7 Questions with Claudette Cloutier

This month’s issue of 7 Questions with AAAL Members features Claudette Cloutier, Associate University Librarian, Research and Learning Services at University of Calgary Libraries.


Picture of Claudette Cloutier1. What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?
I have eclectic tastes that were informed by, television my parents’ albums and growing up in the ’80’s. The soundtrack to my life would include anything from Abba, Neil Diamond, Olivia Newton John, Beau Dommage, and Simon and Garfunkle. Throw in a little Bonnie Tyler, Cyndi Lauper, The Police and Lionel Richie and you have made my day! When I got married, I walked down the aisle to “Early One Morning” or as most of us know it the theme song from the “Friendly Giant”.

2. If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose?
I have always wanted to be Anne Shirley. Anne of Green Gables is my all time favourite book. Who knows why I want to be an orphan growing up in turn of the century PEI…I think it was for the adventures and her sense of self.

3. What is your best piece of career advice?
The piece of career advice that I share with everyone I meet is that the world is a very small place. Always be kind, honest and professional with everyone you meet because you never know who will be your next boss.

4. What is your favourite thing to binge watch?
I am a sucker for action adventure and mysteries. This winter I have binge watched “The Librarians”, “Marvel’s Agents of Shield”, and “Father Brown”.

5. What do you do when you’re not working?
I know it is cliched, but when I’m not working I’m reading. That’s after running my kids around to their various activities and volunteering.

6. What is your favourite colour?
My favourite colour is electric purple, you can tell by the purse I carry. I’ve loved the colour since I was 3 or 4 and convinced my mother to paint my room that colour. She toned it down to lilac. When I’m buying clothes, if purple is an option, I will choose it.

7. What is your favourite cake and why?
My favourite cake is chocolate. I grew up in a family of chocolate haters so the only time I got chocolate cake was for my birthday or if we ate out at a restaurant (which was very rare). The great thing about this is that no one but me ate my birthday cake so there was always lots of leftovers!


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May 14 workshop at University of Alberta on creating meaningful assessment

Guest speakers Annie Zeidman-Karpinski and Mary Oberlies from the University of Oregon are coming to University of Alberta Libraries as part of our Spring Training program. We are opening up both their morning lecture and afternoon workshop to the greater Edmonton library community!

Assessment & Peer observation - Social media

Details on the sessions and speakers are found on the registration page and the attached PDF. Please register by May 10th at noon.

Audience: all library staff, SLIS faculty & students and any other post-secondary colleagues interested in peer observation and assessment in instruction.

We hope to see you there!

The University of Alberta Libraries Teaching and Learning Committee: Kim Frail (co-chair), Sheila Laroque Nancy Goebel, Virginia Pow (co-chair), Sharon Murphy, Jessica Thorlakson, Janice Kung, Patti Sherbaniuk and Jennifer Ward (UofA Centre for Teaching and Learning).

7 Questions with Mark Black

This month’s issue of 7 Questions with AAAL Members features Mark Black, Manager Library and Archives at Banff Centre.


MarkBlack11. When was the last time you were nervous?
Every time I have to speak in front of others especially in a professional setting – so probably this morning.

2. Have you ever had something happen to you that you thought was bad, but it turned out to be for the best?
There was a job I interviewed for, was shortlisted for, and really wanted that I ultimately didn’t get. I was devastated about it and struggled with why I wasn’t a fit. Coming close to something and not getting it makes you re-evaluate the direction you are taking in your career. I moved on (mostly) and sought out opportunities that would help me take the next steps in my career. I still dwell on what if’s, but I’m happy with where I am.

3. What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?
Top 5: Books About Miles Davis – The Ergs!, Definition – Black Star, Wish Fulfillment – Sonic Youth, The Last – Childish Gambino, Gossip Folks – Missy Elliott

4. What is your best piece of life advice?
“Is there blood?” This came from Janice Fiander, my manager at Cole Harbour Library. It has served me well and I have passed it onto my own staff. Before stressing out or panicking in a situation and making a rash decision, take a breather, and ask yourself, “How serious is this? Is there blood?” Take a second to figure out what’s important, what’s at stake, and then (try to) make the right decision.

5. What are some of your favourite podcasts?
My Favourite Murder, Surprisingly Awesome, Dead Authors, Baseball Tonight

6. What is your proudest non-work related accomplishment?
I wrote a book about the punk band NoMeansNo. I had a lot of help and it happened because of the good will of so many. I never properly acknowledged the support, patience, and encouragement provided me by my partner at the time. I could not have written that book without her.

