AAAL Professional Development Award

Don’t forget to apply to the AAAL Professional Development Award! With the grant now open to applications for technology-related expenses it’s a great opportunity to increase your ability to attend virtual PD opportunities.

Here’s what our previous award recipients had to say about the award and its positive impact:

At the AAAL Annual General Meeting in spring 2020, our team consisting of James Murphy, Carla Lewis, Christena McKillop and Marc Stoeckle from the University of Calgary Libraries & Cultural Resources received the AAAL Professional Development Award. The expanded award was very exciting news for our learning commons team at the Taylor Family Digital Library. We installed a specified workstation, including the awarded camera and microphone, designated for podcast recordings, screen recordings, online conference presentations, zoom sessions, and more. With the new equipment staff in the learning commons will have greater access to attend and engage with professional development opportunities. The Learning Commons staff is currently working on several virtual exhibits such as music exhibitions, book displays, etc. using the technology made possible through the AAAL award. For example, the De-Stress: Virtual Music Exhibition created by Sylvia Polachuk and Marc Stoeckle can be found via

Full details about the award and how to apply can be found on the  AAAL Professional Development Award page. The deadline for submissions is Friday, April 16, 2021

Call for Applications: AAAL Professional Development Award

Are you considering presenting or attending the Alberta Association of Academic Libraries (AAAL) virtual AGM hosted by MacEwan University on May 6th, 2021

In the past, AAAL has offered the Professional Development award to cover travel expenses for those who wish to present at or attend the meeting.  AAAL has extended the criteria to accept applications for technology-related expenses.  This can include technology upgrades (devices, monitors, headsets) or software/subscription fees.


Applicants must be affiliated with a AAAL member institution OR

Applicants must be currently attending an LIT or MLIS program

Priority will be given to applicants presenting a session/workshop at the AAAL meeting, or who have limited funding for professional development through their institution, however this is not a requirement.  Apply!

For additional details about the award and applicable expenses that can be claimed through the award, please visit the AAAL Professional Development Award page on the website. To apply, you can fill out the application form here

The deadline for submissions is Friday, April 16, 2021

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact

AAAL Spring AGM – Save the Date and Call for Proposals

Mark your calendars. The Alberta Association of Academic Libraries (AAAL) Spring AGM will take place Thursday, May 6th, 2021 hosted virtually in partnership with MacEwan University. Meeting link forthcoming. 

We are now in our second year of the global pandemic and a repositioning of post-secondary education in Alberta. These events have highlighted inequities for minority groups and concerns about employment stability, training, recruitment, culture and working conditions. It is time to reconceptualize our professional identities, our roles in academia and the nature of our work.

The theme for AAAL’s Spring 2021 meeting is Working together…when we’re working apart. You are invited to submit proposals for presentations exploring how recent events have affected library workers and their relationships with patrons, colleagues or workload. What projects and collaborations have resulted from challenges faced in the last year? Have new or unexpected (unlikely?!) partnerships developed between groups, departments or institutions?  We particularly encourage the participation of staff who are not librarians (technicians, assistants, specialists etc.).

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.

Please note that the final timing and duration of the day is still to be determined.

Submit your proposal by Wednesday, March 31st. 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 for an AAAL Professional Development Award, whose scope has extended to be inclusive of technological peripheral support.  

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: 

Lucinda Johnston, Jessica Leslie, Carla Lewis, Sarah Shaughnessy, Kelley Wadson

Libraries in the time of Covid – AAAL Reintegration Discussion Group

You may be faced with very different questions from those that you were asked last year:

I’m going to be in X-city for a week; will I be able to use their college/university library?

Can I request a book from another library?

Or maybe your supervisors and administrators are asking: What is X-college doing about access to the collection? Student study groups? Checking items back in? Face-to-face research consultations? How are we going to address issues surrounding re-opening our libraries once the pandemic is over? 

The AAAL Reintegration (Covid Planning) Basecamp can help you find answers to those questions and more! TAL has posted a chart with the current status of libraries throughout the province, including building status, collection status, and whether TAL cards are being accepted, and many member libraries have contributed to discussions about instruction, safety, staff support, and more. 

If you are interested in being added to this discussion group please contact Brian Lin or Kelley Wadson

Feel free to post your own questions to the group; someone out there might be mulling over the same issue and be able to provide insight into your situation. Take a look at what others are asking – you may be the wealth of knowledge that they desperately need right now.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out!

AAAL Reintegration Committee

Cole Boychuk

Brian Lin

Liz Fulton-Lyne

Patti Sherbaniuk

Madelaine Vanderwerff

Caroline Vandriel

Kelley Wadson

Honouring Indigenous Writers on Wikipedia 2021 Events

For the past several years UBC Library, the First Nations and Indigenous Studies program, and event sponsors (see below) have organized  the Honouring Indigenous Writers Wikipedia Edit-a-thon. This edit-a-thon event, inspired by Daniel Heath Justice’s twitter campaign of the same name, seeks to bring community editors together to work on editing Wikipedia entries for Indigenous authors in an attempt to tackle the systemic bias of Wikipedia while also trying to raise the profile of Indigenous writers.

Instead of the annual in-person event this year the organizing team has put together a schedule of free events and Wikipedia-related activities designed for virtual participation throughout the month of March 2021. The events include:

These events and activities are free and open to anyone to participate. Please join us at our kickoff event and reading with Smokii Sumac on February 24th at 7:00pm PST, and learn more about the other events we have planned! You can also read more at the HIW home page, and at the HIW Wikipedia Meetup Page.

We would also appreciate your support of the event by helping to promote it through your listservs, social media accounts, and other spaces to help raise awareness of Indigenous literature and engage in open community knowledge creation. 

The event team has developed a number of social media assets in a variety of sizes for ease of sharing. The assets can be downloaded here:

Please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions and thank you in advance for any support you can give in making this event a success. Thank you to event sponsors, the Institute for Critical Indigenous StudiesIron Dog BooksBCcampus, and the UBC Bookstore