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Archive for the ‘LIS Education’ Category

Back to School

Posted by CLA Govt Library and Info Mgmt Professionals Network on 2014-09-02

With the start of September comes the start of a new year and new semester in MLIS and LIT programs across Canada. When students emerge in December, they will have spent four months exploring a curriculum shaped by standards and guidelines from the American Library Association, the Canadian Library Association, or provincial governments.

The MLIS and LIT experience is, of course, more than just lectures and readings. One key outcome is the building of relationships – with fellow students, with faculty and staff, and with members of the library and information management community. Sometimes it’s about making a connection, other times it’s about being inspired and shaped by the experience.

As students and faculty make their way to classrooms, both physical and virtual, this week, the Government Library and Information Management Professionals Network invites you to look back to your experience in the MLIS or LIT programs and share which educators had the biggest influence on you as an information professionals.

To get the conversation started, we invited some members of the community to share their thoughts:

Mary Cavanagh
Assistant Professor, School of Information Studies, University of Ottawa
Alumna, School of Library and Information Science, University of Western Ontario

During my MLS year at the then University of Western Ontario, I met Catherine Sheldrick Ross during my first semester and was fortunate enough to have her as a professor for three classes throughout: Canadiana and Canadian publishing, genres of fiction and research methods. What made Dr. Ross outstanding and long remembered as one of my ‘best of’ teachers is not so easy to put in few words. So impressive was her wry and suddenly crackling sense of humour, combined with obvious deep and passionate interest in the subject, a quiet and non-judgemental demeanour, always listening first rather than speaking. I can still see some of her physical gestures as she walked across the front of the class, sometimes hands in pockets, sometimes smiling or looking perplexed but always nodding, clearly trying to make sense of whatever I was dumping onto the class ‘table’ for discussion. I remember being thrilled to learn that Dr. Ross had a PhD in English literature – as English and particularly Canadian literature was also my background. In the “genres” class, she did a masterful (i.e., subtle) job of turning my highbrow literary view of reading into an appreciation and defense of genre fiction reading that I carry and promote to this day. One of the assignments we did in research methods was to interview someone about their reading tastes and habits – little did I know how significant our contributions in that course would be to Dr. Ross becoming the expert she remains on fiction, readers and public libraries. A great teacher imprints finally only in indelible ways on their students. Only I can know when I’m bringing the illustrious Catherine Ross into my classes these days – and then I smile. Here’s to you, Dr. Ross, with so much appreciation!

Marie DeYoung
University Librarian, St. Mary’s University
Alumna, Ryerson Polytechnical Institute and Dalhousie University

My earliest and most long standing recollection of someone who influenced me as an information professional is of Mr Bean, instructor in the Library Technician Program at what was then Ryerson Polytechnical Institute. He taught cataloguing and while at times I wanted to poke my eyes out at the end of the course I had such an appreciation for the logic and manner in how different information elements describe an item. This is what set the foundation for what we now know as metadata and where would we be as information professionals without metadata? Mr Bean passed on the love of what is in many ways the craft of our profession.

While at Dalhousie I had the privilege of being taught by and experienced the influence of one of the professions greatest leaders – Dr. Norman Horrocks. He was witty, compassionate and deeply committed to seeing students succeed. His willingness to guide and encourage continued long after graduation. Finally I have to recognize the tremendous influence of my fellow students and now colleagues. It is this network of individuals who provide the sounding board for how to deal with the challenges that come my way and also help celebrate the accomplishments of each other.

Ross Gordon
Director, Libraries and Records Management, ECollab (Sharepoint) Services, Environment Canada
Alumnus, Graduate School of Library and Information Studies, McGill University

It’s a tough call between Professor Lynn Howarth, who taught at UofT but was with us for a semester at McGill while she finished her Phd, and Professor Peter McNally of McGill.

Professor Howarth was impressive because she was genuinely exited about the teaching of cataloguing, which I found bizarre but refreshing as it stood out from the tepid enthusiasm other professors demonstrated.

Professor McNally was the real influence on me. He got me interested in combining my love of History, with that of Libraries and for some time there I was researching and writing about Library History and enjoying it. To the point where I almost finished my own Phd in that subject. I wrote book reviews for books he sent my way and he kept in touch, always generous with his advice. Once he let me fill in for him as a Reference Prof for a semester, an experience I won’t soon forget as it showed me what it looks like from that side to stand in front of some seriously bored adults. All in all a good and fair man and an influence on me unlike any others.

