We hope you can join us! Please share and spread the word! This event is part of the MLIS Career Discovery Tour (by Management Career Services). It is a great opportunity for current MLIS students to connect with professionals, so the support is greatly appreciated.
SIM Associate Professor, alumna (MLIS ’95) and Associate Dean-Academic for the Faculty of Management, Dr. Vivian Howard, was profiled today in Dal News. She was awarded the Alumni Association Award of Excellence for Teaching earlier this year, which is one of Dal’s top teaching accolades. In fact, SIM professors won three of the eight awards! We are very proud of our faculty here at SIM.
Sample from Dal News (read the full story here):
Fresh out of her master’s degree, Vivian Howard took on a job teaching a required undergraduate English course at a Canadian university on the west coast. She describes it as the kind of class that nobody liked but everybody had to take. Although aimed at helping students in various programs develop their writing skills via Shakespeare classics and modernist literature, the course instead often just left students feeling frustrated. Some had to take it several times just to pass and get their degree. In short, it was a challenging course for a new teacher to take on.
“The experience teaching that course and having to engage students who were there almost against their will was actually good trial by fire,” says Dr. Howard, now an associate professor in Dal’s School of Information Management. “It made me think about ways to make the material relevant to the students.”
Success through a mix of approaches
All these years later, keeping students engaged remains one of Dr. Howard’s chief priorities in the classroom. Although she mostly teaches graduate students now, she says she still relies on strategies she developed teaching undergraduates. She was honoured earlier this year for her work with students, receiving the Alumni Association Award of Excellence for Teaching — Dal’s top teaching accolade.
While traditional lecture-style classes will always have a place in universities, she says using a mix of approaches has vastly improved learning outcomes in her own courses. Simulations, role playing, learning stations, field trips, free writes and debates are just a handful of techniques she uses in her meticulously planned classes to create an engaging environment that stimulates students and encourages them to apply concepts in real-world scenarios.
“I think of it almost as a choreography,” she says of her classes. “I have a certain amount of time where I’ll be talking, but then I’ll very quickly go into something that’s student centred, where they are working with the ideas and applying them.”
By Diana Castillo (MLIS ’18)
At the end of October, I was lucky enough to attend the annual International Association of Aquatic and Marine Science Libraries and Information Centers (IAMSLIC) conference held in Honolulu. I was there to present some preliminary findings from my thesis project (Meeting Information Needs through Innovation: A Case Study of the Use of the International Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Abstracts Database – see abstract below) examining the use of the Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Abstracts database.
A key theme of the conference was rethinking how we approach problems and how best to communicate our stories. The idea was to encourage attendees to re-conceptualize how they approach problems, work to articulate goals and how to achieve them, and become more effective advocates for libraries. The conference encouraged attendees to tap into their creative sides, with sessions on puppet making and storytelling, which was a fun way to think outside the box. The keynote speakers also encouraged attendees to rethink certain assumptions they might have, specifically focusing on gender and cultural competency.
The conference finished by hosting a round-table discussion about the future of marine science librarians. While I wasn’t initially on the panel, I was roped in as the only student in attendance. It was interesting to hear what the other panelists viewed as the future of the profession (data management was mentioned a lot), and to listen to what they found to be the most valuable experiences while in school.
Overall, I found the conference to be a fantastic experience. The community was incredibly welcoming and helped me gain a sense of what my future may hold if I decide to go into this field. For other students, if you see a chance to attend a conference in a field you’re interested in, I highly recommend you take it.
Abstract (Diana’s thesis project):
A significant hallmark of today’s society is the large quantity of scientific information about oceans available to researchers and decision-makers in a wide diversity of formats. Although much information is easily accessible, sizeable volumes may be unknown or limited in access despite benefiting stakeholder communities. The ASFA database is an access point for a large amount of grey literature. Due to the rapidly changing information landscape, the future of ASFA in its present form is being reconsidered. This paper will report on research, pursued in collaboration with FAO, to determine how ASFA is currently accessed and used. The initial results from the research will be presented, along with preliminary discussion of how the service might evolve in the changing information landscape.
An interesting aspect of working in the information management field is the difficulty in explaining clearly and concisely the nature of the field. Many professions have a reasonably clear public profile, such as medical doctors, nurses, accountants, lawyers, and so forth. Information managers, on the other hand, often find themselves in the position of having to explain what they do. The same is true also for those of us who teach and conduct research in this area.
There is no standard definition of what constitutes information management (IM). The Government of Canada defines it as a discipline that directs and supports effective and efficient management of information in an organization, from planning and systems development to disposal and/or long-term preservation.
Wikipedia defines IM as [the] cycle of organizational activity: the acquisition of information from one or more sources, the custodianship and the distribution of that information to those who need it, and its ultimate disposition through archiving or deletion.
