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#14 SIS Kids Are Doing It For Themselves: Meet Kylie!

1. Name: Kylie Szymesko

2. Year: First

3. Stream: Knowledge Management

4. Hometown: Winnipeg, Manitoba

5. What is your favourite book? This generally changes every few years, but right now it’s a tight tie between ‘House of Leaves’ by Mark Z. Danielewski and ‘Come, Thou Tortoise’ by Jessica Grant. Both of which I believe everyone should read!

6. Do you own an eReader? If so, is it cool?  No, maybe someday. I just really love being able to show off my books on a shelf. Sadly, said books are back in Winnipeg.

7. If you weren’t in library school, what would you be doing RIGHT NOW?  I would have stayed in the Winnipeg Public Library system and moved up the employment ladder until the point where I would no longer be promoted due to the lack of an MLIS. And traveling the world on the side.

8. What is your dream job?  Indiana Jones (or whatever his job title is). My Anthropology teachers told me not to aim to be an Anthropologist like him, so now I’m a librarian aiming to be like him.

Second choice; Pokemon Trainer.

9. What is your dream sandwich? Grill cheese and ham. Made from Monterey Jack cheese and bread and ham from my favourite grocery store in Winnipeg.

10. What is your favourite thing about living in Montreal? That all the necessities are within walking distance!

11. Living or dead, who would be at your imaginary potlatch?  Andrew Davies (screenwriter), Aaron Sorkin (screenwriter), and Oscar Wilde. We’d sit around and engage in terribly witty dialogue.

#13 SIS Kids Are Doing It For Themselves: Meet Caroline!

1. Name: Caroline Gerbaulet-Vanasse

2. Year: II

3. Stream: Librarianship

4. Hometown: Chicago, IL

5. What is your favourite book? “Black Beauty” by Anna Sewell

6. Do you own an eReader? If so, is it cool? No, I do not. While I have no problems reading text from a screen, I much prefer reading “real” books.

7. If you weren’t in library school, what would you be doing RIGHT NOW? Hard to say. Maybe I would have been accepted into a Museology program? Perhaps I would have continued to pursue Psychology? I might also have moved to Stockholm, Sweden to work there and assist my grandmother.

8. What is your dream job? Honestly, that’s a murky question for me these days. When I was little I would have listed out things like large-animal veterinarian, illustrator, author, anything with horses… I think… Speaking for myself right now, my dream would be to find a way to combine a few of my passions into one job. Like if there was a way to combine psychology, theatre, and librarianship.

9. What is your dream sandwich? I can’t think of just one. But right now I’m dreaming of a slice of really fresh bread (white or whole-grain), Nutella generously spread, topped with fresh raspberries and/or strawberries.

10. What is your favourite thing about living in Montreal? The friends I have made here so far.

11. Living or dead, who would be at your imaginary potlatch? First off, I’m relieved to see from earlier participants of this survey that I am not the first who has no idea what “potlatch” is. Thankfully I can follow the lead of earlier participants, and can tell you who I would like to invite: Charlie Chaplin, Frank Sinatra, all my favorite living actors and actresses (James McAvoy and Jim Sturgess would both be there, for example), cool animals like Flipper and Lassie and Black Beauty would come too, all my true friends since I was little (and their cute older brothers too), the Phantom (from Phantom of the Opera, poor guy just needs some friends!), and of course I’d like the characters from my favorite books, shows, and movies too. It would be a huge gathering, preferably held (with permission of course) at Rivendell. Book/film/theatre/TV-nerd, and proud of it!

From the brain of Tarquin Peter Steiner

Hey folks. So, this is my first Beyond the Shelf post, and I’m a bit nervous. So I’m going to try and keep it short and sweet. Bittersweet. Well, not too bitter. Listen, just hold your nose, okay? It’ll be over in a second.

We’re all getting wrapped up in the first of our group assignments, and I feel like the true weight of the readings is starting to sink in. We’ve all been told (I’ve been told) by quite a few second-years that the readings aren’t super useful, and often fall by the wayside when we’re performing workload triage. But I’m finding them to be rather integral to writing things like the second assignment in GLIS601 – it’s pretty clear from the way our courses are structured that our readings are designed to be our first sources of citation – though I’m willing to argue the point. To be blunt, the assignments themselves can’t possibly be incredibly informative re: our later lives as professional librarians – this is just the first semester. When going over the rubrics and assignment outlines, I wonder how interested our professors really are in the output of the MLIS Is, and whether or not these assignments are really just chits to prove we’ve done our homework.

I just reviewed what I wrote above, and I realize how pessimistic it sounds. But that’s how I’m feeling about all the make-work. There are broader concepts that students are exploring in their in-class – and out-of-class – groups that can’t be included in the scope of our assignments. And I get the impression that these are concepts that occur to each student, equally, as they pass through the introductory classes – certainly, I’ve talked to some of the upper-years and Ph.Ds about them.

