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.