Farewell to Donna Bowman

On Tuesday November 27th 2018, the University Library organized the retirement celebration for Donna Bowman at La Rotonde in the Language Institute Building. The perfect location since Donna has been the librarian for all things French as well as many areas in MAP, Education and Women’s and Gender Studies. Over the years, Donna’s professional attitude and willingness to learn have been greatly appreciated by her colleagues, faculty, staff and students.

The Quasi-Kidnapping of Kitty Von Kat – Title Page

Donna Bowman is also a visual artist, she “(…) does pretty much all the art for Clan Munro and Ben Frost.  Pencils and inks by hand and Ben Frost colouring in Photoshop” (bluebrollycomics.com). During the Winter 2018 semester, part 1 of the Web graphic novel, The Quasi-Kidnapping of Kitty Von Kat was displayed on the 4th floor of the Archer Library.

Thank you for your contributions to the Archer Library and we wish you a joyful retirement.

The Surprise in the Book Drop:Kicking the Habit

surprise book drop

Sometimes, you just don’t have a bookmark handy.  Usually, I’ll just grab whatever flat item is closest and tuck it between the pages to mark my spot: receipts, business cards, old envelopes.  Recently, a very unique bookmark was turned in with one of our books: a nicotine patch.


I hope whoever this belonged to was able to kick the habit without this one patch!

For more stories about unusual bookmarks, check out this article about what other librarians have found in their books.  (Bacon? Cheese? Chicken legs?????) You may also want to visit Forgotten Bookmarks, a site dedicated to the strange and beautiful ephemera found in an antiquarian  bookseller’s books.

Views From the Library – Kansas City Public Library, USA

Bringing art to the library, the University Library hosts the Archway Gallery. Found on the first floor of Archer, this study area displays the work of student artists beautifully. Libraries have a long history of becoming both formal and accessible galleries, and the Kansas City Public Library takes “art and the library” to the next level, becoming a work of art itself. The parking garage is a “giant bookshelf”, and the front steps are a stack of books! The book titles were selected from suggestions made by the public.

Further Reading (and photo credit): https://interestingengineering.com/giant-bookshelf-kansas-city-public-library

Places for the People: why libraries are more than just books

“Libraries are not the kinds of institutions that most social scientists, policymakers, and community leaders usually bring up when they discuss social capital and how to build it. But they offer something for everyone, regardless of whether they’re a citizen, a permanent resident, or even a convicted felon – and all of it for free. Doing research in New York City, I learned that libraries and their social infrastructure are essential not only for a neighborhood’s vitality but also for buffering all kinds of personal problems – including isolation and loneliness.”

Check out the rest of the article by Eric Klinenberg, who discusses the importance of libraries as not only a space filled with books, but as the centre of a community.


Food for Fines

Would you like to clear off your library fines and contribute to a great cause at the same time?

All campus libraries are once again participating in our annual Food for Fines campaign.  For every non-perishable food item you donate, we will forgive $2 of library fines.  This year, all food donations will go to the URSU student pantry.

The campaign runs from November 13th to December 7th.  See below for full details.

food for fines vertical poster


  • For every food item donated, $2 in fines will be forgiven, up to a maximum of $30.
  • Donated food must be non-perishable.
  • The waiver applies only to current overdue fines; it does not apply to fines for lost or damaged items.
  • Donations must be taken to the library that the fine is attached to.


New Digital Exhibit – Archer Library: Early Days

This online exhibit, produced by Archives and Special Collections, presents photographs and documents related to the planning, construction, and opening of the Archer Library. Read the opening address from John H. Archer, learn more about Minoru Yamasaki’s vision for the campus, and see how much the Archer Library and the U of R campus has changed over the last 50 years. View the online exhibit here: https://ourspace.uregina.ca/Archer50th/

Meet the Staff: Arlysse Quiring

Arlysse Quiring is one of the newer members of the Library User Services team, but she has already become an invaluable addition to the library.  If you see any eye-catching displays by the library, chances are that Arlysse had a hand in creating them.  In her time away from the library, she enjoys music (she is an accomplished musician and teacher), drawing, watching classic movies, reading fine literature, and learning different languages.


What’s the one book you suggest everyone read? Why?

The Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. It’s classic horror, but really more about the tragedy of humanity. It is absolutely relevant in the today’s world, and a wonderful read!


What’s one skill that everyone should develop?

Empathy. Severely undervalued and so essential. Read or watch Orson Scott Card’s controversial Ender’s Game for a wonderful take on the importance of empathy.


Which person – living or dead – do you most admire?

In the top five at least would be William Wilberforce: His work in both human rights (abolishing the slave trade in the British Empire) and animal rights (founding the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), changed the world immeasurably, and his legacy continues to this day.


Which talent would you most like to have?

Wingsuit jumping. I’m not sure if I could bring myself to do it, but it looks so fun!


What’s one powerful piece of advice for living a fulfilling life?

Question everything. Question your values, your upbringing, your world view… everything. Make sure that you’re living the life you want, under your terms, within your own decisions. CHOOSE your career, your family, your religion, your education, your lifestyle, etc. When you question everything, you don’t weaken your personal convictions, you strengthen your sense of self.

Open Textbooks. Helping Students Save Money!

Psssst . . . have you heard about open textbooks? Open textbooks are textbooks licensed under an open copyright license and made available to be freely used by students, professors, and members of the public. Rather than requiring that students purchase an expensive textbook, open textbooks are freely available online and allow students to read, download, save, and print the textbook as they wish.

The open textbook movement is gaining traction across Canada in an effort to reduce the cost of postsecondary education for students.  British Columbia (through BCcampus) is the Canadian leader in open textbook development, with over 250 textbooks currently listed on their web site. The use of these textbooks have saved BC students almost $10 million in textbook costs. Other provinces, including Saskatchewan, are also starting to advocate for and develop open textbooks. Recent funding from the Government of Saskatchewan allowed the University of Regina to create several open textbooks.

If you like the idea of open textbooks, or want to know more, here are some steps you can take:


  • Learn more about open textbooks so that you can spread the word to fellow students.
  • Talk to your professors about open textbooks. Encourage them to explore options in their subject area.
  • If you are serious about organized advocacy efforts, check out the information for Student Advocates on the BCcampus web page. URSU is very interested in open textbooks, so talk to them about how you can help advocacy efforts on the U of R campus.


  • Explore the open textbooks that are available in your area of interest. A couple of good repositories of open textbooks are BCcampus and the Open Textbook Library.
  • Use an existing open textbook as-is, modify an existing textbook to meet your needs, or mix-match sections from several textbooks.
  • Talk to U of R instructors already using open textbooks (including those who have created new textbooks) for insight into the process (and rewards) of adopting an open textbook for your class.

Open textbooks provide an exciting opportunity for instructors to customize textbook content, while also making postsecondary education more affordable for our students.

Image credit: Opensourceway / CC BY-SA