Attending the ARMA NCR Fall IM Days (Ottawa) next month? Don’t miss the keynote address from SIM Associate Professor, Dr. Mike Smit. The talk takes place Thursday, November 15th, 2018 from 9:30-10:30am. There is a workshop sale happening this week only, so perhaps a good time to register!
The SIM Alumni Association (SIMAA) hosted their annual Welcome Reception & Outstanding Alumni Award Presentation on Monday, September 24th in Room 3089, Kenneth C. Rowe Management Building. Attendees mingled, snacked on delicious hors d’oeuvres, and listened to remarks from SIMAA Chair David McDonald (MLIS ’99), SIM Associate Professor Vivian Howard (MLIS ’95), and SIM Director Sandra Toze. Sandra distributed gifts to alumni celebrating anniversaries (from 5 to 38 years!) on behalf of Marianne Hagen (Alumni Officer, Faculty of Management).
The 2018 Outstanding Alumni Award was presented to Dr. Fiona Black. Dr. Black shared some special career memories and gave incoming students some tips for “a joyous life as an information professional”. Those tips are: 1. Aim for excellence, and help others to join you, 2. Be inclusive, walk the walk, and make the right things happen, and 3. turn a potential whine on its head, think constructively about a resolution – all important tips for everyone to keep in mind! Dr. Black also gave special thanks to her colleagues in SIM, Dr. Bertrum MacDonald (who kickstarted her life as an academic) and to her MLIS and MIM students throughout the years.
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.
Cheers to all alumni and friends who joined us on September 24th – we hope to see you again soon!
(Perhaps during our 50th anniversary celebrations?!)
The School of Information Management is pleased to announce that Master of Library and Information Studies student, Rachel Fry, has been selected as the sixth recipient of the Dalhousie-Horrocks National Leadership Fund.
This Fund was established in 2007 to honour Dr. Norman Horrocks, OC, PhD, FCLIP (1927-2010) for his outstanding leadership in the field of librarianship in North America, Australia, and Europe. Over several decades Dr. Horrocks, former Director of the School of Information Management and Dean of the Faculty of Management at Dalhousie University, pursued a distinguished career of very active involvement in professional associations in the United Kingdom, Cyprus, Australia, the United States, and Canada. His many contributions, for which he received local, national and international recognition, have advanced the field and the careers of countless individuals. The fund supports a scholarship and an associated lecture series through an endowment donated by the many former students, colleagues, friends and admirers of Norman Horrocks.
Rachel Fry is a second year Master of Library and Information Studies student originally from Janetville, Ontario. Rachel grew up on her family’s cattle farm, and her interest in libraries was sparked at the age of fourteen when she began her first job at her local public library.
Rachel attended Trent University and graduated on the President’s Honour Roll as a joint major in Sociology and Gender and Women’s Studies. After graduating, she relocated to Halifax to pursue her Master of Arts in Women and Gender Studies at Saint Mary’s University. Her thesis, called “Craftivism: The role of feminism in craft activism,” focused on how themes of activism are represented in modern craft. While at SMU, she received a Social Science and Humanities Research Council Scholarship, a Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research Fellowship, as well as a Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research Award.
In 2014, Rachel began working for Halifax Public Libraries where she has filled a variety of roles. Currently, Rachel works as a Circulation Lead Hand at Halifax Central Library, and holds a position as a Library Assistant 3 at Alderney Gate Library from which she is currently on educational leave. She also acts as a Student Assistant for the School of Information Management.
Rachel has a passion for learning and a wide variety of interests including public and academic librarianship, special librarianship and records management. Outside of work and academics, Rachel has a passion for music, animals, and loves living close to the ocean.
Many of our MLIS students complete internships with Dalhousie Libraries during their studies. Internships are just one of the work-integrated learning opportunities available to students in our MLIS program.
Courtney Vienneau, Kristy Hancock, Emily Hines, Brian Jenkins, Scarlett Kelly, Laura Little, and Becky Shaw all completed internships at Dalhousie Libraries this year. Click on each name to read their profile, and learn more about why they came to the MLIS program, and what projects they worked on at their respective libraries. Their stories illustrate the breadth of experiences available in our program and the field.
Special thanks to Dalhousie Libraries for their continued support of our students!
Dr. Sandra Toze (SIM Director and Assistant Professor) was recently interviewed by Librarianship.ca about her career path, research and the ever-evolving nature of the information professions. A great read to kick off a new academic year!
