Open Images

March 4, 2021 by

Open images are images that have been released under an open license, such as a Creative Commons license. This allows them to be freely used and reused at no cost! 

Unlike copyrighted resources, open images have been created by an individual or organization that chooses to retain few, if any, ownership rights. (OER Commons). For more information, see RDC Library’s Open Educational Resources (OER): For Students.

Here’s some of our favourite places to find open images: 

  • Undraw is a collection of customizable illustrations that can be used in any project, commercial or personal, without cost or attribution. 
  • Unsplash. Unsplash includes copyright-friendly images for commercial and noncommercial uses. No need to ask permission or give credit.
  • The Noun Project. The Noun Project is a collection of icons and symbols that can be reused under a Creative Commons license.

For more copyright-friendly images, videos, and music, see the Presenting & Creating page on any of RDC Library’s subject guides.

Open Films

March 3, 2021 by

Open films are films that have been released under an open license, such as a Creative Commons license. This allows them to be freely used and reused at no cost! 

Unlike copyrighted resources, open films have been created by an individual or organization that chooses to retain few, if any, ownership rights. (OER Commons). For more information, see RDC Library’s Open Educational Resources (OER): For Students.

Here’s a few of our favourite open films: 

Tears of Steel 12 min.
Set in a dystopian future, Tears of Steel is a short science fiction film featuring a group of warriors and scientists who gather at the Oude Kerk in Amsterdam in a desperate attempt to save the world from destructive robots. (2013)
CC BY 3.0

Pioneer One 6 episodes
Pioneer One is six-episode sci-fi drama series. An object from space spreads radiation over North America. Fearing terrorism, U.S. Homeland Security agents are dispatched to investigate and contain the damage. What they discover is a forgotten relic of the old Soviet space program, whose return to Earth will have implications for the entire world. (2010)

Where Are the Joneses? 12 episodes
Where Are the Joneses is a 2007 British daily online sitcom. The plot follows Dawn Jones, who discovers in the opening episode that she is the child of a sperm donor, and follows her travels around Europe to find her 26 siblings. (2007)
CC BY-SA 3.0

Code Rush 56 min.
Code Rush is a 2000 documentary of Netscape’s last year as an independent company, focusing on the rush to make Mozilla’s source code ready for its release deadline. (2000)

What is Reality? 30 min.
 What if the very fabric of space and time isn’t made of one-dimensional strings or energy as we think of it, but instead was simply a code or a language made from a geometric projection? This film is presented in layperson terms and explains basic tenets of emergence theory, quantum mechanics and digital physics in ways that are meant to be communicative and fun. (2017)
CC BY 3.0

Paywall: The Business of Scholarship 65 min. 
Paywall: The Business of Scholarship is a documentary which focuses on the need for open access to research and science. The film questions the rationale behind the $25.2 billion a year that flows into for-profit academic publishers, examines the 35-40% profit margin associated with the top academic publisher, Elsevier, and looks at how that profit margin is often greater than some of the most profitable tech companies such as Apple, Facebook, and Google. (2018)
CC BY 4.0

For more free and open films, see Open Culture: Free Movies Online. Open Culture has 1,150 movies, including classics, indies, film noir, documentaries, Westerns, and other films. 

Tip: Are you an RDC student? Want to watch more free movies? Check out RDC Library’s streaming videos databases. 
These databases are collections of films and videos that you can access as a student at RDC. We recommend Criterion-On-Demand, which has a great selection of classics, documentaries, animated titles, independent, and foreign films.

Open Books; or, the Opposite of Anne Rice

March 2, 2021 by

If you were a Vampire Chronicles fan in the 2000s, you had a hard time finding fanfiction. Anne Rice famously despised fanfiction, and Rice’s lawyers were known to send cease-and-desist letters to fanfiction authors. In 2000, Rice posted a message to her website that read: “I do not allow fanfiction. The characters are copyrighted.” 

What does it mean that Rice’s characters are protected by copyright? Copyright is the exclusive legal right to produce and reproduce original works, including books. Copyright is an all rights reserved approach; since Rice created the characters in Vampire Chronicles, she argued that she owned the rights to those characters, and did not give permission for others to use or adapt her works. 

In Canada, copyright expires 50 years after the creator’s death. After copyright expires, the work is in the public domain. The public domain means there are no rights reserved. For example, Shakespeare’s plays are in the public domain, so we are able to read, adapt, and perform these plays without asking for permission or providing payment.

