CLA Govt Library & IM Professionals Network

Building the Canadian library and information community

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If the Information Professional was an Apple product…

Posted by CLA Govt Library and Info Mgmt Professionals Network on 2014/08/20

from “Library Science, not Library Silence

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of adding information professionals to digital asset management teams. While the rest of us are focused on the how-much and how-to of making a new DAM fly, it’s an information professional’s job to ask, What are you trying to do?

If the Information Professional was an Apple product, however, the campaign messages might look like these:

  • All the info you need — even if you don’t know what to ask
  • Roadblocks bulldozed before you arrive — even when you’re just wandering
  • It’s the “Preemptive Intelligence Analyst” tattoo Siri would get, if she could just decide on a design

Think about that last one: preemptive intelligence analyst. Now, there’s a specialty you don’t see on many LinkedIn profiles. But wouldn’t it get your attention? Tomorrow’s preemptive intelligence analysts are today living behind titles like Librarian, Archivist and others that employers interpret as, “underappreciated grade school educator willing to work for peanuts because it’s for the Greater Good.” And until the Library Science industry mobilizes and starts making noise about more than just budget cuts, this is where information professionals will remain.

Many smart people, like information professionals, imagine the way things ought to be and they refuse to accept anything less. Rather than adapt and capitalize, they cower and complain. Or just cower.

While “UX Designers” and “Marketing Technologists” are surfing the Information Wave all the way to the 6-figure top, information professionals are watching the evolution of The New World Order of Technology from the shore. Content to accept that the water’s riches were meant for others, info pros have doused themselves in SPF-1000, donned sun-shielding hats the size of flying saucers, and sit patiently awaiting their turn.

In other words, the Information Professional community sucks at marketing. In fact, they make the same giant marketing mistake that is made by so many companies: They assume that marketing is silly or beneath them, or they say they just don’t have the time. Some have even admitted to me that they wouldn’t know where to begin to learn to market themselves.

If only there was a place where someone could go and access free information. You know, like a building where there are tons of books, or even an online search tool. If these things did exist, information professionals would finally be able to find the marketing information they need to alter the course of their profession.

Until then, what we have are lost budgets, decreasing job opportunities, and predictions of dim futures for holders of MLIS or similar degrees. It’s gotten so bad that some forward-thinking members of the Information Professional community are sounding the alarm.

It’s time for you information professionals out there to start telling a story that actually interests us. We need to see more than just a modest participation in Digital Asset Management. We need you to become bold about the value you offer. We need you to blog about DAM vs. DAM under your influence. And we need you to stop patting one another on the back for having attended Library Science webinars about the future of microdata — that’s not enough.

Come out of the library closet and show us how fabulous you are. Sell us on the value you provide. Make us beg to involve you and fear losing you. Market yourselves.


Posted in Value | Leave a Comment »

13 Questions With… Aimee Babcock-Ellis

Posted by CLA Govt Library and Info Mgmt Professionals Network on 2014/08/06

With the IFLA World Library and Information Congress coming up, throughout August the CLA Government Library and Information Management Professionals Network website will be profiling members of the library and IM community from outside Canada.

Aimee Babcock-Ellis

Program Specialist, U.S. National Institutes of Health
NewFeds co-founder

Photo of Aimee Babcock-Ellis

A hero who has inspired you in your career?

I’ve had a lot of heroes related to my career. My dad took me to the library almost every week and encouraged me to talk to the librarians there. Dr. Trudi Bellardo Hahn inspired me while at the University of Maryland. Nancy Faget and Naomi House inspire me to provide outreach about the field. Mark Puente of ARL inspires me with his contributions to diversifying the profession. Jessica N. Hernandez continues to inspire me with the awesome work she is doing at the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

The first job you ever held and at what age?

I started babysitting while in high school. I also was a cashier at a discount store. This made me appreciate the service workers in the world.

Your first position in the library and/or information services field?

My first position was as a Information Assistant at the reference desk at my undergraduate college, SUNY New Paltz in the Sojourner Truth Library. The librarians there shaped my career by imparting their experience and advice. I became a communications major after seeing how important communication was with our users to understand their needs.

