All posts by AAAL

Call for AAAL Workshop Committee Member

The Executive Committee is looking for a library staff member from an AAAL member institution to join the Workshop Committee. The committee member would join a three person team responsible for:

  • Soliciting and reviewing feedback on the AAAL professional development program
  • Issuing calls for, selecting, and coordinating lightning strike sessions, presentations, and panel discussions for Fall and Spring AAAL meetings
  • Adding presentations to the AAAL website

If interested, please contact Nicolle Lemay,, by Wednesday, September 6, 2017.

AAAL Communications Team

7 questions with Eva Revitt

August’s installment of 7 Questions With…AAAL Members features Eva Revitt, Subject Librarian at MacEwan University. 

Eva Revitt

1. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
To speak Italian. I love the language, the culture, the art, the food, the history. In short, everything about Italy.

2. If you had to work on only one project for the next year, what would it be?
I’m very fortunate in that I actually get to do this. I’m currently on a one year sabbatical leave.

One thing that has always irked me is how the library and the librarian are conflated in a way that a doctor and a hospital never is. The library is given agency and assumes the intellectual labour of the librarian. Our own professional discourse reinforces this; for example, overwhelmingly our associations are associations of libraries, rather than librarians. My research is about highlighting the work and professional experiences of the academic librarian. I’m focused on academic librarians because that is the world I know. Specifically, I’m interested in exploring how librarians’ academic status is shaped by the institution? In this case, the institution is the college or university but also the associated legislative and policy framework. Labour issues and documents such as collective agreements are big focus of my work.

3. What is your best piece of career advice?
Take measured risks.

4. What is your best piece of life advice?
Figure out your values and stick to them.

5. What is your proudest non-work related accomplishment?
A life time ago, on a tropical island far away, I became seriously involved in scuba diving. At one point in my life, I was one of a handful of certified female scuba divers in North America with a trimix mixed gas and underwater full cave certifications.

6. If you could live anywhere in the work, where would you go?
Italy, of course.

7. Who inspires you?
My boys. I have two, both are avid soccer players. One is very good and plays for a top team. The other is super average and plays for a super average team. My very good soccer player gives it 150%. Never gives up. My super average soccer player gives it 150%. Never gives up. They are my endless source of inspiration.

7 questions with Kim Frail

July’s installment of 7 Questions With…AAAL Members features Kim Frail, Public Services Librarian at H.T. Coutts Education & Physical Education Library, University of Alberta Libraries


Kim Frail Outdoor

1. What is something interesting you learned in the last month?
That there was a shanty town called Ross Acreage in the Mill Creek Ravine which was shut down by the city and turned into park land in the late 1920s. I live relatively close to that area so I found that little tidbit of local history interesting.

2. What are some of your favourite podcasts?
I live for podcasts! My most recent discovery, thanks to the NEOS miniconference, is “Let’s Find Out” with Chris Chang-Yen Phillips, Edmonton’s Historian Laureate. He answers listeners’ questions about local history. Other favorites include: Radio Lab, 99% invisible, Canadaland and The Press Gallery: Edmonton Journal’s Political Podcast.

3. What is your proudest work-related accomplishment?
Co-charing the WILU conference in May. We had a “dream team” steering committee and somehow we managed to plan and host a conference for 162 attendees from across Canada and the US in a little under a year! Special shout-out to all of the AAAL members who contributed as reviewers, convenors and presenters. We couldn’t have done it without you!

4. What do you do when you’re not working?
Take my kids to their various activities. I’m a Brownie Leader for my daughter’s unit so I’m also known as “Mountain Owl”.

5. What is your favourite colour?

6. If you could live anywhere in the work, where would you go?
I love Edmonton but as a former Maritimer, living near the ocean would be nice.

7. Who inspires you?
I heard a fascinating piece on CBC the other day about Irish director/writer Simon Fitzmaurice. He recently directed a feature film despite being paralyzed and unable to speak due to ALS. Google it – it’s an amazing story.

Exciting opportunity: Alberta Law Libraries Board Positions

The Alberta Law Libraries (ALL) is looking for four new volunteer Board Directors.

In addition to previous board experience and a passion for access to justice, ALL is interested in a variety of professional backgrounds. These include

  • Finance/Accounting
  • Human resources
  • Information technology
  • Marketing/Communications
  • Library management/public legal education

Please see the attached description for more details.

Website Posting

ALL Board Directors – Position Description

~ AAAL Communications Team


7 questions with Shiloa Thomas

June’s installment of 7 Questions features Shiloa Thomas, Director of Library Services at Northern Lakes College.

