Archive for October, 2009

ALPS LINK Learning Object Sharing Contest

Friday, October 30th, 2009

Is there a great guide or learning object that you have discovered when helping AskAway patrons?
Think others should know about it?
Enter it into the ALPS LINK Learning Object Sharing contest and you will be eligible to win prizes!
This is a great opportunity to share knowledge of the many wonderful learning objects out there. As AskAwayers helping patrons from many different institutions, we are particularly likely to come across new learning objects, and this is a great way to spread the word.
The deadline to submit your nominations is November 20th. For more information, download the flyer:

Reminder: Help AskAway patrons with THEIR OWN resources

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Just a reminder that we can only help AskAway patrons with the resources that THEY have access to at their own library. Even though you may have access to different resources at your library, it is important to direct patrons to resources that they will be able to use after their session with you.
Questions? Let me know!
– Sunni

SFU – Tech 101 Interactive Research Challenge

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

The Tech 101 Interactive Research Challenge assignment requires students to begin research for the term paper they hand in later in the semester. In the past they have chosen from a list of 20 topics, most in the area of Technology & Society. The assignment is highly structured and includes the following tasks:
-analyze the topic, underline key terms, look them up in the dictionary, brainstorm synonyms and other search terms
-use encyclopedias and/or websites to get background info on the topic
-state three ways to contact a librarian for help
-use the catalogue to find books on the topic, then follow subject headings to locate more books, and state how to transfer them to the Surrey branch
-choose appropriate databases, justify the choices, search them to find articles, and determine how to get the articles
-evaluate articles (scholarly/popular)
-evaluate websites (reliable/not)
-cite every last source they find in good APA style
They have many resources to help them through this.
(1) An in-class workshop held the week of October 13th.
(2) A web guide ( which tells them how to do each task (or links to another guide which tells them).
(3) Source Evaluation Form ( ) which gives them a checklist for collecting citation info, assessing reliability, and assessing academic/popular.
For additional help, please refer students to

UBC Biology Students

Friday, October 9th, 2009

Thanks everyone for your support with BIOL 140 & 200. We are starting to see BIOL 140 and BIOL 200 students at our in-person desks and we anticipate they will be visiting AskAway too!
The BIOL 140 assignment this term is on salt water/marine organisms. Students are looking for information on their organism, its habitat and abiotic factors that affect its growth, survival, reproduction, behaviour. A good place to start is the course page We list recommended databases and suggest student try a search for the common and scientific names for the organism – narrowed by terms such as habitat OR ecology. If a student is not finding very much information about their specific species such as Gnorimosphaeroma oregonensis, try a broader search for the genus Gnorimosphaeroma.
The BIOL 200 assignment asks the students to research controversial topics and medical myths. They are asked to formulate their own opinion, based on scientific research (one primary research article and one review article) and one popular source. There is a course page at: which includes the topics the students can choose from to research.
Please let me know if you have any questions! Thanks!
Katherine Miller, MLIS
Reference Librarian, Woodward Library
University of British Columbia
tel. 604-822-0295