What’s Going On: December 2021 Update

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As 2021 draws to a close, we here at the Library have a few exciting announcements to make!

Food for Fines 2021

Food for Fines is returning this December! For the month of December, we’re going to be taking food donations as a way to help students, faculty, and community members pay off any overdue fines they may have!

Any non-perishable food item are accepted, as long as they are unexpired, unopened, and undamaged. We are also able to take some toiletry items, such as toothpaste, shampoos, and conditioners!

FAQ:

Who can participate in Food for Fines?
Anyone with late fines! This includes students, staff, faculty, and community members!

What fines can be waived?
All fines that are attached to overdue materials are eligible. Fines for lost items, processing, or damaged items are not able to be paid through this program.

How much food do I need to donate in order to have my fines waived?
For each food item donated, $1.00 in overdue fines will be waived from your account.

What is the total dollar amount that can be waived with food donations?
There’s no limit! You can keep donating until all your overdue fines are waived!

What are the most-needed items for Food for Fines?
All non-perishable food donations are welcomed, but the most-needed items are:

  • Rice
  • Canned meat (i.e. fish and poultry)
  • Pasta sauce
  • Granola bars
  • Small bottles of shampoo/conditioner
  • Toothpaste

If you have any other questions, please feel free to reach out to us and we’ll answer everything we can!

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Extended Hours

We’re also pleased to announce our December Extended Hours!

On December 3rd, December 10th, and December 17th, the Vera Bracken Library will be open for one extra hour! This means we’ll be open 8am to 5pm on those Fridays! This way you can get all your studying, reading, and collaborating done before the lovely holiday break. (And just in time for final exams!)

Closure: December 9th, 2021

The Library will be closed on December 9th for a department meeting.

Reduced Hours

From December 21st to 23rd, the Library will reduce it’s hours to 8am to 4pm to make way for the new semester!

Winter Break!

The Library and Medicine Hat College will be closed from December 24th, 2021 through to January 3rd, 2022. We look forward to seeing the return of students after a much needed holiday rest!

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If you have any questions about Food for Fines, or any of our hours of operation during the month of December, please just give us a call or stop on by the service desk! We can be reached at 403-529-3867!

Happy reading!

Diwali: India’s Festival of Lights

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Deepawali or Diwali, also known as the festival of lights, is one of India’s largest and most important holidays of the year for Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and some Buddhists. The festival lasts five days, and as per the Hindu calendar it is observed on Amavasya (or new moon) – the 15th day – of the month of Kartik, every year. The Amavasya (lunar phase of the new moon) tithi (the name of the 30 lunar phases) begins at 06:03 on Nov 04, 2021, and ends at 02:44 on Nov 05, 2021. Therefore, the third and main day of Diwali will be celebrated all over India, and indeed around the world, on November 4, 2021.

Photo by Umesh Soni on Unsplash

The History of Diwali

The Diwali festival is likely a fusion of harvest festivals from ancient India. Early iterations of Diwali are mentioned in texts, such as the Padma Purana, which date back to the second half of the 1st millennium CE (sometime between 500-1000 CE). The diyas, or lamps (shown in the photo above) are mentioned in other ancient texts as symbolizing parts of the sun, describing it as the “cosmic giver of light and energy to all life and which seasonally transitions in the Hindu calendar month of Kartik” (which overlaps in October and November).

Photo by partho roy on Unsplash

Religious Significance

Diwali is celebrated by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and Newar Buddhists, although for each faith it marks different historical events and stories. Nevertheless, the celebration signifies the same symbolic triumph of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and good over evil.

Hinduism

The religious significance of Diwali varies across the geographic regions in India. In northern India, followers link the celebration to the Hindu epic, the Ramayana, with Diwali being the day King Rama returned to Ayodhya after defeating Ravana by lighting rows of clay lamps. In southern India, the day is celebrated as the day Lord Krishna defeated the demon Narakasura. In eastern India, Diwali is associated with the godess Kali, who symbolizes the victory of good over evil. And in western India, the festival marks the day that Lord Vishnu, The Preserver (one of the main gods of the Hindu trinity), sent the demon King Bali to rule the nether world.

