Indexing Fiction

All photos in this post are from SIS student Natasha Truttman @tashasbookshelf

by Shannon Viola

Fiction is innately subjective; themes are hidden, motifs are subtle, and sometimes the story itself is a representation of an idea, philosophy, or lesson. Unlike nonfiction, which explicitly states the subjects in abstract or the first few paragraphs, fiction is not so straightforward. Nonfiction indexers may disagree over which subject term best represents the concept, but the opportunity for dissension multiplies when it comes to the abstract “aboutness” of fiction. Moreover, skimming a fiction title does not give the same amount of understanding as an indexer would get from skimming a scientific journal article or thumbing through the chapters of a nonfiction title.

Moreover, there is debate over what aspects of fiction are required to be indexed. Early indexing efforts considered genre, year, and place as important aspects (Saarti, 1999), but authors often write novels that blend genres (Maker, 2008). Some publishers inaccurately label novels (Down, 1995, p. 63). Indexers may disagree over whether a title is relevant enough to be a “Classic” and be indexed as such, or disagree over choosing genres, such as whether the novels of Daphne De Maurier are part of the “Mystery” or “Literature” genre.


Involving the reader in indexing fiction could aid librarians in finding the “core aboutness” of a fictional work. The emergence of folksonomies on social reading sites, like Goodreads, and the theoretical research done on readers’ advisory services in public libraries, can inform the fiction indexer in their work. Analyzing the folksonomy indexing of a community of readers alongside the expertise of librarians will yield indexing terms that a patron is most likely to recognize or search for in an information retrieval system. The consideration of folksonomies and how readers themselves would index a book improves successful retrieval and better serves the fiction users in a public library.

Readers’ advisory is another practice that cannot be ignored when designing a model for fiction indexing. Readers’ advisory is a service provided by librarians that help their patrons discover what book they would like to read. The librarian conducts an interview of the patron in which they discern what “appeal factors” of a book that patron enjoys. Appeal factor are “those features that capture the essence of what is enjoyable about a particular book” (OLA, p. 6). Appeal factors are designed to embody the subjective nature of fiction. Appeal factors also were designed to help a reader find a book akin to books they have already enjoyed, so using appeal factors as indexing terms can help the reader find their next book with or without the assistance of a librarian or a readers’ advisory interview.



The aspects of fiction that Joyce Saricks identifies in “The Readers’ Advisory Guide to Genre Fiction” correspond to the most mentioned characteristics in reader reviews on Goodreads. For example, consider the Goodreads reviews for “The Hours” by Michael Cunningham. Readers mentioned many of the characteristics that Saricks established as part of the Literary Fiction genre. They mention Michael Cunningham’s intricately-wrought language, which is an identifying characteristic of Saricks’ Literary Fiction. In terms of plot, “story lines are thought-provoking. Literary Fiction operates in the realm of ideas as well as practicalities” (Saricks, 2009, p. 178). The Hours has a thought-provoking plot, since it is the story of three women whose actions mimic those of Clarissa Dalloway in Virginia Woolf’s “Mrs. Dalloway.” The interwoven plots  and an hour-by-hour plot were mentioned in the majority of reviews. The tone of the book can be dark, just as Saricks’ identified in her analysis of Literary Fiction (Saricks, 2009, p. 178).  The fact that The Hours won the Pulitzer Prize was also important to readers on Goodreads. Traditional indexing, such as the record for “The Hours” in the McGill catalog, describe the book in terms so broad that the aspects that readers want are hardly represented. How can a reader find a book they want if they retrieval system does not account for their tastes? The principles of readers’ advisory have the potential to inform both the design of future information retrieval systems and guidelines for fiction indexing.



Adkins, D., & Bossaller, J. (2007). Fiction access points across computer-mediated book information sources: A comparison of online bookstores, reader advisory databases, and public library catalogs. Library and Information Science Research, 29(3), 354-368. doi:10.1016/j.lisr.2007.03.004

Baker, S., & Shepherd, G. (1987). Fiction classification schemes: The principles behind them and their success. Rq, 27(2), 245-251.

Down, Nancy (1995) Subject access to individual works of fiction, Cataloging & Classification Quarterly, 20(20, 61-69, DOI: 10.1300/J104v20n02_05

Maker, R. (2008). Reader centered classification of adult fiction in public libraries. Australasian Public Libraries and Information Services, 21(4), 168-171.

Ontario Library Association (OLA). (n.d.). “Readers’ advisory conversation.”
Retrieved from:

Saarti, Jarmo. (2002). Consistency of subject indexing of novels by public library professionals and patrons. Journal of Documentation, 58(1), 49-65.

– (1999) Fiction indexing and the development of fiction thesauri. Journal of Librarianship and Information science, 31(2), 85-92.

Saricks, J. (2009). The readers’ advisory guide to genre fiction (2nd ed., ALA readers’ advisory series) Chicago: American Library Association.

Sauperl, A. (2012). Pinning down a novel: Characteristics of literary works as perceived by readers. Library Review, 61(4), 286-303. doi:10.1108/00242531211267581

Cheap Reading: Mass-Market Paperback Books in mid-twentieth century America

By Shannon Viola

With 28 million copies sold, Dr. Spock’s paperback book, “Baby and Child Care,” guided postwar parents as they raised the boomer generation (Davis, 1984). Dr. Spock’s book spurred the publication of even more paperback parenting manuals, to the extent that in “Paperback Mother…” (O’Malley et al, 2006, p. 83-93), the authors detail the pivotal role parenting manuals have had on their conception of parenthood. In addition to demonstrating the myriad and often misguided advice in the “Mommy Lit” genre, the article illustrates the omnipresent existence paperback books have in readers’ lives, especially in an area as intimate as parenting.

Because they are cheap and readily available at venues other than bookstores, paperback books can be bought at high volumes, and can be bought often, by parents in need of a quick parenting lesson, or by a reader searching for in-flight entertainment at an airport kiosk, or picking up a prescription at a drugstore. A rack of paperback books is within sight at all of these venues. Paperback books are small enough to fit in a travel bag and short enough to be consumed in a weekend, and their cover art is intentionally appealing.