Open books are essentially the opposite of Rice’s approach to her creative works. Open books are books that have been released under an open license, such as a Creative Commons license. Open licenses have some rights reserved. By assigning an open license to their book, the author has given express permission for the book to be freely used, reused, and adapted – at no cost! Unlike Rice’s desire to control every iteration of her characters, authors who use open licenses encourage their readers to adapt and share their work. Each open license has slightly different requirements for how you can use, adapt, and share the work; to find out more, click the license for a human-readable summary.

Here’s a few of our favourite open books:

Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow
Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom is a science fiction novel set in Walt Disney World in the 22nd century. The story is told as a “future history,” with the narrator recording a history of events taking place in our future.

Tokyo Zero by Marc Horne
It’s the turn of the millennium and a young westerner arrives in Tokyo to join a cult and bring on the end of the world. But whose world? Visit the Tokyo that lies beneath the surface: the city of petty gangsters, slumming millionaires, drunkards, fanatics and bizarre messiahs.

Everyone in Silico by Jim Munroe
Everyone in Silico is a post-cyberpunk novel set in Vancouver, 2036. San Francisco was struck by an earthquake and a company called Self, which is somehow related to Microsoft, set up an AI system to replace the city with a virtual environment called Frisco. The story follows several people, both in Vancouver as well as in Frisco.

The Art of Community by Jono Bacon
Online communities provide a wide range of opportunities for supporting a cause, marketing a product or service, or building open source software. The Art of Community helps you recruit members, motivate them, and manage them as active participants. Discover how your community can become a reliable support network, a valuable source of new ideas, and a powerful marketing force. The expanded second edition shows you how to keep community projects on track, make use of social media, and organize collaborative events.

Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in a Hybrid Economy by Lawrence Lessig
In Remix, Lawrence Lessig, a Harvard law professor and a respected voice in what he deems the “copyright wars”, describes the disjuncture between the availability and relative simplicity of remix technologies and copyright law. Lessig insists that copyright law as it stands now is antiquated for digital media since every “time you use a creative work in a digital context, the technology is making a copy”.[5] Thus, amateur use and appropriation of digital technology is under unprecedented control that previously extended only to professional use.
CC BY-NC 3.0

To find out more about copyright and open licenses, check out A Quick Guide to Copyright for Students.

For more open books, see:

  • Open Culture: Free eBooks Online. Open Culture has more than 800 free eBooks for iPad, Kindle, smartphone or ereader.  
  • Project Gutenberg. Project Gutenberg is a library of over 60,000 free eBooks in the public domain. These books are available to read online or download as epub or Kindle eBooks.
  • Creative Commons Wiki. The Creative Commons wiki is a collection of books licensed under Creative Commons licenses. 

Welcome to Open Education Week!

March 1, 2021 by

Welcome to Open Education Week!

Open Education (OE) Week is a celebration of the global Open Education Movement. Its goal is to raise awareness about the movement and its impact on teaching and learning worldwide. For more information, see Open Education Week. 

What are OER? 

OER, or Open Educational Resources, are resources that are released under an open license. This allows them to be freely used and reused at no cost! Unlike copyrighted resources, open resources have been created by an individual or organization that chooses to retain few, if any, ownership rights (OER Commons). For more information, see RDC Library’s Open Educational Resources (OER): For Students.

What is RDC Library doing for OE Week? 

This year, we are very excited to co-host a movie night with the Students’ Association.

On Wednesday, March 3rd at 5:30 pm, we will be streaming a night of open film, including Spring and Sita Sings the Blues. Register Now! 

Spring is an animated fantasy short film created by the Blender Animation Studio. It was made utilizing Blender, an open-source animation software. Spring won the “Best Short Film” award at the Mundos Digitales International Animation Festival in 2019 and has numerous other nominations. Spring is the Blender Institute’s 12th open movie, and is licensed as Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0).

Sita Sings the Blues is an animated musical romantic comedy-drama film created by Nina Paley. It intersperses events from the Hindu epic the Ramayana with scenes from Paley’s own life. Sita is a goddess separated from her beloved Lord and Husband Rama. Nina Paley is an animator whose husband moves to India, then dumps her by email. Set to the 1920’s jazz vocals of torch singer Annette Hanshaw, three shadow puppets narrate both ancient tragedy and modern comedy. Sita Sings the Blues has won seven awards and three nominations at international film festivals since its release in 2008. Sita Sings the Blues is licensed as Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication (CC-0).

