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

2024 Conference Program

OALT/ABO 2024 Conference

Message from the Board of Directors

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I am excited to invite you all to join us this year for our 51st annual conference from May 2 – 3, 2024. This year, our conference will be held onsite at Hamilton Waterfront Event and Conference Centre. Based on feedback from conference attendees, this event will be in-person only. 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 “Libraries as lighthouses / Les bibliothèques comme phares?”. We are looking forward to shining a light on the work of library technicians and the students who are the future of our profession.

Our sessions this year cover a variety of topics. I am pleased to announce Michelle Arbuckle, Executive Director of the Ontario Library Association, who will be our keynote speaker on Thursday morning. Our sessions will run from 8 am to 4:30 pm on Thursday with our annual banquet being hosted from 5-8 pm. Our Friday sessions will run from 9:00 am to 4 pm. All of our sessions this year will be in the same location at the Waterfront Hamilton Banquet and Conference Centre.

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. Our banquet, and breaks throughout the day is a great way to do this.

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 students 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

Message from the Conference Coordinator

I would like to extend a warm welcome to everyone attending the 2024 Conference.  It is the first onsite conference since the pandemic.  We chose Hamilton as it is the home of Mohawk College; the home of an amazing online diploma that allows students to complete their courses full or part-time.

We chose the Waterfront Event and Conference Centre for our conference as it is on Hamilton Harbour and has a great view and everything is onsite.

We have invited Michelle Arbuckle, the Executive Director of OLA to be our keynote speaker and then will have a panel discussion and a question and answer period.

We have some different topics workshops that are unique to the Hamilton-Wentworth area.

Enjoy your first onsite conference since Covid and we will be looking forward to many more like it over the next several years.


Janna Munkittrick-Colton
Conference Coordinator, Board of Directors | Coordinatrice de la conférence, 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
Our entire team : info@oaltabo.on.ca


Thursday May 2nd, 2024 / jeudi le 2 mai 2024

8:00 AM – 9:30 AM Day one opening + social (Breakfast included)
9:30 AM – 10:00 AM Opening Reception
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Navigating the Unscripted Journey: A Career Survival Guide for Library Adventurers| Michelle Arbuckle – KEYNOTE
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM Panel and Discussion on Keynote
12:00 PM – 1:15 PM Lunch
1:15 PM – 2:30 PM Robots in the Library | Wind Inc.
2:30 PM – 3:30 PM Storytime for Adults with Special Needs | Denise Besic & Mandy Bullard
3:30 PM – 4:30 PM Squeaky Clean Data : Introduction to Open Refine | Jessica Hymers
5:00 PM – 7:30 PM Awards Banquet

Friday May 3rd, 2024 / vendredi le 3 mai 2024

8:30 AM – 9:00 AM Day two opening + social (Breakfast included)
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM Harnessing the Power of D2L: Creating a User-Friendly platform in Under Three Months | Victoria Riddle
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Port Plus : Increase Hours and Community Impact | Diana Smith, Grace Howes and TJ Lawrence
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM A Guiding Light: CAMH Mental Health Sciences Library as a Beacon of Support within the Community | Mackenzie Hilton
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM Lunch
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM Hamilton Bookmobile | Staff from the Hamilton Public Library
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM Creating Accessible Word Documents | Tiffany Ribeiro
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton (SJHH) Libraries: An Introduction | Karin Dearness, Melanie Chiarot and Kaitryn Campbell
Session Descriptions

Thursday May 2nd, 2024

Opening Reception and Remarks

Vincent Elit (President, Board of Directors), Her Worship Andrea Horwath (Mayor of Hamilton)

Join us beginning at 8:00am for breakfast and social time. The formal opening reception and remarks will begin at 9:30am with remarks from the Board of Directors, Mayor of Hamilton and representative from Mohawk College

Navigating the Unscripted Journey: A Career Survival Guide for Library Adventurers

Michelle Arbuckle – Executive Director, Ontario Library Association (Keynote Speaker)

In “Navigating the Unscripted Journey,” we invite you to embark on a dynamic exploration of career success in libraries. Through personal anecdotes, discover the transformative power of collaboration, the fulfillment found in association involvement, and the quest to live a life beyond work. Each chapter of this talk illuminates essential lessons, guiding you to navigate your career with confidence. Engage in a lively discussion, glean insights from our shared experiences, and gain practical strategies for charting your course in the ever-evolving library landscape. With humor and candor, this presentation inspires you to embrace your own unscripted journey with courage and purpose, ready to conquer new horizons in your career.