At the School of Information (SIM), we define information management as a people-centred approach to discovering, organizing, analyzing, representing, and accessing data, information, and knowledge. Effective IM gets the right information to the right people at the right time. I am undoubtedly biased, of course, but I think SIM’s definition captures the main functional areas of IM very well. We propose also the following areas of competencies for IM professionals:
- Information management leadership
- Enterprise architecture
- Risk management
- Information security
The Government of Australia has a very well-crafted information management standard that could be applied to any organization, either public or private. The standard outlines eight principles for the management of business information:
- Business information is systematically governed
- Necessary business information is created
- Business information is adequately described
- Business information is suitably stored and preserved
- How long business information should be kept is known
- Business information is accountably destroyed or transferred
- Business information is saved in systems where it can be appropriately managed
- Business information is available for use and reuse
The graphic below, from K.L. Scott & Associates, provides a good summary of IM processes:
This graphic shows the business value of IM to an organization:
By Lidia Elsdon:
To kick off International Open Access Week, Dalhousie hosted a public lecture by Dr. John Willinksy on Monday, October 23, 2017, The Future of Open Access to Research and Scholarship: Lessons from the Medieval to the Early Modern Era. Dr. Willinsky, a Dalhousie alumnus, is the director of the Public Knowledge Project (PKP) which develops open source scholarly publishing material. Learn more about PKP here.
A video recording of the lecture can be viewed here.
What is open access?
Open access is the movement to make knowledge accessible to all. It is not about making musical albums, novels, or art free. At its core, its objective is to defend education. Dr. Willinksy’s goal is to make research freely accessible. “Access is a right that is endemic to the nature of learning,” he said during Monday’s lecture. According to Willinksky, roughly 45% of all scholarly literature that has been published in the last five years is openly accessible.
The issue of open access is inherently linked to copyright, intellectual property law, and trademark. Dr. Willinksy’s talk also explored relevant, modern day issues of open access such as the lawsuit against Sci-Hub, a website that pirated scientific journals, for copyright and trademark infringement.
Where did the concept of open access come from?
Dr. Willinksy’s lecture took us back to the early medieval period to delve into the history of open access and its inadvertent origins in the Benedictine Monasteries. The Benedictine Rule, created by Saint Benedict in 480 CE, created a type of learning that had nothing to do with ownership; the value of a work was in its use. Willinksky even holds that they had a working theory of intellectual property in these monasteries.
Dr. Willinksy’s upcoming book, The Intellectual Properties of Learning: A Prehistory from Saint Jerome to John Locke will be available January 2018.
SIM is sad to announce the passing of alumna Patricia Healey (MLIS ’89). Below is a copy of her obituary, which can also be found here.
Patti Healey passed away on September 23, 2017, in the Palliative Care Unit at Victoria General Hospital in Halifax, Nova Scotia, after a courageous battle with cancer.
Born on February 27, 1951, in Newton to Priscilla (Nagle) and Paul V. Healey, Patti grew up in Canton and went to Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, to study philosophy and education. There she met and married Tim Trask, her adoring husband of 43 years. Teaching school was her vocation, which she pursued in Chetwynd, British Columbia, and Sambro, Nova Scotia, but libraries were her passion. She earned her master’s in library science at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, concluding her career as the teacher/librarian at Prince Andrew High School in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
By Angela Reynolds, NSLA Promotions and Public Relations Convener
The 2017 joint Nova Scotia Library Association and Library Boards Association of Nova Scotia Conference – “Libraries 150: a celebration”– was hosted by the Annapolis Valley Regional Library and held September 29th-October 1st. Library staff and board members from across the province participated in professional development workshops and networking that inspired us to move forward, do better, and keep learning. Workshop subjects ranged from Library Advocacy to Puppet Storytime, Treaty Education to Coding, Summer Reading to Publishing Diverse Books, and everything in between.
Thanks to Libraries 150 funding from Communities, Culture, and Heritage, a public component was part of the conference. Readings and presentations by authors Ami McKay, Wade White, Jon Tattrie, and Lance Woolaver, as well as the One Book Nova Scotia winner Gloria Ann Wesley were open to the public by pre-registration. The Friday night reception with Ami McKay was bewitching to say the least, and the Saturday night screening of the movie Maudie (also open to the public) in the ABCC theatre was a highlight.
The conference offered 22 sessions with over 40 guest presenters to over 160 registrants. The 10 exhibitors, and our many conference sponsors helped make this an excellent professional development event. If you’d like to see some of the conference in action, visit our online photo gallery.
We were honoured to have Leo Glavine, Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage as guest speaker at the Saturday evening banquet. Awards were given to deserving recipients.
Faye MacDougall, Chief Librarian of Cape Breton Regional Library, received the Norman Horrocks award for library leadership; and Doug Vaisey (MLIS ’71), formerly a Trustee of the Halifax Regional Library Board, received the Library Boards Association of Nova Scotia Trustee Award.
Co-sponsored by Dalhousie Libraries, the School of Information Management and the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences. Part of International Open Access Week.