Jainism

“A scholar of Jain and Nivethan states that in Jain tradition Diwali is celebrated in observance of “Mahavira Nirvana Divas”, the physical death and final nirvana of Mahavira.” The Jain Diwali, celebrated in many parts of India, looks much like the Hindu version of Diwali, with the lighting of lamps and offering of prayers. However, the dedication of the Jain form of this holy festival remains committed to Mahavira.

Sikhism

“The festival of Diwali highlights three events in Sikh history: the founding of the city of Amritsar in 1577, the release of Guru Hargobind from the Mughal prison, and the day of Bhai Mani Singh’s martyrdom in 1738 as a result of his failure to pay a fine for trying to celebrate Diwali and thereafter refusing to convert to Islam.”

Buddhism

“Diwali is not a festival for most Buddhists, with the exception of the Newar people of Nepal who revere various deities in the Vajrayana Buddhism and celebrate Diwali by offering prayers to Lakshmi. Newar Buddhists in Nepalese valleys also celebrate the Diwali festival over five days, in much the same way, and on the same days, as the Nepalese Hindu Diwali-Tihar festival.”

Image by Amol Sharma from Pixabay

Celebrating Diwali

There are five days that make up the entirety of the Diwali festival. The first day, Dhanteras, is devoted to cleaning houses and buying small gold items. The goddess, Lakshmi, is the focus of the initial day of Diwali. The second day is a commemoration of the defeat of Narakasura by Krishna, and is known as Naraka Chaturdashi or Choti Diwali. Prayers are offered for the souls of ancestors on this day. The third and most well known day is called Lakshmi Puja when families light diyas, candles, and fireworks. The fourth day, which marks the start of the new year on the Vikrama (Hindu) calendar, is referred to as Goverdhan Puja, Balipratipada, or Annakut. This is a day that remembers Krishna’s defeat of Indra, the king of the gods. The final day of Diwali, called Bhai Dooj, Bhai Tika, or Bhai Bij, praises the bond between brothers and sisters.

Diwali is generally a time for visiting, exchanging gifts, wearing new clothes, feasting, feeding the poor, setting off fireworks, decorating floors with rangoli designs, and other parts of the house with jhalars. Gambling, especially in the form of card games, is encouraged as a way of ensuring good luck in the coming year and in remembrance of the games of dice played by gods and goddesses. Ritually, in honor of Lakshmi, the female player always wins. Diwali also marks a major shopping period in India, comparable to the Christmas season. It is thought to be auspicious to purchase new clothing, home furnishings, gifts, gold, and jewelry, since the festival is largely dedicated to Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity. Food is a major aspect of Diwali as well, where families take part in feasts and in sharing of sweets, or mithai.

References

Arun, M.G. (1 November, 2013). Diwali lights up consumer spending, festive spirit beats inflation. India Today.

Colledge, R. (2017). Mastering World Religions. Macmillan. ISBN978-1-349-14329-0.

Encyclopedia Britannica. (2021, September 4). Diwali. britannica.com . https://www.britannica.com/topic/Diwali-Hindu-festival.

Klostermaier, K.K. (2014). A Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism. Oneworld Publications, Oxford. ISBN978-1-78074-672-2.

Lamont, J. (29 October, 2010). India’s Banks Face pre-Diwali Cash Crunch. The Financial Times.

Lewis, T. (7 September 2000). Popular Buddhist Texts from Nepal: Narratives and Rituals of Newar Buddhism. State University of New York Press. pp. 118–119. ISBN978-0-7914-9243-7.

Lochtefeld, J.G. (2002), The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism: A–M, Volume 1, Rosen Publishing, ISBN978-0-8239-3179-8.

National Geographic. (2021, October 15). Diwali : Festival of Lights. nationalgeographic.com. https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/pages/article/diwali.

Pechilis, Karen (2007). “Guests at God’s Wedding: Celebrating Kartik among the Women of Benares”. The Journal of Asian Studies. 66 (1): 273–275. doi:10.1017/S0021911807000460.

