Poster Session

Empowering Academic Librarians in their Quest for Social Justice and Recognition in Academia

Ahmed Alwan, Joy Doan, and Julieta Garcia

Academic Librarians aspire to develop collegial partnerships with Teaching Faculty. However, many Academic Librarians have expressed frustration about maltreatment by some Teaching Faculty that could be construed as microaggressive. The principal investigators hypothesized that this treatment may stem from a difference in perceived status between Academic Librarians and Teaching Faculty. To test the hypothesis, the researchers distributed a survey in early 2016 to Academic Librarians in the United States and Canada to determine how, where, why and when Academic Librarians experience status based microaggressions when dealing with Teaching Faculty.
The principal investigators have analyzed and disseminated analysis of the quantitative data from the survey, however, we are now in the process of examining the qualitative data. In this poster we hope to share the preliminary results of the qualitative analysis thus far. Additionally, the poster will showcase how this project which involved the hiring of a graduate student, aims to not only further the research on status based microaggressions, but serves as an example of how mentoring can bring new MLIS graduates into ongoing scholarly conversations within the field of Library & Information Science (LIS).

Movin’ On Up: Women of Color Librarians and Their Experiences on the Tenure-Track

Tarida Anantachai and Camille Chesley

Discussions regarding the historic systems of inequality and the burdens facing women and faculty of color have increasingly gained traction, both within academia as well as the library profession. Librarians have long discussed the stark underrepresentation of librarians of color within a traditionally white, female workforce and the impact of this dearth on an increasingly diverse patron population. But missing from these discussions are narratives of librarians of color about their own experiences, including how this homogeneity also affects their professional identity and development. This poster will share the preliminary findings of a study aimed at investigating the lived experiences of women librarians of color in promotion- and tenure-track positions. The shared findings will examine how one’s identity as a women of color and the process of navigating the inequities embedded within both the predominately white systems of higher education and librarianship impacts the everyday work, sense of identity, and overall career advancement of librarians of color. They will also discuss the implications these ultimately present on the recruitment, mentorship, and retention of diverse faculty in academic libraries.

Keywords: Gender/racial bias; intersectionality; tenure/promotion; women of color; workplace diversity.

Diversifying music collections by design: Responding to the needs of Iranian music researchers in North America

Houman Behzadi and Blair Kuntz

This poster provides an overview of a collection building project at the University of Toronto (U of T) Music Library. This undertaking was a response to the increasing interest in Iranian studies, and in particular Iranian music, at U of T. The Music Library hosts the largest academic music collection in Canada including electronic, print, and audio-visual resources from many world regions. Nonetheless, its collections remain primarily Eurocentric. The project therefore aimed to address a perceived gap by collecting materials from an endangered musical culture. Behzadi and Kuntz will explain the tools used to select and acquire the materials. These included the identification of the key titles missing from the UTL collections, consulting Persian language catalogues and bibliographies, and two trips to Iran. They will also discuss the challenges involved in providing access to this collection. In the end, Behzadi and Kuntz will discuss potential ways of promoting the collection and bringing it to the attention of library users at the Faculty of Music and beyond.

Keywords: Cataloging non-Roman script materials; diversity in librarianship; multicultural librarianship; music librarianship; Persian-language collection development.

Building Welcoming Communities: Durham Libraries Engage Diversity

Samantha Burdett and Sabrina Yung, on behalf of Durham Library Partners in Diversity (DLPD)

Public libraries are one of the last free shared spaces in a community. At their best, they provide a positive space for diverse communities to come together, learn, share and shape their communities. They play a critical, though sometimes overlooked, role in the settlement and integration of newcomers. Public library staff in Durham have joined together to create welcoming communities for diverse populations across the Region. Through representation on the Local Diversity and Immigration Partnership Council, membership with the Welcome Centre Immigrant Services sites, engagement in Public Health priority neighbourhood strategic initiatives, shared programming, joint positive space and cultural competency training for all library staff and a myriad of other joint program initiatives, public libraries in Durham are intentionally engaging, supporting and learning from the diverse populations that make up the region (and beyond!). This poster presentation will provide details on the growth of the Durham Library Partners in Diversity collaborative as well as highlights of joint programming and community-wide initiatives. It will also share the impacts the collaborative has had on member organizations as well as the community at large.