A successful American paperback imprint did not arrive until 1939 when Robert de Graff founded Pocket Books. By reprinting hardcover titles in paperback, Pocket Books proved that good reading could be affordable (Hackley, 2006, p. 178). In the decades after Pocket Books democratized novels, the mass-market paperback flooded American drugstores and college bookstores with promises of affordable reading (Bonn, 1982). As sales for mass-market paperbacks increased, so did publishing competition. Paperback books had to be sized to fit side-by-side on racks, usually controlled by size standards, so publishers had to differentiate their titles from the competition with cover art and publishing house logos. In order to lure the reader, each cover featured sensational illustrations intended to entice the reader. Some of which were so lewd that they were brought to trial (Bonn, 1982).

Publishers distinguished their brand from other publishers with logos on predetermined spots on the book’s cover and with edge stains (Bonn, 1982, p. 104). For example, Pocket Books issued Cardinal Editions in 1950, and in order to establish them as the “luxury” paperback, and therefore worthy of the higher price of thirty-five cents, the titles and figures on the cover were embossed in gold (Bonn, 1982, p. 107). While designing a cover, the art director had to work with multiple elements. Each cover had to have the title, author’s name, editorial and promotion copy, book price, book number, publisher name and logo, and an attractive cover (Bonn, 1982, p. 82).

Paperback production, however, happened so quickly that art directors did not have much time to ponder over the most successful cover design. Bantam once produced a book, from author contract to press, in 46 ¼ hours (Bonn, 1982, p. 67). Titles were introduced as rapidly as periodicals (Bonn, 1982, p. 51). The limited amount of time led to each genre having its own archetypal cover. Westerns have dusty brown covers with hyper-realistic illustrations. Gothic novels are dark and moody, often with a gray castle looming in the background. Romance novels showcase muscular men leering at women both virginal and seductive. Mystery works, like those by hardboiled writer Mickey Spillane, featured murderers, their victims, skulls, and weapons. Works by the same author yielded uniform cover design (Bonn, 1982, p.112). Not only did archetypal covers simplify the art director’s job, but it was a clear message to readers about the subject matter of the book.


The cover art also had to advocate for the book’s purchase. Publishing houses hired artists who could illustrate appealing covers that could be reproduced within mechanical and printing limitations (Bonn, 1982, p. 92). Early paperback books were printed with letterpress machinery, and in the early 1950s, when elaborate and scandalous book covers came to market, covers were printed with offset lithography, since offset printing plates are cheaper and represent the acrylic artwork more faithfully (Bonn, 1982, p. 93). If the illustration was too fine to be reproduced with this method, then it was sent to a printer who was not affiliated with the book manufacturer (Bonn, 1982, p. 94). The cover art was the most important part of the book’s design and so no extra step was spared in its faithful reproduction.

The cover art inspired a reader to pick up the book, and then the “feel” of the book closed the sale. Paperback publishers often applied a spray finish to make the cover smooth and shiny (Bonn, 1982, p. 98). The standard size of a paperback fits well within the palm of a reader’s hand, purse, or pocket. The cover art has to simultaneously inform the reader of the genre and be interesting enough to purchase.

In an effort to generate interest, cover art often bordered on lewd. For example, Mickey Spillane’s book, “The Erection Set” (1972), featured a nude photo of his wife. The publishers had to reissue a more tame cover, without any cover illustration, for general-audience stores like the supermarket or drugstore. Yet even in the 1950s, cover art was daring, but often did not match the content of the book itself (Bonn, 1982, p. 55-56). The cover art for Emile Zola’s “Nana” was published by Pocket Books in 1941 with a somewhat provocative cover; Nana was on stage in a flimsy, strapless gown. Even though Pocket Books was known for relatively conservative covers, a subsequent edition of “Nana” was even more scandalous. Nana is once again on stage, and her gown is still white, but the fabric in the new cover art is transparent, and Nana is posing in a way that the dress hardly covers her (Bonn, 1982, plate 15a and 15b). Despite the sensational and potentially offensive cover, the cover art did not decrease sales for Pocket Books (Bonn, 1982, plate 15). “The Private Life of Helen of Troy” is perhaps one of the more scandalous covers, since it depicts Helen in a gown so transparent that the book was dubbed by news outlets as “the nipple cover.” The publishers most likely avoided a lawsuit for obscenity because Helen was a figure from Classical antiquity (Davis, 1984. P. 138). Cover art became so sensational that it often misrepresented the content of the book (Bonn, 1982, p. 55-56; Davis, 1984, p. 135-141). The slightest shocking passage in the text was amplified on the cover. Even a Nobel Prize winner like Sinclair Lewis’s “Babbitt” was given an exaggerated cover, in which Babbitt catches the attention of two women in tight clothing (Davis, 1984, p. 139).

The sensational cover art of American mass-market paperbacks in the 1950s makes them valuable to book collectors today. Popular Library and Avon titles are known among collectors to have the most wanted cover art, particularly those of the postwar era, which depicted half-naked women (Bonn, 1982, p. 122). Certain trends in cover art, such as the airbrushed back covers of Dell books from 1943-1953, are sought after (Bonn, 1982, p. 122). Popular artists, such as James Avati or Gerald Gregg, are just as collectible as first editions in paperback of famous authors like Jack Kerouac, Kurt Vonnegut, Truman Capote, or Dylan Thomas (Bonn, 1982).


Artwork by James Avati. Image source.

Moreover, mass-market paperbacks are easily found in secondhand bookstores or yard sales. Because mass-market paperbacks were designed to be disposable, or as affordable textbooks in a college course, the books can be ripped, stained, or annotated heavily, which the collector can either consider as a nuisance or an asset. The state of a mass-market paperback book is a testament to the book’s lifespan and all of the hands through which it has passed, since this format is what the majority of readers would have encountered (Tetterton, 1994). Mass-market paperbacks can therefore inform literary scholars of the reading habits and patterns of 20th century Americans.

Additionally, for authors whose work first appeared in paperback edition, subsequent re-printings of their work over the decades can attest to their rise in popularity and to the audience at which their work was aimed (Bonn, 1982, p. 125; Tetterton, 1994). For example, the gender-bending aspect of Virginia Woolf’s “Orlando” is represented on Quality Paperback Book Club’s edition, but not Penguin’s or Signet’s version (Tetterton, 1994). In order to understand this discrepancy in cover design, descriptive bibliographers and literary scholars can study the format and culture of the mass-market paperback. As a book format aimed at the everyday consumer, mass-market paperbacks are valuable evidence of the mid-20th century American reader.