Karen Hildebrandt
Assistant Director, Library Services, Concordia University College of Alberta
Alumna, Grant MacEwan Community College

There are actually two educators that had a big influence on me. The first was Tony Fell from the Grant MacEwan LIT program. Tony helped me get started in the program and his enthusiasm, dedication, and passion for the profession are what made me want to give back to the profession once I graduated from the program. It was what inspired me to become involved with my professional associations. I quickly learned that not only was I giving something back but I was gaining as well and I’ve had some amazing opportunities that would never have happened if Tony hadn’t helped me get into the program.

The other educator is Alvin Schrader. Although I didn’t have any courses at the U of A, I would meet Alvin when he came on site visits when we had SLIS Practicum students. I also had an opportunity to have some really great conversations with Alvin through my CLA involvement. His support of library technicians has meant a lot. Alvin was the one that really inspired me when he said something to the effect, “We are all professionals in what we do. We perform our tasks in a professional manner. It is our occupation/career that may be librarian, library technician, library assistant…”

Jordana King
Newcomer Services Librarian, Ottawa Public Library
Alumna, School of Information Studies, University of Ottawa

Heather Lea Moulaison holds a doctorate in Library and Information Science from Rutgers University and two Masters, both from the University of Illinois. She taught at the University of Ottawa School of Information Studies in 2010. Although I only had a few courses with her, I appreciated her depth of knowledge, patience with students, and ability to break down complex concepts easily – in both English and French. After my graduation, she offered me the chance to work with her analysing the results of the 2011 CLA National Salary Survey. At the time I was a newly minted librarian with very little experience in statistics or data analysis, but Heather was willing to provide guidance and let me give it a try, an opportunity for which I am very grateful!

She is a continual inspiration to information professionals, while welcoming those who are new to the field. Heather is a prolific author who writes in a variety of formats and subjects, a selection of which includes 14 refereed journal articles, 5 professional journal articles, 3 books, and 4 chapters in edited books to her name as of June 2014. In addition, she gives her time in professional service to the community by reviewing for journals and serving on committees, among them an International Standards Organization working group and Librarians without Borders board. I could continue to list Heather’s impressive accomplishments, but it would be easier to view them on her web page:

Somehow, while accomplishing all this, Heather manages to keep on top of trends in the library field and stays extremely well-informed. I know she must be very busy, but always makes time for her students, is willing to provide advice, and make them feel like their contributions are valuable. I very much enjoyed learning from Heather – the students at the University of Missouri are lucky to have her as a professor!

Catherine McGoveran
Government Information Librarian, University of Ottawa Library
Alumna, School of Information Management, Dalhousie University

As a new academic librarian, my LIS education experiences are quite fresh. I obtained my MLIS from Dalhousie University in 2013 and was fortunate to have had the opportunity to be taught by several outstanding faculty. Though I must say that many professors had a major impact on my education and career as an information professional, the experience I’d like to share in this post relates to my independent reading course with Dr. Fiona Black.

The MLIS program at Dalhousie provides students with the option of essentially developing their own course to explore a topic in greater detail [more information about reading courses is available here]. My reading course explored the process of mapping Canadian political information. More specifically, data from the Parliament of Canada’s PARLINFO database. Needless to say, I was thrilled when Dr. Black agreed to supervise the course. Her boundless enthusiasm had been a source of encouragement throughout my studies. While working through the course, she not only provided guidance and feedback on my research and learning process, but also helped me develop longer-term career and professional development goals. Being encouraged to challenge myself and go beyond my current skills and knowledge to reach specific objectives has definitely translated from the classroom to the workplace, and has provided valuable context for my current position as Government Information Librarian at the University of Ottawa.

Pamela McKenzie
Associate Dean, Faculty of Information and Media Studies, The University of Western Ontario
Alumna, School of Library and Information Science, University of Western Ontario

The LIS educators that have had the greatest impact on me have been Sam Neill, Catherine Ross, Gloria Leckie, and Roma Harris. In reference class, Sam never let us get away with anything — he always pushed us further to think about how we knew whatever we thought we knew. As teachers, mentors, and administrators, Catherine, Gloria, and Roma have been terrific role models. Catherine is a master at gently leading students to insights without letting them realize they’ve been led. That means they get the satisfaction of feeling that they’ve come to the insights on their own. Gloria lets her students see that she’s human and hasn’t been afraid to say she doesn’t know something. That opens up opportunities for students to puzzle things out with her.  Roma has always both stepped up to the plate to do behind-the-scenes work and has recognized and acknowledged the others who do it. All four took different approaches to teaching, but I still learn from all of them!

