Sessions and Speakers

Opening keynote presentation

The evolution of library assessment and its impact
Dr. Colleen Cook

ImageCreating a “Culture of Assessment” is an essential role of management in all types of libraries today.  Never before have libraries been under such scrutiny to provide concrete explanations to their stakeholders of their worth to society.  Equally if not more important than merely justifying our existence to our external governing bodies however, assessment is key to understanding how well, or how not well, librarians perform their unique role in serving humanity as stewards of recorded knowledge. As such, assessment and measurement programs are best internally motivated and fully integrated into all that we do as librarians, a means through which we can sit back and critically evaluate whether we are accomplishing the important social role that we play as librarians. This presentation will review some of the key milestones in the history of assessment in libraries and will suggest practical means through which libraries of all types can create a “Culture of Assessment.”

Colleen Cook is the Trenholme Dean of Libraries and Professor, School of Information Science at McGill University in Montreal. She is a member of the McGill Senate and currently serves on numerous committees including the McGill Learning Management Steering Committee and Audit and Finance Committee of McGill-Queen’s University Press. Prior to joining McGill in January 2011, Dr. Colleen Cook was the Dean of Libraries and holder of the Sterling C. Evans Endowed Chair at Texas A&M University. She is presently a member of the Working Group on Fair Use of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) Committee on Scholarly Communication and servesas CARL’s representative on IFLA’s Committee on Copyright and Legal Matters. Dr. Cook helped to develop and promote LibQUAL+®, the premier assessment tool for measuring library service quality internationally. She is very active in library assessment, past-Chair of the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA), Statistics and Evaluation Section Standing Committee and serving as a member of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Statistics and Assessment and LibQUAL+® Steering Committees and the American Library Association (ALA) Committee on Research and Statistics. She earned her PhD in Higher Education Administration at Texas A&M and holds BA and MLS degrees from the University of Texas at Austin and an MA from Texas A&M University.

Closing keynote presentation

Getting evidence into practice
Dr. Lorie Kloda

ImageIt’s easier to talk about using research findings and institutional data to inform library practice than to actually do it. In this talk, I will make the case for practical evidence-informed decision making. How can librarians and library staff incorporate assessment when there are so many other urgent matters to take care of? We all know the challenges, but do we know the solutions? I certainly don’t! I will, however, provide some suggestions for getting assessment done, incorporating ideas from the day’s presentations and concepts from the evidence-based librarianship movement.

Lorie Kloda is the Assessment Librarian at McGill University Library, where she gathers and analyzes quantitative and qualitative data to provide evidence for decision making and planning. She began her career at the reference desk in the Westmount Public Library. Lorie has experience working in special libraries, including the Jewish General Hospital Health Sciences Library and the Montreal Neurological Hospital Patient Information Centre. In 2003, she made the transition to academic librarianship as a reference and instruction librarian at the McGill Life Sciences Library. For several years, Lorie taught Information Retrieval to MLIS students at McGill’s School of Information Studies. Lorie has a master’s and PhD in information studies from McGill University. Her doctoral research explored the information needs of health professionals. Lorie’s research interests include evidence-based librarianship, expert searching for systematic reviews, and the information behaviour of health professionals. Since 2008, she has been the Associate Editor (Evidence Summaries) of the open access journal, Evidence Based Library and Information Practice.

Invisible users: Designing a survey to assess students’ study space needs
Katharine Hall & Dubravka Kapa

ImageImageConcordia Libraries are currently planning for the renovation and reconfiguration of its spaces and collections.  Understanding students’ study space needs within a campus context was seen as one of the more important elements of the renovations. Concordia’s two campuses have very different population sizes and house different departments with potentially different study space needs. To assess Loyola Campus students’ needs, and to help generate questions for conducting focus group interviews, a survey was created and distributed by email. This presentation will include a discussion around question design, survey structure and implementation as well as the survey’s results and future steps.

Katharine Hall is the Physics Librarian at Concordia University Libraries.  She holds a BSc in Biochemistry from McMaster University and a Master’s degree in Library and Information Sciences from University of Western Ontario.  She has worked at Concordia University since 2010 and has been involved with teaching credit-bearing information literacy courses as well as other fun projects like Concordia’s Human Library in 2011.
Dubravka Kapa
is the Director of the Vanier Library at Concordia University’s Loyola campus. She holds an MSc in Molecular Biology and a Master’s degree in Library and Information Sciences.  Dubravka’s current professional interests include trying to think strategically and pragmatically about the next day, the next five years (and possibly beyond) while having students, faculty, and the library in mind.