To browse mass-market paperback covers, see this website.



Bonn, Thomas L. 1982. Under Cover : An Illustrated History of American Mass-Market Paperbacks. Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England: Penguin Books.

Brown, Stephen. 2006. “Rattles from the swill bucket.”In “Consuming Books: the Marketing and Consumption of Literature. New York: Routledge. p. 1-18

Davis, Kenneth C. 1984. Two-Bit Culture: The Paperbacking of America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Hackley, Chris. 2006. “I write marketing textbooks but I’m really a swill guy.” In Brown, Stephen (ed.) Consuming Books: the Marketing and Consumption of Literature. New York: Routledge. p. 175-182.

O’Malley, Lisa, Patterson, Maurise, and Bheachain, Caoilfhionn ni. 2006. “Paperback mother…” In Brown, Stephen (ed.) Consuming Books: the Marketing and Consumption of Literature. New York: Routledge. p. 83-95

Tetterton, Kelly. 1994. Paperbacks as an area of bibliographical study: the case of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando. Retrieved from:

Readers’ Advisory

By Shannon Viola, Maricel del Campo, and Hal Butler

Patrons of public libraries may not know that librarians are trained to help them find their next favorite book. For patrons, readers’ advisory services help them find books tailored to their tastes. For librarians, readers’ advisory services strengthen the library’s bond with the community and allow some of the dustier titles in the collection to be unearthed, read, and loved.

A readers’ advisory interview is a discussion about what a patron finds appealing about their favorite books. For example, “The Sound and the Fury” and “Southern Charmer” are both books about the American South, but would a reader of one like the other? Even though they might be under the same subject heading, “The Sound and the Fury” and “Southern Charmer” were written for readers with different literary tastes.

In a readers’ advisory interview, the patron and librarian are discussing reading experiences. What does the patron like in a book? Flowery prose? Moody atmospheres? A multi-layered plot? A patron may not have a clear idea of what sort of book they’d like to read next, or what exactly they like in a story. The librarian must ask open-ended questions to help the patron discover their reading preferences, and to inform their search for a successful title.

Readers’ advisory can also happen online. Most public libraries have web pages with links to a new titles list, book-browsing websites like Goodreads, or even the email of a readers’ advisory librarian who conduct the readers’ advisory interview remotely. Librarians can use these tools to support their search, but should not rely on these tools alone. A knowledge of their collection is the most important tool in determining the perfect read.

Librarians can also reach patrons for readers’ advisory through social media. The Toronto Public Library runs a blog that posts reading challenges and book suggestions. They also post reading suggestions on their Twitter page. Unlike online reading guides, however, social media reaches patrons who aren’t actively searching for readers’ advisory. An online reading guide may be hidden on a library’s website and can’t be found unless a reader is determined to find a guide.

You can try your hand at readers’ advisory by hunting for your own next read on these websites:

What Should I Read Next?
Literature Map

Read the Ontario Library Association’s report on readers’ advisory here.

AMIA Symposium 2019

By Nicole Gauvreau

On February 18, 2019, the McGill student chapter of the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) held their annual symposium. This year the symposium featured four student presentations, three presentations from current professionals, and a Q&A with a panel of professionals.

The Student Presentations

First Paige Stewart, MISt II, presented on the ongoing digitization project for CKUT 90.3’s collection of small batch release, Canadiana, and Montreal music cassettes, some of which are now unique. While previous digitization and transfer projects have been carried out, they were done in collaboration with ArcMTL; Stewart has developed a new workflow for the current project that is suitable for implementation by CKUT 90.3’s 8 staff and 250 volunteers. All volunteers will undergo a training in the digitization process to empower them to carry out the process on their own, with the guidance of a workflow document or wiki.

Next, Laura Jacyna, MISt II, presented her “Review of audiovisual archive case studies in Africa.” Jacyna’s compared audiovisual archives in Malawi, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Botswana, and Namibia and presented on the contents and common problems face by the archives, including a lack of trained professionals, a variety of obsolete formats, and funding that most often comes from foreign sources.

The third presenter, Pamela Smofsky, MISt II, shared her ongoing home movie digitization process. Smofsky’s family has a large collection of home movies from 1991 to 2008 on VHS, Hi8, and DV tapes. Due to previous conversion of VHS to DVD, Smofsky is currently working on the Hi8 tapes. Smofsky’s workflow includes digitizing in real time (around 2 hours per tape), editing multi-event videos into individual events and adding metadata, and saving the videos to two separate external hard drives.

Finally, Emma Wilson, MISt II, presented on the Lesbian Herstory Archives in New York City, which accepts everything from self-identified lesbians, including ephemera, gossip, and rumour. The Herstory Archives also maintains a fabricated history archive of photos and a mockumentary about the fictitious Fae Richards in order to represent women who lived but whose lives were not recorded. Wilson’s final takeaway on the archives was that institutions should privilege ephemera, gossip, and even fabricated evidence to reconstruct marginalized narratives.

The Professional Presentations

The first of the professional presentations came from Alexandra Mills, Special Collections Archivist for Concordia University. As part of her work, Mills has assessed the digital special collections at Concordia to identify A/V formats, ultimately identifying over 6,200 original recordings and an unknown number of copies in analogue and digital formats across 51 fonds on a variety of carriers. In the collections, originals have been saved, often in multiple identical copies, with inconsistent metadata that leads to a risk of inauthenticity or dubious quality. Thus, a need to make metadata consistent and find multiples for version control is needed and being implemented.

Next, Louis Rastrelli, director and co-founder of ArcMTL, presented on ArcMTL’s collection generally, and more specifically the digitization of VHS tapes documenting the 1980s Montreal hardcore punk scene. ArcMTL’s collections focus on small press, printed and poster art, and A/V material from the 1960s to today, which means they have many legacy formats from the 1960s to the 1990s. In 2017, hundreds of tapes related to the 1980s punk scene were donated. As ArcMTL does not use legacy formats for access, it is necessary to perform a physical evaluation and then digitize all the tapes and their labels and inserts. At ArcMTL this process means using machines from the era in which the carrier was made and using as high of a sampling rate as possible, but that isn’t higher than the resolution of the carrier for the best results.

