Gardening: The Perfect Pastime?!

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 Campus Seed 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 dana.ingalls@mcgill.ca

Happy Planting! 

Where are all the Women in Wikipedia?

Wikipedia logo assembled piece by piece created by Giulia Forsythe.
Wikipedia. Created by giulia.forsythe

How many times did you consult Wikipedia in the last month, week or even today? Once, twice maybe more? Perhaps you saw that Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka recently won the 2021 Australian Open, googled her and stumbled across her Wikipedia page only to realize that hours later you were stuck in a Wiki rabbit hole learning about the “first widespread animation device that created a fluent illusion of motion”, the phenakistiscope. For whatever the reason, the English Wikipedia, and its over 6 million articles, is a gold mine of information, but not for all topics.  

The Gender Gap

There is a severe Gender Bias in Wikipedia, which manifests itself in multiple forms: most contributors are men, most biographies are about men, concepts that are of interest to women have less coverage, and articles written by women or about women are consistently questioned over those articles written by men or about men. Wikipedia has a Gender Bias toward Women. Despite these gaps, however, there are numerous projects that are working to help address them and offer more diverse coverage of subjects on and about Women.  

Female symbol. Created by Gustavb

Women in Red WikiProject 

The WikiProject, Women in Red, seeks to increase the number of biographies on Women in Wikipedia by transforming red links (links without a Wikipedia article) into blue links (links with a Wikipedia article.). Additionally, Women in Red seeks to increase the visibility of Women by adding Creative Commons licenses photographs to Wikimedia Commons that can then be used in Wikipedia articles or outside of the Wikimedia projects.  

Women WikiProject 

The Women WikiProject group’s goal is to improve Wikipedia’s coverage of subjects pertaining to women and invites contributions from people of all gender identities, sexual orientations, geographic locations and backgrounds to participate.  

Art+Feminism 

Art+Feminism is an international community that “strives to close the information gap about gender, feminism, and the arts on the internet.” The community is responsible for many edit-a-thons focused on closing these gaps in Wikipedia.    

Les Sans PagEs 

Et en français there is the Les sans PagEs group, that is dedicated to turning red (dead) links into blue (functional) links in pages about women, feminism, and other underrepresented subjects . The Les sans PagEs group intersects with the Women in Red WikiProject and the Art+Feminism group by expanding the work on the Francophone Wikipedia.  

How you can contribute! 

Contributing to Wikipedia is open to all! You do not have to be anybody special to correct, change or create entries in Wikipedia.  There are many ways to contribute: 

  1. Adding references (citations) to existing Wikipedia articles 
  1. Correcting punctuation in existing Wikipedia articles 
  1. Expanding and adding content (sections, paragraphs, etc.) to existing Wikipedia articles 
  1. Translating existing Wikipedia articles into other languages 
  1. Illustrating Wikipedia articles with Creative Commons licensed images 
  1. Creating a new Wikipedia article from the scratch 

Interested in learning how to contribute? Join me for an introductory workshop on contributing to Wikipedia on Tuesday 9 March 2021 from 12:00 to 13:00Registration required. The workshop will be given via the Zoom platform and will focus on contributing to the English-language Wikipedia. 

Can’t make it to the workshop? Wikipedia has numerous resources that can help you self-teach on how to contribute.  

For more information contact hssl.library@mcgill.ca.  

Digital Scholarships Hub Winter 2021 Workshop Schedule

by Vanja Lugonjic and Maya Willard-Stepan

Did you know that the Library offers free online workshops to help with your research?

Winter Schedule - Digital Scholarship Hub

The Digital Scholarship Hub at the McGill Library is proud to present its Winter 2021 Workshop Schedule. This semester we are offering 31 interactive workshops, and lively discussions on artificial intelligence, research data management, digital scholarship tools, scholarly communications, and more!

Love Data Week

Workshops are listed on our Digital Scholarship Hub’s calendar and the Library’s workshops page. We have put together a few noteworthy events to check out!

From February 8th – 12th the McGill library is hosting Love Data week. We will be offering workshops on data analysis ethics, and much more throughout the week.  Take a look at some of our offerings.


“What’s the Deal with Data?”

Monday Feb 8th, 10:00 -11:00 AM EST

Kicking off Love data week, this session will give individuals an introduction to the world of data, including the what, why, where, and how of data. For those who are uncertain about data, and want to start learning something new – includes examples in both standard (like the social sciences) and non-standard fields (such as art).

Register here.


“#CovidArt: Bridging the Gap Between Science, Art, and the Public”

Thursday, Feb 11th, 10:00 am to 11am 

In the summer of 2020, Récherche Québec launched an initiative that asked artists and researchers to collaborate on an art project under the hashtag #covidart. Artist Shelley Miller and epidemiologist Joanna Merckx worked together on Graphic/Graphique, a mural that uses data to visualize how the different Montreal boroughs were affected by the first wave of COVID-19. Join them for a conversation about their project, data use for art, alternative ways of disseminating data, and the intersection between STEM and Art.

Register here.


“Know your Rights: What to consider before you submit to a journal and sign a copyright transfer agreement” 

Tuesday, February 16, 12:00- 1:30 PM EST

This workshop will engage in practical, hands-on exercises to review the author agreements of major journal publishers. During the session we will look at actual copyright transfer agreements and publisher policies.

At the end of this session participants will be able to: identify and compare copyright transfer agreements between journal publishers, Evaluate journals based on their author rights agreements, and describe which author rights are retained/transferred in these agreements. If you’ve published (or are planning to publish soon), please bring along any relevant examples from your own experience. 

Register here.


“Keeping up with Artificial Intelligence: AI Ethics & Bias”

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2:30-4:30 PM EST

This presentation aims to cover some of the core issues surrounding the ethical debate with AI, open up discussions about how to overcome these issues, and broaden our understanding of the technology. Participants will delve into case studies for biased AI, promote ethical solutions for AI development, evaluate the privacy concerns of AI in everyday use and navigate the current landscape of AI policies.

*Note that this workshop will not discuss the mechanics of AI, but rather its implications on society.

Register here.


We also offer support for digital research projects of McGill faculty, students, and staff tailored to their research needs. Contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

Questions? Contact us at dshub.library@mcgill.ca