All posts by AAAL

Parental Leave Announcement: Dan Mirau, Concordia University of Edmonton Library

Please take note that Dan Mirau, Library Director at Concordia University of Edmonton, is currently on parental leave.

We are pleased to announce that Lynette Toews-Neufeldt, in addition to her role as Assistant Library Director and Campus Copyright Officer, will be taking on the duties of Acting Director until Dan returns.  You can contact her at

Call for AAAL Workshop Committee Member

The Alberta Association of Academic Libraries (AAAL) is seeking a new volunteer from a member institution to fill a two year term on the Workshop Sub-Committee. As a member of this committee you will work with a team of 2-3 people to coordinate and plan workshops or series of presentations as part of the AAAL Annual General Meeting (Spring) and the Fall meeting. Duties include issuing calls for, selecting and coordinating presenters, coordinate payment of any necessary expenses, providing support on the day of the meetings, collaborate with the Communications Committee to ensure presentation materials are posted on the AAAL website and coordinate with the Membership Coordinator to contribute to the assessment of workshops.

If you are interested, or have any questions about this, please contact Madelaine Vanderwerff (AAAL Chair Elect) ( by January 15th 2020.  Join us!


Fall 2019 Post-Meeting Survey

Hello AAAL members,

We’d like to ask for your thoughts on the Fall 2019 meeting that was held at the University of Alberta’s Augustana Campus. Similar to the Spring 2019 meeting some changes were made to the format of the day and we’re interested in hearing about what you thought of those modifications. If you weren’t able to attend the meeting, we’re still interested in gathering your ideas for future meetings. Please find the survey here. It will remain open until December 5.

Also, please consider if your institution is interested in hosting the Spring 2020 Meeting. A quick application that includes details on what is needed from a host can be found here. We look forward to your submissions!

Thank you in advance for your time.



The AAAL Executive + Committee Members

7 Questions with Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity

We’re happy to feature the Paul D. Fleck Library and Archives at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity as part of the 7 Questions with AAAL Institutions this month.

1. What is the most interesting/unique item or collection in your library?
Our Artists’ Books collection is the most interesting collection with the most unique item being a cheetos broach made by Sebastian Butt. Described as a “fraudulent cheeto mounted on a silver plated stick pin.” Now your favourite cardigan can experience the joy of cheeto dust.

2. What is something that users are often confused about in your library?
Borrowing permissions can trip up some of the visitors through our doors. While most of our users are either Banff Centre staff members or participants in our residencies, we do get some hotel, conference, and festival guests, and a number of community members wandering through as well. Guests are often disappointed to find out that they cannot borrow items (unless they have a membership to another TAL library), and community members can be surprised to learn that their borrowing privileges are somewhat limited (for example, they can’t borrow items in our Object Library). On a more positive note, Banff Centre staff and artists are happily surprised to learn that they DO have access to our Creative Tool and Object Library, with items like hiking poles, record players, board games, and even tarot cards!

3. What has been a recent change for your institution or library?
The Banff Centre Library is making a huge change from the current circulation system to a brand new one. We’ve been operating on Horizon for the better part of 20 years, but we’re moving onto a cloud based solution provided by OCLC later this year. It’s a huge move, but the server the Horizon database is locally hosted on is no longer supported by Microsoft as of January 1st, 2020, so the change couldn’t have been better timed. With the new system, our records will let us add photos so our Artist Book collection can finally be seen outside of its locked away boxes.

4. Where/what is the best spot in your library or institution?
The best spot is on the 2nd floor of the library, the chair in the corner. This spot gets some sun and love. It’s a spot to sit and read a book, slouch down in the chair to take in the views or even have a brief little catnap.

favourite spot

5. What is the newest database/product your library has subscribed to?
In an effort to support small-press, Canadian content, Banff Centre Library has most recently subscribed to a quarterly, risographed zine based out of Toronto; FeelsZine. Dedicated to deconstructing taboos around discussing feelings, each issue of FeelsZine takes a different emotion and highlights its many facets through visual art, poetry, graphic design, short articles, and interviews. FeelsZine addresses shame language head-on and encourages readers to connect in a community of openness in true Thoreauvian fashion; by identifying and revealing the most intimate essences of human experience in order to bond with others who share them. Intersectional, relevant, and raw, FeelsZine exemplifies the forward movement of our library’s collection as becoming fully inclusive and diversely representative of Canadian artistic content. Banff Centre is one of three libraries worldwide that carry this periodical.

6. What is the oldest item in your collection?
The institution was only founded in 1933, so the oldest items in the library and archives aren’t all that old! The oldest items we have are scores. Specifically, some of the scores in the collection of the musician/broadcaster Ina Dennekamp are from the 1880s and 1890s.

7. What’s a recent team-building activity/event you’ve done for library staff?
We hosted a springtime awards ceremony based on the Office’s Dundie Awards called the Pauly Ds. Awards were given out in the areas of periodical management, throwing shade, and best cosplay among others. Naturally this event was hosted at the local Chili’s (surprisingly not that bad!).