I’m lucky enough to have two graduate students of philosophy in my section of 601 – ex-grads, I suppose. In conversation with Messrs. Tkach and Dinneen, a common theme has developed around our interpretations of models – of information, information-seeking, and information-retrieval, specifically. Namely, a sort of phenomenological gap: see diagram. We all remember examples of this from our high-school days – the octet rule vs. orbital hybridization (chemistry), or tendency to talk about D&D vs. # of friends (life). These are models developed to describe real things that happen in nature – and the models we discuss in class are supposed to describe real observations about information, or the way people interact with it.

Wherever there is an exceedingly complex entity, or something that is invisible, models are the way to study them. Much can be gained with the help of such models, yet models are not the final word in any science, from social to physical. They are only an intermediate step in the scientific process of investigation. But this is not a thought that is discussed in our courses.

In the hard sciences, there is an implicit understanding that your model is only a representation of a complex entity – and your true commitment, as a professional, is to truth. Thus, scientists tacitly understand that their life’s work will probably amount to the development of increasingly accurate – but never completely accurate – models. However, the flavor of our library sciences courses is much less abstract – and I think it misses that subtle tang of truth. The thesis of our courses, unspoken, is that we will be applying these models to our professional lives, eventually. But it seems clear that as professionals, we will constantly be reconsidering and attempting to refine our own stance on these concepts. Our course assignments ask us to use the models and ideas from our reading, but give us no time to address that central idea. I think that’s kind of a travesty, considering we’ll be devoting our lives to it.

With credit to the University of Oregon.

Okay! That was storytime, now for some details. In cooperation with some other students in the MLIS program, I’ve been running around collecting interviews from Alternative Library coordinators for CKUT’s literary segment. It airs at the asshole end of the morning – 7:30a.m on Mondays. And the segments we’ve been collecting run into the 0.5-1 hour range, whereas CKUT wants 5-10 minute segments. I’ve been getting some pretty incredible stuff out of people who have no previous library training, but are encountering the same problems that we’re being instructed about in our courses – and attacking those problems using DIY solutions that mirror the strategies we’re being taught. You can find the full uncut interviews here, and the first one here. I’m calling it “Behind the Stacks,” but I’d love it if someone could suggest a name that doesn’t sound so dirty. If you’re interested in helping, want to suggest changes to the format – or new places for Behind the Stacks to go once we’re finished with Alternative Library spaces – please leave a message after the beep (in the comments).

Something else that’s not very well addressed in our courses: research. I’ve been talking with a few kids in MLIS I who are a) interested in researching in library science and b) need money to do research. As such, we’ve started up a little research list-serv – a group designed to make us all feel competitive and motivated, as well as inform us of deadlines/calls for papers/grants and granting organizations. We’ve compiled a few megalists of those resources, so if you’re interested in research in archives or libraries (or the dreaded Knowledge Management) leave a comment with your email address, and I’ll add you to the list.

Finally, something fun: many of you know me from the weekly pubnights we’ve been having since the start of classes. We took a break last week to give people a chance to get their fill of POP, but we’re coming back with a vengeance: OUTDOOR VIDEOGAMES, BITCHES. If we get rained-out, we’ll be using a contingency room inside the Education Building, so I’d appreciate it if some experienced A/V nerds could volunteer to help us set up. I’ve run a couple of these events before, and they’re always pretty fun: see pictures below (note: you do not have to come dressed as a dude from Zelda. Please do not come dressed as a dude from Zelda).

#12 SIS Kids Are Doing If For Themselves: Meet Shanna!

1. Name: Shanna Shadoan

2. Year: First

3. Stream: Librarianship

4. Hometown: Choctaw, Oklahoma

5. What is your favourite book? The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly (if I have to pick only one)

6. Do you own an eReader? If so, is it cool?  I had one, but never used it, so I gave it to my mom.  I like folding corners of pages, and underlining, and notes, and the tactile experience of reading.

7. If you weren’t in library school, what would you be doing RIGHT NOW?  Well, my back-up plans were: llama farmer, hot air balloonist, or mermaid.

8. What is your dream job?  Seriously?  I always thought that being a flower-delivery girl would be awesome, because you get to bring these cheerful messages and make people feel better.  Except that I hate driving.  So, maybe bicycle-floral-delivery-girl?

But then, it’s not very practical, is it? And sometimes I’d have to deliver flowers to funerals, which would be heartbreaking.  So, I’d like to be a Youth Services Librarian, which is pretty much a good-news-sharer, too, right?  Only it’s books instead of flowers that one is sharing.

9. What is your dream sandwich? I love sandwiches! They are my favorite food!  It would be peanut butter with marshmallow fluff and pretzels.

10. What is your favourite thing about living in Montreal?  I love the bike paths and the beautiful parks and the million trillion places to eat and the GIANT McGill library and the fact that the school looks like a castle and all my new friends and my apartment with the colorful walls and the museums and the wide availability of Nutella.

11. Living or dead, who would be at your imaginary potlatch?  I had to look up potlatch. It’s a party, right? A giant, awesome party! Then I want eeeeeeveeeeeeryone there!  Everyone! All of my friends (I’m pretty homesick right now, even if Montreal is awesome) and then a bunch of second-wave feminists (especially Susan Bordo and Judith Butler and Julia Kristeva) and then Jonas Mekas (a filmmaker and champion for people being kind to each other), and Charlie Chaplin (especially him) and Jimmy Stewart, and all of the Muppets.  And lots of cake and a bouncy castle and go-karts. Because wouldn’t Charlie Chaplin and Judith Butler and The Count in a bouncy castle be the best thing ever?

