2014 Vol. 17 Issue 1

Wired West – Volume 17, Issue 1

News from your Chapter Board

Conference 2014

Featured Interview

News and Resources

This issue of Wired West, compiled and published by Dawn Bassett, Bulletin Editor for Wired West

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SLA Leadership Summit – January 2014

The annual SLA Leadership Summit allows chapter and division board members and officers to meet one another, learn about how to be more effective in their roles and gain valuable insight into the inner workings of SLA.  This year our chapter also had the opportunity to promote ourselves and Vancouver as the host of this year’s annual conference, from June 8th to 10th.

Our chapter was represented at the Summit by me, the President-Elect, and Lindsay Tripp, the Vancouver Director.  We spoke to many attendees who are very much looking forward to visiting Vancouver this summer for the conference and were keen to hear about our chapter.  We also attended meetings and conference sessions, and I will summarize the main developments and initiatives that were mentioned during the three days.

In an effort to be financially responsible and avoid unexpected future costs, SLA has made the difficult decision to sell the headquarters building later this year.  The staff will then move to leased office space, which will allow the association to more accurately budget for a fixed annual cost.  SLA is also trying hard to provide the best possible value to its members.  To keep up with the ever changing and evolving needs of its membership, the association sent out a member survey at the end of last month.  Please ensure that you complete the survey and submit it by the response deadline of February 21st .

One of the things that a number of members have expressed support for is future virtual conferences.  SLA is considering offering more of these in the future.  After the 2013 annual conference in San Diego, some of the conference content was shared with virtual attendees.  This worked well and may be offered again after future annual conferences.

SLA also wants its members to be aware of a free report which was developed in partnership with The Financial Times, “The Evolving Value of Information Management and Five Essential Attributes of Modern Information Professionals.”  The report can be accessed at http://ftcorporate.ft.com/sla/  The report outlines how to enhance the influence and perceived value of information professionals.  It also identifies ways in which an information professional can ensure that the services he or she provides are aligned with the business needs of the organization.

The Leadership Summit is a fantastic opportunity for our chapter to discover what other chapters and divisions are doing, how we can work together, and how we can help our members to get the most out of what the association has to offer.  We will do our best to share this information and keep our chapter vibrant and thriving.  I was happy to represent our chapter at the Summit and look forward to attending this year’s annual conference.  I hope to see you there!

Suzanne McBeath, President-elect



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Message from your new bulletin editor – Dawn Bassett

Welcome to Volume 17 of Wired West

I am thrilled to be the new bulletin editor and I hope to use my experience to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining issues of our chapter bulletin.  Volume 17, Issue 1 is meant to be a re-introduction to the bulletin after a hiatus of several months, so the focus is to bring the members up-to-date on some of the work the board has been doing as well as welcome our new members and provide some general news and updates.

Help make Wired West a success!

Interesting, informative and entertaining newsletters don’t just happen. I need your participation, enthusiasm – your stories! in order to make this newsletter a success.

There are many different ways to get involved with Wired West.  You don’t need to be an experienced writer or long-term member to submit a story. One of the great things about having a newsletter like this is being able to give you a voice especially if you have never written before. For some of us (myself included), Wired West was the first place we sent something to be published. So if you’re interested in writing something, or have a great story to tell, tell it!

And if you don’t feel comfortable writing but have a story you think the bulletin should tell, or a library you’d like to see profiled,I’d love to know that too.  Any feedback and ideas are most appreciated.

Be a conference reviewer

The SLA Annual Conference is being held in Vancouver this year.   I’d like to recruit some chapter members who would be willing to share their experiences either before, or after the conference or both.  Possible perspectives include:

  • The student experience

  • The first-timer experience

  • Session reviewer

  • Social events reviewer

I am sure there are others.  Please be in touch via email if you’re interested or have other ideas.

Be a regular contributor

Do you have something about your job or profession that you are extremely passionate about?  Why not consider being a regular contributor for each issue.  The articles don’t have to be long, you could even serialize your story by doing it a chunk at a time over the three issues.   Ideas might include:

  • A technology spotlight
  • Stories from library school
  • Professional development opportunities

If this interests you, please be in touch.

More information about submission guidelines, upcoming issues and deadlines can be found on the submission guidelines page.

If you have any questions, comments, or submissions, please contact me at editor@wcanada.sla1.org . I look forward to hearing from you.

Photo of Dawn Bassett

Dawn Bassett, MLIS
Bulletin Editor




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SLA 2014 Conference in Vancouver – June 8-10

Vancouver Convention Centre

Vancouver Convention Centre.

The past two years have flown in anticipation of the next four months. Although much “had” to wait until now, we’ve been busy. The 2014 Host Committee website  is up and running, and new information will be added regularly from now until the conference.

Western Canada Chapter members on the SLA Conference Advisory Council include Keith Low, the local contact for division conference planners, and Debbie Schachter, Chapter Cabinet Chair and Board Liaison to the Advisory Council.

