Student Journals, An Open Forum for FIMS Graduate Students – Tues. Feb. 7, 12:00-1:00pm

Emily Carlisle-Johnston and Noah Churchill-Baird (with Western Libraries) and Melanie Mills (FIMS) will provide a brief overview of student-run journals and publishing, and available supports to facilitate this work here at Western. The trio will then moderate an open dialogue for participants who may be interested in running a journal for their specific program or discipline here at Western. All are welcome! Registration encouraged; please email: 

Emily Carlisle-Johnston has been a Research and Scholarly Communication Librarian at Western since 2020; previously she was a Scholarly Communication and Research Data Management Librarian at Nipissing University. She supports researchers and faculty with open access publishing and the creation and use of open educational resources. Emily is currently a co-editor of the Canadian Journal of Academic Librarianship. 

Noah Churchill-Baird is a current MLIS student working on an 8-month co-op placement in the Research and Scholarly Communication unit of Western Libraries. He took the LIS Scholarly Communication course in January 2022 and as part of that course, was a peer reviewer for the journal Emerging Library and Information Perspectives (ELIP).

Melanie Mills is an academic librarian and library administrator at FIMS and has worked across units and campuses at Western since graduating with her MLIS in 2003. This year, she is serving as President of the Ontario Library Association (OLA). Melanie is eager to hear from FIMS graduate students about their interest in student-run journals, and in particular, possible future directions for ELIP.  

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Challenging Imposter Syndrome – Tues. Mar. 14, 12-1:00pm, FNB 4070

Dr. Melanie-Anne Atkins, Associate Director, TA Programs, Centre for Teaching and Learning, Western University

When you experience success in your academic or personal life, do you feel like a fraud? When someone praises you for a job well done, does it feel unearned? When you experience failure, who takes all the blame? In this highly interactive talk based on content from Upskilling Graduates for Success: Cultivating Wellbeing in Workplaces and Communities, let’s explore what imposter syndrome looks, sounds, and feels like for you; discuss why it won’t automatically go away when you graduate; and try up to four strategies to lessen its impact on yourself and each other. 

Dr. Melanie-Anne Atkins is the Associate Director, TA Programs at the University of Western Ontario’s Centre for Teaching and Learning and a certified CliftonStrengths® coach. She has partnered with every faculty and university college at Western to develop a diverse set of educational resources and assessment tools. In 2016, she led the creation of a student-driven wellness education innovation hub teaching evidence-based mental health and wellness strategies to university students, staff, and faculty. Dr. Atkins has a special interest in engaging students with traditionally marginalized identities in the academy, peer mentorship and education, holistic student development, anti-oppressive practices in education, and students as partners in teaching and learning.

Empathetic Public Libraries: Let’s Do It! An OLA Think-Tank Event

(Rescheduled from December 2022; new date TBD)
Nancy Goebel, Head, Faculty Engagement, Augustana Campus Library, University of Alberta

Public libraries are positioned well to significantly impact users in so many ways! One way that we can collectively do this is by considering how empathy can be demonstrated in all that we do. In this presentation, you will learn about areas of library work where empathy can make a difference!  Research findings will be shared as the kickoff to thinking about intentionally bringing empathy into public libraries.

About the speaker: Nancy Goebel (she/hers) is Head, Faculty Engagement of the Augustana Campus Library of the University of Alberta (Camrose, Alberta). 

The Augustana Human Library created the foundation for Nancy’s interest in what libraries can do to foster the development of empathy in library staff and students. Following a year’s research leave, she has gained many insights into this area. In a world with much strife, empathy is crucial.

Writing at the Graduate Level – Fri. Jan. 27, 12-1pm

Paul Schmidt, Associate Director, Writing Support Centre, Western University

This session is geared toward incoming LIS graduate students and will focus on strategies and skills to write with impact, though graduate students from all FIMS programs are welcome to attend and participate. Paul has taught in the Faculty of Engineering and in the Ivey Business School for more than a decade. He values clear, concise writing and abhors hearing the word ‘leverage’ used as a verb. 

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Western Heads East: A Community-Engaged Learning Opportunity for FIMS Graduate Students

Panel Presentation, with: Jacqueline Gratton, MLIS student; Dr. Pam McKenzie, Acting Associate Dean, Graduate and Postdoctoral, FIMS; Maria Rodriguez, WHE Program Coordinator

This session will introduce the Western Heads East (WHE) internship program, which is also an international learning opportunity eligible for course credit. Western Heads East is a collaboration between Western staff, students, faculty, and African partners using probiotic foods to contribute to health and sustainable development. Jacqueline Gratton, a recent MLIS graduate, will share her summer 2022 experience of doing a virtual internship and pairing it with an Individual Study course to receive related course credit. 

