CLA Statement on Bill C-51, the Anti-terrorism Act, 2015

Lisa C. Chen:

The CLA has issued a statement regarding Bill C-51, the Anti-terrorism Act. This is definitely worth a read.

Originally posted on Government Library & IM Professionals Network:

The safety and security of Canadians is an important responsibility of the Government of Canada. Given the deplorable events in Ottawa and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu last October, the government’s desire to protect citizens more effectively is understandable. The Canadian Library Association (CLA), however, has serious concerns about Bill C-51 (the Anti-terrorism Act, 2015) in relation to the risks that it poses for the privacy of Canadians and for their freedom of expression, both of which are essential to a free and democratic society. We are especially concerned that this bill is proceeding through the parliamentary process much too quickly for it to be fully analyzed and debated in terms of its implications for these important Canadian values.

The CLA therefore urges the government, with respect to Bill C-51, to:

  • Incorporate considerably greater restrictions and independent oversight into the Security of Canada Information Sharing Act provisions.
  • Limit and clarify the kinds of…

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OLA Super Conference 2015

I attended this year’s OLA Super Conference, held in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. I attended the conference on Thursday and Friday. I will be summarizing my experience and provide advice for future attendees.

Speed Networking

I could not skip the opportunity to network. It was a great way to meet professionals from the information studies field in quick succession. I had the opportunity to exchange business cards and ask them about their position and the path they went through.

Though I myself am introverted, I found that simply saying “hello” and then starting a conversation sprung organically as we talked about ourselves and our interests.

I would recommend registering for the event, as it is exclusive. If you cannot register in time, you will be put on the waiting list. Regardless, go to the event early and see if you can participate, as some people make last minute cancellations. Do not overlook talking to students/new professionals too, as they are your peers. Ask if the professionals are a part of any associations and if they are looking for anyone to participate.

As you will rotate with professionals very quickly, I recommend against bringing a writing instrument or paper, but I do recommend water, as you’ll be talking a lot. They have refreshments provided.

Don’t be afraid to follow up with the professionals; if they have a LinkedIn profile, connect with them. If they have any volunteer opportunities in their organization, ask them.

After the official event, there is a mingling, where you will have the opportunity to speak to the other professionals and to the students.

Panels

1) So NOT Boring: Social Media Policy for Libraries by Anne Marie Watson and Mary Medinsky

This panel discussed the importance of defining your organization’s social media platform.

Some of their recommendations involved knowing your audience so you can post meaningful content and asking others to review potential posts before publishing them.

They also recommend to have a proactive approach. For example, following followers or potential ones can garner exposure to your accounts. Use a contest to promote yourself.

They also highlighted resources for analytics:

Hootsuite
TweetDeck
Social Biblio
Twitter Audit

2) Supporting Multi-Campus Instruction through E-Learning by Afra Bolefski and Joanne Oud

Whilst being an instructional librarian at a university with multiple campuses, there are issues with traveling and instructing between them. Therefore, the presenters recommended various video tools that can be used for teaching.

Programs such as Skype do not suffice for instruction. They recommended tools such as Adobe Connect and Cisco Jabber. The presenters laid out the programs’
various pros and cons.

For etiquette, they suggested to test the software beforehand, dress appropriately, clean your office (as students can see it), create learning outcomes, be interactive and receive feedback.

3) #WeNeedDiverseBooks: Discussing Diversity in Children’s ans Young Adult Literature by Susan Chau, Dayna Debenedet, Feather Maracle Luke and Margie Wolfe

Inspired by, but not affiliated with the official #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign, various authors, publishers and librarians gathered to discuss the lack of diversity in books and the publishing industry.

One of the interesting points made was that if we want more diverse books published, we (librarians) must begin to promote such books with displays, activities, etc.

We have the purchasing power to send a message to publishers. We need to provide more opportunities for diverse writers and advocate for their books. Seek out local publishers who aren’t one of the Big Four.

Expo

The Expo is where publishers, schools and vendors have tables set up to talk to visitors. This is an opportunity to see the latest technology available for libraries and publications available.

Though as a student, I was not making business with the vendors, it was a great way to connect with them and see the products they offer, as you may be ordering from them in the future.

During book signings, they will actually be handing out free copies of books and advanced copies. Take advantage of it!

