Issue 2 - January 2012

Publication Information / APLA Discussion List / APLA Executive

Publication Information

The APLA Bulletin (ISSN 0001-2203) is the official organ of the Atlantic Provinces Library Association. 

Frequency: The APLA Bulletin is published five times per year.

Availability: The APLA Bulletin is an open access periodical. Claims for missing print issues should be sent to the Bulletin co-editors (see below for contact information). Back volumes are available from UMI, Ann Arbor, MI.

Submissions: Submissions should be sent to the editors. Deadlines for submissions are: October 1, November 30, February 1, April 1 and July 1.

Advertising: Correspondence regarding advertising should be sent to the Advertising Editor. A rate card is available upon request.

Copyright: Individual authors hold the copyright to articles published in the APLA Bulletin. Under the copyright laws, those who wish to reprint articles for any use must contact the individual author for permission. The opinions expressed in articles are not necessarily those of the editors or the Association. The editors can be reached at the following addresses:

Alexandra Brooks Robinson
Assistant Regional Director / Directrice régionale adjointe
Fundy Library Region / Région de bibliothèques de Fundy
New Brunswick Public Library Service / Service des bibliothèques publiques du Nouveau-Brunswick
Tel: (506) 643-7233 Fax: (506) 643-7225

Nicole Dixon
Electronic Resources Librarian
Cape Breton University
P.O.Box 5300, 1250 Grand Lake Road,
Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada B1P 6L2
Tel: (902) 563-1997

Join the APLA Discussion List

APLA-L is an un-moderated discussion list for people who are interested in library issues in Atlantic Canada. The APLA list is: a place to post notices about workshops, seminars, and other events a source of current information about the actions of the APLA Executive a forum for sharing questions, comments and ideas about library services a place to post job advertisements.

To subscribe to the APLA list, send the command “sub apla-list” to To send a message to everyone on the list, use To stay on the list but suspend your messages (while on vacation, for instance), send the command “set apla-list nomail” to When you want to receive message again, send the command “set apla-list mail” to To unsubscribe from the list, send the command “unsub apla-list” to you have any questions about the APLA list, please contact the postmaster, Anita Cannon, at

APLA Executive

To view the APLA Executive page, please go here.

From the President's Desk

Jocelyne Thompson

OK, so you step into an elevator of a large city hotel wearing a delegates badge from the library conference you are attending.  A fellow passenger notes your affiliation and, clearing his throat, says, rather bluntly, “Libraries, huh?  Aren’t they on the way out?  Doesn’t everybody just find everything on the internet now?  And read e-books?” You’ve got two minutes max to respond.  What do you say?  

I’ve been there, or someplace just like it, more than once.  Actually, this happened to me just recently flying home from a conference I’d been attending in Washington.  The guy sitting next to me on the plane was a pilot and we struck up a conversation.  He lives in Toronto, so you can imagine what he’s been hearing about libraries just lately!  What did I respond?  The usual stuff, not very convincingly, I expect.  So I need help. I love libraries!  I can’t imagine a world – at least one I want to live in – that is without libraries...or museums, or archives, for that matter – all those wonderful cultural institutions that to the cerebrally-inclined are every bit as important as arenas and rec centres to the devotees of physical activity.  But how do I stand up for libraries in a way that will make a difference?

In the new year, APLA will launch a contest which we are calling the Best Elevator Speech Contest.  We will invite you to frame a convincing statement on the enduring relevance of libraries in the 21st century; to tell us in your own words why libraries matter.  There will be prizes ($250 for the best elevator speech) and these will be awarded at the 2012 conference in Wolfville.   I hope many of you will participate.                                                      

Why libraries? is one question.  The other question that comes up, this one internal to our community, is: Why library associations?  I would suggest that question #1 provides at least a partial answer to question #2.  In the face of a threatened future, we, as library professionals, need to work together more than ever to carve out our space and place in the information and cultural landscape.  Arnold Hirshon, now Associate Provost and University Librarian at Case Western Reserve University, in reference to library consortia, talked tongue-in-cheek about “hanging together to avoid hanging separately!”  I think the phrase works just as well in relation to library associations.   

I kind of fudged the second question.  In fact the question I get goes like this. “Why should I join APLA?”  And just recently I received an email from a current member, dissatisfied with the lack of perceived benefits, asking why he should renew his membership.  I have also heard colleagues say that they get more out of ALA, or OLA, than they do out of APLA, for about the same membership fee. To the latter comment I say, well, that may be true but we don’t live in Philadelphia or Washington or LA, and we don’t live in Toronto.  We live and work here, in Atlantic Canada, and our issues, though not dissimilar to those of other jurisdictions, require local solutions which can only be developed if we hang together.  To the member asking why he should renew his membership, I responded like this:


The APLA Executive is working very hard to revitalize the association, and we’d like to be given a chance to demonstrate value to our members.  I strongly believe that the association is vitally important to libraries and library professionals in our part of the country, and it’s our joint responsibility to make it work.   

You will have received the renewal invitation which enumerates some of the financial benefits of being an APLA member, so I will not repeat them here. I understand that these particular benefits may or may not serve your needs at this time, and I would suggest that the greatest benefit of participation in APLA, or in any association for that matter, rests in other things such as networking, getting actively involved in library issues by joining committees and interest groups, running for elected office, getting to know other library professionals within the region, and so on.  The opportunities are many and being involved can be professionally very rewarding.

 We are trying to address the communication issue which you so rightly raise.  I can’t pretend that we have any plans to email our members directly more than once or twice a year; as a small, volunteer-run association, we simply can’t manage it.  Our main vehicles for communication and contact are the APLA-List, the APLA website, the Bulletin, and of course, the annual conference.  We are revamping our website with a view to keeping information more current and fresh; we are attempting to use the List for more effective and timely sharing of information; and we continuously solicit contributions to the Bulletin

 All of the above may or may not convince you to renew.  I understand that.   We all have our own reasons for joining one or another association, and we all have limited time and dollars to spend.  Of course, I will be thrilled if you decide to continue on as a card-carrying member of APLA!  However, if you choose not to, I would welcome any advice from you as to how APLA could perhaps better serve your needs in future.

I appreciated that this member took the trouble to write.  It’s always better to know why a member chooses not to renew than to have him or her leave quietly, without explanation.  So I extend the same invitation to get in touch to others who may also be contemplating non-renewal.  The executive is planning a membership recruitment campaign for the new year.  This is a perfect time to express your concerns and share your ideas. 

APLA has been supporting the development of libraries and library services in the region since 1934, serving as the regional voice on local, regional and national library issues.  APLA continues to directly support library professionals by providing continuing education and networking opportunities, research and program grants, and a well-attended annual conference.  APLA recognizes the achievements of our local stars by conferring annual awards, the highest honour being the APLA Merit Award.  If APLA ceased to exist, we’d have to re-create something much like it because the region deserves great libraries and there’s ongoing work to be done to ensure Atlantic Canadians have them.   

