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REF NO.: 31

SUBJECT: Library Showcase will reveal little known corners of Memorial University's extensive library system
DATE: Oct. 8, 2003

Did you know that Memorial University's library is home to a collection of rare illustrated Victorian books? Or that the Health Sciences library has developed an online system to share its resources with doctors, nurses and pharmacists across the province?

At the upcoming Library Community Showcase visitors can find out more about these and other materials and services within the university's library system. The showcase (which is part of this year's Celebrate Memorial festival) will happen Oct. 14 from 7-9:30 p.m. in the Junior Common Room at R. Gushue Hall. There is no admission charge and all are welcome to attend.

At the event, four speakers will discuss four different facets of Memorial's library system:

  • George Beckett of the Health Sciences library will talk about the Newfoundland and Labrador Health Knowledge Information Network. This online service gives health professionals access to electronic journals, books and databases within Memorial's library system. Mr. Beckett said the service is particularly valuable to health practitioners in rural areas, who have had difficulty accessing information in the past. The library network puts them in touch with the latest research and developments in health-related fields. "Today the emphasis in health care is about using research evidence to prove that what you're doing is the best way to solve a problem," he said.
  • Dr. Martin Howley of the Queen Elizabeth II library will talk about some of the library's special collections that are not related to Newfoundland and Labrador. The illustrated Victorian books, donated to Memorial by Roger Peattie, are among them. As well, the personal folklore library of Dr. Herbert Halpert (who helped found the university's folklore department) is an important collection of some 10,000 annotated volumes. There are plans underway to renovate the library, and house these two special collections together in a separate area with floor-to-ceiling shelves that surround a central study/teaching space. Dr. Howley said this is will make the books, which are underused right now, more accessible to undergraduate students and the general public. "Special collections don't circulate because they're more than just their content - they're artifacts in own right and can be studied as such," Dr. Howley said.
  • Louise McGillis of the Grenfell campus's Ferriss Hodgett Library will discuss how Memorial's own Web site was designed using research into the overall usability of Web sites.
  • Bert Riggs of the library's Centre for Newfoundland Studies will highlight some interesting information gleaned from the thousands of volumes and archival material donated to Memorial by the Smallwood estate.

Celebrate Memorial is an annual festival of events celebrating the university's significant ties to the community of Newfoundland and Labrador. This year's celebrations, structured around the theme Connecting to Community, are happening Oct. 14-25, with lectures, awards ceremonies and public events at both the St. John's and the Grenfell College campuses. A full calendar of Celebrate Memorial events is available at www.mun.ca/celebrate.

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