2016 Annual Conference

Creating Communities
Monday, May 9, 2016
Community Room, A.C. Hunter Library, Arts & Culture Center
125 Allandale Road, St. John’s, NL

Creating Communities: The concept of community is fundamental to all types of libraries. As library workers, we strive to support and empower those in our communities in many ways: by providing access to print, electronic, and computing resources; learning & social spaces; help with research and information literacy education; and sometimes just a safe and welcoming place to go. We define our communities in many ways: our users may fit a particular demographic, may be affiliated with a school or an institution, or may reside together in a rural municipality. Finally, as library workers and members of the NLLA, we are each of us members of a rich and diverse occupational community.

Anna SwansonAnna Swanson is the Provincial Selection Coordinator at the Newfoundland and Labrador Public Libraries. She has a long-standing passion for community engagement, including working with community arts festivals and Community Living programs. She originally came to St. John’s to coordinate the first annual Victoria Park Lantern Festival in 2001. She finally moved here last year from Vancouver, where she had been working as a Children’s Librarian, Selections Librarian, and Branch Head at the Vancouver Public Library. She has a BA from University of Victoria (completed at MUN), and an MLIS from UBC. She also writes poetry and her first book, The Nights Also, won a Lambda Literary Award and the Gerald Lampert Award.


A.C. Hunter Public Library

A.C. Hunter Public Library

The A.C. Hunter Public Library is located in the St John’s Arts and Culture Centre at the corner of Allandale Road and the Prince Phillip Parkway. Join us in their new Community Room, on the ground floor (in the back of the Children’s Library).





A PDF of the conference program is available here.


8:30-9:00 Registration

9:00-9:15  Opening

9:15-10:oo Keynote
Community Engagement
Anna Swanson

10:00-10:40 Unimagined Communities: Open Access and Interdisciplinary Scholarship
Patrick Gamsby, Queen Elizabeth II Library, Scholarly Communications Librarian

One of the main requirements of any Open Archival Information System is to digitally preserve and make accessible materials for a so-called “designated community.”  In order to follow this requirement, one has to be able to clearly define a particular community and ultimately place it within a specific boundary.  Such a boundary is, following the terminology of political theorist Benedict Anderson, an “imagined community.”  It is imagined because of the immense difficulty one is presented with in attempting to clearly and definitively erect barriers around a community.  In order to smooth out any inconsistencies with a community, one has to make ample use of one’s imagination.  While Anderson was theorizing the concept of nationalism, the same basic idea can be applied to library and information science, especially with regards to patrons accessing information.  That is, to attempt to have a “designated community” when it comes to access is to drift into the realm of the imaginary and presents the risk of excluding potential patrons.  Such a move inevitably produces lacunae, which is, it will be argued, antithetical to the basic principles of both open access and interdisciplinarity.  Crossing artificial boundaries is a common feature of both open access scholarship and interdisciplinary scholarship, although both types of scholarship could be seen as having communities that are by no means designated as the same.  This paper will examine the interrelationship between open access and interdisciplinarity and will argue for the necessity of creating unimagined communities.

Patrick Gamsby is Memorial University of Newfoundland’s new Scholarly Communications Librarian.  Prior to this role, Patrick was the Scholarly Communications Librarian and Lecturer in the History of Ideas at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts.  Patrick has an MLIS from the University of Western Ontario and a PhD from Laurentian University.

10:40-11:00  Break

11:00-11:40 Bringing the Community to the Library and the Library to the Community
Julia Mayo, Marjorie Mews Public Library Branch Manager

Public libraries have always been and continue to be those welcoming and vibrant hubs of the community. In this day of  disconnectivity how does a small library keep in touch with its people? We will be talking about topics like  the “Good Neighbor Philosophy” and “The Win-Win-Win of Outreach”.  

Julia Mayo is a Library Technician and branch supervisor of the Marjorie Mews Public Library in St John’s. Julia has been working with the NL Public Libraries for a little over 8 years.

11:40-12:30 Panel: Building, Growing, and Engaging with Communities 
Beth Maddigan, Education Librarian, Memorial University Libraries; Kate Shore, Librarian, Janeway Resource Centre, Eastern Health; Courtney Penney, Regional Librarian, Newfoundland & Labrador Public Libraries Central Division.

