Archive for the ‘just for fun’ Category

June Reading Suggestions

June 19, 2018
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#IndigenousReads and Pride displays

June in Canada is National Aboriginal History Month and, in many places, Pride Month.  To go along with the book displays currently available in the library, and if you’re interested in exploring either or both of these themes as part of your summer reading, here are a few suggestions to get you started:

Have a great summer, and happy reading!

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Libraries doing cool things

April 26, 2018

When we hear the word “library” most of us still think of the big building filled with books.  And while that definition is still mostly true, inside those big buildings you’ll also find a lot of really different, innovative programming going on.  Check out some of the cool things different libraries have been up to lately:

  • Did you know that both RDC Library and Red Deer Public Library have collections of games?  RDC’s board games can often be seen out and about during our Long Night Against Procrastination and when we’re open for extended hours around exams but they can be borrowed anytime (ask at the Library Desk).  And RDPL has a great video game collection for a variety of different gaming systems.  Though at first this idea might seem nontraditional, this article from JSTOR Daily notes games actually have a long history as a part of library collections and activities.
  • The Public Library Association in the US has partnered with a company called Short Edition to install Short Story Dispensers in four public libraries across the country.  The machines dispense free short stories that can be read in either one, three, or five minutes, depending on how long the reader has.  Want to see one in action?  There’s actually one installed at the Edmonton International Airport.
  • In March of 2017 San Diego Public Library ran a project called Catalog of Life @ the Library that allowed citizen scientists to check out bug collecting kits and then return them with the bugs inside.  The kits were then shipped to the University of Guelph, where the DNA from the bugs was extracted and the data added into a global DNA barcoding database.  Contributors from the SDPL project added data for 41 species of insects to the database.

What cool things have you seen libraries doing recently?

Summer Reading

June 29, 2017

I don’t know about the rest of you, but one of my favourite things about summer is the time to actually dig into that pile of books that’s been growing beside my bed all year.

No pile yet?  Check out some of these lists offering suggestions for the books you need to read this summer:

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Visit our Vacation? Staycation? Bring a Book! display on Floor 2 of the library

 

Don’t forget to look for these titles in our leisure reading collection.  Also, the display on Floor 2 all summer long will highlight our leisure reading titles, so when you’re up there checking on the progress of our new makerspace, see if something catches your eye.

 

Happy reading, and have a good summer!

Playing with Google Trends

February 9, 2017

Did you know that Google has a really cool tool that allows you to visualize trends in searches? Google Trends lets you see what stories, searches, and YouTube videos are trending right now in different areas of the world, and also lets you see how interest in different search terms have played out across time and in different regions.  It’s this tool, for instance, that let’s you compare interest in Paw Patrol versus Dora the Explorer or shows you that “searches for ‘Superb Owl’ spike during the #Superbowl each year.

If you really want to get fancy, you can pair this tool with Google Correlate, which allows you to layer your own data over Google Trends data to see how they relate (check out, for instance, how searches for influenza information correlate with actual US Center for Disease Control-reported instances of the flu).

There’s some really cool potential here.

Make Your Own Comic Strip

January 3, 2017

I was catching up on some reading over the holidays, and came across an article in Library Journal about a new Open Source Comics tool that has been released by Australia’s State Library of Queensland.  “The Fun Palaces comics maker lets users place a set of ready-made images into panels, then write their own word balloons to develop a fully fleshed out four panel comic.”

You can check out some comics other people have made, create your own comic, or dig into the code and customize it.

Just in case your new year’s resolution was to make something…

Judging Books by their Covers

November 17, 2016

An article published last week in MIT Technology Review reported on research being done in Japan to see if a computer can recognize the genre of a book based on its cover.  The researchers are training a neural network to “recognize the correlation between cover design and genre” and then testing it to see how it does categorizing newly introduced covers.  The findings so far are very interesting, including which genres were easier to recognize and which cover designs confused the network.

The article got me thinking about what makes a good book cover.  For some thoughts, check out this profile of a highly-respected book jacket designer, and then take a look at this funny essay from a writer who designed his own most recent book jacket.

Just want to look at some pretty covers? Shortlist Magazine created a list of what they consider to be the 50 Coolest Book Covers, and the New York Times created a list of the Best Book Covers of 2015.

When we say you can cite anything…we mean it!

October 3, 2016

If you’ve ever thought about using a source in your writing, but decided against it because you were unsure how you would cite it, don’t worry!

The Modern Language Association (MLA) recently updated its citation style guide, which has caused quite a stir in the academic community. In order to help demonstrate the changes and how they reflect some of the new types of resources researchers will cite in their work, EasyBib has decided to show us how easy it is to cite Pokemon GO using the new MLA standard. (more…)

Big Thinking

June 12, 2016

Like a number of other RDC faculty members, I recently returned from Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences 2016.  There was a lot going on over seven days at the University of Calgary; one of the coolest things was the Big Thinking series that occurred every day at lunch.  This lecture series was open to all Congress attendees and the public, and featured fascinating ideas from people like Naomi Klein, the Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, and Leroy Little Bear.  The lectures were recorded and are now available on YouTube, just in time for the slower pace of summer when you might have time to watch them.  They’re all available from the main Big Thinking page – just click on the title.  Enjoy!

New Words Added to the Oxford English Dictionary

May 5, 2016

It’s been a while since we posted about new words being added to the Oxford English Dictionary.  The OED, which bills itself as “the definitive record of the English language” is cool because it’s a historical dictionary; it contains not only the current definition and usage of a word, but also tells you where it originated and how its meaning has shifted over time.  It’s also updated quarterly so that it stays current with words such as “bro-hug.”

Check out the new words list and the notes explaining the new words.  And if all of this is really exciting to you, consider signing up for the OED Word of the Day, delivered to you by email (you’ll see the link on the right side of their website).

Reading @ RDC

March 15, 2016

It’s no surprise that the Library loves books, but did you know that reading can have a positive impact on your health, happiness, and academic success?

Research shows that readers will likely have higher incomes, donate more to charity in both time and money, stay healthier, and be happier than non-readers. Plus, reading reduces stress up to 600% more than playing a video game (take that Call of Duty!), enhances empathy, and improves cognitive abilities. See the research from Canada’s National Reading Campaign here, and check out the infographic below.

The Library wants all RDC staff, students & faculty to enjoy these benefits, so we’ve created a Reading Culture team to help grow a movement of leisure reading at Red Deer College. Our goal is to gather a supply of books to read just for pleasure, create a space where everyone can enjoy them, and develop an atmosphere that supports and promotes reading for fun.

So tell us, what do you want to read? The latest novel from your favourite author? An exciting new memoir? Complete this form, and your suggestions will help us create a collection that will get RDC reading!

reading infographic