Following up on our table at the 2013 conference in San Diego, Vancouver Director Lindsay Tripp attended the SLA Leadership Summit in Memphis to staff the 2014 Conference table and field questions. SLA leaders were enthusiastic and are looking forward to coming to Vancouver. Suzanne McBeath, SLA WCC President-Elect helped out between her sessions as well.

Now it’s time to pick up the pace and get ready to welcome attendees to Vancouver and the Western Canada Chapter and provide them with local information. The next four months will fly by!

The conference experience will be a team event. Our fall survey brought us volunteers to coordinate various activities who will be asking for your help to:

  • Staff the Welcome Table
  • Recommend sightseeing venues – many of those we talked to are planning a vacation around the conference. What   do you recommend to see or do in Vancouver, the rest of BC, Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Yukon, Nunavut, NWT?
  • Tour your library virtually
  • Show off all of WCC on the blog – Photos from throughout Western Canada
  • Host Dine-a-rounds – Opportunities to meet colleagues from around the world
  • Lead Tour-a-rounds – short walk or transit excursions to places like Gastown, Vancouver Art Gallery, Granville Island Market…
  • Lead or organize wellness activities – a few activities to show the healthy character of Vancouver, such as morning yoga or a seawall walk

Don’t want to wait for the followup? Let us know where you are interested in helping to slawcc2014@gmail.com

In the mean time, visit the Western Canada Chapter’s conference hosting website and think about what you could share with attendees. If everyone in our chapter contributes a post, a picture or acts as a host, we will have a fantastic conference. As June approaches, we’ll add more about your favourite attractions, restaurants and activities. We’ve promised diverse dining options and great activities, and we need your help to get the best recommendations!

Have you registered yet? Whether you live in Kelowna, Edmonton, or Saskatoon don’t forget to register, make housing arrangements and plan to attend. We’re excited to be welcoming SLA members to our beautiful city, and in Vancouver we’re looking forward to answering questions from our chapter members too, so don’t hesitate to ask!

Your SLA 2014 Host Chapter Committee Co-Chairs

Christina de Castell and Patricia Cia



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The Aquarium Librarian: An intervew with Ann Dreolini – February 2014

I was fortunate to have held the position as the librarian at the Vancouver Aquarium, my dream job, which I gave up four years ago to move to Winnipeg.  Ann took over for me and was kind enough to answer some questions for this first feature interview.  The purpose of these interviews, which will be a regular feature over the next four issues is to ask some fun questions of working information professionals.  My hope is to give you a small taste of how our roles are very similar, but at the same time, have  interesting differences.  It is also a great way to highlight some of the great special libraries across the western chapter. I hope you enjoy this interview with Ann Dreolini the librarian at the Vancouver Aquarium.

Dawn Bassett, Bulletin editor


Beluga. Photo by Meighan Makarchuk. Copyright:  Vancouver Aquarium. All Rights Reserved.

Meet the Aquarium Librarian – Ann Dreolini

Ann Dreolini started out as a library volunteer, and then worked for Vancouver Public Library for nine years. While at VPL, she was a Library Assistant I, in a Sunday student position, and then eventually as a full-time librarian. Her full time position was working in the Business Department. In 2006, moved to Calgary, AB where she worked in two law firms — Norton Rose and Bennett Jones LLP.

After returning to Vancouver, there was some contract work and some work at Douglas College on the reference desk. In 2009, she started working at Associated Engineering, as their librarian.

In October 2010, she started in the position of Manager, Information Services at the Vancouver Aquarium.

The Robin Best Library (soon the be the Robin Best Knowledge Resource Centre) is part of the Vancouver Aquarium. The Library supports  the 400 staff and approximately 1000 volunteers of the Vancouver Aquarium. The library also answers questions from the general public by phone or email.  The collection has about 7200 items, in print and DVD collections in the subject areas of Marine Science, Aquatic and environmental education and conservation as well as a small selection of childrens materials and a video and digital photo collection.

15 Questions 

Why did you want to become an information professional?

I started working in libraries and I enjoyed the work, so it was something that I
wanted to pursue further.

What was your first position in a library and/or information services field?

 Library Assistant I with the Vancouver Public Library. Shelving, sorting and mending books and other resources.

What is the most fun thing about your job?

We have dolphins and monkeys, on site!

Katmai: a sea otter

Katmai the sea otter. She was rescued in Alaska and brought to the Vancouver Aquarium. Image Copyright: Vancouver Aquarium All Rights Reserved.

What is the coolest thing in your cubicle or office?

I have a very large office, since I am located in the library – there’s tons of space.          The coolest thing on my desk are my glass jellies sculptures.

A hero who has inspired you in your career?

There are lots of inspirational people. Two of my first bosses were very inspirational and were also extremely helpful with suggestions for the future.

What is your guilty pleasure?

I like reality TV, including The Amazing Race and Survivor.

Career advice – what’s your top tip?

Don’t give up or put yourself down. Instead take on those challenges – I think you
would be surprised at some of the outcomes. We are often our own worst critics.

Proudest moment in your professional life?

Being called to be on a university panel, and talking to the students about my career.

If you didn’t work in the information industry, what would you be doing?

