Monday, June 10, 2019

Indigenous Initiatives Projects at UAlberta Libraries

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Here at the library we have a stellar team of library folks working on indigenous projects to further our commitment to Truth and Reconciliation.

The team consists of:
Kathleen De Long, Associate University Librarian
Kim Bates, Learning Manager
Kayla Lar-Son, Academic Librarian Resident
Gabrielle Lamontagne, Indigenous Intern
Leigha Rind, Indigenous Intern
Geordie Cardinal, Public Service Assistant
Larry Laliberte, GIS Librarian
Debbie Feisst, Interim Head, HT Coutts Library
Sharon Farnel, Metadata Coordinator
Anne Carr-Wiggin, Coordinator, Indigenous Initiatives
Paul Gareau, Assistant Professor, Native Studies.

Here’s a quick overview of what they have been working on lately. Stay tuned for more updates on these projects in the future.

On May 8, 2019 Paul Gareau and Tanya Ball from the Faculty of Native Studies provided some insights into Indigenous Research Data Management (RDM) from the perspectives of a faculty member and a PhD student. Kayla Lar-Son (UAL Digital Initiatives) moderated the session while discussing the concept of Indigenous data sovereignty.
As part of a recent Instagram takeover, Indigenous Academic Resident Kayla Lar-Son highlighted some of the work that she is doing in Digital Initiatives (DI) including spotlighting some of UAL’s unique Indigenous collections. Currently, issues of Alberta Native News are in the process of being digitized in a project lead by DI Librarian Michelle Brailey.

A post shared by University of Alberta Library (@uofalibraries) on
The Decolonizing Description Project team has been actively engaging members of Indigenous communities both on and off the UAlberta campus in a holistic, collaborative, flexible and ongoing process to address problematic terminology in resource descriptions. Knowledge gathering events on North and Augustana campuses, as well as at the Maskekosihk (Enoch) First Nation open house, have been well received, and we have learned a great deal that we can apply to our practices. Further knowledge gathering sessions are being planned.

UAL staff have been working with health sciences students, faculty and clinicians to envision what a Health Sciences Indigenous Information and Learning Commons as part of the Health Sciences Library might be.  Several engagement sessions with stakeholders have been held through March and April.

Kayla Lar-Son, Allison Sivak and Leigha Rind hosted library sessions for Native Studies - Aboriginal Women (NS 362) students before their class every Tuesday evening during the Winter 2019 term. To focus on building relationships, the sessions were casual and there was always time for coffee & visiting. The students were given instructional sessions about library services. They also visited Jessica Thorlakson in Cameron library for a 3D Printing tour, explored hidden gems in the Circumpolar collection, and created work for their class project, the Visual Arts Journal.

UAL is happy to announce a new electronic resource 4 Seasons of Reconciliation, a multi-media teaching unit that promotes a renewed relationship between Indigenous Peoples and Canadians. This educational initiative, developed for secondary, post-secondary and the workplace incorporates teacher guides, slideshows, videos and films along with engaging online portals.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Real Life Special Collections - The Linda Miron Distad Culinaria Collection

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“Daddy! Mom got egg shells in the batter!”

It was a Saturday afternoon and I was baking a cake from a recipe book I had taken out from The University of Alberta Libraries. The book was Let Them Eat Cake and my daughter had chosen to make the “Cocoa cake” based on the tempting photo on the cover of the book.

We eventually get the egg shells out of the batter and follow the remaining steps in the recipe’s instructions. While the cake baked, I flipped through the pages of Let Them Eat Cake and devoured each baked good with my eyes and imagined their delicious scents.
Frosting is Betty Crocker - Milk Chocolate
and not from the recipe book.

I flipped to the front cover to start my visual buffet again when I saw the crest that embossed the inside front cover “Ex Libris Universitatis Albertensis - Linda Miron Distad Culinaria Collection.” Intrigued, I set out to find out a little more about The Linda Miron Distad Culinaria Collection.