Saraf, D. (August 2010). India Journal: Tis the Season to be Shopping. The Wall Street Journal.

Saran, P. (2012). Yoga, Bhoga, and Ardhanariswara: Individuality, Wellbeing, and Gender in Tantra. Routledge, pp. 175. IBSN: 978-1-136-51648-1.

The New Oxford Dictionary of English (1998) ISBN 978-0-19-861263-6 – p. 540.

The Wayback machine. (15 October 2013). Festive season to boost India gold buying Archived 7 December 2013 at the Bullion Street.

Tracy Pintchman (2005). Guests at God’s Wedding: Celebrating Kartik among the Women of Benares. State University of New York Press. ISBN978-0-7914-8256-8.

World Gold Council. (2013). Gold, Key Markets: India. http://www.gold.org.

What if textbooks were free? 

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It’s not a fantasy. No-cost textbooks are becoming a reality at Medicine Hat College (MHC) thanks to the efforts of some intrepid instructors to develop Open Educational Resources (OER). 

What are OER, you ask? According to UNESCO, Open Educational Resources are: 

teaching and learning materials that you may freely use and reuse at no cost, and without  needing to ask permission. […] OER have been authored or created by an individual or  organization that chooses to retain few, if any, ownership rights. (OER Commons,  2021) 

Depending on licensing, materials may be downloaded and shared in their original form, or edited and disseminated in revised versions. 

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One MHC instructor has been particularly committed to developing free resources for his classes. Clinton Lawrence teaches history and art history in the School of Arts, Science & Education. For his classes in World Art Before 1300 CE and World Art Since 1300 CE, he created open access textbooks. With the help of design student Mel Davison, as well library staff like Copyright and OER Specialist Laura Gunn and the library assistant I team, Clint assembled thirty-two chapters in two books that provide all course content, from discussions of prehistoric cave paintings to analyses of the post-impressionists’ commitment to contemporary subject matter. Clint has drawn all materials from open, peer-reviewed sources like Smart History. Check out his textbooks!

Why is Clint so committed to developing OER? He states, “With the increasing costs of education, I felt that I had a duty to find and adopt, whenever possible, robust, high quality OER to lighten students’ financial burden. In addition, there is a great deal of effective material publicly available and these sources give me flexibility to curate course content to support course objectives.” 

Furthermore, he sees serious benefits to increasing the institution’s use of OER:   

“There are several advantages to adopting OER. On Day One of the course, students have access to every resource that they need. Students can customize the sources: download an electronic copy or print the entire work or just print certain parts. The sources are flexible so that I can easily add or exclude content. As the instructor I can use the parts I like from different sources, without incurring extra costs.” 

Sounds like a win for students, instructors, and colleges. 

Learn more about International Open Access Week: Open Access Week – October 25 -31, 2021 | Everywhere 

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

***

Clint Lawrence is an instructor in history and art history, School of Arts, Science, and Education at Medicine Hat College. He completed his undergraduate degree in history at the University of Lethbridge (2011) and his MA (2013) in history. He is currently a PhD student in the war studies program at the Royal Military College of Canada. Clint joined the School of Arts, Science, and Education and art and design program at Medicine Hat College in 2015. His thesis “Charles I and Anthony van Dyck: Images of Authority and Masculinity” focused on Charles I of England’s projection of kingship through van Dyck’s portraits during his personal rule. His current research interests include Indigenous participation in the Second World War, the relationship between the state and Indigenous service members, the post-war treatment of Indigenous veterans, and how post-colonial states craft national memories and memorialize Indigenous war service.

World Mental Health Day 2021

October 10, 2021

Let’s not kid ourselves. The Covid-19 pandemic has been hard. It has disrupted our daily routines, made it impossible, at times, for families and friends to get together, and it has instilled a general sense of worry and anxiety in many of us. Quite simply, the pandemic has had a major impact on people’s mental health, with some faring better than others. On World Mental Health Day, this October 10, 2021, let’s remember to be gentle with ourselves and with others. Let’s learn new strategies for coping. And let’s eliminate the stigma that comes with managing the struggles of mental health.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Be Kind to Yourself and Others

It is important that we practice being compassionate to others during these trying times. Listen to others without judgment, encourage those around you, and be patient. The WHO (World Health Organization) notes that having support from those around us, such as family and friends, actually helps people suffering from depression recover faster.

