Program 2020

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

Want a Google Calendar?  Thanks Peter Binkley for making this Google Cal

Want this in Excel?  Here you go! Access 2020 Program

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All times are in Pacific Daylight Time (PDT).

Monday, October 19

Opening remarks | 8:45–9:00 am (PDT)

Keynote | 9:00–10:15 am (PDT)

The (sometimes false) promise of technology in Indigenous language revitalization

Indigenous languages are dying and technology can save them: true or false? Several big projects have emerged that follow this precise rhetoric: language apps, translation guides, VR tours. But what if Indigenous language revitalization is about waking up languages rather than saving them? What role does technology play if we shift how we consider language loss away from extinction, toward a more complex, messy relationship? We’ll discuss a number of language projects using technology tools for reclamation, including a recent project using Blackfoot language in augmented reality wayfinding at Mount Royal University, and consider how people working in these areas choose to embrace and reject technologies.

Break | 10:15–10:30 am (PDT)  — Cookalong / Twitch

Presentations | 10:30 am–12:45 pm (PDT)

What is the right thing to do? Looking at LIS practice through the lens of professional ethics

This presentation aims to spark insights and conversation about the ethics of LIS professional practice. I will discuss eight sites of ethical tension using professional ethics as a framework of analysis, helping conference attendees identify and navigate ethical conflicts found in the everyday work of libraries and information. [10:30–10:50 am]

Emerging technologies in libraries and its ethical implications

  • Dhanushka Samarakoon – University of Miami

Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and data mining can enhance services and provide a better user experience for its patrons. At the same time, there are multiple privacy and ethical concerns with these technologies. The presentation will focus on the privacy and ethical concerns and the role of libraries in it. [10:55–11:15 am]

Web librarians who do UX: We’re sad, so very, very sad

Interview research with UX workers in academic libraries found that web folks are not doing so well compared to other UX workers. This session will present relevant findings in the hopes of encouraging people in similar situations to find ways to improve things. How can we make web jobs better? [11:20–11:40 am]

Logistics: The technologies and people that manage our stuff


  • Jordan Hale – University of Waterloo
  • Max Bowman – Colby College
  • Gillian Byrne – Toronto Public Library
  • Dustin McMurphy – University of Toronto
  • Mike Campbell – University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

While digital technologies have transformed the acquisition and management of library spaces and collections, considerable labour goes into the operational logistics of maintaining these spaces for people and materials. This panel considers the knowledge, work, and perspectives that those in library logistics bring to our work as service providers, and will provide an opportunity for reflection on the complexity of library reopenings during the COVID-19 crisis. [11:45 am–12:45 pm]

Closing remarks | 12:45–1:00 pm (PDT)

Monday social event | 1:15 pm (PDT) — Opening Reception

Tuesday, October 20

Opening remarks | 8:45–8:50 am (PDT)

Lightning talks | 8:50–9:20 am (PDT)

A multiplayer voxel game world as virtual conference space

  • John Durno – University of Victoria [Slides PDF]

This lightning talk will describe the configuration of a 3D multiplayer gaming platform for use as a virtual space for a library technology conference. [8:50–9:00 am]

Web usability testing under quarantine: Using video-conferencing to conduct remote usability testing

  • David Kemper – McMaster University

Web usability testing is an important part of website management. Interviewing library website users, asking them to accomplish web-related tasks while they narrate their actions is a useful method to collect user feedback. But what happens when a pandemic forces students, staff, and faculty alike to socially distance themselves? Can website usability testing still proceed? [9:00–9:10 am]

Modernizing the digital preservation platform

  • William Wueppelmann – Canadian Research Knowledge Network

An overview of the evolution of an early digital access and preservation system from a custom application to an extensible, community-focused platform for preserving, curating and accessing digitized and born digital content. [9:10–9:20 am]

Presentations | 9:20–10:30 am (PDT)

The long view in digital exhibit design and preservation

  • Tiffany Chan – University of Victoria
  • Matt Huculak – University of Victoria
  • Braydon Justice – University of Victoria
  • Samantha MacFarlane – University of Victoria

Using Spotlight and Samvera–and by bringing together librarians from across units, programmers, and staff–we’ve developed a successful system that has allowed University of Victoria Libraries to become an important partner in faculty/student research dissemination and long-term preservation. Our presentation explores ways for other libraries to freely adapt our code & methodologies. [9:20–9:40 am]

Documenting a crisis: Capturing a web archive of a local community’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

  • Erin Wolfe – University of Kansas

In March 2020, University of Kansas Libraries began capturing the local response to the COVID-19 pandemic, using Archive-It to crawl well over 1,000 seed URLs. This presentation will discuss our process, along with custom or open-source tools for web scraping, Twitter harvesting, reporting, visualization, data-mining, and more. [9:45–10:05 am]