I grab my phone and ran a quick search in the catalogue from the University of Alberta Libraries website and found the collection holds over 3700 items. As I scroll through the catalogue listings I find not only recipe books but there are books on wine pairings, gastronomy, the story of Pyotr Smirnov and so much more. A particular title that popped out at me was Collecting culinaria: cookbooks and domestic manuals mainly from the Linda Miron Distad Collection, which is the printed catalogue of the Bruce Peel Special Collections in-house exhibition.

Let Them Eat Cake cover, tempting no?
At work on Monday, I got in touch with Bruce Peel Special Collections Librarian Linda Quirk, and their special exhibition for exhibition for Collecting Culinaria occurred over the Fall/Winter terms in 2013/14. If you have FOMO over this fear not! The online exhibition Culinaria: A Taste of Food History on the Prairies is the companion to the physical exhibit and is full of food history related to the Canadian Prairie provinces and its influences. 

Quirk also directed me to the Linda Miron Distad Culinaria Research Collection website where I could learn a little bit more about the late Linda Miron Distad and her collection that is now housed at our Research & Collections Resource Facility (RCRF).

If you would like to check out any books from The Linda Miron Distad Culinaria Collection you can simply search our catalogue for the collection or click here to place a hold on any or all the titles that make your tummy rumble. You can also check out the book display that is on the main floor of Cameron Library through the month on June and check out any of the books on display.

The Linda Miron Distad Culinaria Collection on display at Cameron Library throughout the month June.

If you’re looking for a little extra you can learn more about on previous in-house exhibitions from our Bruce Peel Special Collections and other Research Collections by exploring online or by scheduling an in-person visit.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Film Streaming at Rutherford Library for Indigenous History Month and LGTBQ Pride Month

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Celebrate with us! Film Screenings for LGTBQS+ and Indigenous History Month
June is the month to celebrate National Indigenous History Month as well as LGBTQ Pride Month. As a way to honour and acknowledge these communities, as well as their struggles and achievements, Rutherford Library is streaming films that highlight diverse aspects of their respective histories each weekday in June. All of the films listed below, and many more, are accessible through the streaming resources available through UAlberta Libraries.

Please note that some of these films have graphic or disturbing content, or address issues that may be upsetting for some people. Viewers are encouraged to seek out support if they wish to after viewing these films.

Some mental health support services on campus include:

Event: National Indigenous History Month and LGBTQ Pride Month video celebration

Location: Learning Lounge, Rutherford Library North

Date: Each weekday in June

Time: 10:30-12:30 (film running times vary from 75 minutes to 2 hours.)

Film Schedule
Running Time
June 3
Amarok's Song - The Journey to Nunavut
June 4
Changing Our Minds: The Story of Dr. Evelyn Hooker
June 5
Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance
June 6
Dangerous Living: Coming Out in the Developing World
The Iron Closet
June 7
Truth and Reconciliation: The Legacy of Residential Schools in Canada
Journey of Hope
June 10
To Be Takei
June 11
After The Last River
June 12
United in Anger: A History of Act Up
June 13
For Our Street Family
The Dugout
June 14
June 17
We Were Children
June 18
Out in Mumbai: A Victory for India's LGBT Community
June 19
Niigaanibatowaad: FrontRunners
Native Young!
June 20
Sole Journey
June 21
Sacred Buffalo People
The Sacred Relationship
June 24
Ten More Good Years: Senior Citizens in the Battle for LGBT Rights
June 25
Our Nationhood
June 26
My Transgender Life
Switch: A Community in Transition
June 27
The Road Forward
June 28
Stonewall Uprising

And here are some images in case you want to print off to quickly reference :)

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Let us introduce you to... Céline!

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Staff profiles tell the story of an organization. Here at the University of Alberta Libraries, this is ours...

Meet Céline!