I am originally from Ancaster, Ontario. I graduated from Queen’s University with a BAH in History and Politics. My first real job was in a special library in a brokerage firm. My love of this profession grew from there. I complete my MLIS at the University of Toronto and worked in the Financial Services industry as a Director of Information Services for many years. I joined the School of Information Management at Dalhousie in 2003 and completed by PhD while working as a Lecturer. I became Director of the school in 2015.
What are your research and teaching interests?
My entire career has involved examining the evolving relationship between information and information services, people, technology and work. I am motivated to understand the possibilities and risks inherent in the increased impact of technology, and the need for reflection on unintended consequences.
I have centred my research around three evolving and interconnected strands:
- the collaborative information and data processes of groups;
- the shift to digital governance; and
- user specific, social, and mobile information interactions.
These areas of research are interdisciplinary and integrate research from knowledge management, collaboration, organizational learning, sociology, information seeking, and computer supported co-operative work.
Similarly, I have focused my teaching in the areas of knowledge management, human information interaction, information and research services, collaboration, and management without borders.
What advice would you give to a new faculty or staff member?
This field is interdisciplinary by nature, and very much expanding and affected by technology. Find areas that connect with your interests and your past experiences. I also love that people in our field are so collaborative. There are so many opportunities to work with our associations and other disciplines.
Coolest thing in your office?
As Director I have a corner office, so can see across to our Arts Centre, as well as to the Student Union Building, and up the street to the iconic Henry Hicks building.
I also have a beautiful table cloth from Iran, a fan from Spain, and rocks from the beach near our farmhouse in Malagash Nova Scotia.
If you didn’t teach librarianship, what would you be doing?
Probably being a librarian! I love working with people and researching.
What changes have you seen in the teaching of librarianship since you started teaching?
Especially in terms of research/reference services, the impact of Google and internet has affected our roles.
I am excited by the expansion of what our academic and public libraries do. The need to design and create user centred information and data services has also expanded. These are now becoming core skills.
What do you think is the most important aspect of being an information professional today?
Beyond knowing the core aspects of our profession, adaptability is key. You can connect our skills across all industries. With the growing impact of AI, machine learning, and issues such as fake news, the importance of the values and ethics of our profession are increasingly important.
How do you stay current in your field?
I love to attend conferences, and a wide range of conferences from academic to professional. I read as much as I can, follow experts, and have alerts on topics of interest to me.
What emerging topics do you foresee in the future of LIS research?
In many ways I see us continuing to study what we always have, but in new contexts. Information and data are really the key elements of most organizations, and the consideration of this is increasingly important.
Dalhousie University’s School of Information Management (SIM) Alumni Association is pleased to recognize Dr. Fiona Black of Dalhousie University with the 2018 Outstanding Alumni Award. This annual award honours a member who has made an outstanding contribution to Library and Information Management.
Dr. Black graduated with her MLIS from Dalhousie in 1993. Subsequently, she completed her PhD at Loughborough University in the UK, graduating in 1999. After two years as an International Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of South Florida she returned to Dalhousie as a tenure stream faculty member in SIM. She was appointed Director of the School in 2003, a position she held until 2010. During her tenure as School Director, Dr. Black led the School through a period of growth and change. Most significantly, Dr. Black championed the development of a mid-career blended learning graduate degree, the Master of Information Management (MIM), which has been a significant factor in SIM’s increased national profile.
From 2008 to 2010, Dr. Black was also Associate Dean External Programs for the Faculty of Management, and in 2012 she became Associate Dean Research for the Faculty. In 2013, her leadership and administrative talents were recognized by the President and Provost, and she was appointed Associate Vice President, Academic, and became a vital member of Dalhousie University’s senior administrative team.
Dr Black’s research has consistently involved two distinct threads: the history of print culture, for which she was awarded several team and individual research awards by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada; and, professional issues for librarians and other information professionals. With both of these threads, Dr Black speaks of her joy in working with, and learning from, many superb graduate research assistants and thesis students.
In addition to her demanding role at Dalhousie, Dr. Black has been an active contributor to professional associations, including service to the accreditation arm of ALA. Prior to her career as an academic, Dr. Black was a reference librarian at Regina Public Library, specializing in business and in Prairie History. She often credits this experience with developing her service-oriented approach to collaboration, her patience, and her sense of humour when dealing with challenging circumstances.
