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Library Research Forum

About the Research Forum

Since 2002, Concordia's Library Research Forum has provided librarians, archivists, graduate students, teaching faculty, and information professionals with an opportunity to describe and promote their completed or in-progress research, practical case studies or projects. The Forum also provides a venue for researchers to seek suggestions for enhancing their research interests, to identify potential new partners for projects, to test the effectiveness of their undertakings, and to promote research in academic libraries.

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2021 Research Forum Registration

Registration for the 2021 Concordia Library Research Forum is now closed. To all those who participated, thank you for helping us make this event a success.

See our past Forums.

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2021 Research Forum Program

Concordia University Library's 19th Annual Research Forum
Online, through Zoom
Tuesday April 27th - Wednesday April 28th
1:00 to 4:30 pm EDT each day
Forum Code of Conduct

Program subject to change.


Raegan Swanson, is the Executive Director of The ArQuives: Canada’s LGBTQ2+ Archives. Swanson holds a BA from Collège universitaire de Saint-Boniface and a Masters of Information from the University of Toronto iSchool. Prior to her work at The ArQuives, Swanson worked as an archivist at Library and Archives Canada, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, Aanischaaukamikw Cree Cultural Institute and as the Archival Advisor for the Council of Archives New Brunswick. Swanson is a PhD candidate with the University of Dundee (Scotland) whose research focuses on the role of community archives in Aboriginal and Inuit communities. She is a member of the Steering Committee on Canada’s Archives Taskforce to respond to the “Calls to Action” Report from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Day 1 - Tuesday April 27 2021

1:00 pm Territorial Acknowledgement, Welcome and Opening Remarks
Hannah Bartels & Laura Ivan, Co-Chairs, Librarians’ Forum Steering Committee, Concordia University

1:15 pm Keynote address
Raegan Swanson, Director, The ArQuives
Slides | Presentation

2:15 pm Break

2:30 pm Evaluating a pilot project to teach machine translation literacy in an academic library… and beyond
Lynne Bowker, Full Professor, School of Translation and Interpretation, University of Ottawa
Slides | Presentation

From June to December 2019, I had the privilege of working as the Researcher-in-Residence at Concordia University Library, where the principal project was to design, develop and deliver workshops to teach machine translation literacy to groups such as international students. In brief, machine translation tools (e.g. Google Translate), are easy to use, but using them critically requires some thought. For instance, users may not immediately think about privacy issues, academic integrity, or how to manipulate the input text to improve the output. I have now delivered multiple iterations of the machine translation literacy module to different groups over the past 18 months, and participants have provided feedback via surveys. Although there were a few bumps along the way, overall, I believe that the project has been a success, and I’ll share some lessons learned as well as some participant feedback.

3:00 pm Disappearing Deposits: Investigating the Retention of Canadian Federal Government Depository Publications at CARL Libraries
Michelle Lake, Government Publications Librarian, Concordia University
Graeme Campbell, Open Government Librarian, Queen’s University
Catherine McGoveran, Head, Research Support, University of Ottawa
Slides | Presentation

The Government of Canada’s Depository Services Program (DSP) acquired and distributed federal government publications to participating depository libraries until it transitioned to a focus on electronic publications in December 2013. Many CARL libraries were full depositories, receiving most publications automatically with the expectation that they be retained indefinitely. The end of the distribution program resulted in the termination of the depository library agreements that outlined key responsibilities, including long-term retention of materials. There is a lack of published information evaluating how these print holdings in libraries have changed since the end of the distribution program. The researchers are endeavoring to evaluate the persistence of federal government publications in former full depository CARL libraries to better understand the current landscape of access to this information. The project used the public catalogues of CARL libraries to search for a sample of items selected from issues of the Weekly Checklist of Canadian Government Publications from 1979, 1989, 1999, and 2009. Our presentation will provide an overview of the project, our methodology, limitations, and preliminary data analysis. This project is supported by the 2018 CARL Practicing Librarian - Research in Librarianship Grant and the 2019 Concordia Library Research Grant.

3:30 pm "At-Risk Articles": Examining Open Infrastructures and Practices to Recover and Preserve the Scholarly Record
Jeanette Hatherill, Scholarly Communication Librarian, University of Ottawa
Slides | Presentation

Research on deceptive publishing largely neglects to address the question of what to do with the potentially important research that appears in dubious venues. The vast majority of research articles on so-called “predatory publishing” discuss the issue from a “pre-publication” standpoint rather than dealing with the consequences of publishing in one of these outlets. This is problematic since these articles generally exist outside of discovery and preservation networks, leaving them at risk of disappearing should the publisher cease its activities. This talk will examine the opportunities provided by the rise of preprint servers and trends in open peer review for their potential to recover and reintegrate these “at-risk articles” into the scholarly record. The audience will be asked to reconsider the “published” nature of this research and instead conceptualize it as work that has not yet been validated by the disciplinary community. By reframing the discourse around “predatory” publishing and taking advantage of open infrastructures and practices, scholarly communities in various disciplines can benefit from de-stigmatizing the work appearing in these venues and reduce the risk of losing potentially significant research.

