Lest We Forget: Preserving our Audiovisual History

Canadian Officer Training Corps students at Windsor Street Campus, ca. 1940.

Did you know that October 27th was World Day for Audiovisual Heritage?

If you didn’t- well, now you do! As Remembrance Day draws near and we spend time reflecting on the past, it’s worth considering how we as a society preserve our collective history.

Unlike books and journal articles, audiovisual (AV) materials can be difficult to access. They’re also more challenging to preserve. Luckily, through Saint Mary’s, you have access to audio visual heritage materials via the University Archive. The physical Archives are located on the third floor of the library, but you can access some materials online through the institutional repository.  

Here’s a quick Q&A with Hansel Cook, the librarian responsible for archives and special collections, on the status of audiovisual materials at SMU.

Q: What are audiovisual (AV) materials?

A: You can broadly describe AV material based on either the output format – audio, video, and photos being the obvious ones, of course – and the transmission medium, which includes digital files, as well as tapes, film, CDs, and a whole lot more. You can make the case that the definition of AV material could be expanded to include many more non-text formats, from video games to 3D printer files!Even if they are not the same thing, they have many of the same preservation and access concerns. 

Q: Why is the preservation of audiovisual materials important?

A: The two big concerns with AV material are: 1. decay of the physical medium, which includes things like video tapes becoming unplayable, and 2. loss of transmission standards, specifically, the inability to read the format even if the file itself has not decayed. This could be because it is using a piece of software that is not readable by current standards (how many people can open a WordStar word processing document?), or because the player/reader itself is obsolete (anyone own a Beta tape player these days?). 

Q: What are the challenges to accessing audiovisual materials as part of our documentary heritage?  

A: One of the solutions to access is also one of the solutions to preservation: transfer the AV material to a new, more-accessible digital format before the physical medium decays to the point that you can no longer read it. The challenge is that you still need to make decisions on transmission format and medium, which may make it easier to access the material now, but is it archival? How long will this new medium last? 

Other challenges include much larger file sizes, and the fact that every time you digitize something you may lose some of the authenticity of the original format. For example, oral history interviews transferred from a cassette tape format into a digital format are, in theory, more accessible, but are you losing anything in the way of authenticity? Did the fact that most cassette tapes record in 30-minute chunks play any part in how the original interview was conducted, and would you know that from a digital file? 

Q: What contributions can audiovisual materials make to research (as opposed to print materials like books or journal articles)?

A: AV material is an important primary source, and one that, due to the preservation issues mentioned above, has a higher chance to be lost through decay than more stable formats (like most paper). Also, AV material is, for lack of a better word, flashy! It’s an easy way to get people interested in your collection or in a topic and can be shared via social media and other formats to increase awareness, in a way that print materials cannot. If a picture is worth 1000 words, a video might be worth even more… 

Q: What audiovisual materials are available through the Patrick Power Library Archives?  

A: Most of our AV materials are related to the University itself, and includes oral history interviews with past staff, faculty and students, and video tapes of convocations and other university events. Much of our material has been digitized for the Institutional Repository, including old sports films from the 1960s of football and basketball games, as well as our entire University photo collection. 

There is so much to explore at the University Archives. You can visit the University Archives section of the institutional repository and take a trip to the past at Saint Mary’s University through audiovisual materials! This includes SMU’s involvement in the World Wars. AV materials in the Repository include an oral history interview with C. Anthony Law, the first curator of Saint Mary’s Art Gallery, who enlisted in the Canadian Navy in 1939 and went on to become one of Canada’s most prominent war artists. More information on Tony Law’s collection can be found at MemoryNS. You’ll also find a documentary on Stanisław Swianiewicz, a former Professor of Economics at Saint Mary’s, who served in the Polish army in World War Two and is the only known survivor of the Katyn Forest Massacre.

If you’re interested in learning more, or have additional questions, feel free to connect with a member of the Research Help team at the Patrick Power Library.

