Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Books of Summer

Monday, June 25, 2018
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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

Saving-the-world-Infographic

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

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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!  (http://www.freedomtoread.ca/challenged-works/)

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!

 

 

All It Takes is Practice: Workshops for Success (and A+’s)

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

blog post picWe are one month into the semester and classes are in full swing. Are you drowning in assignments and exams? Do you feel overwhelmed by the fact that you’re expected to be proficient with doing research and using citations already? Are you wondering how you can improve your grades and ace your classes? Drop in on one or more of our Academic Skills Workshops and find out what you can do to level up your research and study skills.

Delivered by librarians and instructors, the Academic Skills Workshops provide small class instruction and practice on academic skills essential to succeed in university-level courses.

The sessions include:

  • Student Success: A+ Study skills
  • Student Success: Exam Writing Strategies
  • Sentences: Structure & Style
  • Critical Reading: Thinking, Responding, Notetaking
  • Writing With Other People’s Ideas: Paraphrasing and Summarizing
  • Writing With Other People’s Ideas: Quoting & Citing
  • Editing Strategies: Avoiding Common Errors
  • Researching: Academic vs Popular Sources
  • Documenting Sources: APA & References
  • Documenting Sources: MLA & Works Cited

The workshops are currently running in Kelowna and Penticton Campus and open to anyone who wants to attend. All you need to do is check the workshop schedule on our library website and drop in to any session that interests you and fits in with your schedule. No registration necessary. Vernon and Salmon Arm also hold similar workshops based on current student needs. You can find out more about their current workshops on the library website.

You are in control of your own success, and like everything else, being a successful college student requires practice. So take advantage of the workshops and other help available in the library and make your college career go swimmingly!

Image source: http://www.pexels.com
Meme maker: imgflip.com

Who needs Netflix?

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

warm-and-cozy-1975215__340It’s January: the holiday festivities are over, days are long and dreary, and it feels like Spring is a long way off. In other words, it’s the perfect time to hunker down and watch some movies. Okanagan College Library offers you free access to a broad range of films online – from documentaries, course-related content to animated Canadian classics and current feature films. Here’s a few to start with:

a.pngExplore award-winning documentaries for personal interest or academic research. Filmmaker’s Library from Alexander Street covers topics across the spectrum: race & gender studies, human rights, globalization and global studies, multiculturalism, international relations, criminal justice, the environment, bioethics, health, political science and current events, psychology, arts, literature, and more.

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Criterion offers a wide range of feature films across all genres, from action & Western to romance & thrillers, including new releases like Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find ThemWonder Woman, La La Land, Logan & Hidden Figures.

films.pngFilms on Demand – Health & Medicine gives you access to thousands of documentaries in the fields of health, nursing, medicine, psychology, and more. Start by exploring the Bill Moyers collection, learning about Alternative Medicine, or browsing over 100 titles about Personal Health & Wellness.

nfb logo.pngThe NFB is a treasure trove of Canadian films – animated and live action, documentaries and features, long and short, old and new. You can’t go wrong with a classic animation like the Log Driver’s Waltz or wildlife documentary like Death of a Legend. And it couldn’t be more Canadian than the NFB’s collection of hockey films!

Go ahead and explore the full list of our streaming video databases – you’re sure to find a film or two to help you beat the January blues!

 

‘Tis the season to be… stressed?

Monday, December 4, 2017

stressed frogIt’s that time of year when everything happens at once:  assignments to finish, exams to study for, and Christmas just around the corner! It can be difficult to balance the end-of-semester rush with your personal life and stay calm and healthy. Here are some tips and resources to help you get the most out of your study time and stay on top of your stress!

