September 2021 has brought great change to much of the McGill campus, but here at the Humanities and Social Sciences Library we are especially excited to announce the promotion of two of our Liaison Librarians. Please join us in congratulating Dr. Svetlana Kochkina as the new Head of Lending and Access Services and Eamon Duffy as the new Head of Liaisons!
Svetlana previously served as a Liaison Librarian in the Nahum Gelber Law Library, as the interim Copyright Librarian, and as the Coordinator for the Digital Scholarship Hub. Svetlana now manages the operations for Lending and Access at the Humanities and Social Sciences Library, The Birks Reading Room, and the Education Curriculum Resources Centre.
Eamon previously served as the Interim Head of Liaisons for the Humanities and Social Sciences Library for the past year, as well as serving as a Liaison Librarian. Eamon will continue as the Liaison Librarian for History, Classical Studies, and Government Information, in addition to his new role, managing the Liaison Librarians who support the faculties of Arts, Management, and Education.
We are very excited to have Svetlana and Eamon stepping into these roles as Heads in the Humanities and Social Sciences Library.
On Friday, March 13th, 2020, many of us left campus unsure of when we would be back. Only a day later the Premier of Quebec, François Legault, announced the province had entered a public health emergency set to last only ten days. The McGill Library closed its doors over the weekend and began shifting to remote services. In the early days of the pandemic there was a lot of confusion and uncertainty. There was a lot of fear. But from that fear a light emerged, and people came together (albeit apart) to form new and resilient communities. Here’s what you missed since you’ve been gone.
Collectivity we took up new hobbies like baking, which caused the sale of flour to increase by over 2000%. Some of us got a little too into baking and began naming our sourdough’s, but it’s okay, we forgive you. We looked to crafts like knitting and making homemade masks to help fill our days. Jigsaw puzzles were nearly sold out across the country, and sales worldwide went up by over 300%. And when that wasn’t enough, on March 20th we became obsessed with the Netflix true crime documentary series Tiger King. In the first ten days of the show’s release, it was watched by over 34.4 million households. That’s 34.4 million households who have a lot of questions about Carol Baskin’s husband.
Tiger King wasn’t the only thing we streamed. On July 3rd, Disney+ released a filmed version of the Broadway hit musical Hamilton. Over 22 million households watched and soon everyone was singing. But we all know we will never be satisfied… which is why on October 23rd, 2020, when Netflix released the mini-series The Queen’s Gambit,over 62 million households streamed the show, making it the most watched series in the entire world (the show is an adaption of the Walter Tevis novel of the same name and is available in the McGill Library)! The show sparked a wave of people purchasing chess sets (sales increased by over 1000%) and millions of people signed up to Chess.com. And on December 25th, just when we thought we couldn’t watch anymore television, Netflix released Bridgerton. Over 82 million households rushed to binge the series (though if your parents ask, you skipped episode six), making it the new most watched show in history.
For most of the summer and fall of 2020, the world was captivated by the United States Presidential Election. From Presidential Debates to the counting of the mail-in-ballots, many were glued to their screens waiting to find out who would be the 46th American President. History was made (although not from the number of viewers) as the first ever female Vice-President of the United States, Kamala Harris – a former resident of Montreal – was elected.
Despite all the ups and down and trivial moments of the past 18 months, perhaps nothing has loomed quite as large as two of the biggest civil rights movements of our time. On May 25th, 2020, George Floyd was murdered by Minneapolis police office, Derek Chauvin. Shortly after footage of the killing was released, protests began to break out across the United States. The public was in an uproar after not only Floyd’s death, but the deaths of many Black individuals at the hands of police. Other countries also saw mass protests occur, despite the pandemic. A wave of support for the Black Lives Matter movement grew online and created a huge push for communities to #DefundThePolice and provide patronage to local Black-owned businesses.
Canada was forced to face its own trauma inflicted upon Indigenous Peoples during colonization as in mid-May 2021, the remains of 215 children were found buried at the site of the Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia. These discoveries continued throughout the summer with 1,504 graves found as of August 2021, with thousands more likely to be discovered. This genocide has brought global attention to the horrors committed by the Canadian government, the Catholic Church, and numerous others involved in the implementation and running of residential schools. For those looking to read more about the impact of residential schools on Indigenous Peoples, we have several materials available at the McGill Library to help you learn.
Over the course of a year and a half, we witnessed major civil rights movements, we were anxious and scared over an uncertain future, and we struggled to find our place. Yet, within all of the confusion, we managed to find light and laughter in our days. And while this pandemic is not yet over and there are many questions left to be answered, the McGill Library has finally reopened its doors. We are excited to have students back in our spaces, though we urge people to get vaccinated and tested for COVID-19 in order to keep our community safe.
The Since You’ve Been Gone Redpath Exhibition will be available during the month of September 2021. Questions or comments can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming, and the sun has unleashed my inner gardener. Hosted by Dana Ingalls, a Liaison librarian at MacDonald Campus, the Introduction to Gardening Workshop on April 1st 2021 was a great session to encourage the McGill Community to nurture their green thumb.
With another 8 pm curfew in place, our life in Montreal seems to have slowed down again. However, this provides a great opportunity to cultivate our own little gardens using tools and many resources which are easily accessible! The Macdonald CampusSeed Library Guide on the McGill Library web site is such a great place to look – it contains lots of information on how to obtain the seeds needed, as well as all the necessary next steps to be successful! The workshop really emphasized that no matter the size of your living space, there is always a way to start a garden.
If you have a small indoor space you can start a garden by planting herbs (basil, parsley, cilantro, chives, mint…), hot peppers, cherry tomatoes, green onions, lettuce, microgreens, carrots, radishes, etc. Get some old containers, poke some holes in them, and get growing! Seed starting is very important for a healthy plant. Make sure you have a warm room, fertilizers, LOTS of light (artificial growing light bulbs are great) and seed starting soil mix (or you can sift any soil to make sure there are no rocks/chips which would prevent the seedlings from growing). April is a great time to start some veggie seeds inside, like tomatoes.
If you have a patio or small outdoor space, you can use containers and set them where available. Any size is good, depending on what you’re growing and what you have. You can even use reusable tote bags if you make sure to create drainage holes if there aren’t any. Most vegetables and herbs can be grown in containers, even the big ones like corn or giant pumpkins. To maximize space, trellises are great for climbing vegetables (cucumbers, zucchini, peas, etc.)
If you have a larger yard, you can either grow directly in the ground, or build raised beds. However, be diligent because the soil in many parts of the Montréal area is stony, and clay is common, so garden plots must be well-tilled, cleared of stones, and fertilized!
Dana’s workshop was great as it covered many topics: common pests and how to deter them, starting points for beginners, an introduction to companion planting (a great way to utilize space and the nutrients in the soil), and how to save your seeds for next season. As someone who has been intimidated by gardening for a long time, and struggles to keep a cactus alive, this workshop really made me realize, it’s just about starting strong and then committing to your little plant babies!
If you’re interested in watching the workshop recording you can click here. if you have any gardening related-questions, you can contact Dana by emailing her at email@example.com