2012 Vol. 15 Issue 4

Wired West — Volume 15, Number 4

News from your Chapter Board

Touring Libraries — Canadian and international examples

News and Resources

This issue of Wired West, complied and published by Ann Dreolini, Web Editor for Wired West.

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President’s Message — November 2012

Another year is coming to a close and this is my last “President’s message” before I transition into a different role.  The year has gone by quickly but as I look back there are several highlights in 2012.

The first highlight is working with a great group of people on the Board who are committed to our colleagues (to you, to chapter members, information professionals) through coordinating regional events, welcoming new members, managing the accounts, preparing the newsletter, posting employment opportunities, contacting vendors etc. etc.).  To all of you on the 2012 WCC Board, thank you for your support, encouragement and time.


  • Events across the regions (to name a few): Social Media in Libraries (Edmonton), Lunch and Learn about expanding career potential (Vancouver), and pub nights.
  • Establishing a ‘host committee’ for the 2014 SLA Annual Conference with Patricia Cia and Christina de Castell as co-chairs. 
  • Hosting the Canadian reception in Chicago at the Annual Conference (sponsored by Eureka.cc / CEDROM SNi).  The three Canadian Chapters rotate the responsibility of hosting this event; 2012 was our year and next year the Eastern Canada Chapter will be our hosts in San Diego.  At the reception I had the privilege of meeting many of our chapter members and working with a very generous and supportive vendor partner. 
  • SLA President Brent Mai’s visit to Vancouver and our first live-stream event.  It is great to have the technology at hand so whether a person is ‘in person’ or ‘online’ they are part of the interaction. 
  • A membership survey coordinated by Dawn Bassett which will help the Board and Regional Directors better serve the interests of our members (and potential members).
  • The Mendeley webinar in November – another Chapter-wide event this time introducing us to the advantages of this cloud-enabled reference management sharing tool

In 2012 the Board also faced a couple of challenges.  We had to say farewell to two board members who were not able to continue in their roles and, partnering with vendors for ongoing chapter expenses and professional development opportunities has not been encouraging.   Nevertheless, a new year is coming and with it new opportunities.

Dawn will soon take over as the Chapter President.  There will be some new faces on the Board in 2013 and some people will be changing roles.  And there will be more preparation for the 2014 SLA Annual Conference in Vancouver.    Overall, exciting times ahead!

Finally, thank you for allowing me to be part of this great Board. 

Submitted by Richard Matiachuk

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Chapter & SLA News

Compiled by Adrian Mitescu

Chapter News:

  • Our Annual General Meeting will take place on Wednesday, November 21; let Richard know if you would like to attend.
  • As usually, we will also have a reception and panel discussion (CHANGING MODELS OF LIBRARY SERVICE) on the same day, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Terminal City Club in Vancouver. Tickets available now via credit card and Paypal; please note that we will again be extending member pricing to those belonging to other information associations, such as BCLA, CLA and PLA.
  • We are looking for volunteers for some exciting positions in the next year’s Board; take a look!
  • We’re keen to know what you think; please let us know what do you think about out programs and what we can do to improve them.

SLA News

  • SLA Awards and Honors Nominations are now open! ‘Tis the season to recognize someone worthy.
  • One word: Money! (in other words, the SLA 2012 Annual Salary Survey is available).
  • ClickU course highlight: want to know what changed in the new Canadian copyright law? Consider taking the excellent copyright course with Lesley Ann Harris – attend the open house for further information.
  • The latest issue of Information Outlook (subscription required – but worth it) has focused on metrics: what they are, why do they matter and can they be used to show value. Check it out!
  • More SLA news can be found here.

Adrian Mitescu is Communications Director at SLA Western Canada Chapter.

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Touring Local Libraries

Every few months, the SLA@SLAIS leads interested students on a “crawl” of special libraries in the Vancouver area. These visits provide library and archives students with insight into the types of library and archival careers that are available, and a chance to ask experienced professionals questions about their work. Of course, what makes the library tours unique are the opportunities to see the libraries’ specialized collections and how they fit into the organization, as well as the chance to take in the design of the libraries and hear about what works and what could, well, work better.

Over the past two months, the SLA@SLAIS has toured four special libraries. In September we visited the Family Support and Resource Centre in the B.C. Children’s Hospital, the Yosef Wosk Library and Resource Centre at the VanDusen Botanical Gardens, and the B.C. Securities Commission library. In October we also took part in an extensive tour of the W.B. and M.H. Chung Library at the Vancouver Maritime Museum.