For more information, please contact Caitlin Ratcliffe at 

Recognizing Orange Shirt Day, 2020

September 23, 2020 by

Annually on September 30, Canadians recognize Orange Shirt Day, a day dedicated to educating people and promote awareness in Canada about the Indian residential school system and the impact it has had on Indigenous communities for over a century.

RDC Library has several books that tell the story of Canada’s residential schools.

RDC Books (and a movie!)

The Inconvenient Indian by Thomas King (nonfiction)

“Rich with dark and light, pain and magic, The Inconvenient Indian distills the insights gleaned from Thomas King’s critical and personal meditation on what it means to be “Indian” in North America, weaving the curiously circular tale of the relationship between non-Natives and Natives in the centuries since the two first encountered each other.”

The Reason You Walk by Wab Kinew (memoir)

“When his father was given a diagnosis of terminal cancer, Winnipeg broadcaster and musician Wab Kinew decided to spend a year reconnecting with the accomplished but distant aboriginal man who’d raised him.”

The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline (fiction, YA)

“In a future world ravaged by global warming, people have lost the ability to dream, and the dreamlessness has led to widespread madness. The only people still able to dream are North America’s indigenous population – and it is their marrow that holds the cure for the rest of the world. But getting the marrow – and dreams – means death for the unwilling donors. Driven to flight, a 15-year-old and his companions struggle for survival, attempt to reunite with loved ones, and take refuge from the “recruiters” who seek them out to bring them to the marrow-stealing ‘factories.'”

A Mind Spread Out on the Ground by Alicia Elliott (nonfiction)

A Mind Spread Out on the Ground is a personal and critical meditation on trauma, legacy, oppression and racism in North America… Alicia Elliott offers indispensable insight and understanding to the ongoing legacy of colonialism.”

Speaking Our Truth by Monique Gray Smith (nonfiction, YA)

“This nonfiction book examines how we can foster reconciliation with Indigenous people at individual, family, community and national levels.”

In My Own Moccasins by Helen Knott (memoir)

In My Own Moccasins is an unflinching account of addiction, intergenerational trauma, and the wounds brought on by sexual violence.

Northern Wildflower by Catherine Lafferty (memoir)

Northern Wildflower is the beautifully written and powerful memoir of Catherine Lafferty. With startling honesty and a distinct, occasionally humorous, voice, Lafferty tells her story of being a Dene woman growing up in a small northern Canadian mining town and her struggles with discrimination, poverty, addiction, love and loss.”

Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot (memoir)

“Terese Mailhot’s memoir chronicles her struggle to balance the beauty of her Native heritage with the often desperate and chaotic reality of life on the reservation. Heart Berries is a powerful, poetic memoir of a woman’s coming of age on the Seabird Island Indian Reservation in British Columbia.”

Mamaskatch by Darrel J. McLeod (memoir)

“Growing up in the tiny village of Smith, Alberta, Darrel J. McLeod was surrounded by his Cree family’s history. In shifting and unpredictable stories, his mother, Bertha, shared narratives of their culture, their family and the cruelty that she and her sisters endured in residential school.”

The Education of Augie Merasty by Joseph Auguste Merasty, with David Carpenter (memoir)

“Merasty was one of an estimated 150,000 First Nations, Inuit, and Metis children who were taken from their families and sent to government-funded, church-run schools, where they were subjected to a policy of ‘aggressive assimiliation.’ As Merasty recounts, these schools did more than attempt to mold children in the ways of white society. They were taught to be ashamed of their native heritage and, as he experienced, often suffered physical and sexual abuse. Even as he looks back on this painful part of his childhood, Merasty’s generous and authentic voice shines through.”

Up Ghost River by Edmund Metatawabin, with Alexandra Shimo (memoir)

“Edmund Metatawabin tells the story of his years as a child in the 1950s in St. Anne’s, one of Canada’s worst residential schools, and the healing he found from his alcoholism and PTSD through his reconnection with his Cree culture.”

