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.

 

5 D’s for Combatting Overwhelm

The winter semester is nearing its end and with that many students may be experiencing a huge sense of overwhelm.  Term papers, finals and all of life’s responsibilities can lead to feelings of being smothered with too many tasks and a lack of control.  So just what can you do to manage it all? The 5 D strategy can help you identify your priorities and gain control of your tasks to relieve the stress around all that is required of you.

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5 D Strategy:

DUMP: Do a mind dump!  Get all of your tasks and responsibilities out of your head and onto paper.  Many students think they can manage their days and to do lists without writing things down, however keeping things in your head takes up space and brain power that you could otherwise be using for other things.  Make a list of all that is expected of you from now until the end of the semester for school and outside of school. By writing down your tasks, you will no longer need to “remember” them.

DELETE: Sometimes we have tasks on our list that are not necessary and can be removed to make space for other things.  Look at your list and eliminate all the items that are not absolutely required.

DEFER:  Identify items on your list that you haven’t been able to delete, but that can be delayed or pushed to a later time.  These items are still required, so make sure you visit your priorities daily so they don’t get missed.

DELEGATE: Often times students have difficulty asking for help.  Successful students are resourceful students, so make sure you tap into the support available on campus and among your friend and family circle.  Building a network of support is critical for anyone to succeed, so remember that asking for help is a strength, not a weakness.

Do: Create your days with focus and intention by blocking time to accomplish specific items on your list.  Take into consideration due dates and be realistic about how much time things will take to complete.  When your calendar says it’s time to work, eliminate distractions so you can focus.  If you find yourself feeling scattered, refer to your list of to do’s and ask yourself if what you are doing at the moment is a priority.  Don’t forget to make yourself a priority and make time to get adequate sleep, eat healthy food and spend time with family and friends.

Being a college student is demanding and overwhelming at times. Don’t panic or let anxiety steal your thunder.  Remember that “CALM IS A SUPERPOWER” and implementing the 5 D strategy to weather the challenging times will allow you to be in control.

If you need help with student success strategies, I am available for appointments and drop-in service in the library.

 

 

Avoiding Plagiarism

What is Plagiarism

Plagiarism means using someone else’s work without giving proper credit.

“Work” includes but is not limited to written words, art, music, information from the Internet, videos, interviews, data or statistics.

“Giving proper credit” means carefully following the formatting rules of a documentation style such as APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.


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Whether intentional or unintentional, plagiarism is a serious academic offense. It is important to inform yourself of what constitutes plagiarism and how to avoid it in your work.

The following are some examples of plagiarism:

  • Improper paraphrasing or summarizing even if cited correctly. When restating information in your own words you must ensure that you are synthesizing the information in your own writing style and are not simply changing a few words or reversing the order of words in the sentence.
  • Handing in someone else’s work as your own, such as another student’s paper or purchasing a paper from a paper mill.
  • Not citing information that has been paraphrased or summarized (information or ideas that have been put into your own words).
  • Providing an incorrect citation for borrowed information. Accidentally mixing up the citation and the source is still considered plagiarism.
  • Failing to put quotation marks around information that was copied even if it was cited.
  • Self plagiarism, using a previous paper for a current assignment without permission from your instructor.

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Tips to Avoid Plagiarism

  1. Start early: give yourself enough time to complete your assignment. When short on time, it is easy to make mistakes when taking notes and citing your sources. Research, citing, and writing the paper often takes much longer then anticipated; try an assignment calculator to help you manage your time.
  2. Keep track of your sources: either save your research in your email or use a reference manager such as Mendeley or Zotero.
  3. Cite correctly: learn the required documentation style APA, MLA, Chicago, etc. Check with your instructor on which style you are required to use for the assignment.
  4. Complete the bibliography BEFORE writing: complete your list of sources in the required style before taking notes and writing, so it is clear what is needed for your in-text citations.
  5. Take accurate and complete notes: when taking notes or writing your first draft, make sure to always indicate:
    • copied information – enclose in quotation marks AND provide a citation
    • paraphrased or summarized information – provide a citation
    • your own thoughts – nothing is required
  6. Take time to review and ask questions: proofread your work to make sure you cited everything correctly. Seek assistance from library staff or your instructor if you have any questions about your sources.
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Google it: Five Tips to Search like a Pro

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Just “Google it”— often friendly disputes about factual matters will end up with that phrase. We have grown so familiar with the search engine, and the way it resolves our everyday questions. Yet we have forgotten the amazing features up its sleeve.