Also, be sure to be kind to yourself. Try to find ways to relax, such as practising mindfulness, meditation, and yoga. Make sure you are taking time for yourself to do things that you can enjoy safely. And be sure you are eating well-balanced meals and getting enough sleep. The library has many collection items to help you support this.

  • The RC 440 section in the library is where you will find books and resources about mental health
  • For mindfulness, look in the BF 637 area of the stacks for helpful materials
  • Want to learn yoga? Look for resources in the RA 781 area of the library collection
  • Materials about meditation techniques can be found in a variety of areas, including the BF, BL and curriculum sections
Image by hudsoncrafted from Pixabay

Learn Strategies for Coping

If you are feeling stressed and anxious, there are many ways to help you cope. Exercising regularly helps you to feel good and maintain your health. Taking deep breaths and using a counting method (counting to 10 slowly, and repeating) can be incredibly useful during moments where you feel overwhelmed or panicked. Keep your sense of humor about you and try to sustain a positive attitude. Do your best, and accept that you cannot control everything. Your best will vary day to day, and week to week, because from one moment to the next, you are never the same. Talk to a friend or family member about your struggles, and let them know how they can help you. Also, pay attention to yourself, and learn what triggers your anxiety. Knowing this will help you to manage stress and cope with your day to day challenges.

  • Want to learn how to cook healthier meals? Check out the many cookbooks the library has to offer in the TX section of the collection
  • Need techniques for getting better sleep? No problem, the library carries many items about this in the QP area of the stacks
  • Would you like to learn more about anxiety and managing it? The RC 531 section of the library collection has many useful resources about this

Mental Health and Counselling for Students at MHC

Students at MHC have access to free counselling services. If you need to speak to someone, please visit: https://www.mhc.ab.ca/Services/CounsellingAndCare/StudentCounselling to make an appointment.

Drop-in counselling sessions are offered on Wednesdays. Appointments are available all day (8 a.m. – 4 p.m.), first come first served, and must be booked that day by calling advising at 403.529.3819 or visiting the advising desk starting at 8 a.m.

Many Canada-Wide Services Are Also Available

  • If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call 9-1-1 or go to your nearest hospital. If you need emotional support, help is available.
  • If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, call the Canada Suicide Prevention Service at 1-833-456-4566 (24/7).
  • Kids Help Phone: Call 1-800-668-6868 (toll-free) or text CONNECT to 686868. Available 24 hours a day to Canadians aged 5 to 29 who want confidential and anonymous care from trained responders.
  • Hope for Wellness Help Line: Call 1-855-242-3310 (toll-free) or connect to the online Hope for Wellness chat. This service is available to all Indigenous peoples across Canada who need immediate crisis intervention. Experienced and culturally sensitive help line counsellors can help if you want to talk or are distressed. Telephone and online counselling are available in English and French. On request, telephone counselling is also available in Cree, Ojibway and Inuktitut.
Photo by Lisa from Pexels

Help Eliminate the Stigma

On World Mental Health Day, this October 10, 2021, let’s all help to reduce the stigma attached to struggles with mental health. Stigma causes people to feel ashamed for something that is out of their control. We can all do this in a number of ways:

  • Talk openly about mental health
  • Educate yourself and others
  • Be conscious of language
  • Encourage equality between physical and mental health
  • Show compassion for those who struggle with mental health
  • Choose empowerment over shame
  • Be honest about treatment
  • Let the media know when they are being stigmatizing
  • Don’t harbor self-stigma

All of us need to raise our voices against stigma. Every day, in every possible way, we need to stand up to stigma and support one another, during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.

Sources: National Alliance on Mental Illness, Healthline & Anxiety and Depression Association of America

Digital Citizenship

“[A]ny attack on […] the concept of objective truth […] threatens in the long run every department of thought.”

