Campus Life

Coulee plant publication a collaboration between library, faculty and community

A locally-produced book detailing the coulee plants of southern Alberta has been given new life and a new medium thanks to collaborative work between the University of Lethbridge Library, U of L faculty and the local community.

The 2nd edition of Common Coulee Plants of Southern Alberta is now available.

Dr. John Bain, in the U of L's Department of Biological Sciences, along with local botanist June Flanagan, recently published a 2nd edition of Common Coulee Plants of Southern Alberta. The book is free to download from the University of Lethbridge Institutional Repository.

Originally published in 1972 by professor emeritus Job Kuijt, the first edition of the book identified over 120 local plants and included short descriptions and simple line drawings for each plant, organized by flower colour.

The 2nd edition of Common Coulee Plants includes several updates, such as a new electronic format and current scientific plant names to accompany the familiar common names. Colour photographs, taken by author, photographer and botanist Flanagan, appear alongside the existing line drawings and can be enlarged to reveal greater detail, which is extremely useful for plant identification.

The EPUB format of the book offers many advantages to typical print including ease of navigation, an interactive table of contents and hyperlinked lists of plants arranged by flowering time or colour for efficient cross referencing.

“The book can be loaded on your cell phone or tablet and therefore takes up little or no additional space when you head out on the coulees to check out the spring flora,” says Bain.

EPUB files can be read using many common software applications including Google Books, iBooks, Overdrive and web browser plug-ins, however a .pdf file is also available through the Institutional Repository.

A look at the page featuring the great blanketflower.

Managed by the University Library, the Institutional Repository is a secure space for scholarly output such as articles, books, book chapters, statistics or numerical data, photos and more. Items in the repository are freely accessible to the public and searchable in various locations including the library catalogue and Google, which increases both visibility and discoverability.

"Since the content in institutional repositories is freely available as part of the Open Access movement, depositing scholarly output in a repository contributes to the global free flow of information,” adds librarian Marinus Swanepoel.

Already viewed/downloaded over 200 times, a launch celebration for Common Coulee Plants of Southern Alberta will take place in the University Library on Tuesday, April 15 at 3 p.m. on level 10.

For information about depositing your scholarly output into the U of L Institutional Repository contact your subject librarian or email