Library Support During COVID-19 Outbreak

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

The situation related to COVID-19 in the Province is changing rapidly. Campus libraries will be closed to in-person services as of March 20, 2020, at 5 pm. Online services remain available.

Faculty should get in touch with their liaison librarian for one-on-one support. Librarians can assist faculty and instructors to integrate library and research resources into Moodle courses. Copyright questions can be directed to the Copyright Officer. The Library is keen to support faculty and staff as they move to online teaching and learning.

Access resources from home:

Borrowing Information & In-Person Services

  • Reference services will be provided online 10 – 4 pm through AskAway. Students and faculty can also contact their liaison librarian by e-mail.
  • Librarians are offering research workshops and assistance online.
  • Fine accruals will be waived going forward
  • Items currently out on loan will have due dates extended. Materials on loan will be extended for 30 days. Items can be returned to book drops on each campus if you need to return items.
  • Interlibrary loan requests for articles will be accepted but some libraries may be unable to provide lending services.
  • Scan and deliver is a new pilot service that is available to faculty and instructors.
  • The new Talis Aspire online course reading list management system is now available. Contact the Library to Learn more.
  • All campus Learning and Success Centres are closed for in-person appointments, but students can book appointments to meet with Kelowna Learning Centre Coordinators online.
  • Software typically provided on campus computer workstations is now available via Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. Students can watch this how-to video for more information about how to log in to access software while learning remotely. The service allows students to access software listed in the general pool here. Contact the IT Helpdesk at 250-762-5445 ext. 4444 (toll-free: 1-866-839-4032) or email if you have any questions.

General information from Okanagan College

Information from the BC Centre for Disease Control

Exam & Holiday Hours

Wednesday, November 27, 2019
Photo by Gary Spears on

Kelowna and Vernon Campus Libraries have extended hours during the exam period. Kelowna Library is open until 10 pm on Fridays until December 13. Saturdays and Sundays the Library is open until 9 pm. The Vernon Campus Library will open at 8:30 am on Saturdays until December 14.

All Campus Libraries will be operating on holiday season hours as of December 18th. All campus libraries will be closed weekends beginning December 21st and all libraries will close at 3 pm on December 24.

Visit the hours page on the Library website for more information.

Summer Reading

Thursday, July 11, 2019
Photo by Link Hoang on Unsplash

With summer in full swing, it’s time to indulge in one of the season’s most relaxing activities: reading! What could be better than a sunny day, a beach blanket, and a book? To help you decide which book to read, we’ve gathered the best summer reading lists from across the web. You might not finish them all this summer… but hey, reading is also the perfect pastime for fall!

Top 10 Library Hacks

Friday, March 29, 2019

library hacks.jpgYou use the Library to study, you’ve checked out a book or two, and you’ve even surfed through a database to find articles. It’s time to level-up your library skills. Here are our top 10 easy library hacks:

#1: Get specific. Our librarians have curated subject-specific research guides with links to databases, websites, and more – plus great research advice for your assignments.

#2: Who needs Netflix? The library has access to thousands of streaming videos. From Canadian classics at the NFB to the latest in documentaries from Kanopy. You are sure to find a film applicable to your research.

#3: Anatomy colouring books are old school: you need It includes 19 body system modules, complete with clear 3D images, comprehensive text, clinical and case studies, learning objectives and quizzes.

#4: Citation shortcut in Word on a PC: Highlight your citation, then use Ctrl+t to automatically apply the hanging indent.

#5: Book a Kelowna study room online through myOkanagan. This video will show you how.

#6: Study longer: Your Campus Library has extended hours during exam seasons.

#7: Not on-campus? Use AskAway, the online chat reference service. Library professionals will answer your questions about citations, research, using databases, and more.

#8: Beat the bank with textbooks from the library. We’ve bought e-book versions of more than 100 course textbooks. To get the list, and all the details, read our blog post.

#9: Renew your library books from the comfort of your couch. Here’s how.

#10: The best library hack of all? Talking to your campus library staff – we really care about your success! Got a question? Ask us!

How to save big $$ on textbooks

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

green piggy bankStudent finances are tight, and buying textbooks can take a big chunk of change out of your wallet. Your OC Library can help you put money back into your piggybank! Here’s how.

Libraries have always been big believers in equal access to information, and textbooks are no exception.  That’s why we’re very proud to offer more than 100 e-books for OC courses free to you, our students.

These e-books allow for unlimited users, most are downloadable*, and ALL are free to you, the student. The caveat: you must be an OC student to use these textbooks (log-in required off-campus).