George Orwell; “The Prevention of Literature” (1946)

Photo Credit: Unsplash

“How do I find reliable news online?”

“How do free Apps make money?”

“What’s clickbait?”

If you’ve ever asked yourself these questions, you’re not alone. In the “post-truth” twenty-first century, our information environment is fraught. Controversies concerning “fake news” and the authority of experts shape our daily lives; fringe media attack the validity of democratic processes and COVID-19 disinformation imperils public health. In online life, being popular and getting lots of “views” often feels more important than telling the truth.

All sources—whether reputable or not—can appear equal in the digital sphere. According to W. Lance Bennett and Steven Livingston in their work, The Disinformation Age: Politics, Technology, and Disruptive Communication in the United States (2020):

Democracies around the world face rising levels of disinformation. The intentional spread of falsehoods and related attacks on the rights of minorities, press freedoms, and the rule of law all challenge the basic norms and values on which institutional legitimacy and political stability depend. (p. xv)

The Internet’s business model heavily contributes to the flow of disinformation. Most search engines and social media platforms rely on advertising in order to make money. They sell users’ data–profile information, browsing history, and lists of purchases–to advertisers, who can then target particular groups with marketing content and, in many cases, covertly influence user behaviour. Advertisers want to attach their content to popular websites and videos, and statistics show that polarizing and highly emotional content tends to go viral. Online disinformation gets lots of views, which makes advertisers happy and generates more revenue for technology companies. The result? More disinformation is generated and promoted.

Wondering why you’ve never learned about any of this in school? Well, now you will.

MHC Library Services recently launched the Digital Citizenship Initiative, an instructional program that will help students untangle the social complexities and ethical dilemmas of the digital world. The project educates students on the economics of the Internet and the means by which political bad actors exploit its platforms to pervert the public discourse. Through classroom activities and reference to a wealth of print and audiovisual resources, participants will learn to recognize and counter disinformation and fake news, and understand how social media companies commodify their data. The program is the Library’s contribution to efforts to address the gap in post-secondary instruction concerning the socio-political and economic dimensions of digital existence. Because we all need to know how the online impacts the IRL.

* * *

Want to see some of our resources?

Check out our eBook and video library on the Digital Citizenship website. Or have a look at our some of our handouts, like our Three-Minute Read on Conspiracy Theories.

Time for Brew Monday! Get your tea steeping and your connection ready!

For those of you who have never heard of Blue Monday, it is supposedly the most depressing day of the year, occurring on the third Monday in January. What a lot of people don’t know about Blue Monday is that the man who coined the term, and did the research to narrow down this exact date, never intended for the day to become negative. It was actually identified with the intention to encourage people to take the time to find the positives in the “gloomiest day of the year” and remember that the beginning of a new year is a wonderful time to begin other things too; it’s an opportunity for change and fresh starts (Peat, 2018).

(Altman, 2018)

We all know 2020 was a weird year. And 2021 is off to an odd start too- but I promise I’m not here to tell you these are “unprecedented times.” You know they are, you’re living them! I AM here to tell you that just because things are strange right now, different from what we have come to expect out of our day-to-day, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the college experience of community… it just means we have an opportunity to get a bit creative in how we enjoy these experiences. And what better time to get creative in finding a little spot of happy than Blue Monday?

Since we can’t enjoy the fresh beginning of meeting new people around campus the way we could other years we are bringing it online with “Brew Monday”.

“Brew Monday” is a play on the term “Blue Monday”, which occurs on January 18th this year. It is a chance to connect MHC students with each other! And maybe an excuse to drink more tea/coffee… (haha- BREW Monday, get it?)

(Stokpic, 2014)

Sooooo… what exactly happens? On Monday, January 18, from 11 AM – 2 PM, virtual rooms will be set up via Blackboard Collaborate, each dedicated to a special interest or topic. All you need to do is find access to a computer or laptop with webcam and microphone capabilities where you can open Blackboard Collaborate. Then make your favourite tea or coffee, and come back here to the Chapter One Blog! A list of topics and meeting rooms will be posted and you can select your connection!