As I write this, Christmas is just around the corner and I am thinking bright and happy thoughts -- of warm gatherings with family and friends, the sharing of love, laughter, and gifts.  And in the constellation of all things that are good in this world, I think of libraries as very good indeed.  Libraries are generous and kind places, where all are welcome and served to the best of our combined abilities and resources.  Where else can someone go to get help with any question or problem he or she may have?  Libraries cannot provide all the answers but we always try to at least steer people in the right direction.  We listen attentively and we offer support to anyone with an information need, all for free.  Wow, now that’s a gift that keeps on giving...all year round!

All the best for a Happy New Year 2012!

From the Editor's Desk

Alexandra Brooks Robinson

Can you believe the New Year is here already? As Oprah would say in her fancy magazine, here we go!

(I can’t believe I just quoted Oprah….)

As you may have noticed on radio, in print, and on television, pundits and talking heads are taking stock of the most important news stories of the past twelve months. While they compile their lists, let’s not forget that Canadian libraries were part of several big news stories in 2011. We entered new territory in the digital collections age when HarperCollins decided that 26 checkouts per purchased ebook copy was fair enough. Academic and public libraries, library associations, and their supporters were very vocal participants in the copyright debate, particularly on topics of digital locks and fair use. The Canadian Library Association was in our thoughts quite a bit this year, as the implications of the organization’s Future Plan were front and centre at the annual CLA Conference in April. Thus, by the end of 2011, a publisher’s colophon had become synonymous with its stance on the economics of selling ebooks to libraries; important legislation affecting libraries finally was making its way through the House of Commons and the Senate; and major library associations were acting on the need to change. Is there any way 2011 can not be called a year of recalculation for libraries?

Here on the East Coast, 2011 brought a few new currents with the winds of change. Perhaps an apt metaphor for all this local hubbub came in September, when crews in Halifax began breaking ground (literally) on the site of the city’s new Central Library. Like those involved in Halifax’s mammoth Central Library project, a certain amount of ground-breaking was done at APLA this past year, albeit in very different ways: new executive members were ushered into the fold and they came with a laundry list of thoughts and ideas; a new logo was hatched by our local design whiz kid, Pam Maher; and an impressive amount of insightful articles penned by people across the region appeared in the redesigned Bulletin. The list of reinvigorating projects and happenings goes on and on. As with any successful organization, APLA is constantly looking for ways to better itself. This is achieved via conferences capably hosted by local organizing committees; continuing meaningful partnerships such as those with provincial library associations; reviewing our areas of focus; and never thinking our work is done.

As a dues-paying member*, I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who in 2011 offered ideas about APLA and its work. Thank you for not being afraid to speak up. From an editor’s perspective and in looking ahead to 2012, all I can offer is: keep the thoughts coming! Every submission to the Bulletin means something to someone and Nicole and I are privileged to be able to curate these on behalf of the membership. In order to keep the discussion going at the local level, we need brave voices to lay plain our experiences and our choices.

On behalf of the Bulletin editing team of two, I would like to congratulate you all on another successful year in Library Land and I look forward to reading about what you cook up in 2012.

* Ann, I’ve paid for 2012, right???

Notices and Calls for Nominations

Grow a Library/CODE Update

On behalf of the Grow a Library Committee and CODE, I am pleased to announce that APLA has adopted the Wondo Genet Reading Room in Ethiopia, South Nations & Nationalities Peoples.

It is the only library in a farming community of 15,000 and it serves 3 primary schools. Through our fundraising we will be giving them local language and English reading materials and providing professional training to teacher-librarians.

We are all familiar with the idea behind CODE:  “If you can read and write, you can learn to do, and be, anything.”  I am excited to be raising funds for this very deserving library and the community it serves.

Why not make a personal donation of $10, $20, or $50 to this worthy cause? Alternately, if your group would like to fundraise, please let us know! The Grow a Library Committee is always looking for new and fun ideas to raise money for our library. In fact, we are looking for people to serve on the committee, so if you’d like to join our enthusiastic and creative bunch, please let us know that too! The more the merrier, especially when it comes to ideas for raising money.

Look for the Grow a Library link on the APLA website which will take you to a brief description of the library and CODE and then click on the “Donate now” button and make a donation!

For more information, please contact:

Sarah J. Gladwell
Reference Department
Saint John Free Public Library
1 Market Square
Saint John, NB E2L 4Z6
Tel: 506-643-7224

Call for Nominations

The committee is now accepting nominations for the following positions:

VP/President Elect

VP Membership

VP Nova Scotia

VP Prince Edward Island

VP Newfoundland Labrador

Nominations close Wednesday, February 29, 2012.

If you, or someone you know, would be perfect for one of these positions please contact the Chair of the Nominations Committee:

Sarah J. Gladwell
Reference Department
Saint John Free Public Library
1 Market Square
Saint John, NB E2L 4Z6
Tel: 506-643-7224

First Timer's Conference Grant

To be eligible, an applicant must be a personal member of APLA, residing in Atlantic Canada, and planning to attend her/his first APLA annual conference. Grants are allocated, consistent with general APLA guidelines, to help meet conference related expenses. If more applications are received than can be met by the fund, money will be awarded by drawing from the names of all eligible applicants. Recipients will be expected to write a short report, for the Executive and the APLA Bulletin, summarizing their conference experience. Applicants should include name, business address, chosen means for contacting (mail, e-mail, telephone, fax) estimated costs (travel, accommodation, meals, registration), and a signed compliance with eligibility requirements.

Nominations should be submitted by March 31, 2012 to:

Lou Duggan
Cataloguing & Metadata Librarian
Patrick Power Library
Saint Mary's University
923 Robie Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 3C3
Phone: (902) 420-5174

APLA Memorial Award

Financial assistance is available, from the APLA Memorial Trust, for study and research. Projects which contribute to the professional development of the applicant and benefit the profession are encouraged. To apply, send a letter outlining your proposed research and estimated costs and a copy of your curriculum vitae.

Applications must be submitted by March 31, 2012.

Applications, questions and/or donations should be sent to:

Heather Sanderson
Information Literacy Librarian
Patrick Power Library
Saint Mary's University
Halifax, NS  B3H 3C3
Tel: 902-420-5541
Fax: 902-420-5561

APLA Merit Award

The Merit Award Committee is now accepting nominations for the award to be presented at the annual conference at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.

The Merit Award honours an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to library service in the Atlantic Provinces. This can include leadership in library associations, involvement in the development, application and use of library services and library systems, and significant contributions to library literature.

