AAAL Communications Committee Vacancy

The AAAL Executive is looking for an enthusiastic library staff member from an AAAL institution to put their name forward to fill a vacancy on the AAAL Communications Committee.

The responsibilities of this Committee are as follows:

  • Coordinate communications of the AAAL including all social media accounts and the AAAL blog
  • Solicit and distribute news items from members on a regular basis
  • Coordinate with the Executive Committee to maintain and update the AAAL website

Please express your interest via email to by Wednesday, September 7th.

7 Questions with Sheena Gardner

July’s installment of 7 Questions With… AAAL Members features Sheena Gardner, Co-chair, Library Services, Grande Prairie Regional College

Pic 2016 1. What is something interesting you learned in the last month? I just came back from Haida Gwaii where I spent a day at the Haida Cultural Centre learning about the history and culture of the Haida nation. It was amazing and I feel very blessed to have taken that trip.

2. If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose? Minerva McGonagall

3.If you had to work on only one project for the next year, what would it be? It couldn’t be this next year but in the future I would like to work on a documentary. A year sounds like a good amount of time to do it.

4.What is your best piece of life advice? Listen to your gut.

5. What is your favourite thing to binge watch? The Vice Channel

6. What do you do when you’re not working? I go to the rec centre a lot and volunteer for different cultural events (Folk Fest, Short Film Fest, the Writing Contest run by the Public Library). And I love to travel to B.C. to catch up with friends.

7. What is your favourite quote? Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it…
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.

AAAL 7 Questions with Trish Rosseel

June’s installment of 7 Questions With… AAAL Members features Trish Rosseel, Associate University Librarian, Public Services, University of Alberta Libraries

Trish Rosseel Photo 2 1. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be? Weave

2. What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life? So many great artists and songs! James Taylor, U2, Tragically Hip, Indigo Girls, Tracy Chapman, Wailin’ Jennys, Be Good Tanyas, Martin Sexton, David Gray, Coldplay, Walk Off the Earth, Tegan and Sarah…

3. What is your best piece of career advice? About 10 years ago I was in a small shop in Deep Cove, BC which had all these great posters with excellent typography and one – which has hung in all of my offices ever since – became a personal mantra of sorts: Work hard and be nice to people.

4. What is your favourite thing to binge watch? Broadchurch, River, Homeland, Scott & Bailey, Wallander

5. What is your proudest non-work related accomplishment? A couple years ago after a whole lot of dedicated – and tiring – training, I ran a Spartan Race, a Tough Mudder and my one and only triathlon in the span of a year. Definitely never thought I could do any, never mind all, of them, but really put my head down and enjoyed the experiences. I am now officially over this phase! ; )

6. What is your favourite quote? Rainer Maria Rilke’s:
Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.

7. What is your favourite colour?  Blue

Professional Development Award – Member Report

In 2015, AAAL launched a Professional Development Award for member libraries. Valarie Westers, Medicine Hat College, received funding to attend and present a lightning strike session at the AAAL AGM in April. Here is Valarie’s report on her experience.

I was most appreciative to receive Alberta Association of Academic Libraries (AAAL) professional development funding which allowed me to attend the AAAL Spring AGM 2016 meeting in Calgary. As a first-time attendee of this meeting it was a great opportunity to experience “in person” the cooperative and supportive nature of this association.

The event began with the AGM which included elections for the Director-At-Large and the Secretary/Treasurer positions as well as reports from each of the committees. After the business meeting there was a round-table discussion which consisted of brief reports and updates from local associations and the represented libraries. I really enjoyed hearing about the new initiatives taking place in different academic libraries across the province.

It was great to meet new people during the lunch table talks. The topic for discussion at the table I joined was mentorship in libraries. As a group I believe that we came up with some very useful ideas that the association can build upon. It was a really good ice-breaker!

During the lunch break we also had the opportunity to tour either the Nickle Gallery or the University of Calgary Taylor Library. I toured the Nickle Gallery where a video and media show by Dan Hudson was featured – it was pretty amazing. If you are interested in finding out more here is a link to the show information:

Nancy Chick and Caitlin McClurg were the afternoon keynote speakers and they presented “Embedding Librarians in Scholarship of Teaching and Learning” It was an informative presentation highlighting the importance of the “shared” rather than “supporting” role of librarians during faculty research projects.

Next were lightning strike (15 minutes) presentations. The presentations were enjoyable and offered some unique ideas.  Leigh Cunningham and I (Medicine Hat College Library) were selected to present “Blurred Lines: Redefining Technical Services in an Academic Library”. I was pleased to have had the opportunity to share our experience with others.

I would like to thank the AAAL Professional Development Committee for generously donating the funds so that I was able to attend and participate in this AAAL meeting.

For more information about the Professional Development Award, please contact committee members Suzanne Rackover (Banff Centre) or Janet Sainsbury (Bow Valley College).

AAAL 7 Questions with Genevieve Luthy

May’s installment of 7 Questions With… AAAL Members features Genevieve Luthy, Library Manager, Reg Erhardt Library, SAIT.

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1. What is something interesting you learned in the last month? 
I’ve started going to pub trivia nights with some friends and I’ve learned that I’m terrible at trivia.

2. When was the last time you were nervous?I did my first ever cross country ski loppet last month, and I was pretty nervous when I saw some former Olympians warming up in the parking lot before the race. In the end it was lots of fun, especially because I didn’t come in last, or get trampled during the mass start—my two biggest worries!

3. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be? Speak German.

4. What is your best piece of career advice? Be open to taking on projects or new opportunities that scare you a bit. I went to Library school thinking I wanted to be a children’s librarian, and while I did love my time doing that work, I’ve learned the most and had the most rewarding experiences when I’ve taken on roles that involve new challenges. Moving to the academic library world after years at public libraries was definitely outside my comfort zone at first, but I’ve learned so much.

5. What is your favourite thing to binge watch? I’m saving a bunch of podcasts for an upcoming flight, so I’m going to cheat here and list my favourite podcasts for binge listening: Reply All, This American Life, 99% Invisible, Serial, and Answer Me This.

6. What do you eat for breakfast? Toast with peanut butter.

7. What do you do when you’re not working? I grew up in Canmore, and I still like to get out to the mountains as often as I can to ski in the winter and hike in the summer. I also spend a lot of time riding my bike around Calgary’s many river pathways. I just joined a women’s mountain biking club too, so I’m planning to get off the paved trails a bit this summer, and conquer my fear of going fast down hills!