article, or citing your sources. All of these services are still available, albeit in a new format. For those of you 1st year MHC students, this is a service you want to make use of, the earlier in the semester, the better, and your grades will thank you.

So, how can you access research help?

Four different virtual formats are now available: chat, virtual drop-in, book an appointment and email. Take a look at the descriptions below to help you decide which format is best suited to your needs.

Chat Reference – This service is best for quick questions. The chat service is staffed from 8am – 8pm Monday – Thursday, and 8 am – 5pm Friday’s.

Virtual Drop-In – This service is best for immediate research assistance. Similar to what you would have received in-person from library staff in the past. No need to book a time, just drop in. Virtual Drop-in hours currently run from 11am – 3pm Monday – Friday.

Book an Appointment – This service is best for in-depth assignment specific support. Book an appointment in advance so you don’t need to wait. A library staff member can help you with research or citations. Appointments are available from 8am – 3pm Monday to Friday.

Reference Email – This service is best for questions that are not time sensitive. The reference email is staffed from 8am – 8pm Monday – Thursday, and 8 am – 5pm Friday’s.

Access virtual services at the bottom of the library home page.

Library Spaces

It’s that time of year again, finals are almost here. Only a few short weeks stand between you and the freedom of summer, but in the interim, you may be looking for a comfy spot to hunker down and get through those last few assignments. Don’t worry, the library has you covered.

Group Spaces

Do you have a group assignment or presentation coming up? Here are a few spaces you might be interested in visiting.

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The collaboration station is a great place to put those finishing touches on a group paper or slideshow. Multiple devices can be connected to the main screen at once, making collaboration easy! You can check out the remote and keyboard with your student ID card at the circulation desk.

 

 

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B132 is one of the group study rooms located just outside the computer lab in the library. Unlike the other group study rooms, this one is set up for presentation practice. The seating is movable and a projector is installed. The closer it gets to exam time the more in demand the group study rooms become. You can book this room in advance by asking for the booking sheet at the circulation desk. For week of bookings, you will find the booking sheet posted outside B132’s door.

 

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Just looking for a space to study with your classmates? We’ve got lots of those too.

Individual Spaces

Sometimes you need a quiet space to get some work done without distractions. Here are your best bets in the library.

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We know it can get pretty loud in the library, the quiet study room is the best place to go when you need some silence. It’s located at the back of the library. It doesn’t have any computers though, so if you need to do work online make sure to bring your own device.

 

 

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Have you had a chance to try out the black privacy chairs along the library windows? Not only are they comfy, they’re functional too. You can charge your device with the plugin on the armrest and relax while enjoying the view.

 

 

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The noise level at the back of the library tends to be a bit quieter than in other areas. Individual study cubies give you your own private space to camp out in.

 

 

 

Still not finding the study space you are looking for. Check out our blog post on Places to Study Outside of the Library.

 

Open Education Week

Open Education Week runs March 4-8, 2019, celebrate by learning about open educational resources! Keep reading and then check out one of the many free online events being offered this year.

What is the Open Education Movement?

The Open Education Movement has one simple goal: to reduce potential barriers to education through cost, increased accessibility, and distribution methods. Open Educational Resources are a key component to that movement, as these resources aim to replace cost prohibitive textbooks and other resources which students are often required to purchase.

 

What is an OER?

Perhaps the best definition of OER comes from the OER Commons:

“Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials that you may freely use and reuse at no cost. Unlike fixed, copyrighted resources, OER have been authored or created by an individual or organization that chooses to retain few, if any, ownership rights. In some cases, that means you can download a resource and share it with colleagues and students. In other cases, you may be able to download a resource, edit it in some way, and then re-post it as a remixed work.” ~ OER Commons

 

What is not an OER?

Anything that has a restrictive license agreement or terms of use is not an OER. For instance, most of your institutional library materials are not freely open, cannot be remixed or altered, and cannot be redistributed. These materials require special permission from the rights holder and therefore cannot be distributed openly.

 

Adapted from: McNutt, K. (2016). OER Champion’s Toolkit. Retrieved from: www.albertaoer.com under a CC-BY Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

OER’s at MHC

A number of MHC faculty members have already adopted OER’s for use in their classroom. Here’s just a few of the “free” and open texts used on campus this year.

 

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Places to Study Outside of the Library

It’s that time of year again, the semester is wrapping up and exams are looming. In case, you’re preparing for some all-night study sessions and the library hours aren’t going to cut it, here is a list of spaces on campus, accessible 24hrs a day, worth camping out in.