OLA Store

The store, near the entrance of the Metro Centre, sold various OLA merchandise and books primarily for young readers. They even gave me a free pen with each purchase.

FIMS Alumni Reception

After I completed my volunteer shift, I attended the reception, right across the Metro Centre. I was able to meet classmates, both those working in Toronto and studying in London. It was a great way to reconnect with friends and network with Alumni.

Overall, the Super Conference was a great way to meet new people and learn about the developments in the field. Volunteering was simple and straightforward. I can’t wait to use what I’ve learned now and apply it for next year’s edition.

TIFF Film Reference Library Tour

I had attended a tour of TIFF’s Film Reference Library (FRL), arranged by the OLA last week.

We were shown where their onsite collection was housed. The collection contained images, films, books, scripts, soundtracks, etc.The FRL has one of the largest English Canadian film collections in the world. Their collection includes the archives of various figures and groups from Canadian film.

They also have exhibits on display.

In their reading room for patrons, they presented a display of their materials to us. Below* is a sample of what they showed us. The highlight for me was discovering a cookbook inspired by Gone with the Wind.

*These pictures were taken and posted with permission.

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A day in the life in Bhutan: Guest post from Sonam Wangdi

Lisa C. Chen:

What’s it like to be a librarian in Bhutan? Check out this post to see!

The International Librarians Network is a blog that connects with librarians all over the world. It’s interesting to read about their daily activities and challenges they face.

Originally posted on International Librarians Network:

Today’s post comes to us from our Country Coordinator for Bhutan, Sonam Wangdi.

I work in a Government basedresearch and training institute library atBumthang district, Bhutan. The library has only two staff, the librarian and librarian assistant. Both of us perform every bit of library task to meet the needs of patrons’ demand. Generally, I oversee the management of the library and perform some specific task on resource acquisition and cater electronic resources to users. Developing countries like Bhutan cannot afford to procure all the available commercial e-resource databases, which cost a huge amount. However, through the use of the Institute’s Memorandum of Understanding with other universities in developed countries, the library can access e-resources available at the partnered university.

In a day, I download minimum of 4-6 peer reviewed articles from various databases as per the requests received from patrons at anytime within the…

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A Moscow library containing rare UN documents, ancient Slavic texts, and 14 million books is on fire

Lisa C. Chen:

Very unfortunate news. Everyone appears to be safe though.

I hope that they will be able to salvage a portion of their collection.

Update: The fire lasted for over a day. At least 1 million items were destroyed/damaged.

Originally posted on Quartz:

The Moscow library known as INION—the Institute of Scientific Information on Social Sciences—went up in flames on the evening of Jan. 29.

Interfax reports that the fire, which started on the building’s third floor and spread to 2,000 square meters, is now contained. But damage already appears to be extensive, with at least part of the roof having fallen in.

According to RIA, the library was founded in 1918, and is home to more than 14 million books, including rare texts in ancient Slavic languages, as well as documents from the League of Nations, UNESCO, and parliamentary reports from countries including the US dating back as far as 1789 (links in Russian)…

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On the Discourse of Journal Cuts

This month, Brock University’s library announced that they would be cancelling some online journal subscriptions distributed by Wiley-Blackwell. This will result in over 1300 journals being inaccessible to students and faculty at Brock University. Articles can still be obtained through interlibrary loans, but patrons will be unable to have immediate access to journals. You can read full details in this article.

The library’s rationale for the cuts can be read here. I want to highlight a quote for further discussion:

…Brock’s enrollment growth over the last decade has placed us in higher publisher pricing tiers for some products. Publisher price increases have far outstripped both inflation and the modest increases to the Library’s acquisitions budget. As well, the Library is significantly affected by currency fluctuations.

While it is a shame to see a valuable resource cancelled, it also highlights the differences between user expectations, librarians and online accessibility.

The average user does not necessarily understand how information can be denied to them. After all, Google can provide the answer to everything; information is supposed to be free, right? But in actuality, access to articles cost money. We pay it through our tuition and a librarian is usually the negotiator between what we have access to and on what condition (i.e. the amount of users that can use a resource simultaneously).

As online research becomes more popular and hard copies lose preference, journal subscriptions will reflect the money they are losing from print. This is all happening in a context where library budgets are being reduced and under pressure to meet the research needs of their users.

I predict that there will be other academic libraries (and other libraries in general) that will be forced to cut valuable subscriptions to meet budget demands.