2017 Miniconference

The 2017 NEOS Miniconference will be held on Friday, June 9th, at the Robbins Health Learning Centre, Grant MacEwan University, City Centre Campus. The conference is free for staff of NEOS member libraries.


REGISTRATION NOW CLOSED. Please contact john.huck@ualberta.ca with any enquiries.

Conference Program (includes room numbers)





Keynote Address – “I Need Everything You Have on Harriet Brooks, By Tomorrow” : Chris Chang-Yen Phillips (Edmonton’s Historian Laureate)


Journalists, historians, and researchers often work on tight deadlines without much institutional support. Libraries fill an essential niche in their research process. Chris Chang-Yen Phillips, Edmonton’s Historian Laureate, will share stories of how libraries have supported his work creating the history podcast Let’s Find Out, and writing historical profiles for CBC.ca.


Chris Chang-Yen Phillips is a storyteller and people weaver. He currently serves as Edmonton’s Historian Laureate and the News Coordinator at CJSR 88.5 FM. Chris studied International Development Studies & Environment and Resource Studies at Trent University. He loves learning about science, nature, and history. And his favourite Star Trek series is Deep Space Nine.

Chris Chang-Yen Phillips



Updates on Integrated Library System (ILS) and Task Forces






1A – Speed Networking : 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.


1B –  **NEW**  Unconference Planning Session : 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. The afternoon sessions will be structured to coincide with the planned sessions, with a new discussion topic starting every hour. Attendees do not need to attend this session to participate in the afternoon unconference sessions.


1C – Confused by copyright? You are not alone. We can help. : Amanda Wakaruk (University of Alberta), Scott Day (MacEwan University). Moderator: Obianuju Mollel (Alberta Health Services).


A refresher on copyright basics will be followed by an overview of what library employees should know about the upcoming parliamentary review of the Copyright Act. Time will also be set aside for your vexing questions about licensing, fair dealing, using others’ content, and any other copyright issues that are keeping you up at night (or stressed at the public service desk).


12:00 PM – LUNCH




2A – Reconciliation and Libraries: Continuing the Conversation with a Focus on Metadata : Sharon Farnel, Debbie Feisst, Ian Bigelow, Anne Carr-Wiggin (University of Alberta)


The University of Alberta Libraries has formed a Decolonizing Description Working Group to investigate, define and propose a plan of action for how we can more accurately, appropriately, and respectfully represent Indigenous peoples and contexts through our descriptive metadata practices. This session will provide a brief introduction to the Working Group, give an overview of similar initiatives across Canada and beyond, provide examples of what we’ve found in our existing descriptive metadata, and outline the Group’s recommendations and concrete next steps.


2B – It Takes a Library: Making Evidence-Based Cancellation Decisions Without Losing Your Mind : Alison Pitcher, Sandy Stift (MacEwan University)


Faced with having to cut digital subscriptions by up to a quarter of a million dollars, MacEwan University Library’s Collections Services unit set about creating a method that would allow for evidence-based decisions in a short amount of time. This session will explore the process behind the multi-step, consultation-heavy method that was developed, as well as the ups and downs that occurred along the way.


2C – Finding the Silver Lining among the Google Clouds : Michael Ali, Jason Malenko (MacEwan University)


This presentation will focus on the many strengths of cloud-based collaboration between individuals and groups. We will show you how easy it is to share files using Google Drive and Dropbox, as well as sharing Google and Office 365 documents in order to edit them within a team. Access controls and team-based workflows will also be covered in this real-time exploration of this amazing technology.




3A – Lightning Talk Session A

A1 – APA… Help! Managing Student Expectations of Citation Assistance : Leah Townsend (NorQuest College)

A2 – Student Perceptions of a Flipped Model for Learning APA : Teneil Vuori (Red Deer College)

A3 – “Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover”: An Event Celebrating Black History Month at University of Alberta Libraries : Nicole Loroff (University of Alberta)


A1 – Managing faculty and student expectations of librarian assistance in the Writing Centre, particularly in regards to help with APA citations, references, and formatting.