Jacqueline Gratton was a Western Heads East intern in the Summer 2022 term and did an individual study on “Culturally Sensitive and Relevant Information Management” alongside the internship. Professor and Associate Dean at FIMS, Dr. Pam McKenzie, supervised Jacqueline’s MLIS Individual Study project related to her Western Heads East internship. Maria Rodriguez, the WHE program coordinator works with interns before, during and after the experience and as a mediator with the local community partners. 

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Kairos Blanket Exercise – Thurs. Jan. 12th 1:30-4:30pm

At the Wampum Learning Lodge, adjacent to the Faculty of Education at Althouse College

In partnership with Danica Pawlick-Potts’ LIS 9370 course, hosted by the Office of Indigenous Initiatives (OII) and facilitated by an Indigenous Elder, FIMS students, faculty, and staff are warmly invited to participate in a Kairos Blanket Exercise (KBE), an experiential learning exercise that takes “participants through the history of the colonization of Turtle Island to better understand the ongoing impact of Canadian government policies, institutions, and colonial ideologies, and their intergenerational effects on Indigenous Peoples and communities”. The session will be offered in the newly opened Wampum Learning Lodge, adjacent to the Faculty of Education at Althouse College. Space is limited, so registration in advance is required.

N.B. If you are unable to attend this program offering, another KBE for the FIMS community will be offered in the spring.

The FIMS Grad Library Presents: The Borrow-Me Book Collection

by Bree-Anna Green

As we all know, items in the FIMS Graduate Library usually do not circulate but are available for use in the library to read, copy or scan. Other items in the collection are available for loan for our graduate community, such as our board games, comics and graphic novels, children’s materials, Indigenous authors, and DVDs.  

Recently, the FIMS Graduate Library started working on a new project titled the “Borrow-Me Book Project” – for this project, we were fortunate enough to receive second (or third) copies of some of the most popular books in our collection, and the result is the introduction of our new “Borrow-Me Book Collection”.  

This new collection will be found intermingled with books from our core collection. In order to make it easier for students to find the items they are looking for, the “Borrow-Me” version of certain books will be placed right beside the original copy from our main collection. To distinguish books in the “Borrow-Me Book Collection”, we have added the words “Borrow-Me” below the book’s call number highlighted in yellow. Additionally, we have added a sticker on the front of the “Borrow-Me” books to further distinguish books in the “Borrow-Me Book Collection”.  

This sticker indicates that a book is eligible for loan!

To sign out a Borrow-Me book, simply bring the book to the service desk and we will sign it out for you. We hope that students will get some good use out of the new collection – let us know what you think! 

This flyer will be posted around the library to remind you of our new Borrow-Me collection

Game On! A Workshop on Collecting Games and Developing Board Game Programming in Libraries with Carlie Forsythe 

by Sara Clarke

On March 22 we were very lucky to have Carlie Forsythe join us for a workshop on collecting board games and developing board game programming in libraries.  Carlie recently completed an MLIS at Western and currently works as a Reference and Research Specialist at Fanshawe College. At Fanshawe, Carlie is responsible for developing the board game collection for Fanshawe’s Library Learning Commons and has also developed board game programming for the college community. In addition to having a wealth of professional expertise in the area, Carlie is an avid gamer and is always enthusiastic about talking about games and gaming. 

During the workshop, Carlie made a very compelling case for why recreational play is so important to include in library spaces. Carlie’s research on the topic demonstrates that there are more benefits to board game collections than many of us may realize, including social benefits, skill development, and valuable opportunities for community-building.  

Drawing on their experience developing the Library Learning Commons’ game collection, Carlie shared great tips for: pitching the idea of a games collection to management (hint: highlight the ways that adding the collection will align with the library’s core values) and establishing collection development criteria. While the benefits of creating a collection have outweighed the challenges in Carlie’s experience, they noted that creating a game collection and hosting game programming can be difficult when you’re working with limited resources and a lack of volunteers. Although Carlie touched on the potential for libraries to pivot to virtual gaming programming during the pandemic, COVID-19 has undoubtedly been a significant disruption for in-person gaming in libraries. 

