You Said … “Please Get a Self-Checkout”

May 9, 2017 by

You Said:

Have you guys thought of having a self-check out station, mainly for books, at the RDC library?

It’d be a nice addition to your great service, as well as help us shy booklovers have a guilt-free reading.

We Said:

This is a great question! We actually used to have a self-checkout station when the Library opened back in 2002. The technology was in its infancy back then and the machine we had didn’t really work properly, so after a lot of maintenance and continued down time, we got rid of it.

We considered replacing that machine with something newer that worked with our collection. But the new machines require RFID technology, which we do not currently have. Switching our entire collection from security strips and barcodes to RFID tags would be a substantial monetary and time investment. The relatively low to moderate circulation numbers of our collection do not warrant such an investment.

Sorry for the lengthy response to what seems like it should be a simple request. Please know that we will continue to consider this option as technology changes over time – if it becomes possible in the future, for a reasonable investment, a self-checkout may be added to our services.


Questions for Detecting Fake News

April 10, 2017 by

Fake news continues to be a topic of conversation in the news and in classrooms.  Earlier this year we posted about a study suggesting that the majority of students were not able to detect fake news when they came across it on social media and news websites, and we told you about a tool that lets you visualize how fake news spreads across the internet.

Now NPR has joined in, offering up a list of very practical, easy questions to ask yourself to help you determine whether the information you’re looking at is reliable or not.  Focused very specifically on news media and how it operates, these questions are a nice supplement to the CRAAP test as a tool for evaluating information.  Give them a try!

The Reason You Walk

April 4, 2017 by

“To be hurt, yet forgive. To do wrong, but forgive yourself. To depart from this world leaving only love. This is the reason you walk.” – Wab Kinew

the-reason-you-walkIn this memoir, we get a glimpse into the year that Wab Kinew spent reconnecting with his father. Through the power of story, Kinew recounts painful moments in the past and hopes for the future.

“Invoking hope, healing and forgiveness, The Reason You Walk is a poignant story of a towering but damaged father and his son as they embark on a journey to repair their family bond. By turns lighthearted and solemn, Kinew gives us an inspiring vision for family and cross-cultural reconciliation, and a wider conversation about the future of aboriginal peoples.” – Penguin Random House Canada

Read an Excerpt

Marking the month of June as Indigenous Book Club Month and in recognition of National Aboriginal History Month, we invite you to read The Reason You Walk by Wab Kinew. This memoir is listed as one of CBC Books 15 Books to Read for Indigenous Book Club Month.

The Reason You Walk is the current selection for the Quiet Book Club, an initiative of the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL). All RDC students, staff, and faculty are invited to join us at our next meeting to share how the book has impacted you personally or professionally:

Quiet Book Club
June 14, 2017 @ 12-1 pm
Location 913C (CTL)

The Reason You Walk is part of the RDC Library Collection.
It is also available for purchase in the RDC Campus Store.

Book Reviews

“A moving father-son reconciliation told by a charismatic First Nations broadcaster, musician and activist.” Read the synopsis from Penguin Random House Canada.

Recommended Reading from RDC Library

You Said … “the study rooms are dirty”

March 28, 2017 by

You Said…
“Please clean (eg. dust, vacuum, wipe tables, keyboards and computers) in the study rooms. I am not talking about cleaning up student’s messes. The study rooms are consistenly dirty, filled with dust, unvacuumed, etc. They should be cleaned weekly.”

We Said…

Thank you for alerting us to this issue. RDC has a contract with a cleaning company, and they are to clean all of our public spaces weekly, plus more often if an area needs it. In addition, Library staff dust near the computers, since it is outside of the janitors’ contract to clean the technology or the space near it. Based on your comment we have reminded our Library staff to ensure that the study rooms are not forgotten when they are dusting the computer workstations. In addition we are contacting the janitors to find out how often the group study rooms are being vacuumed and the tables cleaned. I hope you will quickly see an improvement.

If you have any other comments about the cleanliness of the Library, please let us know so that we can work with the cleaning contractors to improve.

Open Education Week

March 27, 2017 by


Happy Open Education Week! From March 27 to March 31, 2017 universities, colleges, schools and organizations around the world will be celebrating Open Education Week.

“Open education encompasses resources, tools and practices that employ a framework of open sharing to improve educational access and effectiveness worldwide.”

Many events are taking place locally and globally to promote the ideas of Open Education. The following free events may be of interest:

March 29, 2017

Successful OER Adoption Models: Academic Libraries Leading the Way
2017-03-29 12:00 pm ONLINE EVENT

March 30, 2017

Integrating OER: Tips for Getting Started
2017-03-30 09:00 am ONLINE EVENT
Northern Virginia Community College

Be It Resolved That All Knowledge Be Open
2017-03-30 12:30 pm IN-PERSON EVENT
University of Alberta, Cameron Library

Introduction to Open Pedagogy
2017-03-30 13:00 pm ONLINE EVENT
University of Saskatchewan

March 31, 2017

OER Google Hangout
2017-03-31 10:00 am ONLINE EVENT
Northern Virginia Community College

Read the rest of this entry »

NASA’s New Software Catalog is Here!

March 15, 2017 by

At the beginning of the month, NASA released its 2017-2018 software catalog. The catalog is free for the public to use without needing to worry about copyright.

“Space Wallpapers” by tableatny is licensed under CC BY 2.0

By releasing this catalog, NASA is making it easier for you to used the latest software available and currently used by the American government agency.

Not into space? Don’t leave just yet!

Read the rest of this entry »

Freedom to Read Week

March 6, 2017 by

Last week (February 26-March 4, 2017) was Freedom to Read Week in Canada, an “annual event that encourages Canadians to think about and reaffirm their commitment to intellectual freedom.”

The Canadian Federation of Library Associations/Fédération canadienne des associations de bibliothèques (CFLA-FCAB) celebrated Freedom to Read Week by releasing a preliminary report (pdf) on the 2016 findings from their annual Challenges Survey.  Each year CFLA-FCAB collects information on materials and services that have been challenged in Canadian public, academic, and special libraries.

Check out the report to get a sample of the challenges libraries face for the materials in their collections and the services they provide.

Need Images for a Project or Class? These Ones are Free!

February 16, 2017 by

Did you know not every cute cat gif or perfectly relevant meme you find on the internet is free for you to use whenever you want? Technically someone owns the copyright to those images and might not want you to share their work without permission or sometimes even payment.


Creative Commons recently launched a prototype of its new search engine, CC Search, which which will assist you in finding images that are free for you to use without having to ask for permission or pay the creator. Read the rest of this entry »

Playing with Google Trends

February 9, 2017 by

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.

Visualize the Spread of Fake News

January 12, 2017 by

A new tool developed by researchers at Indiana University allows you to visualize the spread of fake news across Twitter, and also shows attempts to fact check it.  Hoaxy lets you search for a specific claim and then creates a visual map of shares for that claim or headline over time. The researchers presented the tool, along with some preliminary analysis from it, at the 25th International Conference of the World Wide Web.

Give it a try and see what it shows you about how information, and in this case misinformation, can spread across the web.