Latin American Heritage Month 

The Day of the Dead display in the Patrick Power Library, put together by Dr. Erica Fischer, from the Department of Modern Languages and Classics.

Did you know that October was Latin American Heritage Month? Latin American Heritage month was established in 2018 to recognize the significant contributions that members of the Latin American community have made to the social, economic and political make-up of Canada. The month was officially designated by the Latin American Heritage Month Act as a way to express gratitude to the Latin American community and promote the celebration of diversity. 

Latin American Heritage Month gives us the opportunity to learn about and acknowledge the vibrant cultures, traditions and history of the Latin American community in Canada that continue to enrich our nation today. Music, cuisine, literature, art, architecture, dance, and language are some of the many things that the diverse Latin American culture has brought to Canada.

One of the most recognized holidays that takes place just after Latin American Heritage Month is Día de los Muertos – Day of the Dead. The two-day event is takes place on  November 2nd to 3rd with festivities that celebrate and remember the lives of family and friends who have past.  You can learn more about Day of the Dead by checking out the display in the Patrick Power Library, or explore more about the holiday here.

There is so much to learn during Latin American Heritage Month that we couldn’t possibly pick one topic to cover. That is why we encourage you to do your own research, on a topic of interest to you!   

Below you will find a list of journals that will help you start to learn more about Latin American Heritage.  

If you’re just starting to learn about Latin American history and culture, there’s lots of information available – we know that can be both exciting and overwhelming! If have a question, are unsure where to start, or are looking for some extra assistance, don’t hesitate to contact our Research Help team.  

The Economics of Halloween

A broom on a porch next to a sign that says "Eat, drink, and be scary".
Photo by Bee Felten-Leidel on Unsplash

Holidays like Halloween are great for the economy (and enjoying festivities and treats!). Extra purchases like decorations, costumes, celebrations and of course, candy create a significant short-term boost that would not happen without the formal holiday.

But what’s the true cost of Halloween for Canadians? How significant is the impact?

We went to the Statista and Statistics Canada databases (provided to you by the Patrick Power Library), to find the spookiest and most surprising statistics about Halloween in Canada. Check out the stats, explore the databases and let us know if you find any other interesting facts by commenting below!  

Decorations

The Jack-O-Lantern is a classic Halloween decoration, created by carving a pumpkin. In 2018, Canadian growers produced 75,855 metric tons of pumpkins which can be turned into decorations, pumpkin pies, or pumpkin spiced lattes! In addition to pumpkin décor and goodies, Canadians also spend an average of $43 on Halloween decorations each year. With just over 16 million people planning to purchase Halloween related items this year, the economic impact of these festivities is sure to give you ‘pumpkin’ to talk about (see what we did there?).

Celebrations

There are many ways to celebrate Halloween. If one of your favourite festivities is attending a costume party, you’re not alone! It has been noted by Statista that an average of $77 is spent by Canadians attending a party, with an additional average of $55 for drink purchases. If catching a scary movie is more your style, you’re also in good company- approximately 96,032,391 tickets are sold in Canada for all types of movies as of 2018.  

Costumes

One of the best things about Halloween is dressing up, right? Must be- there are about 2,270 businesses that provide costume rental services in Canada as of June 2017. Whether you’re renting, purchasing or doing a DIY, the average amount of money spent on a costume in Canada is $52. Halloween makes a significant contribution to the estimated annual total value of vestments and costumes, which is $3.8 million in Canada.

Candy

Trick or treat! About 3.87 million children between the ages of five and fourteen trick or treat on Halloween across Canada. This promotes the sales of approximately $613.2 million worth of candy, cookies and other snack food items sold at large retailers across the nation. The average Canadian spends about $42 on candy each Halloween in Canada.

In Conclusion…

Halloween can have a big impact on the economy and the stores you’re purchasing from, due to the increased spending associated with the holiday. We encourage you to think about ways you could choose to shop local this Halloween. Maybe this could even save you a buck or two! We hope you stay safe and have a Spook-tacular Halloween this year!