4:00 pm Closing remarks

4:15 pm - 6:00pm Virtual Cocktail Party on the platform
Come and unwind with us, virtually! Come prepared with a cocktail/mocktail from one of our proposed recipes. 🍸 To find out more about or to get help, please refer to the following guides:

  • Everything a Guest Needs to Know
  • Troubleshooting Guide


Day 2 - Wednesday April 28 2021

1:00 pm Territorial Acknowledgement, Welcome and Opening Remarks
Hannah Bartels & Laura Ivan, Co-Chairs, Librarians’ Forum Steering Committee, Concordia University

1:15 pm Declining Anonymity by the Numbers
Emily Kopley, Research Affiliate, Department of English, Concordia University

At the 2017 Library Research Forum I spoke about my stymied efforts to gather statistics about anonymous publication in early twentieth-century Britain. This talk concerns my successful such efforts. The major bibliography relevant to my work is The Dictionary of Anonymous and Pseudonymous English Literature, usually called “Halkett and Laing” after the original, nineteenth-century editors, Samuel Halkett and John Laing. The second edition was published between 1926 and 1962; a single volume of a projected third edition was published in 1980. As such, the dictionary, which runs from 1455 to 1950, is firmly a born-analog enterprise. In 2019, the Wellcome Trust of London scanned their set of the second edition and uploaded the series of pdfs to The existence of the dictionary in pdf form allowed me to use it to gather statistics: I turned the pdfs into OCR text, and then helped write a computer program that converts the dictionary into a spreadsheet. From this spreadsheet I can derive statistics and graphs—showing, for instance, the share of anonymous or pseudonymous titles in the total book market, over time; the share of anonymous or pseudonymous writers who were women, over time; and the type of signature used (“by a Lady,” “by the author of…..,” pseudonym, etc.) over time. In this talk I’ll describe my process of extracting data from a print bibliography using digital tools, and discuss possible explanations for the trends I observe.

1:45 pm How we recruit academic librarians: Rethinking hiring practices and policies to support the development of a more diverse and inclusive workforce
Monique Flaccavento, Director, OISE Library, University of Toronto Libraries
Slides | Presentation

Are there hiring policies and practices that may help to develop a more diverse and inclusive academic librarian workforce? Are there others that may pose barriers? In this session, I will share findings from a 2019-2020 research study about the hiring policies and practices for academic librarians in Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) institutions. Drawing on interviews conducted with Search Committee Chairs and people in “HR type” support roles, and a content analysis of academic librarian job postings, I’ll share some of the inclusive hiring strategies different institutions have implemented as they aspire to move beyond the status quo.