Celine holding a robot in front of a shelf of books in Coutts LibraryCeline looking pensive reading a children's book in Coutts Library

What is your role at UAL? 
I am a sessional Public Services Librarian for the Herbert T. Coutts Library, located in the Education South Building. In my role I get to be the liaison librarian for Educational Policy Studies, a Faculty of Education department filled with passionate professors and students who are doing incredible teaching and research. I also get to work with the fun crew at Coutts, coordinating events and helping library users, as well as working on some system wide library projects with other brilliant library colleagues!

What languages do you speak?
My first language is French, so I speak that fluently. I also (obviously) speak English and hablo un poco de español (I speak a little Spanish).

What was the last book you read?
I usually have at least two books on the go (usually one fiction and one non-fiction), so my recent faves that I finished are: Places for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life by Eric Klinenberg and My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh

What are you currently watching on Netflix?
Oh so many things! But recent faves include The Baroness von Sketch Show and Chef Table

What is the coolest thing you are working on at the library right now?
Within the last year, the Coutts Library (along with the Bibliothèque Saint-Jean), has received robots that our students, faculty members, and staff can check out. We partnered with faculty members, graduate students, and Technologies in Education to provide robot workshops for an education class (EDU 210) and are planning to do so again in future semesters. It has been a lot of fun promoting these robots and helping train our staff on them!

Celine peeking from behind a table at two robots facing each other on the table.

If you are needing assistance in Education related research, please contact Céline here for help...

The French version of this article is available here:

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Celebrate TD Canadian Children's Book Week with Shelly Becker

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Attention aspiring superheroes! University of Alberta Libraries is excited to announce that the person who wrote the book on superheroes - make that two books on superheroes - is paying a very special visit to help celebrate TD Canadian Children’s Book Week.

Shelly Becker, author of the books Even Superheroes Have Bad Days and Even Superheroes Make Mistakes, will be presenting some stories and discussing her experiences writing children’s books on Wednesday, May 8 at 2:30pm in H.T. Coutts Library. Thanks to her superhero tomes, children the world over have learned that they too can be superheroes, in spite of those off-moments. Shelly has also authored Mine! Mine! Mine, a book about sharing, as well as 18 novelty books for children. You can learn more about Shelly and her work at

Teachers, aspiring teachers, lovers of children’s books and, of course, children are encouraged to register for this exciting event by heading over to the event registration page.

TD Canadian Children’s Book Week is an annual celebration of children’s literature and reading. Authors will be making visits nationwide to share their love of reading. You can find out more about TD Children’s Book Week at its official website.

Friday, April 12, 2019


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Royden Mills has done it again and set up an astonishing exhibit in the Rutherford Galleria and in Rutherford Library South. Undergraduate students, graduate students and local artists have thought about an issue that matters to them and how it is represented in material that we use.

The hope is to elicit a response in you, big or small, and figure how we feel about these issues of importance.  Life is short and how do we spend our time? 

By going to school, going to work, and then retiring, our infinitely quick, precious lives are over. How do we deal with our own mortality?

What is life really about? Have we fulfilled our purpose and helped make a difference? Have we stopped living in the present moment, missed brief moments of brilliance or revelations that stand out to change us? When we use material or “matter” it is soon gone; discarded; and forgotten. Matter is how we navigate the world with our bodies and what material we use to do so.

This art exhibit portrays the artists’ take on social movements or issues that are important to them. We, as the audience, will see what each piece means to us; what issues in the world we care about; and how we have contributed to its success or decline.  Will you let yourself be moved even if you do not completely understand? 

Are you willing to see what matters in the pieces of art that are deeply personal and original and stop and to think, “What matters to me?”

Come to the Rutherford Library Galleria to feast your eyes on this unique exhibition. The Opening Celebration is on Saturday, April 13, 2019 from 1 pm – 4 pm.

Come back on Saturday, April 27, 2019 from 1 pm – 4 pm for International Sculpture Day! There will be a talk led by our artists.  Everyone is welcome.  

The exhibit will only stay up until May 11, 2019, so be sure to head down to the Rutherford Library Galleria after your exams are done for a relaxing viewing. You will not want to miss out!

