Digital Book Display: Halloween Reads!

Tuesday, Oct 27, 2020

Did you know we create themed book displays in the library? We’re starting them up again and going digital! Our first display is here just in time for the spookiest season of them all...Halloween! 

Like titles with a historical perspective? Try some of these: 

Looking for a story to keep you up at night? Why not try one of these: 

Prefer watching over reading? Here’s some films we recommend: 


For more Halloween themed book and films, check out our digital reading list. A green checkmark next to an item in our reading list means it’s available to borrow. A blue checkmark means you can read/watch online. 

Happy reading! 

Cancellation Notice: Encyclopedia Britannica Online

Monday, Oct 26, 2020

Access ended: October 1, 2020

Estimated savings: $7,000

Reason for cancellation:

  • The library has other encyclopedia resources including many that are discipline-specific

Alternative resources:

*Students and faculty in the Special Needs Educational Assistant, Bachelor of Early Childhood Curriculum Studies, Library and Information Technology and University Preparation programs can contact the library for login and password

This cancellation decision has been made based on usage data, cost, uniqueness of content, overlap of content with other databases and impact on disciplines.

Please contact Sandy Stift, Associate Dean, Library, if you have questions or concerns about this resource.

MacEwan Day of Action Against Contract Cheating

Tuesday, Oct 20, 2020

Have you ever received messages offering tutoring services, exam, or assignment help? While some of these services are legitimate, others may offer to write your essays or exam questions for you – and for a hefty price. Outsourcing any work -- whether it’s an essay, an exam question, or assignments – is a form of academic dishonesty, since you are attempting to pass off someone else’s work as your own.  

On Wednesday, October 21st MacEwan University is taking part in the International Day of Action Against Contract Cheating. Some events happening throughout the day include: 

  • Academic Integrity Student Webinar presented by Dr. Paul Sopcak (Academic Integrity Office) and Alycia Stewart (VP Academic of SAMU). Registration required

  • Faculty Workshops hosted by MacEwan’s Academic Integrity Office, Teaching and Learning Services, and eLearning: Registration Required

MacEwan Library and the Writing Centre are here to help you through every stage of the research and writing process…for FREE!  

Here’s a few things you can do to get free help with your assignments: 

With all these free supports in place to help you through the research and writing process, there’s no need to pay a for-profit tutoring or essay-writing service. 

The Library and Writing Centre provide FREE services that comply with academic integrity! 



Happy Open Access Week!

Monday, Oct 19, 2020

Open access journals and repositories make research conducted at MacEwan more available to those who need it, and expand the real world impact that it can have. This Open Access Week (Oct. 19-25), please join us in recognizing all the ways that members of MacEwan University make research and scholarship freely available to others online:

To learn more about open access, visit our page on open access publishing or talk to your subject librarian.

Women’s Literary History Icons

Tuesday, Oct 13, 2020

Written by Adiki Puplampu, Writing Centre Peer Tutor, Bachelor of Communication Studies Class of 2021 


Numerous women have defined the course of literary history. From Sappho to Margaret Atwood, ancient and modern literature has been affected by the contributions of female writers. This women’s history month the Writing Centre and the Library would like to profile just three of the many writers who have paved the way for women in literature.  


Murasaki Shikibu

Murasaki Shikibu is credited as the author of the first modern full-length novel, The Tale of Genji (Encyclopedia Britannica; Ahlin, 2017). Shikibu (likely not her real name) was born around 978 and was a lady-in-waiting in the Japanese Imperial Court. Her novel chronicles the romantic exploits of her title character, Prince Genji, and offers a unique insight into the aristocratic culture of the time. Originally written around 1005, the book was first translated into English in 1935 by Arthur Waley. If you’re interested in reading her novel, the library has a copies of The Tale of Genji available to borrow.   



An acclaimed 6th century BCE poet, Sappho is often referred to as the first female writer (Trobetta, 2017). While little is known about the details of her life, she is considered both a feminist and LGBTQ+ icon (Trobetta, 2017; Mendelsohn, 2017). The Library has ebook collections of her poetry available to read! 


