Sessions and Speakers

Opening Keynote Presentation
Useful, usable and desirable: Library User Experience Design
Aaron Schmidt, Principal, Influx Library User Experience

Design is more than choosing pretty colors. It’s all about solving problems and even if you don’t know it, you are a designer. Schmidt will introduce the concept of User Experience (UX) thinking and illustrate how it can help improve your website, programs, services, and more. After this presentation you’ll have a keener critical eye, and a framework with which you can make your library the most important place in your community.

In the past ten years Aaron Schmidt has been a circulation clerk, reference librarian, and library director. Currently he is a principal at Influx Library User Experience Consulting and maintains a library and website usability weblog, Recent projects include researching the future of summer reading programs for the Public Library Association, and organizing and facilitating a “Library Innovation Exchange” with library organizations in Mexico City.

Closing Keynote Presentation
Innovation in Libraries, reinventing Spaces and Place
Erik Boekesteijn and Jaap van de Geer


A library building and its spaces can help to put you in a certain state of mind. This can be a learning state of mind, a creative state of mind or any other state of mind.  Erik Boekesteijn and Jaap van de Geer explored the effect of library spaces on library users during their visits to many libraries around the world and within their Extreme Library Makeovers. In this presentation they will share with you the best examples of Library States of Mind.


Erik Boekesteijn and Jaap van de Geer are library innovators with a worldwide following. In 2007, they began a video project called Shanachie Tour, where they travel the globe to learn about and share library best practices. In 2008, they published a ShanachieTour book ( In 2009, they were the first Europeans to be named Movers and Shakers by Library Journal. In 2010, they co-founded Shanachie Media and were the first to start an online video talk show, called This Week in Libraries ( In 2012, they co-founded Doklab, a private innovation consultancy that focuses on storytelling to connect people to collections (
Previously, Erik and Jaap worked for DOK, the library concept center in Delft, the Netherlands ( DOK's unique community space and open-minded attitude toward innovation has won many awards, making it a well-known example of a 21st-century library. Erik, a communications specialist, first worked in the marketing and communication department, then in the innovation department. Jaap, a librarian by degree, built an ILS from scratch (called Clientrix), then was head of the science and innovation department. You can email them at

Invited Speakers
Got Game? Designing engaging Library Experiences for the 21st Century
Sandra Bebbington, Collaborator, MELS

Whether it is Candy Crush, Minecraft or League of Legends, video games have become a ubiquitous part of our daily experience. But what can we learn from video games? And what do they have to do with libraries? This session will give participants a snapshot into how videos games and their design elements can be used to create engaging and meaningful library experiences for users of all ages. Participants will explore the do’s and don’ts of gamification while experiencing some concrete examples of how to “gamify” their library. Let’s play!

Sandra has been working on the Digital Literacy Project at the Ministère de l'Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport for the past three years. Previous to that she was managing three school libraries for the Lester B Pearson School Board. Sandra is anxiously waiting to defend her thesis on teen information literacy skills and video games for her Masters in Information Studies at the University of Ottawa. She likes gaming so much that she also hosts Minecraft Marathons at the Pointe Claire Public Library. When she’s not building virtual worlds, Sandra loves travelling around the real world with her three teens and fabulous husband.

Visual Redesign of Library Services at Bibliothèque Le Prévost
Marc-André Bernier, Librarian, Bibliothèque Le Prévost (Ville de Montréal)

For the general public, access to library facilities is often architectural issues, such as ramps for wheelchairs. However, Deaf people, who use sign languages (ASL or LSQ) as a mean of communication, often face difficulties to have access to library services in their natural language. Hence, the bibliothèque Le Prévost is carrying out a visual redesign of library services by hiring a Deaf librarian to meet the needs of Deaf patrons.

Marc-André Bernier holds a bachelor’s degree in History and Archival Science from the Université de Montréal and a master’s degree in Library and Information Studies from McGillUniversity. Since July 2013, he has worked as a librarian at the bibliothèque Le Prévost. Currently, he is working on project aimed to set up a liaison between the Deaf community and the Montreal public library network as well as to adapt library services to Deaf patrons. Previously, he worked as an archivist and librarian at the Association québécoise pour le patrimoine industriel where he processed archives and collections of industrial heritage-related documents. He also worked as an archivist at the Deaf Culture Centre in Toronto, Ontario.

More than Wireframes: Meditations on the Traditions of Web Design
Edward Bilodeau, Web Services Librarian, McGill University

How can libraries that often lack deep design expertise expect to build web sites that stand on par with the other sites their patrons use on a regular basis? How important is a website redesign when libraries struggle to maintain the web sites they have, to keep content up to date, to make sure all the links and forms are working? This presentation will explore the practices of web design, looking beyond the processes and deliverables to present an approach to design that can be used by any library to improve its online services.

