2018 NEOS Miniconference

General Information

The 2018 NEOS Miniconference was held on Friday, June 8th in the Robbins Health Learning Centre at MacEwan University. Preconference events were held on Thursday, June 7th in various locations at the University of Alberta.

The Miniconference is organized annually by the NEOS Continuing Education Committee. All events are free for staff from NEOS member libraries to attend.

Miniconference Program

Keynote Speaker

Minister Faust – Age of Wakanda: Why Africentric SFF Matters

Author Minister Faust explores why Africentric Science Fiction & Fantasy matters so much today and to whom. Citing key examples and historical context, he will offer ideas for presenting it to new audiences, whether during African History Month or at other times, as well as suggestions for collaborating with community organizations and relevant artists, such as the Black Speculative Arts Movement.

Minister Faust is an accomplished author across many mediums. A novelist, journalist, blogger, sketch comedy writer, video game writer, playwright, and poet, he first achieved literary accolades for his debut novel, The Coyote Kings of the Space-Age Bachelor Pad, which was shortlisted for the Locus Best First Novel, Philip K. Dick, and Compton-Crook awareds. He has worked with game developer Bioware, sketch comedy group Gordon’s Big Bald Head, and written for various publications and programs, including Alberta Views, The Globe & Mail, and CBC’s Outfront and Definitely Not the Opera. Between 1991 and 2012, he hosted and produced Africentric Radio, Canada’s longest-running, global African news, and public affairs programme, and he was Writer in Residence at the University of Alberta during the twenty-fourteen, twenty-fifteen academic year. Look for more information about his work on his website.

NEOS Updates

NEOS Update – Kristine Plastow (NorQuest) and Eve Poirier (Red Deer College), NEOS Executive Co-Chairs

NEOS ILS Update – Sandra Shores (University of Alberta)

Breakout Sessions

1A1 – BLUEcloud Analytics: Where Are We? Where Are We Going? – Elaine Coupland and Peggy Morgan (University of Alberta)

A brief history of the BLUEcloud Analytics implementation and launch. Choices made along the way and where the next year will take us. Questions and feedback welcome.

1A2 – Moving On from iLink: Introducing NEOS Blacklight – Dana Ouellette (Concordia University of Edmonton) and Sam Popowich (University of Alberta)

Join members of the NEOS ILS Interface Working Group for an introduction to NEOS Blacklight, as well as an exploration of the rational behind Blacklight, the working group’s process, timelines and next steps.

2A – Privacy Audit at University of Alberta Libraries – Kenton Good and Sarah Snihurowych (University of Alberta)

In the Winter of 2018 University of Alberta Libraries conducted a privacy audit of all web based applications and services hosted at the library. This session will discuss our findings and recommendations for implementing improved privacy practice within our operation. Come see if doing a similar privacy audit is right for your library.

2B – Electronic Serials Management at the University of Alberta – Carol Ma (EPL) and Abigail Sparling (University of Alberta)

An overview of the tools and processes involved in cataloguing and managing electronic serials at the University of Alberta. This includes a brief outline of serials cataloguing, collaborating with the Collections Strategies Unit and Information Technologies Services, and managing the SFX KnowledgeBase.

3A – Virtual Reality, the Library, and the Campus – Darel Bennedbaek, Julie Thompson, John McDowell, Tim Buttler, John Hoyt, Wilmer Tenerife, and Cyndi Berrio (Burman University)

See also: https://prezi.com/view/VHcFohFkwq2xe4nKgwJJ/

Using the HTC Vive and various programs from Steam, Burman faculty from the Library, English, Art, and Education are conducting some small pilot projects to see how VR may be implemented on a small campus and how students might react to that implementation, especially within class. This interdisciplinary research will also investigate the potential of yet another avenue for collaboration between departments and the library.

3B – Achieving Success: Project Management in a Library Setting – Kyle Ouellette and Christina Hwang (University of Alberta)

This session will share how project management methodologies were applied to move UAL’s circulating multi-site RCRF collection ahead of schedule and under budget; organize a popular Science Literacy Week event beyond one library; and restructure committees to engage the full team, improve processes and increase efficiency.

4A – Ebooks: The Questions and the Answers – Michael Betmanis and Amanda Nagyl (University of Alberta)

The UA Ebook Team will host an informal but informative Q&A session regarding the ebook work they do for NEOS. Questions may be submitted to the team ahead of time, for a more structured approach, or asked of the presenters at the session, for a more open free-flowing discussion.

Lightning Talks

2C1 – Back to the Future: A New(ish) Model of “Shared Learning” in the Reference Interview – Jane C. Duffy (MacEwan University)

Based on re-considered wisdom from “so last century” philosophers, this 10 minute lightning talk will consider some new ways to frame the reference interview model. A sample checklist, a short bibliography, and a road-map that any library professional can use for “shared learning” reference outcomes will be provided.

2C2 – Extending Library Services to Donald School of Business – Myra Skaronski and Barb Mahoney (Red Deer College)

Extending library services to RDC Donald School of Business Campus. This opt-in service allows anyone wanting a book or other physical library resource from the main campus LIC to place a hold and have it delivered to the DSB.

2C3 – App of the Month at Alberta Health Services’ Knowledge Resource Service – Rachel Zhao and Marcus Vaska (Alberta Health Services)

App of the Month is a program designed to raise awareness of free medical apps available to healthcare professionals.

3C1 – Becoming an Authority on Names – Brian Stearns (University of Alberta)

University of Alberta has been participating in the Name Authority Cooperative Program for two years, creating authority records that represent locally relevant entities. Learn about some of the work we’ve done and whether you can participate!

