Sessions and speakers

Opening Keynote Presentation

Library Live and On Tour: Taking It To The Street
Sharon “Smitty” Miller, Community Development Librarian for Fraser Valley Regional Library

What do you get when you cross a librarian with tattooed car guys? 2014 Library Journal Mover and Shaker and 'Tour Manager' Smitty Miller (founding Community Development Librarian at Fraser Valley Regional Library in British Columbia) will present an energetic overview of the development of the world's first library-community-development-hot-rod. Smitty will tell the tales of delivering library services to marginalized people and discuss why libraries of all kinds must embrace the philosophies of community development in order to remain relevant in modern society. You'll be talking about this one long after it's over. It ain't your daddy's bookmobile!

Closing keynote Presentation

Igniting a Creative and Dynamic Community at the Innisfil ideaLAB
Aaron DeVries, ideaLAB Manager, Innisfil Public Library

Developing an effective makerspace in a library requires community input. Community input requires actually getting out into the community! With a vision of sparking ideas to ignite a creative and dynamic community, Innisfil Public Library (Ontario) launched the ideaLAB – a temporary space combining traditional library service with spaces for hands-on hacking and digital creativity. One year later, the library is set to move things into a newly renovated building, with even bigger plans for sparking community ideas in the future!

Invited speakers

Friend, Follow, Comment: An Analysis of Social Media Use by Academic Libraries in Montréal
Dee Winn, Michael Groenendyk, Sarah Polk, Melissa Rivosecchi and Julia Bjerke

The relatively recent emergence of Web 2.0 has transformed the manner in which academic libraries interact with our users. Over the past decade, libraries have used social networking tools to communicate, connect and collaborate with their users in unprecedented ways and current research suggests this trend will continue. The majority of academic libraries in Montréal are using one or more social media websites as a means of outreach to their users. Our team is investigating UQÀM Bibliothèques’ use of Facebook and Twitter, Université de Montréal Bibliothèques’ Facebook and YouTube accounts, McGill Libraries’ use of YouTube, Twitter and Facebook and Concordia Library’s Twitter usage. In this session we’ll share our research findings and recommend best practices for social media success.

Leading Learning to Transform School Libraries
Anita Brooks Kirkland, Consultant, Libraries & learning

New standards from the Canadian Library Association provide a flexible framework to realize the full potential of Canada's school library communities.  Leading Learning: Standards of Practice for School Library Learning Commons in Canada (2014) was developed with input from school library practitioners and education stakeholders from every province and territory in Canada. Framed around program outcomes and their impact on learning, Leading Learning can help all schools to realize the true potential of vibrant school library learning commons programs. In this session we will explore Leading Learning and make connections to specific contexts for libraries in Quebec. We will also explore how this important and historic document can inspire libraries in all sectors to realize their own leadership potential in our ever-changing contexts for learning. 

Rejoindre les différentes communautés hors les murs
Nicole Dubeau, Responsable à la médiation, Bibliothèques de Laval

Depuis janvier 2013, les bibliothèques de Laval ont développé un service hors les murs afin de rejoindre les différentes communautés là où elles se trouvent. Cette équipe, composée de bibliothécaires, a développé différents programmes de médiation du livre et de la lecture répondant aux besoins des diverses clientèles résidents sur le territoire lavallois et ne fréquentant pas nécessairement les bibliothèques. Ces nouveaux programmes nous ont permis de développer des partenariats avec différents organismes communautaires et culturels et de présenter une bibliothèque qui désire s’impliquer activement dans sa communauté.

Bewitching the town: Community collaborations in academic libraries
Marcela Y. Isuster, Business and Economics Librarian at Salem State University
Catherine Fahey, Humanities Librarian at Salem State University

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For academic librarians, building relationships off-campus can be challenging. Besides working out of their comfort zone, they must learn how to transition to a different population. At the same time, the library must put its core users—students and faculty—first. How do librarians balance the needs of both town and gown? This session will explore how academic librarians in Salem, Mass. built communities of learning with local groups, businesses, and cultural institutions off-campus.  The speakers will focus on two ways of partnering with the community: working directly with local organizations and supporting service learning initiatives in the classroom. 

The Adopt-a-Library Literacy Program
John Kennedy, Royal Canadian Mounted Police Constable & Coordinator of The Adopt-a-Library Literacy Program

The Adopt-a-Library Literacy Program began 20 years ago around the supper table in the Kennedy Home.  It evolved after a discussion about kids not being able to read.  It is now a program that involves thousands of young people and numerous schools, libraries and other institutions.  It was built on the concept of fighting crime one book at a time.

In Concert with Our Community: Fostering Partnerships to Enhance Services to Musicians
Cathy Martin, Liaison librarian, McGill University Library

Like many libraries, McGill University’s Marvin Duchow Music Library serves clients with diverse and specialized information needs. In order to respond to these varying needs—and thereby enhance users’ access to collections and services—staff have been working in tandem with related academic and community units, such as the Schulich School of Music’s Booking Office, the McGill International String Quartet Academy, and a CEGEP music program affiliated with McGill. Examples of such collaborations will be described during the session, demonstrating how the Library’s teamwork with various units enables staff to better understand their users and to respond with relevant measures.

Does your community include children and teens of all abilities?
Sharon Moynes, Manager, Readers', Youth and Children's Services, North York Central Library, Toronto Public Library
Leigh Turina, IBBY Librarian, Children's Department, North York Central Library, Toronto Public Library

The IBBY Collection for Young People with Disabilities includes books for and about children and teens with disabilities. Sharon and Leigh will share examples from this international 4,000 book collection, in over 40 languages, and many specialized formats, such as Braille, sign language, picture communications symbols, textile and tactile books.

Level up! Game Design Programs in Libraries
Dr. Scott Nicholson, Associate Professor at Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies & Director of the Because Play Matters game lab

Many libraries provide opportunities for patrons to play games in libraries, either through formal game programs or by allowing them to play games on library computers.  While game programs in libraries can build community and draw in the underserved, librarians wanting to level up their programs can look at game design. Game design requires many different skills, so works well to bring different patrons together to accomplish challenges. Attendees of this presentation will learn about different ways to use analog and digital game design programs in their libraries to engage a variety of patrons in public, academic, or school libraries.

Therapy Dogs Helping Children to Love Reading
Harriet Schleifer (Co-founder of Blue Ribbon Therapy Dogs) & Banquise’s Brandy’s Touch (foundation dog)


This presentation will explore the benefits of therapy dogs in library-based reading programmes for young children. Scientific studies on this topic will be reviewed.  Information on how to organize programmes in a school or community library will be provided.  Details of Blue Ribbon Therapy Dogs children's programmes will be explained. "Brandy", who has worked in these programmes with her handler for many years, will be present to demonstrate the practical aspects of canine-assisted reading.

Diverse Schools, Adaptive Services: An Alternative ‘Learning Commons’ Approach
Julia Stark and Nicholas Warren, English Montreal School Board


How can we make the ‘learning commons’ model fit our harder-to-reach students? Librarians working at the English Montreal School Board have found that at-risk students become positively engaged in the library when staff step into the student world to create a more meaningful service.   Positioning their work within a ‘learning commons’ framework of literacy, collaboration, and community-building, Nick and Julia have adapted services to make sense to their student and school realities. At this session, Nick and Julia will explain their approach, challenges and lessons-learned, while sharing simple, low-cost ideas for serving harder-to-reach communities that advance the library’s mission.