Sessions and speakers

Opening Keynote Speaker

Cynthia Orozco, Librarian for Equitable Services at East Los Angeles College


Cynthia is currently the Librarian for Equitable Services at East Los Angeles College. She formerly was the Student Services Librarian at Cal State Long Beach, where she liaised with several student populations on campus, including first-generation college students, international students, transfer students, and new graduate students. She is the creator of and currently moderates LIS Microaggressions, an online space for those working in libraries, archives, and other information professions to share their experiences with various forms of microaggressions in the profession.  Cynthia received her MLIS from San José State University in 2011. She is a 2011 ARL Career Enhancement Program Fellow, participant in the 2014 Minnesota Institute for Early Career Librarians, and 2015 ALA Emerging Leader.


Closing Keynote Speaker

Marcelle Kosman, Co-creator of 'Witch, Please' and PhD Candidate in English at the University of Alberta​


Marcelle Kosman is a  PhD candidate in English at the University of Alberta. Her research focuses on early Canadian women's science fiction and fantasy writing and questions of canonical exclusion. She is also the co-creator of Witch, Please, a fortnightly podcast about the Harry Potter world.


Concurrent Sessions

*Abstracts appear in the language of the presentation


Envisioning a Better World: Using Real-Life Scenarios to Promote Inclusivity and Information Agency Amongst First-Generation Students

Michelle M. Maloney, Academic Support Librarian / Associate Professor at the University of the Pacific in California


This presentation will share an innovative library / writing programs partnership established at the University of the Pacific to support first-generation college students enrolled in a “transition to university” program.  A real world, career/internship scenario approach is utilized, with particular emphasis on issues of social diversity, as well as social and environmental justice.  Library component data shows a positive impact, especially beneficial given known risk factors to first-gen success.  Writing centers are natural library partners; effective writing at the college level (and in the workplace) requires the ability to research, analyze and synthesize high-quality sources, to find the gems, among the detritus.


Inclusion and accessibility in the library

Claire Burrows, Library Researcher-in-Residence at Concordia University


This workshop will explore how Canadian libraries are approaching issues of inclusion with regards to disabled populations. I will provide an overview of my PhD research on this topic, which examines accessibility at two Canadian academic libraries. Participants will be introduced to various models for understanding disability in order to explore how environmental and social barriers can disable people. Participants will then be asked to brainstorm barriers to improving accessibility in their library environments, as well as potential strategies to overcome these barriers by integrating aspects of disability theory into their discussions.  


Integrating Indigenous Perspectives : Strategies for Collection Development

Andréa (Drea) Schnell, Arts Liaison Librarian at University of Ottawa


Created in 2008, the Truth & Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) mandate was to document the testimony of residential school survivors, their families, and others directly affected by the Residential School system. In 2015, the TRC released its final report, and 94 Calls to Action, discussing the necessity of educating future teachers and K-12 students about the current and historical situation of Canada’s Indigenous peoples and the inter-generational trauma caused by the residential schools. It is therefore essential that school and academic libraries build collections of appropriate resources. This presentation will discuss strategies for finding and evaluating resources that provide Indigenous perspectives.


Making It More Accessible: A Case Study of the Ursula C. Schwerin Library Website

Junior Tidal, Web Services & Multimedia Librarian, Associate Professor at New York City College of Technology, City University of New York


Over the summer and fall semester of 2017, a university wide initiative to make all sites under the domain accessible was put into place. In turn, the New York City College of Technology (colloquially known as City Tech), CUNY Ursula C. Schwerin Library website was updated to be more accessible. The session will outline the background of the library and the community it serves, define accessibility within the context of a library website,  the workflow of making the site accessible, problems encountered in using the accessibility and future accessibility initiatives.


MINIBIBLIOplus: creating inclusive networks to increase literacy and improve quality of life throughout our community

Helen Fortin, CEO/Executive Director at Fraser Hickson Library


The landmark Fraser Hickson, an independent non-profit library serving Quebecers since 1885, had established reputation for excellence and introduced the love of books and reading to thousands of children.  However, changing times and economic challenges lead this historic library to close its doors in 2007. 