Another highlight of Carlie’s presentation was their discussion of the different genres of games and the considerations to be aware of when collecting games from each genre. This led to an interesting discussion about the problems with colonialist board games and recommendations for anti-colonial games (Carlie recommended the game Spirit Island as one which challenges the colonialist underpinnings of other games).  

Additional Resources from Carlie  

Carlie has been very generous to allow us to make the slides from their presentation openly available, as well as their fantastic Board Game Toolkit. This toolkit contains information about collecting different genres of boardgames in libraries, a resource list, and a “Build Your Own Gateway Collection” tool for those who are unsure where to start in developing a new game collection for their library. If you plan on using or citing any of Carlie’s materials, please be sure to credit Carlie as the creator of these materials.   

Carlie has also written two articles on all things related to board games and recreational play in libraries for Emerging Library and Information Perspectives (ELIP), the MLIS journal published through the FIMS Graduate Library: Game On! Recreational Play in the Library: Reflections of a Board Game Librarian and Roll for Initiative: A Librarian’s Primer for Collecting Tabletop Role-Playing Games.  

Board Games in the FIMS Graduate Library 

The FIMS Graduate Library recognizes the importance of recreational play in libraries and has developed a collection of over 60 games. This collection includes a varied assortment of games, including everything from classic games and card games (e.g., Love Letter), to a new Inuit-designed strategy game, Nunami, and the all-to-timely cooperative game Pandemic. A list of the games in our collection can be found on our website.  FIMS Graduate students, faculty, and staff are welcome to play these games in the library or to borrow them to play at home. Please email us at or visit us in the library if you have any questions about these games.  

textures of your pandemic experience

by Kawmadie Karunanayake

Zines (from ‘fanzine’ or ‘magazine’) are mostly short, self-created, self-published little books. They often have themes, include collage and writing, and can be highly collaborative. In their origins they were traditional media, made by hand, delivered through mail or in person. In their current iterations many of them are online or multimedia publications. They cover topics from computer science and queer advice to fermentation and preservation. Zines can be about most anything the heart desires. I’ve personally made ones which are quite academic and include citations and essays, as well as ones which are just a collection of vibes and images.

In the Grad Library we came up with an idea to create a collaborative zine about the FIMS community pandemic experience. There’s been lots of work done around archiving this “unprecedented time” and we thought it could be interesting and useful to have a zine which captured the more personal, felt experiences of these years. The theme was textures: sensorial, emotional, mental, the embodiment and feeling of living through these years. The participants all approached the theme from diverse perspectives and created pages which captured their own internal sense of this shared time.

The workshops to create this zine took some finagling; the shift from online to in person was the push that was necessary to make it come to life. The sense of collaboration created through in person collaging and creation was much more within the sphere of zine making as a whole, rather than a zoom affair. (I do however want to give kudos to people who did manage to organize and run zoom based creative workshops, because I truly understand the amount of effort it must have taken.) Overall I personally enjoyed the process of creating both the workshop and the zine. In the true essence of a zine it ended up being a project created through the efforts of many people and with a final product which is a combined aesthetic of everyone’s ideas.

FIMS Graduate Library’s Statement on the banning of Art Spiegelman’s Maus

by Paul Hickling

When Art Spiegelman’s Maus was originally published, it was a revelation for the western comics industry and expanded the possibilities of the medium. Spiegelman used his talents as both a writer and an artist to share a deeply personal narrative. Through conversations with his father, Spiegelman not only provides an unflinching look at the horrific realities of Jewish life in Nazi Germany, but also documents the lived experiences of his own family during the Holocaust and the subsequent intergenerational trauma that is inseparable from these events. It is for these reasons that Maus continues to resonate so deeply with readers today. 

This is why we are disappointed by McMinn County School Board’s decision to ban Maus. While the School Board claims that they do not object to teaching students about the Holocaust, there is something lost by only providing students with materials that provide a broad historical overview or take a quantitative approach to measuring the devastation caused by the Nazi regime. Maus reminds us of the importance of documenting the personal experiences of survivors, and the role these stories play in educating future generations about the realities of genocide. 

We have both volumes of Maus in our collection, and we highly recommend borrowing them if you have never experienced them before:

And here is a link to our complete listing of our graphic novels:

Part I and Part II of Maus
Volumes I and II of Maus A Survivor’s Tale by Art Spiegelman.