M.J. will receive his award and be speaking during Associated Alumni Reception for Students on Monday 30th September.
M.J. D’Elia (class of 2004) has long been recognized both for his leadership and his remarkable creativity and innovation in support of learners, libraries and the profession. His clear-thinking, passion, humour, and engaging approaches to persuasion make a material difference to types and levels of service, to the careers of others, and to the expansion of professional roles for librarians.
Please join us on 30th September to learn more about how entrepreneurial thinking, leadership and courage can transform organizations and professional lives.
“This year, the Faculty of Management created a new award to celebrate part-time instructors who exhibit educational leadership, innovation and sustained commitment to excellence in teaching and learning. The inaugural recipient is Lindsay McNiff.”
Click here for the rest of the article.
“Students come to Dalhousie’s School of Information Management (SIM) for many reasons: to become a librarian, an archivist, an information architect, a museum collections specialist or a data management expert. They have one thing in common: a passion for connecting people with information.
That’s why the school is changing the name of its MLIS (Master of Library and Information Studies) degree to the Master of Information.”
Click here for the full press release.
The Spring 2019 Faculty of Management convocation ceremony took place on Saturday, June 1st.
SIM extends congratulations to the 19 MLIS/MI students and the three MIM students who graduated this week. Your future is bright and you should be very proud of your accomplishments!
Special thanks also to our Award sponsors including APLA, CNSA, NSLA, SLA, the Vagianos and Harrison families and our alumni. And special congratulations to the 2019 convocation award winners (see full list below).
2019 SIM Convocation Award Winners
Anne Galler Award (Special Libraries Association, Eastern Canada Chapter): Kristy Hancock
Atlantic Provinces Library Association Award: Jillian Pulsifer
Council of Nova Scotia Archives Award: Emily Hines
MLIS Director’s Award: Rachel Fry & Jillian Pulsifer
MIM Director’s Award: Stephane Huppe, Wendy Gauthier, & Jianghong Zhang
Information Technology Leadership Award: Courtney Vienneau
Clement Harrison International Award: Yichao Liang
SIM Leadership Award: Amy LeMoine
Louis Vagianos Medal: Zara Pahlevani
Nova Scotia Library Association (NSLA) / SIM Graduate Award: Jennifer Hill
SIM Research Award (MLIS): Diana Castillo
SIM Research Award (MIM): Stephane Huppe
SIMSA Outstanding Service Award: Laura Little
Beta Phi Mu Candidates: Emma Craig, Rachel Fry, Jennifer Hill, Amy LeMoine, & Jillian Pulsifer
To all alumni: We consider you to be part of the SIM family and look forward to hearing about your successes and supporting you in your ongoing careers. Please continue to communicate with us via email, Facebook, Twitter (@dalsimnews), and this blog.
Open Data Contest
In conjunction with International Open Data Day, the first weekend in March this year saw the return of the Third Annual Open Data Competition to Dalhousie. Organized by the Province of Nova Scotia, the School of Information Management (SIM) and the Rowe School of Business, the event saw twenty-eight teams compete using Nova Scotia open data to create apps, models, visualizations, dashboards and more to address issues affecting Nova Scotia residents. The event was sponsored by the Government of Nova Scotia, Dalhousie Faculty of Management, ESRI, IBM and Socrata.
The weekend got off to a strong start bright and early Saturday morning as teams met with mentors and got started on their projects. SIM MLIS student and competition participant Dan Phillips noted, “it was difficult to decide which was the most effective use of our time: crunching numbers and writing code, or chatting with mentors as we wrestled with our problem.” By early afternoon on Sunday the Rowe building was buzzing with energy as teams prepared to present their work.
Judges Sandra Cascadden (Associate Deputy Minister and CIO, Internal Services), Stephen Greene (Development Practice Leader, Halifax CIC, IBM), Thozamile Javu (PNS Innovation Garage Manager, IBM Services) and Brit Perry (Account Manager, Tyler Technologies Inc.) had their work cut out for them, as team numbers jumped from twenty-four on Saturday up to twenty-eight total by Sunday. Pressure was on, with a tight schedule and a strict two-minute cap on presentations, but teams rose to the challenge and presented a rich variety of creative and innovative solutions using the tools and data at hand.
After an exciting slew of presentations, it was time for lengthy deliberations. Om Agarwal took home first prize under his team name Prognomatrix after wowing judges with an AI tool that used deep/machine learning algorithms and frameworks to diagnose breast and skin cancer with impressive accuracy. Second prize went to Yingda Guo and Matt Richard, a.k.a. Data Boys, whose work focused on a web app aimed at predicting seasonal disease prevalence. Team 3, made up of Fasuyi Morounkeji, Sadman Hoque Sadi, Sarbottam Thapa, took third prize for their work on an app geared toward reducing food wastage and food insecurity in the province by notifying foodbanks of food surpluses nearby. The People’s Choice, as voted by contest participants, went to Tina Roberts-Jeffers (a.k.a Take 2) and her app called On Second Thought which was designed to enhance tourism in Nova Scotia by giving both visitors and residents new ideas about ways to explore the province.