How do you find out whether the textbook you need is available as an e-book? Click HERE for the list. You’ll find the e-books listed by course name. You can also find these titles by searching OCtopus.

This initiative was funded by an OC Innovation Grant. We would love to hear how access to free textbooks has impacted you! To learn more about open access resources, and how to advocate for affordable textbooks, check out these resources:

*You may need additional free accounts to download e-books through the Library. If you want to read e-book offline you may require a myEBSCOhost account, a free AdobeID, Adobe Digital Editions software or App, or the BlueFire e-reader app. All are free to download through the App Store, Google Play, or online. Access your myEBSCOhost account using the link at the top of your OCtopus search result pages.

Crunch Time? Crush it in the Library!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

It’s crunch time! Research papers due, essays to write, exams on the horizon… this can be the most stressful time of thefloating clocks academic year. Don’t panic! The library can help. Here’s how:

1. Study longer. Extended study hours begin on Friday, November 23rd.  Penticton Campus is hosting the Long Night Against Procrastination on November 22, so you can study until 2 a.m.! More library time = more study = success.

2. Find the perfect resource for your paper. Visit in person at the Research Desk, or online here.

3. Beat the citation blues. MLA, APA, Chicago – we can answer your questions & show you resources to make citation a breeze.

4. Borrow a laptop for an hour, a day, even a week.

5. Print, copy, or scan & e-mail your assignments using library copy machines. Don’t know how? Ask a lab monitor to give you a demo.

6. Study in peace in our Quiet Study Area on the third floor.

7. Study with friends by reserving a Group Study Room.

8. Work on a computer in the peace & quiet of the Kelowna Library Lab (L203). Check the schedule outside the door to see when it’s available for student use.

9. Read a book. Whether it’s for an assignment or relaxation, reading has a ton of life-long benefits. (And here’s the research to prove it!)

10. Ask us a question! All of us here in the library want to help you succeed.

Speak Out: Banned Books Week 2018

Monday, September 24, 2018

BBWBanner.jpgby Erin May

From September 23-September 29, it is Banned Books Week. What does this mean—is the library banning books? This week celebrates quite the opposite. Banned Books Week, organized by the American Library Association (ALA), celebrates “free and open access to information.”1 Even when books contain controversial or unpopular opinions and themes, individuals have the right to access and read these books. However, many individuals and institutions have challenged these books and their right to remain on shelves in schools and libraries. This contradicts the right to intellectual freedom.

Intellectual freedom is the right to access and read information from any point of view, without restrictions.2 This means that anyone should be allowed to read any book, on any topic, without worrying that they will not be allowed to do so. Censorship, or suppressing ideas that certain groups find objectionable, directly contradicts this idea. Because banning books is a form of censorship, it goes against the idea of intellectual freedom. Without this freedom, individuals cannot make their own decisions about gathering ideas to inform themselves about the world.

Read the rest of this entry »

Science Literacy Week 2018

Monday, September 17, 2018


Celebrate your inner scientist during Science Literacy Week!

From September 17-23, Science Literacy Week (SLW) takes science out of the classroom and into the community, highlighting the wonder, magic, and excitement of science.

SLW began in 2014 as the brainchild of Jesse Hildebrand. A recent university grad, he wanted to share his love of science and get science books off library shelves and into the hands of readers. Clearly, his energy and passion for science is infectious: from a single city with 5 events in 2014, the week has mushroomed into a festival of science in more than 40 cities across Canada, with hundreds of scheduled events.

This year’s week will focus on space, with the Canadian Space Agency signed on as a special partner (watch astronaut David Saint-Jacques’ special invitation to participate here).  With everything from Lego building to genetic workshops, stargazing to makerspace explorations, there’s an activity for everyone. Plus, there are online webinars, and a host of local events right here in Kelowna. For a complete list of events, check out the SLW website at

Of course, OC Library loves literacy of all stripes! Come visit our campus libraries and check out our Science Literacy Week displays, which pull together a sampling of the thousands of science-related resources that live in the library’s collection. For more info, check out our Science Literacy guide. Plus, watch our Facebook feed, and follow us on Twitter @OC_Lib for science shout-outs all week long.


Friday, August 31, 2018


What’s a #LibraryWin? It’s everything that the library does to help our students succeed. Borrowing a free laptop is a #LibraryWin. Finding a quiet corner to study, reading a current magazine, getting help with citations: all library wins! But there are so many more, and we want to hear them from you.

