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MLA Participates in OLA Super Conference – Part 2

Posted in Conference

The second portion of 2022 OLA Super Conference Highlights is provided by Megumi Ishibashi from the MLA Communications Committee.

The 2022 OLA Super Conference was once again held virtually this year between February 1-5. As always, this year’s OLA Super Conference provided great opportunities to learn from other libraries’ experiences across Canada with a wide range of topics, which shows the breadth of what library professionals’ work entails.

As a member of our Communications Committee, I attended on behalf of the Manitoba Library Association through the conference pass provided generously through The Partnership. Here are some highlights from some of the sessions I attended:

Philip Wolfart, Kristen Buckley, Jordana Winegust, and Paula Garton-Hudspeth’s Information Referral for Libraries and Librarians provided an overview of information and referral organizations and how they support library users in need or crisis. Philip Wolfart shared his experience as a Manager at 211 Manitoba, United Way, Winnipeg. The panelists mentioned that the sector is growing with employment potential for those with information and library education backgrounds and experience.

Leslie Weir, Amy Buckland, and Jasmine Bouchard’s Library and Archives Canada Update shared recent activities at LAC, including their focus on service transformation and digital optimization, a new state-of-the-art preservation facility (Gatineau 2), and their effort to document the COVID-19 pandemic. During a Q&A period, they shared the status of their work on Canadian Subject Headings terminology related to Indigenous peoples: LAC is working with partners towards an established workflow which will keep the terminology current and available to all communities.

Amir Feridooni, Caitlin Fralick, and Ania Van Minnen’s presentation, Challenging the Digital Divide During Pandemic shared Hamilton Public Library’s experience of their new device (iPad) lending program with data plan. They discussed how they collaborated with community stakeholders to ensure that those devices and services reach the most people in need. They also discussed challenges they face such as damages, repair cost, and loss/theft of devices.

James Turk, Mark Williams, Rabia Khokhar and Erin Patterson’s Intellectual Freedom Spotlight: Dealing with Challenges – Perspectives from School, Academic and Public Libraries highlighted that public, school, and academic libraries each have different perspectives and challenges around Intellectual Freedom such as how to balance between IF and social responsibility. They also discussed training needs for library professionals to better understand the concept of and issues around IF.

Elise C. Cole and Lily Clarke’s Ontario Community Newspapers: Crisis and Opportunities shared the Ontario LAM Newspapers Working Group’s collaborative effort to preserve and provide digital access to community newspapers, as a response to numerous community newspapers closures, especially since 2017. The needs for future planning and advocacy for community heritage preservation, as well as copyright issues in relation to a newspaper digitization program, were discussed.

As more services and learning moved online during pandemic, we as a society have been forced to re-think what digital and physical space and interactions mean for us, and libraries were no exception. It was inspiring to see a lot of innovative and creative work happening in libraries despite the challenging time.