Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Support Staff Shine in Showcase

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On November 9, 2016 the University of Alberta Libraries staff enjoyed a learning and development showcase featuring some of our talented support staff. The showcase was well attended and the presentations were very engaging.

We heard from:
  • Elisabet Ingibergsson (Bibliothèque Saint Jean): Semaine de lecture - Read IN Week Community Collaboration
  • Hanne Pearce (Humanities and Social Sciences Library): Design, Promotions, Photography
  • Alicia Odeen (Special Collections & Archives) : Archives Transition: Advocacy and a New System
  • Zachary Schoenberger (Bibliographic Services): Practical Applications of Metadata
  • Chris Bateman (Science and Technology Library): 3D Printing & Equipment Lending

Elisabet Ingibergsson of Bibliothèque Saint Jean presented about partnering with local French immersion elementary school classes to bring them to the library for Read IN Week (October 3 - 9, 2016). This year’s theme was One World, Many Voices. Elisabet coordinated all aspects of this event, including recruiting participants, speaking with school principals, facilitating information sessions for students and teachers, and then confirming participation and creating the day’s itinerary. The day was a success with 112 children participating and the event created a great opportunity for public relations and visibility for the bibliothèque. 


Hanne Pearce has taken a lead role in designing promotional materials for the UAlberta Libraries over the past several years. In addition to her primary role as a Public Services Assistant, Hanne has unique expertise in photography and  print and digital promotions and she uses these skills to “share the stuff we do!” She primarily designs her work in Adobe Creative Cloud and keeps on top of best practices by paying attention to her environment, often finding inspiration in unusual places (like the bus stop)! She’s passionate about public outreach and how great design can help UAlberta Libraries connect with their users.

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Alicia Odeen gave us a sneak peek into the complex processes behind managing and digitizing the library’s archival collection, which has over 9 linear kilometers of materials and about 400,000 photographs.  In September of 2017, this collection will move from BARD to the new RCRF.  Alicia emphasized that this new location - which will have in-house digitization and new retrieval processes - will help raise awareness of our extensive archival holdings. Archives staff at the new facility will continue to collect, organize, preserve, and provide access to university records of enduring value. 

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Zachary Schoenberger began working with the Métis National Council after a Métis genealogy website created by Dr. Frank Tough was suddenly lost when their server was taken offline. The website helped Métis Nations research and create their family tree. Zachary used a variety of tools to recover the data into its original structure. He used OpenRefine, a pattern recognition software, to “split-apply-combine” the data, a common practice in metadata work. He then used R, another software, to import and export the recovered data. This work will support ongoing research by the Dr. Tough and the Métis Nations.

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Chris Bateman highlighted his role in the provision of the popular 3D printing service offered at Cameron Library. This service a partnership between the Libraries and the Faculty of Science’s Hackerspace and usually receives around 10 requests a week for different 3D printing projects from students and faculty. Once a project is received, it is a very hands on process for Chris and his Cameron service desk colleagues who use three different softwares to ensure the design is complete and ready for printing. The process requires technological prowess and attention to detail. The outcome of 3D printing projects are often innovative objects used for research, experiments, and creative projects - all made of plant-based materials.

Thank you to all of the presenters for sharing their expertise!

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