What’s your #LibraryWin? Share it with us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag (you might have guessed it by now) #LibraryWin, and you’ll be entered to win one of six weekly prizes, or the grand prize – a $50 gift card to Campus Stores!

The contest runs from September 4 to October 12, 2018. Prizes will be drawn on Friday afternoons during the contest. Your #LibraryWin can make you a winner!



The Books of Summer

Monday, June 25, 2018


Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Ahhh, summer.  Time to put away the textbooks, and break out the beach books, muster up the mysteries, and round up the romances. We’ve gathered a bucketful of summer book lists for you to dig through. With so many great books just waiting to be discovered, you’re guaranteed to find a wonderful read to travel with you through summer days at the beach or evenings on the deck.

Finally, don’t forget that your campus libraries have plenty of great reads – fiction and non-fiction – to keep you reading well into the fall.


Local History in the Library

Monday, May 28, 2018

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OC Library’s Local Interest Collection

If you’ve visited the Research Help Desk, the printers, or the reference collection at the Kelowna campus library, perhaps you have noticed a mysterious glass-walled room. This is the Local Interest Collection, which now has its very own online guide. This room is open to everyone: students, staff, faculty, and community members.

This is a unique collection that cannot be checked out of the library—if you want to consult the materials in this room, you will have to make an appointment and visit the room. This is because the books and periodicals (magazines, newspapers, journals, etc.) are being “preserved,” or protected. Some are old, some are written by Okanagan College faculty, and most are about or from the Okanagan/Similkameen/Shuswap region. This is what makes this collection special—it provides information from and about where the college is located.

Because of this, there are extra rules to follow when using this space. No food, drinks, or pens can be used in the room, and your large bags or coats will be stored securely. You can still use laptops, phones, and pencils, however. You may take photos of items with your phone without flash, but if you need something scanned, you will have to ask library staff. Finally, don’t put items back on the shelves—to avoid losing track of items, just stack them neatly in the empty shelf space by the door.

Research in the Local Interest Collection goes smoother when you have a plan and know what materials in the room you need to consult. You can do this by using the Advanced Search of the library catalogue and choosing “Local Interest Collection” in the Locations: dropdown menu. This will limit your results to only items that are in the Local Interest Collection. Keep in mind that unlike most searching in OCtopus, this search will not search full-text, but only titles, authors, and subject headings (librarian-supplied keywords). This search even does not search article titles of the magazines or newspapers. Therefore, even after online searching, you still may need to browse through the items in the room.

If this collection sounds like something that will be useful for an assignment or project that you’re working on, or if you would like to learn more, check out the guide. Don’t hesitate to ask us if you have questions about this collection!

Privacy & Social Media

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

privacy online

You may have heard about the recent Cambridge Analytica and Facebook scandal involving the personal data of about fifty million Facebook users. This data was being used by a third party to target political advertisements based on information from the users’ profiles.

One way to look at it is that there are two types of visibility on with social media websites:

  1. There is what other people can see on your feed; this might be different for each post depending on your settings (for instance, maybe only friends can see your photos).
  2. The other type of visibility involves what the social media platform itself, as well as third-party apps, can access. This can include everything you make public to your friends, along with private messages, everything you’ve liked and commented on, your location every time you open the app, and more. Basically, if it’s on Facebook’s site, Facebook has access to it.

While it can be relatively simple to monitor what your friends and followers can see, keeping track of and limiting what the companies have access to is trickier.

While the only sure way to make sure your data is not being collected is to delete your accounts and stop using these websites, there are other ways to limit what is gathered so you can keep your online presence.

  • Create strong passwords that are unique (a different password for each site) to protect your different accounts.password post it
  • Read the terms and conditions and privacy policies of sites you’re signing onto: what are they requiring access to? Is it worth it for what they provide?
  • If you can use a website without being signed in (for instance, you can search Google without signing into your account), do so; this will prevent your location and search information from being saved.
  • Finally, clear your cookies regularly to stop websites from remembering you.

You can also dive into the privacy settings of your different social media accounts. Each is in a different place for each website or app, but they generally fall under “settings” or “account.” In Facebook’s settings, for example, you can change what advertisers can use and which apps can see your data. Depending on how you use your Google account, it could be storing your location every time you unlock your phone; turning this off would reduce services like Google Maps but would prevent Google from accessing your location.

