Creighton Barrett – SIM alumnus (MLIS ’11), instructor and Digital Archivist at Dalhousie University – recently stopped by CBC Radio to discuss ways librarians like him are using police forensic techniques to solve the mystery of data storage in the 21st century.
SIM alumna, Hannah Steeves (MLIS ’16) will be presenting at the 2017 CALL (Canadian Association of Law Libraries) Conference in Ottawa, May 6-11th.
Her lightning talk, Lawyers, Gymnasts, and Researchers: Using a Flipped Classroom to Teach LRW, discusses the current landscape of how legal research is taught to law students across Canada and how a flipped classroom approach can add value to their education and simultaneously improve soft skills. From Hannah: “The poster below, Canadian Legal Information Professionals’ Information Activities: What do they do and how to they tweet?, outlines a research paper completed during my time at SIM as a student on a topic that continues to interest me today. I am grateful for the opportunity to present these items and thank those at SIM for getting me started.”
Re-blogged from CFAME Connection:
“To be engaged, today’s citizen needs to be able to tease out fact from fiction. Notably, it is not just about obtaining information and being able to cite the sources of one’s ideas but being able to digest information, think critically, and participate in dialogue among others with different perspectives.”
Dr. Joyline Makani
The Merriam Webster on-line dictionary defines “research” as a studious inquiry or examination; especially: investigation or experimentation aimed at the discovery and interpretation of facts, revision of accepted theories or laws in the light of new facts, or practical application of such new or revised theories or laws. Given the solemnity of that definition, we rarely recognize that we engage in “important” research daily, whether we are buying shoes, planning a trip, or considering food choices. In the end, we are what we research.
Is research for everyone? Or just academics? For answers, CFAME Connection reached out to Dr. Joyline Makani, the Management Librarian (Dalhousie Libraries) and Adjunct professor (Faculty of Graduate Studies) at Dalhousie University. Dr. Makani shares insight into why research is essential in a world that revolves around complexity and change. Join us as we begin a theme dialogue on the importance of research.
Dr. Joyline Makani:
Research is for everyone and is very necessary in the world today. Thanks to advances in information technology, we are witnessing an increasingly complex online information landscape with blurred lines between information consumers and information creators or producers.
Simply stated, anyone with a computer and access to the Internet can put anything they want onto the Internet. To heighten the complexity, there is no one, in most cases, evaluating or approving Internet content before it is made public. Thus, this type of landscape presents everyone with the challenge to develop and harness basic research skills in-order to successfully maneuver, gather and understand information and not just wait for academics to verify the truth.
In other words, analyzing information, and not just collecting it, is paramount in today’s world dominated by “fake news and alternative facts”. Each one of us engages in research daily, whether we are buying shoes, planning a trip, or considering food choices. In the end, we are what we research. As academics have long argued, research helps to shape our society.
More important, building a solid research skill set is increasingly becoming necessary for civic life, i.e., the ability to gather data and information, examine multiple perspectives and re-evaluate prior beliefs is the foundation for responsible and community-minded citizens. To be engaged, today’s citizen needs to be able to tease out fact from fiction. Notably, it is not just about obtaining information and being able to cite the sources of one’s ideas but being able to digest information, think critically, and participate in dialogue among others with different perspectives.
Research takes courage because we challenge ourselves to look beyond the obvious. It is human nature to feel comfortable with what we know or what we believe in. It takes courage to question our beliefs/biases and pay more attention rather than ignore information that does not confirm our beliefs – this is what research entails – requires checking your biases, following and interrogating the evidence where ever it leads you.
Did you know that Dalhousie Libraries has a collection of quick and easy online video tutorials online that explain how to use various library services? These instructional videos cover many different topics relating to research and many are less than 2 minutes long. Many of our MLIS students have assisted with producing these videos, including two recent additions:
- Basic searching in the Archives Catalogue – https://vimeo.com/210436014
- Using the clipboard in the Archives Catalogue – https://vimeo.com/210436216
These particular videos were produced by Learning & Instruction Librarian [and SIM instructor] Lindsay McNiff, Archives Assistant Jennifer Lambert, and Killam Memorial Library Student Intern [and MLIS student] Jacob Ericson. In addition to the links above, the videos are also embedded in the Guide to Archival Research: http://dal.ca.libguides.com/archivalresearch
We are proud of the work of all MLIS student interns, and encourage everyone to utilize these excellent resources!
EVALUATION AT UNICEF: BRINGING THE INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE TO THE LOCAL SETTING
This workshop is sponsored by Dalhousie’s Master in Information Management Program (MIM) and the Nova Scotia Chapter of the Canadian Evaluation Society (CESNS).
