Tag Archives: Canada

Day 5 of QC and IFLA

Today is my last day at the conference and so far it has been a pretty spectacular day.  I started out at breakfast, sitting by myself when a womyn walked up to me and asked if she could join me, totally like junior high.  I had seen this womyn earlier at the conference and thought I should approach her, but was intimidated as she reminded me of Monica Meyer.  However, this was Lia Friedman an art librarian  at UC San Diego and mover and shaker at Radical Reference an on line reference source for independent journalists and political activists.  OMG!!!!  Radical Reference actually provides volunteer street librarians for protests…omg…RNC…that is totally my thing!!!!  I was so worried I wouldn’t be able to participate in the RNC, and I totally found an avenue!!!!!!  Lia and I exchanged cards and, yeah, totally excellent connection.

After speaking with Lia, and even before, I feel really excited and passionate about librarianship, all facets.  I hope to keep this fire burning, but how?  Continuing ed? Participation in organizations?  The Revolution!

The first session of the day I attended was Libraries and Web 2.0.  Wow, what a panel, Stephen Abram, a womyn from OCLC, a womyn from LC, and a man from Creative Commons.  Brilliant!  Later I heard how someone thought it was a little inappropriate to have only “vendors” on the panel, but I was able to look past that and hear some really great things.  We need to “unfetter information”; harvesting labels w/out user behaviors does not work; and the phrase, ” compulsive anal retentive cataloging.”

After the session, Anne and I had lunch with 2 Canadians and an ex-patriot.  From this I picked up that Canadians have an invested interest in U.S. politics (unlike the U.S. who doesn’t seem to care about anyone else) and Canadians are very aware of the two major U.S. candidates.  This makes complete sense then that Mucha and I kept seeing Barak Obama t-shirts all over Montreal.  I love the Canadians.  I also learned that Canadian librarians have had funding issues for much longer than the U.S..  Some U.S. libraries are actually working with Canadian Libraries and how to handle situations.  Collaboration all over the place.

The final session I attended was Metropolitan Libraries with Public Libraries.  There was a talk on the Canadian Project “Working Together” and also the Sengkong library system in Singapore.  The Canadian project focused on making services relevant and visible for socially excluded populations.  What do socially excluded people want and need from the library, the library needs to be an advocate for all.  In Singapore, advocacy is a way of life.  Instead of continually asking the user to come to the library, bring the library to the user.  Get out in the community, get out from behind the desk.

This has been an amazing opportunity, and I look forward to implementing and practicing these new ideas that I have gathered from librarians around the world.  Yeah, this was definitely a good thing.  I have some really great ideas that I would love to share and work on.

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Filed under library, politics

Day 1 in Montreal (that’s in Canada)

Moms:  We made it here, customs was a breeze…

After getting yelled at by the United Airlines flight attendant for not drinking my soda fast enough and then waiting on the tarmac in an AirCanada plane for 2 hours we made it to the B&B in Montreal

We started out our day with breakfast, obv.  So far the only thing I don’t love about the B&B is that, well, they have breakfast for you and I really like going out for breakfast.  Augusta made us french toast with fresh fruit and yogurt, orange juice, cranberry juice and coffee.  It was actually awesome.

After breakfast we started our jouney.  We seriously walked from 11am until 6pm.  A few blocks into our journey we spotted

and from there on we knew we were in good company.

Our first stop was the Basilica.  Everyone said this is a must

From there we kept on walking around Old Montreal and the Old Port on to Downtown where we ran into Queen Victoria

Seeing the Queen and all her glory really made us hungry and thirsty for that matter.  So we stopped in at Nyk’s












I had a delicious veggie burger made of chickpeas  and a glass of St. Ambroise  and Victoria had penne arrabiata and a glass of chardonay.  

To work off our late lunch we did some shopping along Rue Sainte Catherine.  Tons of boutiques and other things that typically straight men go see at night with their buddies can be found along Sainte Catherine.  We had heard that Radiohead was playing in Montreal tomorrow night so we thought we better get some tickets.  But where?

We stopped in at one of the tourist information spots.  This place is brilliant.  You get a number and when your number is called you can ask all the questions you have like where do we buy concert tickets and by the way where is said concert being held and how do we get there as well as questions like where is the train station and how would you suggest getting from Montreal to Quebec City.  There were 15 windows of question raising tourists.  I loved it.   This information center would impress many a library staff!

So obviously when in Montreal it is most important to visit the Grande Bibliotheque du Quebec (Quebec National Library).  OMG this place is beautiful and rather large.  They provide so so so many services.  I picked up several brochures, what I will do with them, I have no ideas, probably pull them out in job interviews or something.  However, the sign on the outside said no cameras (at least we think that is what the French sign read).  And PS there was not a single sign outside designating the building’s name.  However, since we were not sure if the sign said no cameras or just no flash…here are a couple of images from the outside 😦

So, I would give this first day two thumbs up.  And obv., its not even over.  We have dinner reservations at a vegetarian restaurant in the Gay Village where the “waiter [is] in fishnet stockings, aluminum paper walls.  Some what fanatic…”  Right on, aye.


Filed under gay, library, restaurants