Keywords: Collaborative; coordination; diversity; Durham; positive space; welcoming communities.

Library and Information Services to Special Needs Populations

Bobbie Bushman

Children’s librarians are challenged to provide inclusive programming in today’s public libraries. There is a current trend in public libraries to provide special needs programming for children. The American Library Association (ALA) states that hearing children need to know six pre-reading skills to be ready to read; however, of the six pre-reading skills, four are developed differently for deaf and hard of hearing (D/HoH) children. Phonological awareness is largely not utilized by D/HoH children in learning to read. D/HoH children are also likely to build vocabulary, develop print motivation, and approach narrative skills differently than hearing children. This grounded theory research developed the model of successful library services and modifications to D/HoH children to explain which services, early literacy instruction, staff training and programs public libraries provide to children who are D/HoH. This research project also inquires about what kinds of modifications are made to serve D/HoH children, what the impetus was for providing library services to deaf children, and the outcomes of that service.

Keywords: Deaf/Hard of Hearing (D/HoH) patrons; early literacy; library services to children; patrons with disabilities.

Holy Selfies: Performing Pilgrimage in the Age of Social Media

Nadia Caidi, Susan Beazley, and Laia Colomer Marquez

This poster presentation examines the selfie-taking and sharing practices of Muslim pilgrims in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. We introduce the concept of the “holy selfie” (a selfie taken during either the Hajj or the Umrah pilgrimages) and report on a visual content analysis of a corpus of 100 holy selfies publicly available on social networking platforms. We seek to reach an understanding of the work that holy selfies do in the context of the expressions of spiritual and religious identity of those producing them. Our findings suggest that the embodied experience of pilgrims at the holy sites find an expressive release through the holy selfies with many pilgrims viewing selfie-taking as an important part of their journey. The selfies (and associated features) capture and document pilgrims’ experiences, contribute to their meaning-making, enable the sharing of memories with loved ones, and even garner online followers. Our study provides a picture of how holy selfies blur the gender line (as many males as females take them), emerge despite the opposition of Saudi authorities, and serve as a means of engaging with a multiplicity of audiences. This article seeks to start a conceptual and methodological conversation about this emerging phenomenon of identity construction involving the use of new media to document and share pilgrimage experiences, along with the construction of affiliative identities among geographically dispersed communities of Muslim pilgrims. The holy selfie as ‘affiliative object’ (Suchman, 2005) can thus be read as a tactic used by 21st century Muslims to create opportunities for self-representation and community building in a context of increasing Islamophobia.

See: Caidi, N., Beazley, S., and Marquez, L. C. (2017). Holy selfies: Performing pilgrimage in the age of social media. International Journal of Information, Diversity, & Inclusion (; forthcoming.

Keywords: Selfie; pilgrimage; religious experiences; social media; everyday religion; diversity of voices; social inclusion.

Unsettling our practices: decolonizing description at the University of Alberta Libraries

Sharon Farnel, Denise Koufogiannakis, Ian Bigelow, Anne Carr-Wiggin, Debbie Feisst, Kayla Lar-Son, and Sheila Laroque

Academic libraries have a responsibility and opportunity to answer the calls of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and contribute to reconciliation through collaborations, partnerships, and their own initiatives. While the University of Alberta Libraries (UAL) has a long history of engaging with Indigenous individuals and communities, one foundational aspect of our work had never been fully interrogated with regard to improving service to our Indigenous users, and that was our descriptive practices for our resource collections. Like most large academic libraries in North America, UAL currently relies heavily on Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) and Library of Congress Classification (LCC) for subject access to both our print and digital collections. While the use of LC standards comes with many recognized advantages, it understandably causes challenges in terms of adequate and appropriate representation of Indigenous peoples and contexts. In the fall of 2016, UAL struck a Decolonizing Description Working Group to investigate, define, and propose a plan of action for how we could more accurately, appropriately, and respectfully represent Indigenous peoples and contexts through our descriptive metadata practices. The symposium poster will provide an overview of the composition, activities and findings of the Working Group, a summary of the recommendations and the rationale behind them, and report on projects and activities under way or planned since the group’s report was submitted.

Keywords: Academic libraries; cataloguing; decolonization; LIS practice; metadata.