#11 SIS Kids Are Doing It For Themselves: Meet Katarina!

1. Name: Katarina Daniels

2. Year: II

3. Stream: Librarianship

4. Hometown: Montreal

5. What is your favourite book? Pride & Prejudice (I < 3 < 3 < 3 Jane Austen). PS P&P Keira Knightly adaptation = epic fail.

6. Do you own an eReader? If so, is it cool? No, I can’t look at a screen for that long. And I prefer holding books. I’m always worried I’ll drop the eReader because it’s too light/ flimsy.

7. If you weren’t in library school, what would you be doing RIGHT NOW? Law school, if I had gotten my application in on time (though I plan on getting to that soon!) or working at my parents’ travel agency (which I still do, PT)

8. What is your dream job? Working in the McGill Law Library (I think?) or at the McCord Museum. Slash or the Museum of Civilisation if it was in Montreal (< 3 Montreal)! Though I also enjoy working in the travel industry, and getting to take groups around the world 🙂

10. What is your favourite thing about living in Montreal? Hockey season GOHABSGO

9. What is your dream sandwich? Grilled peppers & eggplant with goat cheese. Om nom nom.

11. Living or dead, who would be at your imaginary potlatch? Is it bad that I had to Google “potlatch”? Get ready for a super random potlatch: James Dean, Jane Austen, Eleanor Roosevelt, Grace Kelly, John A. Macdonald, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Jean Beliveau…  did I have a limit?

#10 SIS Kids Are Doing It For Themselves: Meet Nina!

1. Name: Nina Thurlow

2. Year: II

3. Stream: Librarianship

4. Hometown: Saskatoon, SK

5. What is your favourite book? World Without End – Ken Follett

6. Do you own an eReader? If so, is it cool? Yes, I have a Sony e-reader and it’s probably the best gift anyone has ever given to me (THANKS MOM!) I find that I read way more because it’s much more portable than a book and I don’t have to worry about wrecking the pages or anything and I can get the books with very little effort 🙂

7. If you weren’t in library school, what would you be doing RIGHT NOW? I would have just completed a history master’s and would likely be considering library school because I can’t get a job with a history master’s, while bartending.

8. What is your dream job? Liaison Librarian of either History or Special Collections. 6 weeks vacation. No set hours. Weekends OFF!

9. What is your dream sandwich? Reuben.

10. What is your favourite thing about living in Montreal? Food and shopping.

11. Living or dead, who would be at your imaginary potlatch? My dad.

#9 SIS Kids Are Doing It For Themselves: Meet Jacob!

1. Name: Jacob Siefring

2. Year: First

3. Stream: KM

4. Hometown: Beavercreek, Ohio (outside of Dayton)

5. What is your favourite book? Lookout Cartridge (Joseph McElroy) is wonderfully weird, though hard to get through; otherwise, Sebald, Gaddis, Barthelme, Gass (In the Heart of the Heart of the Country) – these authors top my list.

6. Do you own an eReader?  Not yet, but I’m excited about making full use of my extensive list of Project Gutenberg bookmarks (soon). I’ll probably start with Rem Kolhaas by Kleist.

7. If you weren’t in library school, what would you be doing RIGHT NOW?  Teaching, or working on another degree, or obsessively reading; or writing.

8. What is your dream job? Knowledge/content manager; or librarian.

9. What is your dream sandwich? Cucumber – tomato – hummus – falafel.

10. What is your favourite thing about living in Montreal? Urban decay, architecture, our little mountain.

11. Living or dead, who would be at your imaginary potlatch? Molière, Apollinaire, Jacques Brel, Gaston Miron.

#8 SIS Kids Are Doing It For Themselves: Meet David!

1. Name: David Tkach

2. Year: One

3. Stream: Librarianship

4. Hometown: Winnipeg

5. What is your favourite book? It’s changed several times over the years. Age of 10: Books Of Blood, Clive Barker. Age of 15: my subscription to Thrasher. Age of 20: For Whom The Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway. Age of 25: War And Peace, Leo Tolstoy. Age of 30: Complete Fictions, Jorge Luis Borges. Honourable Mentions: The Dispossessed, Ursula K. Leguin, If On A Winter’s Night A Traveller, Italo Calvino, and Watership Down, Richard Adams. I still adore all of them (especially the stack of Thrashers). We’ll see what 35 will bring. AACR2? I should also add the book which I have banged my head against for more than a decade and only now have the faintest inkling of understanding (so perhaps ‘favourite’ doesn’t apply): Being And Time, Martin Heidegger.

6. Do you own an eReader? If so, is it cool? No, although I’m looking into purchasing one right now. I have quite a few philosophy books in .pdf format that I’ve avoided reading due to potential back-lit eye strain, so it seems necessary.