If you’re curious and want help digging up some more stats, data, or information about Halloween, or any other subject, please connect with Research Help.

Faculty Author Series: Creating Sustainable Change Around the World with Dr. Tony Charles

What are communities around the world doing to conserve their local environments? What motivates them? How do they handle things like decision making and power when working to create sustainable local solutions to global problems?

In honour of Open Access Week, we’re celebrating the recent publication of Communities, Conservation and Livelihoods, a freely-available book that explores how communities around the work balance conserving their local environment with sustaining their livelihoods.

Communities, Conservation and Livelihoods is the product of over a decade of work and meaningful collaboration on the part of the Saint Mary’s-based Community Conservation Research Network (CCRN), an “international initiative to study and support local communities in their efforts to engage in environmental conservation that sustains local livelihoods, and to encourage best practices of governments to support these community initiatives.”

This book also takes us on a journey around the world, showcasing real initiatives in real communities who are working to address challenges and strike a balance between the economy and the environment.

Join us online or in the Library Classroom next Wednesday, October 27 at noon to hear from Dr. Charles on how this book came about and the research behind it; what it was like to work with so many collaborators across the globe; and how they and why the contributors decided to make it a freely available ebook.

The Research Toolkit workshops are back for Fall 2021!

Every Tuesday and Thursday evening throughout October, starting October 14th, students can once again tune in to the popular Research Toolkit workshops to learn advanced research tactics.

Facilitated by librarians from the Patrick Power Library, and delivered via Microsoft Teams, the Fall 2021 Research Toolkit workshops are a great opportunity for research assistants, teaching assistants, and graduate students to connect with one another and with information experts, ask questions, and expand their research skills and knowledge.    

“The Research Toolkit is designed to provide a solid foundation for students who need to develop advanced research skills,” explains Heather Sanderson, Information Literacy Librarian and co-creator of the workshops. The sessions are geared towards research assistants, teaching assistants, graduate students, honour students and anyone who is ready to move on to more advanced search techniques.

The sessions include key topics such as citation searching; effective searching of Google and Google Scholar to find grey literature, and finding and using data and statistics. Students will also learn the basics of copyright in academia.

Whether you are interested in one session or all five, you only need to register once! Students who attend any one session will receive access to all recordings.

Those interested can register online anytime.

For more information, please contact Information Literacy Librarian, Heather Sanderson (heather.sanderson@smu.ca) or Instructional Development Librarian, Cindy Harrigan (cindy.harrigan@smu.ca).

Research Toolkit – Fall 2021 Schedule

Thursday, October 14, 2021

5:30 – 6:30           “Researching the Literature Review” with Heather Sanderson

What is a literature review, and what do you need one for? Where do they appear, and how they are typically organized? We’ll cover several key tools and strategies for crafting your lit review, such as citation searching, to help you be more comprehensive and systematic in your literature searches.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

5:30 – 6:30          “Internet Expertise for Researchers” with Cindy Harrigan

This session will focus on how to find useful, quality information for academic or scholarly research, using Google and Google Scholar. Topics covered include grey literature, search strategies, and tips on how to evaluate search results. 

Thursday, October 21, 2021

5:30 – 6:30         “Show Me the Numbers: Stats and Data Discovery Tools to Support your Research” with Joyce Thomson

This session will focus on key concepts and challenges in finding data and statistics for your research as well as several useful places and strategies to explore, particularly for survey data from Statistics Canada.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

5:30 – 6:30         “Scholarly Journal Quality and Open Access” with Peter Webster

Can you identify the quality of a scholarly journal? This is a key skill for researchers and authors. Topics covered include various impact measures in use and strategies to identify the “best” articles in a subject area, as well as the benefits of open access and how to avoid predatory journals.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

5:30 – 6:30         “Copyright and You: What You Need to Know” with Amy Lorencz

How does copyright relate to your thesis/dissertation? Quite a lot, actually! Save yourself a headache later on by tuning in to learn about licenses, Creative Commons, using images, and what you need to know before you submit.

