Acclaimed actor and director Martha Henry to deliver 2014 Shakespeare Lecture

Martha Henry headshotThe Friends of the McGill Library in partnership with the Stratford Festival presents the annual Shakespeare Lecture featuring acclaimed actor and director

Martha Henry

Tuesday, November 4, 2014 at 5:30pm

Pollack Hall, 555 Sherbrooke Street West

Free admission.

RSVP: 514-398-5711 or

About Martha Henry: Martha Henry’s storied career at the Stratford Festival began in 1962, when she appeared as Miranda to William Hutt’s Prospero and Lady Macduff in Christopher Plummer and Kate Reid’s Macbeth. Her acclaimed roles have included many of Shakespeare’s women: Titania, both Helenas, Luciana, Cressida, Viola, Countess of Rossillion, Cymbeline’s Queen, Lady Anne, Queen Eleanor, Cordelia, Goneril, Rosaline, Princess of France, Thaisa, Desdemona, Lady Macbeth, Doll Tearsheet, Queen Margaret, Joan la Pucelle, Constance, Isabella, Beatrice, Paulina and Volumnia. Her more contemporary roles include Olga (Three Sisters), Mary Tyrone (Long Day’s Journey Into Night), Martha (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?), Mrs. Alving (Ghosts), Agnes (A Delicate Balance), Linda Loman (Death of a Salesman) and Prof in Taking Shakespeare, directed by Diana Leblanc in the 2013 season. As a director at the Festival, her productions include Brief Lives (Douglas Rain), Richard II (Geordie Johnson), Richard III (Tom McCamus), Antony and Cleopatra (Peter Donaldson and Diane D’Aquila), Of Mice and Men (Graham Greene), An Enemy of the People (David Fox), Three Sisters (Lucy Peacock and Tom McCamus) and Timothy Findley’s Elizabeth Rex (Diane D’Aquila, Brent Carver and Peter Hutt). In 2014, her 40th season with the Festival, she is directing Mother Courage and Her Children and appearing as Lady Bountiful in The Beaux’ Stratagem. She is also the Director of the Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theatre at the Stratford Festival. An Equity Lifetime Member and recipient of the Governor General’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Martha Henry has also received five Genie Awards, two Betty Mitchell Awards, Toronto’s Drama Bench Award, New York’s Theatre World Award, three Gemini Awards (for TV) and seven honorary doctorates. She is a Member of the Order of Ontario and a Companion of the Order of Canada.

 - biography courtesy of the Stratford Festival

Lecture sponsored by Michael Sabia and Hilary Pearson.

Friday, October 10: Noisy renovation work at Schulich Library

Please be advised that on Friday, October 10th noisy masonry sawing will take place on the 4th and 5th floors in the Schulich Library of Science and Engineering. The disruption is anticipated to run from 6am – 4pm. As a result, the noise may travel to other spaces in Schulich Library.  Ear plugs are available at the Library Services desk.

For alternative study spaces, please consult our branch listing here.

For more information on the masonry work being done at the Macdonald-Stewart Library Building, please click here.

Thank you for your cooperation and we apologize for the inconvenience.

Monday, October 13 (Thanksgiving Day): Humanities & Social Sciences Library open for study only. All other branches closed.

The Humanities & Social Sciences Library will be open for study on Monday, October 13 from 8 am to midnight. All branches will reopen with service on Tuesday, October 14.

Please check individual branch pages for specific opening and service hours.

Free film screening – Sufi Soul: The Mystic Music of Islam

Wednesday, October 15th at 5:30 pm
Octagon Room, Islamic Studies Library

Sufi Soul imageSynopsis: With a dogmatic and fundamentalist view of Muslims increasingly predominant in the Western media, there has never been a more important time to show an alternative view of Islam. Sufism is the mystical dimension of Islam that preaches peace, tolerance and pluralism. And it encourages music, which is seen as a way of getting closer to God. Sufi music is literally some of the most ecstatic in the
world. This documentary by Simon Broughton looks at Sufism and its music in different
part of the Islamic world – Syria, Turkey, Pakistan and Morocco. It follows
the development of Sufism, reveals the views and beliefs of devotees, examines
the growing threat from fundamentalist Islam and includes fantastic performances
from some of the greatest Sufi musicians.