7. If you weren’t in library school, what would you be doing RIGHT NOW? Probably teaching philosophy part-time, attempting to conduct research in order to try to secure one of the dwindling handful of positions available in Canada, and simultaneously loving and regretting every minute of it. Hopefully still in Montreal, I might add.

8. What is your dream job? Something that is intellectually stimulating, something that contributes to the promotion and democratic dissemination of human knowledge, and something that permits me to enjoy the occasional pint on the terrasse at Vices et versa.

9. What is your dream sandwich? It exists: the BLT on chiapati at Aux vivres! Or something that gave you super powers.

10. What is your favourite thing about living in Montreal? The summers, the winters (I know it sounds absurd, but it’s so mild compared to Winnipeg!), the fruitful and dynamic tension between Quebec and the ROC, learning French mostly through cultural osmosis, the music scene, especially the punk and hardcore scene which I finally connected with after years of living here, biking all over and realizing how small the island really is, walking down Parc on a Sunday and seeing a half-dozen friends enjoying coffees at various cafes, watching around 80% of Habs games at the same semi-terrible bar on St-Zotique year after year. See also: responses to 8 and 9.

11. Living or dead, who would be at your imaginary potlatch? Carl Sagan, Socrates, Leo Strauss, Martin Heidegger, Blake Schwarzenbach, Ian Mackaye, and Bruce Dickinson. Not sure how well the group conversation would go, but I’d corner each of them in the kitchen in turn.

#7 SIS Kids Are Doing It For Themselves: Meet Sarah!

1. Name: Sarah Macintyre

2. Year:  Second

3. Stream: Librarianship

4. Hometown: Greenfield Park (South Shore!!)

5. What is your favourite book? Mister God, this is Anna

6. Do you own an eReader? If so, is it cool? Not yet, but someday… someday…

7. If you weren’t in library school, what would you be doing RIGHT NOW? Perhaps doing a different master’s degree?

8. What is your dream job? Working a 10am – 4pm day (with an hour for lunch). That’s my goal.

9. What is your dream sandwich? Bocconcini, tomato and pesto – Yum!!

10. What is your favourite thing about living in Montreal? We have awesome festivals all year long.

11. Living or dead, who would be at your imaginary potlatch? The Spice Girls circa 1997.

#6 SIS Kids Are Doing It For Themselves: Meet Bruno!

1. Name: Bruno Therrien

2. Year: MLIS II

3. Stream: Knowledge Management

4. Hometown: Quebec City

5. What is your favourite book? Fiction: Pretty much anything by Philip K. Dick; Non-fiction: Books about anything that needs fixing in the house. Recently a lot of military histories and biographies about little known units or the other side’s story (Rhodesia, South Africa, Vietnam (Giap), JTF2, US Navy SEALs). But for bathroom reading

6. Do you own an eReader? If so, is it cool? I did, it was a PanDigital Novel and it was cool for what it was supposed to do. Unfortunately it kept crashing so I returned it. I did set up my old tiltable flat-screen to read the newspaper and stuff on Books 24×7 and ProQuest Safari Online, now that was cool but not really portable (much to the dismay of my wife).

7. If you weren’t in library school, what would you be doing RIGHT NOW? Preparing 400 pages of year-end reports and haggling with other managers for bonuses for my staff…

8. What is your dream job? With so many options in LIS, I’m currently working on it.

9. What is your dream sandwich? Well, my preferred sandwich is the Reuben’s smoked meat sandwich (at Reuben’s corner Peel and Ste-Catherine). Yes, Rueben’s is my favourite smoked meat place, even better than (gasp!) Schwartz’s (ha, ha, no flaming on a survey!).

10. What is your favourite thing about living in Montreal? Where I live (Little Italy), my little family, my kids get to go to bilingual schools, just about everything, else.

11. Living or dead, who would be at your imaginary potlatch? Because you can’t just talk to yourself: Steve Martin, Leslie Nielsen, Philipp K. Dick, Ridley Scott, Noam Chomsky, Michel Foucault, Pierre Bourdieu, Laura Calder (and a couple of other chefs from the FoodNetwork but especially her because, you know…). Because you obviously need music: AC / DC, the Cult, The Tragically Hip, Alice in Chains, Guns’n’Roses, Robert Plant, Led Zeppelin (the original crew), The Eagles, Sting, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. Because you need drinks: the barmaid at the Asiatik who makes the killer martinis.

#5 SIS Kids Are Doing It For Themselves: Meet Laura!

1. Name: Laura Thérèse Markiewicz (mar-kyAY-vich)

2. Year: MLIS II

3. Stream: KM

4. Hometown: Walpole, New Hampshire.

5. What is your favourite book? Oh dear, just one!? I’m the kind of person who brings all her books with her when she moves so she can have close, familiar friends at hand.

Growing up I loved the Indian in the Cupboard and Ramona books (and looking at the pictures in knitting and cookbooks at the library). Then I discovered historical fiction and devoured Quest for a Maid and Quo Vadis, as well as books like The Penguin Atlas of Diasporas.

And now due to college and grad school, I find myself rejecting books of a serious nature and just going for humour – Erma Bombeck, David Sedaris, Dave Barry and the Yarn Harlot are my favourite authors.