When we were alone by Robertson, David and illustrated by Julie Flett (fiction, children’s picture book)

“When a young girl helps tend to her grandmother’s garden, she begins to notice things that make her curious. Why does her grandmother have long, braided hair and beautifully colored clothing? Why does she speak another language and spend so much time with her family? As she asks her grandmother about these things, she is told about life in a residential school a long time ago, where all of these things were taken away. When We Were Alone is a story about a difficult time in history, and, ultimately, one of empowerment and strength”

The Outside Circle by Patti LaBoucane-Benson (fiction, graphic novel)

“Pete, a young Aboriginal man wrapped up in gang violence, lives with his younger brother, Joey, and his mother who is a heroin addict. After returning home one evening, Pete and his mother’s boyfriend, Dennis, get into a violent struggle, which sends Dennis to the morgue and Pete to jail. Initially maintaining his gang ties, a jail brawl forces Pete to realize the negative influence he has become on Joey and encourages him to begin a process of rehabilitation through a traditional Native healing circle.”

They Called Me Number One by Bev Sellars (memoir)

“Like Native children forced by law to attend schools across Canada and the United States, Sellars and other students of St. Joseph’s Mission were allowed home only for two months in the summer and for two weeks at Christmas. The rest of the year they lived, worked, and studied at the school. St. Joseph’s mission is the site of the controversial and well-publicized sex-related offences of Bishop Hubert O’Connor, which took place during Sellars’s student days, between 1962 and 1967, when O’Connor was the school principal. After the school’s closure, those who had been forced to attend came from surrounding reserves and smashed windows, tore doors and cabinets from the wall, and broke anything that could be broken. Overnight their anger turned a site of shameful memory into a pile of rubble. In this frank and poignant memoir, Sellars breaks her silence about the institution’s lasting effects, and eloquently articulates her own path to healing.”

Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese (fiction)

The book:
The movie:

“Saul Indian Horse is in trouble, and there seems to be only one way out. As he journeys his way back through his life as a northern Ojibway, from the horrors of residential school to his triumphs on the hockey rink, he must question everything he knows.”

These books are available to RDC students, faculty, and staff through NEOS

The Red Files by Lisa Bird-Wilson (poetry)

“Drawing from family photographs and archival records, Lisa Bird-Wilson writes poetry to commemorate the generations of children traumatized by the residential school system. The project is a personal one as Bird-Wilson’s own grandparents, aunts and uncles were among the 150,000 Indigenous students to attend residential schools. The title of the book comes from the federal government, who organized the residential school archives into “black files” and “red files.”” (CBC Books, 2018)

Calling Down the Sky by Rosanna Deerchild (poetry)

“In this poetry collection, Rosanna Deerchild calls attention to the traumatic impact of severing Indigenous children from their communities. Deerchild focuses on the survivors of the Canadian residential school system in the 1960s, who were forbidden to speak their languages and practice their culture. Calling Down the Sky illustrates how this cruelty reverberates across Indigenous communities and through generations of family.” (CBC Books, 2018)

Burning in this Midnight Dream by Louise Bernice Halfe (poetry)

“Celebrated Cree poet Louise Bernice Halfe was inspired to write the collection Burning in this Midnight Dream as the Truth and Reconciliation process unfolded. The book describes how survivors continue to be haunted by their experiences, and how that trauma has been passed down for generations. Halfe herself is a survivor of the residential school system.” (CBC Books, 2018)

Changes in the Library for Fall 2020

July 2, 2020 by

With the Government of Alberta provincial budget in spring of this year, RDC’s Campus Alberta operating grant was reduced by 2.4% in year for 19/20, and then another 7.4%, for a total of $5.3 million, which has affected RDC’s 2020/2021 budget. That has impacted the Library in these ways.

We will reduce our regular hours during the academic year by not opening on Saturday mornings. Instead of being open 9:00am-5:00pm, our Saturday hours will be 12:00pm-5:00pm during the Fall, Winter, and Spring terms.

This time period was chosen based on data collected over the past several years. We know that Saturday morning is our least busy time of the week, in terms of people using the library and people requesting assistance from library staff. Choosing that time period to close the library will have the least impact on students.

Due to COVID-19, the Makerspace has been closed since March 16, 2020. As a result of the 2020/2021 budget reductions, the Makerspace will not be reopening.

Some pieces of equipment, such as the button maker and video cameras, will be available for borrowing from the Library Desk. Other pieces of equipment, such as the 3D printers and the laser machine, will be unavailable for the foreseeable future, but may eventually become available through other departments on campus.

There will be no access to the Makerspace multimedia computers. Students, faculty, and staff, will continue to have access to the multimedia computers on the Main Floor of the Library.

There will be no access to the Makerspace location (2006F), including the studio (2006G) and collaboration room (2006H).