Each recommendation must be accompanied by documentation of the nominee’s achievements (resume, curriculum vitae, letters of reference). Names of people who have been nominated but not chosen may be resubmitted.

The deadline for submissions is March 31, 2012.

Please direct nominations to:

Sarah J. Gladwell
Reference Department
Saint John Free Public Library
1 Market Square
Saint John, NB E2L 4Z6
Tel: 506-643-7224

Carin Alma E. Somers Scholarship Trust

The Atlantic Provinces Library Association administers the Carin Somers Scholarship Trust. The trust provides an annual scholarship, valued at approximately $2,000, in her name to assist a Canadian citizen who is an Atlantic Provinces resident needing financial assistance to undertake or complete the academic requirements leading to a degree in Library and Information Studies. 

Selection of the recipient will be recommended by a committee of the four Provincial Vice Presidents and the President-Elect to the Executive Committee. 

The successful applicant will have been accepted in a School of Graduate Studies as a candidate for a Master's degree in Library and Information Studies accredited by the American Library Association. The award will normally be announced at the Annual Atlantic Provinces Library Association Conference. 

Application forms are available online in both English and in French

Nominations should be submitted by March 31, 2012 to:

Lou Duggan
Cataloguing & Metadata Librarian
Patrick Power Library
Saint Mary's University
923 Robie Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 3C3
Phone: (902) 420-5174

Lion Hunter: A Novel

Annette Anthony

A rendezvous between two world powers in August 1941 would result in policy changes for Allied nations worldwide. British Prime Minister Churchill and US President Roosevelt drafted the Atlantic Charter off the coast of Newfoundland, not far from the newly erected American naval base. The Charter was later issued as a statement which outlined eight principles for the Allied nations during and after World War II. The Charter would provide the groundwork for the establishment of the United Nations years later.

What would the world powers look like if this meeting never happened? John Clarke’s first novel, Lion Hunter, presents that as a distinct possibility.  Lion Hunter is a historical fiction that takes place throughout the days and weeks leading up to this pivotal meeting of powers. Its lead character, Hans Farber, is a German spy that is tasked by his superior, Admiral Canaris, to assassinate Churchill once news of the Newfoundland meeting is leaked. With the downfall of Churchill, a weakened Britain would be a prime target for Nazi invasion. Farber travels throughout Europe and onto Newfoundland soil to carry out his orders, however, his journey plagued with obstacles, second guesses and chance meetings by a number of characters.

Throughout the first half of the novel, several stories are told by a number of characters in various geographic locations. Although the reader travels from place to place, and reads of various players in these first few chapters, it is done with clarity and ease. Reading about the events of other characters and how it will shape future events provides added anticipation to that of Farber’s own journey. The second half of the novel focuses on the events in Newfoundland, with Farber travelling between Ship Harbour, Placentia Bay and St. John’s. On the island, Farber must always keep a step ahead of his opponents, from both political camps and beyond, to ensure his orders are carried out.

Farber’s character experiences personal growth throughout the novel and the reader witnesses his growth from Nazi spy to something altogether unexpected beyond his original role. Such development occurs as he allows himself to become involved with people and places that were not supposed to affect him. The author’s knowledge of the geography and military operations adds depth to the story. Details and imagery of both Europe and Newfoundland are brought to life in the story. Although some events in the storyline were predictable, the author provides surprising details that will keep the reader in suspense until the end of the novel. Relationships between main and secondary characters are tied together effectively, and timelines are clear and precise.

Lion Hunter would make a great addition to any public library especially in Atlantic Canada. History buffs and historical fiction enthusiasts alike will enjoy the “what if” moments raised in the novel.

Lion hunter : a novel by John Clarke. St. John’s, NL : Flanker Press, 2011. 185 p.

Annette Anthony is Regional Librarian, Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Gold Standard Health Information from the Cochrane Library: Evidence with a New Look

Ann Barrett and Robin M.N. Parker

Finding reliable and authoritative health information for library users or for ourselves can often be a challenge. Academic articles can be too technical, textbooks out of date and internet sites questionable. One resource that stands out for the quality of health information it provides is the Cochrane Library. This resource is really six databases presented in a single interface, but most users are seeking the full-text Cochrane systematic reviews. These reviews are considered the gold-standard of evidence based health information. But what does that mean?

Evidence-Based Practice

Since the 1990s, Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) has become the standard for excellence in healthcare. EBP is commonly defined as integrating the best research evidence with a practitioner’s clinical experience and with patient preferences on a specific health question.

But isn’t that what health practitioners have always done? Not necessarily! The exponential growth in the volume of health research makes it difficult, if not impossible, for clinicians to stay up to date on every new development. But one important tool designed to help clinicians stay abreast of changing evidence is the systematic review. A systematic review summarizes all the relevant trials (studies) on a clinical question, assesses the quality of the studies and synthesizes the evidence in a way that gives a clear indication of the effectiveness of an intervention and states whether the intervention works, does not work, or if the evidence is not clear and more research is required.

The experts participating in the Cochrane Collaboration produce some of the most stringent systematic reviews through their international, volunteer-based organization. As noted on the Collaboration website, the “work is internationally recognised as the benchmark for high quality information about the effectiveness of health care.”i The most frequently accessed reviews are viewed hundreds of times per week, suggesting a considerable impact on health care practices around the world.ii

Access to the Cochrane Library

The Cochrane Library is a subscription database available through Wiley but access to this resource has improved significantly in the last few years. New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland & Labrador all provide province wide licenses that allow all residents to access the full database through their public library system. Prince Edward Island also has access through healthcare institutions and at UPEI.

This resource was originally developed for clinicians but there have been concerted efforts to make the information more consumer-friendly. Things like ‘Plain language summaries’, podcasts and the recent redesign of the interface help remove some of the intimidation factor from using the Cochrane.

Interface Changes

The Database Home Page has been redesigned to profile new reviews, special collections and services.

The Special Collections brings together reviews on a theme and provides some background and commentary on the research. Topics of interest to the Atlantic Provinces population include Care Homes for Older People, Breast Cancer Detection, and World Asthma Day, amongst others.  Another valuable resource, particularly for anyone leading discussions about health information or looking for more in-depth coverage of the evidence, is the material in the Cochrane Journal Club series. To date, 25 reviews have been prepared for the journal club, complete with presentation slides, discussion points, and additional information from the review authors.

In addition, the Cochrane Library provides a number of education tools and various media formats for accessing select reviews. Readers will find a link on the home page to “Podcasts from the Cochrane Library” leading to a page to browse available audio summaries of recent reviews. To keep up to date, an RSS feed of all new podcasts is also available.

New Reviews are highlighted at the bottom of the Database Home screen and Journal Club and Podcast icons are flagged on the left of the review title when they are available.