Coolest thing in your cubicle or office?

My librarian action figure and my Hello Kitty librarian toy. It’s really Hello Kitty with glasses and she is holding a book.

What is your guilty pleasure?

I recently got into romance novels. My fiancé questions the different covers of these books that I bring home from the library, so I try to stick to ebook version I can read on my kindle.

Career advice – what’s your top tip?

Get as much experience as you are able as both a student and as a professional, including with professional associations, jobs, attending different conferences and meetings, and further education or training. This will help you figure out what you like and don’t like and try working in different settings with various people, and you will expand your network by meeting new people. Librarians are by nature, information sharers. If you’re stumped by something at work you reach out to your network for help and it is through your network that you could find your next job.

I would also say to apply to funding opportunities, especially for conferences. If you are interested in attending an event, offer to volunteer in exchange for free admission or ask for a student rate if one is not listed.

What useless skill(s) do you possess?

I am pretty good at memorizing numbers and dates, including phones numbers.

Proudest moment in your professional life?

Receiving the American Library Association Spectrum Scholarship in 2007. This was when I was first starting graduate school and opened me up to a whole new world and network.

If you had 24 hours all to yourself, how would you best like to spend it?

I would want to read on the couch and outside as well as watch some Korean dramas so I can practice my listening skills. My birth-family is coming to my wedding later this year and I have forgotten so much Korean! I only studied it for one semester. I’d also love to catch up with friends.

If you didn’t work in the information industry, what would you be doing?

I’d be a career counseling or academic advisor. I love helping people.

Finish this sentence: “In high school, I would have been voted the person most likely to … “

…know something about everyone in our class of 250 students. I like meeting people.

How do you stay current in your field?

I mostly read articles people post on social media and by connecting with other professionals in person. I attending training, conferences, and professional events as I am able. I am a member of several Toastmasters International clubs so I learn about new things and resources at every meeting! Through Toastmasters I also learn about how to be a better leader and effective communicator.

What would you like your headstone to read?

I guess it’s time to check out.

Posted in 13 Questions, People | Leave a Comment »

Creating KPIs for Measuring Business Success

Posted by CLA Govt Library and Info Mgmt Professionals Network on 2014/08/03


Posted in KPIs and Performance Measurement | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

14 Reasons Why New Professionals Should Attend #CLAVic14

Posted by CLA Govt Library and Info Mgmt Professionals Network on 2014/05/13

Are you a new professional or a MLIS or LIT student?

CLA’s Next Generation Network has 14 reasons why the freshly minted should attend CLA 2014:

  1. Network – One of the most important things to do, whether starting or in the midst of a career, is meet new people. Conference networking goes beyond job leads; it’s a way for you to build community outside of school and work.
  2. Enhance Network – Meeting new people is only the beginning. It is important for new professionals to reconnect with those they have been introduced to. Maintaining a network takes effort, but it is well worth it.
  3. Education – For me, this is one of the best aspects of attending conference. After years of schooling, you finally get to learn new things without any pressure. There are no tests, no essays, no stress: just you and your curious mind.
  4. Professional Development – Aka CV material. Employers want to see that you take the initiative to learn outside of the workplace and on your own free will. Who knows, eventually they might finance your conference adventures.
  5. Improve – Take the opportunity to learn beyond those grad school intro classes. Improve and develop your previous knowledge and practices.
  6. Share – Everyone knows a bit about something, so take the time to share. Have a convo with a stranger, an acquaintance, someone in your field or out of it. Share what you know and absorb what is shared with you. *Often this is best done over pints.
  7. Problem Solve – Maybe a session or conversation will help you with a current issue you or your organization is having.
  8. Present – Bit of a no brainer. Work on your research and presentation skills in a welcoming environment where you can receive valuable feedback. Get your name and ideas out there!
  9. Stay Current – Conferences are often the place where new ideas, research or knowledge is shared for the first time. Stay on the ball and up to date on industry trends (and sometimes, maybe, a bit of gossip).
  10. Stay Relevant – Sometimes it can take months to find work or maybe you are in between jobs/semesters. Going to conferences allows for you to stay in the know, meet people and make sure you are not forgotten. It does the mind and CV good for you to stay active in the industry.
  11. Learn Best Practices – New research is released continuously on how to best perform LIS work. What you learned in library school last year might no longer be the most effective or efficient method. Tune up on the practical side of being an information professional.
  12. Travel – See the world as you learn. Get in touch with local conference organizers for help with affordable accommodation, attractions, transportation or food. Victoria is lovely *wink wink*
  13. Re-energize – Maybe you are losing motivation or are getting stuck in a rut. Conferences are an opportunity to get re-inspired, put your best foot forward and remember why you got into LIS in the first place.
  14. Have Fun! – Conferences are a blast. Have fun while conducting yourself professionally. Get on Twitter and tell the world what you are up to. The socials, pub crawl, keynotes are all wonderful opportunities to unwind and connect.