In the words of one of her supporters, “Fiona is a gifted instructor who is able to empower students to achieve high academic standards, while at the same time imbuing them with a strong appreciation of the importance of professional competencies for the variety of career paths that the information management field offers.”
Many of her nominators and supporters spoke of Dr. Black’s “generosity with time and advice, even when busy with her administrative duties for the university,” and remembered how she inspired them with her trademark statement, “information managers are going to take over the world.”
SIMAA invites you to join us in congratulating Fiona on her award at the SIMAA Welcome Reception on September 24th, 2018 at the Kenneth C. Rowe Management Building, Rm 3087/3089. An invitation with RSVP will follow.
Congrats to Laura (MLIS ’19) from everyone at SIM! More information about SIM’s awards and scholarships can be found here.
When Stephanie Downs returned to Canada from the UK to become a librarian, she chose to enter the MLIS program at Dalhousie for its sense of community, welcoming faculty and Maritime culture. Diagnosed with cervical cancer at the end of her last year at SIM, Stephanie graduated with her MLIS but lost her hard-fought battle to her illness on May 27th, 2007.
Remembered for her enthusiasm, Stephanie was a “doer” and very active in school life, serving as 2005-2006 Co-Chair of SIMSA and SIM Team Captain for the 2005 Halifax “Run for the Cure”. She was also awarded the Student-to-CLA travel award to attend the 2005 CLA Conference in Calgary. This award was established by Stephanie’s family and friends in her memory.
Originally from Moncton, N.B., Laura Little is an energetic and passionate information professional aiming to complete her MLIS at Dalhousie’s School of Information Management by June 2019. After completing her undergraduate studies at Dalhousie with a unique combined Bachelor of Science degree with Honours in Biology and the History of Science & Technology, she was bound for a dynamic career.
She began working at the University of King’s College Library and Archives during her undergraduate studies, then moved to Toronto and worked in corporate records management, and part time at the public library in a diverse west-end neighborhood. All the while, she volunteered with a variety of groups including the Canadian Lesbian & Gay Archives and The Ryerson Star Spot Podcast. Inspired by the diversity of cultures and languages in Toronto, she moved to Madrid to teach English and learn Spanish. She fell in love with teaching, and continues to do so as a Teaching Assistant for Professional Communication Skills, and throughout the course of her University Teaching Certificate at Dalhousie.
As a Dalhousie Libraries intern, she excels at programming, designing educational resources and providing reference and research assistance. She hopes to encourage and inspire students to reach their full potential. She’s continued her extracurricular enthusiasm as the Information Without Borders Programming Co-Chair. She is passionate about good communication while building and maintaining relationships. She considers herself an interactional learner, and loves playing basketball and climbing with her classmates. If you see her hustling around campus, she’ll give you a huge smile and talk your ear off.
Did you know that SIM is turning 50 in 2019? This is a time of reflection and celebration. We invite you to accompany us on the journey by following this blog, our website, and the #SIM50 hashtag on Facebook and Twitter.
Re-posted from CEGE Connection (the Centre for Executive & Graduate Education blog):
CEGE Connection reached out to Dr. Bertrum MacDonald, Professor, School of Information Management, to share his thoughts on reaching the 50th year mark, given the ever-increasing influence of information management within our society.
Thank you for opportunity to share my thoughts on the evolution of information management. Indeed, we are experiencing exponential leaps in how information is applied within our daily interactions. I agree that INFORM provides invaluable information on current research that is being conducted by Dalhousie.
I have been a faculty member in the School of Information Management for many years – more than half of the 50 that the School will celebrate in 2019! During this period, I have served as Director of the School, then Associate Dean (Research) in the wider Faculty of Management, and recently for a short term as Interim Dean of the Faculty. I have taught courses in the Master of Information Management since it was launched in 2008, beginning with the first course offered in the program: Information, People, and Society.
I head the interdisciplinary Environmental Information: Use and Influence research program (EIUI), based in the School of Information Management. My primary research area focuses on questions about information use and influence in marine management and policy development. The goal is to advance understanding of the many pathways of information (scientific, social science, and local) at the science-policy interface in marine environment contexts.
I look forward to joining the CEGE Conversation and highlighting the strength of the School of Information Management programs. The need to increase literacy in information management has reached a critical juncture.
We have come a far distance in 50 years. We have a solid foundation upon which to build for the future.
Dr. Bertrum MacDonald