Colloquia Series

The iSchool regularly invites guest speakers to participate in our Colloquia Series. These events are open to the public, and are of interest to faculty, current students, alumni and other professionals and researchers in the community.

Colloquia events are recorded and broadcast through generous funding from the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.

Please use the tabs on the left to explore past colloquia presentations.

The faculty contacts for the Colloquia Colloquia Series are Dr. Jennifer Douglas and Dr. Julia Bullard.

Upcoming Colloquia Series

2017-2018 Colloquia Series

Dr. Lisa Nathan, Associate Professor and Coordinator, First Nation Curriculum Concentration, School of Library, Archival, and Information Studies, University of British Columbia

Thursday, November 23rd, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm, Lillooet Room (Room 301) IKBLC

Title - Humility, Discomfort & Awe: Developing human capacities through information system design


Past Colloquia Series

Links to podcasts, videos, and speeches given at iSchool colloquia are provided below when available.


Dr. Victoria L. Lemieux, Associate Professor, School of Library, Archival, and Information Studies, University of British Columbia

Thursday, October 26th, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm, Lillooet Room (Room 301) IKBLC

Title - The Future of Archives as a Decentralized, Autonomous and Global Network

Many thanks to Dr. Victoria Lemieux for her talk.


Dr. Melanie Feinberg, Associate Professor, School of Library and Information Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Thursday, October 19th, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm, Lillooet Room (Room 301) IKBLC

Title - Factotem: What is information access for?

Many thanks to Dr. Melanie Feinberg for her talk.


Dr. Richard Smith, Professor, School of Communication , Simon Fraser University

Thursday, October 5th, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm, Lillooet Room (Room 301) IKBLC

Title - New Media, new problems, new solutions: The Centre for Digital Media engages with the issues and challenges of emerging media

Many thanks to Dr. Richard Smith for his talk.



Dr. Ray Hsu- Digital media artist, Chair of the UBC Virtual and Augmented Reality User Group, Faculty in Residence at UBC’s Emerging

Thursday, September 14th, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm, Lillooet Room (Room 301) IKBLC

Virtual Reality/ Augmented Reality + Brain Computer Interfaces

Many thanks to Dr. Ray Hsu for his talk.

Dr. Alison Powell - Assistant Professor, Director of MSc Media and Communication (Data & Society), London School of Economics and Political Science

Wednesday, April 5th, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Dilemmas of Data Citizenship: Understanding the Work of Open Data Intermediaries

Many thanks to Dr. Alison Powell for her talk.


Dr. Margaret Mackey, Professor Emerita, School of Library and Information Studies, University of Alberta

Thursday, March 30th, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Moving Experiences: Children's Literate Lives in a Mobile Ecology

Many thanks to Dr. Margaret Mackey for her talk.


Jennifer O'Neal, University Historian and Archivist, University of Oregon

Wednesday, March 22nd, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

From Time Immemorial: Centering Indigenous Traditional Knowledge in the Archival Paradigm

Many thanks to Jennifer O'Neal for her talk.



Dr. Lyle Ungar, Professor of Computer and Information Studies, University of Pennsylvania

Friday, March 10th, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Measuring Well-Being Using Social Media

Many thanks to Dr. Lyle Ungar for his talk. The video can be found at the following link:


Maite Taboada

Professor, Discourse Processing Lab, Department of Linguistics, Simon Fraser University

Monday, March 6th, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Sentiment Analysis and Online Content: How to Make Sense Of Too Much Information

Many thanks to Maite Taboada for her talk.


Anne Lindsay

Access and Research Archivist for the NCTR

Wednesday, January 18th, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Beyond Jenkinson: Authority, Provenance, and Arrangement in a Complex Digital Collection at the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation

Many thanks to Anne Lindsay for her talk.


Dr. Jenny Preece

Fellow of the ACM SIGCHI Academy and Professor at the College of Information Studies, Maryland's Information School

Wednesday, November 9th, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Citizen Science: Challenges for Data Curation

Many thanks to Dr. Jenny Preece for her talk.


