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Archive for the ‘Librarians Without Borders’ Category

13 Questions With… Melanie Sellar

Posted by CLA Govt Library and Info Mgmt Professionals Network on 2013-07-07

Melanie Sellar

Education Services Librarian and Associate Professor of Information Literacy, Marymount California University
Founder and Co-Executive Director, Librarians Without Borders

Photo of Melanie Sellar

A hero who has inspired you in your career?

My mother’s municipal advocacy work fostered in me the desire to also contribute to civic and social justice issues.

The first job you ever held and at what age?

Under the table: babysitter.

Above board: snack bar attendant at a bowling alley, age 15

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

Intern, Multicultural Initiatives, Library and Archives Canada

Coolest thing in your cubicle or office?

A 2012 bamboo calendar from “Ling Lee’s Chinese Cuisine” in Thunder Bay. People really seem to like it (even though it’s dated)!

What is your guilty pleasure?

Online window shopping. And any Anthony Bourdain travel/food show.

Career advice – what’s your top tip?

Have a voice but use it thoughtfully. That is, be someone with ideas that people also enjoy chatting with around the watercooler inside and outside of work.

What useless skill(s) do you possess?

Survival driving in Los Angeles. Well, actually, maybe it’s not that useless, it’s keeping me alive.

Proudest moment in your professional life?

The first night in Guatemala looking around at 26 Librarians Without Borders volunteers from four Canadian universities: I was very proud of our team for that achievement.

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

Alone with my husband hiking high in the LA mountains with just the sound of the wind.

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

Taking up the cause of something else.

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

Be a riled-up, roaming bibliophile? Who knows!

How do you stay current in your field?

Blogs via my reader, list-servs, MOOCs, ACRL courses, conferences, lots of ILL’ing of articles, and just plain old talking to people!

What would you like your headstone to read?

That’s a hard one. I’d rather someone else write it for me, but hopefully upon reflection they’ll find that my many passions gave me a fulfilling life.

Posted in 13 Questions, Librarians Without Borders, People | Leave a Comment »

uOttawa Librarians Without Borders Unconference 2012

Posted by CLA Govt Library and Info Mgmt Professionals Network on 2012-03-19

Wednesday, March 21, 2012, 7:30 pm
Royal Oak, 161 Laurier East (Basement)

Non-profits in action: Making a difference by improving access to information

Interested in projects that make a difference in Central America, the Caribbean and Africa? Want to learn more about how libraries and access to information can improve the lives of people all over the world?

The uOttawa Librarians Without Borders chapter (http://lwb-online.org/) is hosting an informal information night, showcasing organizations that are making a difference. Stop by for a drink and some snacks, meet like-minded people, network, and get involved.

You’ll hear from representatives from non-profit groups including Village Link Tanzania (http://www.villagelinktanzania.com/) and SchoolBOX (http://schoolbox.ca/) that are working in Africa, the Caribbean and Central America.

Charité en action : Faire une différence en améliorant l’accès à l’information

Vous êtes intéressés par des projets qui font une différence en Amérique Centrale, aux Caraïbes et en Afrique? Vous désirez en apprendre plus sur comment les bibliothèques et l’accès global à l’information peuvent améliorer la vie d’individus à travers le monde?

Le comité UOttawa de Librarians Without Borders (http://lwb-online.org/) organise une soirée d’information informelle sur ce sujet. Passez donc prendre un verre et manger une bouchée, rencontrer des gens qui partagent vos idées, faire du réseautage et vous impliquer.

Vous pourrez en apprendre plus au sujet d’organisations à but non lucratif telles que Village Link Tanzania (http://www.villagelinktanzania.com/ et SchoolBox (http://schoolbox.ca/) qui œuvrent en Afrique, dans les Caraïbes et en Amérique Centrale


When: Wednesday, March 21, 2012, 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm
Where: Royal Oak, 161 Laurier East (Basement)
Cost: Free

Librarians Without Borders is not in any way affiliated with Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders.

Posted in Events, Librarians Without Borders | Leave a Comment »

Latest issue of Inform now available

Posted by CLA Govt Library and Info Mgmt Professionals Network on 2012-01-14

Catch up on the latest from Dalhousie School of Information Management (SIM)! Inform (Vol40.2) covers the period from July to December 2011 – happy reading!