2:15 pm Poster Q&A in Zoom Breakout Rooms

  • Breakout Room 1: Sending Department Faculty to MaRS: The Materials Request System. James Parrigin, Coordinator of Library Instruction, Salisbury University
    View poster |
    Subject librarians at a medium-sized public university have developed an online application that enhances collection development collaborations between librarians and department faculty. Our subject librarians strive to develop collections that support academic programs without subject expertise in assigned areas. Consequently, we rely upon academic department faculty colleagues to assist with recommending materials. Faculty-driven recommendations help librarians to keep library collections quality and relevance to academic programs high. However, encouraging department faculty to contribute remains a challenge. National (U.S.) library services survey reports corroborate this ongoing challenge, further indicating that communication is confined to email and spur-of-the-moment in-person interactions. Within those exchanges, subject librarians encounter high volumes of questions such as: I forget—did I ever order X? When did I order X? When will X arrive? What has my department ordered during XYZ months? When did my colleague order those films? How much money is left in the budget? Can I order X and have it placed on Course Reserve? To streamline this process, a subject librarian and Technology Librarian developed the Materials Request System (MaRS): The web-hosted MaRS platform allows departments and their faculty to view and plan requests around current budgetary information, submit requests for materials they will use for teaching and research, submit “rush” orders and place materials on Course Reserve, view inter-departmental requests, and more. Librarians benefit from having a centralized platform that accurately documents departmental activity, increases library-department transparency, and we believe, helps to give faculty an increased stake in library collections.
  • Breakout Room 2: Why Forget What We Can Remember? The Right to be Forgotten and Its Impact on Libraries and Access to Information. Julie Lavigne, Legal Studies Librarian, Carleton University
    View poster |
    What is the right to be forgotten and how might it impact the work being done at libraries? In 2014, the European Court of Justice confirmed that its citizens had the right to request the removal of results from an Internet search query where the result linked to personal information that was “inaccurate, inadequate, irrelevant, or excessive.” While currently restricted to EU citizens, there have been attempts to extend this so-called “right to be forgotten” beyond EU borders, and even some Canadian courts (as well as the federal Privacy Office) have suggested that there may be a similar right in Canada. While the right seemingly protects against a pressing social need – how the apparent permanency of online information may prevent people from moving forward in life without being unduly hampered by their pasts – it also holds serious long-term risks for society’s ability to access information and to remain properly informed by history. This poster outlines the researcher’s recent LLM thesis work, during which she discovered that, somewhat surprisingly, there is not a lot of literature on this topic written from the library and information sciences perspective.
  • Breakout Room 3: A Review of Homelessness and Information Access. Mitchell Moncur, MISt, McGill University
    View poster |
    Historically, LIS research of homelessness has stressed ‘the digital divide’ or access to information centers in society. This research looked at the availability of information as a means to empower the individual and to improve the social, economic, and physical qualities of life. Scholars have since shifted their focus to the power dynamics between the library and their users, where homeless patrons face differential access to information and services. The goal of this literature review is to investigate why libraries provide irregular services to patrons experiencing homelessness and how reframing our understanding of these users can influence future policies. Research reveals that libraries commonly lack the administrative commitment and funding to properly educate and train their staff, leading to “under the radar” types of support. Despite this, homeless patrons do not consider themselves outside the information mainstream or mass media, nor do they see themselves as information poor. Group interviews suggest that homeless communities are experiencing information overload, where the disarray of printed material from service providers lacks organization and largely ignores literacy levels. The consensus is that libraries often act without connections to service agencies, resulting in a duplication of efforts or misleading reference interviews. Nevertheless, libraries can still help facilitate access to basic physiological needs, such as lodging and healthcare, in addition to many higher-level needs, such as identity management and maintaining social ties. The relationship between libraries and homeless patrons is fragile, as the unequal enforcement of vague policies seeks to uphold middle-class expectations of behavior and excludes those who are deemed to be homeless. Further research can help establish clearer policies and improved library services for homeless patrons by analyzing how they interact with information in everyday life.
  • Breakout Room 4: The Social Library: A Review of Library Anxiety. Emily Zinger, Southeast Asia Digital Librarian, Cornell University
    View poster |
    Library anxiety is defined as the anxiety that patrons—particularly undergraduate students—experience when using or thinking about using libraries. The library studies literature has long claimed that this barrier is unrelated to general anxiety. A review of this literature, however, reveals that this assertion is not supported by sufficient research. My study questions this assumption and aims to place library anxiety within the larger context of more commonly researched anxieties. Predicated on the belief that using a library is a social, rather than purely individualistic activity, I hypothesize that by correlating patrons’ scores on the Multidimensional Library Anxiety Scale, the Beck Anxiety Inventory, and the Social Interaction Anxiety Scale I will demonstrate that library anxiety does not function independently, but is significantly linked to social and general anxiety. As my research will be in progress during the Forum, my poster will cover a comprehensive review of the library anxiety literature, presenting evidence for my hypothesis and how my findings could complement established strategies for reducing library anxiety. My review will focus on the interpersonal components of library use, particularly interactions with staff, to construct the logic behind my hypothesis. To ameliorate the effects library anxiety, librarians must understand its context and mechanisms. Library use does not occur in a vacuum; it involves interaction with and performance in front of others. My poster will highlight the importance of this fact in dismantling the barrier of library anxiety and ensuring that library services are psychologically accessible to all who seek them.
  • Breakout Room 5: Feeling Bearish in the Business Library: Making Room for Mental Wellness through Film. Mariana Jardim, Liaison Librarian, University of Toronto Scarborough Campus
    View poster |
    I report on a pilot project that created opportunities for Management and Computer Science students to take a break from their studies, de-stress and socialize, while learning discipline-specific content through film.
    Students in these disciplines have been particularly affected by tragic mental health-related events on campus. In consultation with Management’s embedded mental health counsellor, the project team felt it was important to play a part in more proactively addressing mental health in these departments.
    Films screened at the library included The Social Network, The Big Short, and the Pursuit of Happyness. Before each film screening, students listened to a lecturette by a subject matter expert in order to contextualize the film’s curriculum-related content. Mental health resources and contacts were shared throughout the events, so that students could learn about the various supports available to them on-campus.
    I report on student feedback and reflections around their participation, as well as on the experience of project team members and consultants. Preliminary results demonstrate that many students felt a reduction of their emotional stress load, and learned about taking a proactive approach to their own mental health and self-care. Furthermore, some students gained awareness of mental health resources on-campus, free apps and other tools, and learned how to access the library’s online film resources, mindfulness books and space.
    Lastly, limitations of the pilot are discussed, as well as considerations for turning it into a recurring library event.