Closing remarks made by Minister of Internal Services Patricia Arab lauded the creativity and problem-solving skills of participants as well as the power of open data. The Nova Scotia open data portal has been active since 2016, and these teams demonstrated what kind of original and exciting solutions can be created from simple datasets when motivated and thoughtful minds are brought together. Dan Phillips (current MLIS student) echoed these sentiments, saying, “there’s a lot of interesting stuff in the NS Open Data repository – and it’s not just there on the competition weekend. I’m already digging around for interesting datasets to use next year.” Issues ranging from public health and pollution to immigration and tourism were all addressed.
The power of information is a central value for SIM, and the results of the Open Data Competition further illustrate the vital nature of inspiring young professionals to recognize the possibilities for public good when skills, tools, data and passion are combined. SIM Director Sandra Toze would also like to add a final thanks to all the mentors from the Faculty of Management, Dalhousie Libraries and across the University who helped make this an excellent event.
For more information and to RSVP please visit the Eventbrite.
The Province of Nova Scotia is teaming with the School of Information Management and the Rowe School of Business (Dalhousie Faculty of Management) to host its third annual Open Data Contest on March 2 – 3, 2019 in conjunction with International Open Data Day. The contest will take place from 8:30 AM Saturday, March 2nd until approximately 2:15 PM Sunday, March 3rd. Teams will then present their solutions and awards will be made. There will be cash prizes (including a $4000 top prize) for winning submissions.
Students, entrepreneurs and citizens – are being challenged to create one of the following:
- An application (web / mobile / desktop) that is innovative, easy-to-use, and beneficial to a broad range of stakeholders. The app must use at least one dataset from the Nova Scotia Open Data portal.
- A visualization that is compelling, creative, informative, and easy to understand. Submissions should clearly articulate the value of the analysis, and what specific objective it achieves. Submissions should draw on multiple datasets that must include at least one dataset from the Nova Scotia Open Data Portal.
- A predictive model that generates interesting, informative and useful models based on relative data sets including those from Nova Scotia Open Source Data, at least one of which will be from the Nova Scotia Open Data Portal.
- Any other innovative solution that demonstrates the value of open data. The solution must use at least one dataset from the Nova Scotia Open Data Portal
Some of Nova Scotia’s priorities may help to inspire you – Healthy People and Communities, Investing in Early Years and Education, Safe and Connected Communities, and Inclusive Economic Growth – but feel free to explore other possibilities!
Your submission will be judged on criteria including:
- Value proposition (to citizens, business, or government)
- Feasibility and usefulness
- Creativity and innovation
- Ease of use and esthetics
Participants may register as an individual (to work alone or become part of a team) or as a team (max of 5 team members allowed). All team members must register individually. Breakfast and lunch will be provided both days (please specify any dietary preferences or allergies when registering).
Thank you to our sponsors:
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. We encourage you to attend in person, but if that is not possible you can access a recording on our website following the lecture. Live streaming is not currently available.
Scientists Talking to the Public: A One-Way Conversation? Exploring Engagement Strategies in Science Communication (Alexander Desiré-Tesar & Curtis Martin)
Alexander Desiré-Tesar & Curtis Martin
Monday, February 4th, 2019
Room 1014, Kenneth C. Rowe
6100 University Ave
Scientists have been communicators as long as there has been discoveries about the world around us and the universe beyond. Today, scientific research can be instrumental in helping to resolve major issues locally and globally. Seeking solutions to these problems is the responsibility of everyone: the public, governments, as well as researchers. Thus, communication about research is essential. How well is the communication working? This lecture features two presenters who will speak about their recent studies that investigated scientific communication from the perspectives of scientists and the strategies individual and environmental non-governmental organizations used to engage the public in discussion about science through social media platforms. This lecture will be of interest to all members of the academy, public policy professionals, and the public.
