NEOS Miniconference

NEOS library staff gathered at MacEwan University for the annual Miniconference. Minister Faust (Malcolm Azania) was the plenary speaker, on Africentric science fiction and fantasy. There were lots of topical sessions, lightning talks and an unconference. There were also preconferences that included sessions on social media, Blacklight, as well as a Cataloguathon and tours of the new RCRF facility.


NEOS “unconference” discussion.

RCRF update

The mammoth task of moving the University of Alberta Libraries’ collections from the Book and Record Depository (BARD) to the new Research and Collections Resource Facility (RCRF) is underway. As the conduit  through which a huge portion of items from libraries across Alberta are transferred, this move has inspired a number of questions from staff across the consortia.

What is the RCRF?
The RCRF is a state-of-the-art storage facility where UAlberta’s Archives and the collections, previously held at BARD, will call home. It has been approved for Heritage Canada’s Movable Cultural Property designation –  the highest international standard for cultural preservation. UAlberta Archives relocated there in late 2017, and is now accepting appointment requests from researchers wishing to view archival materials.

Where is the RCRF?
The RCRF is conveniently located on South Campus, a short walk from the South Campus/Fort Edmonton Park LRT station. Here is a map to orient you.

Why is the collection at BARD moving?
Quite frankly, BARD is at capacity. The RCRF is larger and can support the growth of UAlberta’s collection in the coming years.

What services will be available at the RCRF?
The RCRF’s primary function is to be a storage and preservation space. Users who wish to borrow circulating items stored at the RCRF will have to place holds on them through the online catalogue, and have them sent to the NEOS library of their choice.

Access to materials housed in archives and special collections can be facilitated through appointment only. Researchers can make appointments to view archival material at the RCRF by emailing

How will the move affect NEOS libraries?
There may be a delay in receiving items stored at BARD, as there will always be some portion of the collection in transition to the new facility. Items that are waiting to be moved from BARD will circulate, as will items that have been moved and ingested into the RCRF. To help ensure users get their item in a timely manner, requests for items available at another NEOS library, in addition to at BARD, will be filled by the non-BARD item whenever possible.

What’s happening with NEOS Connect?
Until further notice, activities associated with NEOS Connect will continue at BARD. Affected libraries will be given ample notice before it moves to the RCRF.

NEOS Connect… What’s that?
NEOS Connect is the service where items from various libraries are received, sorted and sent on to fill holds across the NEOS system or back to their home libraries when no longer needed. It has traditionally been located at BARD and will eventually move to the RCRF.

Where should courier deliveries be directed?
For now, keep sending deliveries to BARD. Approximately two weeks before the RCRF becomes the new destination, CJ de Jong will send out an email to notify affected libraries of this change.

How do I find out more information?
You can contact Anne Carr-Wiggin at!

GPRC Fairview Campus Library’s special staff member

You might have known our library as Fairview College Library in early 2000; then in 2004 we merged with NAIT and left NEOS but in 2009 we came back as GPRC Fairview Campus Library! The institutional name may have changed but we still have the same unique subject areas in our collection. Fairview Campus primarily offers trades and apprenticeship programs, Animal Health and Power Engineering. 

Over the years we have changed our ‘library spaces’ to include study pods, a quiet study area and a large open area where group studying is encouraged and have decreased the space required for our book shelves.

What has not changed is our special staff member, NEOS the cat. He came to us in 2003 as a stray and has been with us ever since. Students and staff are always dropping in to see him. The first question we get from returning apprentices is ‘Where is NEOS?”.   Even if you cannot visit him in person, you can become NEOS’s friend on FaceBook – he has his own page Neos the GPRC Fairview Library Cat!

NEOS was an abandoned kitten that was rescued by the Animal Health Program staff. AT the same time, the Library staff had been contemplating getting a cat as the College Library is located by the farm and mice would occasionally come in, so the library adopted him.  He is an important member of the library team with his own job as mouse control officer and stress relief provider. His personality suits a library – he is not a highly active cat and sleeps lots. He also senses when patrons are not interested in him so he is not a nuisance but will come running to greet his favourite people. Many of our students are away from home and miss their pets, so they come to see him regularly. During exam time we can usually find him curled up on someone’s lap or beside them while they are studying.

NEOS lives in the library 24/7, he can go outside if he pleases but refuses to go out during the winter months. He has been with the library over 14 years. 

He gets many ‘perks’ being a library cat:

  • Lots of indoor roaming room
  • Free library membership
  • Free medical care from our Animal Health Technician Program
  • Meet new people
  • Read all the books he wants