Sessions and speakers

Opening Keynote Speaker

Learn. Change. Grow:  Calgary’s 21st Century Community Library

Bill Ptacek, CEO, Calgary Public Library 


In 2018 the City of Calgary will have a new Central Library.  This 280,000 square foot building was designed by the world renowned Snohetta Architects.  It will anchor the biggest downtown redevelopment effort in all of Canada.  With all of the excitement about this new structure, the Calgary Public Library has been working hard to build a library system that lives up to the promise of that building and the quarter billion dollar commitment of the City of Calgary to make it a reality.

Library services have been going through a transformation that has had the system focus on certain segments of the population while ensuring that the experience at any of Calgary’s libraries is fun, rewarding and positive.  Learn how a fire truck can transform a library.  Find out how this library is working years in advance of the new Central Library to ensure that the experience of using that library will live up to the architecture of that building.  And finally hear about  how the Calgary Public Library’s efforts to focus on the patron experience has changed the way that every single staff member of this library goes about their work. “ Learn.Change.Grow”  is the mantra that is revolutionizing everything about the Calgary Public Library.

Bill joined the Calgary Public Library as its CEO in early 2014. Previously, Bill was the Director of the King County Library System in western Washington state, where he led King County to become the Library Journal's "Library of the Year" in 2011.

In his two and a half years at the Calgary Public Library, Bill has been busy. He is working hard on developing relationships for the Library with government and community groups and partnerships with the school boards.

On other fronts, new initiatives include a full rebranding, a new catalogue and website, a focus on safety at the Central Library, free library cards for all, the growth of the Library’s Foundation, and a refresh in the design and collections at all libraries in the system.

Work on Calgary’s New Central Library, headed by the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation, continues on time and on budget. In the meantime, the Library is getting ready for it by piloting new projects and materials throughout the city’s 18 community libraries.

Closing Keynote Speaker

Our Skills are Universal

Susan Cleyle, University Librarian at Memorial University 


Library and information professionals are strong leaders. The skills and abilities acquired from working in our profession afford us the opportunity to expand and bring that leadership  to other areas no matter where you are in your career. This talk will explore and  create a skills inventory while  reflecting on the transferability of these skills. Attendees will walk away with a better understanding of how  they can  lend themselves to a wide variety of leadership and advanced career opportunities outside the library and information management landscape.

Susan Cleyle is University Librarian at Memorial University. Prior to that she served as the director of CITL (Centre for Innovation in Teaching and Learning) and the associate university librarian at Memorial’s Queen Elizabeth II Library. She is currently the chair of The Partnership, the network of provincial, regional and territorial library associations of Canada and the co- author of the book titled: Last One Out Turn Off the Lights -- Is This the Future of American and Canadian Libraries? Having graduated from the Royal Roads Post Graduate Executive Coaching program, Susan is also a certified Executive Coach.


Invited Speakers

Evolving Spaces: A Look at Local Libraries Renovations

Guylaine Beaudry, University Librarian at Concorida University

Sylvie Monette, Principal at Forest Hill Senior School Lester B. Pearson School Board

Jennifer Ricard, Bibliothécaire à l'Espace Jeunes de la Grande Bibliothèque​



PANEL PRESENTATION: Evolving Spaces: A Look at Local Libraries Renovations

As libraries grow and evolve, library spaces must evolve with them. Older infrastructure and new user needs have resulted in many libraries undergoing renovations. This growing trend has reshaped the way communities view and use libraries: they are no longer book warehouses but multi-functional learning spaces.

Recognizing the library’s place as the heart of the university, school or community, many institutions have transformed their buildings into attractive and welcoming spaces that are universally accessible and foster creativity and innovation.