Searching and Browsing

Of course most often you’ll be searching for a specific topic. The Basic and Advanced searching remain largely the same in this new interface. The basic search box defaults to searching keyword in title and abstract and returns results from all six separate databases contained in the Cochrane Library. The results default to display the full reviews and protocols first.

For the occasional or novice user the Basic Search designed for keyword entry and the Browse options are usually sufficient to find the information needed. For more involved search strategies the Advanced Search offers more functionality, including field searching, MeSH Headings and boolean capability.

Once you have executed a search, the Brief Summary results page and the Article Display page have a common navigation bar that follows throughout the database. This navigation bar takes you to the browsing view of all Cochrane reviews (by topic, A-Z, etc) or browsing of other databases in the Library.

Clicking on these navigation options takes you to an A-Z listing of titles for all citations. The Clinical Trials database is an exception as it is too large for browsing and requires a search option instead.

The Article Display view has the most improvements with the addition of the new tab display providing quick access to major parts of reviews:

Abstract provides a quick summary of the review and at the bottom of the abstract display is the ‘Plain Language Summary’. Scroll down or use the ‘Jump To’ feature for quick access to this section.

Article provides the full review in html as well as links to the PDF format.  This section is typically quite long so use the ‘Jump To’ drop down list to quickly navigate to the key sections of the review like Results or Authors’ conclusions.

Figures provide quick navigation to ‘Forest Plots’iii and Tables provide summaries of findings, data and analysis. The tables and figures look alarmingly small but a click on the image will allow a larger version to open up for much easier viewing.

References has been enhanced with links to CrossRef, PubMed and to full text if you are a subscriber to Wiley titles. Also there are links to Web of Science and an indication of the number of times each reference is cited in that database.

Other versions tab can be useful to trace changes in recommendations over time. Each of the earlier versions of the review is available in full text in this section.

Cited By is a new feature that shows how often the review or protocol has been cited inside Cochrane by other articles from the clinical trials and other sections.

The ‘Additional Information’ section provides some useful features. For academic users ‘How to Cite’ can be a great time saver when they want to include a Cochrane Review in a reference list or bibliography.

Author Information lists the current position held by each of the review authors and lists the contact information for the primary author.

Publication History quickly tells you the date of publication of the latest review and if there have been any changes in conclusions since the last review.

Some nice new features are included in the Article Tools box. ‘More articles like this’ jumps you to the bottom of the Abstract where links to other articles in the same topic area are listed. The ability to share information via email or the social media of your choice like Facebook and Twitter is a handy new option.

Updating and alerting features are available for users who create a personal account in Cochrane Library. Once you have logged into your Cochrane profile you can save searches, as well as initiate email alerts and RSS feeds.

‘Export citation’ is also useful but has not improved from the previous version of the Cochrane Library. Hopefully in future there will be direct links to Refworks and other bibliographic managers incorporated into the interface.

The Cochrane Collaboration and the editors of the Cochrane Library are continually striving to improve the quality and accessibility of this important health information resource. Look for more changes to the search function in the coming year. The Cochrane Library Quick Reference Guide will provide you with more searching and interface tipsiv.

The reviews found in the Cochrane Library are valuable resources for anyone interested in objective summaries of health evidence. It is a key resource for healthcare professionals and, with the Plain Language Summary in the systematic reviews, can also be useful for the general public to gain a better understanding of the research available on a health topic of interest.

Local Cochrane Activity

There are over 150 individuals involved with the Cochrane Collaboration in the Atlantic Provinces. In addition to health care practitioners and researchers contributing as review authors, the Cochrane welcomes the involvement of consumers to ensure the usefulness and usability of the reviews. See the Collaboration website for more information on how to get involved.

For more information about local activities and training, check out the Nova Scotia Cochrane Resource Centre at or visit the Canadian Cochrane Centre website for the contact information of your regional site representative

i Cochrane Collaboration. (2011). “About Us.”

ii Cochrane Collaboration, Top 50 Reviews,

iii Forest plots: trying to see the wood and the trees. Lewis S, Clarke M. BMJ. 2001 Jun 16;322(7300):1479-80

iv Cochrane Library Quick Reference Guide. July 2010

Ann Barrett is Head of Public and Access Services, W. K. Kellogg Health Sciences Library, Dalhousie University.

Robin M.N. Parker is Clinical Research Librarian, Capital Health Library Services, Research Methods Unit, & Nova Scotia Cochrane Resource Centre.

A Leaner Way: Lean Methodologies and Public Libraries

Cate Carlyle

Developed after World War II, and based on the writings of Henry Ford, lean methodologies have been widely accepted and implemented in manufacturing environments. Jeffrey K. Liker, a leading lean expert, summarizes what it means to be a lean manufacturer:

Lean is:

... a way of thinking that focuses on making the product flow through value-adding processes without interruption (one piece flow), a ‘pull’ system that cascades back from customer demand by replenishing only what the next operation takes away at short intervals, and a culture in which everyone is striving continually to improve.i

In recent years, service industries have begun to adopt lean principles and experiment with the application of lean methods in service organizations. Many studies exist which focus on lean practises to improve workflow, increase production and service time, value the customer, and create an egalitarian work environment which continually strives for improvement. This article investigates the application of lean ideals in a North American public library environment.

Lean Literature

There is very little literature available pertaining directly to public libraries and lean methodologies. The majority of the literature can be found in the business sector and focuses on lean methodologies to improve manufacturing and production. In terms of the service industry, many articles exist concerning the health care, financial and retail sectors adoption of lean practises. The literature reviewed demonstrates that lean practises, such as standardization, improvements in workflow, and lessening touch time, result in an increase in the quality of customer service.ii Starbucks U.S. incorporated customized equipment and investigated workflow to improve efficiency at individual outlets .iii These lean initiatives enabled Starbucks to cut service times thereby serving more customers and resulting in a 10% increase in accurately completed transactions .iv

Literature from the health care sector indicated that by standardizing tasks and streamlining processes, patient wait time was dramatically decreased.v In the financial sector, placing linked processes near one another and setting a common tempo by establishing a takt time (baseline time for certain tasks), halved average processing times resulting in more satisfied By focusing on the areas discussed in the literature, possibilities for the implementation of lean initiatives in public libraries become apparent.