Pink tipped anemone

Pink tipped anemone. Image by Neil Fisher. Copyright: Vancouver Aquarium. All rights reserved.

Travel agent. Looks interesting and look at the perks; trips and travel to different

How do you stay current in your field?

I like talking to other professionals, since I am a solo librarian. I find conferences and courses can also be helpful.

What’s the #1 most played song on your MP3 Player?

Madonna — Holiday

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

How to fly a plane. I thought of this recently, and thought it would be cool.

Where do you most want to travel, but have never been?

The list is very, very long but Egypt and the pyramids are still on the list.

If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose? Why?

Harriet the Spy. I love that book and she was such as great character.

Ann Dreolini, MLIS
Manager of Information Services
Vancouver Aquarium

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In Memoriam: Shelagh Mikulak, March 6, 1953 – July 14, 2013

Shelagh Mikulak, March 6, 1953 – July 14, 2013

In Memoriam: Shelagh Mikulak, March 6, 1953 – July 14, 2013

Leader, mentor, friend, colleague, advocate, innovator, and visionary are words many use to describe Shelagh Mikulak. Shelagh was a doer; she was also vivacious and feisty. When Shelagh spoke, people paid attention.

Shelagh established the Management Resource Centre (now the Business Library) at the University of Calgary and then moved “downtown” to be National Director, Information Resources at Bennett Jones LLP. Shelagh was a founding member of SLA—WCC and the Business Information Interest Group of CLA. Membership was not enough for this consummate professional as her formal leadership positions include the Calgary Program Coordinator for 1986-87 and President-elect/President/Past President for SLA-WCC from 1986—1990. After her move to Law Librarianship, Shelagh served as Treasurer/Programs/Chair/Past-Chair for the Calgary Law Library Group (CLLG) and part of the Conference Planning Committee for the 1999 Canadian Association of Law Libraries conference in Calgary.

A strong advocate of special libraries, Shelagh successfully promoted library services within her organizations. She also had a wonderful rapport with vendors from which all library professionals can learn.

The 2010 diagnosis of ALS (popularly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease) did not change Shelagh’s desire to contribute. She announced “I am LIVING with ALS, I am not dying from it.” With her family (Murray, Kevin, and Sean), she created “Shelagh’s Green Team” for Betty’s Run for ALS raising $100,000 over 3 years. Shelagh was the Ambassador for the run in 2012 and the voice of ALS in a number of media opportunities. When Alberta Health Services announced changes to palliative care services earlier this year, Shelagh again took action, and appeared on the front page of the Calgary Herald speaking of her wish to die at home with family at her side. Shelagh did die at home, on July 14, 2013, and Alberta Health Services reversed their decision on palliative services.

Shelagh will be missed by all who crossed paths with her. Her legacy of leadership is recognized in CLLG’s Shelagh Mikulak Library Leadership Award. Her mentorship and encouragement of those interested in pursuing careers related to library science will endure through the Shelagh Mikulak Memorial Scholarship in Library Sciences Fund, lovingly created by her family through the Calgary Foundation.

For more information, Shelagh’s obituary can be found from the Calgary Herald (July 18-20). A wonderful editorial tribute was published in the Calgary Herald on July 24.

Contributions to this scholarship are welcome. Step-by-step details on how to contribute.

Submitted by Nadine Hoffmann


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Welcome new members – January 2014

Welcome to the new members who joined us as of January 1, 2014


Chelsea Shriver

Mariya Tokhtarova

Sandi Richards

Jo Shepherd

Catherine Alderson

Tanya Ulmer

Grace Romund


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Upcoming Events – March 2014

Vancouver Art Gallery Library Tour – May 6th, 2014

Submitted by the SLA WCC Vancouver Regional Director,  Lindsay Tripp

Cheryl Siegel has kindly offered to take SLA WCC on a tour of the Vancouver Art Gallery Library and Archives on May 6, 2014! The tour will commence at 4pm, and will be followed by refreshments in the gallery cafe.

On Tuesdays, the gallery is open until 9pm and admission is by donation; participants are invited to stay on and explore the exhibitions. Registration for this free tour (which includes a sneak peak at the gallery’s catacombs!) will open on Monday, April 7th, and will be capped at 20 participants.

Keep an eye on the Chapter website for updates!

Manitoba Libraries Conference – May 12-14th 2014 – Winnipeg, Manitoba

The 2014 Manitoba Libraries Conference, May 12th – 14th 2014 at the Delta Hotel in downtown Winnipeg, is a chance to celebrate the Unlimited Potential of Manitoba and Canada’s library community. We are excited to bring you a rich and diverse conference program with topics ranging from children’s literature, strategic programming for public libraries, and innovative library access to human rights, open-source technology, and new digital initiatives in Manitoba’s libraries and archives. We also have a dynamic pre-conference agenda as well as keynotes from Nora Young, host of CBC radio’s Spark, and Winnipeg author Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair.

mlc logoFor more information visit:

Program: http://www.mla.mb.ca/content/program

Registration: http://www.mla.mb.ca/content/registration

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