All posts by AAAL

Post Meeting Survey

Hello AAAL members,

Thank you to those who attended the Fall 2018 meeting held at NAIT in Edmonton. If we missed you this time, we hope you can join us for the Spring 2019 meeting.

Whether you attended last month’s meeting or not, we would appreciate your feedback and suggestions. This short survey will take 3-5 minutes of your time and assist us in planning engaging and relevant AAAL meetings. Thank you in advance for your time.


The AAAL Executive + Committee Members


Call for Proposals: CAPAL/ACBAP 2019

CAPAL19: The Politics of Conversation: Identity, Community, and Communication
(Note: English and French PDF versions of this can be found below)

Annual Meeting – June 2 -4, 2019 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences 2019

University of British Columbia, Vancouver

The Canadian Association of Professional Academic Librarians (CAPAL) invites you to participate in its annual conference, to be held as part of the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences 2019 at the University of British Columbia on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓ əm (Musqueam) people. This conference offers librarians and allied professionals across all disciplines an alternative space to share research and scholarship, challenge current thinking about professional issues, and forge new relationships.


In keeping with the Congress 2019 theme, Circles of Conversation, the theme of CAPAL19 is Politics of Conversation: Identity, Community, and Communication.

This conference provides an opportunity for the academic library community to critically examine and discuss 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.

In what kinds of conversation are we or are we not engaging within the profession, academia, and civil society? How are the various identities that constitute our communities reflected (or not) within academic librarianship, and how do we engage in conversations within our own communities and with communities that we may see as external.

Potential Topics:

Papers presented might relate to aspects of the following themes (though they need not be limited to them):

  • Diversity: how do we ensure our circles (communities, spaces) are diverse? What are the circles available to librarians, and how do we ensure that librarians are not circumscribed by their identities within these circles? This could apply both to academic and public librarianship, or academic librarian vs. the broader academic community, but perhaps more importantly, it could ask these questions with respect to women, people of colour, and Indigenous librarians.
  • Intellectual and academic freedom: How do we define our responsibilities and our liberties in these areas? Are these positive or negative freedoms, especially with respect to broader communities?
  • “Imagined Communities”: It is the 35th anniversary of Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities. How do librarians see themselves in various “imagined communities” (nationality, community of practice, inter- and cross-disciplinary), and what are the politics of our participation?
  • Conversations outside the circles: how do we make our research relevant outside LIS? Is this different for different kinds of research? How do we bring public values and ideas into our work and research?
  • Labour and solidarity: how to we organize ourselves within academic librarianship; how do we connect our conversations with other library workers, other academic workers, other workers as a whole.
  • Conversations within practice/praxis: how are communications and connections established and maintained with the profession and between academic librarians and administrators, faculty, students, and other researchers.

The Program Committee invites proposals for individual papers as well as proposals for panel submissions of three papers. Proposed papers must be original and not have been published elsewhere.

  • Individual papers are typically 20 minutes in length. For individual papers, please submit an abstract of no more than 400 words and a presentation title, with a brief biographical statement and your contact information.
  • For complete panels, please submit a panel abstract of no more than 400 words as well as a list of all participants and brief biographical statements, and a separate abstract of no more than 400 words for each participant. Please identify and provide participants’ contact information for the panel organizer.

Please feel free to contact the Program Committee to discuss a topic for a paper, panel, or other session format. Proposals should be emailed as an attachment in your preferred format (open formats welcome!), using the following filename convention:

  • Lastname_Title.<extension>

Proposals and questions should be directed to the Program Chair, Sam Popowich at


Deadline for Proposals is: 21/12/2018

Further information about the conference, as well as Congress 2019 more broadly, will be available soon.

PDF Versions

7 Questions with Rob Hudson

This month’s issue of 7 Questions with AAAL Members features Rob Hudson, Associate University Librarian, Learning and Research Services at Athabasca University Library

Photo of Rob Hudson1. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
Right now I am learning about cloud computing with Amazon Web Services (AWS). Athabasca U is migrating much of our content to the cloud. I wish to be certified in this to help use the cloud to enhance library services.

2. If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose?
I have always admired Sherlock Holmes for the same reasons I like Spock from Star Trek – cool logic and reasoning ability.

3. What would you name the autobiography of your life?
Sorry you had to see that.

4. What is your best piece of career advice?
Flexibility and adaptability are key skills for work and life. For managers, empathy is the most important trait.