Edward Bilodeau is the web services librarian at McGill University. He has extensive experience in both in academia as well as the private sector, primarily in the areas of web strategy, communications, information architecture, and web development. Edward has also taught many courses at both the graduate and undergraduate level over the last 10 years, primarily in the area of web site design and management. His current interests include web operations, digital library infrastructures, and library administration. You can find Edward online at or

Designing streaming Video Services: Challenges, Opportunities and Working Models
Susie Breier, Reference and Selection Librarian for Anthropology, Sociology and Women’s Studies, Concordia Libraries
Jared Wiercinski, Digital Services & Outreach Librarian, Concordia Libraries

For libraries hoping to introduce or improve their offerings of online videos, there is no set template to follow, no single product to purchase. We are left to design our own models of streaming media services based on patron needs, copyright law and the current availability of appropriate products. At this presentation we will discuss the eclectic mix of options adopted at Concordia Libraries, including an array of purchase agreements we negotiated with commercial providers. You’ll also take a peek at Helix, our internal streaming media server hosting both audio and video materials. And we might even talk about copyright!

As Reference and Selection Librarian for Anthropology, Sociology and Women’s Studies, Susie Breier administers a media fund which has allowed her to experiment - and struggle - with a variety of streaming video purchase models. She also recently worked with an eConcordia course designer on a pilot project to obtain a set of required-viewing films for an online-only Applied Human Sciences Course.

As Concordia Libraries’ Digital Services & Outreach Librarian, Jared Wiercinski was responsible for launching the Helix streaming media server. He currently administers the server as well as all of its audio and video content. He is the librarian for the Department of Music and for the Department of Contemporary Dance, and provides them with research, instruction, and collection development support.

Program Design in School Libraries
Andrea Hyde, School Librarian
Kathleen Conroy, School Librarian
Caroll-Ann Steele, School Librarian
Suzanne Nesbitt, Educational Consultant

The idea of designing activities for your school library may seem daunting. Never fear, help is here: there are resources at your fingertips and there is no need to reinvent the wheel. School Librarians from the Lester B. Pearson School Board will share some of their tried and true library activities, some of which can be adapted to either elementary or high school . You will leave with suggestions, links and resources to use as presented, or tweak and make your own. Make your life easy while promoting reading and making your library a going concern!
Andrea Hyde is school librarian at Beaconsfield High School. She graduated from McGill with a degree in History and completed the ILT program at John Abbot College. She has worked in school libraries for the past 7 years. She is joined by her Lester B. Pearson School Board colleagues and partners in crime:
Kathleen Conroy is a graduate of McGill’s MLIS program, she has worked in youth services for several years, namely at Cote-St-Luc Library. She is now school librarian at Westwood Jr. School and Mount Pleasant Elementary.
Caroll-Ann Steele is a graduate of the John Abbott College ILT program. She has been the school librarian at Pierrefonds Comprehensive High School for the past 8 years.
Suzanne Nesbitt is a graduate of Université de Montréal and Loyola University where she studied French Literature, Education and Library Science. She worked as a school librarian for over 20 years, and has been an educational consultant for the past 8 years.

The Dirt on Design: Tips and Tricks for Creating Promotional Items at your Library
Gregory Houston, Digitization and New Media Administrator, McGill University Library
Merika Ramundo, Communications Officer, McGill University Library.

Trials, tribulations, and triumphs. Every marketing campaign has them. Communications Officer Merika Ramundo and Digitization and New Media Administrator Greg Houston briefly recount their "learning moments" around creating and designing McGill Library's 2013 "Everything You Need" marketing campaign. Attendees will walk away with practical tips and strategies on how to improve/freshen up marketing materials without spending a fortune.

Gregory Houston is a Digitization and New Media Administrator at McGill University Library. He is part of a team that is responsible for overseeing all aspects of digitization and managing the library's digital resources. Greg also provides a leadership role in graphic user interface development, web design, and digital asset management.
Prior to working at McGill, he worked as a motion graphics specialist and helped in the development of several popular children's animation programs. He also worked for six years as Art Director and Multimedia Project Manager for the Federal Government and gained valuable expertise in digital design with a focus on new media and web technologies. Greg holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Concordia University as a graduate of the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema.

Merika Ramundo joined McGill Library in 2010 with over twelve years of experience in the fields of marketing, communications, and public relations in both the not-for-profit and for-profit sectors.  Prior to her role at McGill, Merika worked in theatrical marketing promoting film releases for Twentieth Century Fox Films. Her professional experience also includes publicizing youth outreach and professional training initiatives at Soulpepper Theatre Company and conducting outreach feasibility studies, workshops and special events for Hot Docs Film Festival, De-ba-jeh-mu-jig Theatre Group, and the Ontario Arts Council respectively. She is also an arts-education advocate and has served on the boards of the Paprika Festival & 4Unity Productions. Merika holds a BA in English Literature from McGill and is a graduate of the Arts Management program at the University of Toronto.  In 2004, Merika received the Pfizer Award for Canadian Emerging Arts Managers.    