Octavia Butler  

A science-fiction legend, Butler is lauded for her exploration of the Black female experience in America (Trobetta, 2017). She is considered the “godmother of Afro-futurism” an aesthetic that has influenced shows like Black Mirror and the art of celebrities like Beyoncé (“The Relevant Genius”, 2018, para. 2). She was the first science fiction writer to receive the MacArthur Fellowship, better known as the “Genius Grant,” which was just one of many literary awards she would receive throughout her career (Trobetta, 2017). Electronic copies of her novels Parable of the Sower and Kindred are available through the library.  


This article is just a glimpse into the history of women in literature. For information on more female literary icons, check out the sources cited below.  


Ahlin, C. (2017, March 7). 14 female authors who were ahead of their time. Bustle.  

Trombetta, S. (2017, March 14). 13 female authors who have made history. Bustle. 

Encyclopedia Britannica. (n.d). Murasaki Shikibu. In Britannica. com. Retrieved October 8, 2020, from  

The relevant genius of Octavia Butler. (2018, January 27).  

Research Essay Help: Workshops and more!

Tuesday, Oct 6, 2020

Writing a research paper this term? Online workshops and other supports are available to help you meet your deadlines. 

Access time management and writing help: You’ve probably heard a few times by now that time management is important for online learning. The Writing Centre has some great resources to help you get started, you can submit your assignment at any stage for tutor feedback or you can book an online appointment with a tutor! Your appointment does not need to be assignment specific; the Writing Centre will work on time management strategies or give advice on overcoming writers' block. 

Set aside time to search for sources: When you’re planning to write your research papers, make sure you set aside enough time to research your topic too. It takes time to find and read high quality books and articles but we’re here to help! Librarians can help you streamline your searching and recommend places to find required sources. When you start your research early, you have lots of time to read the content, process the information, pick your quotes and paraphrase and begin your first draft. 

Get hands-on help finding sources: Come to one of our Research Essentials drop-in workshops! We have a variety of dates and times available so, pick one that works for you. We recommend attending a couple weeks before the due date of your assignment. Joan, the English Librarian, will be working through strategies and tips to take your research topic and turn it into a search strategy you can use to get high quality articles. 



Top 5 Things to Know about the Library

Monday, Sep 14, 2020

To help you be as prepared as possible for the new term, here are 5 things you should know about the library: 

Your MacEwan ID card is your library card: 

  • You can now skip the line and order your ID card online

  • Use your MacEwan ID to borrow items from MacEwan Library and request items from our partner libraries like the University of Alberta and Concordia or from libraries all over the world. 

The Library has textbooks to borrow: 

  • You can now borrow textbooks for 24hrs. Search for the title on our website, place a hold to join the queue, and get notified when its ready for pickup. 

  • More details about our textbooks and other ways to access your textbooks this year are on our Textbooks and Course Materials page. 

We’ve got study space: 

  • With renovations complete we now have a huge reading room on the third floor. We’ve also got tons of extra power outlets and task lights! 

  • Quiet and silent study spaces are located on the third floor. 

  • Bookable study rooms are currently unavailable. 

  • While we're closed, there's still study space on the Technology Support side of the Library in Building 6, on the second floor

You can borrow laptops and other equipment: 

  • Laptops are available to borrow for 3 days or a full term. Students must be currently enrolled in a course to borrow for 1 term and are available on a first come, first served basis. 

  • We’ve also got phone charges, GoPro cameras, and more available on a first come, first served basis. A full list of our equipment is located on our Equipment and Laptop Lending page. 

We’re here to help: 

  • Ask Librarians about: 

    • Finding your textbooks 

    • Borrowing items from the library 

    • Finding sources for your assignments 

    • Accessing our online databases 

    • Citations 

    • And more! 

  • Ask Tutors and Writing Specialists about: 

    • Writing skills 

    • Citations 

    • Time management 

    • Avoiding plagiarism 

    • Study strategies  

    • And more! 

We wish you all the best of luck this term and look forward to seeing all the amazing things you do! 


The Challenges of Online Textbook Access

Thursday, Aug 13, 2020

As we approach the fall 2020 semester, MacEwan Library is working hard to provide alternative access to our Textbook Collection. The majority of textbooks we currently have on reserve are print copies and students cannot access them without coming into the Library. We recognize library copies do not replace the access students have when using a purchased or rented copy of their required textbook. For example, Library copies of textbooks do not include a code for online quizzes and supplementary materials which some courses require students to access.