Alexander Desiré-Tesar – “Rules of engagement: How and why are ocean and aquatic researchers communicating with the public”
In marine-management contexts, public engagement is increasingly being incorporated into the decision-making process. As governments devolve more responsibility for the management of marine space and resources, and ocean and coastal spaces become increasingly contested, it is more important than ever to establish effective communication between scientists and the public. However, the extent to which scientists embrace their role as communicators varies, as do the channels and methods of engagement they pursue. Scientists have historically relied on a “deficit model” of communication, which holds scientists and scientific information in a privileged position relative to the public. The public engagement with science field has repeatedly criticized this model, citing its repeated failures to improve science literacy or enhance support for science. Rather, they argue that scientists must engage with the public by becoming more open and responding to their interests and concerns. This study focuses on researchers affiliated with the Ocean Tracking Network (OTN), a global acoustic-telemetry network that collects data on aquatic animals for the purposes of informing management. Through surveys and interviews, data was collected to help understand the factors that encourage or discourage ocean and aquatic researchers from engaging with the public. The findings suggest that participants had a very positive view of “engagement” as a whole but differed in their interpretation of what engaging with the public entailed. Many participants also reported frequent contact with the public and media but little formal communications training.
Curtis Martin – “’It Feels Like Engaging With a Friend’: Using Interpersonal Communication Strategies to Encourage Science Conversations with Lay Audiences on Social Media”
Citizens are increasingly being asked to participate in policy-making processes, and with the internet now a primary source of information, it is critical that policy-relevant research is communicated effectively online to equip lay people with the information they require to participate in decisions. Social media have the potential to facilitate two-way conversations needed for effective science communication; however, research communicators often struggle to reach lay audiences on these media. In this research project, the Twitter and Instagram activity of four individual scientists acting as recognized science communicators in North America and Europe was compared with the activity of three marine-focused non-governmental organizations (NGOs) (local, national, and international), paying particular attention to strategies that encourage audience engagement in two-way conversations. The study includes: 1) an analysis of public Twitter and Instagram data of each of the seven communicators to identify the social media strategies that are used and the resulting engagement in two-way conversations; 2) interviews with the individual and NGO communicators to determine their social media strategies; 3) a survey of audience members involved in two-way conversations to determine why they choose to participate in dialogues on social media, and 4) an audience “biography” analysis to determine whether communicators are engaging a non- scientific audience. The results of this study show that communication strategies have an important effect on social media engagement. More specifically, the evidence shows that a combination of interpersonal communication strategies, and how they are integrated throughout the social media activity of communicators via platform affordances, especially in Instagram, can have an important effect on the level of lay user engagement in two-way conversations over time. Further application of the interpersonal communication strategies could promote greater public engagement with science, including involvement with critical marine management issues that exist at the science- policy interface.
Alexander Desiré-Tesar is a former editor at The Walrus magazine. As a journalist, he developed an interest in science communication and the oceans, which then became the focus of his graduate research at Dalhousie University as part of the Master of Marine Management program. While pursuing an internship at the Ocean Tracking Network, a Dalhousie-headquartered network of ocean researchers, he surveyed scientists about their perspectives on the media, communications, and the general public. Alex has since returned to writing and editing stories, and can now talk about the ocean from a very modest position of authority.
Curtis Martin recently completed the Master of Marine Management program at Dalhousie University. He moved from an emphasis on natural sciences and oceanography during his BSc studies at the University of Victoria, to embrace interdisciplinary interests in research on marine management and science communication. Curtis completed two internships during his studies for the Master of Marine Management—one with the Environmental Information: Use and Influence (EIUI) research program under the supervision of Dr. Bertrum MacDonald, and the second with the MEOPAR (Marine Environmental Observation, Prediction, and Response) Network. Curtis is now focused on promoting innovative and effective approaches to science communication with the public, in part, motivated by the results of his graduate research, which explored science communication on social media.
By Shania Taylor
On October 23, Jacob Ericson (Legal Information Specialist), Craig Olsvik (Senior Content and Licensing Officer), David McDonald (Legislative Librarian), and Melissa Helwig (Health Librarian) joined students and faculty to have a panel discussion on special libraries.
Students were able to ask the professionals questions and get an idea of what they can do with their degrees beyond traditional library careers. A prominent theme that arose throughout the talk was the unpredictability of life after graduation. Every one of the panelists indicated that their current jobs were not where they thought they were going to end up when they started their degrees, and how important it is for students to take any opportunities offered to them. They also unanimously emphasized the importance of being able to demonstrate leadership and teamwork skills to employers, as those will be what sets them apart from every other MLIS graduate hoping to earn the same job. Being active in extracurricular activities within and outside the program can look very good on a resume.
The hardest part of working in information management is dealing with people, the panelists agreed. Although they all brought up different aspects of it, it all came back to communicating with others and the challenges that come with that. Their suggestions for dealing with this problem were varied, but ultimately came back to the same concept – treat others as you would like to be treated. Be friendly, be respectful, and try to see things from others’ perspectives, but also retain strong personal and professional boundaries and become comfortable with saying “no” when it is warranted. All together, the event was fun and informative, and more than worth any MLIS student’s time.