Even if you have updated your privacy settings in all the ways you can, it may still feel like there isn’t much you can do besides deleting your accounts. While this is an option, you can also be a critical user of the Internet by being aware of what information you are giving each time you interact with a website. You can also think critically about the news you see online and try to find news in places other than social media feeds to make sure you are not only seeing targeted advertisements.

Check out the links below to learn more, and remember you can ask us in the library about evaluating online sources!social media logos

CBC article about scandal + tips

BBC article about scandal + tips

Download your Facebook Data
Download your Google Data

OC Library: Fight Fake News

Stress less – read more!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018


We all know that reading is an important skill for academic success, but did you know how many other benefits are related to reading?

This infographic was developed from stats compiled by the National Reading Campaign (see it full-sized here).  Do you see what we see? Reading:

  • Reduces stress 600% more than a video game
  • Improves empathy
  • Benefits physical and mental health

Here’s another great reason to read: your Okanagan College Libraries have more than academic books related to research and courses. Our shelves are packed with award-winning fiction and non-fiction books, including the winners of Governor General Awards, the Pulitzer Prizes, BC Book Prizes, and Man Booker Award. You’ll also find new fiction by top authors (you know, the books with loooonnng hold waits at the public library!), graphic novels, poetry, and biographies.

Check out the PS shelves for general fiction, see displays for new books, and look for the leisure reading spinners in Kelowna, Vernon & Salmon Arm  for portable reading on-the-go.

How about a magazine? Did you know you can borrow back issues of Rolling Stone, Maclean’s, Time, Today’s Parent and over 100 more?

Carve out a few minutes from the academic grind to read something just for fun – you and your brain will benefit!

Reading is Freedom

Thursday, February 22, 2018

clip art

Sunday, February 25th marks the beginning of Freedom to Read Week, an opportunity for Canadians to celebrate their right to intellectual freedom, which is the right to read information from any source, regardless of point of view. One way this right is frequently disputed is by individuals challenging and banning books. You may hear the phrase “banned books” and think, “surely that is a thing of the past! This is Canada, where we are free to read what we like.” You may be surprised to hear that there are “challenges” to many publications (when someone believes a book should be banned from a certain place, or from everywhere!). These often occur in school or public libraries by parents, as the main concern is often age-inappropriateness for children, such as sexual content and offensive language.

Here are some examples of books that have been challenged/banned in Canada. These are only a small sample of the many books that are challenged, and indeed a small sample of times that these books have been challenged!

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood was challenged in 2008 in Toronto: a parent believed it should not be used in a Grade 12 English class because of “‘profane language,’ anti-Christian overtones, ‘violence’ and ‘sexual degradation.'” It was kept in the curriculum. Get it from OC.

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson is one of the most frequently challenged books in North America for reasons such as profane language, religious concerns such as promoting witchcraft and disrespecting adults, and the book’s sad ending.  In 2006 in Ottawa, a parent challenged the use of Bridge to Terabithia in classrooms, but it remained. Get it from OC.

And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell has been challenged frequently at public school libraries due to homosexual themes. In one instance in 2006, it was removed from a library in the Calgary Catholic School District; in other cases, it has been removed, moved to an adult section of the library, or kept despite parent complaints. Get it from ORL.

To celebrate Freedom to Read Week, check out the official website, take a look at the campus library displays, and – most importantly – read a banned book!  (

Learning & Student Success

Wednesday, February 14, 2018


learning centre

Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

Being a successful student involves a lot of class time, studying, and homework, but you don’t have to figure it all out on your own! The Learning Centre in Kelowna and the Student Success Centres in Penticton, Salmon Arm, and Vernon are here to help you with your learning needs, and it’s completely free.

Each of the Centres has coordinators ready to help you with English/writing, math, and science, from help with a math problem to advice on your essay development. Hours vary depending on the day of the week and subject, so check out the website or drop by the Centre on your campus to learn more! Available online are practice proficiency tests, handouts, and web links to great resources.

Vernon Located in D314, including computers, printing, and study space.

Penticton Located in PL 146 in the Ashnola Building, including three computers, printing, and a quiet study area.

Salmon Arm  Located in the library, so easy access to computers, printing, and library help.

Kelowna  Located in L204 in the library, the Learning Centre is open during library hours as a common study space, including computers and printing. Proficiency tests are available by appointment for certain math courses. A separate Trades Success Centre is located in T118 for trades students.

Whether you are struggling in your courses or want to get a head start on your assignments, come by the Learning Centre on your campus to make an appointment or talk to a coordinator. Everyone is here to help make sure you have a successful student experience!



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