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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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!
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 email@example.com 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Uh oh- did you forget to apply online, well in advance?
Your university ID card is so many things- your library card, your bus pass, your meal card for on-campus dining, and your ticket into the Homburg Centre (the gym), among other things. So, it’s a pretty important thing to have with you when you start at SMU!
This year, you’ll need to apply for your ID card through our online form by August 3 in order to pick it up on campus when you arrive. If you apply after August 3, or wait until you arrive on campus (yikes!), you’ll have a wait while we process your request- delaying your ability to access all the services your card allows.
Don’t let this be you! Be proactive and apply now. And don’t be shy- if you need help, just Ask Us. We’re happy to walk you through the process!
July 1 is a chance to reflect on our country’s history, present, and future.
To do that, we need to educate ourselves- perhaps beyond what we’ve learned in school. Canadians of all demographics can learn more about our own country by exploring Canada’s history- the good and the bad- through numerous online resources.
You can find and access many of these resources for free, but if you’re currently a student, staff or faculty member at Saint Mary’s, you’ll have access to some of the following databases through the Library.
Critically Examining Your Sources
It’s worth noting that many of these are resources provided by the Canadian government, but there are a variety of perspectives that need to be considered when establishing an information source’s authority on a topic. There may be (and often is!) more to the story.
This does not mean we should trust sources that are untrustworthy, or that trustworthy sources can’t sometimes be incorrect. It simply means we must use our critical thinking skills to analyze a source from a critical perspective. Here are some questions to ask yourself when analyzing a source:
Who wrote it? Why? What makes them on expert on this topic? (It’s perfectly acceptable to Google names, institutions, etc. to find out more about an author or organization).
Is the information presented objectively (more or less), or does it present only one side of an issue? Does the author/organization benefit from presenting the info from a particular perspective?
What information is included, and what is excluded? (To know this, you’ll need to consult multiple sources on the topic).
Is it current? When was this information last updated?
Statistics Canada makes key information available from the national statistical office. Canadians can access information about the country’s economy, society, environment and much more. Statistics Canada is a great database to use to explore Canadian statistics while also having the data needed to make effective evidence-based decisions.
The Government of Canada Publications database hosts more than 400,900 digital publications that are accessible to you. If you have ever wanted to access the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, you can get it here. As well as multiple other documents ranging from Canadian building codes to Government responses to environment and social justice issues.
The Canadian Business and Current Affairs database provides users with large collection of materials discussing current affairs and business challenges in Canadian. The database features a range of publications, include scholarly journals, trade publications, magazines, reports, radio and television transcripts, news, and much more.
Canada’s Information Resource Centre (CIRC) is a database that hosts a wide collection of Canadian directories. Find important and need-to-know information about government and industry segments using the information provided by CIRC.
You never know what you can find using the Canadian Census Analyzer database. Using census subdivisions (CSDs), you can access and create datasets that you’re interested in using recent Canadian census data.
Are you a student in Halifax taking summer courses? Starting Monday, July 5th, the Library will be expanding to evening and weekend hours for individual bookable study spaces! Time slots available will be as follows:
Monday – Thursday:
9 am-12 pm
9 am-12 pm
Masks are required, and cleaning wipes will be provided for individuals to clean their own work station.
You can book study spaces (for current hours) on the Library’s webpage.