Prepared by Robyn Schafer, Co-Moderator of the CLA Next Generation Network

Posted in Conference 2014 | Leave a Comment »

Invitation to “Strategy, Influence & Measures: Practical Tools” Workshop

Posted by CLA Govt Library and Info Mgmt Professionals Network on 2014/05/08

If you are in Victoria, BC on Wednesday May 28th, Moe Hosseini-Ara and I (Rebecca Jones) will be working with a group to use practical tools for measuring, influencing key stakeholders and for long-term or strategic planning.

This is a pre-conference workshop for the CLA and BCLA conference – and registration includes breaks and lunch!

It is always such a fulfilling experience to work with Moe. He is on secondment from his job as Director, Service Excellence, Markham Public Library and is currently Director of Culture, Culture Services, City of Markham.  He brings a stakeholder perspective to the templates and approaches for determining and conveying appropriate strategies and measures.  I bring the academic, corporate and government perspective to these approaches and tools.

And Moe and I are doubly proud that Ulla de Stricker , who can’t join us because of prior commitments, has sent along her work for us to use with the group.  No one influences like Ulla!

To register, contact Wendy Walton at CLA:

Below is one of the templates participants will be working with. Come join us!



Strategy, Influence & Measures: Practical Tools

Information professionals and all those in management roles in libraries use a range of technical tools in their daily activities with our customers.

What tools, though, do we use with our stakeholders or decision-makers to move forward progressively – and successfully?

This workshop covers the components of four practical, critical tools and invites participants from government, corporate, academic, public and non-profit sectors to discuss:

  1. Influencing with Information Audits & Business Cases
  2. Strategic Planning
  3. Performance Measures

Participants have the opportunity to take away:

  • an understanding of the roles of, and relationship among the tools
  • templates and guidelines for using these tools
  • pointers for using the tools in planning, managing, measuring, and communicating now

Posted in Conference 2014 | Leave a Comment »

Latest issue of Feliciter available online – Theme: Data Management

Posted by CLA Govt Library and Info Mgmt Professionals Network on 2014/05/06

The latest issue of Feliciter, the official magazine of the Canadian Library Association, is now available online.

Feliciter is available in 3 formats for your convenience:

Volume 60, No.2 (2014)


Theme: Data Management
Guest Editor: Catelynne Sahadath & Irena Trebic

Guest Editorial

Data Management
by Catelynne Sahadath & Irena Trebic

Theme Features

Mischief Managed: A Brief Introduction to Data Management
by Kim Silk

Research Data Management at Concordia University: A Survey of Current Practices
by Alex Guindon

Is eDiscovery the New Frontier in Information Management?
by Ariana Ross

Following the Trail of Breadcrumbs: Your Health from Data to Decisions
by Lee-Anne Ufholz & Lindsey Sikora

Metadata Management on a Budget
by David Cook

Beyond the Hype: Data Management and Data Governance
by Melanie Sucha

Feature Articles

Know Thy Vendor: Getting the Best in Off-Site Records Storage
by Guy Robertson


President’s Message, Spring: A Time for Celebration and Conferences
by Marie DeYoung

From the Executive Director’s Chair: Libraries, So Much More…
by Valoree McKay, CAE