Creating user-centered spaces in your learning commons
Pam Harland

ImageThe user-centered Learning Commons encourages peer-to-peer learning, experimentation, and collaboration with some of the key innovations that are revolutionizing education, information, and the creation of digital media. This space provides all users with a laboratory to create projects and experiment with new types of learning devices, resources, and tools, especially those that blend the virtual with the physical. The print collection continues to thrive in a “Dewey-Lite” system of display and organization. User-centered Learning Commons reassess through incorporating user-feedback into the flexible and fluid space.

Pam Harland is the Librarian at Sanborn Regional High School in Kingston, New Hampshire. She serves as  President-Elect of the New Hampshire School Library Media Association and also on the American Association of School Library’s Repurposing and Managing the Brands Task Force. She has worked as a librarian in school libraries, public libraries, university libraries, and at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston's Research Library. Pam is the recipient of the 2010 NH School Librarian of the Year. She is also the author of The Learning Commons: Seven Simple Ways to Transform Your Library (Libraries Unlimited, 2011).

Les sondages : pour découvrir plus que les besoins !
Carole Laguë

ImageAfin de bien comprendre les besoins de tous les membres des communautés que nous desservons, les sondages offrent un des meilleurs choix. Saisir ce que les gens ont à dire et ce qu'ils pensent permet à la Bibliothèque de mieux concevoir et cibler les programmes qu’elle offre. Le sondage est un outil qui en le combinant à l'analyse des statistiques dévoile ce que les abonnés veulent et permet de bien planifier l'allocation des ressources mises à notre disposition et de démontrer que les décisions quant aux dépenses s'appuient sur des éléments solides. De plus, l'utilisation de sondages permet de convaincre les décideurs des besoins de la communauté et de la nécessité d'y investir des fonds. Nous vous proposons de réfléchir aux avantages des sondages pour essayer de determiner les besoins et surtout de découvrir les désirs des usagers. Le but visé étant d'avoir des bibliothèques fort utilisées puisque sans usagers, la bibliothèque n’existe pas.

Carole Laguë is the Head Librarian of the Gatineau Public Library, a position she has held for over ten years. She is active in both the provincial and national library communities and is currently Past Chair of the Canadian Urban Libraries Council since June 2012. Before joining the Gatineau Public Library, Carole was both Head Librarian and Cultural Manager in one of the boroughs of the City of Montreal.She holds undergraduate degrees in American and English literature, communications and marketing and a master’s degree in library and information studies all from McGill University. She is committed to making the world a better place and strongly believes public libraries are one of the best institutions through which this can happen.

Assessment of library space
Julie McKenna

ImageThe use of library space has historically been driven by the need for collection storage, presentation, and use.  Today’s and tomorrow’s users expect different experiences from the library, and it can be a challenge to identify the means to move forward with the physical changes that these expectations trigger.  How does a library come to understand the ways in which its community is currently using the library’s space and the expectations that the community has of its library?  What practical approaches can we take to understand service needs and undertake the space design and the change process needed to meet specific community needs?  

Julie McKenna has been the Deputy Library Director at Regina Public Library (Saskatchewan) since 2007.  From 2001 through 2007, she was the Associate University Librarian and oversaw services assessment at the University of Regina.  Her previous career was in public and special libraries. Julie is on the Standing Committee on Statistics and Evaluation (IFLA), the Library Leadership and Management Association (ALA) Competency Committee, and is one of the Canadian Urban Libraries Council`s Public Library Leadership Fellows.  Julie has an MLIS and a Master of Human Resource Management.  Her research interests are focused in the area of evidence-based management. 

Évaluer pour mieux gérer : projet de typologie des bibliothèques scolaires
Gigi Nadeau

ImageL’idée n’est pas nouvelle : pour savoir où l’on va, il faut d’abord savoir d’où l’on vient.  En 2010, un premier groupe de bibliothécaires est formé pour réfléchir et travailler à établir des normes qualitatives communes aux bibliothèques scolaires.  En effet, plusieurs d’entre nous voient la nécessité d’évaluer l’état des lieux, la qualité du support à la pédagogie, la qualité et la variété des ressources.  Avec l’apport du numérique, il devient nécessaire d’entreprendre une réflexion  sur ce qu’est une excellente bibliothèque scolaire.

Gigi Nadeau is a graduate of McGill University’s School of Information Studies (MLIS), and holds a Bachelor’s degree in French Literature from the University of Sherbrooke. She has worked as a librarian consultant for the Riverside School Board for the last four years. Gigi was a member of the team that worked on the “Projet de typologie pour les bibliothèques scolaires du primaire - phase 1”, and is participating again this year, working on the second phase of this project. As a result of her involvement with this project, a school from her school board was awarded a regional recognition award in 2012.

