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Showing posts from September, 2006

Shiny new books!

The library adds new books to the collection all the time: history books, political books, religious books, biology books - every conceivable topic. From now on we will use this blog to let you know the latest titles. To find out more about a book that interests you (call number, status, etc.), just use your mouse to copy the title and paste it into the Novanet catalogue. Happy reading!

Here are some of this week's hot new titles...

Outlaw culture : resisting representations / bell hooks
An atlas of Irish history
Homeric conversation
Visions of nature: studies on the theory of GAIA
Critical globalization studies
Staying power: the history of Black people in Britain
The WTO: a very short introduction
Afrikan alphabets: the story of writing in Africa
Margaret Laurence's epic imagination
Math and Bio 2010: linking undergraduate disciplines
Justifying blame: why free will matters and why it does not
On Canadian literature
Islamic perspectives on the new millennium
Design: history, theory and pra…

There are 137 university students in the world...

...who like to do research on Sunday mornings. If you are one of them, this message is for you. This Sunday (September 17) the library's computer servers will be down between 8:00am and noon for some maintence/repair/upgrade. This means that off-campus access to our journal databases will be unavailable for those few hours.

We are confident you will be able to think of some other way of entertaining yourself during this time, assuming you are even awake.

There are worse bars in Bangkok....

....but not many. And here you sit, wondering whether you'll ever see Maria (if that's her real name) again, whether the toilet in the hostel has been fixed, what your friends back at Saint Mary's are doing right now.

It seemed like a good idea at the time: take a term off, see some of the world, let the others go to Phuket without you... Too bad you can be homesick anytime, anywhere. You start to think about home, family, school, the library where you spent so many pleasurable hours.

The Web really shrinks the world. You can be in a pounding Thai club, or a dusty cantina in Tijuana, but you're never far from some place that has a five-year-old compaq in a corner where, for a few bucks, you can get on the Net and reconnect virtually with things familiar.

With that in mind, we decided we should offer a virtual tour of the Patrick Power Library. Whether you've been here many times or whether it's your first time, just go to www.smu.ca/library/tutorials to see/r…

Library workshops starting soon

Want to become a better researcher? Want to unlock the mysteries of the library? Beginning next week, we will be offering students the chance to learn how to get the most out of everything the library has to offer.

Library Essentials are informal 1/2 hour workshops which will show you how to use the catalogue to find the books you need, how to easily get the best journal articles and how the Reference Department can help you with your assignments.

The sessions are offered at various times throughout the week of September 18-22. usually in the morning or early evening. There are posters and handouts in the library which give the exact schedule and more information. No appointment is necessary - just drop in!

Do yourself a favour - this is time well spent and it could save you many hours of wasted time and frustration down the road. See you next week!

Too optimistic

Yesterday I predicted that the university's computer systems would be alive and kicking when a new day dawned. Unfortunately, many of the system failures which have been plaguing the campus this week are still with us. For example, there is no printing available in the library.

Rest assured that ITSS, which oversees computer operations on campus, is working very hard to resolve these problems. Here's what they have to say on their web site:

"Various Issues with Tools Such as P: Drive, File Shares and Activate
Start: 2006-09-07 11:05 am
Stop: Unknown at this time Planned Duration: Unknown at this time
Due to technical difficulties, some users may experience issues accessing their P: Drive, their file shares, network printing or the Activate system. We are working to rectify this issue, and we ask that you continue to monitor this page for updates.
Contact Email: helpdesk@smu.ca Contact Phone: 496-8111"

Oh well, at least it's Friday....

These computers are making me thirsty

Do computers sometimes let you down? Do they crash when you're writing a paper due in a few hours? Does your printer run out of ink at 2:00 in the morning? Have you ever longed for the good old days, say 1998, when you could register, change courses or get your class schedule with a pen and paper? Have you felt that way this week?

Computers are wonderful things - when they work! But for the past few days the computers at Saint Mary's have not been working too well. Here at the library we've seen a fair share of frustration/frustrated students struggling with slow or unresponsive Account Activation systems, Banner, SMUPORT, Web CT, wireless access not accessible and an alphabet soup of brokendown drives. It got so bad a software glitch in the Security Office automatically locked the library's front door at 5 o'clock yesterday-only 6 hours early!

Still, the first few days of Frosh Week are always eventful and we know that the university's computer systems will be w…

That's right - You're back!

The first week of school is always a shock to the system - whether this is your first time here at Saint Mary's or whether you're an old pro. Just remind yourself that the anxiety, uncertainty and fear you're now experiencing will eventually be replaced... by sweat, drudgery and hard work.
Also remind yourself that the library is here to help. Not only can our staff make doing research a whole lot easier, the library is also a great place to read, study or just hang out (plus we have about 60 computers you can use).
So buckle up, take a deep breath and have a great year!