Join us as we present three librarians that gave a new life to their institutions during recent renovations:

Concordia University Librarian Guylaine Beaudry. Responsible for the major renovation and extension of the Webster Library. Guylaine was in charge in 2014 of the transformation of the chapel of the Grey Nuns motherhouse into a reading room. Jennifer Ricard, c‎hildren's Librarian at the reinvented Espace Jeunes at the Grande Bibliothèque, BAnQ. Sylvie Monette, Principal, Forest Hill School (Senior Campus) Lester B. Pearson School Board

Guylaine Beaudry is University Librarian at Concordia University. She is responsible for the major renovation and extension of the Webster Library. She was in charge in 2014 of the transformation of the chapel of the Grey Nuns motherhouse into a reading room. She was previously Director of the Webster Library at Concordia. Before, until 2009, she was Director of the Digital Publishing Centre at Université de Montréal and Executive Director of Érudit (, a publishing platform for humanities and social sciences scholarly books and journals. She wrote many publications on scholarly publishing, notably, the books La communication scientifique et le numérique, published by Hermès/Lavoisier (Paris), Le nouveau monde numérique et les revues scientifiques published by Les Presses de l’Université de Montréal, La Découverte (Paris, France), that was translated and published by University of Calgary Press (Scholarly Journals in the New Digital World) and Profession : bibliothécaire published in 2012 by Les Presses de l’Université de Montréal. In 2014, she was co-guest editor, with Yvon-André Lacroix, of the special issue Architecture des bibliothèques, published in Documentation et bibliothèques. She was a member of the Royal Society of Canada’s Expert Panel on the status and future of libraries and archives in Canada. She holds a doctorate in history of the book from École pratique des hautes études (Paris). Her thesis is entitled “Scholarly communications and the digital revolution: Analysis of a mutation period from a historical perspective”. She was president of the Corporation of professional librarians of Québec from 2008 to 2010.

Sylvie Monette is the Principal at Forest Hill Senior School located in St-Lazare, Quebec. After graduating from UQAM University, Mrs. Monette went to Manitoba where she taught elementary school for 15 years. She returned to Quebec and joined the Lester B. Pearson School Board in 2001 where she worked in different capacities as a teacher, consultant and has been in administration for the past 10 years. Also being an artist, her natural flare for creativity has been an asset to the students and staff at Forest Hill Senior. Her goal to create the best learning environment for all students is what she takes at heart the most. 

Jennifer Ricard is a children’s librarian specializing in comics, gaming, technology in libraries and activities for pre-teens. She has organized partnerships and events with various organizations including the Centre jeunesse de Montréal and Une École Montréalaise pour tous. She was on the ideation committee for the new Saint-Sulpice Library and she is now working actively on the reinvention of the Grande Bibliothèque’s children’s section, including its brand new fab lab.



Tales & Travels: Launching a Library Programme for People with Dementia

Daniel Miguez de Luca, Librarian, Westmount Public Library


Last year, the Westmount Public Library launched the first edition of its Tales & Travels Series, a programme tailored to individuals living with dementia and their caregivers. As the number of Canadians living with dementia grows, public libraries must adapt their services to better serve this population. This programme allows libraries to create a stimulating and enjoyable service for people living with dementia while helping them create bonds and support networks within their community. This presentation will report on the first iterations of the Tales & Travels Series in Westmount and will encourage other libraries to develop their own programmes.

Daniel Miguez de Luca is a librarian at the Westmount Public Library. Along with organising and animating the library’s Tales & Travels Series, he also coordinates its Seed Lending Library. He completed his MLIS at McGill University’s School of Information Studies in 2015 and also holds a BMus from McGill’s Schulich School of Music. Daniel has worked as an orchestral librarian in Montreal and in North Carolina.


Every Player their Game and Every Game its Player: Game Collections in Public Libraries

Kayley McLeod

Kayley MacLeod

Video games have been making their way into circulating collections and library programs and events, but the processes are still undefined and often cases of trial and error. Significant shifts in the gaming industry, including the popularity of Steam, the explosion of accessible independent games, mobile gaming, and ever more complex and expensive consoles, have made it difficult for libraries to keep up. Gaming collections and programs have far more to offer than the newest racing or fighting game to the reluctant teen patron. So how do libraries leverage the power of video games for our communities?