A post-screening discussion will be moderated by Dr. Pasha M. Khan, Chair
in Urdu Language and Culture, and professor at the Institute of Islamic Studies.

- excerpted from

McGill Library Feasibility Study focus group participants wanted

Students working in Cybertheque. Photo by Kalsu FiedlerThis September, McGill University began a feasibility study to best determine how the McGill Library and Archives can meet the evolving teaching, learning and research needs of its community. The McGill University Library & Archives, University Services and the architecture firms of Shepley Bulfinch and EKM will be leading the initial phase of planning for the renewal of the Library. The kickoff meeting with architects has been set for Tuesday, October 14 and Wednesday, October 15, 2014. Architects will tour library locations and meet with various user groups in order to gather data and feedback. Several faculty and student focus groups have been scheduled over the two-day period and we need your help! Feedback is being sought from undergraduate and graduate students at all levels and from all disciplines. What does the Library mean to you? Be part of a focus group and tell us what you like, what we should change or add in order to meet your learning,  research and teaching needs. Two student focus groups are scheduled to take place on Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 from 11am – 12:30pm and 12:30pm – 2:00pm. A light lunch will be served.

If you are interested in being a part of a focus group please fill out this short online form:

Need more information on the study, process and people involved? Please visit

Can’t make it to the focus group session but still want to contribute ideas? Feel free to give anonymous feedback on any topic, anytime by visiting:

Photo: Klaus Fiedler, McGill Library



The Globe and Mail’s national affairs columnist Jeffrey Simpson to give 2014 F.R. Scott Lecture

The Friends of the McGill Library present the annual F.R. Scott Lecture featuring award-winning journalist and author

Jeffrey Simpson photoJeffrey Simpson

Monday, October 20, 2014 at 6pm

RSVP required.

Please call 514-398-5711 or email

Birks Reading Room, 3520 University St., 2nd floor

Free admission

About Jeffrey Simpson: Jeffrey Simpson is The Globe and Mail’s national affairs columnist. Simpson has won all three of Canada’s leading literary prizes — the Governor-General’s award for non-fiction book writing, the National Magazine Award for political writing, and the National Newspaper Award for column writing (twice). He has also won the Hyman Solomon Award for excellence in public policy journalism. In January, 2000, he became an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Jeffrey has published eight books — including Discipline of Power (1980); Spoils of Power (1988); Faultlines, Struggling for a Canadian Vision (1993); The Anxious Years (1996); Star-Spangled Canadians (2000); The Friendly Dictatorship: Reflections on Canadian Democracy (2001); and Hot Air: Meeting Canada’s Climate Change Challenge (2007). His latest book, published in 2012, is Chronic Condition, Why Canada’s Health-Care System Needs to be Dragged into the twenty-First Century, which won the $50,000 Donner Prize for the best book on Canadian public policy.

– excerpted from The Globe and Mail

Schulich Library of Science & Engineering: 4th floor closed temporarily Monday, September 29 to Sunday, October 5 inclusive

The 4th floor of the Schulich Library of Science and Engineering will be temporarily closed beginning Monday, September 29 in order for workers to install temporary walls around the masonry work being done at the Macdonald-Stewart Library Building. The floor is expected to reopen on Monday, October 6th.

All other floors are available for study.

If you require materials located on the 4th floor, please visit the Library Services desk, call 514-398-4769 or email

We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

For more information on the masonry work being done at the Macdonald-Stewart Library Building, please click here.

Special public lecture on Borges by McGill visiting scholar Alberto Manguel

Image of Alberto Manguel

**Please note that we are no longer accepting RSVPs for this event. It is sold out.

Special public lecture by internationally acclaimed anthologist, essayist, novelist & McGill visiting scholar

Alberto Manguel

Sherlock Holmes in Buenos Aires: Borges & the detective story

Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at 6pm

Birks Reading Room, 3520 University St., 2nd floor

Free admission

About the lecture: Jorge Luis Borges believed that the detective story was at the true heart of every fictional narrative and he filtered through this genre metaphysical ideas, speculations about time and space, higher mathematics, literary theory, theology and historical events. “Literary genres,” he said, “depend perhaps less on the texts themselves than on the manner in which these texts are read.” This suggestion allows us to read the Odyssey or Don Quixote as if the hero of these works were not the troubled king of Ithaca and an old and deluded Spanish squire, but Sherlock Holmes and his faithful Watson.