A New Model for Accessible Formats in the Public Library

Kim Johnson and Sabina Iseli-Otto

The National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS, offers a technologically-forward, democratic and participatory network that aims to address the inequities faced by Canadians with print disabilities, defined in the Canadian Copyright Act as mobility, cognitive, and vision impairments that prevent individuals from being able to read traditional print (about 10% of Canadians).NNELS is an online public library of books in accessible formats for readers with print disabilities. Using open-source technology to offer a user-driven digital service for library users with print disabilities, NNELS represents a world-first approach in both its technology (open source; authentication) and in its approach (user-driven collection development). NNELS also takes the network principle seriously: individual volunteers may on their own, or as a library project, record books for the NNELS collection.This poster session will describe the ways in which NNELS is working with libraries, service providers, and volunteers to build a sustainable model that puts the power in the hands of the user.

Keywords: Accessible format; format shift; print disability; public library; user-driven.

Equity and Inclusion at the Ottawa Public Library

Corinne de Réland

The Equity and Inclusion Lens was developed by the City of Ottawa, in partnership with City for All Women Initiative, a local organization that works with municipal decision makers to create a more inclusive city and promote gender equality. The Equity and Inclusion Lens is both a tool, and a process, that assists all city employees to consider all aspects of equity and inclusion in accessing city services. Training was developed for city employees. Recognizing that the Ottawa Public Library had different needs, the training was adapted and customized to a public library setting. The purpose of Equity and Inclusion Lens Training is to raise awareness about equity and inclusion, and to increase the use of the Equity and Inclusion Lens in the development and delivery of OPL programs and services.

Keywords: Equity; inclusion; public libraries; training; lens; tool.

Knowledge Translation and Migration-related Research in Library and Information Studies

Saguna Shankar

Library and information studies (LIS) scholars working on migration-related research are well positioned to share pragmatic insights and theoretical understandings at three intersections: (1) between LIS researchers, (2) between LIS researchers and researchers in different disciplines, and (3) between LIS researchers and practitioners in multicultural and settlement service organizations. Engagement at these points of connection will likely give rise to ideas for improving services as well as advancing theory. Although LIS takes pride in its interdisciplinarity, the results of interdisciplinary research may not be predicted or guaranteed when collaborating across research paradigms (Feinberg, 2012).  How does one work well at these different points of connection? A starting point is for projects to be collaborative from the start, rather than waiting until work is done to begin thinking about knowledge translation activities. Scholars and service providers need to work across the full spectrum of engagement, starting with identifying the various needs for inquiry, designing the research project, conducting the research, creating outputs, and acting upon findings. This openness to discussing levels of collaboration and the exchange of knowledge should be part of the research ethic for LIS scholars working towards fuller understandings of, and actions in support of, the role of information in the lives of people who migrate.

Keywords: Collaborative research; information practice; knowledge translation; migration; services.

The Everyday Life Information Behaviour of Immigrants: A Case of Bangladeshi Women

Nafiz Zaman Shuva

This poster illustrates the everyday life information behaviour of Bangladeshi immigrant women in Canada. I conducted semi-structured interviews to acquire information on various aspects of Bangladeshi immigrant women’s lives including everyday life information behaviour in Bangladesh and Canada. It is evident in my study that migration has substantially affected the everyday information behaviour of Bangladeshi women immigrants. Quite a few participants clearly indicated that the everyday life information behaviour in Canada compared to Bangladesh is completely different. It is further evident in my study that the information needs reported by Bangladeshi immigrant women are very much connected with their everyday life practices. The study found that immigrants create their own small world (Chatman, 1991) in their host countries and seek information and help from people in their small world. The study also found the high dependency of Bangladeshi immigrant women on family members and friends for satisfying their day to day information needs. It is also evident in the study that Savolainen’s (1995) Everyday Life Information Seeking (ELIS) model may not be suitable to capture the information practices of various immigrant groups (especially newcomers) due to migrational effects. Immigrants may have a completely different set of everyday life information needs compared to their early life in their home country before migrating to a new country. Based on the results of my pilot study, I also propose an Everyday Life Information Behaviour Model to capture the everyday life information behaviour of immigrants and to posit the connection between everyday life information behaviour of immigrants and their social integration and settlement.

Keywords: Barriers to information access; Canada; everyday life Information behaviour of immigrants; sources of information; women immigrants.

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