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. 

Library Takeout is Live!

Friday, Jul 10, 2020

MacEwan students, faculty, and staff are now able to borrow items from MacEwan University Library's collections! As part of our relaunch strategy, we have been working hard to extend access to our collections.

Here’s how the service works: 

  1. Find your item(s) in our catalogue, confirm the item is listed as “On Shelf,” and place a hold; placing a hold on an item that is “Checked Out” will result in long waits as recalls are not being processed at this time. 

  2. Select MacEwan University Library as your pickup location. 

  3. When your items are ready, you will get an email with pickup instructions. 

Following health and safety guidelines from the university and the government, all returned items will be quarantined for 72 hours before they can be borrowed again. All staff have been trained in proper processing of pick up items including using masks, gloves, and frequent handwashing. 


What is available to borrow? 

  • Books 

  • Print journals 

  • CDs 

  • DVDs 

What is not available to borrow? 

  • Textbooks 

  • Items in our Reserve Collection 

  • Specialized technology like cameras, microphones, and raspberry pi kits (laptops can be borrowed through Tech Support) 

  • Items from partner libraries such as the University of Alberta 

Who can borrow?

This service is only available to MacEwan students, faculty, and staff. External borrowers are encouraged to contact their home library to determine what services are available to them.

If I can’t borrow textbooks, what can I do? 

What if I’m a distance student? 

Our Distance Delivery service has been restored for students currently registered in a distance program. If you are not registered in a distance program but live outside of Edmonton please contact  

How do I return my items? 

All items will have a September 30th due date but you can return items to the book drop box outside the North entrance at 105th Ave and 107th St.  

Laptops and equipment can be returned to Tech Support in 7-292. 

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 

Rightsizing the Library Collection

Thursday, Jul 9, 2020

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

In preparation for Phase 1 on the renovation of the John L. Haar Library, we will need to reduce the size of the print collection by approximately 25,500 volumes (or 10 percent). Print books, DVDs and bound journals will be removed based on several factors, including condition, age, disciplinary emphasis on physical monographs, relevance to the curriculum, and past use. Librarians will be consulting with faculty throughout the process. This work will be done between October 2019 and February 2020. 

The renovation will begin to address the substantial space deficit within the Library, exacerbated by two previous campus library consolidations, and the forthcoming Alberta College Campus library consolidation. 

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. In addition, 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. 

The Phase 1 project plan written by Prime Consultant Architect DIALOG has determined the need to reduce the space occupied by shelving by approximately 25 percent in order to facilitate changes that include building a quiet reading room on the third floor and significantly improving east-west circulation through the library, within the Library footprint. The Library has determined that this translates into a 10 percent reduction in physical collections prior to construction commencing in May 2020. 

The steps the Library will take to mitigate the reduction of the print collection: 
•    We will no longer keep the bottom shelf empty 
•    We will reduce the space for collection growth we have been keeping on every shelf. 

Library Renovations: The Planning has Started

Thursday, Jul 9, 2020

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

This past year a study for the renovation and expansion of the John L. Haar Library was developed through an iterative and collaborative process with Facilities Management and Operations, University Library staff, students, partners and other stakeholders through a series of workshops and "pop-up" events on campus. 

Many issues and concerns were identified, from needing more bookable study rooms, acoustics (noise!), access to power, and the need for more variety of seating. 

Now the details of the plan are being developed with construction starting in May 2020. 

This space will include updates and the planning. 

If you have any questions or concerns please contact me: 

Karen Keiller 
Dean of the Library 

Welcome to Library News

Thursday, Jul 9, 2020

We’ve got lots of things to say about our services and spaces, so we’ve made a place on our website to do that! 

Library News is a space where you can find out about library events, new services, our people, and our collections.  

We’re excited to share more information about what the library can do to support you and your research. Here are 3 examples to get you started: 

  1. Use our Subject Guides to get started on your research. These guides give you access to databases and key resources relevant to your subject area. Working on an English paper? Try the English Subject Guide! 

  1. Need help finding sources? Have a question about your library account? There are several ways to get in contact with us; start with our Help page

  1. When citing the great sources you’ve found, check out our Citation Guides to make sure you’ve got your formatting down. 

Questions? Contact us at