1. Time management time mgmt for dummes

Even if you have five exams this semester, you can manage it! Schedule when you are going to study for each one, and make sure you give yourself enough time to learn the material. Don’t schedule all your time away though; give yourself time for fun activities and for unexpected road bumps.  Ebook: Successful Time Management for Dummies 

2. Know what works for you: location study skills

Do you study best with classmates? Do you need absolute silence to get anything done? Both of these, and everything in between, are valid ways to study. Know what environment you need to learn and find it. For example, at the library you can book study rooms or use the silent spaces. Book:  College Reading and Study Skills

3. Know what works for you: strategies  

There are as many ways to study as there are students! Maybe rereading your notes helps you learn, or maybe you need to make practice questions. Other methods include having someone quiz you, drawing diagrams linking information together, rewriting your notes, and reading textbooks or notes out loud. Book: Study Skills: A Student’s Guide to Survival

4. Before each exam… test-taking stragies
Make sure you get enough sleep the night before your exams, and if they’re in the morning set alarms give yourself enough time arrive even if there is snow on the roads. Eat a healthy meal beforehand. Finally, be prepared with your materials; some items you may want to bring besides a pen are a calculator, tissues, water bottle, and extra pens in case yours runs dry! E-book: Test Taking Strategies 

5. Stay healthy: keep your body working

Even though you may feel like you don’t have enough time to maintain healthy habits in December, it is even more important to do so when you are working hard as a student. Get 7-8 hours of sleep each night to help you focus during the day, drink lots of water, and choose fruits and vegetables over chips and candy while studying. It’s also important to stay active; take breaks from sitting at your desk to walk around and stretch. Watch this video about stress management for more ideas.

6. Stay healthy: keep your mind working

When you are busy studying and finishing assignments, take time for yourself as well. If you work too hard or too much, you will burn out and not be able to focus. Spend time with family and friends to take your mind off school work for a bit and do something fun to energize yourself. Make time for your hobbies so not all your time alone is spent with a textbook or computer. Here are some tips for managing anxiety from the University of Alberta.

7. Ask for help

There are lots of people you can talk to on campus that can help you with many aspects of your education. Talk to a librarian at the research help desk for research and citation help. The Learning Centre has tutors and coordinators to help you with math, science, English, ESL, and studying. The college also has counselling services if you want to talk to someone about personal, emotional, or academic problems.

8. Believe in yourself

We believe in you! You are able to succeed, and before you know it, the semester will be over! More books from our catalog about studying effectively:

 

Crush the Clock

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

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 24th.  Penticton Campus is hosting the Long Night Against Procrastination on November 23, 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.

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

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

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

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.

Kelowna Campus Library closed Sunday, November 19th

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Important update: The Kelowna campus library will remain closed on Sunday, November 19th. We apologize for the inconvenience. For updates, please refer to http://www.okanagan.bc.ca/alerts.

Campus Libraries: Beyond the Book

Monday, October 16, 2017

You’ve got school suppliesyour textbooks, you’ve written the dreaded first assignment, and you’re settled into the school year. You’re ready to go beyond that orientation speed-tour of the library. You probably already know that we’ve got books (lots & lots of books), that you can find help here with citations, research, and reference questions, and that it’s a great place to hang out & study or use a desktop computer. But there’s much more in your campus library!

Laptopsdell laptop

Our number one circulating item! Laptops are free to rent for the day, so long as they’re returned before the library closes. Keep it overnight for just $5.00, or for an entire week for $25.00.  Laptops are loaded with Microsoft Office Suite.  Laptops are very popular during midterms and finals, and we’ve occasionally run out, so get yours early during busy times.

Important:  the laptop drives are wiped after each and every student use, so your information is never saved and safely destroyed. If you don’t want to LOSE your work, you must SAVE it to a flash drive, upload it to an online storage site (e.g. Dropbox), or e-mail it to yourself.

Study Rooms

Number two on the popularity list! There are study rooms reserved for student use at all campuses. Most have whiteboards and LCD display screens; this full listing shows you all locations & details. For Kelowna campus study rooms, use the online booking system  in MyOkanagan or start here. For other campuses, check the library service desk for sign-up sheets and more info.