About Alberto Manguel: Alberto Manguel was born in Buenos Aires in 1948, and counts as a pivotal experience reading to the blind Jorge Luis Borges when Manguel was sixteen and working at the Pygmalion bookshop. Manguel is now a Canadian citizen and has contributed regularly to Canadian newspapers and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, as well as to the Times Literary Supplement, the New York Times and the Village Voice, and the Svenska Dagbladet. In 1992, Manguel’s novel, News from a Foreign Country Came, won the McKitterick Prize. Manguel was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and honorary doctorates from the universities of Liège, in Belgium and Anglia Ruskin in Cambridge, UK. He is an Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (France).



Schulich Library of Science & Engineering: 5th floor closed temporarily week of September 22

The 5th floor of the Schulich Library of Science and Engineering will be temporarily closed the week of Monday, September 22 in order for workers to install temporary walls around the masonry work being done at the Macdonald-Stewart Library Building. The floor is expected to reopen the week of Monday, Spetember 29.

All other floors are available for study.

If you require materials located on the 5th floor, please visit the Library Services desk, call 514-398-4769 or email

We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

For more information on the masonry work being done at the Macdonald-Stewart Library Building, please click here.

Masonry work at Macdonald-Stewart Library Building (Schulich Library of Science and Engineering) & FAQs

Please scroll down for FAQs.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

From Robert Couvrette, Associate Vice-Principal (University Services) and Colleen Cook, Trenholme Dean of Libraries

We would like to advise you that work involving an in-depth investigation of and some repairs to the masonry walls of the Macdonald-Stewart Library Building, which houses the Schulich Library of Science and Engineering, will begin on Monday, September 15.

This work will result in some disruption and noise for Library users between now and December, when the project is scheduled to be completed. It will mean shifting some materials and adjusting study spaces. The Library will remain open for the duration of the project and we anticipate maintaining the same number of study seats.

During the recent roof replacement, deterioration in the 120-year-old building’s exterior stone wall was observed, prompting McGill in early 2014 to commission an investigation into the state of the building. The subsequent report, from an outside firm of architects and a structural engineer, revealed that the deterioration of the stone structure was more advanced than previously known and that McGill must move quickly to prevent further deterioration, especially avoiding the freeze-thaw cycle in the winter that leads to the accelerated degradation of old stone work.

Construction crews will erect interior walls in some places on all floors to create a space between the building’s interior and its exterior walls to facilitate the masonry investigation and expedite any immediate repairs required. Scaffolding will also be erected around the building and we ask that everyone respect security personnel who will direct pedestrian traffic in the vicinity of the building.

We will attempt to minimize the disruptive effects of the work, but there will definitely be more noise than normal, especially during the mornings. We apologize for the inconvenience this will cause and we will work with staff, students and faculty to find solutions to any problems as they arise.

Please see the FAQs below or contact with questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why must this work be done now?

Facilities received a report commissioned earlier this year, which indicates that some steps needs to be taken before this winter sets in to avoid further deterioration.

  1. How serious is it?

It is fairly serious but not dangerous. Necessary steps are being taken to make sure it won’t become dangerous. Stone deteriorates in an accelerated way. The more water infiltrates cracks in the stone and freezes in the winter, the larger those cracks become. It’s a spiraling cycle. The larger the cracks become, the more water infiltrates. McGill has had considerable experience with this issue on the downtown campus. 37 of our buildings were built before 1900. The Macdonald-Stewart Building that currently houses the Schulich Library of Science and Engineering was built in 1893.

  1. How will this affect Library users (i.e. students, faculty, staff)?

Some study spaces will be relocated within the building and some rarely used materials will be shifted within the branch. Some low-use bound journals will be retrievable from our Currie Gym storage facility. Total number of study spaces in the library should be maintained. During this period there will be noise most mornings. Interior walls will be erected to seal off work areas and reduce dust and/or cold. Temporary walls should be in place on all floors by mid to late September. The work is expected to be completed sometime in December.

  1. What materials are you putting in storage?

Bound journals, for the most part, which will still be available if requested

  1. What if the engineers and architects determine, once they start the work, that things are worse than they thought?

If at any point there is an indication that part of the building does not meet McGill’s very strict safety standards, the area will be closed off immediately. That would extend to the entire building, if the situation were to call for it.