New Database Subscription: Scopus



The Dalhousie Libraries now subscribe to Scopus, a large abstract and citation database of journals, books, and conference proceedings with strong Science, Technology, Engineering, and Medical content.  Humanities and Social Science content is also indexed in Scopus. Faculty members and students in the Faculty of Agriculture will be familiar with this database from before the merger. Halifax-based university community members may have used Scopus during a 2011-2012 trial.

Scopus offers a wide range of search, discover, and analytics tools. In particular, Scopus provides tools to assist researchers in tracking various impact factors. If you’d like to get started using Scopus, a short video overview of the main functions is available.

Scopus is available on and off campus if you have a valid Dalhousie Net Id and password.

Esri Canada GIS Scholarship

Through the Esri Canada GIS Scholarships program, Esri Canada is proud to recognize students at Canadian post-secondary institutions who are involved in projects. The scholarships are provided through schools, Dalhousie being one of 50 schools across the country, that demonstrate strong, multidisciplinary GIS courses and programs. This scholarship provides recipients with great networking opportunities, funding and access to extensive GIS resources including Esri ARCGIS software, books and training to develop their GIS skills and knowledge.

The deadline to apply is 4 p.m. on Monday, January 26, 2015.

For more information: ESRI Scholarship


Holiday Hours for the Dalhousie Libraries 2014

holiday hours sized for blog


Killam Memorial Library*

Sunday, December 14: 8 a.m.–midnight
Monday, December 15–Friday, December 19: 8 a.m.–6 p.m.
Saturday, December 20 & Sunday, December 21: 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Monday, December 22 & Tuesday, December 23: 8 a.m.–6 p.m.
Wednesday, December 24: 8 a.m.–noon
Thursday, December 25–Saturday, December 27: Closed
Sunday, December 28 & Monday, December 29: 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Tuesday, December 30–Thursday, January 1: Closed
Friday, January 2: 8 a.m.–6 p.m.
Saturday January 3 & Sunday, January 4: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Monday, January 5: Regular hours resume

*Please note: Access to GISciences Centre, Archives, and Special Collections is unavailable from December 25–January 1.

MacRae Library

Thursday, December 11 & Friday, December 12: 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Saturday, December 13 & Sunday, December 14: CLOSED
Monday, December 15–Friday, December 19: 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Saturday, December 20 & Sunday, December 21: CLOSED
Monday, December 22 & Tuesday, December 23: 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Wednesday, December 24: 8:30 a.m.–noon
Thursday, December 25–Thursday, January 1: CLOSED
Friday, January 2: 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Saturday, January 3 & Sunday, January 4: CLOSED
Monday, January 5: Regular hours resume

Sexton Design & Technology Library

Monday, December 15–Friday, December 19: 8 a.m.–4 p.m.
Saturday, December 20 & Sunday, December 21: CLOSED
Monday, December 22 & Tuesday, December 23: 8 a.m.–4 p.m.
Wednesday, December 24: 8 a.m.–noon
Thursday, December 25–Thursday, January 1: CLOSED
Friday, January 2: Regular hours resume


Sir James Dunn Law Library

Friday, December 19: 8 a.m.–4 p.m.
Saturday, December 20 & Sunday, December 21: CLOSED
Monday, December 22: 8 a.m.–4 p.m.
Tuesday, December 23: 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Wednesday, December 24: 8 a.m.–noon
Thursday, December 25–Thursday, January 1: CLOSED
Friday, January 2: 8 a.m.–4 p.m.
Saturday, January 3 & Sunday, January 4: CLOSED
Monday, January 5: Regular hours resume


W. K. Kellogg Health Sciences Library

Wednesday, December 17–Friday, December 19: 8 a.m.–6 p.m.
Saturday, December 20 & Sunday, December 21: CLOSED
Monday, December 22 & Tuesday, December 23: 8 a.m.–6 p.m.
Wednesday, December 24: 8 a.m.–noon
Thursday, December 25–Thursday, January 1: CLOSED
Friday, January 2: ​8 a.m.–6 p.m.
Saturday, January 3: Regular hours resume


Building a Book Tree or, How and Why Libraries Weed Their Collections

book tree3

This December, we decided to bring a little festive cheer to the grey lobby of the Killam Memorial Library by building a holiday tree out of old bound journals which had previously been withdrawn from the collection. Since then, we’ve had questions about how we decide to remove (or “weed”) items from the collection, a necessary practice in every library but not one that any librarian undertakes lightly.

