Welcome to the Ontario Association of Library Technicians / Association des bibliotechniciens de l’Ontario

2023 Conference Program

OALT/ABO 2023 Conference Program


Message from the Board of Directors

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I am excited to invite you all to join us this year for our 50th annual conference from May 10 – 13, 2023. This year, our conference will be held onsite at Durham College (Oshawa Campus), as well, the majority of our sessions will be broadcast virtually. Our Conference Committee has worked hard to prepare and to integrate all that we have learned from both our onsite and virtual conferences over the last number of years.

The theme of our conference this year is “Where are we now / Où en sommes-nous”, honouring our 50th year as an association. We will reflect over the association’s fifty year history, as well as continue to plan for the future in a hybrid format.

Our sessions this year cover a variety of topics. We will be holding panel discussions to start each morning. Wednesday will feature Technical Services, Thursday will feature Public Libraries, and Friday will feature School and Academic Libraries.

We also understand the need to spend time together as we once did at our in-person conferences, to socialize with old friends, and meet new ones. Therefore, we will be offering a number of social events scheduled in the evenings, including our 50th Annual Banquet (held at the Robert McLaughlin Art Gallery) and a BBQ celebration with an author panel discussion

I would like to extend my thanks to Janna Munkittrick-Colton, the Conference Committee, and our Board of Directors for all of their hard work in planning this wonderful event. Volunteers are also an essential part of a conference’s execution, so I would like to express my gratitude for our LIT student and volunteers this year who are helping to ensure the sessions run smoothly. If you are interested in joining our volunteer team, please reach out to our Conference Team at conference@oaltabo.on.ca.

Conference details and a full schedule will be posted on our website (https://oaltabo.on.ca/conference), and social media accounts shortly. Please share these widely with your colleagues and networks.


Vincent Elit
President, Board of Directors | Président, Conseil d’administration

Conference Code of Conduct

The Ontario Association of Library Technicians/Association des bibliotechniciens de l’Ontario uses the annual conference as a venue to promote the association’s mandate to:

  • Define clearly the role of the library and information technician and to make this definition widely known.
  • To publicize the value of library and information technicians and promote a wider understanding and acceptance of their status.
  • To institute recognized standards operating on the provincial level.
  • To work to liaise with related professions and institutions and to promote effective communication among library and information technicians and others in closely related fields.
  • To be receptive and aware of the constant changes and needs in the field of library and information technology, and the community.
  • To disseminate information relating to Library and Information Technicians.

So that the annual conference is a positive reflection of the Association and its mandate conference attendees, speakers, volunteers, and staff of the venues are required to show respect and courtesy throughout the duration of the conference. The Association values the ideas, thoughts, and expression of all those that gather in the Association’s name.

Discriminatory language and imagery are not appropriate for any event be that online or in person. The Association will not tolerate harassment in any form. Harassment is understood as any behavior that threatens another person or group, or produces an unsafe environment. It includes offensive verbal comments or non-verbal expressions related to gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, religious beliefs, sexual or discriminatory images in public spaces (include online), deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention.

If at any time a conference attendee, speaker, volunteer, or staff of a venue feels that they have been harassed or that this code of conduct has been breached, it is important that this person report it the OALT/ABO’s President (president@oaltabo.on.ca). The President will complete a review of all reported violations of the code of conduct. The Board of OALT/ABO will be notified of any reviews.

Adapted from Ontario Library Association’s Code of Conduct for OLA Events and Code4Lib Creative Commons Conference Code.


Vincent Elit – president@oaltabo.on.ca
Janna Munkittrick-Colton – conference@oaltabo.on.ca
Mary Doyle – external@oaltabo.on.ca
Our entire team : info@oaltabo.on.ca


Wednesday May 10th, 2023 / mercredi le 10 mai 2023

Note: All sessions will take place at Durham College. All speakers will be joining us virtually.