Book Reviews

  • Developing and Managing Electronic Collections: The Essentials
  • 50+ Library Services:  Innovation in Action
  • RDA and Serials Cataloging


Posted in Data management, Feliciter, Information management | Leave a Comment »

Freshly Minted – Kate Petch

Posted by CLA Govt Library and Info Mgmt Professionals Network on 2014/05/01

At the 2013 Canadian Library Association Conference First Timers Breakfast in Winnipeg, CLA Vice-President Marie DeYoung used the term “freshly minted” to describe students and new professionals. Building on that idea, the CLA Government Library and Information Management Professionals Network publishes a series called “Freshly Minted,” profiling students and recent graduates from MLIS and LIT programs.

Kate Petch

Media Librarian, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Photo of Kate PetchWho are you and what do you do?

My name is Kate Petch, and I am a media librarian at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. My job involves reference desk duties (for video clips only, not facts – that’s another section of the library), as well as cataloguing programs, news items, and stock footage.

When did you get your MLIS, when did you start your first professional librarian position, how long did the job search take, and how did you prepare yourself for it?

Although I graduated in November 2010 from The University of Toronto’s iSchool, I had finished my coursework in mid-July, and began applying to appealing positions even before that. I’ll admit, I was quite intimidated by most of the postings, and my preparation involved a lot of pep talks, both from myself and from my parents and friends.

My first library job out of school wasn’t actually a full librarian position, but rather a library assistant role, in the tape library at the CBC. I landed that position a few days after my graduation ceremony, and the library assistant job led to my first librarian position nearly a year later, backfilling a librarian in my area when she was seconded off to fill another role.

How did you do your job search? What were some of the things that worked and didn’t? What was the greatest challenge?

My job search was a little haphazard. I networked while I was in school, particularly through library associations, and kept my ears open for any opportunities that way, but mostly only discovered opportunities by staying on top of job boards. I’m not sure if it was just timing, or if I wasn’t networking well. Either way, the greatest challenge was definitely getting an interview. I thought I was pretty good at cover letters, but those depressing numbers they tell you in school about the ratio of applications to interviews certainly proved true for me. That said, I found that demonstrating unbridled enthusiasm in my cover letters opened the most doors, perhaps because it rang truest for me. A cookie cutter cover letter with traditional language missed a lot of what I bring to the job – an enthusiasm and excitement, which translates into a persistent interest in seemingly silly things, like making information findable. (I mean, what’s the use of keeping a great stock shot of people waiting for transit in the snow, if you can’t find it quickly when an editor needs it to illustrate a point?)

Is your work as a professional what you expected and prepared yourself for while you were in the MLIS program? Otherwise, what would you have done differently if you knew?

My work is both exactly what I expected, and light years away. It’s all about the interpretation of the principles I learned in library school. For instance, my cataloguing class didn’t deal with how to shotlist a news item, nor familiarize me with many of the terms I use every day at work, but it did cover how to decide which topics are central to a given news item, and which are incidental, as well as subject headings and taxonomies and their application.

Any advice for the many MLIS students who will be soon graduating and looking for their first professional position?

Make sure you inject a little of yourself in your cover letter. Sure, it would be an honour to work for a given company, but if the idea of it is thrilling, than say it’s thrilling! And stay positive, and patient – your first, second, or even third jobs may not be what you hoped for, but there is always, always, always something to be learned in any position, whether it is understanding the larger environment and workflows of the place that you find yourself employed, or how to train your brain to do something innocuous in a new or more efficient way. If you keep in mind what you’re gaining, and how you can apply any new skills or understandings to getting closer to your goal job, suddenly your less-than-thrilling role has value, and value that you can articulate.

Posted in Freshly Minted, People | Leave a Comment »

13 Questions With… Mike Ridley

Posted by CLA Govt Library and Info Mgmt Professionals Network on 2014/04/28

Mike Ridley

Librarian and Instructor (First Year Seminar Program), University of Guelph
Treasurer, Canadian Library Association

Photo of Mike Ridley

A hero who has inspired you in your career?