It’s your turn!

Which educators in your MLIS or LIT education has had the biggest influence on you as an information professional?

Leave your comments here or join the conversation on the CLA Facebook group.

Posted in LIS Education, People | Leave a Comment »

New partnership between iSchool and School of Continuing Studies

Posted by CLA Govt Library and Info Mgmt Professionals Network on 2014-02-21

I am pleased to announce the establishment of a new partnership between the Faculty of Information and the School of Continuing Studies. The initiative will bring all iSchool Institute (iSI) courses under the School of Continuing Studies’ umbrella of continuing education offerings, while maintaining the distinctive iSchool Institute program, in collaboration with the Faculty of Information.

This is a momentous event in the history of the Institute, and its predecessor, the Professional Learning Centre.  The School of Continuing Studies is an innovative and globally-recognized leader in continuing education with a passionate sense of purpose and a focus on placing learners first. With their experience and position in the industry we look forward to developing this new partnership.  An advisory committee will be convened for consultation on a regular basis with School of Continuing Studies to review program content and quality, oversee use of the iSchool and iSI brand, propose and critique new course offerings, and provide other assistance.

The transition will begin immediately, and take place over a period of several months.  As details are being finalized, we will share that information.

For now, I am pleased to tell you that the School of Continuing Studies will begin to offer the iSchool courses and certificates starting in September. The iSchool will contact current students and will be posting more details on its website as they became available.

This is a wonderful new partnership. Please join us in celebrating the greater exposure for our courses, which will expand our audience base, and most importantly, reinforce our commitment to providing life-long learning opportunities for our students, alumni, and to the Information community at large. 


Dr Seamus Ross
Dean and Professor
Faculty of Information, University of Toronto

Posted in LIS Education, uToronto iSchool | Leave a Comment »

Dr. Anna Altmann extended one year as Interim Director, SLIS

Posted by CLA Govt Library and Info Mgmt Professionals Network on 2014-02-10

A message from Dr. Fern Snart, the Dean of Education at the University of Alberta, about the School of Library and Information Studies:

I am pleased to announce that Dr. Anna Altmann, Interim Director of the School of Library and Information Studies (SLIS) for 2013-14, has agreed to extend her appointment by one year, ending June 30, 2015.

Anna’s positive energy and perspective, along with her previous leadership experience within SLIS, have facilitated stability and focus as the new online degree program has been successfully launched, and as faculty members have continued to build their remarkable teaching and research strengths.  I am grateful that Anna will remain as a member of the Faculty’s leadership team for the 2014-15 academic year. This will ensure a solid, collegial context to which we can welcome a new SLIS director in 2015-16. 

Best wishes, Fern

Fern Snart, Dean
Faculty of Education
University of Alberta

Posted in LIS Education, People, uAlberta SLIS | Leave a Comment »

Statement on ALA Accreditation from SLAIS Director Caroline Haythornthwaite

Posted by CLA Govt Library and Info Mgmt Professionals Network on 2014-02-05

The following is a statement from Caroline Haythornthwaite, Director and Professor at SLAIS, the iSchool at UBC:

The Master of Library and Information Studies degree at SLAIS, The iSchool at UBC, has been granted a three-year extension of its accreditation status (2014-2017) by the American Library Association’s Committee on Accreditation (ALA-COA). This is also known as conditional accreditation status. Although this is not a decision granting the longer seven-year accreditation cycle, it affirms full accreditation for the degree and all students who receive an MLIS degree from UBC during those three years and up to two years after.

The decision by ALA-COA to apply this status reflects a request for further progress on learning outcomes assessment. We have been working diligently over the past two years to implement learning outcomes assessment measures that comply with the Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies. We are fully confident that we will soon be able to report to ALA-COA in a manner that both demonstrates our implementation of measures for learning outcomes assessment and satisfies the committee that we are in compliance with the Standards.  Notwithstanding the need for reporting, we are committed to moving forward on all aspects of learning outcomes assessment, and continue to be dedicated to providing the best education and outcomes for our students.

