MacNeill Library Learning Commons

Welcome to MacNeill's Library Learning Commons!

See our "Resources" and "Research" pages for useful tools and help.

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Science World "Scientists and Innovators in Schools" Mentor Visit — Dr. Mindy Brugman

February 7th, 2019 (belated post)

On the otherwise dreary afternoon of Thursday, January 24th, MacNeill’s Library Learning Commons had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Mindy Brugman, a senior research and development meteorologist from the Meteorological Service of Canada, and a mentor with Science World’s “Scientists and Innovators in Schools” program. Continuing in the same vein as Dr. Peter Dodek, who visited us in December, Dr. Brugman conversed about her career in meteorological research to help our students ascertain the type of future they would like pursue.

Punctuating her points with a tumult of meteorological charts and data, Dr. Brugman showed how she applies her wide breadth of expertise in physics, math, climate studies, and statistics to make sense from confusion. Recall the phrase, “knowledge is power”? Many times throughout her career, Dr. Brugman’s interdisciplinary knowledge has helped her determine the optimal solution during unpredictable situations. This can help save lives - prevent a plane from taking off in tempestuous weather, or steer a boat to safe berth, for instance.

In a conversation I had with her after the presentation, Dr. Brugman shared how she was unexpectedly asked to provide guidance on whether evacuation alerts should remain in place for Mexican village in the vicinity of a suddenly active volcano. After analyzing the data provided to her, Dr. Brugman’s decision that day not only helped the villagers stay safe from the volcano, but also enabled them to get potentially life-saving vaccinations. She was in the right place at the right time. Not only that, she had the necessary expertise to back it up.

Dr. Brugman also emphasized the necessity of collaboration, of not being afraid of change, and of "selling one's excellence". By always putting forward one's best self, one is always ready to take on unexpected opportunities. These are the types of life lessons and stories that our students desperately need to hear from people other than their parents and teachers. When it’s us, for whatever reason, our words frequently fall on deaf ears. Having someone from the “real world” relate these messages is truly a valuable experience that should not be underrated.

Thank you to Science World’s educational outreach programs and to Dr. Mindy Brugman!

Science World "Scientists and Innovators in Schools" Mentor Visit — Dr. Peter Dodek

December 13th, 2018

There’s a common theme among those who’ve achieved success and are leaders in their field that might not seem obvious at first, especially to students whose futures seem so unpredictable and intimidating. Burdened with the pressure of needing to know what career path to take in their lives, many students are afraid to make “the wrong choice” about what to pursue in their post-secondary journey.

But what Dr. Peter Dodek, a mentor with Science World’s “Scientists and Innovators in Schools” program, taught us yesterday in MacNeill’s Library Learning Commons, is that one’s education and career path is rarely linear. In fact, his own educational trajectory from a chemistry student to a physician was constantly shaped by inspirational mentors, chance opportunities, and unexpected connections. More importantly, his education was ongoing, continuing even after he started his career.

Many of the students in the audience are interested in pursuing a career in medicine or health science, either as doctors or researchers. Unsurprisingly, a lot of questions focused on the stress of medical school and the possibility of networking in research. Dr. Dodek offered a realistic perspective, yet never strayed from how rewarding his profession was.

In fact, a major component of his presentation emphasized his research into organizational culture, addressing burnout and stress from academic studies or the demands of the work. We learned that how staff feel about their work environment impacts patient care, and in a profession like medicine, the impact could literally mean life or death, not to mention the costly resources required to train these professionals. It was quite a shock to learn that back when his team first conducted the study, the number of deaths associated with medical intervention per day was the equivalent of a 747 plane crashing and claiming the lives of everyone on board.

The MacNeill Library Learning Commons strives to encourage learning and thinking in engaging and alternative contexts; we are very grateful for Dr. Dodek’s perspective and experience, and we are extremely appreciative of Science World’s educational outreach programs.

Celebrate Stan Lee's incredible life! Read a comic book!

Come to the library and borrow a graphic novel today!

Join all the schools in BC in this fun challenge!

Maker Week - Oct. 15th to 18th, 2018

See you in the library!

The 3D Printer has arrived!!!

To 3D print in the library, please click here to find out more information about expectations and resources.

What is a makerspace?

"Making is fundamental to what it means to be human. We must make, create and express ourselves to feel whole. There is something unique about making physical things. These things are like little pieces of us and seem to embody portions of our souls"

Mark Hatch The Maker Movement Manifesto


Grades 9 to 12 students: What is one book your entire generation should read? Send us your suggestion and explain, in 100 to 300 words, why this book should be read by teenagers across the country.


Fifteen entries will be randomly selected to receive six copies of each of the Canada Reads 2018 books for their high schools. The books are: The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline, American War by Omar El Akkad, The Boat People by Sharon Bala, Forgiveness by Mark Sakamoto and Precious Cargo by Craig Davidson.


Submit your entry by midnight EST on Sept. 27, 2018.


Participants must be a Canadian resident, enrolled in Grades 9 to 12, when they enter. Entrants must fill out the form below and have the permission of a parent or guardian to enter.



Welcome back!

While you might not be able to sleep in anymore, you can look forward to the fact that you now have access to an amazing selection of books, board games, puzzles, tech toys, and incoming 3D printer!

We request library users NOT talk on their phones while in the library.