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM Panel Discussion (Technical Services) | Cordelia Shan, Duda Trickovic
10:00 AM – 10:10 AM Break
10:10 AM – 10:35 AM Challenges faced by libraries : Programming and collection supporting LGBTQIA2S+ communities | Deb Thomas and Richard Beaudry
10:35 AM – 11:00 AM Break
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM Web design for libraries : An overview of best practices | Colleen Kelly
12:00 PM – 2:00 PM Lunch Break
2:00 PM – 2:45 PM Advanced database searching | Michelle Purcell
3:15 PM Tour at the Oshawa Museum

Thursday May 11th, 2023 / jeudi le 11 mai 2023

Note: All sessions will take place at the McLaughlin Branch (Oshawa Public Libraries)

10:00 AM – 10:45 AM Panel Discussion (Public Libraries) | Jana Prokupek, Remy Lakich, Eleni Gouliaras
10:45 AM – 11:00 AM Break
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM Preserving the past for future generations : A look inside Oshawa’s Local History Room | Nicole Adams
12:00 PM – 1:15 PM Lunch Break
1:15 PM – 2:15 PM Parkdale Branch : Inspiration for CTV’s new comedy series Shelved | Miranda Huska
2:15 PM – 2:30 PM Break
2:30 PM – 3:30 PM *Beep boop* : Libraries in the modern age of robots | Grace Howes, Elizabeth Pereira, Anne Vandermey and TJ Lawrence
3:30 PM – 3:45 PM Break
3:45 PM – 4:30 PM Beyond books : Exploring emerging technologies in public libraries | Aaron Kimberly
4:30 PM – 5:00 PM Tour of the McLaughlin Branch (Oshawa Public Libraries)
5:30 PM – 9:00 PM 50th Anniversary Banquet (Robert McLaughlin Art Gallery)

Friday May 12th, 2023 / vendredi le 12 mai 2023

Note: All sessions will take place at Durham College.
Display tables can be visited from 9:00 AM to 1:15 PM.

9:00 AM – 9:45 AM Panel Discussion (School and Academic) | Karen Wilson Davis, Rebecca Kolisnyk, Mary Doyle
9:45 AM – 10:0 AM Break
10:00 AM – 10:45 AM Supporting reading success using books in accessible formats : CELA’s collection of audiobooks, e-text and braille books for students with print disabilities | Rachel Breau
10:45 AM – 11:00 AM Break
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM Genealogy : Searching unusual sources | Michelle Purcell
12:00 PM – 1:15 PM Lunch Break
1:15 PM – 2:15 PM Bringing all forms of education together | Julie Lane and Joanna Howard
2:15 PM – 2:30 PM Break
2:30 PM – 3:30 PM Mental health affects us all | Jill Dennison
3:30 PM – 3:45 PM Break
3:45 PM – 4:30 PM Nom d’un tentacule vert! : Découvrez la science-fiction d’ici et d’ailleurs (FRANÇAIS) | Jean-Louis Trudel
4:30 PM – 4:45 PM Break
4:45 PM – 5:15 PM Cataloguing code of ethics : a feedback session for CFLA | Jessica Hymers
6:00 PM BBQ and Celebration
Author Panel Discussion | Jean-Louis Trudel, Melodie Campbell and Maggie Blackbird

Saturday May 13th, 2023 / samedi le 13 mai 2023

Note: All sessions will take place at Durham College.

9:45 AM – 11:45 AM Storytelling Workshop | Enid De Coe and Heather Whaley
11:45 AM – 12:15 PM Mid-Day Break
12:15 PM Annual General Meeting
Session Descriptions


Note: All sessions will take place at Durham College. All speakers will be joining us virtually.

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Panel Discussion (Technical Services)

Panelists: Cordelia Shan, Bora Laskin Law Library; Duda Trickovic, University Health Network

10:10 AM – 10:35 AM
Challenges Faced by Libraries: Programming and Collections Supporting LGBTQIA2S+ Communities

Presenters: Deb Thomas, Co-chair, BCLA Intellectual Freedom Committee; Richard Beaudry, Information Specialist and Librarian

Increasing calls for removing books from school and public library collections with representations of LGBTQIA2S+ lives in fiction and non-fiction have experienced a sharp increase in the USA. In Canada, in 2021-22, a record number of challenges were made to the book Irreversible Damage by Abigail Shrier, seen to be transphobic by many.  Richard will discuss the issues related to library learning commons in Canada and the specific groups that have been demanding the removal of LGBTQIA2S+ sources and resources from schools. Deb will give an overview of challenges to collections and programs in public libraries over the last few years and explore current topics related to freedom of expression – harm and human rights and mis and disinformation.

