#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

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.

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:

JStroh - Photo
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?

 

JOpeno - mug shot - 2017-2
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

 

 

 

 

 

 

You’re invited to LNAP!

LNAP logoWhat is it?

LNAP stands for Long Night Against Procrastination.  Still confused?  One night each semester we bring together all the services that we think will help you succeed as a student here at MHC.  We want to help you avoid procrastination and give you support to start (or finish!) all of your assignments and papers.

Who is it for?

LNAP is a college-wide event for all MHC students.

When is it?

Fall 2018 LNAP is happening Wednesday, October 10th from 5 pm. to midnight.

What can I expect?

  • You can expect a fun, friendly atmosphere
  • You can expect quick workshops filled with all kinds of success strategies
  • You can expect stress release activities (hint:  puppies and kitties)
  • You can expect food and caffeine (another hint:  pizza)
  • You can expect help and support from Faculty, all staff including Advising, Library, IT, Peer Support, Writing Specialist, tutors in the ARC, Counselors and more

What do I need to do?

  • Register now at LNAP Pre-Registration or register in person starting October 1 in the cafeteria or B-wing hallway (location changes depending on the day)
  • Bring your student ID card
  • Arrive at 5 and be ready to become a part of something big!

It’s up to you.  Join in all of the activities or hunker down and get some work done.  It’s all good.  See you there!

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.

Library search box image

  • 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”.

Catalogue record image

  • 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.

How to Research

book-coffee

Not sure how to get started with research? Don’t worry! We have you covered. The library has a very thorough and easy to understand guide to help you learn to do research.

To get you started, here are a few things to keep in mind.

The first step is understanding your assignment. Read it thoroughly and note any specific requirements:

  • Type of assignment (essay, poster, report, debate, annotated bibliography, literature review, presentation)
  • Number of sources required
  • Types of sources required (articles, books, videos, etc.)
  • Citation format (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.)

It is very important that you ask your instructor about anything you don’t understand!

A useful strategy to manage your research is to keep notes as you go. Take clear, accurate notes about where you found specific ideas, and, as you consult sources and make notes, keep a list of the sources you used.

There are many ways that you can keep notes to manage your research and citations more easily:

  • Use index cards or a notebook.
  • Start building your References page as you find your sources.
  • Use citation management software such as Mendeley or Zotero.

Managing your time to complete an assignment is essential. There are many resources available at MHC to help you get started, stay organized, and receive feedback.

To check out more information including How to Develop a Topic, How to Find & Evaluate Information, How to Use that Information and so much more check out the library guide.

Library Research Guide

If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it? – Albert Einstein