Category Archives: BC Library Conference

A BCLA Conference Report

“Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries.” – Anne Herbert

That is just one of the many quotes that inspired me at the BCLA conference in May. Hi, my name is Alan Woo and I was lucky enough to attend the BCLA conference after receiving the Student Library Bound award from the BCLA Readers’ Advisory Interest Group. Not only did I have a chance to connect with people and network, but I also attended a variety of different sessions and felt myself being inspired at each one!

The first session I attended was on services for the LGBTQ community, where one big takeaway I got from it was the website NoHomophobes.Com, which tracks homophobic language on Twitter. The average for the number of homophobic tweets is about 40 tweets per minute.

The Reading For Change session had a speaker panel consisting of two writers and one book club organizer, who runs a local chapter of the Amnesty International Book Club. Not only did I manage to jot down a number of recommended titles from this session (i.e. Shake Hands With The Devil, The Autobiography of a Tibetan Monk, Indian Horse, 28 Stories of AIDS In Africa,  Escape from Camp 14, and We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families, to name a few), but I also witnessed people realizing that “just” reading was in and of itself a catalyst for change. It may or may not lead to volunteering for or donating to an issue/cause, but the act of reading about said issue/cause has now informed the reader of something new they may not have known before. And if it leads to further action beyond reading a book, even better! The entire session was very inspiring, including the group “hymn” that we all read aloud alongside the poem’s author Renée Sarojini Saklikar, from her book Children of Air India.

A session on legal resources was very educational for me, as I was not able to take the Law Libraries course at SLAIS. After hearing two law librarians discuss their work and offer up resources for librarians who might have to deal with patrons asking for legal advice, I feel more equipped to be able to point people in the right direction, whether they are looking for laws dealing with family matters, tenancy, criminal law, or Aboriginal issues. At the very basic level, I learned about the Beginner’s Guide to Finding Legal Information at the website: www.clicklaw.bc.ca

The conference would not have been complete without some children and youth service oriented sessions and activities. The Summer Reading Club session was great in describing successes and failures of one library’s summer reading club. Through that session, I learned about the very inspirational Caine’s Arcade, which I dare you to visit and watch the 10 minute documentary film without shedding a tear! You can find that here: www.cainesarcade.com

The session on Early Literacy brought up examples of a Parents’ Night Out felt-making workshop, the Alligator Pie program being held weekly in Vancouver’s downtown eastside, and Baby Talk, a VPL collaboration with Children’s Hospital. For more resources and information, check out librarianasearlyliteracycoach.wordpress.com.

Both opening and closing key notes dealt a lot with the issues of privacy and security, which I found fascinating.”Arguing that you don’t care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say” is a quote by Edward Snowden that one of the speakers had up and had an impact on me. I learned more about the TOR network and became fully convinced that we should ALL be using it: torproject.org.

Being among all those people involved in the library world and seeing their passion and all the amazing work they are all doing was a good reminder as to why I am pursuing a career in this field. Thank you BCRAIG for the opportunity to attend!

-Alan Woo

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Announcing the 2nd Annual Library Bound Student RA Award

Library Bound and the BCLA Readers’ Advisory Interest Group are pleased to announce our second annual … Library Bound Student RA Award!

Are you a BC resident currently enrolled in an MLIS or Library Technician program? Are you interested in Readers’ Advisory services? You can apply for funding for this year’s BCLA Annual Conference!

Deadline: Monday, February 29, 2016 by 5 pm.

Award: Full 2016 BCLA Conference registration plus one night’s accommodation.

How to Apply:

Email the following to Meghan Savage at msavage@surrey.ca.

  • Tell us your name, your school, and contact info
  • Describe why you are interested in Readers’ Advisory in 500 words or less
  • Confirm that you are a member of BCLA. (Not a member yet? It’s free for students! Sign up at the BCLA website.)
  • Apply by 5:00 pm on February 29, 2016

The Fine Print:

Only current BC residents intending to work in BC after graduation are eligible to apply. Applicants must be registered in either a Masters of Library and Information Science/Masters of Information Science (or equivalent) program or a Library Technician program and be a student at the time of the February 29, 2016 deadline. The institution can be located in BC or elsewhere (via online study). Members of the BCLA Readers’ Advisory Interest Group will screen applicants and choose the winner. Applicants must be current BCLA members. Award covers full BCLA Conference registration plus one night’s accommodation (to be arranged through BCLA). No other expenses (travel costs, meals, etc.) will be provided. Successful applicant will be expected to write a brief 500-word or less report about the experience of attending the BCLA Conference.

