Now showing items 1-20 of 51

    • “I’m comfortable with it”: User stories of health information on Wikipedia

      Smith, Denise A. (First Monday, 2023-08-12)
      Applying a critical-constructivist approach, 21 semi-structured interviews conducted from June to October 2021 were analyzed thematically. Qualitative analysis suggests that users reported that Wikipedia’s health content can facilitate personal agency, is familiar and convenient to access, and that individuals’ trust in Wikipedia is contextual, conditional, and framed by their personal experiences.
    • Scaffolded, embedded required: information literacy education in undergraduate health sciences

      Smith, Denise A.; Sanger, Stephanie (University of Alberta, 2023-08-01)
      Background: The Health Sciences Library and the Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) Program (BHSc) at McMaster University worked together to build a multi-year information literacy (IL) curriculum embedded within the program under a suite of courses called Praxis Pathways. Description: Praxis Pathways consists of four Threads. Thread 4: Information Literacy is the focus of this case report. The authors will describe the multi-year embedded IL curriculum, which is scaffolded to build both IL skills, such as database searching, and introduce students to key conceptual conversations in IL, production and dissemination. Outcomes: BHSc program graduates in 2023 will be the first to have completed all four years of the Praxis Pathways courses, including the IL program developed and delivered by the library. The authors will describe how the impact of the program will be evaluated qualitatively and quantitatively going forward. Conclusion: Embedded librarianship for multi-year, scaffolded IL education in undergraduate programs continues to be a rarity, despite the acknowledgement that one-shot instruction has several limitations. The authors present this case report to share how they embedded a for-cred IL curriculum in an undergraduate program that looks beyond the one-shot, skill-based tutorial and focuses on developing adaptive, information-literate lifelong learners.
    • It’s Time to Recognize Wikipedia as a Health Information Resource

      Smith, Denise A (Taylor & Francis, 2023-05-26)
      With more than 300 language editions, Wikipedia offers accessible health information written in plain language to a wide audience. Having survived more than twenty years, it is broadly considered the “grown-up” of the internet due to its sheer longevity and maturity. Along with evidence that Wikipedia is more reliable than widely believed, it has emerged as the most frequently accessed web site for health information despite a lingering stigma. Grounded in real-life examples of health events, the author reinforces Wikipedia as a tool for public health education. With wider acceptance of Wikipedia as a health information resource, existing opportunities for education, investment, and improvement of the world’s largest encyclopedia can be cultivated.
    • No Justice, Only Struggle

      Zvyagintseva, Lydia; Ribaric, Tim (University of Toronto Libraries - UOTL, 2023-01-09)
      2022 has been a year of overlapping crises. The so-called “Freedom Convoys” paralyzing Canadian communities, the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to cause excess death and disability, the war in Ukraine, the intensifying effects of climate change, and increasing inflation have all signaled that we find ourselves in a new era, one that can be described as authoritarian capitalism. In this article, we view the restructuring of Canadian universities as yet another facet of authoritarian capitalism, which uses overlapping crises to further proletarianize library labour and fully subsume it into the “learning factory.” Using Sandro Mezzadra and Brett Neilson’s theorization of the politics of capital’s operations, we examine the library restructuring processes taking place at four Canadian universities: Alberta, Brock, Laurentian, and OCAD. We view the reorganizations taking place there as efforts on behalf of university administrators to use the intensification of global forces of capitalism to exploit academic librarian labour. Ultimately, we argue that Canadian librarians are witnessing both formal and real subsumption in Canadian universities, precipitated by the overlapping crises outlined earlier. As a result, we insist that librarians need to develop a politics of struggle to build collective consciousness and action in the face of authoritarian capitalism.
    • “Put the fucking salary in the job ad!”

      Ribaric, Tim (Routledge, 2022-10-11)
      In February 2016, I activated the @lis_grievances Twitter bot. The dynamics of the bot are straightforward and can be described in three steps: First, a person sends a direct message to the account; second, the message is stripped of all identifying information; and third, upon passing a minimal list of posting criteria, the message is tweeted. More than five years on, the bot has collected a corpus of thousands of tweets, some safe to publish on Twitter and some not, ranging from benign takes on the library establishment to profanity-laden tirades. Quite often, the tweets invoke feelings that range from pathos to disgust, and sometimes even situational irony and humor as evidenced, for example, in this tweet from June 1, 2018: “How can we innovate when we don’t have permissions to install software?” This chapter examines tweeted content through the online disinhibition effect (ODE), a theory explaining how anonymity pushes sentiment into extreme directions. According to ODE, users of @lis_grievances experience a lack of restraint due to their anonymity and, thus, feel comfortable venting and otherwise offering observations of and comments on perceived flaws in their individual workplaces and in the LIS profession at large. Using text analysis and a new custom metric called the grief index, a qualitative and quantitative examination of the corpus of tweets is presented and explored as evidence of systemic dysfunctional library states.
    • Data Analysis as the Next Step