A2 – This lightning talk will discuss the results of a recent study that looked at the student experience of using a flipped classroom model to learn APA citation style.


A3 – To celebrate and promote Black History Month, University of Alberta Libraries held “Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover,” a system-wide event that showcased and facilitated the borrowing of over 250 books either by black writers or about significant people, historical events, and movements. Ultimately, the event garnered significant attention and response from the entire campus community.


3B – Lightning Talk Session B

B1 – Beetles, Birds, and Bones: Science Literacy Week at University of Alberta Libraries : Andrea Quaiattini, Christina Hwang (University of Alberta)

B2 – Red Deer College’s Research Common : Michelle Edwards Thomson (Red Deer College)

B3 – “Camera, Laptops and Cables Oh My” : Bernard Offengenden, Doris Wagner (University of Alberta)


B1 – Learn about Science Literacy Week 2016 at University of Alberta Libraries, as well and tips and tricks for hosting your own successful SLW events.


B2 – The new Red Deer College Research Common is a place where faculty, staff, students, and the community can connect with areas at RDC that offer assistance with research and scholarly activities. This presentation will provide an overview of the service and discuss successes and lessons learned from our pilot year, as well as the next steps.


B3 – The equipment lending program is a big success on the University of Alberta campuses along with some headache for the library staff.


3C – Lightning Talk Session C

C1 – NEOS Shared Acquisitions Pilot – Progress Report : Susan Jones (MacEwan University)

C2 – meeScan, You Scan – Piloting a Smart Phone App For Circulation : Natalya Brettle (University of Alberta)

C3 – Calculating the Value of NEOS : Gary Weber (Alberta Government Library)


C1 – Three NEOS libraries (NorQuest College, Lakeland College, and Red Deer College) piloted the ProQuest OASIS selection web tool, with a concurrent implementation of batch acquisitions and cataloguing processes in the Symphony integrated library system. MacEwan University provided a lead role for the pilot and will report on pilot progress to date.


C2 – The meeScan app is a smartphone app that allows library users to check out books directly from their device. This is a report on results of the pilot at the University of Alberta’s Rutherford library.


C3 – We all know NEOS is a great consortium. But how do we prove this to others? This lightning session will present the work of the Return on Investment Task Force and the tool it has developed to help summarize the value of NEOS in one (or two) simple numbers.




4A – Preparing to Link Our Data: A NEOS Linked Data Update : Ian Bigelow, Sharon Farnel (University of Alberta)


With the hope of building an awareness of what linked data is and providing NEOS members with an overview of related planned and ongoing projects, this session will review recent development in linked data, current work of the Canadian Linked Data Initiative, plans and projects at the University of Alberta Libraries, and potential implications for NEOS. Any large scale change benefits from early planning and we hope this session will provide a forum to build awareness and discussion about other projects across NEOS.


4B – Tapping into Institutional Expertise: A Customized Professional Development Program for the Teaching Library : Kim Frail, Trish Rosseel, Carla Peck (University of Alberta)


This session will outline a collaboration between University of Alberta Libraries (UAL) and the UofA’s Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) to develop a needs-based professional development program for staff members with teaching responsibilities.  Participants will engage in some of the active learning techniques modeled in the program and learn about professional development needs and goals to support teaching and learning at other NEOS institutions.


4C – BLUEcloud Analytics – What Can It Do For You? : Elaine Coupland, Peggy Morgan (University of Alberta)


BLUEcloud Analytics (BCA) is a new product that increases the breadth and ease with which users will be able to get information from Symphony data and activities. This session will showcase a sampling of reports that introduce the scope of BCA. Run reports for statistics, collection information and maintenance purposes.


3:45 PM – FINISH



Maps and information about MacEwan City Centre Campus

Robbins Health Learning Centre

Parking at City Centre Campus



For out of towners who want to stay affordably, there are hotel rooms for $99-109 and residence accommodation – bachelor suites for $79, two-bedroom suites for $109 and four bedroom suites for $239. More information here.



For more information, please contact a member of the NEOS Continuing Education Committee.