Beth Maddigan is Memorial University’s Education Librarian. Before making the switch to academia in 2011, Beth was a children’s librarian for the Cambridge Libraries & Galleries and Newfoundland & Labrador Public Libraries for fifteen years.

Kate Shore is the sole Librarian at the Janeway Resource Centre, a small consumer health library with the Children’s and Women’s Health Program at Eastern Health.  Kate loves the multifaceted nature of being a special librarian because a typical week could  include such things as; outreach and liaising, reference, cataloguing, program development, web design, information literacy, and collection development.

Courtney Penney is from Green’s Harbour, Newfoundland and Labrador. She completed a Bachelor of Arts in History at Memorial University (2010), a Master of Arts in History from The University of Western Ontario (2012) and a Master in Library and Information Science from The University of Western Ontario (2014). Courtney has experience in both medical and public libraries. She currently is the Regional Librarian for Central Division with the Newfoundland and Labrador Public Libraries. She has a passion for outreach and children’s programming. Presently, she reviews children’s books for CM: Canadian Review of Materials.

12:30-1:30  Lunch

1:30-2:30 NLLA General Meeting

2:30-3:10 Cultivating Community through Social Media
Jeannie Bail, Acting Special Collections Librarian, QEII Library; Colleen Quigley, Acting Head – Archives and Special Collections, QEII Library; Linda White, Archivist, QEII Library

In February 2016, Archives and Special Collections at the Queen Elizabeth II Library launched its presence on social media. One of the surprising (and most fun) benefits has been connecting with educational institutions, cultural organizations, preservation and conservation labs,  publishers, bibliophiles, history buffs and assorted people across the globe, and, right here in our backyard, with an interest in our materials, our workers and our workspaces. These connections have helped expand and foster our sense of community through the use of digital space. Hear our rationale and objectives behind creating accounts on various social media channels such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. How we manage the various platforms, the idiosyncrasies of each, and our differing strategies and approaches will also be discussed.

Jeannie Bail is a librarian at the QEII with a deep appreciation of good book design and innovative publishing.

Colleen Quigley has worked as a performer, dance instructor and choreographer in St. John’s, Toronto, and Maine (USA), as well as in Amsterdam and Nijmegen, the Netherlands.  Colleen has participated in Canadian think tanks, panels, and exhibitions on the preservation and promotion of dance and other aspects of the performing arts.

Linda White holds a master’s degree in History, and is a regular contributor to the Newfoundland Quarterly.

3:10-3:30 Break

3:30-4:10  “You can’t always get what you want”: Communicating journal cancellations at Memorial University
Amanda Tiller-Hackett, QEII (MUN), Humanities Collection Development Librarian; Erin Alcock, QEII, Science Research Liaison Librarian; Diane Keeping, QEII, Social Sciences Collection Development Librarian; Alison Ambi, QEII, Science Research Liaison Librarian; Pam Morgan, HSL, Information Resources Librarian

The state of the economy of the province, combined with journal inflation, and the falling Canadian dollar has resulted in a serious reduction in library buying power.  Memorial University Libraries have a multi-branch cancellation committee faced with the task of resolving budget deficits for both the Queen Elizabeth II Library and the Health Sciences Library.  The first round of cancellations is now complete, and this presentation will focus on the many things learned about communicating bad news to faculty and students, the practical and legal considerations that go into such a communication, the good and bad outcomes, and the two-edged role the media can play.

The SobCommittee has collective experience of 80 librarian years.  We have 5 masters degrees and 1 PhD beyond our Masters of Library Science.  We represent the QEII and Health Sciences Libraries and have subject expertise that spans physical, health and biological sciences, social sciences and humanities. We were formed in the spring of 2014 and were supposed to be named the Collections Review Subcommittee but a typo on our birth certificate has forever branded us the SobCommittee.  We see no signs of this committee disbanding…ever.

4:10-4:50  Lightning Round

What Everyone’s Yakking About: Why Your Library Should be on Yik Yak
Crystal Rose, Public Services Librarian, Grenfell & Harlow Campuses, Memorial University

Yik Yak, a social media app for smartphones, appeared in 2013 and lets people anonymously post “yaks” which can be viewed by other Yik Yak users within a 1.5 mile radius. Enormously popular and controversial, the app is particularly popular among university students. Yik Yak lets you know what people in your community are saying about a variety of things, including your library. If you are not on Yik Yak you are missing out on a unique opportunity to gain feedback on your library’s space, services, hours, and more! Find out what students at Grenfell Campus have yakked about the Ferriss Hodgett Library and how the library uses Yik Yak to engage with users.

Crystal Rose is interested in innovative ways to make libraries engaging spaces for users and utilizing emerging technologies to enhance library services. Her position as Public Services Librarian encompasses reference, library instruction, collections, copyright assistance, web development, and outreach and engagement activities. She is the co-recipient of the first Vice-President’s (Grenfell Campus) Engagement Award. Currently APLA Past-President, and former President of NLLA, she holds degrees from Simon Fraser (BFA), and Dalhousie (MLIS) Universities.

Why is Linked Data so Important to the Future of Libraries?
Heather Pretty, MUN Libraries, Cataloguing Librarian

Why should libraries care about Linked Data? What’s all the hype? In this Lightning Talk, I will connect the dots without diving into the techie talk of URIs and RDF triples.

Heather Pretty has been a Cataloguing Librarian at MUN since 2009, and in charge of authority control since 2011. She works with the international Program for Cooperative Cataloging as the sole Name Authority Co-Operative (NACO) Liaison in Newfoundland and Labrador, and as the Coordinator for the NACO Atlantic Funnel comprising five institutions in the Atlantic Provinces.

Promoting Academic Integrity at Memorial University
Lorna Adcock, Public Services Librarian, Centre for Newfoundland Studies

Outline of a 2 year pilot program at Memorial University to promote academic integrity across the university community and the development of an online course for first year full time undergraduate students.

Lorna Adcock is currently a  Public Services Librarian at the Centre of Newfoundland Studies and the Coordinator of the Academic Integrity Course. She has  worked as a Public Services Librarian in the Health Sciences Library and as Head, Information Services at the QEII Library. Lorna has previously worked in libraries at the Canadian Medical Association, the University of British Columbia, Agriculture Canada and Health Canada.

Puffin Peter: A Felt Story
Jewel Cousens, Newfoundland and Labrador Collections Librarian

This is my latest felt storybook.  It was chosen by the children’s staff as one of their favourite stories to tell.

Jewel Cousens writes: Nearing the end of my working career, I take great satisfaction in continuing to ensure the completeness of our collection of Newfoundland and Labrador books.  Outside the library, my passion includes being creative with either a needle or thread or a crochet hook and yarn.  So sit back and enjoy seeing the adventures of Puffin Peter.

5:30 Post-Conference Social
Pasta Plus Cafe
Churchill Square, 8-10 Rowan Street


Online registration is now available. The registration deadline is Thursday, May  5. Payments may be mailed to: Newfoundland and Labrador Library Association, P.O. Box 23192, Churchill Square, St. John’s, NL, A1B 4J9 or dropped off in person to: ATTN: Kristen Romme, Health Science Library, Memorial University.

Conference Fee:
NLLA members – $50.00
Non-members – $75.00

Not an NLLA member or need to renew your membership? Join or renew online.


How do you define community? How is it central to the work you do in your library, or the way you contribute to library research? What does community mean to library users, and how does it bring them to your library? Whether you are in a public, school, academic, or special library, community has an impact on the work you do. What thoughts, ideas or discoveries about community would you like to share and explore with us?

We are seeking proposals for the following presentation types:

  • Full presentation: 40 minute sessions, composed of a 30-minute presentation and 10-minute question period. May be either research or practice-based.
  • Lightning talks: 7-minute timed presentations, great for giving attendees a brief glimpse into an idea, project, or program.
  • Panelist: You will participate as one of a group of panelists answering moderated questions (shared with you before the conference) on themes of building, growing, and engaging with communities.
  • Virtual poster: posters based on some aspect of the conference theme will be produced electronically, and viewable online.

The deadline for proposals is Monday, March 28th. Please submit your proposal using our online form and remember to include:

  • An indication of the presentation type (full, lightning, panel, or virtual poster)
  • The presentation title plus a brief abstract (max 250 words) describing the presentation, OR, if proposing to be a panelist, a brief rationale (max 250 words) for your participation
  • Contact details (name, library, position, telephone number and email address) for each speaker
  • A brief (max 50 word) biography for each speaker

For more information about the 2016 Annual Conference, please contact planning committee chair, Krista Godfrey.

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