2017 Speakers


Paleofuturism, the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the Evolution of Libraries

Dr. Marilyn Herie

marilyn-herieDr. Marilyn Herie is the Associate Vice President, Learning Innovation, Teaching Excellence and Academic Quality at Centennial College, with an academic cross-appointment as Assistant Professor (Status Only), University of Toronto Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work. Her past roles include Dean, Teaching, Learning and Scholarship, and Academic Chair, Department of Community Services, at Centennial College; Director of the of the Collaborative Program in Addiction Studies at the University of Toronto; and Director/Advanced Practice Clinician at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). She has taught online, Masters-level courses for the past 14 years, was co-editor/contributor for the book Web-based Education in the Human Services (Haworth Press), and is enthusiastically engaged in a variety of digital communication applications. However, her most profound immersion in social media is the result of parenting a teen-ager. Marilyn blogs about learning and teaching at www.educateria.com.


What are the forces shaping community and collaboration in our work and in our lives? “Paleofuturism” explores both present and future through the lens of historical “futurist” predictions and imaginings. This entertaining and thought-provoking session explores the implications of the so-called “fourth industrial revolution” (artificial intelligence, big data and the internet of things) for community, collaboration, employment and teaching/learning in higher education. Prepare to be amazed…and amused….by this forward look backwards!

Keynote Dr. Marilyn Herie presentation video

PechaKucha Presentations


The Learning Portal: A collaboration powerhouse

Agnieszka Gorgon, Liaison and eLearning Librarian, Seneca College

Tanis Fink, Director of Seneca Libraries

Virginia Roy, OCLS Executive Director

Video | Slides | Abstract:

The Learning Portal project is an example of what a number of Ontario’s College Libraries and Learning Centres can accomplish when joining forces to build an online infrastructure to support student learning. The project’s success is rooted in cross-organizational collaborations, cross-functional interactions, and stakeholder engagement. This presentation will highlight the intricate collaborative partnerships formed at a strategic level, and provide insight into a multi-organizational development team’s workflow.


At point of need: Integrating library resources into Blackboard

Christa Lochead, Interim Web & Liaison Librarian, George Brown College

Video | Slides | Abstract:

To support learning and teaching, one of the goals of the George Brown College Library Learning Commons is to make research resources available at point of need.  The objective is to become embedded in locations where students and faculty will find it easy and convenient to access library resources and services.  To this end, in collaboration with a number of college departments, the library has recently developed three new services for the college’s Learning Management System (Blackboard).

To begin with, a “librarian” designation was added to Blackboard, which allows liaison librarians to collaborate with instructors and add library content directly to designated courses. Following that, a modified version of the library website was created and made available within Blackboard, enabling students and faculty to access the library from within the LMS rather than the traditional website. Finally, tools from EBSCO and Springshare – the Curriculum Builder API and the Springshare Research Guides LTI – were implemented to allow faculty to search library resources, create lists of readings, and embed research guides into courses, all without leaving Blackboard.

These projects were developed in collaboration with the college’s Information Technology, LMS and Learning and Teaching departments, as well as with vendors, library staff, and faculty. While still a relatively recent undertaking, these projects have been well-received by the wider college community, generating particular interest from administration and faculty keen to reduce reliance on print course packs. This presentation will cover the steps we took to develop and promote these projects, some of the challenges we faced, the results so far and our plans for moving forward.


Stop the insanity

Amanda Van Mierlo, Library Technician, Humber College

Video | Slides | Abstract:

It has been said that insanity can be defined as doing the same thing over and over, yet expecting different results. After facing the same challenges repeatedly each semester, Humber Libraries’ circulation team realized it was time for a change. A daily planner and walkie talkies have transformed circulation duties and workflow. I will share our unlikely source of inspiration, and describe the ways these tools have improved staff communication.


Collaborating for materials success

Patricia Buckley, Digital Curator and Special Collections Librarian, Sheridan College

Shelley Woods, Faculty of Animation, Arts and Design Librarian, Sheridan College

Gouthami Vigneswaran, Faculty of Applied Science and Technology Librarian, Sheridan College

Video | Slides | Abstract:

Coconut-shell tiles, recycled-beverage construction material, and translucent concrete – what student or faculty working in the design fields wouldn’t want to experience a collection of innovative physical materials? If they don’t know where it is, what it’s about, how to use it, and didn’t have any input into its curation – probably not many. The Material Girlz, aka Sheridan librarians Patricia Buckley, Gouthami Vigneswaran, and Shelley Woods, will take you through the collaborative processes among librarians, administration, vendor, and faculty and students that resulted in this collection’s immediate use in curriculum, an art exhibit, opening ceremony for a new campus building, and the college’s 50th celebrations.


Rolling the dice: Growing and promoting board games collections

Rob Makinson, Sessional Librarian, Centennial College

Video | Slides | Abstract:

This presentation will share some of the lessons learned from managing and promoting a board game collection from its infancy, and include some suggestions for other libraries looking to develop, promote, or expand their own games collections.

