Teaching Resources and Tips from CBU Librarians

Edited by: 
Mary Dobson, MLIS

Welcome to the first column on teaching resources and services offered at Cape Breton University Library and beyond.  All of the librarians will be contributors to this column, where we will discuss resources that we hope will make you aware of new teaching potentials for your discipline and/or teaching process.  We also plan to share effective teaching practices that we have used in our library instruction.  This column will focus on the Library’s most recently hired librarians, Lenard Lawless and Ron Rooth.  Future columns will highlight underutilized/new resources, data/statistics and other exciting library related teaching topics. 


The newest librarian at CBU Library is Lenard Lawless, previously from the University of Manitoba.  Lenard is our Access Services Librarian, which means that he is responsible for coordinating and overseeing circulation, reserves and ILL/document delivery. 


On Reserve.

While the Library has long allowed you to put readings and books on reserve, we have also recently started an electronic reserve system.  Brenda O’Flaherty, our reserves specialist, can take articles and class notes that you provide, scan them, and add them to the Moodle site for your course.  She can also help to include links to electronic journal articles, e-books and other Web-based resources.  A course does not need to be distance to be on Moodle and it is a convenient way for all students to access their reserves electronically.  We continue to accept print reserve items which are accessed through Novanet and are picked up at the circulation desk, but for those of you looking for electronic options, try Moodle.  If you have any questions or concerns, see Brenda or Lenard and they’d be happy to show you a course reserve that is already on Moodle.


New Scanner.

We have added a scanner for public use on the first floor of the Library.  You may find this useful to scan your lecture notes for distribution to your students or to scan material for research purposes.  Students will find the scanner useful as a free alternative to photocopying.




Ron Rooth is the Education, Arts and Social Sciences librarian at CBU Library, who has recently discovered Prezi, which he prefers to use as an alternative to PowerPoint, when teaching a class.

If you’ve been to any conferences lately, you may have noticed a new presentation app. that's gaining popularity. Prezi is a free, Flash-based online application that breaks with the linearity of PowerPoint both in how the presentation is displayed and how it’s composed.  Some may find it a lot easier to use as well.


Presentations may be composed quickly on a graphed field as you type ideas, group them, and link the groups together. Prezi may also be used as a kind of classroom ‘chalkboard’, where you may improvise text and graphics, and move back and forth between ideas. Also, you never run out of space.


PowerPoint’s many animations, like dissolving checkerboards and spinning ‘Newsflash’ slides seem gimmicky. Prezi dispenses with these animations, instead providing a visually-interesting but simple framework. Rather than clicking through slides, as in PowerPoint, the presentation zooms in and out between grouped ideas, allowing also for multiple levels of background and foreground.


Your presentations can be stored on the Prezi server, where you log in to retrieve it, or downloaded to your personal computer or portable drive. Many examples of presentations can be viewed on the Prezi website.  Ron has used Prezi and would be happy to answer any of your questions if you wish to try it.


Ron will be giving a presentation on using Prezi in the Library instructional space on Tuesday, October 19, 2:00-2:50.