More information on International Sculpture Day:

-Pictures by Hanne Pearce

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Your Alumni Perks Include Library Access

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Congratulations to you, University of Alberta graduate!

You’re ready to hit up the real world with your brain full of academic wonder, but what happens when someone tries to challenge your knowledge base once you’ve left U of A’s bunny-frolicked campus grounds? Which academic resources can you use as an alumni to solidify your arguments?

a young woman in graduation cap and gown tosses her hat in the airFear not! Your University of Alberta Libraries have got your back!

The first thing you can do is stop by the ONEcard office to get your Alumni card, which will also act as your library card. Your Alumni library access allows you to borrow up to 30 books, periodicals, or other specialized materials from any of our U of A libraries. Additionally, your Alumni ONEcard will score you some other great perks.

Join us on-campus to do your research and pick up a temporary CCID so that you can dive into our full suite of electronic databases. If you’re an armchair academic and would like to search databases from your couch, sign up to access our Alumni e-resources or check out open access sources such as ERA or the Directory of Open Access Journals.

No matter what your alumni library needs are, our fantastic library staff are available to help you. Just Ask Us or stop by any of our library locations and chat with our folks in person!

Photo Credit: Lane Anderson. Katelynn Cook, '18 BSc, celebrates her success at Augustana in front of iconic Founders' Hall.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

2019 Images of Research Winners

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Congratulations to the winners of the 2019 Images of Research! We are so pleased to present the outstanding entries of the Images of Research competition for 2019.

Out of 67 eligible entries, a panel of judges chose the winners and semifinalists; all will be on display in HT Coutts Education Library from April 4 to 30, 2019.

Images of Research exhibition

Location: HT Coutts Education Library, main floor

Date: April 4 - 30, 2019

First Place $800

Abundant Recursive Mathematics Curricula Possibilities

Lixin Luo

PhD Secondary Education, Education

"A mathematics curriculum often seems be designed or delivered as linear: a sequence of predetermined, sometimes unrelated, topics with little chances for learners to revisit them from different perspectives. This suggests learning as accumulation with predictable outcomes. However, learning, observed through a complexfied worldview, is neither linear nor predictable. Learning is a self-organizing process through which a learner and her environment co-evolve, and a recursive elaboration through which a learner transforms her previous understanding. This view demands a recursive curriculum that changes along its formation. What might such curriculum be like in theory and practice is my research focus. This fractal-like image is a working visualization of recursive curricula. The nodes represent equivalent contents. Each branch represents certain mathematical/curricular event(s) that allow a content to change into or connect to another. The infinite spiral is made of loops that represent different development stages of an entry content (highlighted in green) and are ordered by the level of abstraction. The nodes on the same loop are different forms of the same content. Any node can be an entry point for many recursive curricula in the same or different dimension. This image represents abundant curriculum possibilities rather than a fixed one."

Second Place $600

Steps Towards Meaningful Physical Education

Jodi Harding-Kuriger 

PhD - Elementary Education, Education

"These snowshoes were made by my Dad and Grandpa Fern. First steps: build a snowshoe form, steam lengths of straight pliable wood, bend it over the form to shape the shoes, rivet ends together, remove shoes from the form and allow to dry. Second steps: cut moose rawhide strips, once frame has dried, weave the rawhide through all the predrilled holes in the frame to create the webbing of the snowshoes. Third steps: attach the leather harnesses to the snowshoes.

Research is ceremony because it is life changing and it requires preparatory steps long before the final event (Wilson, 2008). First steps: using the Meaningful Physical Education (MPE) approach (Beni, Fletcher, & Ní Chróinín, 2017; Ní Chróinín, Fletcher, & Griffin, 2018), piece together flexible lesson plans using experiences that are enjoyable, challenging, communal, personal, and improve abilities. Second steps: weave student choices, culture, context, and community into the plans. Third steps: Reflect on teachers’ and students’ physical education experiences in all environments: air, water, land, snow & ice. Harness physical education to life long love and joy for physical activity."