3:00 pm Break

3:15 pm Jeanne-Marguerite Saint-Pierre et la place des femmes dans le développement des bibliothèques au Québec
Camille-Hélène St-Aubin, Bibliothécaire, Université de Sherbrooke
Slides | Presentation

Pendant l’été 2019, j’ai réalisé un projet de recherche sur Jeanne-Marguerite Saint-Pierre, la première directrice des succursales pour enfants des bibliothèques de la Ville de Montréal. En fouillant dans les archives de l’École de bibliothécaires où elle a étudié avant d’y enseigner, dans les archives de la Bibliothèque des Enfants où elle a obtenu son premier emploi de bibliothécaire et dans les archives des bibliothèques de Montréal où elle a occupé son poste de 1947 à 1973, j’ai pu reconstituer son parcours et ses réalisations.

Sa correspondance et les articles qu’elle a publiés au cours de sa carrière permettront d’illustrer les projets que la bibliothécaire a mis en place et de démontrer son expertise de la littérature enfantine. Le désir de Jeanne-Marguerite Saint-Pierre d’améliorer les services et son travail pour augmenter le nombre et la visibilité des bibliothèques pour enfants seront aussi démontrés grâce à des exemples de campagnes qu’elle a menées et de programmes qu’elle a développés.

Je souhaite mettre en valeur le travail de cette femme dans le cadre de l’histoire du développement des bibliothèques enfantines, tout en soulignant l’importance de continuer à apprendre à connaître les femmes bibliothécaires du passé. Tout au long de la présentation, la place des femmes dans le développement des bibliothèques sera donc mise de l’avant pour mettre en relief les rôles que celles-ci ont occupés ainsi que ceux qu’elles occupent toujours et qui sont parfois encore sous-estimés.

3:45 pm The IDEA Lab: Designing Student Research Opportunities Across Differences
Nadine Anderson, Behavioral Sciences and Women & Gender Studies Librarian, University of Michigan-Dearborn
Raya Samet, Education and Health & Human Services Librarian, University of Michigan-Dearborn
Slides | Presentation

Given the constraints of the traditional course structure that centers on content delivery and assessment, how can we best prepare students who are educated in siloes to work together across disciplines to design and iterate solutions to real world problems? In an effort to respond to this challenge we designed the IDEA Lab, a pilot program based in Design Thinking principles that guides students from three different courses in three colleges across campus through an interdisciplinary project aimed at solving a complex real world problem. IDEA Lab takes information literacy to a third space, which is course-based, but occurs outside the boundaries of the classroom, the traditional librarian role, and of the traditional grading system including rejection of typical attitudes towards failure. Centering the IDEA Lab in the library embraces the library’s role as a supportive and nurturing place to learn and explore. In this presentation, we outline how our team of instructional librarians engaged in design thinking in order to build the IDEA Lab program. We will discuss building a program that gives students the opportunity to work effectively across differences, critically analyze their own self-processes and group processes, and gain experience with real-world research skills and problem solving in an interdisciplinary context. Centering the library as the home of problem-based learning and breaking the mold on siloed discipline-based instruction helps to move us towards a more multi-disciplinary approach to information literacy instruction.

4:15 pm Closing remarks
Guylaine Beaudry, University Librarian, Concordia University

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Virtual Backgrounds 2021

Below are some virtual Zoom backgrounds that attendees are free to use during the event. Click on the image to see the full-size and then right-click on the image to download.

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More information

Hannah Bartels & Laura Ivan
Co-Chairs, Librarians' Research Forum Committee;

2021 Librarian’s Research Forum Committee members:
Dr. Guylaine Beaudry: University Librarian
Joshua Chalifour: Digital Scholarship Librarian
Danielle Dennie: Research Data Librarian
Sarah Lake: Digital Preservation Librarian
Chloe Lei: Engineering Librarian

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Updated: Friday 12 November 2021
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