So many people but if I must pick one it would be Margaret Beckman, former Chief Librarian at the University of Guelph. She was a strong advocate for librarians as academics and instrumental in leveraging new technologies. Margaret was a force to be reckoned with; and mostly that was a good thing.

The first job you ever held and at what age?

Paper boy. Globe and Mail. Twelve. Lasted 3 months.

Your first position in the library and/or information services field?

Science Librarian at the University of Guelph. And anyone who knows me knows how ludicrous it is that I was hired as a science librarian. Lasted 3 months.

Coolest thing in your cubicle or office?

I have an office full of wood type and alphabet blocks (very cool) but the rubber chicken is probably the coolest. The poor chicken has been chicken-napped often causing me to pay numerous ransoms to various (worthwhile) causes. The chicken is a better fundraiser than me.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Formula One racing fan. Although I’m not really doing guilt over this despite the insinuations of my family.

Career advice – what’s your top tip?

My advice is that of the great writer Dorothy Parker, “The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.” Stay curious.

What useless skill(s) do you possess?

I can set type by hand. I suspect most folks have no idea what that means. Useless eh?

Proudest moment in your professional life?

As sappy as it sounds, I feel proud everyday I come to work at the library. It is such a privilege to do what I get to do. Everyday is wonderful.

If you had 24 hours all to yourself, how would you best like to spend it?

Read. Binge watch car racing. Go to a concert. And then likely get bored with myself and seek out my family.

If you didn’t work in the information industry, what would you be doing?

I like to say I’d be a rock star but, trust me, that wouldn’t be a good idea. I’d likely be a writer. Probably a marginally employed writer.

Finish this sentence: “In high school, I would have been voted the person most likely to … “

…be arrested for protesting against something.

How do you stay current in your field?

Twitter. Seriously. Twitter. Awesome folks sharing awesome insights.

What would you like your headstone to read?

No headstone. Nothing to read. Recycle.

Posted in 13 Questions, People | Leave a Comment »

Let People Know You’ll be at CLA 2014 in Victoria

Posted by CLA Govt Library and Info Mgmt Professionals Network on 2014/04/26

Attending or Exhibiting at CLA 2014 in Victoria?

Let people know with an “I’m Attending” or “I’m Exhibiting” button on your website, social media or email.

I'm Attending CLA 2014 in Victoria

We're Exhbiting at CLA 2014 in Victoria

Posted in Conference 2014 | Leave a Comment »

Joint Statement Regarding the Appointment of a Librarian and Archivist of Canada

Posted by CLA Govt Library and Info Mgmt Professionals Network on 2014/04/26

April 24, 2014 – The Archives Association of Ontario, Association of Parliamentary Libraries in Canada, Canadian Association of Law Libraries, and Canadian Library Association (CLA) welcome the appointment of Dr. Guy Berthiaume as Librarian and Archivist of Canada. After 11 months without confirmed leadership, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is now able to chart a path forward with renewed guidance, vision and energy.

We are encouraged by Dr. Berthiaume’s extensive experience in leadership roles pertinent to the mandate and operation of Library and Archives Canada and his strong commitment to the field. As President and Chief Executive Officer of the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec since 2009 he has lead a renowned memory institution and has addressed many of the issues germane to Library and Archives Canada.

The library and information community look forward to working closely with Dr. Berthiaume and the leadership team at LAC. The challenges for LAC are considerable. However, new beginnings are opportunities to take bold new steps and to reconnect LAC with Canadians from all walks of life.

The Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages Shelly Glover announced Dr. Berthiaume’s appointment on April 14, 2014, for a term of five years, effective June 23, 2014.

Kelli Babcock
President, 2013-2014
Archives Association of Ontario

Vicki Whitmell
Association of Parliamentary Libraries in Canada / L’Association des bibliothécaires parlementaires au Canada

Annette Demers, BA LLB, MLIS
Canadian Association of Law Libraries / L’Association canadienne des bibliothèques de droit

Marie DeYoung
Canadian Library Association / Association canadienne des bibliothèques

Posted in Library and Archives Canada | Leave a Comment »


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