Dr. Catherine Ross

Professor Emerita, Faculty of Information & Media Studies, Western University

Wednesday, October 19th, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Researching the Reading Experience: What Avid Readers Say

Many thanks to Dr. Catherine Ross for her talk.


Dr. Mark Warren, Professor, Harold and DorrieMerilees Chair for the Study of Democracy, Department of Political Science

Friday, March 11, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

The Participedia Project: Using an Open Source Platform to Mobilize Knowledge about Democratic Innnovations

Many thanks to Mark Warren for his talk. The video can be found at the following link:

Video - The Participedia Project


National School Library Day Colloquium In Honour of Judith Saltman

Panel Presenters: Maggie De Vries, Jan Hare, Yukiko Tosa, Judith Saltman

Tuesday, October 27th, 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

The Place and Space for Canadian Children’s Literature in Our Lives and Libraries

Many thanks to Maggie De Vries, Jan Hare, Yukiko Tosa, and Judith Saltman for their talk.


Dr. Victoria L. Lemieux - Associate Professor, University of British Columbia (on leave) and Senior Public Sector Specialist, The World Bank

Tuesday, October 20th, 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

"‘We Feel Fine’: Big Data Observations about State Institutions and Social Inclusion.”

Many thanks to Dr. Victoria Lemieux for her talk.


Dodson Visiting Professor Colloquia presents:

Dr. Spencer Lilley - Senior Lecturer, Te Pūtahi-a-Toi, School of Māori Art, Knowledge and Education, Massey University

Wednesday, September 16th, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Ki te Ao Marama Towards the light: Indigenous knowledge and the New Zealand Library & Information Professions

Many thanks to Dr. Spencer Lilley for his talk.

2014 - 2015 iSchool Colloquia Series

Dodson Visiting Professor Colloquia presents:

Dr. Julie McLeod - Program Leader MSc Information and Records Management, iSchool, Faculty of Engineering & Environment, Northumbria University

Wednesday, March 18th, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Tackling The Wicked Problem Of Managing Records In The Digital Environment

Many thanks to Julie McLeod for her talk. The video can be found at the following link:

Video - Tackling The Wicked Problem Of Managing Records In The Digital Environment



Dr. Mark Turin - Associate Professor of Anthropology & Chair, First Nations Languages Program

Friday, March 6, 11:00 am to 12:00 pm

And What Of The Analogue Humanities? Lives, After-Lives And Responsibilities In Digital Anthropology

Many thanks to Mark Turin for his talk.


SLAIS Brown Bag Lunch Talk presents:

Christian Rapp - SLAIS Visiting Scholar (Zurich University of Applied Sciences)

Monday, January 26, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Cheese, Chocolate And....?

Many thanks to Christian Rapp for his talk.


MACL Colloquia presents:

Kit Pearson - Award Winning Writer For Children and Young Adults

Wednesday, January 21st , 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

An Open Book: The Redemption Of Story

Many thanks to Kit Pearson for her talk. The video can be found at the following link:

Video - An Open Book: The Redemption Of Story

HCI@UBC presents:

Stuart Schechter - Microsoft Research

Wednesday, January 14th, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Etching Random 56-Bit Secrets Into Human Memory

Many thanks to Stuart Schechter for his talk.


Dr. Barbara Wildemuth - Associate Dean and Professor, School of Information & Library Science

Wednesday, November 5, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

A Conversation on Mixed Methods Research, With a Focus on Why and How

Many thanks to Barbara Wildemuth for her talk. The video  can be found at the following link:

Video - A Conversation on Mixed Methods Research, With a Focus on Why and How


Dr. Vivian Howard - Associate Professor, School of Information Management and Associate Dean

Tuesday, November 4th, 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Reading Practices in a Digital World: Two Case Studies

Many thanks to Vivian Howard for her talk. The video  can be found at the following link:

Video - Reading Practices in a Digital World: Two Case Studies


Dr. Jennifer Preece - Professor and Dean, iSchool, University of Maryland

Wednesday, September 24th , 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Citizen Science: Information, Technology and People

Thank you to Jenny Preece for the very successful first talk of the series!

