Canada’s Big Birthday

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

canada 150 logo

This year marks the 150th anniversary of Canada. There will be multiple celebrations and events all over the country; for a complete coast-to-coast list of what’s happening, check out Passport 2017.

But before you get your party on, you may want to know what you’re celebrating. Your first stop should be the Canada 150 site. If web reading isn’t your thing, try binge-watching Canada: A People’s History, a 17-episode, award-winning documentary that covers the history of this land, starting 15,000 years ago. It’s available for free on Curio.

If you’d rather be outside this summer, here are some famous Canadian books to dive into. Start with one of our most celebrated writers: Margaret Atwood, whose book A Handmaid’s Tale is this year’s buzzed-about Hulu series.  Another great Canadian writer is Montreal’s own Mordecai Richler; Barney’s Version is considered one of his best. There’s Margaret Laurence, Carol Shields, Anne Munro, Andre Alexis – too many to list, but plenty available at your OC campus library. For the kids, there’s bestseller Robert Munsch, who reads all of his books for free on his website.

Need more? Here’s  CBC’s list of 100 Canadian novels,  this one from the Globe & Mail, or check out OC Library’s guide to Canadian literature.

Need music for your Canada Day party?  Spotify, iTunes, Stingray and most music services have Canadian playlists. CBC Music has Canadian playlists for everything from jazz to classical. If you want to listen to some classics, like Bryan Adams’ Summer of 69, Canadian Living has a playlist for you.

The story of Canada goes far beyond 150 years. We’ll cover more in our next blog post… stay tuned!

Library Assessment Discussion

Friday, June 16, 2017

Okanagan College Library is pleased to invite the Okanagan library community to a facilitated discussion about library assessment led by Tania Alekson, Student Experience Librarian at Capilano University.


Tuesday, June 20th, 2017  2:00-3:30 pm
Okanagan College Kelowna Campus room L203

statistic-1564428_640Topics covered will be teaching assessments, library-wide assessment planning, and reporting results using data visualization tools like Tableau.

Library assessment is important work that helps us to understand who is using the library and how effective we are at meeting their needs. How can we more effectively evaluate our libraries and share that information with our stakeholders? Are we measuring the right things at the right time? How can we incorporate assessment into our decision making processes? Bring your thoughts and questions!

to RSVP please contact Lindsay Willson

100th Anniversary of The Battle of Vimy Ridge

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

vimy mapSunday, April 9, 2017, was the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. You may have missed the commemoration activities, being occupied with end of semester preparation, but with the 150th anniversary of Canada coming — and all that free time in the summer — you can catch up on this historic battle. Vimy Ridge was an important moment in World War I, and in the history of our young nation.

First, you can dust off your knowledge of the battle of Vimy Ridge with this documentary from the CBC, and this short read on the Veterans Affairs website.

You may have not been able to join the thousands of your fellow Canadian students who made the trip to Vimy to pay tribute to those who fought 100 years ago, but you can do a virtual visit of the battle site on The Vimy Foundation website. Canada as a whole was involved in the Great War; this includes Women and Aboriginal Canadians who did their part at home and on the battlefields.

After that, if you are curious for more, you can check out one of the books on display in the Kelowna Campus library lobby, or from the collections of any of the OC Campus libraries.

Vimy Ridge, France

Canadian Memorial, Vimy Ridge, France


Procrastination Season

Friday, March 17, 2017



Spring is just around the corner, and so is the end of term, along with deadlines for term papers, projects, and essays (oh my). Yes friends, it’s procrastination season. But you don’t have to be one of the harried souls we see haunting the hallways of academia in April – eyes panicked, backpacks full – crushed by the multitude of assignments left to the last minute.

There are scores of webpages devoted to helping you over the Great Mountain of Delay:  Lifehacker has 11 suggestions for you, Forbes offers 7, Unstuck gives you 9 – in an infographic! – plus an app.

But if the lure of the Web is procrastination kryptonite, your OC library has you covered.  We can help you ditch the delay with research tools, citation help, the perfect book for your assignment, and advice from a caring staff of library pros.

Penticton Campus is giving you an extra-powerful boost with the Long Night Against Procrastination on Thursday, March 30th. It’s an all-night cram session from 9 pm to 7 am (yup, in the morning). Register now for pizza, prizes, an early-morning breakfast, and the satisfaction of getting a ton of work done. Bonus: add a quick blog post here, and be entered to win cash prizes!


Freedom to Read Week February 26 – March 27

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

clip art
February 26 – March 4 2017 is Freedom to Read Week in Canada. You might be wondering why we need a week for something that is our right under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms but intellectual freedom is not something to take for granted.