Organizational Structure

Public libraries have traditionally featured a top down, hierarchical management style. Within this hierarchy, directives come from the library board and top management, cascading down through the ranks to the staff on the library floor. In keeping with lean principles, selected current library literature and Masters of Library and Information Science management programs are encouraging a more egalitarian structure. In Library and Information Center Management, Stueart and Moran  espouse a “participative management” style which “involves employees in sharing information, making decisions, solving problems, planning projects,  and evaluating results” .vii Stueart and Moran’s people centered approach allows “decisions (to) be made by people closer to the action” .viii Library management and staff must begin to envision the back room and reference and circulation desks as the gemba (Japanese term for where the work takes place), with all improvements and information originating from the gemba; thereby inverting the traditional pyramid and placing importance on the staff in the workplace.ix

Cross training in a lean environment could also be beneficial to public libraries.  Ensuring that staff on all shifts are trained in all areas will limit the instances of work in progress (WIP) when staff are absent or on another shift. This will in turn increase turnaround time for new and returned materials as well as decrease touch times. Similarly, items needing repairs could be handled by more than one staff person instead of being shelved until the return of the staffer with such expertise. Cross training not only decreases WIP, it can also improve staff relations. The Grand Rapids Public Library discovered that “cross training has occurred so that people are able to back one another up as needed and keep materials flowing”. x

It is important to note that many public libraries are unionized environments. Employee unions must be involved in decisions pertaining to job descriptions and employee duties. Since many unionized manufacturing facilities have successfully adopted lean practises this should not prove an issue in unionized public libraries.


Workflow within public libraries is an area with the most potential for benefits from lean implementation. Initiatives such as kaizen events are a good starting point for organizations adopting lean practises. Within public libraries, staff would be organized into smaller teams in order to take part in these events. Initially, the event should feature a spaghetti map showing areas of workflow which are currently inefficient (resembling a bowl of cooked pasta). Teams then work together to create value stream maps (VSM) which feature more efficient standardized travel patterns for circulation duties, processing materials and back room tasks. Gemba walks involving management and staff walk-throughs to pinpoint problems and discuss solutions can easily be implemented in public libraries. Root cause analysis, in which employees evaluate the cause of problems and collectively create solutions, could also occur as a result of such events.

DMAIC (design, measure, analyse, improve and control) initiatives can also be implemented in various areas of library work. The Grand Rapids Public Library utilized DMAIC to improve their return processing times (Drickhamer, 2009).xi Grand Rapids staff created value stream maps which reorganized workflow and limited touch times and posted them on white boards for all staff. Staff also standardized check-ins with a pre sort by material type. In conjunction with the lean initiative FIFO (first in first out), staff  eliminated back room shelving to limit time between materials being returned and appearing on the library floor. Instead, wheeled pre-labelled return carts were created which are returned to the floor for browsing.

In keeping with lean principles, supermarket or storage areas and water spiders (a person assigned to circulate between the gemba and supermarket) can also be created in library back rooms. The supermarket area holds supplies, clearly labelled and footprintedFootprinting involves marking boxes with their location and contents and drawing an outline around the item to limit confusion or incorrect stocking. Water spiders on all shifts would be responsible for ensuring supplies are full at the beginning of each shift. These measures eliminate unnecessary time spent searching for pamphlets, labels, etc. while trying to serve customers.

Once again Starbucks implementation of lean practises serves as an example to libraries. Starbucks’ baristas moved items such as syrups and baked goods closer together and incorporated rolling racks to cut down on drink making times and steps taken, thereby increasing the number of customers served and decreasing time per transaction.xii Circulation and reference staff could move items frequently used closer together, such as new cards and de-magnetizers to improve work flow, decrease steps and improve staff health.  A Starbucks outlet in downtown Chicago colour coded bins for different types of coffee beans and placed them on the counter instead of underneath to reduce back strain and bending time as well as limit errors and time spent reading labels. This outlet saw an increase in their customer satisfaction score from 56% to 76% and an increase in transactions of 9%. xiii


One basic initiative to improve service in libraries involves the automation of circulation, printing and computer use. Libraries can increase customer independence, reduce wait times and theft, and free up staff time for larger issues, by implementing a card such as the Access Brooklyn Card.xiv Brooklyn Public Library staff found that allowing borrowers to book computers, print copies and manage their own accounts with one card improved efficiency and saved time and money. Libraries experiencing chaos as a result of heavy computer and printer use or with limited staff would benefit from such a system.

Standardization of signage and fixtures can also be beneficial to service. Signs that are uniform in size and colour across branches allow customers to quickly find items and personnel. Self check out stations that are footprinted at each location in a standard area will also allow customers to quickly and efficiently self serve if desired. Similarly, footprinting pathways to various sections of the library (as can be found in hospitals and retailers such as Ikea) will increase self service, thereby freeing up staff for more involved reference questions and improved customer service.

Reducing wait times and errors, and increasing efficiency as a result of better work flow and ergonomically correct practises will positively affect customer service. More staff will be available to assist customers thereby reducing wait times, independent customers will have the ability to quickly serve themselves, and more materials will be available as they will be processed in a timely manner. A happier, healthier staff will pass on the numerous benefits of working in a lean environment to their satisfied customers.

Cate Carlyle is Librarian/Instructional Resources Assistant, TESL Centre Library, Saint Mary's University.

i Jeffrey K. Liker. The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles from the World’s Greatest Manufacturer. (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2004), 7.

ii Julia Hanna. “ Bringing “Lean’ Principles to Service Industries.Harvard Business School. (accessed September 24, 2009);

Microsoft Case Studies: Brooklyn Public Library.”Patron Access Management System Saves 75, 000 Staff Hours, Boosts Morale at Library. (accessed September 25, 2009).;

Cynthia Karen Swank. "The Lean Service Machine." Harvard Business Review 81, no. 10 (October 2003). Business Source Premier, EBSCOhost.

iii Julie Jargon. "Latest Starbucks Buzzword: 'Lean' Japanese Techniques." Wall Street Journal - Eastern Edition, (August  2009): A1-A10, Business Source Premier, EBSCOhost.

iv Jargon.

v Joe Aherne. "Think lean. (cover story)." Nursing Management - UK 13, no. 10 (March 2007). Business Source Premier, EBSCOhost.

vi Swank.  

vii Robert D. Stueart and Barbara B. Moran, Library and Information Center Management. 7th ed.(Westport: Libraries Unlimited, 2007),  386.

viii Stueart and Moran, 389.

ix Masaaki Imai. Gemba Kaizen: A Commonsense, Low-cost Approach to Management. (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1997), 14.

x City of Grand Rapids. “Lean Thinking.”  Gand Rapids Michigan. (accessed October 11, 2009).

xi David Drickhamer. “Using Lean Thinking to Reinvent City Government.” Lean Enterprise Institute. (accessed September 24, 2009).

xii Jargon.

xiii Jargon.

xiv Microsoft Case Studies: Brooklyn Public Library.

First CAUL-CBUA Collaborative Research and Innovation Grant Awarded

Gillian Byrne

In 2011, The Council of Atlantic University Libraries/Conseil des bibliothèques universitaires de l'Atlantique (CAUL-CBUA) created the Collaborative Research & Innovation Grant. The annual grant is intended to encourage collaborative research across the academic libraries in the region, proposing solutions to practical questions as well as projects which involve structured evidence-based research.  The grant also encourages projects of regional interest and research partnerships between practitioners, educators, and students.