6. Do you own an eReader? If so, is it cool? No, I don’t.

7. If you weren’t in library school, what would you be doing RIGHT NOW? Still working in customer service at YBP Library Services in Contoocook, NH.

8. What is your dream job? Never leaving academia.

9. What is your dream sandwich? Liverwurst and provolone on a kaiser roll, with pickles on the side.

10. What is your favourite thing about living in Montreal? The fact that it is located in Canada.

11. Living or dead, who would be at your imaginary potlatch? Everyone. The OCD side of me is probably what drove me to into knowledge management in the first place: I’m going to get ALL the information out of EVERYONE so NOTHING is lost, EVER!

#4 SIS Kids Are Doing It For Themselves: Meet Tarquin/Peter!

1. Name: Tarquin Peter Steiner

2. Year: One.

4. Hometown: Louisville.

3. Stream: Archival Studies.

5. What is your favorite book?Let’s Kill Uncle” made me obsessed with making friends with a cougar until I was 15.

6. Do you own an eReader? I do, and it’s great. Completely eliminates book clutter and weight. I once had to pack a trunk full of books onto a pontoon plane headed to Pelican, Alaska, between a garbage bag full of salmon jerky and an unknown squishy plastic thing. Never again.

7. If you weren’t in library school, what would you be doing RIGHT NOW? Probably fishing for halibut in Pelican, Alaska.

8. What is your dream job? Anything where I routinely get to yell “for SCIENCE” shortly before a large explosion.

9. What is your dream sandwich? I once had this sandwich somewhere on the 91 in Vermont that was a whole trucker’s breakfast baked into a Chinese sweet-bun, toast and bacon included.

10. What is your favorite thing about living in Montréal? Nobody judges me when I work in my underwear.

11. Living or dead, who would be at your imaginary potlatch? Doc Emmet Brown, Vincent Price, Guitar Wolf, and Ron Swanson.

#3 SIS Kids Are Doing It For Themselves: Meet Laurel!

1. Name: Laurel Stokes

2. Year: Two

3. Stream: Librarianship

4. Hometown: South Kingstown, Rhode Island

5. What is your favourite book? Pride & Prejudice

6. Do you own an eReader? If so, is it cool? Nope. I keep telling myself that I prefer musty smelling books with dog-eared pages.

7. If you weren’t in library school, what would you be doing RIGHT NOW? I would be writing the next bestselling memoir.

8. What is your dream job? Travel writer.

9. What is your dream sandwich? A grilled sandwich with aged cheddar cheese, tomato, avocado and a lemon basil mayo on rye bread.

10. What is your favourite thing about living in Montreal? 24-hour stores.

11. Living or dead, who would be at your imaginary potlatch? Ernie, Bert & Joseph Gordon Levitt—We’d eat pie.

#2 SIS Kids Are Doing It For Themselves: Meet Valerie!

1. Name: Valerie Medzalabanleth

2. Year: II

3. Stream: Librarianship

4. Hometown: Montreal

5. What is your favourite book? Impossible to say as it changes based on my mood. Today, my since high-school love for the Sandman series has been awakened, so we’ll go with that.

6. Do you own an eReader? If so, is it cool? I do, and it is cool. Now, all my reading whims can be satisfied immediately, so when I stay up until 2:00 to finish a book, I get to start a new one right away.

7. If you weren’t in library school, what would you be doing RIGHT NOW? Probably still editing subtitles. Possibly PhD. Or more literally, I’d be sleeping.

8. What is your dream job? As of this moment, public librarian. I’d love to do collection work.

9. What is your dream sandwich? I am not a sandwich lover, but grilled cheese on nice bread (perhaps a cranberry nut) and old cheddar.

10. What is your favourite thing about living in Montreal? Bagels. [Editor’s note: But from WHERE?]

11. Living or dead, who would be at your imaginary potlatch? I also don’t like potlucks, but I’d love Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, Joss Whedon, Neil Gaiman, Katharine Hepburn and Patrick Stewart to start with.

#1 SIS Kids Are Doing It For Themselves

Let’s get to know each other! I think you should fill out the silly SIS Kid Questionnaire above and submit it to emily.upper@mail.mcgill.ca. I’ll post completed questionnaires up on the blog so that we can all get a little more acquainted before having some terrific conversations about libraryland at McGill.

Keep reading to learn a little bit more about me (if you want or whatever).

1. Name: Emily Hendriks Upper

2. Year: MLIS Twosie

3. Stream: Librarianship

4. Hometown: I say Guelph, Ontario, but really, I was born outside of Fergus, Ontario, the home of the Highland Games.

5. What is your favourite book? Dancing With Cats

6. Do you own an eReader? If so, is it cool? No. But if I did, you bet it’d probably be cool.

7. If you weren’t in library school, what would you be doing RIGHT NOW? I would probably be getting my boating licence.

8. What is your dream job? I’d like to author the next great American cat dancing novel.

9. What is your dream sandwich? Salami, lettuce, tomato, and Stensons Mayostard.

10. What is your favourite thing about living in Montreal? Hotties.

11. Living or dead, who would be at your imaginary potlatch? John Hodgman, Keiko the Orca, and Nellie McClung. We’d have pizza and lemonade.