Finally, Alexandra Jokinen, Digital Processing Archivist for the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA), presented on complex digital objects in archives. As an architecture institution, the CAA’s archives contain many complex digital objects, especially CAD files, on a variety of carriers, including 5.5-inch floppies and 8 mm data cartridges. Accessing and maintaining these files often requires specialized hardware and software. At the CAA, this has led to using BitCurrator, disk imaging tools (such as Kryoflux), write blockers to ensure data can’t be modified, Nimbi (a disk imaging robot), specialized programs to summarize and analyze data, and manual file normalization. Presently there is no public access to digitized material, but a plan is in development so that people can directly access DIPs.

From the panel:

Finding jobs in archives: Listservs, ArchivesGig and the SAA jobsite.

Organizations to join: AMIA, IASA, ARSC

Overview of Programming Languages for Beginners

By Tyler Kolody

DISCLAIMER: Though I’ve tried to stick with the facts, I’m primarily a Python programmer interested in data science/AI, so opinions expressed come from that perspective.



Pros: Faster than pretty much anything else, OG modern language with most other languages inheriting syntax from it, will let you do anything you want even if you shouldn’t.

Cons: Lacks the versatility of the object-oriented paradigm, doesn’t do anything for you; everything must be explicitly built, will let you do anything you want even if you shouldn’t

Summary: The grandfather of modern programming languages, except this grandpa is Usain Bolt and none of its kids or grandkids can keep up with it in a straight race. Like most geriatrics, it’s not very flexible, but despite being over 40 years old, it is still in active use for many applications. It isn’t as popular as C++ or Java, but is useful when writing code that must be extremely fast and light weight, while still being executable on multiple system architectures. Different compilers can read and convert it into machine code for many different system architectures without changing the code itself. It epitomizes the old adage “Easy to learn, hard to master” as the codebase itself is extremely small, but true understanding is something that could take decades to reach.

Hello World!:



Pros: Very fast, has modern language features, won’t let you access memory willy-nilly so is safer than C

Cons: Difficult to learn, suffers from readability issues as it is literally just C with a bunch of things added retroactively and some of it can get messy

Summary: Much of what has been said about C can be said about C++, and you can technically run C++ as C. However, they are not the same language and C++ adds many modern features; most notably the concept of classes and objects is central to C. It is still a low-level language and abstracts very little, but it will not allow you to do whatever you want the way C does. For example, it will prevent you from accessing memory memory you shouldn’t, making it safer. These attributes, in addition to its efficiency make it ideal for large applications that still need to run quickly, making it very popular for game engines and cryptocurrency protocols.

Hello World!:



Pros: Easy to read, beginner friendly, very wide range of applications particularly in data science

Cons: Slower than other general-purpose languages, not as scalable for very large projects

Summary: Python is a high-level language that abstracts away much of what is going on in the code, allowing for very fast prototyping and leading to extremely easy to read syntax. This stems from the fact that it does not require explicit type declarations, nor does it require programmers to understand memory management. This is helpful when trying to introduce concepts to beginners, but by ignoring these concepts it can make it more difficult to move to other languages later on. Underneath it’s simple syntax, Python combines many different features and paradigms, making it extremely flexible. For example, it is an interpreted language meaning that each statement is read and translated into machine code at run time, but can also be compiled if desired. This, makes it a popular language at all levels of programming experience. Even it’s notable performance issues can be circumvented in some cases using libraries that allow other languages to run within its code (notably C, the fastest modern language). Python has commonly used versions, 2.7x and 3.x, commonly referred to simply as Python 2 and 3. Python 2.7x is the older version which traditionally has had better library support. However, Python 3 is the future, and has more or less caught up to it’s predecessor. While there are many differences under the hood, practically speaking the syntax differences are fairly minimal.

Hello World!:

Python 2

print “Hello World!”

Python 3

print(“Hello World!”)



Pros: Very portable across different platforms without needing to be compiled multiple times, substantial community support, no need for memory management unlike C++

Cons: Some security issues, purely OOP (literally everything has to be an object) can be difficult to get used to for those coming from mixed paradigms

Summary: Java is the most ubiquitous of the Big Three general purpose languages, being extremely portable and having many features that make it very compatible with web development in addition to app development and general use. It has been the dominant language for two decades, and although it has lost ground to others, it is still enormously popular. It’s as versatile as Python, almost as fast as C++ and more portable than pretty much anything; essentially a jack of all trades. It’s also the main language used to write Android apps, making ‘Java developer’ a very high demand position. However, since everything must be an object, the syntax can get extremely long and unwieldy.

Hello World!



Pros: Hahahaha no…Fine, I’ve been informed that this is supposed to be informative and not a platform for my biases so I’ll try. It is fairly simple, if not very nice, syntactically speaking. It’s fast. Its popularity means there’s a lot of documentation and support for troubleshooting.

Cons: You don’t have a choice if you want to do web development; it’s the primary client-side language used. It is a security nightmare; most web exploits are rooted in JS. It’s not browser agnostic.

Summary: JavaScript is the most popular client-side web language in existence, and is responsible for much of the modern internet’s look and functionality. It handles everything on your computer when you browse, hence why it is ‘client-side’, as opposed to server-side languages such as PHP that handle the back end of web development. Most things that move on a website and anything you can interact with is the result of JavaScript. It is entirely web-focused, but can technically be used more generally. The wide array of frameworks such as jQuery, Angular and React allow for a diverse approach to web and application development. Its prevalence across the web ensure that it isn’t going anywhere, and the variety of frameworks and active community help cover up some of it’s numerous issues. On the topic of its name and relation to other languages: Java is to JavaScript as car is to carpet.

Hello World!:

To print to browser:

alert(“Hello World!”)

To print to console:

console.log(“Hello World!”)



Pros: You can’t get any closer to the metal, very clearly (relatively speaking) corresponds with CPU instructions.

Cons: The metal is cold, hard and frequently shocks you. Made worse if your tears of frustration and despair short out the keyboard.

Summary: This is functionally machine code, where each line or instruction roughly corresponds to an instruction executed by the CPU. Assembly is not an actual language but an umbrella term; each CPU architecture has a different language specific to it. It is typically used for embedded systems, devices with little computing power and need to be absurdly lightweight. It is the interface between hardware and software that eventually, every other language is compiled to or interpreted as. Primarily the realm of hardcore engineering nerds who should get out more, but no judgement if this is your thing.