Board games offer a great way to improve interaction with students: they appreciate the chance to sit down and escape the stresses of the semester by playing a game with friends or library staff. Centennial Libraries began circulating board games across our four main campuses in May 2016. We found our users appreciative and interested “who doesn’t enjoy relaxing over some games with friends?” but concentrated: most students did not think that the library would have board games, or that they could take them home. Therefore, our main challenge was promotional: we had to get the word out.

Since I started managing the board game collection, I have worked with other college units to promote the collection and drive up usage, including the Centennial College Student Association (CCSAI) and the Learning and Math Centres. Some examples include:

  • Recurring: drop-in games events to support college initiatives
  • Fall term: supplying games for student board game cafe events
  • Study Week: math games event, using games like Prime Climb to teach math skills
  • End of Spring term: De-Stress Before Your Test event at the Learning Centres

We have just completed a major expansion of the games collection (it has roughly doubled in size) and feedback has been very positive. Our future plans for the collection involve transitioning from large but infrequent events to smaller informal drop-in programming, reaching out to other college departments like Counselling Services, and shifting our focus to faculty and the educational value of games.

Organizing chaos: A path to preserving and presenting Humber College’s history

Adam Weissengruber, Interim Applied Technology & Media Studies/IT Librarian, Humber College

Video | Slides | Abstract:

In this presentation I will provide an overview of how the library team at Humber College utilized their skills to evaluate, organize, digitize and publish photographs representing the history of the college.

For the past 10 years the library has been involved in a variety of archival efforts. There have been some successful projects brought to fruition including the digitization of student newspapers and a collection of photographs by an early employee of the college. But we were aware that little work had been done to evaluate the many boxes of materials from a variety of departments that had been donated to the library over the years.

So a few years ago, with the approach of the 50th anniversary of the college, a decision was made to focus on collecting the available image-based materials (mostly film slides and negatives), getting them scanned and digitized and making them available in a new online repository.

While this sounds fairly straightforward, we ran into many challenges. These included:

  • deciding what approach to take for an online digital repository platform (open-source, proprietary, etc.)
  • coming up with a taxonomy that fit the collection
  • choosing a company to do the scanning
  • finding people who could review the images and provide accurate and insightful descriptions of the content and individual names

By working together with a diverse group which included library staff, retirees, and other college departments we have been able to take the first steps in preserving important college history as well as making it publicly available and providing a wealth of material the college can leverage for its 50th anniversary celebrations.

My presentation will provide an overview of the challenges we faced and highlight how we overcame them by finding solutions that fit our staffing model, financial resources and technical infrastructure.


In their own language: Faculty speaking for and with us

Jennifer Peters, eLearning and Digital Literacies Librarian, Seneca College

Video | Slides | Abstract:

Back in 2013 I was attending many faculty PD events promoting and speaking about our new Sandbox program. Faculty seemed excited to hear about us, but there was never any follow-through, we never heard from them to pursue digital media projects. They seemed content to hear about us, but weren’t interested in participating. Then I realized…I’m not speaking their language! I’m a librarian with a certain approach and this approach didn’t connect with their context. So, I starting asking faculty the Sandbox had worked with to speak for us and with us. This was a real breakthrough because now faculty were able to truly understand the value of the Sandbox as seen through their colleagues eyes.


Reference eTraining

Amy Weir, Health Sciences Librarian, Humber College

Sandra Herber, Assessment and Media Studies Librarian, Humber College

Video | Slides | Abstract:

Life at the reference desk means never knowing what type of question you’re about to be faced with. Add to that the myriad library resources and openly accessible information, and you start to understand the depth of knowledge and experience required to answer any given reference question. Effective staff training sounds like the fix but how do you get all your daytime, evening, and staff from multiple campuses into one room at the same time, and cover the desk? The innovative answer that Humber Libraries has come up with, thanks to a related OLA session, is Reference eTraining.

eTrainings are built with three components, a WordPress blog, a Google form, and an idea. We started by asking our reference staff what their training needs were. From there we built a training schedule in which we update our blog once a month with a new eTraining. Staff then work on each eTraining at their own pace with an end of month deadline. At monthly reference meetings we gather to take up the eTraining and discuss diverse approaches to its completion. For those that cannot attend the meetings we record and post a follow up video to the blog. A bonus of the eTraining system is that it outlines self-paced training for new staff and includes more training opportunities for our evening and part-time staff.

The true take away of the Reference eTraining approach is the manner in which it brings to light the depth of talent, experience, and intelligence of our reference staff. Each time we meet the team is able to celebrate the staff, including a prize draw once a semester! Of course, the eTraining is also a collaborative effort with librarians from two campuses and a library technician working together to craft each month’s training. The PechaKucha at Connect5 is an excellent opportunity to share the success of this training approach as well as celebrate our reference team and the collaboration that makes it all happen.