      Ribaric, Tim (2600 Enterprises, Inc., 2022)
      Article outlines the importance of community action for providing infrastructure to support analysis and use of whistle-blower data. Datashare from ICIJ ( is described.
    • Information Seeking Behaviors, Attitudes, and Choices of Academic Mathematicians

      Gordon, Ian D.; Cameron, Brian D.; Chaves, Debbie.; Hutchinson, Rebecca (Taylor & Francis, 2020-06-05)
      Mathematicians in academic institutions utilize a variety of resources and strategies to seek, find, and use scholarly information and news. Using a sample of mathematicians, researchers surveyed 112 students and faculty at four Canadian university institutions to explore self-perceived success rates, resources consulted, databases used, use of social media, and citation management systems. Further, 12 follow-up interviews were completed with mathematicians to better interpret survey results, resulting information-seeking behaviors, choices, strategies, and feelings on keeping up to date with information needs. According to survey results, a minority of mathematicians (12.5 percent) acknowledged that they were successfully keeping up to date. However, a significant number of mathematicians (28.6 percent) indicated that they were unsuccessful and could do better in remaining current with information needs. Co-investigators, using qualitative analyses, identified four emergent themes related to remaining current: (1) The “slower pace of math” pervades all aspects of this discipline;” (2) There are “too many papers – and not enough time” to effectively search, evaluate, and read scholarly papers of interest; (3) Mathematicians collectively acknowledge that they are open to strategies and technologies where they “could do better” keeping up to date; and (4) Mathematicians have divided loyalties using databases when searching for information by means of “MathSciNet in a Google world.” Additional insights document how mathematicians are guided by mathematical peculiarities and discipline-specific practices. This study helps to shed light on opportunities for academic librarians to identify and meet mathematicians’ evolving information needs.
    • Information Seeking Behaviors, Attitudes, and Choices of Academic Physicists

      Gordon, Ian D.; Chaves, Debbie; Dearborn, Dylanne; Hendrikx, Shawn; Hutchinson, Rebecca; Popovich, Christoper; White, Michael (Taylor & Francis, 2022-01-10)
      Physicists in academic institutions utilize a variety of resources and strategies to seek, find, and use scholarly information and news. Using a sample of physicists, researchers surveyed 182 students and faculty at seven Canadian university institutions to explore self-perceived success rates, resources consulted, databases used, and use of social media and citation management systems. To complement the survey, 11 follow up interviews/focus groups were completed with participants to further uncover information-seeking behaviors, choices, strategies, and feelings around keeping up to date with information needs. According to survey results, a minority of physicists (15.4%) acknowledged that they were successfully keeping up to date. However, a significant number of physicists (28.6%) indicated that they were unsuccessful and could do better in remaining current with information needs. Co-investigators, using qualitative analyses, identified four emergent themes: (1) There are “too many papers – and not enough time” to effectively search, evaluate and read scholarly papers of interest; (2) Staying up to date is important especially in competitive research areas; (3) Graduate students seek information differently than faculty and experienced researchers; and (4) The arXiv database is important to many physicists. Additional minor themes included physics-related publishing is constantly evolving; physicists use a variety of information-seeking behaviors; and, information-seeking methods can differ between physics subdisciplines. This study aims to shed light on opportunities for academic librarians to identify and meet physicists’ evolving information behaviors, attitudes, choices, and needs.
    • Book Review: Rabbits

      Ribaric, Tim (2600 Enterprises, Inc., 2021)
      Book Review of 'Rabbits' written by Terry Miles.

      Murgu, Cal (Music Library Association, 2021-06)
      In this essay, we detail the pedagogical collaboration between a digital humanities librarian, a professor of music and digital media, and a second-year music student that took the form of a design sprint. The product of the design sprint was the Mapping Sentiments through Music (MStM) application. Using this project as a case study, we argue that both digital humanities and music education share a commonality: both disciplines can incorporate elements of design thinking to be successful. As a result, our efforts center direct experimentation with a team, and foster design thinking by promoting descriptive exchange, creative problem solving, and the creation of emergent rather than explicitly delimited meanings. We conclude with several remarks on overlaps between music and design pedagogy, and on librarian-faculty collaborations. This article was published in the Music Library Association’s journal, Notes 77, 4, June 2021, and 561-585. The version of record is available at This material may not be copied or reposted without written permission of MLA
    • Business data: issues and challenges from the Canadian perspective