The bound journal volumes we used to build the tree in the Killam lobby were originally withdrawn from the Novanet catalogue and moved into basement storage seven years ago when the library underwent an A to Z move. To improve access and simplify the Killam Library’s physical organization, thousands of volumes were shifted so that books and journals could be arranged in call number order instead of having the science and humanities collections stored on different floors. At that time, some of our librarians identified runs of journals that were duplicated by electronic versions on stable platforms such as JSTOR and in archival packages purchased to provide perpetual access to the content. We created room for new purchases by moving duplicated content into storage.

Before the journals went into storage, they were offered to faculty and members of the local community. Volumes people expressed an interest in were set aside for them to pick up, but many of these bound journals remained with us. Since 2007–2008, the Dal Libraries, in consultation with Dal’s Office of Sustainability, have explored environmentally sound ways of handling the remainder of these now unwanted volumes. Some were used to insulate the Blockhouse School on the South Shore.

Our basement storage is currently full with a combination of withdrawn materials and holdings we want to keep. We have no offsite storage facilities to store extra volumes. We are working with our Novanet partners to explore the development of an off-site repository, similar to the Downsview Repository operated by the University of Toronto:  Even if we do develop a repository, there will only be room for material which is unique, worth preserving, and not available electronically.

As part of this summer’s move of the Music collection to the first floor of the Killam, we have shifted some items into the basement including government documents, some microfilm, all microfiche and microcards, and some print indices. As well, the basement storage contains rarely used print journals that are not available electronically: these can be retrieved by placing a request at the Killam Library Service Point. In anticipation of the upcoming move of the Kellogg Health Sciences Library, some older health sciences materials are also stored in the Killam’s basement.

Periodically, we are asked why we haven’t donated these bound journals to organizations that collect books for countries or regions in need. Our old bound journals used to build the book tree do not meet the criteria of what many of these organizations need. It costs 50 cents to ship just one book to Africa, so these organizations must be specific about what they can accept. For example, the organization Books for Africa lists the following criteria for acceptable donated items:

  • popular fiction and nonfiction reading books (soft and hard cover).
  • books that are 15 years old or newer.
  • primary, secondary, and college textbooks (soft and hard cover) with a 1998 or newer publish date.
  • reference books such as encyclopedias and dictionaries published in 2003 or later.
  • medical, nursing, IT, and law books with a 1998 or newer publish date.
  • some Bibles or religious books, please place them in a box separate from other donations and mark the box as “Religious texts.” Bibles are sent only when requested by African recipients.

While the Dal Libraries no longer need the particular volumes we used in our book tree, we would be happy to see them go to new homes if people want them. Community members are welcome to join us on January 5 to help take down the tree and redistribute the volumes (the books themselves weren’t harmed in the building of the tree, they have simply been stacked on top of one another). If no one is interested in these volumes, we will pack them up again and save them to build another tree next year.

For more information about how and why libraries weed their collections, blogger Joe Hardenbrook, who regularly blogs about libraries, technology, and teaching, has an excellent list on his Mr. Library Dude blog. Mr. Hardenbrook works as a reference and instruction librarian at Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin where he manages reference and instructional services, teaches information literacy sessions, and serves as a liaison to the education, psychology, and diversity programs. Here’s what he has to say about why academic libraries weed:

Why Do We Weed?

  • To remove books that are not being used
  • To remove books with outdated or obsolete information/philosophies (that have no historical use)
  • To identify books that are damaged or in poor condition
  • To identify gaps in the collection and make new purchases
  • To align the collection with the university’s goals, mission, and curriculum
  • Limited space for the collection

It boils down to this: Weeding is simply the selection process in reverse. Librarians, using their knowledge, institutional interests, and professional tools, decide which books to purchase. We use that same skill set to decide what books to withdraw.

Libraries are Not Warehouses
For most academic libraries, our mission is not to collect the whole of human knowledge. We have limited space, limited resources. We are not a warehouse for books–a warehouse is a storage facility. Books are for using–not for sitting on a shelf for years on end.

Finally, for more information on the subject of weeding, here are some excellent links on the topic:

Some Library Services Are Down

affected services

We are currently experiencing problems with some of our library services. We are investigating the issue and will resolve it as soon as possible.

Affected services are:

Please check for updates. We apologize for the inconvenience.

UPDATE, 11:55 a.m.: The issues have been resolved. Thanks for your patience.




WorldCat Local is down, please use Novanet instead


worldcat localNOTICE: WorldCat Local is down, please use Novanet instead.

