AAAL News: Fall Meeting and Committee Membership Opportunities

AAAL is excited to announce that our Fall Meeting will take place at NAIT in Edmonton on Thursday, November 15. Stay tuned for more information and a call for presentations.

The Executive Committee has a number of volunteer opportunities for AAAL committees – four positions in all! These opportunities are available to library staff members from AAAL member institutions. Please see below for details. If you are interested, please contact Nicolle Lemay at by Friday, August 24 and indicate for which committee(s) you would like to be considered.

1) Mentorship Committee: The Mentorship Committee is looking for one member for a two-year term. The mentorship program will run during the 2018-19 academic year, after a pilot year in 2017-18.  The member would be part of a team responsible for:

  • Recruiting and pairing mentors with mentees in September 2018
  • Offering any additional support or training needed to run the program
  • Conducting program evaluation upon completion of the 2018-19 program
  • Seeking feedback and making recommendations to the AAAL Executive

2) Workshop Committee: The Workshop Committee is looking for two members, each for a two-year term. The committee organizes the AAAL professional development and learning program. Committee members strive to develop relevant programming that serve as learning opportunities and highlights the range of excellent work happening at AAAL member libraries. The new committee member will engage in issuing calls for, selecting, and coordinating lightning-strike sessions, presentations and panel discussions for the Fall and Spring AAAL meetings.

3) Statistics and Assessment Committee: The Statistics and Assessment Committee is looking for one member. This committee compiles annual statistics from member institutions and reports to the membership on those statistics. Committee members should have an interest in data and statistics; experience with data analysis or data visualization is an asset.

Please contact me with any questions or to express an interest in any of these volunteer activities.

Nicolle Lemay
AAAL Chair


7 Questions with Kara Blizzard

This month’s issue of 7 Questions with AAAL Members features Kara Blizzard, Public Services Librarian at the University of Alberta, Augustana Campus.

Kara Blizzard AAAL Pic1. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
Fly (like a superhero, not a pilot)

2. Have you ever had something happen to you that you thought was bad, but it turned out to be for the best?
Moving to St. John’s, Newfoundland! I was placed there for an MLIS co-op position, and I was very apprehensive about moving to a faraway island with its own time zone, but it turned out to be a great experience. I loved living near the ocean, exploring the city, and meeting friendly people.

3. What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?
Regina Spector’s album “Far.”

4. What do you eat for breakfast?
Almost always toast. Lately I’ve been buying lots of sourdough!

5. What do you do when you’re not working?
Take my dog for walks, develop my cookbook collection (and occasionally use some of the recipes), and paint landscapes.

6. What is your favourite colour?

7. What is your favourite cake and why?
Chocolate cake with a chocolate mousse filling and chocolate ganache on top. There can never be too much chocolate.

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

SAIT Library is undergoing staffing changes this summer

Our long serving Access Services Librarian, Dave Weber, retired in late June after almost thirty years of service at the Library. Dave began his career with SAIT Library as a reference librarian in 1988, and became Access Services Librarian in 1999. Dave also served for 6 years as a member of the SAIT Academic Faculty Association (SAFA) executive board. Dave was well known around campus and within the Alberta library community and will be missed.

As a result of growing information literacy needs on campus, we are hiring a full time, permanent Instruction Librarian. This position will also serve as a liaison to one of SAIT’s schools and will work on other projects depending on skills and interest. The deadline for applications is July 27th. All applications should be made through SAIT’s online system.

Concordia University of Edmonton Library Launches New Website

Concordia University of Edmonton Library is pleased to announce the launch of its newly revamped website. The library’s new website can be found at: library/

In addition to a clean and mobile-responsive design, CUE Library has focused on keeping its content as findable and user-friendly as possible. CUE Library has also implemented a dynamic A-Z database listing feature, which makes selecting a database more intuitive for students, faculty, and staff.

CUE Library Website


7 Questions with Michael Brundin

This month’s issue of 7 Questions with AAAL Members features Michael Brundin, Web and Discovery Services Librarian at MacEwan University Library.

mrb1. What is something interesting you learned in the last month?
Although admittedly an esoteric interest, I found it revelatory to realize that the Hungarian Gypsy scale was like the natural minor scale with a raised 4th, or the Hungarian minor scale with a lowered 7th (the Hungarian minor scale is like the harmonic minor with a raised 4th).

2. If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose?
The central towheaded character in Sigur Ros’s official video for their song Glósóli (see The coda or denouement with the Peter Pan–inspired flight of fancy is quite poignant and affecting: “second to the right, straight on to morning.”

3. What is your favourite thing to binge watch?
I don’t tend to “watch”, let alone binge watch, but apparently, I seem to follow a roughly decennial (every 10 years) pattern, wherein I intensively revisit Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, the thirteen-part television series presented by Carl Sagan in 1980.

4. What is your favourite quote?
I don’t have a favorite quotation, but two literary passages that I am fond of are the following:

and who therefore ran through the icy streets obsessed with a

sudden flash of the alchemy of the use of the ellipse the

catalog the meter & the vibrating plane,

who dreamt and made incarnate gaps in Time & Space through

images juxtaposed, and trapped the archangel of the soul

between 2 visual images and joined the elemental verbs

and set the noun and dash of consciousness together jumping

with sensation of Pater Omnipotens Aeterna Deus

—Allen Ginsberg, “Howl,” Howl and Other Poems, 1956


The Cat only grinned when it saw Alice.  It looked good-natured, she thought: still it

had very long claws and a great many teeth, so she felt that it ought to be treated with


“Cheshire Puss,” she began, rather timidly, as she did not at all know whether it

would like the name: however, it only grinned a little wider.  “Come, it’s pleased so far,”

thought Alice, and she went on.  “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go

from here?”

“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.

“I don’t much care where—” said Alice.

“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.

“— so long as I get somewhere,” Alice added as an explanation.

“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”

—Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, 1865


Finally, although not really a quotation, I am also partial to this expression:

“Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.”
—Expression in linguistics used to demonstrate syntactic ambiguity

5. What is your favourite colour?
Green. And more specifically, Shamrock green or Irish green. (This is the shade of green in the national flag of Ireland, and the state flag of California.)

6. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Somewhere in the Big Sur region, which is the region along the Pacific Ocean coast between Carmel and San Simeon in California.

7. Who inspires you?
Archimedes (ca. 287 BCE–ca. 212 BCE). The depth and range of his discoveries in mathematics, and the creativity of his engineering inventions, are truly inspiring.

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

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!

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

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).