A video of the talk can be found at the following link:

Video - Citizen Science: Information, Technology and People by Jennifer Preece

Slides from the talk can be downloaded by clicking the link below:

Citizen Science - People, Information, and Technology

Wednesday, January 22, 12:00pm - 1:00pm
"Co-construction of Information Systems Designs and Social Values: An Ethnographic Study"

Richard Arias-Hernandez, Visiting Lecturer, University of British Columbia
Location: Dodson Room, Level 3, Room 302, Chapman Learning Commons, Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, 1961 East Mall, UBC

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Abstract of the Talk: Scholarly work usually characterizes engineers as politically and socially conservative individuals; instruments of the expansion of capitalism and neoliberalism. It also portrays them as supporters of both the State and the big corporations that employ them. This talk reports on an ethnographic study that documented the work of a group of information technology (IT) engineers in Colombia who decided to create a space of exception to neoliberalism in the form of a Non-Governmental Engineering Organization (NGEO). These engineers found that running their own NGEO provided them with some degrees of freedom to pursue social justice goals in their IT work in ways not usually found in the corporate or neoliberal governmental worlds. However, these opportunities do not come without outstanding challenges, such as funding dependencies from a neoliberal government, which create contradictions that hinder the pursue of social justice goals in the construction of information technology.

Biography of the Speaker: Richard Arias-Hernandez is a lecturer at the University of British Columbia’s iSchool. He obtained a Ph.D. in Science and Technology Studies from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2008. His research has centred around the study of the co-construction of information technology and society, especially those constructions that aim to advance social justice in capitalist societies.

Wednesday, February 5, 12:00pm - 1:00pm
"The Intent of a Classification: Evaluating Classifications Based on the Concept of "Warrant"
Barbara Kwasnik, Professor, Syracuse University
Location: Dodson Room, Level 3, Room 302, Chapman Learning Commons, Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, 1961 East Mall, UBC

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Abstract of the Talk: Clare Beghtol uses the concept of "warrant" as a means for evaluating classification systems based on how well they fulfill their goals. For example, through the prism of cultural warrant it is possible to evaluate a classification system based on how well it represents the needs of a particular culture. Other warrants include literary warrant, educational or mission warrant, and scientific warrant. I'll review the traditional criteria for evaluating classifications and add to these criteria some considerations of warrant. The goal is to provide you with a multi-faceted approach to evaluating classification schemes in the context of their potential uses and users

Biography of the Speaker:  Barbara currently serves as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. She also teaches in the areas of organization of information, theory of classification, and information science. She is especially interested in how classifications intersect with everyday human endeavor -- for example, how they are translated from one culture or application to another. The purpose is to help support increasingly diverse contexts. Previous research (with Kevin Crowston) includes investigating whether genre information can help in searching, personal information management, and browsing.

Wednesday, February 26, 12:00pm - 1:00pm
"Writer as Critic: Inside and Outside the Book"
Sarah Ellis, the award-winning writer of books for children
Location: Dodson Room, Level 3, Room 302, Chapman Learning Commons, Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, 1961 East Mall, UBC
Refreshments Served

A Master of Arts in Children’s Literature Program Colloquium

Abstract of the Talk: Sarah Ellis has always appreciated children’s literature from the multiple perspectives of writer, reviewer, critic, and teacher of children’s literature and creative writing. She will discuss her experience as the insider crafting a story and the outsider striving to put that story into context.

Biography of the Speaker: Sarah Ellis is the author of fourteen books for children, including picture books, short story collections, middle grade novels and non-fiction. Her books have been awarded such honours as the Canadian Governor General’s Literary Award for Children’s Literature and the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award. Her books have been translated into French, Spanish, Danish, Chinese and Japanese.
After graduating from U.B.C.’s School of Library, Archival and Information Studies and a career as a children’s librarian, Sarah moved to teaching and is on the faculty of The Vermont College of Fine Arts. Sarah studied at Simmons College in Boston where she received a master’s degree in children’s literature. When not writing for children or teaching, she lectures on Canadian children’s books and writes book reviews for The Hornbook Magazine and Quill and Quire. Sarah’s immersion in children’s literature has taken her to Japan, Venezuela, England, Ireland and various Canadian and American locations.