3C2 – RDA 3R: Standards in Transition – Ian Bigelow (University of Alberta)

This session will provide a general overview of upcoming changes associated with the RDA 3R project and the implications for NEOS. Areas for discussion will include updates based on the shift from FRBR to the IFLA LRM, updates to accommodate linked data environments and a redesigned RDA Toolkit interface.

3C3 – bf: Two-Ways: Comparing MARC to BIBFRAME Conversions – Ian Bigelow, Danoosh Davoodi, Sharon Farnel, and Abigail Sparling (University of Alberta)

In 2017 the University of Alberta Libraries participated in two MARC to BIBFRAME transformation initiatives. In this session we will provide a brief overview of the two initiatives, explore next steps and reflect on potential impact for NEOS.

4C1 – Process Mapping in a Library Context – Shelby Pomeranz (Red Deer College)

Overview of how Process Mapping has assisted our team in reaching a shared understanding of the work being done, identifying inefficiencies, and implementing process improvements.

4C2 – Why You Should Care About and Contribute to the Review of Canada’s Copyright Act – Amanda Wakaruk (University of Alberta)

Librarians and library staff are uniquely positioned to observe how copyright benefits both authors and the public good through the use of these works in libraries. This session will explore ways NEOS members can contribute to the ongoing Parliamentary review of the Copyright Act.

4C3 – Picture This! – Doris Wagner (University of Alberta)

You’ve probably heard of Google Images. But have you heard of these: Pixabay, Creative Commons Search, Wikimedia Commons? Explore some Creative Commons image resources.


1B – Unconference Planning – Facilitated by Brian Stearns (University of Alberta)

This session will be used to plan the unconference sessions that will be occurring in the afternoon concurrently with the programmed sessions. Unconference sessions are participant-driven and reflect the desires of the group in attendance. Participants in this session will discuss what types of discussions they would like to have in the afternoon sessions. The afternoon sessions are scheduled to coincide with the planned sessions, with a new discussion topic in each session. Attendees do not need to attend this session to participate in the afternoon unconference sessions.

2D – Unconfererence Session 1 – When Libraries Fail

Effects of Colonialism, Representation, Library Neutrality, Fake News/Fact Checking, Privacy.

3D – Unconfererence Session 2 – Do Librarians Dream of Electric Books: Libraries of the Future

Pop Culture and Collecting Nontraditional Stuff, Library Tech Roles/Union Roles Evolution, Data Visualization, Information Literacy, Currency of Print Collections vs Ebooks, Fake News/Fact Checking.

4D – Unconfererence Session 3 – Pain of the Library: Dealing With People

Harassment/Difficult People, Direct Users vs Indirect Users, Patrons vs Staff, Fake News/Fact Checking.

Speed Networking

1C – Speed Networking – Facilitated by John Huck (University of Alberta)

Speed networking is a structured form of networking that allows participants to meet and have brief one-on-one conversations with many people in a short span of time (about ten to twelve people in an hour). The goal is to meet new people and discover shared connections or common interests. This session will be an opportunity for individual NEOS staff to develop their professional contacts within NEOS, share their personal experiences working in NEOS and hear about the experiences of others. The open-ended format, guided by a facilitator, allows conversations to follow any topic of mutual interest. No preparation is required, but session attendees should bring a dozen or more business cards or prepared slips with their contact information.

Information About the Venue


Catalogathon – Facilitated by Brian Stearns (University of Alberta)

The purpose of this full-day event will be to allow staff who catalogue to bring items that are unusual–either because of the format or because they do not encounter such material often–and work together to improve their cataloguing skills. The format will be informal, with peers helping by sharing their own knowledge and skills.

Social Media Best Practices for Libraries – Meredith Bratland (University of Alberta) and Anne Marie Watson (Red Deer College)

The use of social media by libraries is now fairly ubiquitous … but are libraries really tapping into its full potential? Join Meredith and Anne Marie to learn about:

  • the state of social media in Canada (does the younger generation even use Facebook? do we have to get Snapchat?)
  • developing a social media plan and goals (why you need it and how to develop it)
  • managing multiple social media platforms (tips for teams and solo practitioners)
  • creating great content and images

We’ll also have time to delve into your library’s social media needs, so bring your questions and your curiosity and we’ll explore together.

An Introduction to NEOS Blacklight – Dana Ouellette (Concordia University College) and Sam Popowich (University of Alberta)

As part of the NEOS Strategic Agenda, the ILS Interface Working Group has been busy developing a new user interface for the NEOS catalogue with aims to improve our users’ experience.  During Spring/Summer 2018, NEOS Blacklight will be available for beta testing by NEOS members, but we’d love for you to join us during this session to learn more about the update. This session will be an opportunity for you to see the NEOS Blacklight interface in action, hear about some of the improvements, as well as for you to test it out yourself. The Working Group will also be available to answer your questions.

Tour of the Research and Collections Resource Facility (RCRF) – CJ de Jong, James Franks, and Peggy Sue Ewanyshyn (University of Alberta)

Welcome to the Research and Collections Resource Facility, home to University of Alberta Archives, more than three million library materials, NEOS Connect, and a future digitization centre. Come see the beautiful Reading Room and services for researchers, the behind-the-scenes of Archival Processing, and how we keep our Archival media at cold temperatures. Check out the mind-boggling 30 feet stacks where we shelve our books by size (yes, that’s right!), learn what it takes to go up our pickers, and explore our ingest system. Throughout the tour you will meet the fantastic people that work at RCRF and receive some insight on what a day at RCRF looks like.