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Monday, Sept. 30 | Tuesday, Oct. 1 | Wednesday, Oct. 2

For more details about the evening events please see the Social Events page.

Monday, September 30

Quartz Ballroom, Matrix Hotel

8:15 – 9:00 Breakfast and Registration
9:00 – 9:15 Housekeeping and Opening Remarks
9:15 – 10:30

Opening Keynote

What we don’t know about what we can’t see: Information and hidden infrastructure

Eira Tansey

Hidden infrastructure fuels our world, and it is sustained by information and technology shaped by political power. In the current controversy over an aging pipeline in the Great Lakes built decades ago as part of Canada’s transnational oil economy, the information associated with hidden infrastructure has influenced arguments against the continued investment in fossil fuels. Information about infrastructure is often difficult to access, despite its significant implications for public safety and environmental concerns. Library workers can make unique contributions to improving information about infrastructure around us, but only if we understand its urgent challenges.

10:30 – 11:00 Break
11:00 – 12:00

Library publishing technology services at scale

Kaitlin Newson – Scholars Portal

Scholars Portal provides hosting services for open-source publishing software to university libraries across Ontario. In this session, I’ll discuss the challenges of scaling library technology services for multiple institutions, code and customization management, and practical ideas for contributing back to the publishing software community regardless of technical expertise.

Accessible Web Archives

Samantha Fritz – University of Waterloo

The Archives Unleashed Project has created tools for librarians, archivists, researchers, and scholars to discover, explore, and analyze web archives. The Project is used as a case study to examine how interdisciplinary teams can thoughtfully integrate concepts of access and usability throughout project development cycles.

Costanza: A user-friendly, open source tool for EZproxy configuration management

Darryl Friesen – University of Saskatchewan

Costanza is an open source, web-based EZproxy configuration management system that manages complete stanzas rather than individual directives.  Featuring a user-friendly interface and integration with a repository of user-contributed and OCLC stanzas, it simplifies common, repetitive tasks, making it possible to transfer EZproxy management from IT to electronic resources staff.

12:00 – 1:00 Lunch
1:00 – 1:30

Lightning talks

Metadata for Research Data Management

Gail M. Thornton – University of Alberta
Sharon Farnel – University of Alberta Libraries

Metadata is fundamental to research data management (RDM). Outreach to researchers requiring metadata services was facilitated by creation of a Metadata for RDM one-pager which distills why the researchers might need metadata, what is metadata and how the Metadata Team could help. The one-pager was used in RDM Therapy Sessions.

When I grow up, I want to be a Linked Data librarian – what you should learn first

Marta Michas – MacEwan University
Mariana Paredes-Olea – University of Alberta Libraries
Danoosh Davoodi – University of Alberta Libraries
Sharon Farnel – University of Alberta Libraries

Early-career librarians interested in linked data face a high entry barrier because they often lack necessary skills. While there are many learning resources online, it is hard to decide where to start. We hope our analysis of entry level librarian job postings will help new librarians prioritize LD learning activities.

Theses harvesting at Library and Archives Canada

Arlene Whetter – Library and Archives Canada

New tools and workflows at the Theses Canada program at Library and Archives Canada have enabled us to restart thesis harvesting after three years of inactivity. This lightning talk will introduce the new systems and the process used to harvest theses metadata and files from Canadian university repositories.

1:30 – 2:30

Explainable AI (XAI)

Michael Ridley – University of Guelph

Explainable AI (XAI) is a set of techniques and strategies to address the complexity and opacity of machine learning (ML) which can lead to predictions that promulgate bias, discrimination, and unfairness. The prevalence of ML-based library tools and resources underscores the importance of appropriately and effectively utilizing XAI.

NLP Assistant: Computational text analysis as a helper for manual metadata creation

Erin Wolfe – University of Kansas

Stemming from the Black Book Interactive Project at the University of Kansas, this presentation focuses on the development of computational text analysis processes using open source tools. Designed to help gather metadata from literary works, these include text mining, natural language processing (NLP), subject extraction with word sense disambiguation, targeted genre identification, and more.

You don’t have to be a digital humanist to teach DH

Annelise Marie Dowd and Grant Potter – University of Northern British Columbia

With limited institutional digital humanities infrastructure, how can librarians with an interest in the digital humanities leverage their tech skills and bring DH pedagogy to students? This presentation will highlight the collaboration between an instructional technologist and a librarian in developing an introductory digital humanities course at a small institution.

2:30 – 3:00 Break
3:00 – 4:00

BIBFRAME Implementation in Canada: The Canadian Cohort of LD4P and Share VDE

Ian Bigelow and Abigail Sparling, University of Alberta
Michele Casalini – Casalini Libri

Canadian efforts are underway to prepare for BIBFRAME and the University of Alberta Libraries (UAL) is taking steps toward the complete conversion to linked data. This presentation will focus on work related to BIBFRAME implementation, sharing the experience at UAL and international efforts through the lense of UAL’s partner projects Share VDE and LD4P.

4:00 – 4:30

Responsive Workflow

Martina King and Dave Pearson – MacEwan University

Learn from our experience launching a mediated 3D printing service quickly, with minimal space, and no prior 3D printing experience. We’ll share how our custom print queue management system and workflow has evolved to meet campus demand and offer a self-serve option.

