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

7 Questions with Leah Townsend

December’s installment of 7 Questions With… AAAL Members features Leah Townsend, Instruction Librarian at NorQuest College Library.

leah 1. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be? I’ve always wanted to learn how to surf, which is a bit of a challenge living where I do!

2. Have you ever had something happen to you that you thought was bad, but it turned out to be for the best? For almost three years I taught high school in a small northern community. When I decided to quit, I wasn’t sure if I had made the right choice. In retrospect, it was one of the best things I have ever done for myself. The job made me intensely unhappy, and quitting gave me the opportunity to pursue an MLIS.

3. If you had to work on only one project for the next year, what would it be? I am very interested in library service to distance and online learners. We have a small staff, so we don’t have a dedicated distance librarian at this time. I would love to take a year to develop a thorough outreach program aimed at our distance learners.

4. What is your favourite thing to binge watch? Cartoons for adults, like “The Venture Brothers” or “Archer”.

5. What is your proudest work-related accomplishment? Creating the IL Palooza workshop with Lisa Shamchuk. We wanted to build a free information literacy workshop that focused on real life examples of tools and techniques that have worked in practice. Our first iteration of IL Palooza went so well that it became an annual event, and it is still going strong after 4 years.

6. What do you eat for breakfast? I actually eat two breakfasts most days. A smoothie first thing in the morning before I go to the gym, and then usually a bagel or toast with fruit when I get to work.

7. What do you do when you’re not working? My mother and I are craft vendors at the downtown farmer’s market during the summer months, and at holiday craft shows in the winter. We call ourselves “Bouquet of Crochet”, and we mostly make handmade stuffed toys and animals.

CAPAL17 Call for Proposals

We are pleased to announce the Call for Proposals (CFP) for CAPAL17: Foundations & Futures: Critical Reflections on the Pasts, Presents, and Possibilities of Academic Librarianship. This will be the fourth annual conference of the Canadian Association of Professional Academic Librarians (CAPAL) to be held May 30th – June 1st as part of Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences 2017 in Toronto, Ontario which lies in the territory of the Haudenosaunee and the Mississaugas of the New Credit River.

This conference provides an opportunity for the academic library community to critically examine and discuss together the ways in which our profession is influenced by its social, political, and economic environments. By considering academic librarianship within its historical contexts, its presents, and its possible futures, and by situating it within evolving cultural frameworks and structures of power, we can better understand the ways in which academic librarianship may reflect, reinforce, or challenge these contexts both positively and negatively.
The deadline for proposals is the 23rd of December, 2016.

For more details download the full call for proposals.


7 Questions with Ebony Magnus

November’s installment of 7 Questions With… AAAL Members features Ebony Magnus, Assessment & User Experience Librarian at SAIT.

ebony 1. What is something interesting you learned in the last month? Bumblebees have trouble recovering from stress without sugar. Thank you, sadanimalfacts.com

2. When was the last time you were nervous? Today. I’m filling out this questionnaire on November 9. Donald Trump is the United States President-Elect and I’m not sure I’ve ever been so nervous.

3. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be? Roll my Rs

4. If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose? Ororo Munroe

5. If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and what would it be for? Just a room full of puppies and cotton candy. Because puppies and cotton candy.

6. What is your best piece of career advice? Build strong relationships and take every opportunity to learn from those around you. I’ve only been in this profession for three years, but I’ve benefited immensely from the support and knowledge of mentors and peers.

7. What is your favourite quote? The past is always tense, the future perfect. – Zadie Smith

AAAL Professional Development 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 Professional Development Committee.

The responsibilities of this Committee are as follows:

  • Coordinate the disbursement of the AAAL Professional Development Award (a maximum of $500 per year) according to criteria approved by the AAAL Executive Committee;
  • Solicit, review, and approve applications from members;
  • Coordinate with the Secretary/Treasurer to distribute funds.

Please express your interest via email to cj.dejong@ualberta.ca by Monday, November 14th.

Thank you,

AAAL Executive Team

7 Questions with Brad Neufeldt

October’s installment of 7 Questions With… AAAL Members features Brad Neufeldt, Director of Library Services St. Mary’s University Library.

2016-10-12-10-10-36 1. What is something interesting you learned in the last month? Donald Trump is actually a Cheeto.

2. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be? Ride a unicycle downhill while juggling

3.What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?

  • Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen)
  • Bemsha Swing by Thelonious Monk perfomed by Medeski, Martin & Wood
  • Nickel Bag of Funk by Digable Planets
  • Pie Jesu from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Requiem
  • Weasel Pot Pie by That 1 Guy
  • Shine of You Crazy Diamond by Pink Floyd
  • Rock the Casbah by The Clash

among many others

4.If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose? Marîd Audran in George Alec Effinger’s When Gravity Fails

5. What would you name the autobiography of your life? Feral Teddy Bears & Other Nightmares

6. What is your favourite quote? “If at first you don’t succeed …. well, so much for skydiving!”

7. When was the last time you were nervous? September 25, Sunday morning getting ready to ride 100 miles on a fixed gear bike (one gear & no freewheel).