Sarah received the British Columbia Lieutenant Governor’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013 and has been nominated for the 2014 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award.

The colloquium is sponsored by the Faculty of Arts Interdisciplinary Programs and the UBC Master of Arts in Children’s Literature Program, a multidisciplinary degree Program offered by the Creative Writing Program, the English Department, and the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies in the Faculty of Arts; and the Department of Language and Literacy Education in the Faculty of Education.

Friday, February 28, 11:00am - 12:00pm
"The Rhizome, the Archives and the Social Media"
Wendy M. Duff, Professor, University of Toronto
Location: Bralorne Reading Room, Suite 470, SLAIS, Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, 1961 East Mall, UBC
Refreshments Served

Abstract of the Talk: Recently, some have called upon archives to move to a more radical user orientation, envisioned by community archives, participatory archives[1] and the archival commons[2]. Concomitantly, some have suggested that social media, or Archives 2.0 will transform archives into a more democratic institution, one that foregrounds ‘multiple authorities based on networks of peers”[3].  Research, however, indicates that most archives continue to serve as a centralized archival authority that uses social media to promote services rather than engage users in new relationships[4].  This paper draws on Deleuze and Guattari concept of the "rhizome" to propose a system that supports non-hierarchical entry and exit points in data representation and interpretation.   It suggests gamification, mashups, and interactives may provide new ways to connect with non- traditional users and to provide new avenues of access to archival material.

[1] Isto Huvila “Participatory Archive:  Towards Decentralized Curation, Radical User Orientation, and Broader Contextualisation of Records Management,” Archival Science 8 (2008): 15-36
[2] Scott R. Anderson and Robert B. Allen “Envisioning the Archival Commons” American Archivist 72 (Fall/Winter 2008): 383-400.
[3] Elizabeth Yakel, “Balancing Archival Authority with Encouraging Archival Voices to Engage with Records,” In K. Theimer (Ed.), A Different Kind of Web: New Connections between Archives and Users,
(Chicago:  Society of American Archivists, 2011), p. 84
[4] Wendy M.  Duff, Catherine A Johnson and Joan M. Cherry, “Reaching Out, Reaching In: A preliminary investigation into archives' use of social media in Canada” Archivaria 75 (2013): 77-96

Biography of the Speaker: Wendy M. Duff is a professor at the University of Toronto, School of Information. She is currently the Director of the Digital Curation Institute and teaches archives and records management with a focus on access to archival materials. She is a founding member of AX-SNet, an evolving international team of researchers interested in facilitating access to primary materials. Her current research focuses on archival users, archives and social media, measuring the archival impact on social justice and the convergence of libraries, archives and museums.

Wednesday, April 2, 12:00pm - 1:00pm
"Purposeful Play for the Youngest Learners: Early Literacy from Birth to Age Five"
Betsy Diamant-Cohen, Librarian and Creator of “Mother Goose on the Loose” Literacy Program
Location: Dodson Room, Level 3, Room 302, Chapman Learning Commons, Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, 1961 East Mall, UBC

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Abstract of the Talk: “Purposeful play for the youngest learners: early literacy from birth to age five" Although library service to children was once mainly focused on books, today play is also a strong component. Children learn best through play. Library programs that incorporate purposeful play experiences can give children (and their parents) opportunities for practicing self-regulation, experiencing positive reinforcement, and developing pre-reading skills.  Playful early literacy programs (such as Mother Goose on the Loose) in public libraries help children build school readiness skills; they also teach parents about easy activities to replicate at home that help with their child’s development. Hear about some fun activities with seriously helpful benefits that can be used with even the youngest library visitors!