McGill SIS Bloggers

Guys! Check this out! The lovely Laura Sanders, one of our very own at McGill, is now a contributor over at Hack Library School. Check out her very first post!

And the Overjoyed Librarian (an anonymous McGill student) has shared a very entertaining post that you can read here.


Sign up for a Professional Partner!

The deadline to sign up for a professional partner is tomorrow, Wednesday the 14th. Forms can be found here. The Professional Partnering Program, offered by the CLA Student Chapter, is a great way for SIS students to meet with working librarians from all sorts of libraries. Maybe you have questions? Maybe they have answers!

Important, a mentor is to have.


News from the ACA Student Group

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s the Association of Canadian Archivists McGill Student Chapter and it’s holding its first meeting!

That’s right, folks. Archival Girl and the ACA are looking to start the year off right and that means getting all of you out to the organization’s first meeting on Thursday, September 8th 2011, 2 pm, in Room 310 in the SIS mansion (all the way at the top of the building; when you start to get vertigo, you’re there).

Joining the club is a great way to meet other students interested in archives and to learn from and network with professional archivists. The group is planning a slew of tours and workshops (and a 5 a 7 with McGill archivist Gordon Burr) and are anxious to get your input on club activities. And don’t forget the annual colloqium in the Winter term; there will be so many archivists in the same room, you’ll think it’s the Spectacles-and-Tweed sale at Winners!* For only a $5 membership fee, you can be part of it all.

The ACA is looking to fill a number of positions for the 2011-2012 year including:

ASSISTANT COORDINATORS (2–MLIS I)–Help coordinators in planning, promoting and executing events and become next year’s coordinators (Presidents)
COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER (disseminate informative emails, update the Wiki, etc.)
SECRETARY (take copious notes at meetings and disseminate minutes)
MLIS I Representatives (2)
MLIS II Representatives (2)

Reps, you’ll help promote the club and act as a contact for other students (and you’ll be “town criers” of sorts).

Hope to see you all on Thursday. Email Sarah (sarah.gibbs2@mail.mcgill.ca) or Daniela (daniela.zavalamora@mail.mcgill.ca) with any questions.

*You should go!

News from the ABQLA and MCL Student Groups


The McGill chapter of the Quebec Library Association (ABQLA) will be having its first meeting of the year on Wednesday, September 7th, at 1:30pm, in room 310 of SIS. At the meeting, a brief introduction to ABQLA will be given and the annual elections will be held to fill all open first and second year positions.

Joining the ABQLA is a great way to meet professional librarians working in many types of libraries across Montreal in particular and can also lead to interesting job opportunities during both the school year as well as the summer. There are many great ideas in store for this year and more contributions are always welcome!

Should you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact katarina.daniels@mail.mcgill.ca.


MCL will be having its first meeting of the school year this Wednesday, September 7th at 2:30pm in room 310 of SIS and is hoping to see you all there! On the agenda for this meeting is:

Elections to fill all vacant first and second year positions including vice-chair and events coordinator
Study Saturday information and sign-ups
Sign-ups for weeding the current collection and visiting the library
Discussion of other plans for the year

Find out more at the MCL’s blog.

Feel free to contact katarina.daniels@mail.mcgill.ca if you have any questions.

Bloggin’ ’bout Blogs

Every once in a while, I’m confronted with just HOW MUCH there is out there on the internet. In SIS, we talk a lot about Information Overload — and sometimes it can get a little boring — but the fact is, Information Overload is a fact. After coming across a Hack Library School post in my Google Reader about Hackers’ favourite library blogs to follow, I thought it might be nice to share it with you all. They’ve also come up with a more extensive list (of over 200! blogs) here.

But first! Every SIS student should definitely sign up for an RSS feed reader. As I mentioned above, I use Google Reader.  And, no, I am not being sponsored by them. But I can’t say enough how great these things are — you’ll just have to see for yourselves. By signing up for Google Reader today! (Little. Yellow. Different.)

Hack Library School is a good place to start if you want to find some neat library blogs across North America. Since I’m ready for the weekend and they’ve already compiled that list above, I think I’ll just send you all over to them. And, hey, did you notice that they won the Salem Press Library Blog Award for Library Blog Newcomer, 2011? Yeah, that’s a thing.

If you want to stay closer to home, McGill Library has its own blog. Lots of McGill Library School alumni have kept up great blogs, including this one and this one. And even though it’s not technically a blog, you should all make sure to make use of the SIS wiki.

Hopping around blogs is pretty fun, so I encourage everyone to do it! You’ll quickly find some good, interesting things to subscribe to that will help you keep informed about libraryland. I also encourage you to talk about some of your favourite library blogs by commenting below.

Back to School

I hope everyone is aware that school starts this week. It came as a shock to me when, after a summer of procrastination, I checked my schedule last Friday to learn that my first class is on September 1st at 8:30 am. So long sweet sleep-ins!