How and why you should diversify your reading list!

Cozy up to a new book this Thanksgiving weekend. Photo by Alex Geerts on Unsplash.

As we gear up for a long Thanksgiving weekend, in addition to rest and relaxation (always a must!), we recommend picking up a good book- maybe one that wouldn’t ordinarily appear on your reading list.

Why?

Maybe you’re not much of a reader, and would like to start reading for fun (not just for classes). Maybe you’re interested in a particular topic. That’s great! Take this opportunity to start. See if you can pick up a book by an author from a community other than your own.

Or maybe you already read for fun. Maybe you read a wide range of books, from fiction to biographies. That’s diverse, right?

Well…yes and no. While you might read different genres of books, it’s important to ask yourself: “who’s writing what I read?” Have you picked up a book lately that was written by someone outside your community, race, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity? If not, this is a great opportunity to do so!

Reading diversely means seeking out books that are written and/or illustrated by marginalized writers. It means reading stories that use culture in various ways – for example, maybe the main character is a marginalized person, but their identity is not the focus of the plot. Or, perhaps cultural influence helps to set the scene of a story. There’s no “one approach” to establish what a diverse book is. “Diverse books” simply means books that highlight experiences not typically represented in literature or the media.

Why is it important to read diversely?

Diversifying representation in our books is strongly associated with positive outcomes such as breaking down negative stereotypes, increasing opportunities to self-identify with characters, and improving our empathy for others. In addition, reading diverse books provide readers with a safe space to challenge our own assumptions about different cultures while growing our own awareness and understanding, without burdening those from marginalized communities whom we may know with our well-intentioned questions.

Diversifying your reading also helps to support marginalized authors and illustrators. Currently, most major publishing houses are dominated by white writers. This is problematic, because the people “behind the book scenes” act as gatekeepers, determining which voices are amplified and which are not. In a study done by the New York Times in 2018, only 11% of the books in their sample were written by people of colour. The infographic below illustrates data collected from the 2019 Diversity Baseline Survey showing that diversity in publishing is lacking.

These charts show the the demographics of the publishing industry circa 2019.

One thing we can do to help change these results is to diversify our reading lists! Here’s how to start:

Search by Genre 

Start with what you know and love.

If you’re just beginning to read for fun, think about what interests you, and look for a book on that topic.

If you’re already a reader, diversifying your reading list doesn’t mean forgetting about the books you already know and love! Use your favourite genres to help you find books by marginalized writers. You can use the following resources to help you search:

  • Connect with Research Help at the Patrick Power Library – we love chatting about novels and helping your search for your next favourite read!
  • Browse the Halifax Public Libraries’ website for curated reading lists and recommendations.
  • Browse GoodReads for lists – use terms like ‘author of colour’ in the search box to find reading lists such as the 2019 Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy books. 
  • We Need Diverse Books is a great grassroots organization specializing in helping people like you find diverse books that you will love. Check out their list of sites that offer recommendations for diverse titles here.

Search for Authors 

Next, you can search for popular and diverse authors.

You can do this by using search terms like ‘popular BIPOC’ or ‘popular LGBTQ’ or ‘popular disabled’ authors. These search terms will lead you to several lists of authors and books that you can explore!

You can use the #OwnVoice when searching for diverse books and authors. The #OwnVoice is used to tag books where under-represented authors have written from their perspective to share their own experiences. Using #OwnVoice to guide your search can help diversify your reading list by finding authentic stories with true representation.

Here are a few #OwnVoice books from the Patrick Power Library:

  1. There there by Tommy Orange
  2. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  3. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  4. Between the world and me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  5. On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis

Search for Resources 

One of the best ways to learn about and stay up to date on the latest diverse reads is by following individuals and organizations that advocate for diversity. We recommend researching online book clubs, diverse book blogs, or bookstagramers that suit your interests!

