Call for Lightning Strike Sessions

Call for Lightning Strike Sessions

The Alberta Association of Academic Libraries (AAAL) Spring 2017 Meeting will take place on Thursday, April 20, 2017 at Bow Valley College.

We will kick off the afternoon with a keynote related to library space design, which will be followed by our lightning strike talks.

We invite you to submit a proposal for a 20 minute talk (this includes time for questions) on something new or engaging that is happening in your library, or on a topic applicable to academic libraries in our province! What new program, service or space are you and your library providing to your user community?  What new technologies or tools are you using to improve how you, your library, or your users get things done.

To complement our keynote presentation related to library space design, we also invite you to submit before and after pictures of your space or library redesign or construction project.  We will put together a slide show to be shown over the lunch break of everyone’s projects.  Include the name of your institution, the title of the project and a brief description of what you achieved. By Monday April 10, 2017, please submit these to Shawna Murphy (SMurphy@mhc.ab.ca) who will coordinate the presentation.

We hope to see you in Calgary in April!

AAAL Workshop Committee
Claudette Cloutier (UCalgary)
Shawna Murphy (MHC)
Trish Rosseel (UAlberta)

7 questions with Louise Brittain Boisvert

March’s installment of 7 Questions With… AAAL Members features Louise Brittain Boisvert, Digital Services Coordinator at the Olds College.


img_20170109_165355097 1. What is something interesting you learned in the last month? A hand saw can be played as a musical instrument. It produces this otherworldly sound. One of the many fun rural Albertan facts I have been learning.

2. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be? Teleportation

3. Have you ever had something happen to you that you thought was bad, but it turned out to be for the best? My first year of undergrad was disrupted by a 3 month long strike during which classes were cancelled. I ended up dropping out before the strike ended and went backpacking for 6 months. I couldn’t have planned a better life experience.

4. What is your best piece of life advice? There are no wrong choices. Just the path you choose.

5. What is your proudest work-related accomplishment? Last semester, we hosted the first Long Night Against Procrastination event at Olds College. It turned out to be the most highly attended student event ever held at the college. Fingers crossed, our spring edition will be as popular.

6. What is your favourite quote? No one is good at everything but everyone is good at something.

7. What is your favourite colour?   Blue

Reminder 3 AAAL executive positions

There are three exciting AAAL Executive positions up for election at the Spring 2017 AGM on Thursday, April 20, 2017 in Calgary.  If you’re looking for a new way to contribute to the Association or build your CV, please consider putting your name forward! You are also welcome to nominate a colleague from any AAAL member library.

If you are interested in being nominated for any of these positions, or would like further information about the positions, please contact any member of the AAAL Nominations Committee (Samuel Cassady, Jane Duffy, Isobel Rancier) before March 15, 2017. A brief Statement of Interest for each nominee will be sent out 2 weeks before the AGM in April.

Chair (one year position as of April 2017 – formerly a 2 year position)

  • Conduct the Fall Meeting, Annual General Meeting, and Executive Committee meetings;
  • Coordinate meetings: contact hosting institution; ensure Workshop Committee has activities planned;
  • set date and agenda items;
  • Act as spokesperson when representing AAAL to other associations, agencies & government departments;
  • Coordinate with the AAAL Communications Committee to ensure members are aware of new and upcoming meetings.

Chair Elect (one year position as of April 2017 – to transition to Chair after one year)

  • Maintain liaison with other library associations and external organizations, and ensure news and updates of interest to the Association are reported at the Fall Meeting, Annual General Meeting, and via the AAAL blog and social media;
  • Call for standing committee members as needed and ensure standing committee positions are filled;
  • Support and consult with the Chair as needed, sharing duties as the Chair sees fit;
  • Conduct general meetings in Chair’s absence.

Membership Coordinator (2 year position)

  • Maintain current membership records, files and forms for AAAL members and affiliates, along with participants in the Resource Sharing Agreement;
  • Coordinate with the Secretary/Treasurer the collection of membership fees;
  • Coordinate with the AAAL Communications Committee to ensure the website reflects current membership;
  • Create and coordinate the distribution of post-meeting evaluations to membership.

7 questions with Kevin Tanner

February’s installment of 7 Questions With… AAAL Members features Kevin Tanner, Instructional Librarian at the Reg Erhardt Library at SAIT.


picforaaal 1. When was the last time you were nervous? I proposed to my girlfriend of four years this past weekend. I took her on a private sleigh ride in Banff and had the driver pull over to “take pictures” and popped the question. I said a little speech before and I was so nervous I don’t even remember what I said exactly. I knew she would say yes, so I am not sure why I was so nervous.

2. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be? I would learn a programming language that would allow me to automate everything possible. I am thinking Python, but I am not sure if that would be the right choice.

3. Have you ever had something happen to you that you thought was bad, but it turned out to be for the best? During my MLIS, I did not initially get a co-op library placement after interviewing at only a few places. However, I ended up having a second chance and successfully interviewed for an 8 month co-op at The D.B. Weldon Library at Western University. I went from being devastated to jumping for joy in the span of a week.

4. What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life? I could go on and on with this…I’ll keep it simple with five:

1. Black Sabbath – Children of the Grave
2. The Smiths – Well I Wonder
3. Herbie Hancock – Maiden Voyage
4. Minor Threat – Filler
5. Cro-Mags – Life of My Own

That was incredibly difficult and would probably change on a different day.

