Category Archives: Member news

AAAL COVID-19 Response

We’ve heard your concerns about our AGM on May 1, 2020 at Red Deer College. The AAAL Executive is taking COVID-19 seriously; we’re listening to guidance from Alberta Health Services and our host institution.

Our team is exploring options for moving the meeting online by considering open source software like Jitsi and learning from those who have held online conferences, as well as postponing or cancelling the meeting.

We’ll let you know if the meeting will be cancelled, postponed, or moved online by April 1. Until then, wash your hands and stay safe!

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

Redesign of Lethbridge College’s Buchanan Library

Lethbridge College’s Buchanan Library is undergoing a significant redesign with help from funds donated over the years to increase our presence as a hub for student, staff, and faculty learning. The redesign will triple the number of student breakout rooms, add a virtual reality lab, and increase the diversity of seating options from students. We are also focusing on increasing student access to technology based on increasing demand.

The library will also feature an art gallery display, offices for the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Innovation, and a triage service model focused on student accessibility. This opportunity has also allowed for us to consult Lethbridge College’s indigenous elders to indigenize the physical space allowing for more inclusivity and honouring the Blackfoot heritage of the land on which the college resides.

The redesigned space will be open for students for the beginning of the 2019-20 academic year.

Call for Nominations, AAAL Chair-elect

Call for Nominations, AAAL Chair-elect

The AAAL is seeking nominations for the AAAL Executive Chair-elect position, in preparation for elections taking place at the Spring Annual General Meeting on Friday, May 10, 2019 at Olds College.  To nominate an AAAL member or put your own name forward for either of these positions, please email the Chair of the Nominations Committee at with a brief statement of interest. The Nominations Committee consists of CJ de Jong (Chair), Geoff Owens, and Shannon D’Agnone.

The deadline for nominations is Friday, April 5, 2019.

Chair-elect (2 year term: first year as AAAL Chair-elect, and second year as AAAL Chair)

Responsibilities include:

  • Maintain liaison with other library associations and external organizations, and ensure news and updates of interest to the association are reported at the Fall Meeting, Annual General Meeting, and via the AAAL blog and social media;

  • Call for standing committee members as needed and ensure standing committee positions are filled;

  • Conduct general meetings in Chair’s absence;

  • Perform other duties as designated by the Chair;

  • Submit written bi-annual reports to the Chair for inclusion in meeting packages three weeks prior to Fall and Annual General Meetings

  • Attend Executive Meetings.

U California vs Elsevier negotiations

I am very interested in the UC vs Elsevier negotiations:

UC terminates subscriptions with world’s largest scientific publisher in push for open access to publicly funded research Link

Many Alberta libraries have ‘Science Direct’ as the Elsevier package and struggle with the expense. Fortunately, there is real time tracking of cancellations in the academic library world but often financial disclosures are not allowed under confidentiality agreements in the contracts:

However, according to the list, Elsevier is the biggest target for cancellations and it is a worldwide process. ‘Universities in Germany canceled Elsevier two years ago. The university alliance in Sweden canceled last spring, and the university alliance in Hungary canceled in December. Several other national alliances in Europe are trying to negotiate too.’ University Librarian Jeffrey MacKie-Mason, co-chair of the UC team.

Additionally, the Canadian library examples in this recent Scientist article (2018) also describe significant efforts to renegotiate. For example, after renegotiating their deal in 2015, the University of Montreal has saved approximately $1 million CAD ($770,000 USD) per year:

From my perch in Athabasca, I will also continue watch these cases because what happens in California often sets a trend in the US and Canada. In this example the size of the UC Library systems is really significant, and the emphasis on OA as a platform is a novel approach that might work as so many U California faculty are on the editorial boards for the Elsevier journals.

Robert Hudson, Associate University Librarian, Learning and Research Services

Athabasca University Library

Art Exhibit at Concordia University of Edmonton Library

AbstractlandConcordia University of Edmonton Library has a new art exhibit and everyone is welcome to stop by to view the art. The art exhibit, Abstractland, is curated the Esplande Heritage Centre and is on loan to CUE Library by the Alberta Foundataion for the Art’s Travelling Exhibition Program until until February 20th.

Where: CUE Library, main floor
When: January 24 – February 20, 2019
Artist: Les Graff