Although diversifying your reading list helps to improve your perspective of other identities and cultures, keep in mind that teaching readers is not these books’ sole (or even main) purpose. Every book tells a unique story, and engaging with that story is so much of the beauty of reading widely!

Ultimately, the best reason to diversify your reading list is to have more fun. Books are opportunities to explore the world through the eyes of someone whose life experience is vastly different than our own, and to learn about different identities, cultures, and worldviews. Living and learning through books can make life more interesting, fun, and exciting, and make us all more empathetic, compassionate, and understanding humans in the process.

Do you have a book recommendation, or more tips for diversifying your reading list? Please let us know in the comments!

Also, don’t forget that if you live in Halifax, you’re eligible for a FREE library card through Halifax Public Libraries, where you can find all kinds of books in all kinds of formats- so if reading a physical book isn’t your jam, try an ebook, an audiobook, or even try diversifying your playlist or movie watching!

Some National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Resources and Reading Lists

All of the resources listed below can be found in the SMU Library, or online.

Ebooks
A Knock on the Door: The Essential History of Residential Schools from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
Canada’s Residential Schools: The Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. v.1, pt.1. The History: Origins to 1939
Canada’s Residential Schools: The Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. v.1, pt. 2. The History: 1939-2000
Canada’s Residential Schools: The Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. v.2. The Inuit and Northern Experience
Canada’s Residential Schools: The Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. v.3. The  Métis Experience
Canada’s Residential Schools: The Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. v.4. Missing Children and Unmarked Burials
Canada’s Residential Schools: The Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. v.5. The Legacy
Canada’s Residential Schools: The Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. v.6. Reconciliation
The Education of Augie Merasty: A Residential School Memoir
A National Crime: The Canadian Government and the Residential School System
Broken Circle: The Dark Legacy of Indian Residential Schools: A Memoir
Metis History and Experience and Residential Schools in Canada
A Long Journey: Residential schools in Labrador and Newfoundland
From Bear Rock Mountain: The Life and Times of a Dene Residential School Survivor
From Truth to Reconciliation: Transforming the Legacy of Residential Schools
Resistance and Renewal: Surviving the Indian Residential School
Truth and Indignation: Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Indian Residential Schools
Fatty Legs: A True Story
Picking up the pieces: Residential school memories and the making of the witness blanket
The Role of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police During the Indian Residential School System
Victims of Benevolence: The Dark Legacy of the Williams Lake Residential School
Indigenous Writes
Children of the broken treaty
Clearing the Plains
#Not your Princess: Voices of Native American Women
My Decade at Old Sun, My Lifetime of Hell
Colonial Genocide in Indigenous North America
Violence Against Indigenous Women
Entangled Territorialities
Creating Indigenous Property
Resurgence and Reconciliation
Indigenous Nationals, Canadian Citizens
The Journey of Reconciliation
Pathways of Reconciliation
Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
Films
Gord Downie’s Secret Path in concert [CBC Curio video]
Indian Horse [Criterion On Demand]
Idle no more: A protest for Aboriginal rights [CBC Curio video]
We Were Children [NFB]
Websites
National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (University of Manitoba)
Secret Path
Orange Shirt Day
Assembly of First Nations
Metis National Council
Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami
Native Women’s Association of Canada
Where are the children? – Legacy of Hope Foundation
Residential Schools Land Memory Atlas
Library and Archives Canada – The Legacy of the Residential School System in Canada: A Selective Bibliography (2009)
National Aboriginal Health Organization
Books
Emotions, Remembering and Feeling Better
Colonial genocide in Indigenous North America
The Inconvenient Indian
Indigenous nationals, Canadian citizens
Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada
Unsettling Canada: A National Wake-up Call
Pathways of Reconciliation
Resurgence and Reconciliation
From Where I Stand
#IDLENOMORE and the remaking of Canada
The Sleeping Giant Awakens: Genocide, Indian Residential Schools, and the Challenge of Conciliation
From Truth to Reconciliation / Aboriginal Healing Foundation
From Truth to Reconciliation / Aboriginal Healing Foundation
From Truth to Reconciliation / Aboriginal Healing Foundation
Righting Canada’s Wrongs: Residential schools: The Devastating Impact on Canada’s Indigenous Peoples and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Findings and Calls for Action
Broken Circle: The Dark Legacy of Indian Residential Schools: A Memoir
Finding my Talk: How Fourteen Native women Reclaimed their Lives after Residential School
Resistance and Renewal: Surviving the Indian Residential School
The Education of Augie Merasty: A Residential School Memoir
Residential Schools and Reconciliation: Canada Confronts Its History [on loan to September 30, 2021]
Truth and Indignation: Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Indian residential schools
Unsettling the settler within Indian residential schools, truth telling, and reconciliation in Canada
Canada’s Residential Schools: The Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada v.1: pt.1
Canada’s Residential Schools: The Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada v.1: pt.2
Canada’s Residential Schools: The Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada v.2
Canada’s Residential Schools: The Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada v.3
Canada’s Residential Schools: The Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada v.4
Canada’s Residential Schools: The Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada v.5
Canada’s Residential Schools: The Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada v.6
A Knock on the Door: The Essential History of Residential Schools
Indian School Road: Legacies of the Shubenacadie Residential School
Children of the Broken Treaty
Creating Indigenous Property
Let the People Speak: Oppression in a Time of Reconciliation
#Not your Princess: Voices of Native American Women
Metis History and Experience and Residential Schools in Canada
Out of the Depths [2001 edition]
My Decade at Old Sun, My Lifetime of Hell
Entangled Territorialities
Highway of Tears
Violence against Indigenous women
Our Story: Aboriginal voices on Canada’s past
A Really Good Brown Girl
Indian Horse