5. What do you do when you’re not working?
Taking care of my Guinea Pigs.

6. What is your favourite quote?
“Fiat justitia, ruat coelum” is a Latin legal phrase: “Let justice be done though the heavens fall.” The belief is that justice must be realized regardless of consequences.

7. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Peru. My wife is from Colombia, and we have friends on the coast in Peru where we would like to spend a year.

If you would like to be featured on our 7 Questions with AAAL Members blog, please sign up here!

Registration reminder for AAAL Fall 2018 Meeting

This is a reminder that November 6 at 4 p.m. is the deadline to register for the Alberta Association of Academic Libraries’ Fall 2018 Meeting. Library staff from all member institutions are invited to join us at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) on Thursday, November 15. 

The AAAL executive and committee members have planned a fantastic day of networking and learning. Todd Babiak, Edmonton writer and entrepreneur, is joining us after lunch to provide the day’s keynote on creating a compelling narrative about the value of your library. For full details about the day’s presentations, please view the agenda on the AAAL website.

Remember – there is still time to apply for the AAAL PD Award to help offset the costs of attending.

We look forward to seeing you at NAIT!

Nicolle Lemay, AAAL Chair

AAAL Fall 2018 Meeting Agenda

7 Questions with Robyn Hall

This month’s issue of 7 Questions with AAAL Members features Robyn Hall, Scholarly Communications & Social Sciences Librarian at MacEwan University.

IMG_12821. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
Mountain climbing.

2. What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?
– Cocorosie – Animals.
– Patrick Watson – Good Morning Mr. Wolf.
– Joni Mitchell – Both Sides Now.
Of course, a literal version would also be filled with an embarrassing mix of Wings, NKOTB, Madonna, Hole, Beyonce, punk, & early 2000’s electronica…

3. If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose?
Dame Marjorie “Maude” Chardin from Harold and Maude (also my cat’s namesake, though over time this has unfortunately morphed into “Little Miss Moodles”).

4. What are some of your favourite podcasts?
WTF with Marc Maron, 10% Happier, & Fresh Air (NPR).

5. What do you do when you’re not working?
Random outings. This fall I have been to an air balloon festival, a Tibetan bizarre, Nuit Blanche, a Beatles cover band playing with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, two museums, Nerd Nite, a hockey game, Devon to hike the river valley, a midnight screening of The Room (not recommended)… More generally: travel, yoga, HDR photography, & jigsaw puzzles.

6. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you go?
So many places, but Northern Spain, Northern California, & Nova Scotia (“home”) are all at the top of the list.

7. What was your favourite childhood cartoon?
It’s a tie between Watership Down & The Secret of NIMH.

Bonus question: What is your proudest work-related accomplishment?
Starting this “7 Questions with AAAL members” series on the AAAL blog, of course. Happy almost-three-year anniversary! 🙂

If you would like to be featured on our 7 Questions with AAAL Members blog, please sign up here!

Registration open for AAAL Fall 2018 meeting at NAIT!

Library staff from all member institutions are invited to join us on Thursday, November 15 for the Alberta Association of Academic Libraries’ Fall 2018 Meeting at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT).

Please register by 12 pm on Tuesday, November 6. We recommend you register early as space is limited and the meetings always reach capacity.

The AAAL executive and committee members are busy completing the final details of the Fall 2018 meeting, which will include the traditional business meeting in the morning, followed by lunch (provided) and a library tour, and a full slate of presentations in the afternoon. The agenda and meeting package will be available shortly on the AAAL website. For now, feel free to browse past meeting agendas to see what you can expect.

We hope to see you there!

Nicolle Lemay, AAAL Chair

AAAL mentorship program seeking mentors

The 2018-19 AAAL mentorship program is ready to run again this year.  We are excited that there has been an increase in both Mentor and Mentee participants, but we are short of Mentors to pair up with the Mentees who’ve applied to participate.  As it is our desire to provide all registered Mentees with the opportunity to connect with established professionals in this province, we encourage those of you who have been on the fence to volunteer!

The goal of the volunteer program is to support career development, share professional advice with those who want to achieve success, promote networking and provide leadership to the profession.

Benefits to Mentors:

  • Developing new relationships and meeting new colleagues in the library community
  • Practicing and refining leadership and coaching skills
  • Getting a fresh perspective and insight into the challenges that face new professionals

Our is not an overly formal program, but our mentees would definitely benefit from your participation!

If you can share a bit of your time and expertise, please complete the Mentor Application Form from the website before October 12.