Extending Wax: Full-featured IIIF in a static website

  • Peter Binkley – University of Alberta

How to publish rich IIIF presentations of books or scrapbooks using the Wax exhibit framework with extensions, on platforms such as GitHub Pages. The basic Wax model is extended with IIIF-driven annotations, tables of contents, and dynamic story-telling elements making use of the physical elements of the scrapbook pages. [10:10–10:30 am]

Break | 10:30–10:45 am (PDT)

Presentations | 10:45 am–12:25 pm (PDT)

Case studies in Metadata as a Service for multidisciplinary research

The metadata service unit at the University of Calgary Library contributed to the multidisciplinary research projects funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant, Academic Research and University Libraries: Creating a New Model for Collaboration, promoting collaboration between faculty and the library. Six case studies will demonstrate the success and challenges of metadata services and how library staff applied their skills to support these research projects. [10:45–11:05 am]

Extending BIBFRAME for special collections: The Art & Rare Materials BIBFRAME Ontology Extension

  • Robin Elizabeth Desmeules – McGill University

The ARM task force is revising a BIBFRAME extension for special collections materials. This presentation provides a brief history of ARM, including work completed and modelling challenges encountered by the group. It also explores the future role the ARM Ontology could play in the current Canadian landscape for linked data. [11:05–11:20 am]

Collaborative constructions: Linked data and Canadian cultural scholarship


  • Kim Martin – University of Guelph
  • Lisa Goddard – University of Victoria
  • Sharon Farnel – University of Alberta [Video MP4 | Slides PDF]
  • Susan Brown – University of Guelph [Video MP4 | Slides PDF]
  • Dan Scott – Laurentian University [Slides PDF]
  • Stacy Allison-Cassin – York University

This panel will discuss a three-year cyber-infrastructure project involving 50+ librarian, humanities, and technical researchers which aims to mobilize Canadian scholarship using the Semantic Web. This panel will report on the 6-month startup phase, including challenges identified and how we will tackle them. [11:25 am–12:25 pm]

Closing remarks | 12:25–12:30 pm (PDT)

Tuesday social event | Time 12:30pm (PDT) – Trivia

Wednesday, October 21

Opening remarks | 8:45–9:00 am (PDT)

Workshops and hackfest | 9:00 am–12:15 pm (PDT)

See Workshops and Hackfest page for more information. Advance registration is required for workshops.

Wednesday event | Time 1:30pm-2:30pm (PDT) Mentorship meetup

Wednesday social event | Time 3:00pm (PDT) Pub and games night

Thursday, October 22

Opening remarks | 8:45–8:50 am (PDT)

Lightning talks | 8:50–9:20 am (PDT)

A series of unfortunate events: Managing a Library IT meltdown during COVID-19

  • David Kemper – McMaster University

Managing a crisis during normal conditions is challenging. Now, imagine managing a Library IT crisis when the campus is closed, staff are working from home, and all library services have pivoted online due to a pandemic. How do you even begin to tackle such a calamity when everyone and everything is distributed? [8:50–9:00 am]

Best practices in data visualization

  • Thilani Samarakoon – University of Miami [Video MP4]

With the development of modern technologies, we are generating vast amounts of data every day. Libraries are offering data services to meet the needs of the patrons to manage these data. The data services unit at my library provides data management services and conducts workshops related to data cleaning, analysis, and visualization. We offer data visualization workshops in Tableau and R. The focus of these workshops is to provide instructional assistance to design different data visualizations, and help patrons create dashboards to tell their story. At the same time, we focus on discussing best practices in data visualization. We must create visual representations to communicate the relationships between the different dimensions effectively. The creation of a visualization is an art. We provide tips to patrons to avoid complex visualizations. We will focus on presenting correlations between different variables in a data set using visual elements to optimize the clarity. At the end of the presentation, the attendees will understand the best practices in creating plots and avoiding common mistakes while visualizing data. [9:00–9:10 am]

Presentations | 9:20–10:30 am (PDT)

What is a library website, anyway?

  • Amy McLay Paterson – Thompson Rivers University [Slides PDF]

The library website is a crucial platform for research, outreach, and general information. But is there a consensus about what a website includes, what it is used for, and what a good one should look like? This presentation will use data from a 2019 survey to discuss uses and perceptions of the library website from a wide variety of user groups. [9:20–9:40 am]

Making a harvester harvestable: Federating an OAI endpoint directly from Postgres

  • Kelly Stathis – Canadian Association of Research Libraries
  • Alex Garnett – Simon Fraser University

Does your repository want to implement an OAI-PMH server, but not know where to start? This presentation will cover how a discovery service adapted existing code to create a custom OAI-PMH server, allowing the metadata to be discoverable by OpenAIRE. [9:45–10:05 am]

Geodisy: A new way to discover Canadian research data

  • Mark Goodwin – University of British Columbia
  • Paul Dante – University of British Columbia
  • Kelly Stathis – Canadian Association of Research Libraries
  • Eugene Barsky – University of British Columbia
  • [Slides PDF]

