A little history lesson

Have you ever wondered why the Humanities and Social Sciences Library has so many names? Is it McLennan? Is it Redpath? Where is this Blackader everyone says is a great place to study?

The mystery lies in the history of the building. If you stand on McTavish Street and look at the entire complex, you can see how the Humanities & Social Sciences Library is actually composed of several separate building styles.

The original library was housed in what is now called Redpath Hall and was built in 1893.  In fact, you can still see Redpath Library etched in stone on the building’s exterior although it no longer functions in that manner. If you get a chance, catch a performance by students and faculty from the Schulich School of Music and imagine the room as it once was.

In the 1950s, an extension was added (this is the section of the library referred to sometimes as the “Redpath Library”), which currently houses primarily study spaces, a computer, lab, as well as the Cybertheque and cafeteria in the basement.

The library was further expanded in the 1960s when McLennan was built (the six story component that houses all of the library’s books at the corner of Sherbrooke and McTavish).

We tried to ease confusion by calling the complex (Redpath + McLennan) the Humanities and Social Sciences Library but the two separate building names have stuck.This is why however the building can feel confusing to get around some times as different sections were conceived and built in different decades.

Take a walk around and see if you can catch the architectural differences!

P.S. The elusive Blackader Lauterman is located on the third floor of the Redpath section. Take the staircase located between the men’s washroom and the new seating area.


Improve your language skills this summer!

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to speak with the locals when you’re on vacation? What about learning some useful sentences in Spanish, Italian or Russian?

Well, through our eBook and audiobook collection, you can have 24/7-hour access to hundreds of titles on foreign language study. In fact, the library currently has 419 titles on language study that are all accessible through OverDrive.

Parlez-vous français? Want to travel around the beautiful Province of Quebec but your knowledge of French is limited? Check out any one of the French languages study titles such as: “Beginning French for the Utterly Confused” or “Behind the Wheel Express – French 1”. Want to learn Mandarin? Have a look at: “Chinese for Dummies”. If you’ve been trying to forever get rid of your foreign accent that always makes you stand out in an English crowd you should read “Accent Reduction Made Easy” (maybe I should check out this book myself! After 27 years in Canada, people still detect my Spanish accent).

All you need to borrow materials from McGill OverDrive is your McGill ID barcode and PIN number. Once you log in, you can borrow e-audiobooks for a period of 7 to 14 days in MP3 and WMA format. For transfer to Apple devices iTunes is required as well. And the greatest thing about these books is that you don’t need to worry about getting water or sand on them or about returning them to the library on time. The e-audiobooks you borrow will be returned to the OverDrive collection automatically after a set number of days (between 7 to 14) so you have nothing to worry about while you are traveling!

So the next time you are at the beach in Cuba, or walking in some plaza in Madrid, think about the thrill of being able to ask the waiter: “una cerveza fria porfavor” (a cold beer, please) while secretly knowing that you just learned how to say that in Spanish a few minutes ago!

For more information about OverDrive go to: http://www.mcgill.ca/library/library-findinfo/ebooks/borrowing-eaudiobooks/

Have a wonderful summer!