Kayley McLeod is a graduate student at McGill University in the School of Information Studies. She has been working in libraries for the last eight years in both British Columbia and Quebec. During her BA in English Literature at Concordia University she became interested in digital media objects and storytelling. Her current project involves surveying Canadian public libraries to assess the saturation of games in circulation and programming. She is particularly interested in collection development policies and how video games can create alternative narrative experiences as well as opportunities for play for patrons of all ages and genders.


Free Library of Philadelphia Prison Services: Expanding Opportunities for Incarcerated Parents and Their Families in Neighborhood Libraries

Titus Moolathara, Library Supervisor, Free Library of Philadelphia, Penn.

Titus Moolathara

Prison Services was created in 2013 and is focused on developing community-based model of comprehensive programming and services for incarcerated individuals, returning citizens, and their families. Free Library established libraries inside city jails, offers Saturday family reading and televisiting services –face-to-face live videoconferencing between inmates in prison and their children and families in a neighborhood library, and temporary library card reentry resource packets to prison library users. Through Prison Services, the Free Library seeks to deepen engagement between this underserved constituency and their neighborhood libraries.

Titus Moolathara, Manager of Prison Services, will talk about the genesis of the Prison Services, some of its current projects and reflect on challenges of starting and running this program in a public library. Titus is also the Branch Manager of a Free Library of Philadelphia neighborhood library. In addition to his experience as a librarian, Titus has worked as a Lecturer in New Delhi, India. Titus has been recognized as a Next City Vanguard, one of the top 40 urban innovators under 40 working to improve U.S. cities; named as one of Library Journal’s Movers &; Shakers in 2016. Titus has M.A. and M.Phil in history both from Jamia Millia Islamia University, India and MSLIS from Drexel University.

Indigenizing Libraries: FNUniv’s example

Paula Daigle, Librarian, First Nations University of Canada, Regina, SK


“Indigenization” seems to be the new buzzword on university campuses in Canada.  This session will use First Nations University of Canada’s Library as an example on Indigenization taking place in their libraries.  Examples of space and place and how non-indigenous librarians fit into the grand scheme of things will be presented.

Paula has been the Librarian at First Nations University of Canada since 2015.  Before picking up and moving to Regina, Paula worked as a teacher, both overseas in the Middle East and England, and in her home province of Nova Scotia.  It was this experience teaching that made Paula realize she hated marking papers and tests, but adored working with students, helping them grow as individuals.  What is a Teacher who hates marking to do?  Become a Librarian of course! Every day she gets to help students find just the right research for their university papers.

Physical Literacy: Movement-Based Programs in Libraries

Jenn Carson, Library Director LP Fisher Public Library, Woodstock, NB


The topic of physical literacy in libraries is certainly a growing and relevant trend. This multimodal production will include a PowerPoint presentation, videos, handouts and some (optional) yoga stretches to get the audience into a body-positive state of mind. It will explore the neuroscience behind physical literacy, share case studies of what other libraries are doing (both academic and public), and offer links to program models. It will discuss some of the ways we can make physical literacy programs inclusive to all ages, socio-economic backgrounds, cultures and levels of mobility.

Jenn Carson, MSLIS, CYT, CCYT is the Director of the LP Fisher Public Library in Woodstock, NB and has been delivering movement-based programs in libraries and schools for eight years. She is the creator of, a popular resource for library staff and teachers interested in delivering yoga and mindfulness-based programs in their communities. She has been blogging about physical literacy for the American Library Association for two years at Carson is also involved with a research project gathering data on physical literacy programs in libraries with Dr. Noah Lenstra (University of North Carolina at Greensboro) and is writing a book for ALA Editions on physical literacy which is being released in June 2018. Her team was recently given the New Brunswick Public Library Service Innovation Award for their physical literacy initiatives.

Virtual/Augmented Reality in the Library

David Greene, Liaison Librarian, McGill University

Michael Groenendyk, Liaison Librarian, McGill University



Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are nascent technologies that have lately received a lot of attention from the media, investors, researchers and educators. In February 2017, with the help of a library innovation grant, a virtual/augmented reality space was launched as part of the McGill Library’s Research Commons. In this presentation we will discuss the challenges we faced in deploying this new space, and in making the technology accessible to our users. We will share information about who has used the space during the first few months it has been active, and for what purpose. We will conclude with our assessment of the potential for VR/AR within libraries.