CAUL-CBUA recently awarded the grant for the first time, to Laura Syms of Cape Breton University and Kathleen Gadd, University of New Brunswick (Saint John).

Laura Syms, MLIS, with her research partner Margaret Dechman, PhD, of Cape Breton University were awarded a grant of $1000 for their study entitled, Factors Influencing Undergraduate Social Science Faculty Members’ Decision to Use Quantitative Data in the Classroom.  The qualitative study will explore why faculty members choose to use quantitative data in research and instruction, with the aim of informing the development of a data literacy program that can be easily transferable to other institutions, including those in CAUL-CBUA.

Laura Syms welcomed the grant, noting that, “CAUL’s support will pay a student to transcribe faculty interviews and assist with the coding for thematic analysis.  Receiving this funding means that we will be able to carry out the research using our preferred methodology and do it in a timely manner.”

Kathleen Gadd, MLIS, along with the research team of Robyn Butcher, MLIS, Martin MacKinnon, MD, and Denise Leblanc-Duchin, PhD, of the Horizon Health Network were awarded a grant of $1000 for their study evaluating point-of-care medical applications for mobile devices. A collaborative study involving librarians and medical residents, it aims to determine the most effective point-of-care mobile applications. The researchers hope that both the results and the methodology will be applicable to other CAUL-CBUA libraries supporting a medical program.

"This research grant is an opportunity for CAUL-CBUA to encourage and support our academic librarians in areas of research interests that are collaborative and practice based”, said Lynne Murphy, University Librarian at St. Francis Xavier University and chair of the selection committee. “The inaugural grant awarded this year embodies the underlying philosophy of the award.  My congratulations to both recipients."

For more information on the grant, visit or contact Gillian Byrne, Manager of CAUL-CBUA at

News from Nova Scotia

Cape Breton Regional Library

Tara MacNeil

The most current issue of the Cape Breton Regional Library newsletter is available online.

KnitFit Community Knit-a-thon Set for February 25, 2012

Chris Thomson

Knitting needles and crochet hooks will be flying again Saturday, February 25, at the McConnell Library and Baddeck Library branches, as crafters come together to participate in the fifth KnitFit Community Knit-a-thon.  At this annual charity event, anyone who wants to lend their time and skill to knit or crochet warm and wooly items for a local charity can join us for all or part of the day. 

The Knit-a-thon is also a fundraiser for children’s programs at CBRL.  Participants gather pledges to raise much-needed funds to support children’s programs at CBRL, such as the summer reading program, teen and tween programs, and children’s programs across the region.   Pledge sheets are available at all CBRL branches and on our website.  If you can’t knit or crochet, you can contribute by sponsoring a friend or one of the participants at the event.

Boxes are now located at all branches to accept donations of yarn, tools, and patterns.  At the Knit-a-thon, there is usually a lot of donated yarn to choose from for use during the day or to take home to make items for charity.  Many people bring in the items they have been working on over the previous year, too, so we end up with hundreds of hats, mitts, scarves, sweaters, and more to donate to a local charity. 

This year, the fruits of our labour will go to the Salvation Army “Clothe-a-Family” Campaign in both Cape Breton and Victoria Counties.  Some items that we received before Christmas were donated to Loaves and Fishes for their Christmas parcels.

Generous local food sponsors will provide refreshments and lunch.  So come to the McConnell Library or the Baddeck Library, between 10:00am and 5:00pm on February 25, 2012, for a fun day creating warm winter items for Cape Breton families, to support us, or just to watch!

Dalhousie University Libraries

Tina Usmiani

Dalhousie Libraries Welcome New University Librarian

The Dalhousie University Libraries are pleased to welcome Donna Bourne-Tyson as our new University Librarian. Ms. Bourne-Tyson assumes her new position effective November 1, 2011. She comes to Dal from Mount Saint Vincent University where she has been University Librarian since 2005.

Donna has led successful initiatives in the areas of open access, institutional data preservation, learning communities, user-driven e-book acquisitions, the re-imagining of library spaces, and information literacy. She has been recognized for creating a collaborative, inclusive work environment and a culture of service innovation.  

Dalhousie President Tom Traves noted: “Her knowledge of copyright issues will be valuable in informing the strategy of the university as we proceed further into electronic resources. Donna is recognized regionally and nationally in the university library community and we look forward to working with her to expand the reach and effectiveness of the information resources at Dalhousie as we go forward.” 

Donna has served in leadership roles with professional associations, including terms as president of three provincial or divisional library associations. She has presented frequently at various national and regional events and conferences. Donna is a founding member of Libraries Nova Scotia, a partnership of all public and academic libraries in the province. She is an alumna of Dalhousie’s Master of Library and Information Studies program.

We welcome Donna and look forward to working with her!

Halifax Public Libraries

Halifax Central Library Official Groundbreaking Event

On Monday, November 7, residents of the Halifax Regional Municipality got one step closer to a new library. The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence; the Honourable John MacDonnell, Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations; and His Worship Peter Kelly, HRM; officially broke ground on the Halifax Central Library.

Elder Emmett Peters from the Mi’kmaq community opened the event with a prayer, followed by drumming and singing in Mi’kmaq by Nathan Sack. Philip Moscovitch, the Master of Ceremonies and chair of the Halifax Regional Library Board, then made some opening remarks and invited the elected officials to speak.

“Our government is proud to invest in infrastructure projects that create jobs, strengthen communities, and contribute to the local economy,” said Minister MacKay. “We are very pleased to support the Halifax Central Library. Thanks to a lot of hard work over the last two years, this new state-of-the-art facility will enrich the lives of local families for many years to come.”

“Libraries continue to be important public institutions that inspire learning and knowledge, and empower people,” said Minister MacDonell. “Our new Halifax Central Library will be a landmark for downtown and a great public space for the community to gather. It will attract visitors from all parts of the region and will help make life better for Nova Scotia families.”

“The people of HRM have shared the dream of a new Central Library for a long time,” said Mayor Kelly. “I am honoured to participate here today as we take one more step toward making it a reality.”

Minister MacKay, Minister MacDonell and Mayor Kelly then unveiled the most recent rendering of the Halifax Central Library and donned some safety gear to take a tour of the site. About 100 people attended the event and had a piece of cake, which was also decorated with the most recent rendering of the library.