Peer Tutoring
There will be changes to the Peer Tutoring program. Details regarding these changes have not been finalized, and may not be in place for the beginning of the Fall term. We will share more information when it is available.

These decisions were not made lightly. We recognize how they affect our students, faculty, and staff, and the wider community who use our space and access our services. However, we are confident that these difficult decisions are the right ones to ensure long-term sustainability.

Library Textbook collection … now expanded!

January 14, 2020 by

Recognizing the financial burden of purchasing textbooks, and hoping to ease the load for students, the Library introduced a reserve textbook collection in 2018, and we’ve been adding to it every semester since then!

When deciding which textbooks to purchase, these are the criteria we consider:

  • high cost (over $100)
  • first-year or introductory course
  • course with a large enrollment

Reserve textbooks are available for 2-hour loans from the Library Desk or the Information Desk on the 3rd Floor of DSB (for those classes offered at the DSB). Just bring your iCard to borrow a textbook.

Select textbooks are available for the following courses:

  • ACCT 204
  • ANTH 200 & 201
  • ART 201 & 305
  • BADM 110 & 132
  • BIOL 217 & 218
  • BUS 201 & 311
  • CHEM 203 & 211
  • COMM 150, 250, & 271
  • ECON 100 & 201
  • EDAS 116 & 152
  • EDUC 250
  • EET 210
  • ELCC 201 & 215
  • ENCP 200
  • ENGG 230
  • ENGL 095, 291, & 220
  • FAM 315
  • GET 106, 111, &116
  • HSCI 105
  • INTP 102
  • JUST 100
  • KNSS 204 & 210
  • MATH 202
  • PHIL 201
  • PHYS 075, 095, 205, & 258
  • POLI 201
  • PSYC 260, 313, 353, & 375
  • SOCI 260
  • SOWK 201 & 301
  • STAT 251

An Urgency of Teachers: The Work of Critical Digital Pedagogy

October 2, 2019 by

“Critical Pedagogy is an approach to teaching and learning predicated on fostering agency and empowering learners.”

An Urgency of Teachers is in the RDC Library

An Urgency of Teachers: The Work of Critical Digital Pedagogy is a collection of essays by Sean Michael Morris (@slamteacher) and Jesse Stommel (@jessifer).

In this collection, the authors explore a multitude of themes, including online learning, educational technology, social justice, open education, plagiarism, instructional design, and teaching online. These bite-sized thought-provoking essays provide food for thought and serve as a springboard for dialogue with both instructors and students.

The authors discuss An Urgency of Teachers on the Teaching in Higher Ed podcast. Listen Now!

The authors have made available an open-access version.
Read it for Free Online

“For education to work, there can be no divide between teachers and students.”

An Urgency of Teachers is the current selection for the Quiet Book Club, an initiative of the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL). This title has been co-selected with the Centre for Learning & Innovation at Assiniboine Community College in Brandon, Manitoba. We are excited to have them join us virtually for our book discussion in November. 

We invite all RDC students, staff, and faculty to read the book and join us in November to share how the book has impacted you personally or professionally:

Quiet Book Club Meeting – Everyone welcome!
Date: November 20, 2019 from 12-1 pm
Location: 913E

Recommended Reading from RDC Library

Indigenous Book Club Month

June 20, 2019 by

June is National Indigenous History Month and marks the fourth anniversary of Indigenous Book Club Month.

Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, Carolyn Bennett, who launched this initiative in 2016, encourages the reading of books by Indigenous authors “to provide an opportunity to learn and ‎begin those difficult conversations about the stories, history and cultures which we never learned about in school.‎” (via CICON)

To honour the occasion, the Library partnered with the Centre for Teaching and Learning’s Quiet Book Club and held our first Book Talk event to highlight Indigenous authors.

Book Talk Event Photo, with book covers, circle format, and attendees.

Panelists presented a variety of must-read Indigenous titles:

And these titles were suggested by Book Talk attendees:

These books (and even more titles by Indigenous authors) are available at RDC Library. Add them to your summer reading list and check them out!


Fact Checking Fake News

May 7, 2019 by

The Associated Press has launched a new tool in their fight against fake news. In the AP Fact Check section of their website, they provide fact checking for individual stories, as well as a weekly round-up called “Not Real News: A Look at What Didn’t Happen this Week.”  If you have questions about a story you read recently, this is a useful resource to find out if it’s true.  Check it out!