We rated the spaces around campus with 4 main criteria in mind:

  1. Access to electrical outlets,
  2. Noise level,
  3. Seating comfort, and
  4. Distance to facilities (bathrooms and vending machines).

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2nd Floor B Wing Lounge 

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West Lounge – Cultural Center

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F Wing 2nd Floor

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F Wing 1st Floor

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24hr Computer Lab B244

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E Wing

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Centre Lounge – Cultural Center

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2nd Floor Cafeteria

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Library Overlook

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Centennial Hall 

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Did we miss one of your favorite study spots? We’d love to hear all about it!

Entrepreneurs, Inventors, Creatives & Intellectual Property

This week, on November 22nd from 5-8pm in c r a v e Pub, the Medicine Hat College Library Services, along with the Medicine Hat Entrepreneurial Development Center, and Enactus are co-hosting an informal learning session where Medicine Hat entrepreneurs, inventors, educators, and experts discuss and share what they have learned about protecting ideas through trade secrets, patents, copyright, trademarks, and other intellectual property protection tactics.

As a student at MHC, here are the top 3 reasons why you should attend:

  1. You are an intellectual property owner. If you’ve ever written a paper, email, text, etc., you own intellectual property, so it’s worth learning about your rights.
  2. If you’re planning to work in business or a creative industry learn about intellectual property now while funding is available. “The Government of Canada is investing $85.3 million over five years to help Canadian businesses, creators, entrepreneurs and innovators understand, protect and access intellectual property (IP) through a comprehensive IP Strategy” (Government of Canada, n.d., IP Strategy section).
  3. Medicine Hat has many creative and inventive people that you can learn from. Take advantage of this weeks event to network with both speakers and attendees. Who knows, the time spent  learning about and discussing intellectual property might inspire you to create something great!

 

Here’s what a few of our speakers had to say about IP:

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John Stroh

Why did you start working with the IP topic you will be speaking about?

When I started working with Alberta Innovates, many of the companies I worked with were developing new products that provided them with the opportunity to grow their business. I began to look for trusted IP professionals who could assist these companies with their efforts to protect the opportunity, and by extension learned from them along the way.

 

One piece of advice you would give to someone thinking about working on a similar project?

 

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Jason Open

My best piece of advice is this – do you really want to write a book? Do you have the space/time to write a book?  I took on a book project at the beginning of my doctoral studies. It was a decision made out of ambition, and I paid a price for that ambition and, on occasion, so did my family.  I wanted to be a scholar, I wanted to be an academic, and I wanted to be a leader (even though I am not sure I can define what I mean by any of those labels).  The book came out in July 2018, and I am thrilled, but also humbled – it wasn’t easy; I haven’t always been the best-version of myself throughout the process.  I have wondered, was the ambition worth it if, at the end of the day, I am only more certain that all is vanity, and that there is nothing new under the sun?  After all, it’s a book about assessment.  I think it’s important and I am proud of it, but my ambition has diminished me on more than one occasion. So I guess, do you know what you are signing up for, especially if you are working with someone? And if you are working with someone, make sure you talk about process.  Having those conversations up-front will help out in the end. (I guess that is two pieces of advice).

I hope you’re convinced that you should attend Entrepreneurs, Inventors, Creatives & Intellectual Property this Thursday. Register at Eventbrite.ca and join us for lively discussion and tasty refreshments in  c r a v e Pub between 5 and 8pm.

 

Government of Canada. (n.d.). Intellectual property strategy. Retrieved from https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/108.nsf/eng/home#accordion-item-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Find a Book in the Library

Walking into the college library for the first time can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Library staff are always willing to help, but if you are attempting to find a book on your own, here’s a few tips:

  • Search for the book title in the library catalogue, it can be accessed from the library webpage. Type your title into the search box. Using “quotation marks” around your title will help your search bring up accurate results.

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  • If the book is owned by MHC you will see the notation “Held by: MHC Libraries” just under the book description. If the book is currently available, you will see the green check mark beside the notation “Available”.

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  • If a book is both owned by MHC and Available you should be able to find it on the library shelves. Use the call number, (the circled number above) to locate the book.
  • Each book shelf in the library has a label on it. It tells you the range of call numbers that can be found within it.

Call number labels on book shelf

  • Books are ordered alphabetically based on the first letter (or two) of their call number. In the MHC library, A’s begin on the bookshelf with the orange kangaroo on top.

Library Book Shelves

  • Our FIND IT! guide can help you navigate the shelves to the resources you need.

Find it

  • Finally, remember that library staff are here to help! You just need to ask.