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 free of charge and open to all, unless otherwise stated.
Vulnerabilities exposed and the opportunity to respond: Reflections on public libraries in the time of COVID-19
Tuesday, October 6th, 2020
Microsoft Teams (click link at above date/time to join)
Abstract: When COVID-19 necessitated the sudden closure of public libraries in March, libraries were faced with an unprecedented challenge. After years of bringing growing numbers of people together within our spaces to learn, share, laugh and even dance, gathering had suddenly become dangerous. From her own experience, and with stories from across the county, Åsa Kachan will share the remarkable ways public libraries have responded to our communities’ urgent need for accurate information, entertainment, technology and connection in a time of COVID.
Bio: Åsa Kachan is the CEO & Chief Librarian for Halifax Public Libraries where she oversees 420 staff working across the 14-branch library system. Halifax Public Libraries recently received international acclaim with the opening of Halifax’s new Central Library in 2014. Halifax Public Libraries is very highly regarded for its services, programs and welcoming spaces that reach diverse populations with equality and respect.
Prior to her role with Halifax Public Libraries, Åsa spent 16 years in senior administrative roles within universities, most recently serving as the Assistant Vice-President Enrolment Management & Registrar for Dalhousie University between 2004 and 2014. During Åsa’s time at Dalhousie, she undertook critical transformations to improve the student experience, including revamping undergraduate scholarships and bursaries, modernizing admission and recruitment practices, and improving front-line student service.
Åsa has volunteered her time with a number of community organizations, including Halifax Dance, the Halifax Grammar School, and the Institute for Canadian Citizenship. She is currently serving as Chair of the Governance Committee of the United Way of Halifax and sits on the Advisory Board for the Faculty of Management, Dalhousie University. In 2018 Åsa was appointed to the Governing Council of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) for a three-year term.