Here is a brief overview of the most useful Google search tips:

1. Search within a website

The search engines of most websites are poor. Instead, use Google’s site or domain limiter to search within a single website. For example, searching with site:cbc.ca followed by a search term. In other words, site:example.com text goes here

2. Find influential papers

Some papers are of central importance to a research topic, often because they report a major breakthrough, or theories that have an accepted validity among the scholarly community.  At some point in your student life, you will be required to find influential or seminal papers. Fortunately, Google offers a database devoted only to scholarly papers, called Google Scholar, which allows you to track how often and how recently a paper is cited in other scholarly literature.  Simply look for “Cited by”.

3. Find similar websites

Quality research demands synthesis—combining ideas from a number of sources to form a coherent whole. For this reason, if you found something you really like online, try your best to find similar websites. Simply type in “related:” in front of a web address, you already know. For example, related:adidas.ca., without a space between words. This Google search technique is especially useful when conducting market research.

4. The Power of the Asterisk

Like the blank tile in Scrabble, the asterisk * works as a placeholder within searches. Use it when your cunning memory prevents you from recalling a word, or parts of a word. For example, a search for child* will search for child, but also childhood, children, and any other word which starts with child.

5. Exact Phrase

This is the simplest way to specify that you only want websites—where the visible body text—exactly matches the sequence of words enclosed in quotation marks. For example, “Access to Information Act, RSC 1985, c A-1”. Use this search technique to find fragments from texts, or exact titles.

Remember…

All these tips solely focus on discovering information, yet this is a tiny part of the research process. If you want to learn more about research, this guide is for you!

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Bibliography

Gibbs, Samuel. (2016, January 15). How to use search like a pro: 10 tips and tricks for Google and beyond. The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.thegaurdian.com/technology/2016/jan/15/how-to-use-search-like-a-pro-10-tips-and-tricks-for-google-and-beyond

Google LLC. (2019). How to search on Google. Retrieved March 4, 2019, from https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/134479?h1+en

Stetson University. (2018). Google Advanced Search & Google Shortcuts. Retrieved March 4, 2019, from https://guides.stetson.edu/c.php?g=431278&p=2942376

International Women’s Day

March 8, 2019 is International Women’s Day.  It is a day when we celebrate all that women have accomplished and is an important day for the women’s rights movement. The 2019 campaign theme is balance, specifically gender balance, and people are encouraged to take a picture facing the camera with arms bent, palms facing up and posting it to the hashtag #BalanceforBetter.

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The Library has many books on the women’s movement.  Here are a few that can help you celebrate International Women’s Day.

Women in science:  50 fearless pioneers who changed the world by Rachel Ignotofsky.  Q 141 I33 2016

Women who dig:  farming, feminism, and the fight to feed the world by Trina Moyles and K.J. Dakin.  HD 6077 M69 2018

The glass ceiling in the 21st century:  understanding barriers to gender equality by Manuela da Costa Barreto, Michelle K. Ryan and Michael T. Schmitt   HD 6060 G63 2009

Malala’s magic pencil by Malala Yousafzai   LC 2330 Y6825 2017

I can be anything!:  don’t tell me I can’t by Diane Dillon   PZ 7 D57917 Iak 2018

 

Celebrating Amazing Women for International Women’s Day

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GIF via: Boutte, Angele Young. “International Women’s Day.” Secondlineblog. 8 March 2018. Retrieved on 01 March 2019 from: https://secondlineblog.org/2018/03/international-womens-day/

Inspirational people come in all shapes, sizes and genders – but with International Women’s Day coming up on March 8th, 2019 we want to help illuminate the glories of women past, present and future.

With the theme of #BalanceforBetter, this year’s IWD2019 is all about celebrating women’s achievements throughout history while calling for a more equal world at the same time. To join in on the festivities, we at the SAMHC office will be hosting an interactive display designed to revel in the wonder of the incredible women at Medicine Hat College and beyond!

Running for a three-day blitz from March 6th to March 8th,  our display will take students, staff and faculty on a historical journey through the eyes of the women who helped write the pages of history. Alongside the archival anecdotes of some of the most influential ladies that have walked the planet, we will have space for those on campus to write the praises for the women in their present lives that share their light, joy, strength and bravery daily.

Everyone is welcome and we hope that together we can create change to make a world that is balanced for the better!

 

 

 

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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