Minister MacKay, Minister MacDonell, Mayor Kelly and Halifax Public Libraries CEO Judith Hare in front of the most recent rendering of the Halifax Central Library

Elder Emmett Peters

Nathan Sack drumming & singing

Minister MacKay, Minister MacDonell, Mayor Kelly and Terry Gallagher, manager of Infrastructure & Facility Development for HRM prepare to take a tour of the site

M.C. Philip Moscovitch, chair of the Halifax Regional Library Board


Lest We Forget National Media Launch in Halifax

Halifax Public Libraries launched a national workshop series called Lest We Forget at the Spring Garden Road Memorial Public Library on November 9. Lest We Forget is collaborative project between Library and Archives Canada, the Canadian Urban Libraries Council and the Canadian War Museum.

Dr. Daniel J. Caron, Deputy Head and Librarian and Archivist of Canada, travelled from Ottawa to launch the series, which this year is being expanded to include four new public library systems, Halifax, London, Richmond and Calgary. Dr. Caron spoke about the significance of expanding the program and the importance of deepening students’ understanding of Remembrance Week. Nova Scotia / Nunavut Command president Jean Marie Deveaux also talked about the value of Lest We Forget.

Special guests in attendance included Halifax Public Libraries’ CEO Judith Hare, who was also representing the Canadian Urban Libraries Council; MP Peter Stoffer; Councillor Jennifer Watts; Cecilia Muir, Assistant Deputy Minister, Resource Discovery; veterans, including members of the Nova Scotia / Nunavut Command Colour Party; and thirty Grade 10 students from Sacred heart High School. Halifax Regional Library Board chair Philip Moscovitch was the master of ceremonies.

Directly following the formal launch, Halifax Public Libraries’ staff members Cindy Campbell and Joanne McCarthy gave a detailed presentation to prepare the students for their research. The students then worked on research projects using digitized military records of Nova Scotian soldiers, doctors and nurses who served in World War I or who were killed in action in World War II.

Lest We Forget workshops will take place at libraries and schools across Canada, allowing military history come alive and increasing access to these important primary source documents. The program was developed to increase access to and understanding of the military service records of Canadians. More than 5,000 military service files are available digitally through Library and Archives Canada. For more information, visit

Zone Commander Bob Evans (Nova Scotia/Nunavut Command); Dr. Daniel J. Caron, Deputy Head and Librarian and Archivist of Canada; Jean Marie Deveaux, president Nova Scotia/Nunavut Command; Philip Moscovitch, chair of the Halifax Regional Library Board; Judith Hare, CEO Halifax Public Libraries and representative of the Canadian Urban Libraries Council; and MP Peter Stoffer

Colour Party members

Students from Sacred Heart School study military records at Spring Garden Road Memorial Public Library


J.D. Shatford Library Patron Wins Games @ The Library Award

The J.D. Shatford Library was thrilled to present one of its patrons with this year’s Games @ The Library prize. Elaine Murray of both Tantallon and J. D. Shatford Public Libraries presented Robin Phillips with the award. According to Ms. Murray, Ms. Phillips “was delighted and said thank you to APLA and the library for the prize.”




Western Counties Regional Library

Ian White

Library Plays Active Role in Workplace Wellness Network

Organizations and businesses in Yarmouth County have come together to form the province’s first county workplace wellness network, designed to improve both physical and mental wellness in the workplace.

“The whole process has been very motivating,” says Western Counties Regional Library Public Relations Manager Ian White. White represents the library on the network. “To meet with representatives from other organizations and discover the wellness initiatives taking place is inspiring and helps you bring new things to your workplace.”

The push to form a network came from a meeting in the spring of 2010 at Burridge Campus, NSCC, set up by Peter McCracken, Physical Activity Capacity Coordinator with Physical Activity, Sport and Recreation Nova Scotia, and Tracy Burgess, Community Health Promotion Coordinator with the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

People, businesses and organizations in Yarmouth County who have an interest in workplace wellness were invited to connect, share and learn with others at the quarterly networking meetings, Burgess says.  Some initial support for the network is being provided by Physical Activity, Sport and Recreation Nova Scotia and the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

“We would like to see networks in other counties grow and develop in the coming years,” Burgess explains.

In the meantime, Yarmouth County is providing the blueprint for other counties to follow.

“The newly created network will serve as a structure to facilitate communication among workplaces, promoting the importance of using a comprehensive approach in creating healthy workplaces,” says Burgess.

The network includes a wide range of organizations including South West Health, Macdonald Chisholm Trask Insurance, NSCC, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Yarmouth Recreation, the Municipality of the District of Argyle, and Simply for Life.

“Anyone is welcome to join the network. It’s an informal group that shares information through a website and meets four times a year,” says White. The website can be found here.

Read more about it here:

Library Card Month Revitalized Through New Ideas

A new twist to Library Card Month and strong sponsorship helped make October a successful membership campaign for Western Counties Regional Library.

“We had 374 people sign up as new members of Western Counties Regional Library,” said Public Relations Manager Ian White.

The boost in membership means that 33 per cent of the people living in Digby, Shelburne and Yarmouth counties have a library card, 19,749 out of 59,303 people. That is the highest percentage among any regional library system in Nova Scotia.

Read more about it here:

News from Prince Edward Island

Trina O’Brien Leggott

Public Library Service

Wireless Available in all PLS Libraries

Prince Edward Island is the first province in Canada to offer wireless access in all public libraries. Islanders can log on to the wireless network at all 26 branches of the Prince Edward Island Public Library Service from their personal laptops or other portable devices with wireless capabilities. (See news release at

PLS Newsletter

The December 2011 issue of Public Library Service Newsletter is available at‑news.pdf.

One Book · One Island / Un livre · Une île

Louise Penny’s Still Life was the title chosen for our inaugural One Book · One Island / Un livre · Une île initiative. Here are a few of the numbers:

  • taking book club kits into account, about 600 readers made use of our print and audio, English and French copies of Still life;
  • upwards of 250 people attended one of the 15 or more library events to talk about Still life;
  • approximately 170 readers attended one of Louise’s three public library events;
  • library patrons bought or won One Book · One Island book bags ‑ great advertising for the campaign!; and
  • Friends of the Library groups at several locations provided refreshments and/or supplies for programs.

The title chosen for 2012 will be announced in the spring.

Grant Received by Confederation Centre Public Library

A new space within the Confederation Centre Public Library will create a welcoming area specifically for Island teenagers, thanks to a donation from the Rotary Club of Charlottetown Royalty. The Club has pledged $25,000 to create the space within the Confederation Centre Public Library. In addition, it will invest $5,000 annually over the next four years to purchase new library materials, including books, music and films, for teenagers. (See news release at

Staff Training

A half-day training session for front-line staff on Services for Seniors was held in November. Guest presenter was Catherine Freeze from the Seniors Secretariat.