The Family Support and Resource Centre (FSRC) at B.C. Children’s Hospital is located in a lovely and colourful space, complete with computers, a children’s play area with toys and games, and a reading lounge just outside the door. As we entered the library, we met librarian Andrea Freeman, who showed us around the space and described the library’s collection of consumer health resources and the services she provides to both patients of the Children’s Hospital and patrons from across B.C. In order to reach out to the library’s patrons, Andrea offers a library mailing service, as well as a bookstore stocked with the hospital’s in-house publications and resources recommended by physicians. The FSRC is also the home-base of two health support workers who assist families and patients. The FSRC already offers wide-ranging information services to patients, but Andrea hopes that they can expand their role further by perhaps moving to a more central space during the upcoming hospital renovations.

Like the FSRC, the Yosef Wosk Library and Resource Centre and Resource Centre is an inviting and comfortable space. The Yosef Wosk Library re-opened in a brand new building just this past year, providing librarian Marina Princz with additional, much-needed space. According to Marina, the most challenging part of the move to the new building was making sure that the architects incorporated the special needs of the library, such as lighting and space for shelving, into their design. Marina is currently working on making some improvements to the lighting to make the space more functional and appealing, especially during Vancouver’s darker winter months. Nearly simultaneous with the move to the new space was the transition to an online catalogue after decades of using a traditional card catalog for their 6,000-book collection – an extraordinarily ambitious undertaking for a library with only one staff member! The library is now located in a very central part of the new building, and Marina pointed out that the new space has meant an increase in patrons from the public as the library is now much more accessible from the VanDusen Gardens’ main entrance. See images below from the Yosef Wosk Library and Resource Centre.

At the B.C. Securities Commission, we were met by librarian Helen Mok, who spends most of her time providing research services on financial and legal issues to the staff at the BCSC, and keeping them up-to-date on current issues. Helen told us that the librarians at the BCSC mainly focus on legal research, particularly case law research, legislative tracing, and due diligence and background checks, and that the librarians provide in-depth reference services for staff, often taking days to conduct thorough searches and prepare the results. They also provide document delivery services. Usually special libraries are tucked away in separate rooms, but at the BCSC the library is situated in the main office space. As a result, this small library is highly visible — see image above from the library.

When we visited the W.B. and M.H. Chung Library and archives at the Vancouver Maritime Museum, we also had the opportunity to explore the archives-inspired exhibition, “Don’t Eat the Whale Meat.” Archivist and librarian, Lisa Glandt, was particularly excited about the exhibition because it featured a large amount of archival materials, including food labels from B.C. canneries. The library and archives focuses primarily on the maritime history of Vancouver and B.C., but it also includes a significant collection of books on Arctic exploration and naval history. It was very interesting to hear about how the library and archives support the work of the Museum staff, especially the curatorial staff, as well as the external researchers who seem to be avid users of the library. The library itself is a beautiful space, filled with interesting books and objects. During our visit we also had a chance to tour the archives and the museum storage areas, which provided a sense of just how extensive the Museum’s collections actually are.

Other types of libraries may have larger collections, but I think it would be nearly impossible to find such a diverse range of organizations, collections, and services as you find visiting just a few local special libraries. Thank you to all of the librarians and archivists who take the time to give us tours of their spaces – it is always an intriguing and worthwhile experience!

By Helen Brown, a Dual Masters of Library and Information Studies and Masters of Archival Studies student at the University of British Columbia.

Photo credits: Meghan Whyte

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Down the Rabbit Hole: Exploring Libraries Across the Globe

 By Maria C. Tan, MLIS & David Sulz, MLIS

David and I have had a number of conversations about our travels to far-flung libraries. In this article, we share some of our reflections on these visits, as well as a list of aspects to consider when visiting libraries.  We’ve presented the content in a conversational, question and answer format, followed by a checklist of sorts that you, the reader, are welcome to use when embarking on your next library field trip! 

To read more about libraries across the globe, click the link to the PDF article:   Down the Rabbit Hole

International and Cultural News area, University of Technology, Sydney

Sign, Wagenigen Library, Netherlands

Babes Bolyai Library, Romania

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New Members — October 2012

There are a variety of new members for October 2012:

Carrie Grinstead  — Vancouver, BC

Geoff Littler — Electronic Arts (Canada) Inc., Burnaby, BC

James Lovitt — Langley, BC

Amber Saundry — Burnaby, BC

Jenna Thomson — Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC

Chantel Doerksen — Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association, Regina, SK

Colleen Marshall — Saskatchewan Reserch Council, Saskatoon, SK