To support faculty and students over the next few months, we are modifying our approach to acquiring course textbooks to ensure that students have access even in a primarily online, alternative delivery environment. However, this work is hampered as most major publishers will not sell electronic copies to libraries.

Enhanced textbook access options include: 

  1. Scan on Demand – a new MacEwan Library service that makes it possible for students to request a scanned portion from any book in our print collections (including textbooks).  

  2. More copies of certain high-demand textbooks are being purchased to accommodate a 72hr quarantine period between uses. 

    • New for this Fall, students will be able to place holds on textbooks. 

To review all options available to students, visit our Find Textbooks page. 


Email us at 

This article was inspired by “Commercial Textbooks Present Challenges in a Virtual Environment” by The University of Guelph Library. 

Renovations Update: July 9, 2020

Thursday, Jul 9, 2020

After months of work assessing our print collection and working with faculty in all departments across the university, we have completed the rightsizing portion of the renovation project! 

What’s rightsizing again? 

  • To make space for a new reading room and better study spaces, we needed to decrease the number of bookshelves we have on the 3rd floor of building 6. 

  • We also needed to make sure we have room on our bookshelves to continue to add more titles. There’s a surprising amount of measuring and math involved! 

  • In order to accommodate the Alberta College Campus Library’s move to John L. Haar Library, we had to make space for all their physical items as well.  

  • Librarians and library staff also review our collections regularly to make sure we have materials that are timely and relevant for all MacEwan’s programs. 

Steps we’ve completed so far: 

  1. Subject Librarians reviewed our entire collection and identified titles for removal. These were mostly out-of-date, damaged, or duplicate items.  

  1. Faculty were given lists of titles from their subject areas to review and identify if there were any titles that should be kept.  

  1. Library staff did the hard work of removing all identified titles to make space for renovations and the addition of the Alberta College Campus Library collection.  

  1. Removed items were donated to Better World Books (BWB) or, if not accepted by BWB, disposed of using environmentally friendly options. 

Next steps: 

Now that rightsizing is complete, the library is shifting books around on the shelves so that we are making the most use of the bookshelf space we have available. 

Picture of a library bookshelf that has been shifted so there is space to add more books in the future

The photo above shows a shelf that has been shifted so there is enough space for Alberta College Campus Library materials and for an additional five years of growth. 

Have Your Say!

Thursday, Jul 9, 2020

[Originally published on the Library Renovations Blog on October 8, 2019

With the need to reduce the size of our stacks, the Library needs the help of faculty. 

What does faculty involvement look like? 

Faculty will be hearing from their subject librarian. You may be asked to review spreadsheets or check carts of books. 

What do our timelines look like? 

We will be weeding the collection between October 2019 and February 2020. Faculty members will have 2 weeks to review deselection decisions. 

Why is the library removing books from the collection? 

There are several reasons. 

  • The upcoming library renovation will begin to address the substantial space deficit within the Library. Spaces for collaborative learning, research support and new technologies, as well as for contemplation and quiet study, are high priorities for students using the library, and space needs to be created to accommodate these evolving needs. 

  • The Library’s mandate is to build a strong undergraduate collection, guided by curriculum. In order to maintain its relevance, the collection must be curated to support evolving university curricula. 

What will happen to the deselected books? 

Weeded material will be offered to Better World Books (BWB) first (at no cost to the University). BWB donates a portion of the proceeds of material they sell to a charity of our choosing. We are still investigating acceptable and environmentally friendly options of disposing of material that is not taken by BWB. 

Why aren’t we using off-site storage? 

An option that was considered and rejected is moving material to off-site storage. Off-site storage was rejected at this time because: 

  • We can remove material from the collection without impacting access to material needed to support our programs. Sixty-two percent of the print collection has not circulated in the last 5 years. Also, the physical collection comprises only 19 percent of the total library collection (physical and digital). 

  • The cost of off-site storage could be significant. 

What criteria are we using to make decisions? 

This will depend on the subject, but some of the main factors being looked at include condition, age, disciplinary emphasis on physical monographs, relevance to the curriculum, and past use. 

If you have any questions please contact your subject librarian or Karen Keiller at