‘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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Flip for Flipster!

Monday, September 18, 2017

by Erin May


Update: Our Flipster trial has ended. Thank you for your interest!

OC library is getting something new! Flipster is an online magazine platform that you can use to read new and back issues of 30 magazines. From Popular Science to Comics and Gaming, Car and Driver to Food Network Magazine, we have something for you to read!

Ready to give Flipster a try? Now, you can browse through titles from Animation to Vogue. When you have found the magazine you want to look at, click the cover photo to start reading. “All issues” on the right hand side will point you to back issues of the magazine, and “pages” lets you flip directly to a page in the issue you’re reading. You can even print from Flipster, but the number of pages depends on the magazine.

Spend some time in Flipster, and you’ll find the perfect article for your assignment, a fun read for the weekend, maybe even the perfect recipe for dinner! Sports, science, leisure, business–these are just some of the topics covered by these magazines. Don’t forget that you can ask us at the library if you have any questions about Flipster!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Science Literacy Week 2018

Friday, September 15, 2017


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 scienceliteracy.ca.

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.

New Semester, New Faces

Thursday, September 7, 2017

All library staffWelcome to Fall semester 2017! So much excitement, so many changes – and the library is no exception. We’ve got a new, streamlined look on our website, major behind-the-scenes upgrades to online resources, new books on the shelves, and new faces at our service desks. Come in and welcome these new (and returning!) library team members:


  • Lindsay Willson will be Kelowna’s Campus Librarian while Michelle Ward  is away on leave for 2017-18.
  • Jill Sinotte is away on maternity leave, and Elise Tung has joined us for the year to cover as Learning Services Librarian.
  • Erin May will cover the part-time term position as Public Services/Liaison Librarian.
  • Claudia Valencia returns from her year of leave, and is back as Library Tech II.
  • Danielle LaRocque joins the Kelowna Learning Centre as part-time English & Writing Coordinator.
  • Welcome to two new auxilliary staff members: Eric Chamberland and Gillian Treschow
  • Another big change coming down the pike: Claudia Cable, a backbone of the library for 29 years, retires in October. Tough shoes to fill! She’ll be missed by staff & students alike.


  • Anne Caughlan takes over as part-time sessional Library Clerk III, a vacancy created by Debbie Idzan’s retirement.


  • Paula Casorso, Library Clerk III, returns from leave.

Remember: no matter which campus you’re at, you’ll find a team of helpful, professional, knowledgeable library staff to help make your 2017-18 academic year a success!

Copyright & You

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

YoCopyrightu may have heard about a recent Federal Court decision, in a case brought by Access Copyright, which found that York University’s Fair Dealing Policy was inconsistent with the federal Copyright Act. This case has received significant media attention and has also presented an opportunity for some publishers to aggressively target post-secondary faculty with offers of fee-based services for dealing with course materials.

Here are some factors to consider about the decision before making any changes to your practices in providing students with access to course materials:

  • The Federal Court decision is binding only on York University, not on any other Canadian post-secondary institutions. In addition, York has not announced publicly whether they will appeal the decision. Should they appeal, the case will likely be before the courts for years to come.
  • Unlike York and many other institutions, Okanagan College has maintained a license with Access Copyright so our dependence on the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act, while important, is mitigated by our rights under our license. (See Access Copyright Print and Digital Copying Guidelines).
  • Another factor to consider is that much of the material that is posted to Moodle originates from e-journals and other sources for which OC Library holds site licenses. Use of these resources is subject to the terms and conditions of the individual publisher and vendor licenses. For more information, see the “Library Licenses” section of the Library’s Copyright Guide.
  • The most important things to remember are that, assuming you were complying with applicable legislation and licenses in the past, there is no need at this time to change your practices in regard to copyright, and that you should direct any questions you might have about copyright to one of the OC employees listed below.

General copyright queries: Lindsay Willson (Kelowna Campus Librarian), Local 4749 / lwillson@okanagan.bc.ca

Queries regarding course packs: Gord Stefansson (Campus Stores), Local 5622 / gstefansson@okanagan.bc.ca

You may also wish to consult OC Library’s Copyright Guidelines.

Ross Tyner
Director, Library Services, and Copyright Officer

Wine in the Library

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Summer is peak time for wine touring in the Okanagan. Our campus libraries have a cluster of amazing resources to help any wine aficionado make the most of their sips. In fact, we have dedicated guide to all things wine. And of course, we have plenty of books to peruse on the subject. Here are just a few of the new books we’ve recently added to the collection:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Come browse the shelves at TP 559 to see even more.

While you’re reading about wine, why not consider the ultimate deep dive into the subject? Pursue a course of study in the wine industry at Okanagan College. Programs include our new viticulture technician program, wine sales certificate, and winery assistant programs. Find more information here. To dip your toes into the barrel of wine learning, why not take the free, online BC Wine Server course, developed by Okanagan College in collaboration with the British Columbia Wine Institute.

Or maybe you’d like to be the most informed person at your next dinner party? Be the first to know about upcoming OC food & wine workshops by joining the Okanagan College Food & Wine Interest list. Email feedyourpassion@okanagan.bc.ca to join.

Any way you crush the grape, there’s plenty to learn here at Okanagan College!


Canada 150+

Friday, June 30, 2017

canada 150+ logoThe Canadian confederation is 150 years old this year, and as we celebrate, it’s an opportunity to remind ourselves that the history of this country goes far beyond that, and that from different perspectives Canada’s birthday means different things.

With that in mind the plus sign in Canada 150+ has become a way to indicate inclusion of other perspectives as we mark this anniversary. The City of Vancouver has created a celebration called Canada 150+  as part of the city’s reconciliation program called Strengthening our Relations. The initiative is made possible by the three host nations: the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.

Victoria has joined their own Year of Reconciliation with the collaboration of the Songees and Esquimault First Nations.

The #Resistance150 Project was created by Indigenous people to challenge the idea of Canada 150 and highlight Indigenous peoples’ resistance to colonization and assimilation from the time of the first Europeans arrival through to contemporary times.

It is important for all of us to hear different perspectives about our history and this land that we inhabit in order to fully understand and appreciate each other. However you choose to recognize this year, it’s worth exploring Canada’s history – 150 years and beyond, and our campus libraries can help you get started with a wealth of books and resources. Check out Kelowna’s Canada display to get started.

Further reading:







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

%d bloggers like this: