Western makes a mark at Canada’s largest library conference

Published on February 11, 2022

Librarians and staff from Western Libraries gathered online at the 2022 Ontario Library Association’s (OLA) Super Conference last week to represent Western and share their expertise with colleagues from institutions across the province.

The OLA Super Conference is Canada’s largest continuing education event in librarianship. For one week, every winter, library professionals attend the conference to share knowledge, exchange ideas, and build community.

Our librarians and staff are always eager to contribute to and attend the conference. This year, 12 employees led presentations and discussions about a range of topics including, systematic racism, digital lending, user-centric web design, Indigenous learning communities, story maps, and more. The sessions attracted a combined 800 attendees.

Here’s a full list of our 2022 presentations. If you’re interested in learning more about any of these topics, please contact us at library@uwo.ca.

Acing the Interview: It's All in the Preparation

  • Kim Carson, Head, Teaching & Learning
  • Melanie Mills, Director, Library & Learning Services, Huron at Western

The academic library job market is competitive. The first step is securing an interview. Then what? How will you prepare for your interview day so that you stand apart from your fellow candidates? In this ‘Live Chat!’ attendees will learn strategies to analyze academic library job ads, anticipate possible interview questions, and prepare their best answers to those questions. Valuable ‘insider information’ about the interview day as a whole will also be shared, including knowledge about: the typical structure and work of Selection Committees, the role and nature of job talks, and possible engagements with campus stakeholders and future colleagues.

Systemic Racism in Academic Libraries in Canada: Perspectives from Librarian & Archivists

  • Kelly Hatch, Teaching and Learning Librarian

This session shares preliminary results from the first phase of a research study exploring Librarian and Archivist perspectives on systemic racism in Canada. This session unpacks the results of the survey distributed in August 2021 including over 450 responses to questions about individual engagement in antiracist work. It is hoped that the findings will provide a foundation in which to develop strategies and practices to reduce barriers and help Librarians and Archivists work towards eliminating systemic racism in academic libraries.

Gather Around the Circle: Building Indigenous Learning Communities

  • Alison Wetheral, User Experience Specialist
  • Nicole Maddock, User Services Manager
  • SARA MAI Chitty, Curriculum & Pedagogy Advisor, Western University, Office of Indigenous Initiatives

Biindigen is Western University's Indigenous Learning Circle (ILC), a collaborative initiative that provides space for the Western community to learn with and from Indigenous Peoples, an opportunity to explore the landscape of Indigenization and reconciliation through discussion and various mediums including books, documentaries, and podcasts. We brought Biindigen to OLA to give conference go-ers a space to explore their own role in reconciliation through a learn-to-do-by-doing opportunity. During the session we worked together to create an Indigenous allyship toolkit so others have a resource to accompany them on their own learning and unlearning journeys.

Shifting the Assessment Paradigm Through Libinsight Dataset Revision

  • Kristin Kerbavaz, User Experience Librarian
  • Jamie Kim, User Experience Co-op Student
  • Sam Vettraino, Library Assistant

Since 2019, Western Libraries has used the LibInsight platform to collect data about reference and instruction interactions. Feedback gathered in the spring of 2021 indicated a need to revise our existing datasets in order to better align with individual teams’ data needs, shifting from a top-down data collection approach to a bottom-up, team-driven assessment paradigm. In this session, we’ll describe our phased approach to revising the LibInsight datasets, the outcomes we’ve observed so far, and some key challenges of the process. Participants will leave with tangible recommendations for approaching a similar revision of internal data collection processes and shifting assessment culture.

Controlled Digital Lending (CDL) and COVID-19: Two Peas in a Pod

  • Stephen Spong, Director, John and Dotsa Bitove Law Library and Copyright Officer
  • Mark D. Swartz, Visiting Program Officer at CARL, Copyright Manager, Queen’s University

Controlled Digital Lending (CDL) had long been identified as a potential tool for libraries to provide remote, digital access to materials in their collections. When the pandemic started, the idea of providing remote access to collections that were now inaccessible to library users was something that was not only theoretically possible, but practically necessary. The most successful and high-profile CDL platform was the Hathi Trust Emergency Temporary Access Service (ETAS), but Western Libraries was also the site of a made-in-Ontario platform – the only one of its kind in the province.

This session will look to chart the growth, challenges, and potential of CDL as it continues its trajectory into a key part of service provision for many libraries and cultural institutions.

A Practical Guide to User-centered Website Navigation Redesign Using an Information Architecture Framework

  • Matthew Barry, User Experience Librarian
  • David Fiander, User Experience Librarian
  • Jamie Kim, User Experience Co-op Student
  • Lyndsey Janzen, Library Assistant

In this session, we’ll talk about Western Libraries' recent project to redesign our website’s top-level navigation using an Information Architecture framework, adapted from “Information Architecture for the Web and Beyond” by Peter Morville et al. The session will cover the importance of project scope in creating major changes, ways that working with our community helps us produce better services, and our tips on what works and what to avoid when embarking on major changes to your library’s online presence.

Teaching Information Literacy with Arcgis Storymaps

  • Kelly Hatch, Teaching and Learning Librarian
  • Jason Dyck, Teaching and Learning Librarian

Continuing technological advancements help librarians meet the information needs of a diversified student body in higher education. This session offers a roadmap for developing an online information literacy module for an undergraduate Medical Sciences course. The first iteration of the module was created in OWL (Sakai), the learning management system (LMS) for Western University, while the second iteration was created using ArcGIS StoryMaps, a story authoring application. In collaboration with the course instructor, both modules were designed to align with the course learning outcomes and Western’s Information Literacy Learning Outcomes.