Looking for additional resources? Contact us.

Dear Husky,

I feel like I’ve tried everything. Why is my login not working?

Locked Out

_____________________________________________________________________________

Hi Locked Out,

If you’re wondering why your login isn’t working, you’re not alone.

If you’ve felt the frustrations of trying to (unsuccessfully!) login, don’t despair! Ask yourself: what are you trying to do/log into? Depending on what you’re trying to accomplish, you may need a different combination of numbers and passwords.

Let’s start with your Library Account.

To log in to your Library Account (renew books, place holds, order books, etc.) your username will be the barcode number on your SMU ID card, and the default password will be the last four digits of your phone number. If we don’t have a phone number on file for you, your password will be 0000. You can also use you’re A-number and the associated password to login to your library account.

What you will need to login:

Username: Barcode number on your SMU ID card.

Password: Last four digits of your phone number. 

If you have any issues logging in to your library account, you can email access@smu.ca for help.

Next up is your Computer Account. 

To log in to your computer account (which lets you access library databases off campus*, Brightspace, SMUport, printing, etc.) you will need to use your S number and the password associated with your S number.

Please *note that if you try to log in to the SMU library databases off campus and fail to successfully login 10 times in 5 minutes, you will be locked out for 20 minutes. The lockout is connected to your computer, so attempting to login use your friend’s S number on the same device will not work. You’ll have to wait 30 minutes before trying to log in again.

You may be wondering, okay, what if I’ve forgotten my S number and password? If you’ve forgotten your S number or password, you can re-activate your account using your A-number and PIN at the following link.

If you have any issues, you can also contact the EIT Help Desk at 902-496-8111 during their hours of operation or send them an email at helpdesk@smu.ca

Last (but not least!) is Banner.  

To log on to Banner (register for classes, pay tuition, etc.) you will need to use your A number and the associated PIN number. Your A-number starts with the letter “A” and is followed by eight digits (ex. A12345678). It will sometimes be referred to as your Banner ID. Your default PIN number is your date of birth in the format of DDMMYY – for example, the PIN for someone with the birthday January 2nd 2003 would be 020103.

What you will need to login:

Username: A-number / Banner ID

Password: Your PIN number.