Learn about the renewal of the Fraser Hickson, building on the fundamentals of librarianship:  user needs and the right to access. Explore how the library is partnering in innovative ways with other community organizations to increase accessibility, especially to marginalized citizens, and is taking a leadership role in forging new networks to support the community.


Resources for Indigenous Projects

Meg Sinclair, Librarian at Lester B. Pearson School Board

Jennifer Woolley, Librarian at Lakeside Academy Library

Joanne Karihwaienhne McGregor, Teacher Assistant at Karonhianonhnha School

Katsi’tsanó:ron McGregor, Technology Learning Center Technician/Librarian at Kahnawake Education Center




The TRC Calls to Action in Education challenge us to learn about Indigenous perspectives. Four projects helping to do that are:  Joanne McGregor and Katsi’tsanoron McGregor, Karonhianónhnha School and the Kahnawake Education Center, will discuss how culture, history, spirituality and language raise student learning outcomes and self-esteem through the use of literature and living people resources;  Jennifer Woolley, Lakeside Academy, LBPSB, will describe a multi-disciplinary project at her school to integrate Indigenous perspectives across the curriculum; and Meg Sinclair, LBPSB, will discuss how school libraries provide print and digital resources to support teachers and help student learning on Indigenous perspectives.

Finding acceptance: Tips and tricks to charm reviewers

Marcela Isuster, Liaison Librarian at McGill University

Jessica Lange, editor of PARTNERSHIP

Are you thinking about submitting your work to conferences or journals but are unsure on how to start? Do you feel your current strategy is not effective? Would you like gain a better understanding of the blind peer-review process? Join Marcela Isuster, ABQLA Programs Chair, and Jessica Lange, editor of PARTNERSHIP, as they share best practices for getting your work out there . Make sure to bring your questions!  


Classifying the Rainbow: LGBT Users in Libraries and Classification Systems

Kristine Nowak, Instruction & Foundational Experience Librarian at Colorado State University

Amy Jo Mitchell, Circulation Manager at Paul Sawyer Public LIbrary


Members of the LGBT community are often marginalized by organization and classification systems. While these systems purport to be morally neutral, they structure knowledge and assign importance to concepts in potentially problematic ways. This presentation will discuss the treatment of LGBT populations and topics in libraries, and what that treatment implies for LGBT users. We will also discuss our reorganization of the Kentucky Gay and Lesbian Services Organization’s library with a new classification system. We will conclude with a discussion of library services for LGBT users, with the goal of making libraries open for all users.


Le projet Agents de liaison des Bibliothèques de Montréal : des bibliothécaires dédiés aux nouveaux arrivants

Nathalie Martin, Conseillère, Direction des bibliothèques, Service de la culture, Ville de Montréal


Depuis 2008, quatre bibliothécaires occupent des postes d'agents de liaison dans des quartiers montréalais ciblés. Leur objectif? Être très actifs dans leur communauté et développer une offre de services adaptée aux besoins de la population immigrante, avec une préoccupation marquée pour les nouveaux arrivants. En partageant des objectifs, des grandes orientations et des stratégies communes, les agents de liaison développent chacun des approches locales spécifiques et adaptées à leur milieu. Cette présentation permettra de donner une vue d’ensemble du projet, des types d’actions mises en place et des éléments qui en favorisent le succès.


Fostering Inclusion and Equity in the School Library Learning Commons

Jennifer Brown, teacher librarian & ESL/Special Education teacher in the Peel District School Board in Brampton, Ontario


A carefully, intentionally designed library learning commons is intended to be a completely safe, accessible environment for the entire school community.  With each choice we make in our collection, our schedule, our decor, our language, our routines, we have the potential to take an equity stance. If our mandate is to include all members of our community in a school-wide hub of learning, then we must foster inclusion and equity to be successful. During this session teacher librarian Jennifer Brown will share her school’s ongoing journey to embed social justice and equity into the library learning commons.