      Lowry, Linda; Hong, Eun-ha (IASSIST, 2008-08-15)
      This paper explores the issues and challenges that we have faced as Canadian academic business librarians when working with business data. As this is an exploratory study, we hope only to start a discussion among data librarians about some key challenges facing the academic community related to supporting the teaching and research use of business data. Our paper begins with a brief discussion of general data trends, followed by a detailed exploration of business data trends and trends in Canadian business education. We discuss challenges and issues related to working with business data from both the collections and reference service perspectives, including the pros and cons of providing business data services and support within the library environment. We conclude by suggesting some measures that both academic business librarians and data librarians can take to address some of these challenges.
    • The End of Libraries and Librarianship - Part 34

      Gordon, Ian D. (The Informed Librarian Online, 2021-01-04)
      Librarians have bemoaned the constant clatter overheard from commentators that libraries are obsolete and no longer relevant. This observation is contrary to the lived experiences of those that serve in and depend upon public and academic libraries. A call to action challenges librarians everywhere to change this narrative by intentionally sharing stories of their essential work, service, community building… with anyone who will listen. An annotated list of readings and streaming videos is provided that builds on the inspirational work of David Lankes, Lisa Peet, Lance Werner, Mark Smith, Shamichael Hallman, Catherine Murray-Must, Michael Stephens and others. Libraries are observed to be places of transformative change. Librarians are found to be passionate, courageous and indispensable. Story telling is a powerful instrument for librarians and people that volunteer and serve in libraries to make the seemingly invisible work of libraries - more visible.
    • Overcoming Language Barriers for Non-Native Speakers of English: Learner Autonomy in Academic Libraries

      Bordonaro, Karen (Association of College & Research Libraries, 2019)
      The purpose of this chapter is to give librarians a brief overview of the theory of learner autonomy and to explain how fostering its presence in libraries can help overcome language barriers for non-native speakers of English.
    • Adult learning theories and autoethnography: Informing the practice of information literacy

      Bordonaro, Karen (Sage, 2020-03)
      The learning theories of self-directed learning and lifelong learning can inform the practice of information literacy in higher education for adult learners. These theories lend themselves to the use of autoethnography, a research methodology that relies on the exploration of lived experiences through reflexivity informed by theory. In conducting an autoethnography on information literacy, its practice appears as both a singular and a collective activity. Multiple ramifications for practice come from this exploration. These ramifications include considerations of choices, barriers, conducive learning environments, informal learning opportunities, and the need for reflection for adult learners. Applying the learning theories of self-directed learning and lifelong learning to the practice of information literacy offers librarians new and useful perspectives on its practice with adult learners.
    • A Community Without a Space: Digital Scholarship at Brock University

      Ribaric, Tim (2019-08-01)
      The Digital Scholarship Lab at Brock University was originally set to open in the fall of 2018. However, the opening was delayed to the following summer. What that meant is that during the last academic year digital scholarship support has been provided by a nomadic team, relying on convincing ideas and compelling project work to increase the profile of the service. This session will look at the trajectory of that year and the many services that were piloted despite the lack of any physical footprint.
    • Adult education and academic libraries

      Bordonaro, Karen (EmeraldInsight, 2018)
      Abstract Purpose – The purpose of this review is to offer practicing academic librarians an overview of adult education theories as a way to more deeply understand and further foster adult learning in academic libraries. Design/methodology approach – This article is a literature review. Findings – This review introduces academic librarians to a range of specific adult education learning theories, it offers examples of academic library users engaging in these types of adult learning, it considers how academic libraries can further foster adult learning, and it identifies major characteristics of adult learners. Originality/value – This literature review offers a summative overview of adult education in a way that has not appeared in the library literature to date, along with explicit connections between adult education theories and academic library practices.
    • Forging Multiple Pathways: Integrating International Students into a Canadian University Library

      Bordonaro, Karen (Association of College & Research Libraries, 2019-01)
      This chapter describes five different projects undertaken at the Brock University Library in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, which represent different pathways toward integrating international students into academic libraries. These projects were designed to welcome and introduce international students to the library as well as to support their extended learning by the library. Each of them represents a different type of pathway toward that goal of integration.
    • Self-Directed Second Language Learning in Libraries

      Bordonaro, Karen (International Society for Self-Directed Learning, 2018-11)
      This content analysis research study investigated self-directed language learning of adult English as a second language (ESL) learners in libraries. ESL learners are a growing population in libraries, and understanding how they can use or are using libraries helps libraries better serve them. The purpose of this study was to determine if they can or are engaging in self-directed learning in libraries. The documents analyzed comprised library journal articles and library websites. The first finding suggests that self-directed second language learning is taking place in libraries but mainly through online instruction. The second finding is that many types of second language learning material are available for use in and through libraries. The third finding is that physical spaces dedicated to second language learning do exist in libraries. Together, these findings show that library services, resources, and spaces can support self-directed second language learners in their learning.
    • C

      Ribaric, Tim (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016-06)
      This is chapter 8 of "The Librarian's Introduction to Programming Languages" entitled C. It introduces the C language in a context suitable for Librarians and information professionals.