Third Place $500

Biochar Bloom

Konstantin von Gunten

PhD - Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, Science

"Brazil is a fusion of powdery sands, mystic jungle, thundering waterfalls, and an exuberant carnival culture, much like the colors and shapes in the image presented here. Our focus is the Atlantic forest, the Mata Atlântica, which home to many species, some of which live nowhere else on this planet. Around 85% of the Mata Atlântica have been deforested and unsustainable land-use techniques, such as the slash-and-burn land management, had a detrimental effect on the fertility of the leftover soil. While providing a short-termed boost with nutrients, this approach leaves the soil depleted shortly after. Following nearly forgotten Amazonian indigenous soil management practices, we joined a project on using biochar, charcoal made of biomass, for cost-effective and sustainable soil amelioration. It was applied in different ways to optimize its beneficial effects on soil stabilization and the growth of perennial crops, such as cassava. The image is made up of leaves of cassava plants on a backdrop of nearly virgin Mata Atlântica. Small-scale plantations in the midst of the Mata Atlântica – an agroforestry approach aiming at protecting the remains of this unique habitat in harmony with sustainable food production on the already deforested land."

Honorable Mention $250

Re-Packing My Library: A Collection in Understanding
Lily Climenhaga

PhD - Drama, Arts

“Re-Packing my Library” depicts the collection process that goes into writing a dissertation. It shows a collection of books, papers, pamphlets, programs, and notes amassed over three years of research packed (once again) hastily into my father’s old bag the night before yet another departure.

Taken in my small Munich apartment, this picture shows material collected over the past three years about the Swiss-German director Milo Rau and his production company, the International Institute of Political Murder, for my dissertation. The documents in and around the suitcase are the result of the numerous research trips to performances, political actions, conferences, lectures, and interviews that have taken me – and my battered suitcase – across Europe. These research trips have helped me understand Rau’s theatre – his political aesthetic, complex themes, and directorial choices – and has given me a greater respect for Rau’s research trips (to Moscow, Bukavu, Kigali, Bucharest) in his near-obsessive search to understand war, genocide, and justice. The collection of papers and books spilling out of the suitcase are a reminder of late nights, cheap hotels, long waits at airports, and even longer train rides, but also the physical, material proof of my own obsessive, international search for understanding."

Honorable Mention $250


Taleana Huff

PhD - Physics, Science

"Here, we have experimentally measured the wavefunction of a single buried arsenic atom peeking through a silicon surface. Its complex form perfectly captures one of the most fundamental properties of quantum mechanics: the location of an electron is based on probability and is never fixed. While we tend to think of electrons as being perfect little spheres existing in a single position, they really can be found everywhere around the atom. Bright spots in the wavefunction show areas with a higher probability of finding one. Arsenic atoms in silicon are used as the building blocks of quantum computers, so understanding its elusive electrons helps with more advanced designs."

People’s Choice $250

Sunset: Uncertainties and opportunities

Deanna Joyce Neri

Masters - Anthropology, Arts

"After a long day of drifting at sea, fishers go home with either a boatload of fish or nothing at all. Sunset marks the end of a day’s work of a fisher who sails on a daily basis to make ends meet. This photo was taken during my ethnographic fieldwork in Davao Oriental, Philippines. Fishing as a livelihood closely embedded in the environment is very vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The acute changes in weather patterns compounded by the influx of commercial fishing companies forced small-scale fishers to go further offshore which increases the costs of every venture. In a landscape marked by environmental degradation and marine resource depletion caused by natural and human-induced calamities, fishers are prompted to engage in a myriad of economic activities. In this research, I take a closer look at how these fishers navigate through the waves of uncertainty. Farming and wage labor becomes the community’s adaptive strategy in the midst of economic instability. As they safely moor their boats, fishers see the sunset as a symbol for the arbitrariness of their lives. The cyclic nature of the sun setting over the ocean brings the hope of a new dawn with new opportunities."