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Web Design for Libraries: An Overview of Best Practices

Presenter: Colleen Kelly, Halton District School Board

New to web design? Join us for an overview of what makes a good website great! We will discuss:

  • Standalone websites vs. Database driven (Bibliocommons, etc.)
  • Page designs
  • AODA guidelines
  • Useful .html programs (free and paid)
  • Examples of sites

2:00 PM- 2:45 PM
Advanced Database Searching

Presenter: Michelle Purcell

Most people today learn to search the Internet before they start searching electronic databases, and as we have more experience with the Internet, we are more comfortable with it. In this course we’ll compare Google with database searching, and look at how you can use the power of database searching to narrow down searches to be very specific, or do very broad searches to find thousands of articles on a specific subject. We’ll look at choosing the best databases for your search, and introduce Search Hedges – a technique to optimize your search strategies.

3:15 PM –
Tour of Oshawa Museum

Please join us in person at the Oshawa Museum for “Dressing for Mrs. Passmore.”


All sessions will be taking place at the McLaughlin Branch of the Oshawa Public Libraries

This program is not sponsored by the Oshawa Public Libraries, and the Library does not carry any responsibility for its content.

10:00 AM – 10:45 AM
Panel Discussion (Public Libraries)

Panelists: Jana Prokupek, Burlington Public Library; Remy Lakich, Burlington Public Library; Eleni Gouliaras, Whitby Public Library 

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Preserving the Past for Future Generations: A Look Inside Oshawa’s Local History Room

Presenter: Nicole Adams

Step back in time and discover the hidden gems of Oshawa’s rich history at our Library’s Local History Room. Opened in 2017, this unique resource collects and preserves a wealth of historical materials that celebrate the city’s traditions and heritage. Join us for an informative session as we provide an overview of the Room’s extensive collection of rare books, maps, photographs, and other unique resources. We’ll also showcase the innovative programming and services that we offer, and delve into our ongoing digitization projects that aim to improve access to the collection.

12:00 PM – 1:15 PM LUNCH

Boxed lunches – will give you choices.

1:15 PM – 2:15 PM
Parkdale Branch : Inspiration for CTV’s new comedy series Shelved

Presenter: Miranda Huska

Toronto Public Library’s Parkdale branch is the inspiration for CTV’s new comedy series Shelved. What makes Parkdale Library so special? What inspired BAFTA winning scriptwriter Anthony Q. Farrell to set his newest comedy series in a Toronto neighbourhood Library? Miranda Huska is the Branch Head at Parkdale Library and has worked there for more than 22 years. Miranda will tell us why she thinks the Parkdale Library makes TV magic.

2:30 PM – 3:30 PM
*Beep boop*: Libraries in the Modern Age of Robots 

Presenters: Grace Howes, Elizabeth Pereira, Anne Vandermey, TJ Lawrence

The introduction, execution, and day-to-day life of robots in a library. How St. Catharines Public Library turned service-industry robots into fun and engaging ambassadors for the library.

3:45 PM – 4:30 PM
Beyond Books: Exploring Emerging Technologies in Public Libraries

Presenter: Aaron Kimberly

Explore the world of emerging technologies that are enriching public library spaces today. We’ll examine some of the exciting programming innovations currently in use at Oshawa Public Libraries, including virtual reality experiences, 3D printing, and video games. We’ll discuss how these features are attracting teens, tweens, and STEM creators to the library, and explore the benefits they offer for community engagement and learning. Whether you’re a librarian, educator, or community member, join us for an insightful session on the evolving landscape of public libraries.

4:30 PM – 5:00 PM

Library Tour of the McLaughlin Branch of the Oshawa Public Libraries

5:30 PM – 9:00 PM
50th Anniversary Banquet (Robert McLaughlin Art Gallery)

Ticketed Event. We will be leaving the library and walking across the parking lot to the Robert McLaughlin Art Gallery (RMG) for our banquet, which will start around 6:00 PM on the 4th floor in the Arthur Room. Catering by Farm and Wild, followed by awards and entertainment by the Durham Story Tellers. Come join us and have some laughs.

FRIDAY MAY 12, 2023

Note: All sessions will take place at Durham College.

*Please visit the display tables anytime from 9:00 AM – 1:15 PM*

9:00 AM – 9:45 AM
Panel Discussion (School and Academic)

Panelists: Karen Wilson Davis, Mohawk College; Rebecca Kolisnyk, Trent University; Mary Doyle, Hastings & Prince Edward District School Board

10:00 AM – 10:45 AM
Supporting Reading Success Using Books in Accessible Formats: CELA’s collection of audiobooks, e-text and braille books for students with print disabilities

Presenter: Rachel Breau, CELA

Educators working with students who have difficulty reading print due to a learning, visual or physical disability (making it challenging to hold or turn the pages of a book), will learn about the Centre for Equitable Library Access’s (CELA) collection of over one million reading items. CELA is a national library service offered through most public libraries in Canada and includes access to educators through the Educator Access Program.