David Greene is a liaison librarian for McGill University’s School of Information Studies, Department of Geography, and Department of Art History & Communication Studies. His major research interest is the role of emerging technologies in libraries (head-mounted displays, 3D printing, digital scholarship, etc.). He is joined by Michael Groenendyk, who is McGill’s liaison librarian for Entrepreneurship and is responsible for the library’s Research Commons makerspace.

Michael Groenendyk is the Liaison Librarian for Entrepreneurship at McGill University. He has been involved with makerspaces for the past 6 years, where he has worked to introduce a number of new technologies as library services.


Le Square Banque Nationale : espace de création numérique pour les 13 - 17 ans (presentation in French)

Geneviève Lajeunesse-Trinque, Médiatrice en numérique, Direction de la Bibliothèque Saint-Sulpice, BAnQ


Le Square Banque nationale is a medialab within Grande Bibliothèque dedicated to teenagers aged 13-17. Discover how the space was planned, how it has evolved in its 6 months of existence, and what’s next for the Square. Get acquainted with the who, the what and the how to launch a medialab in your institution. This short presentation will also cover the digital platform ( and digital community management relative to Le Square.

Geneviève Lajeunesse-T. is a game designer and producer turned digital mediator for Bibliothèques et Archives nationales du Québec. Formally trained in interactive design and sociology, she uses her work experience in TV and video gaming, mixes it with her passion for making things and spends her days transmitting it to teenagers at Grande Bibliothèque every day.


La ruche d’art de la bibliothèque Mordecai-Richler (presentation in French)

Marie-Christine Lavallée, Chef de section - Bibliothèques, Ville de Montréal – Arrondissement du Plateau-Mont-Royal


Issue du plan de développement culturel de l’arrondissement Plateau-Mont-Royal et dans la foulée de l’évolution des bibliothèques en tant que tiers lieux, la mise en place d’un makerspace à la bibliothèque Mordecai-Richler a pris forme en 2016. Des groupes de discussion avec les citoyens, en passant par le choix de la nature du projet et de son évolution, la présentation relatera le parcours de la première ruche d’art permanente en bibliothèque.

Diplômée en Sciences de l’information à l’Université de Montréal, Marie-Christine Lavallée œuvre au sein des bibliothèque de Montréal depuis 2011, où elle a occupé des fonctions d’animatrice spécialisée, de bibliothécaire aux secteurs adultes et jeunes, de bibliothécaire responsable et maintenant de chef de section pour l’arrondissement du Plateau-Mont-Royal. Elle chapeaute actuellement la bibliothèque Mordecai-Richler ainsi que la bibliothèque du Plateau Mont-Royal, et participe activement à la mise en œuvre du plan de développement culturel de l’arrondissement.

Making Movies: Authentic Forms of Integrated Learning with Video

Diana Maliszewski, Teacher-Librarian Agnes Macphail P.S., Toronto District School Board


If you ask your students for their favourite "TV channel", chances are that the answer is YouTube. It is easy to become a creator. Diana will share several of the films she and her students of various ages have made and published to YouTube. She will explain how they covered multiple aspects of the curriculum simultaneously, allowed differentiation, and excited the entire student body. Bring your cell phone or tablet and we'll spend part of this session exploring the (many free) tools that can turn you into a fabulous film director too!

Diana Maliszewski is the teacher-librarian at Agnes Macphail P.S. in Toronto, ON. She is the editor of The Teaching Librarian, the official magazine of the Ontario School Library Association. Diana has presented at conferences and workshops all over North America on topics such as gaming in education, graphic novels, popular culture, professional learning communities and children’s literature. In 2008, Diana Maliszewski was awarded the Follett International Teacher-Librarian of the Year Award from the Canadian Association of School Libraries for her contributions to the field of school librarianship.