Even here in Canada some books and magazines are stopped at the border. Libraries and schools have their collections challenged and these stories are rarely published by the news media. Here is a list of over 100 items that have been challenged – including The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Maclean’s magazine – and the nature of the complaints:

Across the country and online there are events and ways to participate and learn more about our Freedom to Read:

So how do we make sure we are free to read without censorship? By insisting that the reading material we want is present and available in our libraries and schools. By understanding and affirming that every one of us has the right and the freedom to read even if they choose to read something we find controversial or we disagree with. And by reading!

Fake News/Post-Truth

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Hahow-to-spot-fake-news-1-1ve you heard the news? It might be fake! Reading between the headlines has never been more important, or more difficult. But how can we figure out what’s true and what’s not? On a recent blog post, the International Federation of Library Associations [IFLA] shared this infographic, which IFLA based on an article from, “How to Spot Fake News“.

Another infographic making the rounds attempts to chart the quality of news organizations across the political spectrum. Created by a blogger called Votero, the image has generated a tsunami of online conversation, and encourages us to question our news sources and consider their biases. It also requires us to think about the questions in the first infographic: who is Votero? what are his/her biases?



The most important tool available to all of us is free, simple, and easy to use: the question. Ask plenty of them. Ask them repeatedly. Ask them of everything. Ask them of yourself, ask them of other people. A curious, inquisitive mind is the antithesis of fake news and post-truth. Use liberally.

A Very Short Blog Post

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

vsi-header         Is 2017 your year to learn something new? Give yourself a quick start with the library’s collection of Very Short Introductions.

Published by the inimitable Oxford Press, these little gems are seldom over 200 pages, with most falling in the 140-160 page range. Short though they are, each volume is long vsi-stackon information, designed to give the reader a concise but thorough overview of the topic. Six categories – Arts & Humanities, Dictionaries & Reference, Law, Medicine & Health, Science & Mathematics, and Social Sciences – cover a world of topics,  from
Aristotle to Zionism, Accounting to World War II.

Added bonus: this is portable knowledge, packed in a book  that fits into your back pocket.

OC libraries own 186 out of the over 500 titles available, several of them in e-book format. Click the link in the library catalogue, start reading, and let your learning begin.

If you’re in Kelowna, check out the display by the Circulation Desk for a hands-on introduction to the Introductions.

Best Books of 2016

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

book-stack Who doesn’t love a top ten list? And, of course, we love books. Combine them, and you can bury your head in a book well into 2017. Bonus: these lists are a literary treasure trove of holiday gift ideas. Here are some of our fave 2016 best book lists:

New York Times Book Review’s 100 Notable Books of 2016: The Granddaddy of lists, from the editors of the Book Review, includes links to each book’s full review.

The Globe 100: The Best Books of 2016: The Canadian newspaper behemoth goes one better than the NYT: search by genre or collection; find graphic novels, children’s & young adult titles; linked reviews.

CBC Books packages their lists as a Holiday Gift Guide. With categories from “Titles for Tots” to “Hidden Gems”, there’s a best book for everyone.

Canada’s publishing biz trade journal, Quill & Quire, is a trusted source of quality reviews, so their best list is worth a look.

Naturally, librarians know best about best books. Here’s Library Journal’s compilation of this year’s top titles. And for the kids, School Library Journal’s list includes picture books, chapter books, apps, and more.

How about a Book Concierge? NPR Books includes over 300 titles in multiple categories, but gives you all kinds of filters to sort through them to find your perfect read.

Even Bill Gates gets into the Best Books game! An avid reader, Bill shares his top picks for the year.

We’ll end our list of lists with the venerable Washington Post’s selections – they give you their Top 10, and an additional 100 Editors Picks, including audio, poetry and romance.

Enjoy – and let us know if there’s a book you think the OC Libraries should own!

8 Ways the Library Gets You Through Crunch Time

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


Researchcrunch-1 papers due, essays to write, exams on the horizon… this can be the most stressful time of the academic year. We can help! In the library, you can:

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

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

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

4. Print, copy, or scan & e-mail your assignments.

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

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

7. Charge your phone – Apple or Android – our Circulation Desk has a selection of chargers available to borrow.

8. 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!)

Read Local BC

Friday, October 28, 2016


Discover your new favourite author during Read Local BC week, October 28 through November 7. From romance to science fiction, short stories to poetry, you’re sure to find a great read. Grab a book off one of our campus book displays celebrating Read Local BC, and enter the #ReadLocalBCChallenge. It’s simple: read one BC-published book between now and November 7th, and post a quick review to #ReadLocalBCChallenge on Twitter or Facebook – or both.

Check out all the events for Read Local BC week, including an evening with Okanagan authors on Wednesday, November 2nd at Mosaic Books.



It’s great to be a reader!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Why? Because there are several FREE events coming up that you’re going to want to add to your calendar!

