Getting Familiar with the Library

With the semester in full swing, you might have some questions about resources you might need. Thanks to our Orientation Committee, we have both a webpage and a handbook for you.

Our Library Orientation page is a great one-stop-shop has all of the essential information about the library. This includes links to library hours, where to search for books and other materials, contacting a librarian and more.

Also in our orientation page is the beautifully created Library Matters handbook that has handy tips from fellow students, detailing what they wish they knew about the library when they first started at McGill. The handbook also has some fun activities like crosswords and colouring pages for you to enjoy.
Take a dive in and see you at the library!

Sprint in to the Library!

McGill Library SprintThe McGill Library Sprint is a new interactive game and self-guided tour. Choose between the Schulich Library and the Humanities and Social Sciences Library and answer some challenging questions.

Prizes include a Fitbit Flex and McGill Bookstore gift certificates.

We had a lot of fun putting together the questions for Schulich Library and we hope that you have as much fun playing!

Want to take a scheduled tour around Schulich Library? We have those too! Take a look at the list of upcoming tours and MyLibrary introductory workshops. Tours and workshops are also being offered in Mandarin Chinese and Persian.

Back to School!


As the new school year begins, hope you have your pencils sharpened and are ready to learn all about the library’s resources and services!  (If you don’t have any pencils, don’t worry we have some spares.)  With workshops and tours happening almost every day, take advantage of your time now by learning about the library so you can save time later.  Everyone is welcome: new students, returning students, undergraduates, graduate students, even parents!   There are two different activities scheduled at Schulich Library.   At Library Quick Start 101, you will learn how to:

  • Navigate the library website
  • Find books, course materials, and other useful resources
  • Get help from a librarian

At the Welcome Tour, you will discover your home away from home!  We’ll show you where to:

  • Find your secret study space
  • Scan, print, and copy
  • Check out a book

For the schedule of orientation activities taking place at Schulich Library, please go here.

On behalf of the Schulich Library staff, we look forward to meeting you or welcoming you back soon!

Modernist Cuisine at Home

I hope that everyone enjoyed the holidays. Classes do not start until next week but for those of you with some time on your hands we do have Orientation sessions going on at Schulich Library, along with workshops on EndNote or Refworks citation management software. They are really worth your while (just saying).

I outdid myself this year on the sheer number of resolutions but I did get one gift, Modernist Cuisine at Home, that may get me motivated to start cooking. The book is a follow-up to Modernist Cuisine: the Art and Science of Cooking, a whopping six-volume set with 2,400 pages, with a team of scientist and chef authors led by Dr. Nathan Myhrvold, the first chief tech­nol­ogy offi­cer at Microsoft and all-around genius. Co-author Maxime Bilet was at the Food Science 25th Anniversary Symposium at McGill in 2012.

I was drawn to Modernist Cuisine for the science and technology side to cooking but I fell in love with the images and the challenge of the recipes. The full set is not only hefty but it comes with quite a price tag so I was excited to see that they made an addition to the Modernist Cuisine family with a reasonably priced, although still quite weighty, volume. To decrease the number of takeout meals I eat in a week I hope to spend more time in the kitchen, exploring the gadgets I have collected over the years, with my new book in hand.  Wish me luck.

If you’d like to take a look at the full Modernist Cuisine: the Art and Science of Cooking there is a copy at the Macdonald Campus Library. Request pickup at the McGill Library of your choice.

Happy New Year!

Image from Modernist Cuisine

Welcome / Welcome Back!

For those new to McGill, welcome, and for those returning for another year, welcome back!

It’s a busy time of the year, as students scramble to find their classrooms, course reserves, student service centres, etc. You can take solace in the fact that McGill Library has organized fun and informative orientation activities that demystify library loans and research and help you get the most out of the library. You will learn about all the collections and services and how to find everything you need.

Schulich Library is leading tours and giving workshops everyday for the next couple of weeks and they are all on a drop-in basis. To see a schedule and to read more about Library Orientation at Schulich as well as at other library branches, click here.

Image from

It’s a bird… It’s a plane… It’s a paper plane!

Paper planes that crossed the distance line

Some of the planes that made it across the line

Last weekend, while at the Montreal Mini Maker Faire, I received some advice on constructing paper airplanes, including why one might want to add ailerons (straight flying) or an airfoil (slower, longer glide) to improve the performance of their folded-paper gliding machine. And I recently found this conference paper, “On the aerodynamics of paper airplanes,” when we heard that we were going to have something of a paper airplane distance contest happening in Schulich Library of Science and Engineering. Finally on Thursday, I was on hand – now well equipped – to referee the Schulich Library leg of the Amazing Library Race.

As part of Library Orientation (on now!) over 40 students  took part in the Amazing Library Race last Thursday afternoon, which involved participants racing between various branch libraries and completing tasks before moving on to the next location and task. At Schulich Library the new students’ challenge was to build and “fly” a paper airplane a prescribed distance – the distance was kind of arbitrary, but I would estimate it at about 5 meters – before receiving their next clue. Whether or not the planes had ailerons, most of the successful models were similar to the classic dart-style plane discussed in the paper above. Regardless, all of the groups were eventually able to get their plane to cross the distance line with their paper-plane-engineering savvy!

Orientation activities at Schulich Library and across the Library system continue this week and into the school year. Come check it out now and save time later on!

Previously: Ready! Set! Get Oriented!

Image by Rebecca Nicholson

Ready, Set, Get Oriented!

It’s that time of year again! Dust off your book belts and make sure your alarm clock is in good working order because it’s Back to School! McGill Library is ready to ease you into the new academic year with a lot of fun and informative Library Orientation activities. Attend all three, on a drop-in basis: Library Tour, Getting Started and Finding the Right Stuff, at Schulich Library or any other McGill Library branch and receive a free USB bracelet! Here’s how you win:

  1. Pick up your Orientation Passport at any library branch, during Discover McGill Street Fest or at the Discover McGill Service Fair. We will also distribute these at the Tours and Workshops if you don’t already have one.
  2. Get your passport sticker after each session you attend.
  3. Once you’ve collected all three stickers, drop your passport off at any Library Information Desk to receive your free McGill Library USB memory bracelet!

After each Workshop you attend at Schulich Library, your name is entered in a draw and you could win a nifty McGill mug. For a schedule of Schulich Library’s Tours and Workshops click here.

Don’t forget about The Amazing Library Race being held on Thursday August 30, from 3-5 pm.  For more information or to register click here. Please note that if you participate in the Amazing Library Race, you can earn a sticker for your Orientation Passport in lieu of a Tour. Sound good? See you at the finish line!

Image by Nikki Tummon