Together let’s make Blue Monday a little less blue 😊 and all about creating more connections! We hope to see you there! Find your connection points and times below!

JANUARY 18 @TOPICS & INTERESTS
11:00AM-NOONMature Student Experience And Parenting
NOON-12:30PMBaking! Because Who Doesn’t Love Food!
NOON-1:00PMCatching Up With All Things True Crime
NOON-1:00PMFinding New Worlds To Explore In Books And Movies
1:00PM-2:00PMDogs, Dogs, And More Dogs! Bring Your Dog!
1:00PM-2:00PMGet Lost In The Fun Of Board Games And Card Games
1:00PM-2:00PMPositivity, Focus, And Making Your Beveridge Work For YOU!

References

Altman, G. (2018, March 24). Time for Change. Pixabay. https://pixabay.com/photos/change-new-beginning-risk-road-3256330/

Peat, J. (2018, January 5). Man who coined the term ‘Blue Monday’ apologises for making January more depressing. Retrieved from Independent: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/blue-monday-apology-depressing-january-misey-money-disposable-income-psychology-dr-cliff-arnall-a8143246.html

Stokpic. (2014, October 24). Woman Drinking Coffee. Pixabay. https://pixabay.com/photos/woman-drinking-coffee-person-601568/

ELF INVASION: Read and Paige take over the Library!

Picture taken from @mhclibrary on Instagram

Happy holidays everybody!

My name is Read, and I’m one of the resident elves that come around the Library during the winter season! Normally we don’t hang around the front desk computers too much, because we don’t have any of the log in information, but one of the library assistants left their computer on! Paige told me I shouldn’t be touching anything, but I couldn’t help but notice that this blog didn’t have any elf related posts! (Paige said I can write a post only if it’s educational and won’t get the person who left their computer on in trouble–she’s just out to ruin all my fun!)

As you already know, the holiday season is looking a bit different this year, so Paige and I decided to scrap our holiday trip plans and stay nice and settled here at home in the Library! It’s been very cheery, but we didn’t come to that decision alone! Let me tell you all about how the librarians helped us out!

Photo by Ruvim Miksanskiy on Pexels.com

First, we “fell”–get it? Snowfall?–into the virtual drop-in to ask for help on how to use the Library Database. We ended up finding a super fun issue of Canadian Geographic on Flipster! (I may have found some fun magazines on Christmas craft
time too!) Then, we made sure to browse around on Criterion through the Library Database, watching lots of winter movies like Home Alone and The Polar Express! It was how we originally decided to stay in Alberta and just have a great time here! But as with almost everything this year, we rethought our plan and decided we should wait. Staying safe and warm this winter is our top priority, so we’re actually going to snuggle in under some blankets, drink lots of hot chocolate with marshmallows, whipped cream and sprinkles, and listen to some great tunes!

Photo by Nadi Lindsay on Pexels.com

We couldn’t decide on where we should travel when travel is allowed, but we’ve narrowed it down to some places here in Southern Alberta–Elkwater and Cypress Hills for sure, Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, and Crowsnest Pass! We even have some great books here in the Library about them: be sure to take a look for them on the online catalog, place a hold on them, and pick them up with the self service hold shelf process once it is back in the New Year! You can find information on how to use that in the Using Your Library Account: A Quick Start Guide post on this blog! Paige says that the call numbers for the books usually start with FC or G. When the Library reopens, you can also take a look at the fun winter wonderland display at the front counter! Lots of books about places and cities in Canada, and obviously, Alberta!

Happy holidays from the Library elves! We hope you’ll tune into the Library Instagram account @mhclibrary to see all of our adventures! You can also scroll through and see what fun we got into last year!

Love,
Read & Paige

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Library Technologies

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2020 has certainly sent us into a learning curve when it comes to online learning and technology. Between all of the different technologies that somehow went from unknown to a household staple of day-to-day life, it can be difficult to figure out where things might be and how to get to certain classes, resources or assignments. Don’t fear–that’s what this blog post is for! Lets take a small, text-based tour of some of the most used — and most useful — technologies and programs that you may need to use for the rest of upcoming winter semester. This includes Blackboard, Flipster, Kanopy, Criterion, Statista, and Microsoft Teams (though there are plenty of others to explore beyond this as well).