The Future of Open Access to Research and Scholarship: Lessons from the Medieval to the Early Modern Era
Monday, October 23rd, 2017
4:00pm *embedded in the class INFO 6840: Content Management Systems
Great Hall, University Club, 6259 Alumni Crescent (just off South Street)
Abstract: This talk will set the current state of open access in scholarly publishing within a larger history of access to learning that reaches back to the medieval period in the West. It will consider the role of the intellectual properties of learning played in the rise of both the university and modern copyright law. This history suggests a number of principles that might be kept in mind when considering today’s various initiatives for pursuing universal open access to research and scholarship, now that such access is being increasingly accepted as the longterm goal for scholarly publishing.
Biography: John Willinsky holds a PhD from Dalhousie University and is Khosla Family Professor of Education at Stanford University, as well as Professor (Part-Time) of Publishing Studies at Simon Fraser University. He directs the Public Knowledge Project, which develops open source scholarly publishing software and his forthcoming book is entitled The Intellectual Properties of Learning: A Prehistory from Saint Jerome to John Locke (University of Chicago Press).
The Information Management Public Lectures give attention to exciting advances in research and professional practice. The topics are diverse reflecting the importance and global extent of Information Management in today’s society. The lectures are open to all members of the Dalhousie campus and surrounding community. Click here for the full schedule. At this point, the plan is to record the lecture – details TBD.
On September 28th, 2017, SIM co-hosted a one-day symposium (with Dalhousie Libraries and Libary & Archives Canada) entitled “Right to Know: Balancing Access & Privacy“.
Three MLIS students presented their research at this event. Read more about their fascinating projects below:
As the Dalhousie University Archives intern, my research involved archival discovery and organization of information relating to Dalhousie’s 200th anniversary initiatives. This was done as part of the 2017 Co-lab project. First, we were responsible for creating biographical sketches and historical blurbs about people, buildings and events important to Dalhousie’s history as part of a digital exhibit launching this year. I am now in the process of putting those blurbs in our AtoM database as authority records, which allows users to see archival records about the topic, as well as relations linked to the topic. Next, we found information pertaining to Dalhousie’s faculties, including key dates, people, and relevant resources. These were organized in the History of Dalhousie Libguide for easier discovery. Finally, we worked on a social media calendar detailing an “on this day in…” fact for every day of 2018. Each fact will come with a digital object from the Archives, including photographs and posters. The goal of this research was to provide a pro-active, preventative approach to accessing archival materials. We want to ensure that our resources can be easily accessed and are well promoted ahead of the 200th anniversary
I shared some findings from my MLIS thesis research that explored how access to participation in a read aloud program affected the lives of families experiencing maternal incarceration. The Mother-Child Read Aloud Program is offered to federally incarcerated women at Nova Institution for Women in Truro, NS. At each session, women select books for their children and record themselves reading the stories aloud. The recordings and books are then sent to their families. During my research, I spoke with six program participants and read 94 letters written by their children and children’s caregivers. Analysis of those interviews and letters revealed important outcomes of participation: meaningful contact and stronger relationships; improved sense of self-worth, focus, and positive identity for women; increased self-esteem and confidence for children; deeper interest in reading; and strengthened resilience. Eager to place the experiences and perspectives of criminalized women at the foreground, I shared direct quotes from the research participants. From one mother, “I haven’t seen my son walk. I haven’t seen him talk. I have heard little tiny bits on the phone but not often… This program lets me maintain that relationship, help him to still know my voice, to tie a book and an audio recording to me and him together.”
Information is a concept that crosses various disciplines, so research on information related topics requires knowledge and skills that connect across them all. This presentation drew from my research experience and reflection this summer. With the support of Mitacs Globalink Research Award, I conducted research on information creation behaviour in Rennes, France. At the LACODAM team at Inria, I developed a communication model between data miners and domain users in order to increase the recognition and acceptance of interesting findings. From the research process, challenges, and benefits, I developed a new understanding of how to apply interdisciplinary information skills into research.
The SIM Alumni Association (SIMAA) hosted their annual Welcome Reception & Outstanding Alumni Award Presentation on Wednesday, September 27th in Room 3089, Kenneth C. Rowe Management Building. Attendees mingled, snacked on delicious hors d’oeuvres, and listened to remarks from Dr. Sandra Toze (SIM Director) and Sarah Horrocks (SIMAA Member-at-Large and MIM alumna).
The 2017 Outstanding Alumni Award winner, Heather Berringer, was unable to attend but sent a wonderful video greeting that provided useful advice to our new students. Her advice is actually very useful to anyone, regardless of where they are in their profession!
SIM is proud of the legacy of our programs, and the connection we continue to have with our alumni. This event is always a wonderful opportunity for SIM alumni, students, faculty and staff to catch up and network.
Special thanks to Shelley McKibbon (SIMAA Chair) and Marianne for their organization efforts. Thanks also to incoming MLIS student, Julie Timm, who was kind enough to take photos for us during the event. Cheers to all alumni and friends who joined us on Wednesday – we hope to see you again soon!