Knowing what we don't know: Student self-assessment and library use
Denyse Rodrigues

ImageIdentifying areas of information competence can be helpful in planning library programs and outreach. It is also useful to know which resources students use when they become aware of their own strengths and weaknesses. This session will share the results of a study undertaken with selected students at Mount Saint Vincent University (Halifax, NS). A research readiness self-assessment was administered to 160 students along with an invitation to participate in a semi-structured interview. The benefits of collaborating with faculty in the development and use of library research assessment and instruction will also be discussed.

Denyse Rodrigues is the E-Learning Librarian at Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Her responsibilities include the provision of library services for distance and off-campus students, content co-ordination of the library website, and participating in library reference and instructional services including teaching the distance section 'Introduction to Research in the Information Age'. Denyse has a MISt, Library and Information Sciences, from the University of Toronto.

Your library has that book! Assessment of the course adopted books service in the Claremont Colleges Library
Maria Savova

ImageThe Course Adopted Books service at The Claremont Colleges Library is designed to provide students with improved access to required and recommended readings. The project aims to help librarians determine the most appropriate format and the optimal loan term for course adopted materials, as well as to gain an understanding of the disciplinary differences in usage patterns and format preferences. This presentation provides information about the set-up of the service, circulation statistics for the print materials, and comparisons in the usage of titles made available in both print and electronic formats.

Maria Savova is the Collection Management and Digital Integration Librarian at The Claremont Colleges Library. She is involved in Collection Management and Analysis, as well as launching new services aiming to better align the Library’s collections to the learning, teaching, and research needs of the students and faculty of The Claremont Colleges. Maria worked previously at McGill University Library as Collection Development and Special Projects Librarian. Her research interests include discovery tools, e-books, electronic formats and DRM, as well as use of mobile technology in libraries for promoting collections and enhancing information literacy instruction.

Assessing and strengthening school libraries in the English Montreal School Board
Julian Taylor

ImageSchool libraries have a number of obstacles preventing them from being their best for our students and teaching staff. While this is not a new phenomenon, the idea of doing an objective board-wide assessment of our libraries and the needs of their school communities, in order to collectively work towards making our school libraries more reflective of our students' needs and becoming more relevant in their minds, is relatively new idea. This presentation aims to explain the planning and process of this assessment at the English Montreal School Board, as well as the results it has achieved and its long term goals.

Julian Taylor graduated with a MLIS from McGill in 2000 and has been involved with school libraries at the school, ministry, and school board level over 10 years, as well as spending a year as an ESL teacher in South Korea. Many of his current responsibilities at the EMSB involve working with school-based library personnel and administrators to asses strengths and determining the areas in need of development, to work cooperatively towards improving our libraries.

Panel: Assessing your French Children’s and Teen Collection

Do you want your children’s and teen French books to fly off the shelves? Come listen to some experts give advice on popular series, what’s hot, what’s not, what to weed and what to keep.

ImageSusane Duchesne was born in St-Felicien in the Lac-St-Jean region. She received her library technician diploma from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) and her BA in anthrolopology from the Université de Montréal where she is now undertaking her Master’s degree in library and information studies (EBSI). Susane worked for several years in Alberta’s French school libraries and is now responsible for the children’s collection at Librairie Monet in Montreal. As President of IBBY-Canada, Susane sits on the jury for the TD Prize and the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Award for best Canadian illustrator of a picture book.


ImageOlivier Hamel is a recent graduate l’EBSI and currently works for the Commission scolaire Marguerite-Bourgeoys (CSMB). Having completed various internships in France and work at the Heritage Collection of the BANQ, Olivier now dedicates his time to the promotion of children’s literature. Fascinated by science-fiction, adventure stories, comics and manga, he likes to think of himself as a “biblioboxer” who, outside of work, continues to be a true adventurer!




Valerie Medzalabanleth is the Manager of Children’s Services at the Côte Saint-Luc Public Library, where she has worked since 2011. She previously worked as the Summer Reading Coordinator at the Kirkland Public Library, where she also acted as Reference Librarian. Armed with her MLIS and a Masters in English Literature, Valerie is passionate about sharing her love of reading with children of all ages, no matter what language they read in. She hopes to ensure that no child ever thinks that reading isn’t for them and sees herself as a book matchmaker. She likes to boast that she read the Vampire Diaries when they were originally published in 1991, earning some “cred” with a few easily-impressed teens at the library.


Sophie Morissette is currently working as a librarian at the Commission scolaire de  St-Hyacinthe. She is also a published children’s author (Hourra! Tout un plat!, Bananes, vanille et chocolat, Pirate à bâbord !) and the creator of an online course on children’s literature for the graduate students of library and information studies.