Hello World! (NASM x64 assembly):



Happy Holidays from MISSA

Thanks to everybody who came out to the MISSA Holiday Ball! Everybody relax and have fun over the break, and we’ll see you in January.

The Insider’s Guide to Course Selections

So you went to the electives information session last Monday, and now your head is spinning with all of those choices and you’re not sure which ones will suit your needs best. Or, you couldn’t make it to the session and you have no clue where to start with your course selections for the winter. Well, lucky for you, we have suggestions!

We asked the second-year SIS students for their recommendations, and here are their opinions on the essentials and hidden gems this program has to offer:


GLIS 608 Classification & Cataloguing:

Multiple students recommended for this course, and having taken it myself, I will add my name to that list. It’s an extremely practical course for anyone interested in the librarianship side of our program. Even if you don’t want to be a cataloguing librarian, it’s always good to know the basics of how it’s done. Be aware that this course is usually offered every other year.

“I’ve already gotten two jobs because I know RDA and MARC and at least an inkling of BIBFRAME, knowledge I would not have had without that course!” – Quincy

GLIS 611 Research Principles & Analysis:

“This course was a good overview of constructing and conducting a survey and how to write a qualitative/quantitative research paper. It was especially helpful in teaching critical reading and writing skills.” – Heather

GLIS 615 Reference & Information Services:

“For students who want to be academic librarians, learning how to conduct a reference interview is essential. This class focused on how to understand the information needs of the student/patron through a combination of open and closed questions as well as the demeanor necessary for making the student/patron feel welcome in the library. The lectures were split in two parts: In the first half, subject librarians from McGill and Concordia came to talk about reference interviews and the resources they use for their specific subject. The second half was centered on evidence-based best practices for reference librarians.” – Heather

GLIS 616 Information Retrieval:

“I like solving problems and have stuff working. Popular web/marketing topics were interesting too” – Jingwei

GLIS 634 Web Systems Design & Management:

This was another course that received multiple recommendations from students who have taken it.

“I liked the way it was taught; everything was tied into context from a practical point of view, and you’re constantly thinking about websites’ aesthetics and function. Being able to take away a project you can talk about to an potential employer is also quite nice.” – Jingwei

“I enjoyed doing the work and puzzling out why things weren’t working” – Rachel

GLIS 657 Database Design & Development:

This is a tough course for those of us who aren’t used to working with computers, but if you put the effort in the rewards are definitely worth it. I may never take a job that requires me to build a database, but I have a much better understanding of how they work and best practices for using them after taking this course.

“It was a ton of work, so be prepared. That said it is also pretty useful and I can imagine using what we learned later on in my career.” – Elise

GLIS 661 Knowledge Management:

“KM was my favourite – great for non-KM people as well, as it goes over some good management and people-skills type concepts that are great in any professional situation.” – Mark

GLIS 663 Knowledge Taxonomies:

“I enjoyed how the course connected between digital tools and knowledge management, also how it explored both; [the professor] also gave us a lot of freedom and activities…like she would ask us what we want to learn/hear more about every class.” – Jingwei

GLIS 691 Special Topics 1 – Information Search & Evaluation

“So useful… it gave a brief look into searching databases in different fields. Which is good to have as a base, given it’s impossible to take all the special librarian courses.” – Sarah


More information on SIS courses can be found here.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this post. Do you have another course you think should be added to the list? Feel free to let us know in the comments!

Welcome and Welcome Back

Now that we’ve all started to settle back into university life, I think it’s time for some introductions. My name is Coady Sidley, and I’m your new MISSA Publications Chairperson. I’m entering my second year in the MISt program with a focus on librarianship. This will be my first time taking over responsibility for this blog, and I’m excited to take on the challenge.

Personally, I’m hoping to write about student association activities and events, crowdsourced advice from other students, and hopefully some interviews with professionals in the field. Most of all, I would like to make this blog a collaborative space for SIS students to share information about the topics and events that they’re passionate about.

Call for Submissions

Do you have a burning desire to share your thoughts on any topic in the realm of information studies? Have you attended a conference or event that you think others should know about? Do you just want to see your name in print and are looking for a place to show off your work? Here’s your chance!

One of my main goals for the blog this year is to turn it into more of a community project, which is where you come in. This is an open invitation for students to write a guest post (or several, if you want!) for the blog. Posts can be on any subject related to our field.

Interested? Send me an email at for more information or to propose a topic.

A Few Awesome Job Hunt Resources

It’s that time of year again. It’s the dead of winter, everyone is still wishing it were holidays and the Winter semester has begun with bewildering speed. And unlike in the fall, the question of what comes next is surfacing again. For first years this means facing the question of what to do over the summer, while for second years, this means facing the terrifying real-life job hunt.

This question has been percolating in the back of my mind for a little while now, and over the holidays I decided it was time to start taking some actions to get myself ready for the job hunt. Over the past couple of years, I’ve collected up a few awesome resources from various friends, mentors and professors that are great for helping to update that cover letter or CV, or to get ready for that interview. It’s by no means a complete list, and it does tend to skew towards librarianship (since that is where my interests lie), but I hope it will be useful. This short list can always be expanded!

One resource that I was particularly happy to come across was a website called Open Cover Letters, which is a repository of successful cover letters written for library jobs. It’s a great way to see what kind of skills people are highlighting and what the format of a cover letter includes in the information world.

A second invaluable resource that I recently came across, like Open Cover Letters, is a repository of interview questions tailored to librarians and information professionals called Hiring Librarians

Apart from that, I’ve discovered a particularly good job listserv for Canadian library jobs that can be found at The Partnership Job Board. And as a note for first years looking for summer positions, don’t forget to check out Young Canada Works. There are many listservs out there, so if you’ve come across any other good ones, or ones for other areas of work, let me know and I would be happy to post them!

Accreditation: What Does It Mean?

This fall, McGill’s School of Information Studies underwent the accreditation process. Confused on what that means? Here’s a quick guide:

What’s the ALA?
The ALA is the American Library Association, and is the largest library association in the world. It is responsible for overseeing the accreditation process of library schools across North America. Currently there are 59 accredited programs, 8 of which are in Canada.

What’s the point of the accreditation process?
The accreditation process ensures that member schools are up to standard and are delivering high-quality programs. Many employers require candidates who have a degree from an ALA-accredited school. If you have a library degree not from one of the accredited schools, it may be more challenging to find a job in the library field.