With the increasing demand for geographic components in research, there is an opportunity for research data repositories to provide alternatives to text-based discovery. Enter Geodisy, an open-source spatial discovery platform for Canadian open research data. Initially funded by CANARIE and now in partnership with Portage, Geodisy provides a map-based search that is available alongside Canada’s Federated Research Data Repository (FRDR). Data is discoverable based on its location, and users have the ability to preview datasets as overlays on a digital map and access comprehensive metadata. [10:10–10:30 am]

Break | 10:30–10:45 am (PDT)

Presentations | 10:45 am–12:25 pm (PDT)

Open scholarship support models in Canadian academic libraries

  • Élyse Lemay
  • Yoo Young Lee – University of Ottawa
  • Jeanette Hatherill – University of Ottawa

With re-organization and a new strategic plan, the University of Ottawa Library emphasizes the importance of “Open Scholarship.” With the new division of Open Scholarship and Digital Initiatives, we embarked on a study to define what it is in our context and identify how libraries support their community to advance open scholarship. [10:45–11:00 am]

Library projects using Agile or traditional project management: Less stress and more success

Got a big project but aren’t sure how to start (or just started and have stalled out)? Proposing a project and getting it to the finish line are very different. This session will discuss differences between Agile and traditional Project Management and how they can help or hinder your project. We will look at different software tools for handling the planning and day-to-day work. Review how to schedule and figure out timelines. And how to communicate with staff, patrons, or VPs. This is a general overview of Project Management and how you can prepare your library for the next challenge. [11:05–11:20 am]

Collaborative development and publishing of open instructional content with GitHub


  • Jeremy Buhler – University of British Columbia
  • Ekatarina (Eka) Grguric – University of British Columbia
  • Evan Thornberry – University of British Columbia
  • Allan Cho – University of British Columbia

The University of British Columbia Library Research Commons provides introductory workshops on tools and skills employed in digital scholarship. In Winter 2019, the Research Commons collectively started using GitHub to create open and reproducible content for these workshops. This talk is on the development and implementation of our collaborative workflow based in Github. [11:25 am–12:25 pm]

Closing remarks and Hackfest report | 12:25–12:45 pm (PDT)

Thursday social event | Time 12:45pm-1:15pm (PDT) – Yoga

Friday, October 23

Opening remarks | 8:45–8:50 am (PDT)

Presentations | 8:50–10:50 am (PDT)

Enhancing digital preservation with the Oxford Common File Layout

  • David Wilcox – LYRASIS

The Oxford Common File Layout (OFCL) is an application-independent approach to the storage of digital objects in a structured, transparent, and predictable manner. The next major version of Fedora will focus on digital preservation by implementing a new file persistence layer based on the OCFL. This presentation will provide an overview of the OCFL and explain how it will enhance support for digital preservation in Fedora. [8:50–9:10 am]

Selling Infrastructure as a Service to faculty

  • Tim Ribaric – Brock University

Libraries aim to provide tools and platforms to support the research enterprise of the institution. This session will look at how a Docker based IAAS service was branded and marketed to researchers. The real challenge was communicating what could be done with the service in a way that avoided jargon and was accessible to introductory users. [9:15–9:35 am]

The power of choice: A Choose Your Own Conference presentation

  • Ruby Warren – University of Manitoba

A session on the benefits of providing end-user choice in teaching online, whether synchronous or asynchronous. This session will provide examples of how to empower users and students via choice (or the illusion of choice), and explore the potential benefits of doing so. Attendees can expect to come away with an understanding of the benefits of creating user feelings of empowerment, some starter idea germs for their virtual educational breads, and having had a pretty good time. [9:40–10:00 am]

Sharing is caring: Community-led resource sharing from the ground up

  • Brian Lin – The Alberta Library
  • Kristen Wilson – Index Data

Project ReShare is a community owned and built library resource sharing platform currently in development for libraries and library consortia. This presentation will include a demo of the platform as well as brief discussion of the project’s guiding principles and future goals. [10:05–10:25 am]

The Carpentries as driver of communities of practice in large institutions

  • Elizabeth Parke – University of Toronto Mississauga
  • May Chan – University of Toronto

We demonstrate how researchers and librarians from across the University of Toronto proposed, launched, and are now sustaining a network of Carpentries instructors and computational and data science workshops (The Carpentries). The project seeks durable and scalable ways to address the needs of librarians, graduate students, postdocs, and faculty around computational and data science tools. [10:30–10:50 am]

Break | 10:50–11:05 am (PDT)

Dave Binkley Memorial Lecture | 11:05 am–12:20 pm (PDT)

Access for whom? Interrogating open educational practices through a social justice framework

Closing remarks | 12:20–12:30 pm (PDT)