Survey: Autism Spectrum Disorder Employee’s Experiences 

This call for survey participation may be of interest to some AAAL members:

Autism Spectrum Disorder Employee’s Experiences Working in Canadian Academic Libraries

Lori Giles-Smith and Emma Popowich 
University of Manitoba Libraries 

We are conducting a research study of autistic librarians and library support staff in the Canadian academic community. The main objective of this study is to obtain information from autistic people currently or recently employed in Canadian academic libraries about the benefits and difficulties they face. There is little research into the area of autistic librarians and support staff and your participation in this short survey will be invaluable in developing recommendations for recruitment, hiring and management practices.  

The research project includes an anonymous online survey containing a series of multiple choice and open-ended questions. It should take between 10-20 minutes to complete. All questions are optional, and you can leave the survey at any time by closing the window, tab, or browser. If you would like to participate, please click on the survey link below to access the consent form and survey. You can print a copy of the consent form for your records or request one from the researchers. 

If you would prefer to participate through a one-on-one interview over the telephone, please contact Lori Giles-Smith using the contact information below. Please note that this option means your information will not be anonymous to the researchers but your personal information will be kept confidential and your responses will be anonymized. Your answers will be entered directly into the survey software by the researcher with no personal data that could identify you (e.g., place of work, name, contact information) entered. Information gathered through the telephone interview will be anonymized and secured in the same manner as those submitted directly by participants via the survey software. Your contact information will be destroyed by the researchers immediately upon ending the telephone call.  


The survey will be open from March 17th – April 17th, 2022. 

If you have any questions about the survey, please feel free to contact: 

Lori Giles-Smith 
Coordinator, User Services and Fulfillment 

Thank you in advance.  

Lori Giles-Smith and Emma Popowich 
University of Manitoba Libraries 

AAAL Spring 2022 Meeting – Call for Proposals

Mark your calendars! The Alberta Association of Academic Libraries (AAAL) Spring 2022 Meeting will take place Thursday, May 12, 2022, hosted virtually. The Spring 2022 Meeting will begin at 9:00 am and conclude in the afternoon; a meeting link and further information will be forthcoming.

The theme for AAAL’s Spring meeting is Care Work: Practices and Ethics of Care in Academic Libraries. Caretaking or care work is a fundamental, but historically unacknowledged, part of academic library work, whether in preserving physical and digital collections, providing service to library users, or managing staff. While the COVID-19 pandemic and related shifts have brought the care-based dimensions of libraries to the fore, libraries are also increasingly asked to take on the kinds of work typically performed by explicitly care-based professions. More broadly, there has been an ongoing shift of the burden of care from the social to the individual, ranging from the rhetoric of self-care to how the collective risks of a global pandemic are mitigated.

We invite proposals that consider what a care-based perspective might offer for academic libraries. What new challenges or pitfalls might a view of library work as care introduce? What examples of practices of care can you share with the AAAL community?

Proposals can be for either a:

  • 5 minute lightning talk that is a quick overview of your ideas, experience, and programs/services,


  • 20 to 30 minute presentation that can include ideas, experiences, original research, engaging discussion questions or activities.

Submit your proposal by Sunday, April 10. Successful presenters will be contacted within the following week.

Do you require financial support to attend or present at the meeting? We encourage you to apply now for an AAAL Professional Development Award, whose scope has extended to be inclusive of technological peripheral support. PD Award applications are due April 15, 2022.

Wondering how we’ll select sessions? Take a look at our Rubric for Selecting AAAL Sessions and use it as a guide for your proposal.

We look forward to hearing from you!

The AAAL Workshop Committee:
Kelley Wadson, Carla Lewis, Kevin Tanner, Alexandra Alisauskas, Jorden Habib

Save the Date: Spring 2022 AGM May 12th 2022

Mark your calendar!  The Alberta  Association of Academic Libraries plans to hold the 2022 Spring AGM on Thursday, May 12th. The meeting will be held virtually and hosted by AAAL so that the meeting can be flexible and accessible for as many members as possible, with the intention of planning for in-person meetings in the near future. 

A call for virtual presentations, RSVP information, and the meeting agenda and package will be available soon; this year’s theme is Care Work: Practices and Ethics of Care in Academic Libraries. 

Ongoing Union Negotiations in Alberta PSE

AAAL recognizes that there are ongoing union negotiations at some of our member institutions and that these negotiations, as well as active or possible strikes, may be impacting the workload and mental health of all library workers in these institutions.

AAAL sees this and extends our support to everyone impacted, whether they are striking as part of their union, addressing workload changes in order to keep libraries open, or being impacted as a library user.

Respectfully Submitted by the AAAL Executive, 2021-2022

Registration Open: AAAL Fall 2021 Meeting, 9 December 2021

Registration is now open for the AAAL Fall 2021 Meeting, hosted online by The Alberta Library (TAL) on December 9, 2021 from 9am to 3pm. 

Please register using the Registration Form no later than Monday, December 6th:

We are pleased to announce the preliminary program lineup, including our featured Keynote:

9am-10:45am: Business Meeting: Reports from the Executive, Roundtable, and Elections 

11am-12pm: Featured Keynote: Margy MacMillan 

12:30-3pm: Afternoon Programming and presentations (full schedule of talks to be announced this week), including a presentation by our host, The Alberta Library (TAL). 

Abstract: Academic libraries in Alberta have a long history of collaborations. From teaching partnerships, cross-functional teams, and institutional committees to TAL, NEOS, and a host of conferences, we work together well. I learned a lot in thirty years in academic libraries here, but it took stepping outside my institutional comfort zone and joining Project Information Literacy ( to prompt a more deliberate approach to collaboration. Leaving the familiar confines of Canadian academia for a new context with different constraints, motivations, rewards, and operating cultures led to a deeper consideration of what I could bring to an established high-functioning team, and what I wanted to gain from collaboration. 

We look forward to seeing you online!