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! 🙂

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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.

Call for presenters: AAAL Nov. 15 Fall meeting

The Alberta Association of Academic Libraries (AAAL) Fall 2018 meeting will take place on Thursday, November 15, 2018 in Edmonton at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.

We invite you to submit a proposal for a lightning strike session (20 minute talk including time for questions) on how your staff, your libraries and/or your communities engage with information.  What new program, service, or space are you/your library providing to your users?  What technologies or tools are you using to improve how you, your library, or your users get things done?

Please encourage your colleagues to consider this opportunity. We look forward to hearing from you!

Kind regards,

Angie, on behalf of the AAAL Workshop Committee

7 Questions with James Murphy

This month’s issue of 7 Questions with AAAL Members features James Murphy, Research and Learning Librarian at the University of Calgary.

murphy_james1. What is something interesting you learned in the last month?
I recently went to an amazing exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery about cabins. I find the popularity of the cabin aesthetic interesting at the moment and I think at least part of the appeal comes from the desire to escape the busy, hyper-connected, urban lifestyle. I never thought I could learn so much about cabins in one exhibit but I’ve also learned that I would like one.

2. When was the last time you were nervous?
Yesterday. I was presenting for the first class of a new inquiry-based learning course. Librarians are embedded through the full course and as this was the first opportunity to engage with the students I wanted to really try to give them a big-picture of the issues they will face in their research practices through their degrees. I always get nervous before teaching but I had good responses and they seemed moderately alert and interested so I’d consider that a win.

3. Have you ever had something happen to you that you thought was bad, but it turned out to be for the best?
Before I became a librarian I had an interesting career as a snowboarding coach and instructor. I travelled internationally and spent a lot of time on mountains. It was challenging to slowly realize it was unsustainable in the long term, and a long process to find out what career could come next. One of the things I found frustrating about that industry was a lack of using evidence to inform practice and methodology. Librarianship’s focus on the evidence struck a chord and I’m so grateful to have stumbled on that path. It has been one of the single best decisions to pursue this career and I’m very thankful to all the people who helped point me in this direction.

4. What would you name the autobiography of your life?
SPF 60+

5. What do you do when you’re not working?
One of my favourite things about living near the mountains is all the outdoor possibilities. I love to get out hiking, camping, snowboarding, biking, and generally soaking in all the beautiful natural settings we’re so lucky to have at our doorsteps in Alberta.

6. What is your favourite quote?
“To be hopeful in bad times is not foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.” – Howard Zinn

7. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I seem to visit a lot of islands, primarily mountainous but not exclusively (e.g. Iceland, New Zealand, Japan). I’m also intrigued by what living in Scandinavia would be like. Alberta is home though so all those exotic mountainous places will have to be for holidays.

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

Alberta Library Conference, 2019 – Call for Proposals

The Alberta Library Conference (ALC) 2019 Planning Committee, with support from the Library Association of Alberta (LAA) and the Alberta Library Trustees Association (ALTA), is accepting proposals for the 2019 Alberta Library Conference. ALC 2019 takes place in Jasper, Alberta from April 25 to 28, 2019. 

Our Conference theme for 2019 is Find A Way.

Never give up, never stop trying. Just because it didn’t work before doesn’t mean it won’t work this time. Be persistent despite barriers. Learn from failure; build on success. Ask for help. Continue to grow. Embrace enthusiasm. Say “yes” to new opportunities, new challenges, new ways of thinking. Find a way to make it happen!

The Committee strives to provide a range of sessions that are of interest to the broader library community in Alberta. The work being done in libraries across Alberta, from small rural libraries to large academic institutions demonstrates the complexity of library service as well as the adaptability and diversity of those who work in libraries. We encourage proposals from academic, public, school, and special libraries of all sizes, and organizations that are creatively broadening library services. Additionally, proposals from trustees for sessions that provide education and training for Library Board members are welcome. If you are a public librarian, please share this call for submissions with your Board. If you are a trustee and have suggestions for speakers or topics of interest to trustees, you are invited to send them to Dr. Tanya Pollard for potential session development. We are also interested in proposals from OUTSIDE the library world that discuss topics like business plans, organizational change, succession planning, staff retention, generational change, marketing, fund development, understanding our communities, service models, etc.

This year we are accepting proposals for 60 minute sessions, double sessions or workshops, 10 minute lightning strike sessions, and poster sessions. We are also accepting proposals for half day preconference sessions or workshops.

Submission deadline is October 1, 2018. Proposal form

ALC Chair (2019): Deb Cryderman

Program Co-Chairs:

Questions may be addressed to ALC Chair, Deb Cryderman.

Thank you for your interest in the Alberta Library Conference.

Call for AAAL Workshop Committee volunteer

The  Alberta Association of Academic Libraries (AAAL) Workshop Committee seeks a new volunteer member for a two-year term. This committee organizes the AAAL professional development and learning program. We strive to develop relevant programming that not only serves as learning opportunities but also highlights the range of excellent work happening at AAAL member libraries. Duties involve: issuing calls for, selecting, and coordinating lightning-strike sessions, presentations and panel discussions for the Fall (November 15 at NAIT) and Spring AAAL meetings.
If this piques your interest and you are a library staff member from a AAAL member institutionsplease email Angie Mandeville at afm1@ualberta.ca by end of day Tuesday, September 18th. Join us!
– Angie Mandeville, University of Alberta Libraries and AAAL Workshop Committee member