This session will highlight CELA’s diverse selection of titles, different formats, and the reading devices used to read them such as iPads and Chromebooks, whose built-in reading tools can help achieve reading success and enjoyment for students of all ages.

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Genealogy: Searching Unusual Sources

Presenter: Michelle Purcell

Most genealogy books will tell you the most important places to search for information are Birth / Marriage / Death and Census Records, but fail to consider the vast array of other places you can turn to find historical information about people. We’ll consider a number of lesser-known places you can turn to help discover further details of people’s lives.

12:00 PM – 1:15 PM LUNCH

1:15 PM – 2:15 PM
Bringing All Forms of Education Together

Presenters: Julie Lane and Joanna Howard

Bringing all forms of education together is a key factor in many areas of library work. The goal of fostering life-long readers and learners in our communities is a pillar for many libraries across the province, so why not meet some of the youngest readers and learners where they are learning? In this session, we will discuss how we brought our public libraries together with the local school board to support existing learning and growth for students and staff in the public schools of our communities. This presentation will feature examples and strategies for building relationships and partnerships with key stakeholders in schools, with some fun program examples with curriculum connections along the way!”

2:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Mental Health Affects Us All

Presenter: Jill Dennison, Ontario Mental Health

Taking a look at understanding the difference between mental health and mental illness.

Focus on coping with stress, building resiliency and how to support others we care about who may be struggling.

Jill Dennison is the Resource Development Coordinator for the Mental Health Promotion and Resilience Program at the Canadian Mental Health Association in Hamilton. A graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University, Jill provides education to the community as a Mental Health First Aid Instructor, an ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) Instructor, a safeTALK instructor and a facilitator of the Mental Health Works program. Jill is also coordinator of the TAMI (Talking About Mental Illness) program. Jill is a wife and mother of three adult children.

3:45 PM – 4:30 PM
Nom d’un tentacule vert !: Découvrez la science-fiction d’ici et d’ailleurs (Session en français)

Presenter: Jean-Louis Trudel

La science-fiction ne se limite pas aux films et aux séries télévisées les plus populaires.  Elle alimente la littérature depuis au moins le dix-neuvième siècle, grâce à des auteurs comme Mary Shelley et Jules Verne.  Durant cet atelier d’une heure, les participants exploreront en groupe, de manière interactive, la définition de la science-fiction et les ouvrages classiques (tous pays, toutes langues) qui ont illustré la science-fiction.  Ensuite, nous aborderons la grande catégorie de la science-fiction pour jeunes, signée par des auteurs et des autrices, dont Suzanne Collins, Lois Lowry et Danielle Martinigol, à l’international.  Toutefois, nous n’oublierons pas les écrivains pour la jeunesse en Ontario.

4:45 PM – 5:15 PM
Cataloguing Code of Ethics: A Feedback Session for CFLA

Presenter: Jessica Hymers

The Canadian Federation of Library Associations is seeking feedback on the newly drafted Cataloguing Code of Ethics. This session will introduce the Code of Ethics and explain the history of its development. It will also offer a time for questions and formal feedback.

6:00 PM / 7:00 PM (Virtual)
BBQ and 50th Anniversary Celebration

Join us at 6:00 PM for a BBQ and 50th anniversary celebration. We will set up a virtual link for 7:00 PM for those that want to join remotely.  Enjoy a PowerPoint presentation of our history, followed by an authors’ panel discussion on how to develop compelling characters with Jean-Louis Trudel (Fantasy), Melodie Campbell (Mystery) and Maggie Blackbird (Romancing Canada’s Indigenous People). The evening will close with a cake and social hour.


9:45 AM – 11:45 AM
Storytelling Workshop

Presenter: Enid De Coe and Heather Whaley

Who, What, Where, and When We Tell Stories
In this lively, introductory workshop with Enid DeCoe and Heather Whaley, you will listen to stories that will inspire, develop vocal confidence, and evoke powerful emotions and insights. Discover who you are as a storyteller, what to tell, where, and when, and have fun doing it through interactive storytelling prompts, vocal expression musical movement and activities!

11:45 AM – 12:15 PM
Mid-day break

12:15 PM
Annual General Meeting

The 50th Annual General Meeting of the Ontario Association of Library Technicians/Association des bibliotechniciens de l’Ontario will be held on Saturday, May 13, 2023 at 12:15pm in person and remotely via Zoom.