Biography of the Speaker: Dr. Betsy Diamant-Cohen is the creator of the early literacy program Mother Goose on the Loose. She was named by Library Journal as a Mover and Shaker in 2004. In 2013, she received the Leadership and Professional Achievement Award from the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies, a division of the American Library Association. The ASCLA award recognized her as “a prolific author, inspiring mentor and presenter, knowledgeable consultant and teacher and creator and developer of the Mother Goose on the Loose program. This program has revolutionized the way story times are presented to young children at libraries across the country and has empowered librarians to work confidently with this young population of readers.” Dr. Diamant-Cohen has had years of experience working in libraries and children’s museums. She runs training workshops and presents courses through colleges and library associations.

Vivian Howard - Connecting Authors and Readers: Researching and Documenting Atlantic Canadian Books for Youth
Presented November 20, 2013 by Vivian Howard, Associate Dean Academic of the Faculty of Management at Dalhousie University
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Bruce Kingma – iSchool Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Presented October 16, 2013 by Bruce Kingma, Associate Provost for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Professor, iSchool and Whitman School of Management, Syracuse University

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Rob Capra - Augmenting Web Search Surrogates With Images: Does it Help to Add Images to Web Search Results?
Presented October 2, 2013 by Rob Capra, Assistant Professor, School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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JonArno Lawson – A Talk from the Bottom of the Box: Reflections of an Award-winning Poet for Youth
Presented September 25, 2013 by JonArno Lawson, Canadian Poet
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Jack Lohman - Taking Shape: Knowledge as Museum Display
Presented March 8, 2013 by Jack Lohman, CEO of the Royal BC Museum, Chairman of the National Museum in Warsaw, Poland and Professor at the Bergen National Academy of the Arts, Norway.
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William Wong - Make It Visible: Applying Cognitive Systems Engineering to Intelligence Analysis
Presented March 1, 2013 by William Wong, Professor of Human-Computer Interaction and Head, Interaction Design Centre, at Middlesex University's School of Science and Technology, London, UK
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Anabel Quan-Haase - Serendipity Models: How We Encounter Information and People in Digital Environments
Presented February 27, 2013 by Anabel Quan-Hasse, Associate Professor, the Faculty of Information and Media Studies and the Department of Sociology, The University o f Western Ontario
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Anatoliy Gruzd - Automated Discovery and Visualization of Communication Networks from Social Media
Presented February 5, 2013 by Anatoliy Gruzd, Assistant Professor, School of Information Management, Director of Social Media Lab, Dalhousie University
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Carol L. Tilley - Children, Comics, Critics, and a Researcher
Presented January 30, 2013 by Carol L.Tilley, Assistant Professor, the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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Geoffrey C. Bowker - Emerging Configurations of Knowledge Expression
Presented November 7, 2012 by Geoffrey C. Bowker, Professor, University of California at Irvine
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Ellen Gruber Garvey - What the 99 Percent Read, and What They Did With It, a Hundred Years Ago
Presented October 31, 2012 by Ellen Gruber Garvey, Professor of English, New Jersey City University (Co-sponsored with English Department)
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School Library Day Panel - Engaging Youth With Indigenous Materials in Libraries and Classrooms
Presented October 24, 2012 by Panelists: Debra Martel, Associate Director, First Nations House of Learning; Allison Taylor-McBryde, Adjunct Professor, School of Library, Archival and Information Studies
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Melanie Feinberg - Personal Digital Collections As Creative Expression
Presented October 17, 2012 by Melanie Feinberg, Assistant Professor, University of Texas at Austin
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Julienne Molineaux - Library and Archives Canada, Ten Years After the Merger
Presented October 3, 2012 by Julienne Molineaux, Lecturer, Auckland University of Technology
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Bertram "Chip" Bruce - Youth Community Informatics: How Young People Use New Media for Community Action and Personal Growth 
Presented April 11, 2012 by Bertram Bruce, Professor, The School of Library and Information Studies, University of Illinois

Dietmar Wolfram - Who are the Disciples and Admirers of an Author? 
Presented March 26, 2012 by Dietmar Wolfram, Professor and Interim Dean at the School of Information Studies, University of Wisconsin--Milwaukee