An Occupational Heath and Safety Guide has been distributed to all locations. It was prepared by PLS staff and provides procedures for safely performing the many tasks we carry out every day. All staff are currently reviewing this important procedures manual. In conjunction with the manual, Occupational Health and Safety Manager Karen Thompson offered training to all staff in library ergonomics. As well, all staff received fire extinguisher training from staff of the Charlottetown Fire Department.

Staff News

Grace Dawson has been appointed to the temporary position of Literacy and Public Services Librarian for the period December 2011 to September 2012. Grace is replacing Rebecca Boulter, who is on maternity leave. Rebecca and her husband Ryan welcomed their first child, Vivian Ann, on December 4th.

Long-time employee Judi Hooper is retiring in January after more than 40 years service. Judi started her career while still a college student, working part-time at Confederation Centre Public Library. After graduation from UPEI, she worked in the then-Film Library (later known as the Media Centre). When the Media Centre collection and staff were integrated into Confederation Centre Public Library, Judi resumed working at the library where she began her career. Happy retirement, Judi!

French Services Librarian Jean‑François Savaria has accepted a position with the public library service of Quebec City as Librarian supervisor of the Des Rivières district. Jean-François started with the PLS in May 2006; his last day with us will be January 5, 2012.

Kathy MacEwen, branch technician at Souris Public Library, has been appointed to the temporary position of Library Assistant in Morell. Kathy is filling in for Ann McInnis, who in turn is filling in for Melanie Barlow during her maternity leave.

Sonja Mason has been appointed as branch technician at Breadalbane Public Library until January 10, 2012.

Linda Allain, French Language Cataloguing Technician at PLS Headquarters, has accepted a temporary assignment as Records Management Clerk with Finance and Municipal Affairs.

Cindy Harris has been appointed as branch technician at Souris Public Library for the duration of Kathy MacEwen's secondment to PLS Headquarters.

Lisa Newcombe has been appointed to the library assistant position at Summerside Rotary Library.

News from the School of Information Management, Dalhousie University

Jenn Cox and Melissa Anez

SIM Owned the Podium at the Faculty of Management Awards Ceremony

The annual Faculty of Management retreat was held on November 10, 2011.  The retreat included an award ceremony, where outstanding contributions by faculty and staff were celebrated.  This year SIM was well represented with five award recipients; in fact, it’s safe to say that SIM owned the awards podium.  SIM is indeed lucky to have such dedicated professionals, who are very worthy of recognition.

JoAnn Watson, Administrative Professional of the Year.

Vivian Howard, Academic Leadership in the Faculty of Management.

Bertrum MacDonald, Award for Exceptional Interdisciplinary Endeavour in Scholarly Research.

Anatoliy Gruzd, Rookie of the Year.

Sandra Toze, Faculty of Management Teaching Award.

Please join us in congratulating our colleagues for their hard work and dedication!

Photos are courtesy of Tim Richard (

Join SIM’s Facebook Page

All are welcome to join the School’s Facebook page, where you can keep up with School activities, and post items of interest to the School, its members, and alumni.

Congratulations to our New SIM Graduates

Congratulations to our new SIM graduates, who received their degrees at the October Convocation ceremony:

  • Jennifer Grek Martin, Sarah Gilbert, and Laura Landon (MLIS).
  • Will Bembridge, Charles Bloom, Sarah Horrocks, and Jennifer Woods (MIM).

The ceremony included a welcome message from SIM’s Associated Alumni chair, David Ryan:

The Associated Alumni is a wonderful peer network, comprised of professional librarians and information managers who have all stood where you’re standing now. From coast to coast, you’ll find us. As subscribers to this listserv, you’ll get updates on Alumni events and what your colleagues are doing. Here are some other great ways to stay in the loop:

The SIM Associated Alumni websiteFacebook; and Twitter.

By networking with us, you’ll be able to get great career advice and stay in touch with friends. You’ll have the chance to get together with other Alumni across Canada and beyond, at conferences and events.

This Convocation was particularly special since it marked the very first recipients of the Master of Information Management degree from the program that we established in 2008.

Online Professional Masters Degrees and Programs

Dalhousie’s programs provide professionals with the opportunity to continue to focus on their career goals while working towards a Master’s degree. Contact the Centre for Advanced Management Education (CFAME) to find out how they can support you to achieve success in both.  Applications are being accepted for the Spring and Autumn terms in the Master of Information Management program.

Norman Horrocks Leadership Fund

Friday, October 14, marked the one-year anniversary of Norman’s passing.  To honour Norman’s memory, please consider making a donation to the Horrocks Leadership Fund, established to help ensure the future of the MLIS program at SIM.  The School, and the MLIS profession, were very important to Norman, and so this is a fitting tribute to honour his memory.





SIM Plays Host to Design Competition

On October 18th, the Social Media Lab at the Dalhousie School of Information Management played host to the first ever Elsevier WebApp Concept Design Competition. Dalhousie students were challenged to develop and present an original idea for a web application for Elsevier’s new SciVerse search and discovery platform, helping more than 15 million researchers, medical professionals, librarians and students to navigate scientific content, improve scientific search and discovery, visualize sophisticated data in more insightful and attractive ways, and stimulate collaboration.

The event was organized by Dr. Anatoliy Gruzd (Assistant Professor, School of Information Management; Director of the Dalhousie Social Media Lab), Vishal Gupta (Director Developer Network, Elsevier, Inc.), Philip Mai (Dalhousie Social Media Lab Research Manager), and MLIS students Melissa Anez and Jennifer Yurchak. Elsevier offered $3000 in prizes and further support for development of the winning entries.

Over 50 students from four different programs submitted entries on themes ranging from the integration of social media in academic research, presenting information through geography, creating bibliographies, and visualizing search results in novel ways. The winners were announced on November 1st:

First Place:  BlobCube by Raheleh Makki, Ozge Yeloglu, and Axel Soto from the Faculty of Computer Science.

Second Place: Snippets  by Laura Dukowski, Terry LeBlanc, and Craig MacEachern from the School of Information Science Third Place: MiSTeRy Visualizer  by Farhan Jamal Khan and Ishan Patel from the Faculty of Computer Science

Development is underway for these winning entries, and plans are in place to develop other entries into full-fledged SciVerse Apps. For more information and to view posters and detailed descriptions of contest entries, please visit

Launch of the Dalhousie Journal of Interdisciplinary Management

The 2011 launch of the Dalhousie Journal of Interdisciplinary Management (DJIM) took place on October 3rd. The DJIM executive appreciated the strong presence students and faculty alike.

Please see the most recent issue here.

Information without Borders 2012

Please join us for the sixth annual Information Without Borders conference. IWB is a student-led conference for Information Management professionals and students. It will be held February 9, 2012 at Dalhousie University in Halifax, NS. This year's theme is Open Access & Closed Content: The Information Dichotomy. For more information, please visit our website.