Members in good standing, who are unable to attend the meeting in person may by means of proxy appoint a proxyholder, or one or more alternative proxyholders, who need not be members, as the member’s nominee to attend and act at the meeting in the manner, to the extent and with the authority conferred by the proxy. A member wishing to appoint by proxy, a proxyholder(s) is required to complete the following form, signing and dating it, and giving it to the proxyholder to return to the Chair of the Annual General Meeting, the President of the Association, prior to the call for order on Saturday May 13, 2023.
Proxy forms must be sent via email before Saturday, May 13, 2023 to info@oaltabo.on.ca.

Further information and documentation will be sent out when available, as well as being posted to our website at: https://oaltabo.on.ca/conference/annual-general-meetings-minutes/.

Conference Pricing
Full Conference

Wednesday to Saturday, Breakfast and Lunch all 4 days, and all sessions.







Student Non-Member


One Day Registration

Wednesday, Thursday or Friday – Includes Breakfast and Lunch and all sessions that day







Student Non-Member


Virtual Registration

Wednesday to Saturday – Includes access to all sessions via Zoom.







Student Non-Member


Become a member or renew your membership before registering to get the member price!

*A student is any individual currently enrolled in a full-time or part-time library & information diploma, or post diploma certificate program or those who have graduated from an aforementioned program to a period of six months after their graduation.

Special Event Pricing
Thursday May 11th Tour of Oshawa Community Museum No charge.
Thursday May 11th 50th Anniversary Banquet $20 with conference registration

$35 for unregistered guests

Friday May 12th BBQ and Anniversary Celebration No Charge
Saturday May 13th Annual General Meeting No charge.
Accommodations and Travel


Located on the Campus of Durham College – Ontario Tech University
32 Commencement Drive, Oshawa ON L1G 8G3
Tel. : 905-728-8700
Fax : 905-721-3152
Email :oshawa@stayrcc.com
Website : https://www.stayrcc.com/oshawa

Group Name : 2023 OALT/ABO Conference

Dates : May 9 – 13, 2023


Each of our 2-Bedroom Suites consists of the following:

  • Two (2) Private Bedrooms: Each Bedroom Consists of One Double Bed + One Desk
  • Each Suite has Control Over the Temperature in the Unit
  • Kitchenette: Equipped with Bar Sized Fridge + Microwave + Sink
  • 3-Piece Washroom with Stand-Up Shower
  • Other Amenities Include – 33” Flat Screen TV + Free Wireless Internet + Complimentary Parking + Local Calling + Use of the Campus Recreation & Wellness Centre Gym with Room Key Card

GROUP RATE : $89.95 + HST (13%) / Suite / Night
Use Promo code : OALTABO22798

Direct Link : 2023 OALT/ABO Conference – Promo Code – Direct Booking Link

**Promo Code Expires : April 28, 2023

Alternately use the following link and promo code – www.stayrcc.com/locations/oshawa  >>> Promo Code: OALTABO22798. Please be advised that Guests are also more than welcome to Call the Front Desk to speak to a Residence Services Representative to assist with Guest Bookings, by referring to the Group Name + Promo Code – 905-738-8700.



The Durham College Oshawa Campus is located at:
32 Commencement Drive
Oshawa ON L1G 8G3
From Toronto : https://goo.gl/maps/X5J26BzzjCYbCp6E9
From Ottawa : https://goo.gl/maps/Juzs5smEdV6nEWxs6
From Sudbury : https://goo.gl/maps/4KphyJD6GXkrKgRG6


If you plan on taking transit to Durham College, please check out the routes available via Durham Region Transit (DRT). There is also GO Transit bus and train service available.
Cab fare to the station will be approximately $15 from the downtown Oshawa campus location.


The closest airport is Toronto Pearson International Airport, which is approximately one hour from Durham College by car.
If you are driving to the campus from the airport:

  • Take Highway 401 East to Simcoe Street North;
  • North on Simcoe Street past Taunton Road; and
  • You’ll see Durham College/UOIT on the west side of Simcoe Street just north of Taunton Road.
50th Anniversary Swag
To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Association, we will also have OALT/ABO embroidered Polo shirts available for purchase.
Attending the Conference – Save the shipping cost, and pick-up your polo onsite.
Unable to attend – We will arrange shipment to you following the conference.
If you are interested, please indicate your interest as part of Conference Registration. If you have questions, please reach out to Vincent at president@oaltabo.on.ca.