Local History in the Library

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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!

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