New MLIS students will be getting a taste* of the Education Building and SIS life tomorrow as they attend the first Orientation Day. Good luck future librarians! (Maybe don’t read this McSweeney’s article if you’re nervous about heading down the library career path.) Old MLIS students who want to get involved in Orientation might be too late! But should definitely check with Alexis McKenzie to see how they can help out. Email her at alexis.mckenzie@mail.mcgill.ca.

ALL MLIS students should get involved with the Student Mentorship Program. It’s a great way to meet people and share library school information informally. I didn’t sign up last year and I really regretted it. But not this year, guys. This year I’m shooting for the Mentor Moon. See you there? Email Valerie Medzalabanleth at valerie.medzalabanleth@mail.mcgill.ca for more information.

And, of course, if anyone wants to get involved with the blog, please email ME at emily.upper@mail.mcgill.ca. I would lurve to hear what y’all have been up to this summer. Except for you, Les. You’ve had your 15 minutes.

*Pizza lunch.

On My Summer Vacation I… Played at the MCL

By Les Corbay

Summer fun and fun with books! That’s what it’s like working for the Montreal Children’s Library (henceforth known as MCL) in the summer.  I have now been working for the MCL for a little above a year, and over that time I have gotten a pretty good handle on what it’s like being a children’s librarian here in Montreal.  Summers working for the MCL are comprised primarily of four things:  Book Club, Cabot Square, Board Games, and Community Events.  I, however, have managed to toss in a few extra tid bits of amazingness just for fun.

My first major summer event was a book drive I coordinated with the CBC.  The story goes, back in March my library had a flood.  And, well, the CBC got wind of it and before you know it, I had 5000 books donated to me by bookstores and private donors from across Montreal.  With these books, the Tyndale St. George’s Community Centre team and I were able to replenish the Community Centre’s book supply for their Early Childhood Education department and the After School Program, as well as help refill the shelves in the MCL.

Since then, I have been cataloguing like crazy and working to get the donated books on the shelves.  These books also need to be ready to read for the summer Book Club.  So far we have 18 children in our Book Club, and the kids have registered more than 180 books read since the Book Club started at the end of June.  And because we received so many books as part of the book drive, I have been able to give away lots to the kids as prizes for just being amazing readers.

Oh, and there’s more! In collaboration with the Ville Marie borough the MCL has a summer events series which takes place in Cabot Square, near downtown Montreal.  Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, about 150 kids show up for a different cultural event showcasing the talents of Montreal performers.  So far we have showcased: circus performers, singers, and even a paleontologist.  It’s amazing watching the kids get really excited about learning how to dig up and preserve dinosaur fossils.

I have also had the pleasure of working with the Ville Marie borough with their Quartier en Movement events happening on Rue Pierce.  As part of the event, I helped operate an information table, answering questions and giving out important information about the library to the community.  It was a hot, but great way to spend a couple weekends enjoying the summer sun.

Oh yes, and in June, with the Release of Cars 2 3D, AMC donated 100 movie passes to my library.  I was happy to share them with the Community Centre, where kids from the Tyndale Summer Camp, who are regular library patrons in their own right, and students from our reading club were able to see the movie for FREE!

Not a bad list of events and accomplishments considering we’re only half way through the summer!  Still to come, I have more community information sessions, and then at the end of the summer the Little Burgundy Festival is happening and I am so excited about it!  (Oh, and I forgot to mention, yours truly invited Emily U. to a BBQ in Little Burgundy at the Community Centre this summer, where she got just a taste of what it’s like to be a librarian in such an amazing community.)

Editor’s note: It’s awesome. Especially if you’re good at ducking rogue basketballs like I am.

On My Summer Vacation I… Had a Rare Job

Flip, McGill’s Rare Books and Special Collections department is cold in the summer! Actually, it’s cold all the time. It’s got something to do with book preservation, but I’m no old-book expert. I’m just a summer student worker. To kick off the “Library-ish Shenanigans I’m Up To This Summer” series, I’m going to tell you all what it’s like in a land where fleece is worn yearlong and books need spine protectors.

At Rare Books and Special Collections (RBSC), I technically work under two job descriptions: Student Navigator and Safdie Project Assistant. However, my daily work assignments are hard to categorize under either description. I guess, generally, I’m a student assistant and as such, I get to do a lot of different things. This means that I’m learning new stuff all the time, like What’s an incunable? Where is the best Architectural Archive in Canada? What’s in the McLennan Library basement? And totes more.

I suppose the three tasks that I spend the most time doing per week are: re-shelving books, conservation work, and manning the desk. While re-shelving books is never the most exciting job, re-shelving books in RBSC keeps me on my toes. The collection is divided up into lots of little sub-collections and each one has its own quirks. When it comes to classification systems, the main collection and many sub-collections are easy peasy LC call numbers, but I’ve also had to learn about Cutter call numbers, as well as some custom in-house systems like the one used for a sub-collection called Colgate. Half of the items in this collection are listed under textual call numbers and the other half under numeric call numbers, but all are inter-shelved together. And then divided into more mini Colgate collections. And then housed in two locations. So yeah, finding things isn’t always so straightforward. As another example, an item in the Blackader-Lauterman Rare collection could be in any of 4 different rooms depending on its format (octavo, folio, or extra large folio, a.k.a. “elf” in the biz) and whether it’s under LC or Cutter classification. Lugging around all the keys to get to books in various glass cases beyond various locked doors kind of makes me feel like a dungeon master.