Getting Started with Content Strategy 
Michele-Ann Jenkins, Senior Consultant, Dovecot Studio

The table settings are perfect, décor impeccable, the guests are all invited – but where’s the meal? This is the scenario when you’ve harnessed the latest technology, crafted eye-catching visual design, and built great navigation but haven’t allocated the resources needed to craft consistent, useful content. Developing a content strategy can enable your organization to create better content, manage that content throughout its lifecycle, and allow you to reuse it appropriately across the channels. We’ll look at how to know where you are with a content audit and gap analysis and plan where you’re going with a practical, effective content strategy.

Michele has over 15 years’ experience working on all aspects of web publishing -- from writing code on one of the first open source CMSs, to designing a topic-centric solution for the World Health Organization’s 250+ subsites, to building taxonomy-driven multilingual product catalogues. Her hands-on experience is complemented by a Masters in Library Science from McGill University where she has worked as a sessional lecturer for courses including Knowledge Taxonomies and Online Communities of Practice. She currently wear many hats (IA, UX, sometimes-developer) as the senior consultant for Dovecot Studio, where we focus on taxonomy, metadata, and IA.

Walk right in, sit right down: creating usable Space in the Library’s Front Entrance
Lola Rudin, Management and Computer & Mathematical Sciences Librarian, UTSC
Sue Reynolds, Reference Technician, UTSC

The entrance of a library sets the tone for the entire user experience. This academic library entrance was revitalized from a utilitarian space with rows of public computers to a vibrant social study and reading room with a variety of seating and working options. The furniture is easily reconfigurable and invites both small group and individual work.

Participants will learn how we reused existing materials and creatively sourced lighting and furniture within a limited budget. We will share our consultative process to gather feedback from stakeholders throughout the project and highlight strategies for making a social space a quiet space.
Lola Rudin is the Management and Computer & Mathematical Sciences Librarian at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) Library. She provides research assistance, information literacy instruction, and collection development expertise to the university community. She is also heavily involved in assessment activities and in special projects. Two of her recent projects include the Quiet Library Campaign and the Popular Collection. Currently she is working to bring an e-reserves system to the University of Toronto Libraries system. Lola was the project lead for the library’s front entrance renovation project. Lola holds a BA Hons. in English and Computer Studies from Trent University and an MISt from the University of Toronto. Lola is interested in innovative library services and user experiences especially as they pertain to library spaces.

Sue Reynolds is a Reference Technician and has also supervised student assistants at the UTSC Library. Previously, Sue worked as a Research Associate at the executive recruitment firm Janet Wright Associates, as the Manager of Research Services and Manager of Library Services at The Michener Institute of Applied Health Sciences, and as a Library Technician at the Toronto Reference Library. She holds a BSc in Psychology and Linguistics from the University of Toronto and an MSc Econ in Information and Library Studies from Aberystwyth University in Wales. Sue has been involved in many projects at UTSC, including the Quiet Library project and the front entrance renovation.
The Role of Branding & Design in a Library Environment
Naira Santana, Paloma Branding and Design
Design has a huge impact on the success of libraries’ communication with their users. Join us on a journey through the basics of graphic design history, a crash course in graphic communication, branding, typography, signage and the role of design in our libraries.  You will also learn about graphic corporate identity and the benefits of respecting the guidelines of this identity. All you wanted to know about graphic design but you were scared to ask!
Naira Santana is a graphic designer living in Montreal, Canada. She is the owner of Atelier Paloma, a branding and design studio that specializes in print & web design with a passion for branding and effective communication. Naira has been collaborating with the Westmount Public Library on multiple branding and design projects since 2002. 
Renovation of a Library on a tight Budget: a Case Study of the Dorval Library
Kimberly Sikorski, OAQ, Principal Partner at Sikorski Labelle Architectes

Public spending is in a steady downturn and accountability is on the rise. As professionals, we are asked to cope with these two realities throughout a construction project, be it private or public. Value for money is why good design is more important than ever in these new economic times. The question: How is this achieved and what are the tools and framework that can be applied throughout a project? This presentation will seek to answer these questions by presenting the principles which guide a project at every stage to then relate them to a real-world case: the renovation of the Dorval Library. 

Kimberly’s professional experience began in 1997at Reitmans Canada within the Store planning department where she learned the complex retail environment from a corporate vantage point. Open to new challenges, she accepted a position at Roux Labelle architects, in 1998, as an architect in training. In the following years, she acquired numerous experiences such as participating in establishing Payless ShoeSource’s expansion into the Canadian market, design and layout of large complex buildings such as cinematographic complexes and design of new public spaces. Throughout her apprenticeship she gained a wealth of knowledge and experience which prepared her to become partner in 2005. Today as principal partner, her designs have been focused to consistently deliver attractive and convivial spaces with particular attention to the user experience. This is achieved through thoughtful planning of scale and ambiance, clarity and functionality.