5. If you had to work on only one project for the next year, what would it be? I would probably work on a project related to scholarly activity at SAIT and how the library can help with research. Scholarly activity is relatively new here with the introduction of degree programs, and I would love to work with researchers throughout the research cycle, from initial conception to dissemination.

6. What is your best piece of career advice? My best piece of career advice is for MLIS students: get that practical experience and make the most of it! Don’t hesitate to take on all the projects and do all the extra work you can. My co-op experience was invaluable. Even if you have library experience as a paraprofessional, it is a good idea to get some professional experience in an academic library if that is the route you want to take.

7. What is your favourite thing to binge watch?  The Office, for sure. I am somewhat ashamed to admit I failed a class in my first year of university, and I attribute it to binge watching The Office. Don’t worry current and future employers reading this, I learned my time management lesson.

3 AAAL executive positions available April 2017

There are three exciting AAAL Executive positions up for election at the Spring 2017 AGM on Thursday, April 20, 2017 in Calgary.  If you’re looking for a new way to contribute to the Association or build your CV, please consider putting your name forward! You are also welcome to nominate a colleague from any AAAL member library.

If you are interested in being nominated for any of these positions, or would like further information about the positions, please contact any member of the AAAL Nominations Committee (Samuel Cassady, Jane Duffy, Isobel Rancier) before February 28, 2017. A brief Statement of Interest for each nominee will be sent out 2 weeks before the AGM in April.

Chair (one year position as of April 2017 – formerly a 2 year position)

  • Conduct the Fall Meeting, Annual General Meeting, and Executive Committee meetings;
  • Coordinate meetings: contact hosting institution; ensure Workshop Committee has activities planned;
  • set date and agenda items;
  • Act as spokesperson when representing AAAL to other associations, agencies & government departments;
  • Coordinate with the AAAL Communications Committee to ensure members are aware of new and upcoming meetings.

Chair Elect (one year position as of April 2017 – to transition to Chair after one year)

  • Maintain liaison with other library associations and external organizations, and ensure news and updates of interest to the Association are reported at the Fall Meeting, Annual General Meeting, and via the AAAL blog and social media;
  • Call for standing committee members as needed and ensure standing committee positions are filled;
  • Support and consult with the Chair as needed, sharing duties as the Chair sees fit;
  • Conduct general meetings in Chair’s absence.

Membership Coordinator (2 year position)

  • Maintain current membership records, files and forms for AAAL members and affiliates, along with participants in the Resource Sharing Agreement;
  • Coordinate with the Secretary/Treasurer the collection of membership fees;
  • Coordinate with the AAAL Communications Committee to ensure the website reflects current membership;
  • Create and coordinate the distribution of post-meeting evaluations to membership.

7 Questions with Alison Foster

Happy New Year everyone!!!! January’s installment of 7 Questions With… AAAL Members features Alison Foster, Instructional Design Librarian MacEwan University.


jvmkq9_o_400x400 1. When was the last time you were nervous? I’m teaching a lot this month and I get a little nervous before each session. However, I’m a big fan of channeling that energy and making it a tool in my teaching, it keeps me on my toes and enthusiastic!

2. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be? How to properly swim-I have the basics down and really want to build my swimming skills. For example, how to take the breath breaks when swimming lanes.

3. Have you ever had something happen to you that you thought was bad, but it turned out to be for the best? I moved from Ontario to Alberta last year and was really nervous about leaving behind my family and friends. However, I’ve connected with amazing library people across Alberta and have had a lot of opportunities to grow in my practice and service, both within MacEwan University and in the Edmonton community.

4. What is your best piece of life advice? Try new things but don’t be afraid to fail. Anxiety about failing has often held be back from trying new things and taking the next steps with an idea, but recognizing that failing at something can be just as educational as succeeding has been liberating (and something that I have to tell myself every day!).

5. What is your favourite thing to binge watch? Oddball shows like “Rick and Morty” and the new “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency.”

6. What do you eat for breakfast? My two go-tos are: Spinach and feta scrambled eggs or banana-nut oatmeal. Figuring out that I could batch-cook oatmeal in the slow cooker was a game changer.

7. What do you do when you’re not working? I love to volunteer with the community, especially with the public library and with local events/organizations. I’m also a recent Edmonton Folk Fest convert, so I will be out and about in Edmonton’s parks this Summer!

Call for participation in AAAL working group to investigate LAA relationship

Greetings Alberta Association of Academic Libraries members!
At our November 2016 meeting we heard interest from attendees in striking a group to work collaboratively with the Library Association of Alberta to draft a proposal for how we might pursue a formal relationship between AAAL and LAA.
We are now seeking volunteers from AAAL member libraries to join this working group. We anticipate this group will work closely with the AAAL executive and with the LAA to explore and define the parameters of a formal relationship, identify and address AAAL member concerns and questions related to a relationship with the LAA, and provide the AAAL with recommendations for discussion at the AGM in Calgary on April 20.
We hope to see many diverse viewpoints represented on this group, including library directors and voting members of the AAAL as well as staff from member libraries, and encourage anyone enthusiastic about shaping the future of the AAAL to please send an email with a brief expression of interest to AAAL Co-Chairs, Sonya Betz (sonya.betz@ualberta.ca) and Robyn Hall (hallr27@macewan.ca).
All the best,
Sonya Betz and Robyn Hall
Co-Chairs, Alberta Association of Academic Libraries