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New lab boosts support for international students

Posted: April 16th, 2015

The Queen’s Learning Commons (QLC) Academic Skills Lab in Stauffer Library is a welcoming and flexible space that can accommodate small group discussions and one-on-one meetings with professional staff and trained peer assistants.

More about this story here.

Min Xing Zhu uses the new Queen's Learning Commons Academic Skills Lab to practice her presentation skills with Donna Katinas, ESL co-ordinator in the Writing Centre

Min Xing Zhu uses the new Queen's Learning Commons Academic Skills Lab to practice her presentation skills with Donna Katinas, ESL co-ordinator in the Writing Centre

Now Hiring: Education Library Student Assistants for Fall/Winter 2015/16.

Posted: April 10th, 2015

Are you interested in working at the Education Library during the 2015/16 academic school year?

The Education Library is now accepting applications – please contact Peter Lewis (peter.lewis@queensu.ca) to apply.

Applicants must qualify for the Queen’s University Student Awards WorkStudy Program.

For more information:

Visit our Student Employment Opportunities website.

New Exhibit at W.D. Jordan Library 1 April, 2015 – 31 May, 2015

Posted: April 1st, 2015

Photography and the Book in the Nineteenth Century

Beth's exhibit

The introduction of photography to book illustration forever changed the experience of the book. Photographic imagery revealed the famous people of the day as they really looked, accurately recorded the latest scientific discoveries in incredible detail, and offered alluring views of the world near and far. In viewing the photographic record left behind in these books, however, it becomes apparent that the camera was not always an objective recorder of reality. Early photographic technologies could be very difficult to use, so that each picture had to be carefully staged, edited, and often touched-up by artists to correct for problems caused by long exposures and imbalanced sensitivity across the spectrum of visible light. In addition, the selection of an image for a book could be influenced by previously established graphic traditions, and some authors consciously attempted to make photographs look like engravings, lithographs, or aquatints. The books that survive with original photographs and early photomechanical processes are not simply records of the past, but fascinating glimpses into the minds of nineteenth-century authors, publishers, and audiences coming to terms with a new visual tool.

New Database Trial: Statista

Posted: March 30th, 2015

Available March 30 – April 17th, Statista offers 1.5 million statistics from over 18,000 sources (including both national and international data) and over 60,000 topics in 21 multidisciplinary categories, ranging from agriculture to media & marketing and consumer & demographic data.   Including 10,000 studies and reports from third parties and 1,000 Statista dossiers and industry reports.  Up-to-date statistical data from around the globe (e.g., most played PC games, number of World of Warcraft subscribers, national tax revenues from commercial casinos in the U.S. in 2013, etc.) plus market reports on specific subject matters (social networking in China, e-commerce), popular industries, technology & telecommunication, retail & trade, etc. Check it out!

Card Sorting

Posted: March 27th, 2015

In order to develop an information architecture that is meaningful to users, one of the tried and true usability techniques is called card sorting. There are two main types of card sorting: open and closed.  In open card sorting, users are given cards with terms from the website and asked to collect these terms in logical groups. They are then asked to label each of the groups with an overall label that identifies the group. In closed card sorting, users are given a predetermined set of groups labels and asked to place each of the cards into one of these categories. In each case, users are given the chance to put aside cards that are not clearly understood or do not logically belong, in their opinion.

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Electronic Reserves: Now accepting summer courses

Posted: March 25th, 2015

The deadline for adding e-reserve readings for Summer term courses is April 15th. Please submit your readings by this date in order to ensure that they are all available at the start of the Summer semester. After that point, we will fulfill requests by date in order to ensure that readings are available on the date that they are assigned. When adding readings, please tag your readings by week so that we can prioritize requests.


The Queen’s University Library is working on a number of improvements for Fall 2015.  They include the following:

  • The electronic reserve system will be available outside of Moodle – students will just have to login using their NetID and Password to access all readings for their course.
  • You will be able to create links to items in Ares and put them in your course syllabus or on a public webpage. These links will be permanent and will not need to be changed each time a course is offered.
  • We are also working on improving the quality of our scans. If all goes well, we may have a new scanner that is similar to those used by Google and the Internet Archive.

More information will be available over the next few months about all of these improvements.


  • Material that meets the requirements listed in our Fair Dealing policy is processed much more quickly than material that requires a transactional license.
  • Please review the linked flowchart and policy when compiling your readings to ensure that as many readings as possible meet the guidelines listed in the policy.
  • Send all full service requests and questions related to print and electronic reserves to slreserv@queensu.ca. This will ensure that all of our requests are in one place.
  • Tag your readings by week using the “instructor tag” field.  This helps your students navigate through the readings and helps us prioritize our work – ensuring that your readings are up before the week when they are required.
  • Re-use items from last semester by reactivating (or cloning) your reading lists. You can also have an entire course cloned by sending an email to slreserv@queensu.ca.

Unrecorded Vesalius first edition discovered at Queen’s University

Posted: March 25th, 2015

In this 500th anniversary of the birth of Vesalius, it is fitting that at least one unrecorded copy of the first edition of his De humani corporis fabrica (1543) should be uncovered. This happened here at Queen’s University while we were examining books from the St. Mary’s Cathedral collection, now on permanent deposit in the W.D. Jordan Special Collections and Music Library. No finding aid existed for the collection, and the famous engraved title-page of De fabrica was not present in the book. The volume was also bound in blue paper boards, not a form one associates with 16th -century books.



New database Trial: Bloomsbury Drama Online Library

Posted: March 23rd, 2015

Bloomsbury Drama Online Library: provides contextual and critical background through scholarly works and practical guides; play tools with character grids, words and speech graphs and part books offer a new way to engage with plays for close study or for performance; access to the finest drama texts from Aeschylus to the present day; student editions, scholarly works and first night programme texts; features the pre-eminent theatre lists of Methuen Drama, the Arden Shakespeare and Faber and Faber as well as production photos from the Victoria and Albert Museum and The American Shakespeare Center; forthcoming collections from L.A. Theatre Works (Audio Plays) and the Nick Hern Books Play Collection will be available this year.

Database trial from 17 March – 15 May 2015.

Drama Online Database trial

For more information, see: Bloomsbury Drama Online Library.


Posted: March 20th, 2015

In creating a more usable website, it is important to speak directly with your users. But how can you be in constant communication with all of your users all of the time? One method of addressing this issue is the practice of creating personas. Personas are realistic representations of user groups, based on usability research (UX). They are fictional people with names, pictures, demographic data, goals and challenges.

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About the Website Redesign

Posted: March 13th, 2015

Welcome to the first in a series of updates about the Library Website Redesign project. We hope that these updates will help you to better understand the process. We invite you to contact us with your questions about the project by emailing us at library@queensu.ca

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