Friday, Octoafter-jamesber 14th, 7 pm: Shuswap-Revelstoke Campus in Salmon Arm

First up, Michael Helm reads from his new book After James. The Globe & Mail calls it “entertaining, apocalyptic and complex”. (Here’s the full review.) Questions & book signing follow the reading. For more info on this event, click here.


Thursday, October 20th, 6 pm: Kelowna Campus, Centre for Dialogue (Rall-trueoom E202)

One Book Kelowna is in full swing, and the Library is proud to present a panel discussion featuring One Book author Alix Hawley, author Laisha Rosnau, and OC English Department authors Hannah Calder, Frances Greenslade & Melanie Murray. History Department Chair Howard Hisdal will open the evening with a brief talk about the book’s historical context. Join us for “Historical Friction: The Pleasures and Perils of Writing about the Past”. Full event details, plus background info on All True Not a Lie in It, on the library’s One Book Guide.

Thursdkelowna-rock-climbingay, October 26th, 3:30 pm: Kelowna Campus Store

For the adventurous reader, publisher Karin Hanna will share tips from the 2nd edition of Kelowna Rock Climbing. The book is a collaborative project from the local climbing community, and shares info on all types of climbing in the Okanagan.

AudioCine Feature Film Streaming Video Database Now On Trial

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Audi Cine FilmsThose who use the Criterion on Demand database will be eager to learn the Library now has a trial running with Audio Cine Films. This streaming video database allows OC users to stream feature films from on or off-campus, for both classroom and personal use. Audio Ciné holds licenses to many of the titles and studios unavailable through Criterion. Audio Ciné is one of the largest non-theatrical film rights representatives in Canada, with exclusive rights to one of the largest film libraries available. The current trial contains a selection of titles that are available from Audio Cine. Some examples of titles currently available include:

  • film1Apollo 13
  • Gandhi
  • Schindler’s List
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Wall-E
  • The Social Network
  • Cars
  • Frozen
  • Inside Out
  • 12 Angry Men
  • Annie Hall
  • Moneyball
  • West Side Story
  • And many others…

Audi Cine manages copyrights related to the public presentation of films produced by the studios exclusively represented in Canada and they issue copyright licenses that allow all types of organisations to present films within a public performance environment without infringing upon the Canadian Copyright Act.

Please send feedback to the Library, or leave a comment in the box below.

Trades Success Centre

Monday, September 26, 2016


Student success is at the heart of Okanagan College,  and sometimes that success needs a boost. That is where Elke Pritchard and the recently opened Trades Success Centre can help.

Elke’s ready to provide support to Trades students with their studies, including math, writing, learning strategies, and other customized services based on student’s needs or instructor’s recommendations. As well as one-on-one tutoring, the Success Centre offers study space, resource materials, and a TV monitor that connects to laptops and other devices.

Find the Success Centre in Room T118, open Monday-Thursday from 1-5 pm, Friday from 12-4 pm, or call Elke at local 4677 to set up an appointment.

Thank you to the generous support of Okanagan Mission and Ogopogo Rotary Clubs of Kelowna, and the Joyce Foundation, for their assistance with this project.

AskAway chat reference service now open!

Monday, September 19, 2016

AskAwaybannerGot a question?  AskAway!

AskAway is a library and research chat service that makes it easier to find the information you are looking for. Go to, click on Chat Now and choose Okanagan College from the list of libraries, or visit the Library home page. From there, you can access full screen or embedded chat. Library reference staff will help you find and use online library resources, suggest research strategies, help with citations, and answer questions about the Library. You can use AskAway on-campus, at home, or anywhere with Internet access.

AskAway is available from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. To learn more about AskAway, click here.

Comments from past AskAway users:

“This is a fantastic service, and so innovative! really, really great, thanks!”

“I am very grateful to this tool, it is very convenient and easy to use, and they are extremely friendly…Thank you very much!”

“I think that this is a fantastic service and I really appreciate being able to access help (even from home), so thank you!”

“Great experience! Full of resources and helpful hints. LIFESAVER”

AskAway is a chat service provided by post-secondary libraries across British Columbia and Yukon in collaboration with British Columbia Electronic Library Network and BCcampus. It provides reference and other library assistance to learners, educators, and researchers in BC and Yukon.

For more information, please contact the Library.


Science Literacy Week

Friday, September 16, 2016


Celebrate your inner scientist during Science Literacy Week!

From September 19-26, 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.

From a Wikipedia edit-a-thon in BC to Fossil Friday in Newfoundland, with everything from Lego building to genetic workshops, stargazing to makerspace explorations in between, there’s an activity for everyone. For a complete list of events, check out the SLW website at

Of course, OC Library loves literacy of all stripes! Come in to any campus Library 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 and Instagram for science shout-outs all week long.

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