1. What is something interesting you learned in the last month?
I attended the WILU conference at U of A in May. I learned a lot of interesting things, but in one session the presenter gave me a whole new perspective on the search results we find in the catalogue. She quoted a passage from Virginia Wolf’s A Room of One’s Own. The passage was in reference to Shakespeare’s sister who died young and is not mentioned in most biographies of Shakespeare, but she could have been a poet in her own right. Virginia writes, “She lives in you and in me, and in many other women who are not here tonight, for they are washing up the dishes and putting the children to bed.” The presenter said that this quote made her think of all the people who are not found in our library catalogue and that now when she gets No Results Found, she wonders why they are not represented and that could be a topic worth researching in itself. So now when I am searching in the catalogue, and keep trying different subjects and keywords with no success, I will stop to think about why this might be. Perhaps this awareness could be a first step in changing attitudes towards non-traditional sources of knowledge, and finding ways to access them?

2. If you had to work on only one project for the next year, what would it be?
I would like to take a look at best practices in providing Information Literacy online. The majority of courses at Northern Lakes College are taught online, we are the distance college of Alberta, and our students are spread throughout the province, but mainly in the Northern communities. The challenge for the library is finding ways to incorporate our services into their Moodle courses and to be an online presence when they need us. I am sure that there are many good examples of how other online institutions are providing library services and information literacy, and I would love to be able to dedicate a year to working on a strategy to develop and implement some of these practices at NLC. A good start might be attending the 18th Distance Library Services Conference in San Antonio, TX!!!

3. What is your best piece of life advice?
Try to live in the moment and consciously make time for what really matters to you.

4. What is your proudest work-related accomplishment?
I was once asked this question in an interview and after I gave my answer one of the younger panel members said, well that happened a long time ago, do you have anything more recent to share? I was a little insulted by this remark because to date my proudest work-related accomplishment is the work I did as the first College Librarian at North Island College in Courtenay, B.C.

I started at the college in June of 1991, when the college was building physical campuses for the first time. Prior to that NIC had only taught distance courses or “correspondence courses” as they were called then. I was hired to set up a fully operational library system and to open the physical library at the main Courtenay campus by September. Yikes! That was a huge challenge for anyone, but I had just graduated with an MLS from UBC and this was a great opportunity for me to put everything I had learned into practice, and to do most of that in a couple of months. I am pleased to say that I was able to do this successfully, but of course I did get a lot of help from my colleagues at other institutions and particularly from the Distance Learning Department at the University of Victoria Library, as well as a great library technician who I hired to help me with the cataloguing and processing of our opening day collection. I gained an incredible amount of practical experience in a very short period of time, and I will never forget the support and the welcome I received from the library community in BC.

5. What is your favourite quote?
“We die containing a richness of lovers and tribes, tastes we have swallowed, bodies we have plunged into and swum up as if rivers of wisdom, characters we have climbed into as if trees, fears we have hidden in as if caves.

I wish for all this to be marked on by body when I am dead. I believe in such cartography – to be marked by nature, not just to label ourselves on a map like the names of rich men and women on buildings. We are communal histories, communal books. We are not owned or monogamous in our taste or experience.” ― Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient

6. What is your favourite cake and why?
Welsh cakes, hot off the griddle and dipped in sugar. They are not really cake as most people know it, more like little, fluffy pancakes with black currants in them. I love them because they are delicious, and they bring back memories of my Welsh grandmother who made them all the time and would have them waiting for me after school with a cold glass of milk.

7. If you could live anywhere in the work, where would you go?
If money was no object, I would live in a few different places, I would for sure have a cottage in Wales near the sea because I lived in Wales until I was 11 years old, and I miss the countryside of England and Wales, there is nowhere else quite like it. A house overlooking Nanoose Bay in Parksville B.C. to come back to when I was missing the views of mountains, forests and ocean that are unique to Vancouver Island, and finally to escape the rain in Wales and BC, I would have a little villa in the Camargue Region in the South of France. Yes, I know keep dreaming!!

Mentorship page is live!

AAAL is excited to launch its new mentorship pilot program! Below is a link to the page where you read about the program and find links to forms.

The website also has new Professional Development section. In addition to the mentorship program, this is where you can find information regarding the Professional Development Award and presentations from our semi-annual meetings.


~ AAAL Communications Committee

Call for AAAL Mentorship Committee member

The Executive Committee is looking for a library staff member from an AAAL member institution to join the new Mentorship Committee. The AAAL Mentorship Program will run during the 2017-18 academic year as a one-year pilot. The Committee currently has 3 members, but an additional member is needed for a one-year term, and would be part of a team responsible for:

  • Recruiting and pairing of mentors with mentees over the spring & summer 2017
  • Offering any additional support or training needed to run the program
  • Conducting program evaluation upon completion of the pilot program
  • Seeking feedback and making recommendations to the AAAL Executive as to the program’s future continuation

If you are interested, please email by Friday, June 9, 2017.

Thank you.

AAAL Executive