4:30 – 4:45 Closing remarks
5:00 – 9:30

Opening Reception @ The Common, 5pm-7pm

High Level Bridge Streetcar, 6pm-8pm

Trivia Night @ The Common, 7pm-9:30pm

Tuesday, October 1

Quartz Ballroom, Matrix Hotel

8:15 – 9:00 Breakfast
9:00 – 9:15 Opening Remarks
9:15 – 10:15

From boxes to AtoM to Wikidata

Ekatarina Grguric – McGill University
Frédéric Giuliano – McGill University
Anna Dysert
Rachel Black

From March 2018 to March 2019, three departments at the McGill University Library collaborated on a project funded by a Young Canada Works grant to describe and make available a collection of archival fonds and explore ways of incorporating contribution to Wikidata in the process.

Enabling Access to the Federal Writers’ Project Slave Narratives: A Case Study of Intersectionality in Digital Archive Design

Cate Peter – University of Alberta

This case study examines how to design an interactive online database for the FWP Slave Narratives that is rooted in the theoretical frameworks of intersectionality, critical race theory, and information ethics. The theoretical frameworks help us to know what we should do, while technical expertise allow us to think through what we can do in order to frame and mediate this information.

Whats on the Hard Drive? The beginnings of a Born-Digital Audiovisual Archive Project at a Small Academic Institution

Lelland Reed – NSCAD University Library

Examples of practice surrounding born-digital audiovisual archives in academic institutions can be difficult to find. This presentation provides a look into a small art and design library’s experience taking on a project to collect born-digital audiovisual materials from different areas on campus: Challenges encountered, mistakes made, solutions employed, and directions moving forward.

10:15 – 10:45 Break
10:45 – 11:45

Using Wax for Digital Exhibits

Dale Storie – University of Regina

In 2018, our university library dove into minimal computing and IIIF by building a simple digital exhibit using Wax (  This presentation will describe our implementation process and what we learned, and discuss how minimal computing could be used effectively in IT-constrained environments.

A full stack tool for preparing Library data for Linked Open Data application

Danoosh Davoodi – University of Alberta

This is a short Demo of University of Alberta Libraries’ Linked Data Enrichment tool. An open source application that would help smaller institutions to convert their data From MARC to BIBFRAME and enrich the data with URIs in the process.

From website redesign to design thinking – Putting our users first without putting ourselves last

David Kemper – McMaster University

A library website redesign can be an intensely complex and encompassing problem. But does it have to be? How might we change our practices to meet user needs without overburdening the organization?

11:45 – 12:15

Lightning talks

Strategies Against Architecture

John Fink – McMaster University

How can libraries provide service in the event of community or city wide ongoing service disruption? In this lightning talk, we’ll look at strategies for communication, drawing inspiration from unlikely sources like preppers, mesh-networking enthusiasts, and ham radio wonks.

Tracking local accessibility issues leads to universal solutions

David Fiander – University of Western Ontario
Monica Fazekas – University of Western Ontario

By starting to track reports of accessibility issues and how they were resolved, we were able to develop system-wide procedures for prioritizing and dealing with the problems that were identified.

Quick tips for sustaining a software documentation initiative

Kaitlin Newson – Scholars Portal

The Public Knowledge Project Documentation Interest Group (DIG) hosts bi-weekly sprints to work on documentation for open-source scholarly publishing software used across libraries internationally. In this presentation I’ll talk about our processes, what we’ve learned as we’ve built out our documentation, and ideas for forming and sustaining a successful documentation initiative alongside a changing codebase.

12:15 – 1:30 Lunch
1:30 – 2:00

Lightning talks

Riding the Laggard’s Edge to Glory

Martina King – MacEwan University

A tour of the significant advantages to late adoption of maker technology when you have the help of a fantastic community of practice.

Minimal computing + Libraries

Sarah Severson – University of Alberta 

This presentation will look at how various libraries are engaging with minimal computing practices and look at various projects for inspiration.

Implementing virtual reality in an academic library without dedicated space

Christie Hurrell – University of Calgary
Jed Baker – University of Calgary

Many academic libraries are working to incorporate virtual reality technologies into their physical spaces, but this can prove challenging if there is no dedicated space available for a room-scale VR setup. This talk will cover how one library team approached the task.

2:00 – 3:00

Optical Mechanics: The Ocularcentric Implications of Digital Collections

Megan Allyn Oliver – University of South Carolina

Whether creating collections for research or teaching with collections in libraries, museums, or information science classes, ocularcentricity has undisputedly become the principal method of interaction with digital collections. What are the accessibility implications of this bias?  We’ll explore these metatheoretical concepts through the lens of our own digital collections practice.

Stop Serving Customers (Up on a Platter)

J. Jack Unrau – Strathcona County Library

At Strathcona County Library we’ve tried to broaden our approach to find room for discussing politics and ethics within our tech programs. In this presentation we’ll talk about how we try to help the public grapple with the meaning behind their digital tools while they’re struggling with their settings.

History of the Access Conference

Peter Binkley – University of Alberta 

The history of Access, considered from three points of view: themes and concerns discussed at Access over the years, the development of the Access community, and the digital traces left by Access conferences.

3:00 – 3:30 Break
3:30 – 4:45

Dave Binkley Lecture

How the library and archives uncovers Alberta’s legacy of discrimination

Bashir Mohamed

Did you know Alberta had at least three civil rights cases related to Black Albertans? This fact directly contradicts myths that Alberta was immune to the same segregation and discrimination that occurred in the United States. This talk will cover these cases and how the library and archives can be effective in showcasing these stories.

4:45 – 5:00 Closing remarks
6:00 Dine-Arounds

Wednesday, October 2

See the Workshops and Hackfest page.