The next program review for the MLIS degree is scheduled for Fall 2016 leading to an accreditation decision to be made in January 2017. Students enrolled in the program during this review period who successfully complete their program before Summer 2019 will automatically earn an ALA-accredited MLIS degree. The status of the degree that students earn who enter in or after Fall 2019 will depend upon the decision made at the COA meeting in January 2017.

This message will soon be posted to the School’s website. The Program Presentation, External Review Panel Report, and the Decision Document can all be viewed at the following link:

Caroline Haythornthwaite
Director and Professor
SLAIS, The iSchool at UBC

Posted in LIS Education | Leave a Comment »

Student Views: Research from Canada’s LIS Programs #CLAVic14

Posted by CLA Govt Library and Info Mgmt Professionals Network on 2014-02-04

Call for Papers – Student Views: Research from Canada’s LIS Programs

The Canadian Library Association will host a student research paper presentation program at the CLA Annual Conference in May in Victoria, BC.

MLIS and LIT students, as well as recent graduates, are encouraged to submit presentation proposals. This is your opportunity to showcase and present your work at a national conference.

Presentations should be based on original research, either completed while enrolled in a program of study, or within one year of graduation. All submissions will be evaluated by a panel of referees, who will select five papers for presentation at the “Student Views: Research from Canada’s LIS Programs” to be held on Saturday, May 31, 2014, from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm.

Each presentation will be limited to no more than 10 minutes, with additional time for questions and discussion.

The submission must include:

  • A cover page with the student’s name, title of the paper, student status with graduation date, and student’s contact information, including e-mail address.
  • A separate page that includes only the title of the paper and a 500-word abstract, summarizing the proposed presentation.
  • A faculty member’s statement attesting to the fact that the submission fulfills the above requirements.
  • Submissions should be in the form of attachments in MS Word, rtf or pdf.

Successful candidates will be required to be in attendance at the conference on May 31st to present their paper.  Travel and accommodations costs are the responsibility of each student.

Submissions should be sent by email to:

Ms. Kerry Macdonald, Librarian
University of Manitoba Libraries
Seven Oaks General Hospital Library
Subject Line: CLA 2014 – Student Views: Research from Canada’s LIS Programs

Deadline: March 31, 2014

Posted in Call for Papers, Conference 2014, LIS Education, Research, Students | Leave a Comment »

Survey concerning digital curation and special collections

Posted by CLA Govt Library and Info Mgmt Professionals Network on 2014-01-29

Invitation to participate in an online survey concerning digital curation and special collections

Dear colleague,

You are invited to take part in a research study entitled “The current digital curation environment and recommendations for LIS education: A study of Canadian archives and special collections.”

If you are an archives or special collections professional, you may be able to help us learn more about the current digital curation environment in Canada.

If you choose to participate, the link below will take you to an online questionnaire.  The questionnaire will take between 10 and 15 minutes to complete.  Participation in this study is voluntary, and you may choose to withdraw from the study at any time.

The design and administration of this survey questionnaire follows the policies and procedures of the Faculty of Management Ethics Review Board of Dalhousie University. Your questionnaire responses are anonymous, and are stored on secure Dalhousie University servers using Opinio software.

If you have questions about the questionnaire or the study, please contact me at, or my supervisor Dr. Fiona Black at

Link to survey:

Thank you,

Nicole Bloudoff
MLIS Candidate 2014
School of Information Management
Dalhousie University
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Posted in Dalhousie SIM, LIS Education, Research | Leave a Comment »

News Release: Fully Online Canadian MLIS Program Begins Today!!!

Posted by CLA Govt Library and Info Mgmt Professionals Network on 2013-09-04

September 4, 2013

Forty-nine students will begin their MLIS program today in the School of Library and Information Studies (SLIS) at the University of Alberta without ever setting foot on campus.  A few will even wear a UofA hoody to celebrate.  For some this is a dream come true.  One new student wrote, “ I never thought that it would be possible for me to earn an MLIS since I live on a farm, quite some distance from a major urban centre, and have to work to pay for that farm.”

The first cohort of the UofA’s Online MLIS program will explore community-focused librarianship with an emphasis on Canadian content and context.  The program owes much to the leadership and passion of Ernie Ingles, former Director of SLIS. According to Acting Director Anna Altmann, Ernie is “a visionary with a long history of outreach to rural Canadians.  The online MLIS is just one in a long line of projects that Ernie has spearheaded to make library resources and services, and now professional librarianship education, available to underserved citizens.”  Our on-campus program welcomes 46 new students who also began their MLIS program today.