Conservation work, on the other hand, keeps me on my butt. Conservation work entails sitting alone in a back room, suiting up books in mylar dust-jackets, spine protectors, acid-free-cardboard boxes and other gear that helps to ensure these books last another couple hundred years on the shelf. It’s during this task that I get to look through some pretty neat stuff. I’ve heard that books are supposed to be dead and whatever, but gosh, some of them are so pretty and old and alive! Like Vanna White.

And finally, manning the desk at RBSC, which is what I was doing when most of this blog post was written, can sometimes be a little dull. However, at the desk I get the chance to practice my reference skillz and interact with patrons. And that’s pretty fun! Even when patrons are befuddled and have come into RBSC only to find out how to get away from RBSC. (They’re usually looking for the P’s on the 5th floor). When I’m at the desk, I feel a little glamorous. I get to buzz people in and check ID’s. I act as the face of the whole operation and I keep things moving along. Just like Vanna.

And then I remember that I’m just a summer student worker. But hey! It’s good experience for the resume.


SIS students! What are you doing this summer? I need s’more submissions, so don’t be shy! Email me your ideas: emily.upper@mail.mcgill.ca

*Are you an incoming SIS student and looking for a library job on campus? Sign up for Work Study (if you’re eligible) ASAP. That’s how I found my job. Feel free to email me with questions. Also, props for finding the blog!

Summer in the City

Flip, Montreal is hot in July. While some of my American pals are celebrating their Independence with hot dogs and sparklers in Parc La Fontaine (how very American!), I am baking in my apartment and pondering my own independence — from library school, that is. July has arrived and the luxuriously long summer break is half over.

So, it seems high time that I get this blog rolling again. At the very least, I should introduce myself. My name is Emily Upper (Librarianship, ’12) and I am MLISSA’s Publications Committee Chairperson for the upcoming school year (2011-2012). This means that I am going to be administering this blog. So if you have any ideas, spare time to help out, content, feedback, etc. please, please, please feel free to email me at emily.upper@mail.mcgill.ca. It is my hope to make this blog a visible, well-used channel through which us SIS kids can share ideas and get to know one another. And I mean all SIS kids — past, present, and future!

To this end, I’m going to need your help. Right now I am looking for some contributions vis-a-vis your summer library adventures. Yes, you. I know a lot of people are off doing interesting things and I, for one, would love to hear from them. (So what if the old “What I did on my summer vacation…” essay is lame? This is my first post. And, anyway, we all love to toot our own horns. So toot with me, guys.)

Are you working in a library (or “Information Centre”) this summer?

Yes, I am! Great! Tell me about it!

No, I am not! Terrific! But you’ve probably visited a library (or “Information Centre”) this summer, right? Was it a good experience? Did you find what you were looking for easy-peasy? Good read? Meh? Is there anymore to this story? No? Actually, then maybe don’t contribute it.

I did not visit a library (or “Information Centre”) this summer. Maybe you’ve used Google+ and have an interesting opinion about that? No? Do you like crafts, baking or Dr. Who? No? Get out!

Right. Send your stuff to emily.upper@mail.mcgill.ca.

Peace, Order and Good Student Government

It ‘s the time of year when we SIS students get to flex our democratic muscles and select the group of our comrades we wish to have represent us next year as our student government.  Of course, voting only works if there’s someone to vote for, so that’s where you lovely folks come in.  You’ve all got opinions and ideas about what SIS should be like – I’ve heard many of them spouted over pints at Thompson House – so it’s time to step up to the plate and make a play to put those ideas into action.  We’re not talking revolutionary healthcare reform: maybe you think there should have been guacamole and tortillas instead of cheese cubes at the Christmas party,  or maybe you’d like to see a school funded trip to Toronto next year.  Whatever your ideas, MLISSA is your opportunity to give SIS the student life you’d like to see. An added bonus is that MLISSA is a great way to get to know some of the new first years, both through all of the welcome week activities and by interacting with the first year reps on next year’s council.

I’ve found being on MLISSA to have been an incredibly rewarding experience: it looks nifty on a resume, true, but more than that, I have gotten to see an idea that I came up with – getting a school blog going – take shape and start to make a difference at SIS.  I’ve enjoyed my time as a MLISSA committee member immensely, and I encourage you all to submit nominations and oust me from my place!

You can check out the formal description of the MLISSA positions here,  but you should all feel free to get in touch with the incumbents as well in order to get a sense of what we really do – we’ll be more than happy to give you the inside scoop!

So what are you waiting for? Nominate today!

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Blog authors are solely responsible for the content of the blogs listed in the directory. Neither the content of these blogs, nor the links to other web sites, are screened, approved, reviewed or endorsed by McGill University. The text and other material on these blogs are the opinion of the specific author and are not statements of advice, opinion, or information of McGill.