What was the accreditation process like?
In September, six ALA External Review Panel members flew into Montreal for five days. They met with students, faculty, staff, and upper administration. It was an intensive process, and they asked many different types of questions.
The planning for the accreditation process was not limited to the five days. Instead, it has been over a year-long process, with the final report from the faculty clocking in at over 200 pages.

When do we find out if we are accredited again?
January! The panel members don’t decide on whether SIS becomes accredited or not. Instead, they report back to the ALA, who will decide at their conference in January. The ALA’s decision and report will be released to the public.

Thanks to Liz Nash for answering all of these questions for us!

If you’re interested in knowing more about the process, you can also check out the ALA website here.

Welcome Back to a New School Year

Hello everyone, now that we’re all back into the swing of things and fall is definitely in the air, I’d like to introduce myself and get the ball rolling for the school year at Beyond the Shelf.

IMG_20161005_140809183My name is Devon and I’m a second year MISt student interested in librarianship, originally hailing from Edmonton. This is my second year at the Publications Chair and you can take a look at some of last year’s posts if you continue scrolling down. One of my favourite things about this position is that I get to keep my finger on the pulse of what’s happening around the school and keep an eye out for interesting topics about which to spread the word. Last year, I wrote several posts about events or trips organized by SIS students, so if your student group has something interesting coming up or had a really interesting discussion about something, please let me know and I can help to pass it along to a broader audience. Guest bloggers are always welcome too! I try to post something new about once a month, so if you’d like to collaborate, please get in touch!

I’m looking forward to blogging about lots of interesting information-related stuff this year, so keep your eyes on the facebook pages!

InfoNexus 2016

On February 6th, InfoNexus 2016 opened its doors at Thompson House for a one-day whirlwind tour through a variety of different topics. Speakers from all four areas – libraries, archives, knowledge management and information technology – gave short presentations about their research or ideas they had been working on. The topics were disparate, but it highlighted the incredibly wide range of work that information professionals work in and provided lots of food for thought.


Ed Bilodeau, President of the SLA Eastern Canada Chapter and Assistant Librarian at McGill University Digital Initiatives started out the day with a talk about excellence in librarianship, and how to balance this goal with the ever-growing workload that librarians are dealing with.

The next speaker was Sarah Severson, Coordinator of Digital Library Services at McGill University Library, who took the audience through a history of digital collections using examples from McGill’s own collections.

After that, Jean Archambault, Director of Information and Analysis Services at NRC Knowledge Management, started a lively discussion about how the concepts of uncertainty  and anticipation affect the provision of information, and what this might mean for information professionals.


Next, Lori Podolsky, Acting University Archivist at McGill University Archives, gave a thought-provoking talk about how archivists have presented their profession in the past, and how these ideas and perceptions are changing today.

The final speaker of the morning session was Joel Alleyne, President of Alleyne Inc., who moved the focus over to the world of Knowledge Management. He talked about knowledge networks and the concept of expertise, and drew upon his experiences in the realm of law and health sciences.


After lunch, there were two more speakers who presented.

Kathleen Botter, Systems Librarian at Concordia University Library, dove into the world of reference rot, which is what happens when links in electronic resources stop working properly. It was a fascinating presentation about an area of librarianship I had never even considered.

Finally, Anton Stiglic, Corporate Director Information Security (CISO) at Loto-Quebec, gave a revealing presentation about information security, going into how and why hackers steal information, what they do with it afterwards, and how companies can protect themselves.

After the individual presentations concluded, there was a panel session featuring all of the previous speakers and moderated by Professor Max Evans. This was an opportunity to delve further into some questions that affect all information professionals, and also a time for the audience to ask questions.


As a first year MISt student, it was my first time attending the InfoNexus conference, and I very much enjoyed the variety of speakers and the thought-provoking topics they brought up. A huge thank-you to the organization committee for putting it all together, and I look forward to experiencing the 2017 edition of InfoNexus!

Many thanks to Kayleigh Girard for helping with this write-up and to Annette Li for all the lovely photos. More information about InfoNexus can be found at






MISSA’s New Fridge Has Arrived!

MISSA would like to inform all SIS students of the fact that a momentous day has arrived! Last semester the MISSA council purchased a new fridge for the SIS mansion to be used by students. The fridge is located in the basement of the mansion (immediately to the left of the stairs when you arrive in the basement), and is available to all students who wish to use it, as well as to any student groups needing to store food for an event.

IMG_20160115_155003777 IMG_20160115_155016820_HDR

This long awaited day has finally arrived and the fridge is already receiving lots of love from adoring SIS students!

Eight or Nine Things to Know about SIS

So, you’ve just entered McGill’s MIST program and you’re not sure what to expect. Or, more realistically (because I suck at writing posts), you’re about a month in and feeling overwhelmed.

Along with a few second year students/minions, I’ve compiled a list of things that might help make your first year a little easier.

1) Thomson House is your friend. The program has a lot of group projects, and this is a place where you can a) drink beer, b) avoid climbing up and down the hill unnecessarily (see no. 7), and c) work loudly in groups without being shushed by librarians.

2) Google Drive is also your friend (you have a lot of friends, OKAY??) – for when you want to avoid said group meetings.

3) The CLA Professional Mentorship Program is endlessly helpful. Sign up in your first or second year and take advantage of this awesome opportunity. It’s a great way to connect with professionals in your field and I speak from personal experience when I say they offer way better advice than that publications committee chairperson or whatever. Want more info? Check out this site:

4) Don’t go through it alone.

Before I started the program, I had a Survivor type mentality (Reality TV, not Destiny’s Child) in which I found myself thinking/saying things like “I’m not here to make friends, I’m here to win”.

Fun fact: your friends will help you get through this year. Smile, get to know them, talk about similar interests with them. Oh, c’mon, you know how to make friends.

5) Classes aren’t everything. In an information studies program, I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise that your first semester might feel a little like Information Overload. Be that as it may, I was surprised and it was a tough adjustment. It’s important to keep in mind that classes aren’t everything in this program, and you’ll get a whole lot more out of them if you volunteer, work, take part in our student associations and those associations’ events. Check out the write-ups on the various associations on this very blog. Psst…SISnic is tomorrow! Come network and EAT FOOD.