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Elizabeth Denham - Assembly in the Digital Age: New Information Opportunities
Presented March 21, 2012 by Elizabeth Denham, Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia

Joan Mitchell - Digital Literacy: Changing the Dynamics of Learning 
Presented March 14, 2012 by Joan Mitchell, Editor in Chief of the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) system, OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc.
Slides of Presentation

2012 Research Day at The iSchool
The following video highlights some of the posters, talks, and demos presented at the iSchool's 3rd annual Research Day held March 2. Working with still images of the event, student Jonathan Kift has recreated a sense of the energy and excitement of the day.
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William Cope - Digital Literacy: Changing the Dynamics of Learning 
Presented November 2, 2011 by William Cope, Research Professor, Education Policy, Organization and Leadership, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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Michael Eisenberg - Project Information Literacy: What College Students Say about Conducting Research in the Digital Age 
Presented November 2, 2011 by Michael Eisenberg, Professor and Dean Emeritus, University of Washington, The Information School, Co-Principal Investigator, Project Information Literacy.

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Paul Whitney - Keep Calm and Carry On or Freak Out and Throw Stuff; The Public Library Moving Forward
Presented October 19, 2011 by Paul Whitney, Educator and Consultant and Former City Librarian, Vancouver Public Library and former Chief Librarian with Burnaby Public Library.

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Lynn Bartram - Human-Centred Systems for Sustainable Living
Presented October 26, 2011 by Lynn Bartram, Assistant Professor, Simon Fraser University, School of Interactive Arts and Technology.

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Kate Hennessy - Repatriation, Digital Media, and Culture in the Virtual Museum
Presented March 16, 2011 by Kate Hennessy, Assistant Professor at Simon Fraser University, Anthropologist and new media artist, director of the Making Culture Lab.

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Ingrid Parent - Fast Forward: 21st Century Libraries In A Global Context
Presented March 2, 2011 by Ingrid Parent, University Librarian at UBC and President-elect of IFLA.

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Eliza Dresang - Project VIEWS: Early Learning Initiatives That Work Successfully (or Do They?)
Presented November 17, 2010 by Dr. Eliza T. Dresang, Beverly Cleary Chair for Children's Literature and Services at The University of Washington Information School.

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George Buchanan - Supporting the Reading to Digital Books
Presented November 5, 2010 by Dr. George Buchanan, Senior Lecturer, Centre for Human-Computer Interaction Design at City University, London.

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Geoffrey Yeo - Speech Act Theory and Concepts of the Record
Presented November 3, 2010 by Prof. Geoffrey Yeo, Lecturer, Department of Information Studies, University College London, and Visiting Professor, School of Library, Archival and Information Studies.

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Ann Curry - Silencing by Shouting Down: Acceptable Censorship in 2010?
Presented October 28, 2010 by Prof. Ann Curry, Professor, Department of Education, University of Alberta.

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Michael Gurstein - Community Informatics: Using Information and Communications Technologies to Empower Communities
Presented September 22, 2010 by Dr. Michael Gurstein, Executive Director of the Centre for Community Informatics Research, Development and Training (CCIRDT) in Vancouver, Canada

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MACL/Green College Symposium, "Utopian Tendencies of Oddly Modern Fairy Tales."
Presented March 24, 2010 by Prof. Jack Zipes, Professor Emeritus, University of Minnesota.

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ACA@SLAIS Symposium, "Preserving the Memory of the World."
Welcome and greetings by Rhodri Windsor-Liscombe, Associate Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Students, at the opening of the ACA@SLAIS Symposium “Preserving the Memory of the World” held March 12, 2010 in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.

A Panel of Copyright and Intellectual Property
Presented February 6, 2010 as part of the SLAIS Colloquium series at the Irving K. Barber Centre.

Stabilizing Young People with Information and Space
David Hendry and Jill P. Woelfe, presented January 27, 2010 as part of the SLAIS Colloquium series in the Irving K. Barber Centre.