Blackboard (Bb)

Blackboard is a tool that MHC has been using for many years, and is the hub for many of the classes that are being held online this year. It’s a great place for all classes, regardless of size or topic. Blackboard supports many different file types as well, which means teachers, students, and faculty can easily upload PDF files, DOC files, Powerpoint presentations. Even spreadsheets!

To sign into Blackboard, all you need to do is to go to the main page of the MHC website, and right at the top, click the "Blackboard" tab. It will then bring you to a sign in page where you will need to input your username and password. Note: this username and password is the one that was given to you from MHC and will be the same across both your Blackboard and student webmail/email. Once you’ve signed in, you’ll see some tabs at the top. You can find your "Courses" here, as well as any other "Institution" notifications or "Announcements." On the side, there are many additional tools there for you to use, such as "Tasks" or "My Grades." Within the organizational structure, you can see exactly which courses you are taking and what they have in them simply by clicking. There are even "Discussion Boards" for learners and teachers to collaborate and work together on specific questions or answers that may need to be expanded.

Doing Assessments or Assignments from Blackboard is also very easy, and each instructor will indicate how they would prefer each assignment or assessment to be done. Some can be taken right on Blackboard, and all you need to do is click the link, click the "Begin" button, and go through and answer all of the questions. Remember to save each answer you have finished by pressing the button on the top or bottom of the page, and when you are finished, make sure to press the "Save All Answers" button to make sure your answers have been saved and sent to your instructor correctly!

If you are having issues or problems, here is a link straight from MHC to help!

Kanopy

Kanopy is a streaming service that the Library uses to help with research material, class material, and even just for personal use. You can "enjoy critically-acclaimed movies, inspiring documentaries, awarding-winning foreign films and more" (Kanopy, found at https://www.kanopy.com, 2019) from the comfort of your own home. Movies range in topics and genres, such as Lolita, My Friend Dahmer, and even Where the Red Fern Grows. You can get to Kanopy in one of two ways: through the internet, or through our Research Database List.

From the internet: just Google the name! Once you get to the main page of the website, you will be asked to pick your university/college, and if you are off campus, you will need to enter your 14-digit Student Barcode. Once you have done both of those things, you are free to scroll through the hundreds of movies to help with research, or just for fun!

From The Research Database List: Go to the Library Website homepage, and right below the search bar, you can see a link that reads "Research Databases List A-Z." Click on that, and it will bring you to an entire list of all of the databases that learners, faculty, and staff, have access to through MHC! You can scroll until you find Kanopy, and then follow the instructions above!

Criterion

Criterion is another streaming service that can be used. Unlike Kanopy, the easiest way to get to Criterion is through the Research Database List, but once you are there, the possibilities are endless! You can search by genre, by keywords, and even by title, to find the movie you are specifically looking for. There’s a bit of everything for everyone, including action, crime, and even musical movies. Once you have located the movie of your choice, you just need to "sign in" with your Student Barcode. It will verify that you are an active learner with MHC and then allow you to watch the movie.

Flipster

Flipster is a digital service that the Library uses in order to bring learners, staff and faculty one of the best sources for online magazines. They carry a wide variety of magazines to suit any need or subject. Whether it’s finding specific articles for a research project, or perhaps looking up the newest article of an art magazine, Flipster is very easy to use and is integrated into our search function. Whether you use the search bar when you have signed into your Library Account, or you use the search bar that is right on the main page of the Library’s website, if the magazine or article that you are looking for is hosted by Flipster, all you will need to do is provide your Student Barcode and you’ll have unlimited access! If you are looking to just see what Flipster has to offer, you can also find it in the Research Database List using the instructions from above!