AAAL Fall 2019 Meeting – Registration Open

Greetings AAAL members,

 Library staff from all member institutions are invited to join us at the University of Alberta Libraries’ Augustana Campus Library in Camrose on Friday, November 15th for the Alberta Association of Academic Libraries’ Fall 2019 Meeting. We’re excited to announce Feisal Kirumira as our keynote speaker. Feisal is an Associate Lecturer for German at Augustana Campus and a PhD student in Secondary Education at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. His area of interest is multicultural education with an emphasis on antiracist pedagogy informed by African Wisdom teachings with a slice of philosophical hermeneutics. He has delivered many antiracism and intercultural awareness sessions in Canada and abroad and we’re looking forward to having him join us for the morning keynote address. Following lunch there is an exciting lineup of professional development sessions including:

Buchanan Library: Adapting to Change
This presentation will provide an overview of the summer’s renovations and showcase the new space at Buchanan Library, Lethbridge College. We will also talk about the indigenization that has happened to the space. Further, our presentation will discuss services for international students. The college has seen a large increase in this population over the last two years, and as a result, the library has had to expand services and continue to provide them during renovations.  We will outline how this has looked for the past year, over the summer, and give some projections for the upcoming years.
Presenters: Corene Kozey & Darel Bennedbaek, Lethbridge College

DeciphAR: Utilizing Augmented Reality to Support Place-Making in Academic Libraries
A new app developed by Mount Royal University Library in collaboration with Red Crow College uses augmented reality (AR) to provide audio and visual information about the Blackfoot translations on the wayfinding in the Riddell Library and Learning Centre (RLLC). This information includes pronunciations and descriptions of the translations completed by Elder Leo Fox. DeciphAR continues the work of place-making in the Library by supporting and encouraging the active use of Indigenous language while recognizing the importance of grounding ourselves in the place that we work and live.
Presenters: Francine May, Matt Laidlow and Chase Schrader, Mount Royal University  

Transitioning to Linked Data: an International Effort
For the last few years the University of Alberta Library (UAL) has been working towards transitioning its bibliographic data and cataloguing workflows to a linked data environment. For work on moving from MARC to BIBFRAME, this initiative has included two international projects: Linked Data for Production (LD4P)  and Share-VDE, both of which have member institutions all around the world. This presentation will summarize UAL’s involvement with these two projects and the advantages and disadvantages of being a part of multiple international projects.

Presenter: Adam Cohen, University of Alberta

Preparing international students about life in Canada prior to their arrival and upon arrival in Canada
This session will review how:

  • To prepare potential international students for the English language assessment tests
  • To share the invisible rules and practices in Canada
  • To teach international students about the diversity of indigenous population in Canada

Presenter: Manisha Khetarpal, Maskwacis Cultural College 

Computational Thinking and Robotics: Reflections on a course-embedded Library Robotics Workshop
This lightning strike will give an overview of a course-embedded library workshop for 2nd year Education students on computational thinking and robotics. Lighting strike will give an overview of the workshop and lessons learned from planning this recurring workshop that involves 10-15 staff, new technologies and almost 200 students!

Presenter: Alissa Droog, University of Alberta

University of Alberta Libraries’ Communications and Outreach to International Education
As an Academic Library Resident at the University of Alberta, my assigned residency project, stemming from the research report “Supporting International Students: The University of Alberta Libraries Response to the University Strategic Plan”, centred around the libraries’ communication and outreach to international education. Following the creation of a strategic communications plan, my first project-based task, I participated in numerous outreach initiatives including weekly participation in English Conversation Club meetings and a collaboration with staff from University of Alberta International to deliver training to library staff surrounding intercultural interactions. By sharing my experiences participating in library outreach to international students, I hope to inspire similar work at other academic institutions across Alberta.

Presenter: Victoria Eke, Concordia University of Edmonton

Outreach for International and ESL students
International students are an expanding demographic at many post-secondary institutions.  Many of these institutions may also have ESL programs, however, these two groups of students have different needs.  What are the characteristics of these diverse student groups and how can libraries meet these needs? This session will discuss MRU’s current outreach to these students, its future outreach goals, as well as outreach trends in post-secondary institutions throughout North America. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss their own diverse student populations, discuss current outreach at their institutions, and identify possible outreach opportunities. Participants will be able to:

  1. Recognize the differences in needs of international and ESL students
  2. Identify and discuss outreach efforts at their institution
  3. Identify possible outreach opportunities that they can adopt at their institution.

Presenter: Christopher Thomas, Mount Royal University

The full meeting package with agenda and further session information will be on the AAAL website shortly.

Please register by 12 pm on Friday, November 8. We recommend you register early as space is limited and the meetings always reach capacity.

We hope to see you there!

Your AAAL Executive + Committtee Members