6) The education classroom temperatures are whack. Layer-up. Why do you think librarians own so many cardigans?

7) The hill will never get easier. It’s not you. It’s the hill.

8) Learn how to “sell” your degree, and memorize that sentence. You’ll get lots of eye-roll inducing questions asking what information studies is, why you need a master’s degree to shelve books, or if there are classes on shushing. We all know the value of this degree, but it can be difficult to put into words when put on the spot. Think of this as a catch phrase, and trust me, it will come in handy.

 9) Volunteer to help write for the school’s blog! And I’m out.

Treasures of Islam: The McGill Islamic Studies Library

By Caitlin Bailey

The Islamic Studies library at McGill is housed in Morrice Hall, formerly the Presbyterian College. One of the more prominent features of the space is the Octagonal Room at the rear, which still contains the original oak shelving and stained glass windows of the College. I visited the library to speak with the current head librarian, Mrs. Anaïs Salamon, who took her current position in 2010 after the departure of the former head.

Mrs. Salamon began by noting that the Islamic Studies library was founded in 1952, when the Institute of Islamic Studies separated from the Religious Studies Department with funding from Wilfred Cantwell Smith, a specialist in comparative religion. Dr. Smith was primarily interested with Islam in South Asia and hoped to facilitate further inter-religious interactions through a separate department. In fact, the Institute of Islamic Studies and its adjoining independent library were the first in North America. Mrs. Salamon pointed out that its foundation predates significantly larger departments at Harvard and the University of Chicago.

As the Head librarian, Mrs. Salamon manages a diverse collection, including reference materials in ten languages and a small body of rare books and materials. Mrs. Salamon emphasized the broadness of the McGill collection and noted that it is particular due to its coverage of the entirety of the Islamic cultural world. The library holds materials not only from the Arabic countries, but also from Southeast Asia, Turkey and Afghanistan (to name a few).  During our interview, she mentioned that many of the copies held by McGill are also the only examples in North America.

The bulk of the library’s collection remains non-digitized, due to the reluctance of many publishing firms in the Islamic world to use digital formats. Mrs. Salamon explained that this is changing somewhat, but that unless materials (such as journals and periodicals) are published in North America, the library usually has to buy them in print. This leads to what she called the main problem of the library; the chronic lack of space. Currently, there are no off-site storage areas, making the de-accessioning of materials necessary.

The future goals of the library, according to Mrs. Salamon, include the location of storage space for its holdings, which she predicts will continue to grow. Additionally, she would like to extend service hours to 24 hours a day. Under current staffing divisions, the library cannot remain open past 10pm. She would also like to continue with, and broaden, the library’s “Islamic Film Nights”, which currently run several times a semester and feature some of the most notable films from the modern Islamic world. To conclude our interview, when asked about the most interesting item in the collection, Mrs. Salamon cited the library’s copy of an Albanian translation of the Qur’an, which she further explained might be the only one in North America.

Truly a unique space, the Islamic Studies library offers not only a beautiful study environment, but also the richness of Islamic culture and thought.

National Novel Writing Month: An interview with a veteran

Notice: This post initiates the academic year for this blog! Submissions to Beyond the Shelf are solicited and encouraged by MLISSA from past and current members of MLISSA. Submissions can be e-mailed to

By Jacob Siefring

Did you ever want to write a novel? Then read on! National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, as it’s abbreviated, is a website (and more) dedicated to the goal of helping individuals achieve the realisable goal of writing a novel, defined loosely as a narrative of 50,000+ words. It’s run by the Office of Letters and Light, a self-described ‘tiny but mighty nonprofit.’ November is the original month for novel writing, but events also take place during June and August.

To gain an understanding of what it’s like to participate in NaNoWriMo, I submitted a brief questionnaire to a Andrea Black, a recent graduate of the School of Information Studies’s MLIS program. She generously supplied the following responses and advice.

Successful NaNoWriMo participants get bragging rights, improved writing skills, a draft of a novel they've written, and this emblem, commemorating their persistence.

1. How many times have you done NaNoWriMo? How did you first hear about it?

I’ve just completed my third NaNoWriMo event and am gearing up for my fourth in November. The main event is in November each year with smaller “Camp NaNoWriMo” events in June and August. I’ve done two in November and one in August so far. I honestly can’t remember when I first heard about it: it was probably two or three years before I decided to give it a try.

2. Prior to NaNoWriMo had you written much fiction? Short stories?

I wrote a lot – poems, short stories and one novella in addition to nearly daily journaling – up until about my second or third year of university. Around that time, I started to get so burned out from reading textbooks and writing papers that I basically stopped writing and reading for pleasure for the better part of a decade. It wasn’t until I decided to do NaNoWriMo that I got motivated to start writing again. It’s great because I’m such a perfectionist when it comes to my writing that I find it hard to even get started. With NaNoWriMo, you don’t have time to worry about editing: if you’re going to get out 50k or more words in a month, you need to ruthlessly squash your inner editor. You can always edit in December. I find that frees me up to be creative and just let my ideas flow onto the page.

3. What are the titles of the novels you’ve written?

I’d prefer not to answer this. They’ve got working titles but they’re sort of silly.

4. How would you describe them? (individually or considered together)

The first two are meant to be YA fantasy and the third is… some kind of mainstream/supernatural fiction that could pass as either YA or adult, depending on how I handle the editing stage. They’re not of publishable quality in their current form, but there’s enough there to form the skeletons of what could be pretty decent novels someday (at least I’d like to think so).

5. Have people read your novels? Who?

My mom and my grandma are the only people who have read them. I haven’t done any editing; they’re all still in the first draft stage and they’re really rough (typos; I altered a character’s personality partway through the first novel; in the second novel I changed from third person to first person perspective in chapter 10 because I decided it would work better, etc). I’d be embarrassed to let anyone else read them until I had a chance to edit. My mom loved them, but she’s biased. J My grandma is not a fan of fantasy, so she didn’t really get them. She still insists on reading them though, which is nice of her.

6. Do you write on a computer? Are you partial to any particular writing software?

Yes, I do my writing on a computer. My handwriting can’t keep up with my thoughts. Also, I can’t always read my own handwriting.

