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!!

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!

Welcome Back Y'all!

Aaaaand we’re back! A little bit groggy and nostalgic about leaving behind a sense of holiday freedom, but happy to re-establish a new and healthy routine! Let’s face it, those sweets and savories gave us more than a few ideas for New Year’s resolutions. But every year it’s the same song and dance, after a few weeks we are suddenly unmotivated and can’t seem to hop back into the motivation station. The trick is finding something simple that we can maintain to get us on track this New Year. Come check out the SA Office, we are here to help with just that!

Quickmemes. (n.d.). One does not simply keep their New Year’s resolutions [Online Image]. Retrieved from https://sayingimages.com/new-years-resolution-meme/

In our SA office we are all about YOU, the students! Need a hand navigating the college campus? We can direct you. Want to find out about services offered on campus and from us? We can tell you. Want to know quiet places to study alone or communal places to hang out? We have answers. Need to rent a locker? We are happy to help. Curious about the Health and Dental Plan? We offer that!  OR do you just want a bit of down time and a puzzle or coloring sheet? We have those too.

Imgflip. (2017). Buddy the Elf meme [Online Image]. Retrieved from https://imgflip.com/i/2037pi

We’ll be hanging out. Every day. In F113. Across from Crave.

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!

Photo by Luriko Yamaguchi on Pexels.com

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.

Photo by Oladimeji Ajegbile on Pexels.com

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!