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Full text of "The Gateway (2007-09-18)"

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volumeXCV1I1 numbero ♦ tbeolficialsludentnewspapcrat Ihcuniversityofalberla ♦ ♦ luesday. 19seplember.2007 


CHALK ONE UP FOR THE MOB The Edmonton Flash Mobber Society descended on Sir Winston Churchill Square on 
14 September to mark up the expansive concrete space to raise awareness of pressing environmental issues in Alberta. 

PI A launches election 
awareness campaign 

Senior News Editor 

Every three years, on the third Monday 
in October, all cities in Alberta go to the 
polls. This year. Public Interest Alberta 
(PfA) wants that electoral tradition to 
be marked by an increased turnout 
among the younger demographic. 

Last Thursday, the three-year-old 
advocacy organization launched Take 
Back Your C.iry. its provincial campaign 
aimed at engaging young people in the 
municipal and school board elections. 

NA1T Student Association Vice- 
President (Academic) and PIA board 
member lisa Munro explained at the 
campaign launch that all candidates 
across die province will be sent an 
extensive survey prompting them to 
list what diey consider to be the most 
important issues for municipalities. 
These surveys will in turn be compared 
to the ones given oul to young people 
in specific regions so dial voters can 
decide how the responses correspond. 

"We're not telling anyone [any¬ 
thing]: we're just giving them the 
tools to analyse whether or not the 
candidates are responding to their 
critical issues," PIA executive director 

Bill Moore-Kilgannon said. Over the 
next several weeks, PIA will be hold¬ 
ing similar tampaing events around 
the province leading up to the open¬ 
ing of the polls on IS October. 

According to Moore-Kilgannon, the 
idea of holding an electoral campaign 
aimed at engaging youth stems from a 
democracy task force held last March 
dial involved eight different forums 
across Alberta. 

“One of the key things that we heart! 
[coming out of those forums] was that 
we need to engage young people to rec¬ 
ognize how their daily life is impacted 
by politics and how, through their 
participation in democracy, they could 
have an influence as to what type of 
society tltey live in," he said 

However, University of Alberta 
Students’ Union President Michael 
Janz noted that a large part of the need 
to connect specifically with student 
voters lias to do with the simple fact 
that they are often displaced from 
their home regions. He stated that 
approximately 40 per cent of students 
at the U of A are not originally from 
Edmonton, and therefore may not see 
it as their home city, 


New self-serve checkout kiosks put waiting in line on the shelf 

Self Serve 


CHECK IT OUT Self-check-out machines stand at the ready in Rutherford. 


News Staff 

As of last week, U of A students now 
have a new and Improved means of 
checking out books at libraries across 

On 12 September, University of 
Alberta Libraries unveiled new self- 
serve checkout machines intended 
to make borrowing books quick and 
easy, while allowing more privacy for 
students checking out materials. 

"This initiative is part of the 
Libraries’ commitment to improving 
its services to the student and to pro¬ 
vide a better student experience in 
accordance with the academic plan," 
said Karen Adams. U of A director of 
Library Services. "We are assuming 
that shorter lineups mean a better 
student experience and greater self- 
sufficiency in [their] ability to inter¬ 
act with the library." 

The new self-serve machines are 
also an improvement over the decade- 
old self-serve checkout terminals that 
were previously employed. 

"We had problems with [the] 
old machines, especially with liar- 
codes being all over library items. 
The library has taken an initiative to 
place I he liarcodes on the front of the 
books," explained Audrey Holubitsky, 
a technical advisor who helped with 

the implementation of the self-serve 

Unlike the old terminals, the new 
machines feature a touch-screen LCD 
display housed in a sturdy, a nodi zed- 
steel Ixxly, and can also prim out due- 
date receipts of checked-out materials. 
The machines are also future-ready, 
with each unit being run by a stan¬ 
dard desktop computer tltai can be 
accessed to modify or upgrade the 
unit's software or hardware with 
ease. Emanating from underneath the 
display panel is a red laser beam that 
scans the barcodes off the tliousands 
of printed materials featured in the 
U of A Libraries’ collection. 

Tlte new machines are also easier 
to use, requiring the quick swipe of a 
One Card coupled with intuitive on¬ 
screen animated instructions. 

“We ask people to 'park' the item 
barcode under die red beam, wait for a 
beep that tells them their item lias been 
checked out, and then listen for a thunk 
that tells them their item can pass 
through the security gate,” explained 
Alexa jaffurs, access services coordina¬ 
tor for the U of A Libraries. 

“We chose these machines because 
diey could handle the widest array of 
materials and placement of barcodes," 
she added. Previous testing trials suc¬ 
cessfully checked out more unusual 
items, such as a stuffed teddy bear 

with a barcode sticker. 

For now, die new machines are lim¬ 
ited to checking out printed materials 
such as books, journals, and other 
publications. Other library materials, 
such as videotajies, DVDs, and oilier 
media in kits have yet to be available 
for checkout with the new machine. 
More complex materials, such as edu¬ 
cational learning props, remain avail¬ 
able for checkout from conventional 
circulation desks operated by existing 
library staff. 

"People still need tilings from 
the circulation desk; no one will 
be laid off because we have these 
machines," explained Anne Carr- 
Wiggin, interim manager of circu¬ 
lation at the Rutherford Humanities 
and Social Sciences Libraries. "We’re 
changing library services constantly. 
You'll see different types of service 
for sure, but this doesn’t a represent 
a staff person by any means." 

Twelve machines have been pur¬ 
chased. with four operational at 
Rutherford Library, three to be 
installed in Cameron Sciences and 
Technology Library, two in Coutts 
Education, and one in each of Health 
Sciences. Law. and the Bibliotheque 

"It's a great service that our library 
is doing. It shows that our University 
is trying to bring about all die fea¬ 

tures of the academic plan by trying to 
bring about a fulfilling undergraduate 
experience," Students’ Union Vice- 
President (Academic) Bobby Samuel 
said after a 15-second checkout of a 

book. "If anything, it will allow stu¬ 
dents to go into the library, take care 
of the process themselves, and to take 
care of the checkout as expediently as 










Sports Feature 






Assistance needed 

The only thing worse than Bear Tracks 
is WebMail; the only think worse than 
WebMail is WebCT. 


Needed assistants 

Assistant coaches are the unsmig 
heroes of varsity sports, but they do 
more than you might think.