Statista

Another amazing tool that you can find through the Research Database List is Statista! After finding it in the list (and inputting your Student Barcode if you are not on campus) you have access to over one hundred industry facts, statistics, and insights from thousands of different sources on just about every topic you can think of. You can use the Statista search bar in order to find exactly what sort of topics or subjects you’re looking for statistics on. There are also great outlook sections, infographics, and even global surveys. There are trending subjects that are just below the search bar as well in case you are just looking for some interesting information on the events and topics that are currently at peak interest.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams — in regards to online virtual meeting with Library Services — is very easy to use. All you’ll need is an internet connection, a webcam, and a microphone (or a headset if you are going to be taking the meeting in a loud setting.)

Once you have booked an appointment for Research or APA/MLA Citation, you will receive an email with the date, time, and person that will be supporting you virtually. In that email, there should be a "guest link" to the meeting. When it comes close to the meeting time, all you need to do is make sure that your technology is hooked up, click the link, and follow the prompts that Microsoft Teams gives you. Those prompts help ensure that your settings are correct and that everything is set up properly. With Microsoft Teams, you can easily speak with the person you are having the meeting with, as well as go as far as sharing your screen — this means that you will be able to easily show what you are working on and where you may need help with, instead of attempting to explain.

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With those services and databases in mind for your next assignment, paper, or research project, you will have a much easier time ensuring that the rest of your school year is the best it can be!

As always, if you need help with any of the aforementioned technologies, you can always reach us at 403-529-3867, or email us at circulation@mhc.ab.ca! If we are unable to help, we’ll be more than happy to guide you to our IT Help Desk!

Happy reading!

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.

The Most Important Things To Know About The Library This Year

This fall, things are looking a little different in the Library. New systems and services have been put in place to align with government guidelines surrounding the reopening of Post-Secondary and Libraries during the Covid-19 pandemic.

But…What does that mean I can do in the Library?

Before heading out for the day, it is important to go through the Covid-19 Alberta Health Daily Checklist! Help protect your community by making sure you are taking the correct precautions.

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We have 100 seats in the Library on main campus for you to solo study. Some of the computer stations have been placed out of order to assist with physical distancing, but you will still be able to drop-in to stations located near the front of the Library for access to technology and printing.

Self-load your print account using the print credit icon on the drop-in computers, using a credit card or debit-credit card. You can also use credit or debit when paying fines online! If you need to use cash, the Library service desk will accept exact change (any extra will be applied to your print account).

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If you need some technical help on the computers, masks must be worn within 2 meters. Be sure to bring your mask in case you need the assistance, otherwise there are a number of virtual options you can explore! Ask at the service desk for more details.

What can I borrow and how do I get it?

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Our stacks are closed, but you can still get your books! Use your student ID card to access thousands of books, magazines, videos, journal articles, and more, both online and in print. Register for your Library Account to check what items you have borrowed, renew your materials, and double-check your due dates, as well as requesting holds.

Miss scanning the shelves for similar topics? You can still Browse the Shelf virtually. When searching items in our collection, click the item available at our Library and then click the Browse the Shelf item for the system to show you titles nearby! Need the book, scroll just a little lower to hit the Request MHC Copy! You will receive an email notification when it has been checked out to you and is waiting to be picked up from the Self-Serve Holds shelves, located at the front of the Library. Check out all the ways to request materials.

Unfortunately, Library will not be lending calculators or laptops this year. We do have a small supply of headphones to help assist learning in the space.

Just need a bit of help?

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Get instant help or Book an Appointment for research and citation support, or take advantage of Drop-in Hours from 11AM-3PM each weekday. And don’t miss out on accessing helpful library guides to help kick-start your research!

How do I stay informed about what is happening in the Library?

For important information about upcoming events and tips for success, follow us @mhclibrary on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

When is the Library open?

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Both the Vera Bracken Library (Medicine Hat Campus) and Brooks Campus Library are open year round. Hours change over the year, with reduced hours in spring and summer. Check out the Library website for Hours of Operation. Visit us in B-Wing at the Medicine Hat Campus and to the right of the main entrance at our Brooks Campus.

Call: 403.529.3867 (Toll free: 1.866.282.8394)

Email: circulation@mhc.ab.ca

IM: visit www.mhc.ab.ca/library

Text: 587.333.2766