Table of Contents

  • The End of an Era: Happy Retirement, Shanna!
  • Fall Convocation 2011
  • Faculty of Management Awards
  • Book Release: Barbara DeLory – Three Centuries of Public Art: Historic Halifax Regional Municipality
  • Elsevier WebApp Competition
  • Information Without Borders 2012
  • Tracy Daley speaks about her job at 211 Nova Scotia
  • SIM Associated Alumni Fall Update
  • University Librarian retires; Dal welcomes new University Librarian
  • Master of Information Management
  • Donor List
  • Alumni Relations Officer
  • Faculty Updates
  • A Summer at Yahoo! Research
  • DJIM: Vol 7, No 2
  • SLA Student Chapter
  • Alumni News
  • Dalhousie-Horrocks National Leadership Fund
  • History of the Gnome
  • Librarians Without Borders

 

Posted in Dalhousie SIM, Librarians Without Borders, LIS Education, Newsletters | Leave a Comment »

Event in Ottawa – Librarians Without Borders: International Service Learning in Guatemala

Posted by CLA Govt Library and Info Mgmt Professionals Network on 2011-03-07

Thursday, March 24, 2011, 5:30 pm
Ottawa Public Library, Rideau Branch, 377 Rideau

Librarians Without Borders (LWB) is a non-profit organization that strives to improve access to information resources by forming partnerships with community organizations in developing regions. In this talk, Carolyn Doi and Robyn Maler will speak about the student-led collaboration between Librarians Without Borders and the Asturias Academy Library, a private, non-profit, K – 12 school in Guatemala that aims to create informed, critically-thinking, and socially conscious citizens through a unique model of education.

Speakers:
Carolyn Doi received her MLIS from McGill University in 2010 and is a Music Liaison Librarian at the same institution. She has been active in Librarians Without Borders (LWB) since 2008, and helped to co-organize a service learning trip for eleven LWB student members in 2010 to Guatemala to do fieldwork with the Asturias Academy Library. She is currently Asturias Library Project Manager.

Robyn Maler is the Chair of Librarians Without Borders McGill student committee and is currently finishing the MLIS program at McGill University. A participant in the April 2010 trip to Asturias, Robyn is excited to continue LWB’s hard work as this year’s Project Lead.

**********************************

When: Thursday, March 24, 2011, from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm
Where: Ottawa Public Library, Rideau Branch (377 Rideau)

Admission to this event is by donation. Suggested amount: $10 – $15.

All proceeds from this event will go to Librarians Without Borders.

Register at http://tinyurl.com/lwb-2011

For more information, please contact caslis.govlib@gmail.com

Posted in Events, Librarians Without Borders, World libraries | 1 Comment »

Event in Ottawa: Putting Information in the Hands of the World

Posted by CLA Govt Library and Info Mgmt Professionals Network on 2010-05-11

Wednesday, May 19, 2010, 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm
Ottawa Public Library Auditorium (120 Metcalfe)

Librarians Without Borders (LWB) is a non-profit organization that strives to improve access to information resources regardless of language, geography, or religion, by forming partnerships with community organizations in developing regions.

The LWB Student Committees are involved in local and international information access projects. LWB has undertaken these projects in order to improve access to information for the people in these communities. Over the past year the student chapters have been engaged in a number of projects to build libraries in Canada, Costa Rica, and Guatemala.

Come find out about these amazing projects and how MLIS students are helping to put information in the hands of the world!

Speakers:
Representatives from the Student Committees at the University of Western Ontario, University of Toronto and McGill University.

**********************************

When: Wednesday, May 19, 2010, 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm
Where: Ottawa Public Library Auditorium (120 Metcalfe)

Admission to this event is by donation. Suggested amount: $5 – $10. Donors will have the chance to win a copy of Three Cups of Tea and Stones Into Schools by Greg Mortenson.

All proceeds from this event will go to Librarians Without Borders.

Register at http://tinyurl.com/lwb-2010

For more information, please contact caslis.govlib@gmail.com

* Disclaimer: Librarians Without Borders is not in any way associated with Medecins Sans Frontieres / Doctors Without Borders.