Print Vouchers print voucher

In order to print in the library or anywhere on campus, you’ll need to add money into a printing account. This can be done in two ways: 1) Buy a Pay per Print Card 2) Deposit money into your account via PayPal. Print cards are for sale at library Circulation desks (cash only) or through the Bookstore on Kelowna campus. Printing costs:

  • $0.10/b&w page; $0.40/color page *single sided printing*
  • $0.18/b&w page; $0.38/color page *double sided printing*

Print cards come in 3 denominations:

  • $2- about 20 pages
  • $5- about 50 pages
  • $10- about 100 pages

Chargers, calculators, a slice of Raspberry Pi & seeds of all sorts

Your phone’s dying, you need a calculator for an exam, or  you’re an NTEN student finishing up a coding assignment? We loan phone chargers (Apple & Android), different types of calculators (including scientific), and – in Kelowna – a Raspberry pi.

And if you’re in Vernon, you should check out the Kalamalka Seed Library, and try growing a unique, local fruit or vegetable.

There are also adaptors, flash drives, headphones, and DVD players/DVD writers. Borrow a pen, pencil, ruler, take a paper clip, staple your papers, hole punch those course notes and – as always – check  out your books. But remember:

Library Staff are your best resource!All library staff

We may not have the answer to every question, but we know how to find it or point you to someone who does.

That’s our goal here in the library: to help our OC students succeed. So come in & visit, and let us help YOU succeed.

Sowing Seeds of Change

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

seed untold story

The Kalamalka Seed Library, housed at the Vernon campus library of Okanagan College, first germinated in the fall of 2013.  Today, the seed library contains dozens of non-GMO varieties of vegetable, herb and flower seeds.

The Kalamalka Seed Library received generous start-up grants from the Bauta Family Initiative.  Mrs. Gretchen Bauta’s vision, in partnership with USC Canada and Seeds of Diversity, is to secure a thriving Canadian seed system. For our part, the Kalamalka Seed Library strives to select, save and share our best local seeds.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN estimates 75% of crop diversity has disappeared in the last century as farmers have lost their local varieties to imported, genetically uniform varieties.  Thus, saving seed is critical to biodiversity and the resilience of food sources amidst diverse climates, soils and stresses. By saving and sharing our best seeds the Kalamalka Seed Library can expand seed diversity and nurture varieties for their strength and ability to adapt to changing conditions without giving up food rights to corporate owned modifications.

In an effort to draw awareness to seed security, The Kalamalka Seed Library will be hosting a community screening of, Seed the Untold Story.  As many irreplaceable seeds near extinction, SEED reveals the harrowing and heartening story of passionate seed keepers as they wage a David and Goliath battle against chemical seed companies, defending a 12,000 year food legacy.

Join us for this important screening!

  • Date:  Friday, October 27th
  • Time:  7:00 pm
  • Place:  Lecture Theatre, Okanagan College, Vernon Campus
  • Cost: $2

International Student Support at the Library

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

international blog

Are you new to Canada? Are you new to citations and other research skills essential to your success at Okanagan College? The Library is here to help!

Every year, hundreds of international students from more than 50 countries around the world come to Okanagan College to study in programs that range from government accredited degrees and diplomas to English as Second Language classes. To support the increasing number of international students, OC Library now has a dedicated librarian to liaise with ESL and International Education departments. This role is currently filled by Elise Tung (x4624 etung@okanagan.bc.ca).

As the Learning Services Librarian, Elise provides information literacy instruction and research help to international students, and works to ensure Library collections and services meet the needs of students and faculty. Elise, along with Public Services Librarian Erin May, also works with faculty from the Arts & Foundational Program to deliver academic skills workshops. These include library workshops focusing on how to select and evaluate information sources and how to cite in APA and MLA formats. They are held weekly in the Kelowna Library Lab L203, and all are welcome to attend!

The Kelowna Library also has a collection of ESL resources, including easy reading fiction organized by reading level in the Literacy Zone as well as practice workbooks for English proficiency tests on the upper level. The Learning Centre in the library provides further one-on-one support to both ESL and domestic students as well as Online Study Resources.

OC Library recognizes that international students face unique challenges as newcomers to Canada, and along with faculty and the International Education Department, we aim to provide integral support to ensure that every student has the tools and skills to succeed at Okanagan College. So come and visit us!

Image Source: https://pixabay.com/p-905562/?no_redirect

 

The Power of Words

Monday, September 25, 2017

BlogPhoto1by Erin May

From September 24-September 30, 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.

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