Tag Archives: CLA 2010

CLA 2010: Slides from the Social Catalogues as Social Spaces Session: PART II

On June 6th, I posted the slides from the presentation given by me and Louise (Spiteri). At that time, I didn’t have the presentations from our co-presenters to post. For background, our session was presented with three colleagues from Edmonton Public Library – Michael Dell, Peter Schoenberg and Martina King. I’d like to thank them for giving me permission to post them here.

While Michael provided an excellent overview of what social catalogues are, a handful of examples and comparisons, Peter and Martina spoke about Edmonton Public Library’s implementation of the Canadian product BiblioCommons.

These presentations were excellent and really rounded out the session to provide the attendees with a complete overview of what social catalogues are, why research is needed to determine their use and importance, and a “real-life” example of a social catalogue in use. Of course, that’s just my opinion as a co-presenter, but I really enjoyed myself.

For me, however, one of the rewarding parts of this session was meeting Michael, Peter and Martina. I have been speaking with them over the phone for months, and exchanging emails, but it was really nice to meet these energetic and forward-thinking professionals.
So, for those of you interested in seeing the slides for the presentations given by the EPL folks, here they are!

What is a social catalogue? presented by Michael Dell, Edmonton Public Library

Library Catalogues as Social Spaces, a shift in the public library catalogue and its function in libraries, presented by Peter Schoenberg and Martina King, Edmonton Public Library

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Filed under Conferences, Discovery tool platforms, Social catalogue, The Library Catalogue

CLA 2010: Work-Life Balance

One of the last sessions I attended at CLA was part of the continuing series “Walking the walk, talking the talk”. In part III of this ongoing annual session, the speakers focussed on conceptions of work-life balance.

Being known as someone who (ahem…) often takes work home and continues to work on additional professional projects during evenings and weekends, I decided this session could be useful.

Three questions were addressed and brought forward for discussion in this presentation:

Q1. How can we define work-life balance? Is it important to agree on a definition?

Q2. There’s much talk of a “generation gap” among information professionals. How does this related to work-life balance?

Q3. What practical strategies should newer professionals consider in pursuit of work-life balance?

The session consisted of three panellists; all three are highly respected, experienced library professionals who have been in the field for quite some time. It did surprise me that the majority of professionals who attended the session were recent graduates and newcomers in the profession. To me, the issue of striking a work-life balance didn’t come at the very becoming of my career, but several years into it. It’s easy to make resolutions and set goals in the early years. You have less life commitments, endless amounts of excitement and energy, and overall, less responsibility (yes, I’m generalizing here). However, it is the professional who has been working for several years, through their mid-career development that requires the skills and the tools for striking a work-life balance. In some cases, it is during those years that we need to hear that it is okay to strike that balance, to let ourselves go on vacation without bringing our work with us, or to let ourselves leave work on time because it’s a beautiful evening and you want to spend it outside or with your family.

While the panellists provided some interesting anecdotes as well as some ideas into exploring these questions, I was disappointed that there were no mid-career professionals on the panel. For example, professionals who are currently facing the challenges of finding a work-life balance, and addressing the types of considerations, skills and lessons learned that are helping them cope with the demands of being a professional, as well as being an individual “with a life”.

One of the issues that was not addressed is how to balance your full-time professional position with additional professional commitments (writing articles, book reviewing, volunteering in our professional associations) as well as day-to-day family commitments and responsibilities. Many libraries encourage their professionals to volunteer and participate in additional projects, but they do not want this work done on company time. It is then that the professional needs to develop a sense of boundaries and balance that allows for active participation in the profession while still having time for hobbies, friends and family. While much of the work-life balance that needs to be found is an individual pursuit, there are skills and techniques that can be taught to assist in finding that balance.

However, with all of that said, I did find the session helpful, if for no other reason than being provided with questions that I need to ask myself. What is the right work-life balance for me? What does that mean and how am I going to continue to achieve a level of happiness and satisfaction in my professional and personal life? Just having time to reflect on this, while at a conference where excitement is high and ideas are flowing, was helpful and made attending worthwhile.


Filed under Conferences, Our Profession, The Cataloguer

CLA 2010: Slides from the Social Catalogues as Social Spaces Session

Having just arrived home this morning after taking the red-eye in from Edmonton, I’m looking forward to a good night’s sleep tonight. And, fighting off what seems to be a cold of some sort.

However, I did want to take the time to post my slides from the presentation which Louise and I gave on our research. I think the session went well, considering we were opposite a “Hot Topic” session, where one of the Panelists was Stephen Abrams. We could certainly hear them through the walls having a good time! Even so, our room was filled and, given the session was at 8:30, the attendees looked interested and asked a lot of follow-up questions.

There’s some great work being done in Canada right now, and lots of excitement and opportunities arising out of the energy and creativity in our libraries. Once I’ve had a chance to look back through my notes, I’ll be sharing some of the themes and interesting ideas that I observed.

View more presentations from
Laurel Tarulli.


Filed under Conferences, Discovery tool platforms, Social catalogue, The Library Catalogue

CLA 2010

The Canadian Library Association Conference is taking place this week in Edmonton, Alberta.

I’m looking forward to attending the conference and presenting a session with Dr. Louise Spiteri (Dalhousie), and colleagues from Edmonton Public Library, Peter Schoenberg, Michael Dell and Martina King. Our session called (D-27) Library Catalogues as Social Spaces: A Shift in the Perception of the Public Library Catalogue and its Function in Libraries. is Friday morning at 8:30.

While I won’t be going into too much detail about my own writings and ideas on this topic, I will be presenting on why Louise and I began our writing, presenting and researching partnership, the value in working together and, overall, the foundation with which we’ve built our theories and research. Louise will then present on our OCLC/ALISE funded research. While I’ll only be able to talk on this very briefly, I hope that those of you who can attend will ask questions, or come up afterward to talk with me and introduce yourselves.

I’ll also be wandering about and attending numerous sessions throughout the rest of the conference. When in doubt, you’ll find me in sessions that deal with keywords such as metadata, social, collaborative, technology, community, Readers’ Advisory services, open source and discovery.

And, of course, I’ll be blogging as time allows. So, for those of you unable to attend a session, or were unable to make it to the conference, you can catch up on some of the main themes of the conference here! And, if you attended the same sessions that I write about, I always welcome opinions and different perspectives!

So, on to Edmonton we go.


Filed under Conferences, Discovery tool platforms, Social catalogue, The Library Catalogue