This interactive workshop will provide the opportunity to examine the influence of international evaluation demands and practice on our local work. There will be a panel of local evaluators who will comment on the applicability of international evaluation to the local setting.
The workshop will explore the following topics:
- UNICEF and its relationship with the UN
- Evaluation requirements and use in decision making at UNICEF
- UNICEF evaluation examples
- Discussion of evaluation in local and international settings
- Data mining and visualization
The Presenter – Raed Abdel Sater
Raed Abdel Sater is the information manager for the UNICEF Lebanon office. Since 2012, he worked in different emergency operations for UN agencies intervening in the middle east and supporting planning, implementation and management of monitoring and evaluation systems.
Before joining UNICEF in 2014, Raed served as Data manager in the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Lebanon supporting national and international research and intervention access programs.
Raed is a MIS specialist with extensive experience in design and management of research, monitoring and evaluation, capacity building on evaluation methodologies; promotion of a culture of information use and utilization of information for evidence-based decision-making.
Raed is a student in the Masters in Management Information Program at Dalhousie. He is studying on-line from Lebanon.
Starts: Friday April 7, 2017 – 09:00 AM
Ends: Friday April 7, 2017 – 12:30 PM
Location: Room 3089, Kenneth C. Rowe Management Building, 6100 University Ave., Halifax
Additional Information: Register by April 5, 2017: https://cesns.ca/store/evaluationunicef.html
The workshop is provided free of charge by CESNS and the MIM Program at Dalhousie.
Light refreshments will be provided.
For questions, contact Dorian Watts at email@example.com
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.
Monday, March 6th, 2017
Room 1016, Kenneth C. Rowe Management Building
6100 University Avenue
*embedded in the class INFO 6540: Data Management
Abstract: This presentation will begin with a review of what has brought libraries to this point in serials acquisition history and how the current state of things affects serials collection management decisions. This will be followed by an overview of the current state of affairs in serials management at Trent University and a description of the use of citation analysis, along with other tools, in the aid of making better informed decisions about serials management.
Biography: Ken has worked at Trent University for the past 28 years occupying roles as a serials cataloguer, serials librarian, access services librarian, and is currently the head of Trent’s first branch library on its Durham Campus in Oshawa, Ontario, and the University’s Copyright Officer. He obtained a BMusEd from Dalhousie in 1980, a Master of Library and Information Science from UBC in 1984, and a Graduate Professional Certificate in Library Sector Leadership from the University of Victoria in 2011.In addition to his work in the Library, he was Principal of Lady Eaton College, one of Trent’s five residential colleges, from 1996 to 2000, and was Acting Head of the Durham Campus in 2012/13.
During his sabbatical year, he will be undertaking a citation analysis of publications of Trent Humanities and Social Sciences faculty for a 2 or 3 year period in order to gain a better understanding of the types and sources of the resources that faculty have been using in their research. The goal is to provide the Library with a better sense of whether the resources it collects and makes accessible are meeting the research needs of the faculty. He will also continue to actively monitor developments in copyright, both nationally and internationally, and provide advice and guidance to the Trent University community on how any changes may effect the application of copyright law to community practices.
By Ryan Whalen (SIM Assistant Professor):
I recently wrote a short piece for Policy Options magazine about the state of innovation data in Canada. The Federal Government has stressed the importance of Canadian innovation, the merits of evidence-based policymaking, and the value of open data. Unfortunately, these professed ideals seem to be lost in translation when it comes to the formulation of innovation data policy.
Unfortunately, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) insists on securing its data behind a paywall, and requiring researchers to sign restrictive non-disclosure agreements if they wish to have bulk data access. This fee-for-data policy leads to a variety of inefficiencies for Canadian R&D and research on Canadian innovation.
I submitted access to information requests to determine just how much money CIPO was bringing in by insisting on charging for this data. Doing so revealed that in recent years CIPO has grossed about $24,000 per year by selling patent data. In the context of an organization with a $150 million budget, the few thousand dollars made by selling Canadian innovation data back to the public (its rightful owners) is negligible.
Instead of walling-off its data, CIPO should open it to all by providing access to bulk data in the same way that the USPTO—its American peer—does. Doing so would entail a marginal cost for CIPO, while offering great benefits to Canadian innovation, and innovation policymaking.
In this article, Andy Molinsky, a professor at the Brandeis International Business School, discusses the importance of personal resilience. Resilience is generally defined as the the like
- We’re more flexible than we give ourselves credit for.
- We’re braver than we think.
- The situation we’re worried about probably isn’t as bad as we think.
- We have more resources than we think.