 

Introducing the Library Bound Student RA Award!

Confetti

Library Bound and the BCLA Readers’ Advisory Interest Group are pleased to announce The Library Bound Student Readers’ Advisory Award!

Are you a BC resident currently enrolled in an MLIS or Library Technician program? Are you interested in Readers’ Advisory services? You can apply for funding for this year’s BCLA Annual Conference!

Deadline: Monday, March 16, 2015 by 5 pm.

Award: Full 2015 BCLA Conference registration plus one night’s accommodation.

How to Apply: Email the following to Heidi Schiller at hschiller@cnv.org:

  • Tell us your name, your school, and contact info
  • Describe why you are interested in Readers’ Advisory in 500 words or less
  • Confirm that you are a member of BCLA. (Not a member yet? It’s free for students! Sign up at the BCLA website.)

The Fine Print: Only current BC residents intending to work in BC after graduation are eligible to apply. Applicants must be registered in either a Masters of Library and Information Science/Masters of Information Science (or equivalent) program or a Library Technician program and be a student at the time of the March 16, 2015 deadline. The institution can be located in BC or elsewhere (via online study). Members of the BCLA Readers’ Advisory Interest Group will screen applicants and choose the winner. Applicants must be current BCLA members. Award covers full BCLA Conference registration plus one night’s accommodation (to be arranged through BCLA). No other expenses (travel costs, meals, etc.) will be provided.

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Looking Back at the BCLA Author Panel

It’s been almost two months since the BCLA RA Interest Group hosted “Writers in the Library”  at the BCLA conference; however, it’s never too late to bask in the glory of humorous author discussions! If you couldn’t make it, here is an overview.

The session featured three local writers discussing how libraries influence the written word and what they think libraries could and should be doing. The writers read library themed passages from their own work, and discussed their own personal experiences with libraries. The writers present were: Jen Sookfong Lee, author of The End of East, Shelter, and The Better Mother (a finalist for the 2012 City of Vancouver Book Award), and former host of Westcoast Words on CBC Radio One. Lee read a passage from her book The Better Mother that dealt with the main character researching the burlesque clubs in Vancouver’s Chinatown, and visiting the old central branch of the VPL to watch a copy of a burlesque film they had as part of their collection.

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Steven Galloway, Creative Writing professor at UBC and the author of The Cellist of Sarajevo and the upcoming The Confabulist. Galloway read a passage from The Cellist of Sarajevo that dealt with the aftermath of the siege of Sarajevo in 1992, an event which featured the tragic firebombing of the National Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Galloway said that it would have been impossible not to mention such an event as it was seen as a visible manifestation of the attempted destruction of a society and culture.

Billie Livingston, author of numerous short stories, poetry, and novels, including One Good Hustle, which was nominated for both the Giller Prize and the CLA’s Young Adult book of the year in 2012. Livingston read a passage from Going Down Swinging, her first novel, that dealt with “exotic” bookmobiles of the 1970s, which even “tough kids” used. The young girl from the piece was excited to go to the bookmobile and talk with the librarian who’d convinced her that she’d love James and the Giant Peach. After reading, Livingston was happy to learn that Fraser Valley still has bookmobiles today!

The writers felt that Vancouver still has many stories left to tell, and that authors have only began to scratch the surface of the types of stories that can be told about the city. They said that it’s only relatively recently that we’ve even been able to write about the city and it’s history, as writers have been trying to escape from the colonial history of the area and deal with publishers who don’t think Americans will read books set in Canada.

The writers discussed their first experiences with libraries: the distinctive smell of the stacks at UBC, how the shelves went on forever, and how, pre-internet, everything anybody could ever want to know was in there somewhere. Lee talked about how she likes to write in her local library as staying at home makes her feel “like a mole.” Lee considers the library to be the first place she goes when she wants to find something out, and for her most recent book, she used the library extensively to track the evolution of the gay community’s response to AIDS through bound copies of 1980s gay newspapers. Galloway spoke of libraries being better for writers than for “normal people.” He loves finding repositories of weird and arcane stuff while researching at libraries, and said “you can’t Google something you don’t know you want to know”. He also mentioned the section of books on the psychology of magic he discovered at one of the UBC libraries, and how he didn’t think anyone had looked at them in 35 years. Livingston said that libraries were a great resource for people doing research, especially to help find books that would otherwise be unavailable. She gave the example of her trying to track down a copy of a book about carnival strippers that cost several hundred dollars to buy. Thankfully she was able to borrow it through interlibrary loan!