If you have any issues logging in, or have forgotten your A-number, you can contact the EIT Help Desk at 902-496-8111 during their hours of operation or send them an email at helpdesk@smu.ca.  

Whew! That’s a lot to remember! No wonder it can seem daunting to access what you need. However, logging on to your Saint Mary’s University platforms gets a lot easier when you know the right information to use. Don’t forget- if all else fails, you can always reach out the Research Help Team at the Library. They can help you figure out how to proceed.

Good luck!

Husky

Welcome back to the Library!

The Patrick Power Library sign at the entrance to the library, with books on shelves underneath.
The iconic Patrick Power Library sign. Photo by @capturedbymoinak

We hope your first day of classes was amazing!

After a year of virtual operations, we’re so excited that you can now drop in to use the Library anytime we’re open. No more appointments needed (except for group study rooms!).

What does this mean?

Feel free to come in, study, browse the stacks, and check out books, anytime during open hours (you can find up-to-date hours info on the Library’s website).

You can even drop into the library for in-person Research Help from 1-5 pm, Monday to Friday, although Virtual Research Help is still offered:

Monday-Thursday: 9 am-7 pm

Friday: 9 am-5 pm

Saturday & Sunday: 1-5 pm

We are so excited to welcome you back to the Library!

What’s new?

We ask that you help us keep our campus community safe by complying with all health and safety protocols. Masks are mandatory in the Library until seated and 1-metre of physical distancing can be maintained, and you must fill out the check in form upon arrival.

For the latest Library updates and info, follow @SMUhfxlibrary on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

16 Canadian Books to read for Pride Week

Happy Pride!

Pride Week is one of the primary arts and cultural festivals in Canada, and is also celebrated worldwide. Although June is often recognized as Pride Month, this year, Halifax Pride is being celebrating between the 12th and 22nd of August.  

For many, celebrating Pride means dressing up, going to festivals or parades, waving our pride flags and accepting and expressing ourselves, and other peoples’ identities.   

Although Pride is a great time to be vibrant and joyful, it’s important to remember that Pride has not always been sunshine and literal rainbows.  

Pride Month was created to commemorate a critical moment in queer history – the Stonewall Uprising (also known as the Stonewall Riot), which was a protest that lasted 6 days in Manhattan between police and LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer) protestors in June 1969.  

It’s important to note the acronym LGBTQ continues to evolve but is often referred to as LGBTQIA2S+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersexual, Asexual, Two-Spirit, plus).  

Pride Month was born from overcoming discrimination and hardships faced by the LGBTQIA2S+ community – some of which still exist today. 

Celebrations should, then, include an acknowledgement and recognition of the accomplishments of advocates in the LGBTQIA2S+ community and allies, while continuing to work towards equity for all.  

One way we can start to understand the lived experience of others is by “stepping into someone else’s shoes”, as the saying goes. We can do this by (yes, you already know what we’re about to suggest!) reading novels and poetry anthologies by Canadian authors who identify as being part of the LGBTQIA2S+ community.  

Check out our selection of Ebooks and Print books available to you through the Patrick Power Library’s catalogue.  

Novels Available as Ebooks  

Follow the links provided to the Ebooks available – for extra help, you can also check out our resource on how to access and download library books. You’ll need to have your S number and password nearby.

Novels Available as Print Books 

If reading a physical book is more your style, you can borrow materials from the Patrick Power Library. Don’t see it in our collection? You can also request materials from other libraries. The books below are all print books available in our catalogue.  

Reading stories written by members of the LGBTQIA2S+ community can help to highlight some of the barriers faced by this group. If you are, or if you know someone going through similar struggles, you can check out the following links for some great resources that may be able to help.  

Expanding your reading list to include underrepresented voices not only gives you a safe space to read and learn, but the cover of diversified books can also indicate to others that there is a safe space with you, as well.   

Can’t find a book that interests you? This is just the tip of the iceberg! Connect with our Research Help team- we’ll be happy to chat and help you find something great to read for Pride. 

What are you reading for Pride Week?