Posted in Events, Librarians Without Borders, World libraries | 1 Comment »

Books Not Bombs: Greg Mortenson’s Mission to Change the World

Posted by CLA Govt Library and Info Mgmt Professionals Network on 2010-05-09

by Erin Walker, MLIS

On January 28th, I travelled to Kitchener, Ontario to hear Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea and Stones Into Schools, speak to a packed hockey arena. The last stop on his Canadian book tour, Mortenson was there to share the story of his remarkable journey from a struggling mountaineer to an internationally acclaimed humanitarian.

His journey began in 1993 following a failed attempt at climbing K2, the world’s second highest mountain peak. While descending the mountain, Mortenson became separated from his group and lost his way in the Himalayas of northern Pakistan. Cold, exhausted, and very ill, he eventually stumbled into the tiny impoverished village of Korphe where he was welcomed with great warmth and hospitality.

During his stay, Mortenson observed the village children sitting outdoors, using sticks to scratch their lessons in the mud. The village could not afford the $1 a day salary to hire a teacher. Motivated to repay the village for the compassion and generosity they had shown him, he promised he would return to Korphe one day to give them what they needed most—a school.

As Three Cups of Tea recounts, Mortenson made good on his promise. But he didn’t stop there.  Today, as co-founder and director of the Central Asia Institute, Mortenson has built 130+ schools in the poorest, most remote communities of Afghanistan and Pakistan. He is also the founder of Pennies for Peace, an educational outreach program that helps raise funds for schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan while teaching students in the developed world about the lives of children in impoverished countries.

Mortenson’s story is both fascinating and incredible. In his talk, he reflected on the many hardships he has endured in his quest to make the world a better place. He’s survived kidnappings, travelled through lands riddled with landmines, weathered death threats from home and abroad, and endured lengthy separations from his wife and children.  Despite all of this, Mortenson has remained committed to his cause.

Stones into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan picks up where Three Cups of Tea left off. The book chronicles the Central Asia Institute’s expansion into dangerous and remote parts Afghanistan—-in particular, one region so remote that some Afghan officials refuse to acknowledge it as  part of the country. He also recounts the CAI’s rebuilding efforts in Kashmir following the devastating earthquake that hit the region in 2005.

What’s more, Stones into Schools shines light on Mortenson’s humble and respectful approach which is at the heart of his success. It is about building relationships, respecting local customs,  and  listening to and learning from local wisdom.  Mortenson believes that the United States’ counter-insurgency efforts in Afghanistan will fail without the input of Afghani tribal elders.  “They are the real power in the country,” Mortenson said. “If you work with the local people, you can go into the most volatile areas and be very successful, but you have to involve the community.”

He spoke passionately about the importance of education, noting that there are still 120 million school age children in the world who are deprived of their right to education. The situation is especially dire for girls, particularly in parts of the world affected by isolation,  war, and religious extremism. “Ignorance breeds hatred,”  said Mortenson.  “The Taliban’s primary recruiting grounds are the poor and illiterate segments of society, but when women become educated, they will discourage their sons from getting involved in terrorism.” He went to share one of his favourite sayings: “When you teach a boy you educate an individual, but when you teach a girl, you’re educating an entire community.” The subsequent impact on nutrition, health, infant mortality and the overall well-being of the community can be dramatic.  To emphasize his point, Mortenson cited the story of Aziza Hussain, who after graduating from a CAI school, went on to study midwifery. Since her return to her village, where about 20 women a year died in childbirth, not a single woman has died giving birth.

The fact that books are making much more of a difference in Afghanistan than bombs is not such a radical idea to those in our profession. Mortenson’s simple and heartwarming message of peace and progress through education certainly resonated with me as a soon-to-be librarian. Meeting him briefly after his talk, I mentioned I was completing my MLIS. “I love librarians,” he told me. “Never underestimate the importance of the work that you do.” It was impossible to leave with out feeling inspired and called to action.