After discussing what they liked about libraries, the writers went on to say what they hated! Complaints included overdue fines (with Galloway being an egregious example of patrons with lots of fines), how loud they have become, parents with unruly children, computer time limits, and bed bugs! The writers were also disappointed that Vancouver no longer had a “one book, one community” program, and said that communities in BC shouldn’t be outdone by Medicine Hat. Galloway felt that Richmond, Surrey, Burnaby, and all the other communities in the lower mainland should have their own versions of the event. The writers said that projects like that were not about the specific book (though they prefered it to have some connection to the city), but about people talking about books.

The authors said that they enjoyed the diversity in library book clubs, as opposed to those run out of people’s homes. Library book clubs led to a much wider variety of questions and thoughts, as opposed to the certain types of questions which are always asked in private ones. While the writers enjoyed the idea of doing readings in libraries, they found that they are frequently hosted in sterile, visually unappealing rooms often hidden away in the basement or back of the library, where nobody was going to find them by happenstance. They commiserated over the worst type of reading, where only one or two people show up and they just stare at you. Having nobody show up was deemed to be better because then you didn’t have to do anything! To make library readings better, the authors said that there didn’t need to be clowns or balloons, but suggested that they should feel more like an event with multiple authors, snacks, and wine (if possible). Lee also promised to come and rap at any library event that invited her. In regards to the future of libraries, the writers hoped that they won’t abandon books and the written word, saying that while it is important for libraries to offer many different services, a library and a community centre are not the same thing. Lee said that while ebooks are wonderful, there is a magic to bringing children to a library and have them be amazed at the breadth of knowledge available in physical books.

If you have a chance to welcome any one of these authors into your library, it would be well worth it!

Post written by Matthew Murray, SLAIS student, & submitted by Meghan Savage, Surrey Libraries

More Marketing Resources from Monique Sherrett

Our fabulous panelist from the BCLC, Boxcar Marketing‘s Monique Sherrett, has posted an awe-inspiring collection of marketing resources, tailored specifically to librarians. Thank you Monique!!

Check out the post here.

In a move crafted to warm any librarian’s heart, she has organized the resources into the following categories:  Online Marketing, PR, Retail & Merchandising, Email marketing and writing for the web, Mobile and web design, Analytics and data reporting, Big Thinkers, and Online marketing Training.

A few of my faves so far include copyblogger.com, alistapart.com, and Karen McGrane’s video on adapting to adaptive content.

Thanks again to Monique for not only being an inspiring panelist on May 10th, but providing us with some awesome post-game resources.

–Heidi Schiller, NVCL

Re-cap of RAIG’s BCLC2013 Marketing Panel

Readers’ Advisory Outside the Box: Marketing Experts Reveal Strategies on Promoting Books and Reading

by Dana Horrocks

Panelists(Panelists from Left to Right: Alison Cairns, Lorna Brown, Monique Sherrett and Moderator Heidi Schiller)

The BCLA Readers’ Advisory Interest Group works to “promote and facilitate innovation in readers’ advisory services across BC,” and the first of our two events at the British Columbia Library Conference on May 10th did just that. A panel session, Readers’ Advisory Outside the Box, featured three marketing experts from the publishing and art fields.

The discussion began with Monique Sherrett, founder of Boxcar Marketing, sharing her experiences as former internet marketing manager for Raincoast Books when the Harry Potter series took off in Canada. Monique offered three lessons learned from this time that she felt libraries could use. The first of which was to recognize “little somewheres,” or places where people engage in discussions about books and ideas, such as kids in playgrounds or adults at cocktail parties She advised using these as jumping-off points for campaigns, and suggested using library apps and social media to gain attention of people on the library periphery who would share and promote these campaigns.

The second lesson was to use permission-based marketing strategies, and to offer valuable content in exchange for that permission, in addition marketing and promotional content.

Her final lesson involved seeking partnerships and creating events to connect people to the library’s space, collection and catalogue, and to look toward other successful cultural events such as Raincity Chronicles, Pecha Kucha and Interesting Vancouver for inspiration. (Visit this link to view Monique’s slides on slideshare, and view her blog for her own recap on the panel.)

The next speaker was Lorna Brown, an artist, curator and writer who is interested in the dynamics of public spaces, digital and print production and conversation-based events. Lorna talked about her recent project Digital Natives, a public installation commissioned by the City of Vancouver featuring an electronic billboard that hosted Twitter messages from artists and writers examining social and historic context the first Nations land . Lorna  encouragedusing writers and artists to promote themselves and to do a better job of “focusing the eye,” or using art to communicate the library’s broad message.