Molinksy adds: Don’t underestimate how flexible, brave, and capable you actually are. Give it a go, and chances are, you’ll probably end up surprising yourself.
By Monique Woroniak: Recently, I had the privilege – in every sense of that word – to deliver the Dalhousie-Horrocks National Leadership Lecture for the School of Information Management. Titled “Beyond Colonialism? Libraries for a Canada We Don’t Yet Know”. I tried to address what I have been taught are some necessary steps and approaches for beginning to re-set relationships with Indigenous individuals, communities and governments.
I want to share that I feel I am still somewhere at the beginning of my own journey with respect to this work. I want to continue to become a more informed and useful person when it comes to supporting Indigenous peoples in achieving the goals and the change they seek. This truly is long haul work and I am mindful of the need to always be learning. When I said “to never stop” in my lecture, I meant it. I hope that if I am called on to give a similar talk in the future it will contain some new knowledge and practices. I will be concerned if it doesn’t.
Along that vein, it was correctly asserted during the question period that I and others like me need to do more to “walk our talk”. Specifically, it was suggested that a lecture like this one should have shared space with an Indigenous voice from the library community – an Indigenous voice beyond the valued words shared by the Elder present. I feel that audience member was entirely correct and I am grateful to them for raising the point and for the conversation we had afterward. It was another lesson for me about intention versus outcome – more on that below.
But everyone has to start somewhere. Whether it is as a (non-Indigenous) individual community member, library worker, library system or other organization, I encourage people to begin. Engage with Indigenous peoples’ accounts of the history and current-day realities of this country and, in particular, of the community where you live. Read or listen to what they have to say about what they want and need from non-Indigenous individuals and communities. Remember this work is far less about intention than it is about outcome. Pay attention to the oppressive cycles and ways of relating that your actions may replicate. Become knowledgeable about power and privilege – who has it, who doesn’t – and how they are reproduced with almost no effort.
Look for ways to break those cycles. If you can’t always see them, be open to them being pointed out.
Librarians are concerned with providing access to the widest range of information possible and to helping people navigate that range and evaluate what it is they find. When we are at our best, we help dissolve ignorance and we model continuous learning.
Non-Indigenous people in Canada need access to the best – read: the most authentic – information about Indigenous peoples available. It is our responsibility as librarians to centre Indigenous voices (knowing that this often means simply getting out of the way or removing barriers) through collections, programming and hiring practices. We also have an obligation to provide support to Indigenous libraries/community knowledge centres and workers on their own terms. The Indigenous library and cultural memory workers I have interacted with have been among the most inspiring and instructive voices I’ve learned from.
The knowledge that is acquired through centring Indigenous voices and working in relationship with Indigenous individuals and communities should then be something we also share with the public. Communities across this country are in great need of examples of how to responsibly take direction from Indigenous peoples and grow relationships based in solidarity and justice. If we choose, we can be that example.
With respect and much love,
Winnipeg Public Library
Treaty 1 Territory and the homeland of the Red River Métis
Students and other members of the library and information management community sometimes ask me what I’m reading or listening to. A short list of books and writers was circulated at the lecture and can be found here. This page from groundworkforchange.org contains a list of websites, including those that host podcasts, I and many others return to again and again. Additional print sources can be found on the site here. Read SIM’s recap of the Horrocks lecture here.
Monique Woroniak, a graduate of the Dalhousie Master of Library and Information Studies program and this year’s Horrocks Leadership lecturer, gave a talk on January 23rd entitled ‘Beyond Colonialism—Libraries for a Canada We Don’t Yet Know’ (view the recorded lecture here). The lecture focused on the need for Canada as a whole, and libraries as an institution, to acknowledge colonial history. “The colonial past is present,” Woroniak reminded us, and it is vital to remember this in order to move forward.
Through her own experience with Indigenous communities, Woroniak described the need to build meaningful relationships between non-Indigenous and Indigenous peoples. Relationships take work, she emphasized, but they are vital to engaging with history and creating a future where power is shared rather than taken.
The colonial project has been, and remains, about attempting to disappear Indigenous peoples. And it is the responsibility of everyone – including libraries – to work against this disappearing, to ask at each step: “Where is the Indigenous knowledge? Where are the Indigenous voices? Where are the Indigenous bodies?”
Woroniak affirmed that a great place for this work to occur was in fact in libraries. Libraries support learning and making connections; these must be discussed in terms of learning about Indigenous peoples and about creating solidarity-based connections in their communities. There is work to be done, but if libraries succeed in these ventures, Woroniak suggests that in time they will have a new collection to take care of and to share, one which describes “the path they chose to walk.”