For more information about Greg Mortenson’s humanitarian efforts visit the Central Asia Institute’s website at http://www.ikat.org/. Better yet, pick up a copy of Three Cups of Tea or Stones Into Schools, if you haven’t already. If they inspire you to act in even the smallest of ways, it will be well worth the effort.

Erin Walker is co-chair of the Librarians Without Borders (LWB) student committee at the University of Western Ontario (UWO) where she recently completed her Master of Library and Information Science. In April 2010, she and other members of the UWO LWB committee spent two weeks in central Costa Rica building a school library for the village of El Humo de Pejivalle in the Cartago province.

Posted in Librarians Without Borders, World libraries | 2 Comments »

Speak Up for First Nations Public Libraries

Posted by CLA Govt Library and Info Mgmt Professionals Network on 2010-03-04

by Stephanie Vollick
Librarians Without Borders, UWO Chapter

Did you know that out of 133 First Nation communities only 50 have public libraries? Those that have them make the best of shockingly small spaces, donations and grants. On March 2nd, Librarians Without Borders UWO Chapter hosted a talk about Native public libraries to raise awareness.  Beverly Bressette from Kettle & Stony Point Library shared personal experience, and Patty Lawlor, a First Nations consultant shared her expertise with a broader perspective.

The most recent development in the Native library community is the Speak Up for First Nations Public Libraries campaign. It is being broadcast on TV, radio and at www.speakuptoday.net featuring prominent First Nations people such as Olympic athlete Waneek Horn-Miller and singer-songwriter Derek Miller. Some of these messages are for potential sponsors, but many are to encourage Natives who have not experienced libraries to welcome them into their community.

Several years ago a strategic plan was begun in application to the strategic development grant. This plan “Our Way Forward” is available at www.ourwayforward.ca. It outlines the main goals as advocacy, funding, facilities, staff, services, and collections, in that order. A problem they identified is that donors usually focus on collections, but they need the foundations of the facilities before expanding the collection. Beverly shared that her library uses local radio, posters and the community newsletter to promote library services. She focuses her marketing efforts on the campaigns that Patty explained;

First Nations Public Library Week was Feb 15-20 this year. Patty explained that they selected February because in oral tradition the time when there is the most snow is traditionally the storytime in Native communities. Because it was the same week as Valentines Day they had a “love your library” campaign with the goal of promoting the libraries, recognizing librarians and having non-native libraries raise awareness.

First Nations Community Read is based on Canada Reads and supports First Nation authors. Publishers donate a copy of their book as a nomination and there is a vote as to which one best represents the Native community. Beverly confided that when kids see the poster they ask her for the books to read, pointing at the colourful covers. This is heartening but the tiny library needs more books to keep up with the demand.

Libraries Helping Libraries is a program that breaks down the borders between Native and Municipal libraries. It matches a Native library and a non-native library to help one another in a reciprocal relationship. Often the Municipal library has some librarians mentor the librarian from the Native library and donates excess materials, while the Native library offers cultural programming such as beading workshops or story times.

What can your library do?

  • Have a storytime with something by a First Nations author or featuring First Nations characters
  • Quickly record that you have done this at www.speakuptoday.net to help them gain support
  • Celebrate First Nations Community Read this year and First Nations Public Library Week next year
  • Join Libraries Helping Libraries
  • Ontario has the only legislation specifically recognizing First Nations communities’ public libraries, if you are from elsewhere in Canada write to your political leaders and ask for change.
  • Pass along donations that do not fit with your collection development policy but they could benefit from.

Posted in First Nations Libraries, Librarians Without Borders | 1 Comment »

Librarians Without Borders – Call for Nominations

Posted by CLA Govt Library and Info Mgmt Professionals Network on 2009-12-04

Librarians without Borders is accepting nominations for 2010 Board of Directors and Executive Board positions.

To apply to be a part of the LWB Board of Directors, please read the fact sheet, and send an inquiry to board@lwb-online.org.

To apply to be a part of Librarians without Borders Executive Board, please read the job descriptions below and send a brief statement of interest including your qualifications (max 150 words) to exec@lwb-online.org.

Deadline for nominations is December 7, 2009. For additional information please contact: exec@lwb-online.org.

Posted in Librarians Without Borders | Leave a Comment »

 
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