For more information about the program, please see our website at Also, please feel free to contact Jennifer Branch-Mueller, Coordinator of the Online MLIS, at

Posted in LIS Education, uAlberta SLIS | Leave a Comment »

uAlberta School of Library and Information Studies MLIS Program Reaccredited to 2020

Posted by CLA Govt Library and Info Mgmt Professionals Network on 2013-07-03

Colleagues, it is my great honor to provide here a copy of correspondence received yesterday relating to the recent review of the University of Alberta, School of Library and Information Studies and the decision of the American Library Association, Committee on Accreditation (COA)  “ . . . to grant continued accreditation status to the program leading to the degree of Master of Library and Information Studies . . .“, for the period ending in 2020.

As outgoing Director of SLIS, it is my pleasure to thank all those involved in the journey of the past eighteen (18) months.  In particular I thank SLIS faculty and staff for their profound engagement in the accreditation process.  I thank our students for being also engaged but for being the best spokespersons imaginable for the SLIS program.  To our alumni and the library and information communities of practice,  I  am forever grateful for your ongoing support. And finally, but in particular I would thank Brianna Erban for her dedication and especially hard and laborious work as the SLIS Accreditation Administrator.

BRAVO to all. SLIS is a great School, with a great program, overseen by great faculty, with great and supportive staff, yielding a great product which contributes the highest quality of practitioner placed into respective LIS communities.  It has been my delight to have been associated with the School.

Profound regards to all, and my best wishes for your career and future contributions.

Ernie Ingles
Vice-Provost, and
Director, School of Library and Information Studies (past)
University of Alberta

Posted in Kudos, LIS Education, uAlberta SLIS | Leave a Comment »

Leadership Change at SLIS, University of Alberta

Posted by CLA Govt Library and Info Mgmt Professionals Network on 2013-05-28

The School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alberta will say farewell to Ernie Ingles as Director of the School at the end of June, as he moves into retirement.  Dr. Fern Snart, Dean of the School’s home Faculty of Education, says, “My personal gratitude to Ernie is enormous for stepping in with energy and conviction and supporting us through the last three years of growth, enrichment, and collegiality – and for facilitating an exemplary accreditation report and external review process.  We will miss him and our appreciation and affection abound!”

Dr. Anna Altmann, former Director of SLIS from February 2003 to December 2007, will serve as Interim Director for the 2013-14 year.  The School will advertise for a Director during the upcoming year.  Dr. Snart says, “Anna will be welcomed back into the fold by SLIS faculty, and I’m delighted at the opportunity to work with her once again as part of the Faculty of Education’s leadership team.”

Posted in LIS Education, People, uAlberta SLIS | Leave a Comment »

Info Session about co-op programs at SLAIS: The iSchool at UBC

Posted by CLA Govt Library and Info Mgmt Professionals Network on 2012-09-06

Wednesday, September 26, 2012, 12:15 pm
365 Laurier Ave W., Departmental Boardroom (2nd floor), Ottawa

Are you looking for help in providing information services to your clients? Do you need someone to assist on a special project?
Co-op students from  SLAIS: The iSchool@UBC can help.

For over five decades, the iSchool at UBC – more formally known as the School of Library, Archival & Information Studies – has been a leader in educating information professionals in Canada, equipping them with the knowledge and understanding necessary to obtain and manage information in an increasingly complex world.

SLAIS students are trained in today’s best professional practices, and they will be tomorrow’s leaders in planning, implementing, and promoting the preservation, organization, and effective use of society’s recorded information and ideas. Unique to this School is the Masters of Archival Studies, which recently received the Inaugural Award for Academic Excellence from ARMA International, as well as the Dual MAS/MLIS Joint degree.

The skills and knowledge sets they bring include:

  • Collection evaluation
  • Creating metadata & resource descriptions
  • Database creation & search functionality
  • Digitization project management
  • Document appraisal & organization
  • Indexing & classification
  • Instructional skills
  • Interface design
  • Records management
  • Reference service
  • Research & analysis
  • User surveys & needs assessments
  • Web design & content development

Come to an information session to learn more.


  • Julie Walchli (Director, Arts Co-op Program)
  • Recent graduates from the program now working in permanent roles in the NCR


Posted in Events, LIS Education | Leave a Comment »


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