I’ve used Word, which wasn’t ideal, and I’ve used Scrivener, which I love. Winning NaNoWriMo (i.e. making it to 50,000 words in 30 days) is mostly about the satisfaction of winning, but you also get a printable certificate and discounts on writing software like Scrivener and Storyist – I bought Scrivener after winning my first NaNo. When I write the way I did for my last novel (unplanned, just sitting down and writing whatever came into my head), Word worked fine, but it’s not the best tool for organizing a novel. Scrivener lets you separate your chapters or scenes, keep notes, character sketches and research all in one place, and compiles your writing into an official manuscript ready for submission to a publisher when you’re finished. It also has a full-screen feature that helps cut out distractions while you’re typing and a split-screen option so you can view your notes while you’re writing. I’ve found it really flexible. It even has templates for papers in Chicago, APA and MLA styles: I used it a couple of times for that last year at school.

7. How do you organise your daily quotas? Do you map out a chapter/scene schedule to correspond to the month in advance?

If you write 1667 words every day, you’ll finish on November 30th (or 1613 words per day to finish on August 31st). For my first two novels, I ended up falling really far behind in the first week or two, and then the stress that caused helped me to really buckle down and write during the second half of the month. For my third novel, I actually finished a week early. Unfortunately, it seems that when I start out with a certain word count in mind, my story ends up naturally coming to a conclusion around that point. If I’m feeling ambitious, I’ll try aiming for 75,000 words on my next attempt: I know there are some rare and amazing people who exceed 100k. We’ll see. November tends to be a pretty busy month.

8. Do you know the ending of your novel when you begin it?

I planned out each of my novels very differently. For the first one, I had a very detailed outline before I started. I knew exactly where the story was going and had a basic outline of what would happen in each scene. For the second one, I had a very broad outline and really only planned a chapter or two in advance. I didn’t know how it was going to end until I found myself writing the ending. For the third one, I hardly planned at all. I had a basic premise and that was it. That strategy actually ended up working really well for me, except I had no idea how the story was going to end. The last four thousand words or so were really tough to write.

9. Do you feel that your handling of narrative elements like character, plot, and dialogue has improved with your continuing participation in NaNoWriMo?

I do. Practice makes perfect, as they say. I’ve deliberately chosen different styles (tense, point of view, etc) for my novels just for the experience, and I definitely think some facets of my writing have improved. I’d like to try to work more on character development in my next novel: in my last one I was very plot-focused.

10. Do you seek to publish your novels?

No. However, I like the idea that if I do decide to become a published author some day, I’ll have several manuscripts to work from.

11. Can you share any tips for balancing the demands of work and/or school with your daily writing sessions during NaNoWriMo?

Warn your friends and family ahead of time that you will have virtually no social life for a month.

Figure out what your priorities are. If you need human contact but don’t want to sacrifice writing time, find a “write-in” in your area or enlist a friend to write with. Schedule time to do homework, grocery shop, etc. I didn’t clean my apartment or exercise for a month.

There may be days you ask yourself: “What am I doing?” Keep in mind that even if you don’t ‘win,’ you at least have more of a start to your novel than you might have otherwise, and it’s great writing practice. Hitting 50k words and finishing a novel is an incredibly rewarding experience: it’s definitely worth it.

Thanks go to Andrea Black, MLIS ’12 in Librarianship,  for supplying responses to my questions. If you see her, congratulate her and wish her luck as she gears up to writes her fourth novel!

#20 SIS Kids Are Doing It For Themselves: Meet Veronica!

1. Name:
 Veronica Ramshaw

2. Year: MLIS I

3. Stream: Librarianship

4. Hometown: Guelph, ON

5. What is your favourite book?
 My favourite book of all time is Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. However, I have quite a love for pretty much anything written by Douglas Adams, and Jane Eyre wins out in the category of Classics.

6. Do you own an eReader? If so, is it cool?
 I have an iPad app with a few too many eReader apps… Kindle, Stanza, iBooks… and so far, all the books I’ve got on it are ones I also own. I’m actually reading Game of Thrones in hard copy and on my iPad right now, reading from one when I don’t have the other.

7. If you weren’t in library school, what would you be doing RIGHT NOW? I would still be trying to find work in film production in Montreal. It’s notoriously difficult to get your foot in the door of the film production industry, and all my networking would help in Toronto or maybe even LA, but not here.

8. What is your dream job? My Dream Job would be film and media librarian/archivist at the NFB, a film company or with a tv network.

9. What is your dream sandwich? I have been eating so many of La Prep’s Chicken Pesto sandwiches you’d think that was my dream sandwich! But no, I’m not very adventurous when it comes to sandwich making (pasta making on the other hand…) so my dream sandwich is really just a good tuna melt.

10. What is your favourite thing about living in Montreal? History so old it’s practically palpable. Not exactly a feeling you get in Guelph or Toronto… also, I love living somewhere that actually gives me an opportunity to use my french on a regular basis!

11. Living or dead, who would be at your imaginary potlatch? Terry Pratchet, Neil Gaiman, Douglas Adams, Freddie Mercury, Joss Whedon, my fiance and both of our families.

Also, check out my blog!

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!

2011 SIS-EBSI Career Fair

As you may know, the 2011 SIS-EBSI Career Fair is taking place next week! For the second year, students from Université de Montréal’s École de bibliothéconomie et des sciences de l’information (EBSI) and McGill University’s School of Information Studies (SIS) will be holding a joint Career Fair.

This will be an exciting opportunity for employers to meet enthusiastic and talented students from the Master of Library and Information Studies (MLIS) programs. The 2011 EBSI-SIS Career Fair will be a major networking event during which future graduates and potential employers will have a chance to discuss employment possibilities.

If you want to take part in this great event, prepared by students from SIS and Université de Montréal’s École de bibliothéconomie et sciences de l’information, YOU MUST complete the form on our website (—students.html) before March 11. Students who have not signed up on time won’t be allowed to attend. If you’d like to find out what this Fair is all about, visit Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us: This Fair was planned for you, so please try to make the most of this opportunity!

The Organizing Committee is also looking for volunteers to help out the day before and during the Fair. It is a fantastic occasion to meet employers and fellow students! Your commitment would be limited to a 1:30-2:00 period, so you still can enjoy your career day. Please contact us with your availability (on the 16th at night, the morning of the 17th or during the afternoon on the 17th) and if you are bilingual (English/French).

See you at the Fair!

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.