If you need assistance,  please contact one of the Dal Libraries for assistance:

We apologize for the inconvenience.

UPDATE, 1:59 p.m.: WorldCat Local is up and running again.

Help Us Build a Book Tree

This year, we’re building a Christmas tree for the Killam Library lobby out of old bound journals. It’s a way to creatively reuse journals that have been replaced with electronic resources.

Join us on Monday, December 1 starting at noon to help us build the tree. We’ll have Christmas music and cookies, so take a break from studying or work to join in the fun. We’ll keep building until the tree is finished, so stop by the lobby any time that afternoon (but not too late) to give us a hand.

book tree

We hope to end up with something like this.

Making Sense of Helen Creighton’s Sound Recordings

Helen Creighton was a Canadian folklorist who collected songs, stories, and myths, mostly from her home province of Nova Scotia. And Creighton Barrett (name is purely a coincidence) is the Digital Archivist for the Dalhousie University Archives who has been researching Helen Creighton’s work since he was a music student at Acadia University in 2004.

This year, Creighton received three grants to support his current research project, entitled: Investigation of Sponsorship, Copyright, and Intellectual Property Issues Surrounding Helen Creighton’s Folk Song Recordings. In early 2014, he received a $1,000 Collaborative Research and Innovation Grant from the Council of Atlantic University Libraries (CAUL) and a $2,000 travel grant from the Rockefeller Archive Center Grant-in-Aid program. Creighton spent the travel grant on a trip to Sleepy Hollow, New York, to visit the Rockefeller Archive Center. In October 2014, he was awarded a $3,500 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Research Development Fund grant through Dalhousie University. Most of this grant will be combined with the CAUL grant to hire a research assistant.

Creighton’s project is attempting to answer several research questions about the copyright and intellectual property status of folk song recordings made by Helen Creighton, but it is rooted in his broader interests in the archiving of folklore and cultural heritage. “My research interests involve the documentation and preservation of intangible cultural heritage. Academic researchers are typically leading these efforts, which often lead to the creation of vast multimedia archives with complex ethical, legal, financial, and technological obligations for the academic libraries and archives that end up taking custodianship of these materials. Intangible cultural heritage has also emerged as a key component of education, tourism, and cultural initiatives, yet many of the most pertinent resources are distributed across multiple institutions, poorly described, and mired in questions about copyright, intellectual property, evolving organizational priorities, financial challenges, etc.,” says Creighton.

Digital archivist and Helen Creighton researcher, Creighton Barrett.

Digital archivist and Helen Creighton researcher, Creighton Barrett.

“I want to pull together all the information about Helen Creighton’s collection and find a way for the archives that hold her recordings to work together,” says Creighton. “There are copies of the same songs held in various archives, and it’s difficult to tell where the original recording is located,” says Creighton. Pieces of Helen Creighton’s collection can be found in the Nova Scotia Archives, Mount Allison University, Université Laval, the Canadian Museum of History, and in the Library of Congress in the United States.

On March 18, 2015, Creighton will give a free public lecture to the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society, entitled: American sponsorship of Helen Creighton’s folk song collecting in Nova Scotia during the Second World War.

More information about this public lecture will be available in the coming months.


ACEnet Research Fellowships

ACEnet is once again be offering research fellowships to students at their member universities.  These awards are designed to further research projects that utilize ACEnet’s advanced research computing resources.

Advanced Research Computing (ARC) involves a cluster of computers working together to solve scientific, engineering, business, or data analysis problems that are too large or complex for any single computer. Used by researchers, governments, and industry, advanced computing can remove years from timelines for research or product innovation and makes new types of analysis and problem solving possible.

The fellowship program is available to graduate and undergraduate students in any discipline. Graduate students will be eligible for up to $20,000 over two years and undergraduate students up to $5,000 for a minimum 400-hour work term. Supervisors are required for both types of fellowships. These must be regular, full-time, tenured, or tenure-track faculty at one of the ACEnet member institutions.

ACEnet will only accept nominations from designated contacts at each institution. (Dalhousie is one of the institutions.)

Nominations will not be accepted from either individual faculty members or students.

Interested parties must contact the university representatives listed in the information package for internal application deadlines and details. ACEnet Research Fellowship Program – Information Package

General inquiries can be directed to



Issues Accessing Online Library Resources

We have discovered that we are having major issues with access to online library resources this morning and we are currently working to find a solution. We don’t yet know when things will be back to normal;  please check for updates.

We apologize for the disruption.

UPDATE at 11:25 a.m.: These issues should now be resolved.