The final speaker was Alison Cairns, who currently works as an online promotions and marketing freelancer and consultant. Alison shared several case studies from when she worked at Douglas and McIntyre Publishers as their Online Marketing Manager. Some of the strategies she used at D&M included creating backlists of older titles to go with recently released digital items, and creating Youtube videos that told the story of the company, as well as promote new titles. She also mentioned a campaign to promote the publication of John Furlong’s book Patriot Hearts, in which D&M enlisted the support of Vancouver Olympic volunteers to pull off a reading flashmob on the Vancouver Skytrain. The lesson learned here, which connected with points raised by the other panellists, is that there are vibrant communities of fans and readers who would are thrilled to lend their support to the library’s cause, we just need to find them.

Recommended Marketing Resources Suggested by Panelists:

Blogs:

http://socialmediatoday.com/

http://janefriedman.com/

http://booksquare.com/

http://www.publishersweekly.com/

http://www.booknetcanada.ca/blog/#.UZKGMCsjpMM

http://mashable.com/

 

People to follow on Twitter:

@Hootsuite

@Invoke

Where Are You Going To Be May 10th?

Ever wondered how marketing principles could be used to expand your library’s readers’ advisory services to your community? And have you ever wondered what role libraries play in writers’ lives and wanted to connect with local authors from your own community? Anticipation is building as the BCLA conference draws near, and The BCLA Readers’ Advisory Group is very pleased to be hosting two sessions on Friday, May 10.

Readers’ Advisory Outside the Box: Marketing Experts Reveal Strategies on Promoting Books and Reading
Time: 1:30 pm

Organized by the BCLA Readers’ Advisory Interest Group, a panel of experts from outside the world of libraries will weigh in on best practices and innovative ideas for marketing books and promoting reading. These experts from local marketing, publishing and art curating disciplines will discuss “out-of‐the‐box” marketing strategies, and how they can be applied in a library setting to appeal to customers and potential customers.

MONIQUE SHERRETT has a passion for all things digital, in particular digital marketing for publishing. She is the founder of Boxcar Marketing, an internet marketing company based in Vancouver BC. As the former internet marketing manager of Raincoast Books, she spearheaded major online marketing campaigns, including promotion of Harry Potter and the creation of the first Canadian publisher podcast and blog. Monique has developed websites and online community strategies for several Canadian publishers and trade associations. She is an adjunct professor at SFU.

LORNA BROWN is a Vancouver based artist, curator and writer with interests in the dynamics of public spaces, digital and print production and publishing, and conversation‐based events.

Recent independent projects include Digital Natives, a public artwork commissioned by the City of Vancouver: http://digitalnatives.othersights.ca/

Writers in the Library: Local Literati Speak to the Future of Libraries and their Influence on the Written Word
Time: 5:15 pm

The BCLA Readers’ Advisory Interest Group is hosting an Author Panel. This 75 minute session will feature three local authors speaking to the conference theme, “Are We There Yet? Look to the future and be inspired by the present as you connect with your community to share ideas and learn.” We want to hear how local authors connect with the community and the library. Do libraries impact their life and work? How do they use libraries as places to write or as sources for research and information‐seeking? What do they perceive as the future of libraries? What can libraries do to assist?

BILLIE LIVINGSTON is the award‐winning author of three novels, a collection of short stories as well as a poetry collection. Her latest novel, One Good Hustle, a Globe and Mail Best Book selection, was longlisted for the 2012 Giller Prize and short‐listed for the CLA’s Young Adult book of the year. Her novella The Trouble with Marlene, has been adapted for a feature film and is currently in production.

JEN SOOKFONG LEE was born and raised in Vancouver’s East Side. Her books include The Better Mother, a finalist for the City of Vancouver Book Award,The End of East and Shelter, a novel for young adults. Her poetry, fiction and articles have appeared in a variety of magazines and anthologies. A popular radio personality, Jen was the voice behind CBC Radio One’s weekly writing column, Westcoast Words, for three years. She appears regularly as a contributor on The Next Chapter and is a frequent co-host of the Studio One Book Club.

STEVEN GALLOWAY is the author of three novels, most recently the The Cellist of Sarajevo. His work has been translated into over thirty languages and optioned for film, television and radio. The Confabulist, his fourth novel, will be published in February, 2014. He is a professor in the University of British Columbia’s Creative Writing Program.

The BCLA Readers’ Advisory Interest Group looks forward to connecting with you at the conference. Just look for anyone wearing a lovely teal coloured “What R U Reading? button.