7. What is your favourite quote?
All bad things are exaggerated in the middle of the night. When you lie awake, you only think of bad things. Julian Barnes


If you would like to be featured on our 7 Questions with AAAL Members blog, please sign up here!

University of Alberta Libraries public lecture: How to stop worrying and learn to love peer observation

Please join us for the following public lecture by visiting guest speaker Annie Zeidman-Karpinski, the Kenneth M. and Kenda H. Singer Science Librarian at The University of Oregon. Annie is the co-author of the 2016 article: “Don’t use a hammer when you need a screwdriver: how to use the right tools and create assessment that matters“. You can find out more about Annie via her blog.

 Date/time: Mon. May 14th, 10:15 – 11:30 am

Location: University of Alberta, Education Centre South Room 122.

Use southeast entrance near the Coutts Library

Please register by 4pm May 7th. 


How to stop worrying and learn to love peer observation: How combining observation and reflective supportive practices helped an instruction program in need of an overhaul.

 How to stop worrying and learn to love peer observation: How combining observation and reflective supportive practices helped an instruction program in need of an overhaul.

The University of Oregon applied leading edge tools in evidence based practice for teaching STEM classes to library one shot classes. We found that we have a lot in common with teachers of large lectures in the sciences and some differences of opinion as well. We will discuss what worked from a nationally validated model and what we are in the process of changing and validating for library one off sessions. Fundamentally we are using these tools to build a culture of using peer observation as a method to improving student success. Because these changes are big and seem difficult to many, we are also incorporating another model, Teaching Squares. By adding this component we have built in a piece of the program that aids in reflection, mentoring and getting over the hurdle of being really, really worried about having others come to your instruction sessions.

We hope to see you there!

~ UAL Teaching and Learning Committee: Kim Frail (co-chair), Sheila Laroque Nancy Goebel, Virginia Pow (co-chair), Sharon Murphy, Jessica Thorlakson, Janice Kung, Patti Sherbaniuk and Jennifer Ward (UofA Centre for Teaching and Learning).

Conference Funding Opportunity from the Foothills Library Association

Applications for the 2018 Rachel Chan Memorial Grant are now being accepted.

The Foothills Library Association provides this grant of up to $500 to assist FLA members with limited or no access to funding to attend a library conference related to their work. The grant may be applied to cover registration fees, accommodation and/or travel to the conference.

Application deadline is April 27, 2018.

Applications can be submitted online via this form.

For more information, please contact the FLA Vice-President, at flavp@fla.org.

7 Questions with Yvonne Phillips

This month’s issue of 7 Questions with AAAL Members features Yvonne Phillips, Librarian at Red Deer College Library


yvonne-hi1. What is something interesting you learned in the last month?
I rarely travel to warm places, so I learned on a recent trip how avocados grow on trees – hanging individually on a vine! I also learned that if you try to take them home in your suitcase, you’ll get caught.

2. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
I play music, but I wish I could sing.

3. What is your best piece of life advice?
I have a quote I found somewhere, “Over-prepare . . . then go with the flow.” In other words, be organized for your intended path, but be willing to take a different one.

4. What do you eat for breakfast?
My usuals, in order of preference: Homemade granola and yogurt; two eggs and toast; cooked oatmeal. I’m not above breakfast chocolate either.

5. What do you do when you’re not working?
I’m well-known for the variety of my activities. Play concert band clarinet and music group recorder, read newspapers and books, run, bike, hike, XC ski, play hockey, back-country camp, travel, snowshoe, go to concerts and theatre . . .

6. What is your favourite quote?
From Voltaire’s Candide: “Les chagrins secrets sont encore plus cruels que les misères publiques.”

7. What is your favourite colour?
Blue.

Registration reminder for Spring 2018 AGM: Deadline is April 3rd!

This is a reminder that April 3rd is the deadline to register for the AAAL Spring 2018 AGM! Library staff from all member institutions are invited to join us at Mount Royal University on Thursday, April 12th.

There’s an awesome day of networking and learning scheduled! Jessie Loyer (Librarian at Mount Royal University) is joining us after lunch to provide the day’s keynote on indigenous language and our libraries. Lunch, as always, will be provided by the AAAL.

For details, please see the agenda and meeting package on the AAAL website.

CJ de Jong, AAAL Chair