Panel and Discussion on Keynote

Moderator – Dolores Harms Penner, Program Specialist, Library Programs, Mohawk College


  • Istheshad Chowdhury, Library and Information Technician, Mohawk College Library
  • Leslie Czegeny, Children’s Services Assistant, Lincoln Pelham Public Library
  • Anastassia Irina, Learning Commons Coordinator, St. Michael’s College School​

Robots in the Library


Wind Inc have been putting Robots into Restaurants for several years and are now introducing them into libraries to do some of the tasks when staff could be used for other programs.  Such as carrying books for kids/parents and helping give direction.

Adult Special Needs Storytelling

Denise Besic & Mandy Bullard (Hamilton Public Library)

Storytime for adults? Yes, you heard that right! Come to this session to learn about what Special Needs Storytime for Adults is, how to offer it and promote it to your library users. We’ll discuss the similarities and differences between preschool storytimes and storytimes designed for adults with diverse needs. We’ll share our experiences and offer tools that will take the intimidation out of running a program for adults with special needs and show how easy and fun it can be!

Squeaky Clean Data: Introduction to Open Refine

Jessica Hymers (Scholars Portal at the University of Toronto)

Whether you are wrangling messy spreadsheets, cleaning up database exports, or preparing your data for analysis, this session will kickstart your journey into getting started with using OpenRefine for data cleaning. Bring your own laptop if you’d like to follow along as we walkthrough downloading the application, exploring its functions, and working with some real-life data. No matter if you are a seasoned data scientist or a curious novice, this session will leave you with the fundamental skills and the confidence to get started using OpenRefine in your library.

Friday May 3rd, 2024

Harnessing the Power of D2L: Creating a User-Friendly Platform in under three months

Victoria Riddle (System Learning Commons Program, Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board)

This session will focus on the transition of e-resources from Enterprise to the Learning Management System D2L “The Hub”. Over the span of three months, we created a more accessible, user-friendly platform for all K-12 students and staff to access and enjoy our e-resources with ease at home. Join us as we discuss some of the process and challenges of changing some of our e-resource sign-on methods, rebranding our online platforms, and creating an LMS course from scratch.

Port Plus: Increase Hours and Community Impact.

Diana Smith (Branch Librarian), Grace Howes (Communications Specialist) and TJ Lawrence (Website and Systems Administrator) [St. Catharines Public Library]

Staff from St. Catharines Public Library will discuss the success of their Port Plus pilot project, an extended access service model implemented to increase open hours at the Port Dalhousie Branch beyond the hours that staff are on-site. Focusing on customer service, technology, and communications, we’ll outline the steps we took to increase usage and community engagement at St. Catharines’ smallest library branch, all while working within our existing budget.

A Guiding Light: CAMH Mental Health Sciences Library as a Beacon of Support within the Community

Mackenzie Hilton – CAMH (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health)

Embark on a journey through the intricacies of mental health and community engagement with a presentation focused on the CAMH Mental Health Sciences Library. Delve into the library’s pivotal role in creating a compassionate and inclusive space, providing invaluable resources, and nurturing a sense of belonging within the community. Attendees can anticipate gaining firsthand insights into how the CAMH Mental Health Sciences Library is at the forefront of destigmatizing mental health, offering tailored support, and fostering a collective commitment to well-being.

Hamilton Bookmobile

The Bookmobile is Hamilton Public Library’s branch on wheels. It makes stops throughout the city to ensure everyone can enjoy library materials and services.

Creating Accessible Word Documents

Tiffany Ribeiro

Accessible documents benefit all audiences. Learn about best practices for creating accessible Word documents. Learn how to order and structure headings, add alt text to images, and how to use fonts, colours, and styles to maximize inclusiveness.

St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton (SJHH) Libraries: An Introduction

Karin Dearness, Melanie Chiarot & Kaitryn Campbell

Learn about the work of the team at the St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton Libraries. This includes an overview of their locations and services, the Charlton Library and the role of the Library technician, the West 5th Library and the role of the Librarian.

Annual General Meeting

The 51th Annual General Meeting of the Ontario Association of Library Technicians/Association des bibliotechniciens de l’Ontario will be held separately from our annual conference. It will take place on Saturday, May 25, 2024 at 12:0pm 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 25, 2024.
Proxy forms must be sent via email before Saturday, May 25, 2024 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

Thursday and Friday (includes Breakfast, Lunch, and Banquet) and all sessions.



Member – Student/Retiree




Non-Member – Student/Retiree


One Day Registration (THURSDAY)

Thursday (includes Breakfast, Lunch and Banquet) and all sessions



Member – Student/Retiree




Non-Member – Student/Retiree


One Day Registration (FRIDAY)

Friday (includes Breakfast, Lunch) and all sessions



Member – Student/Retiree




Non-Member – Student/Retiree


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 2nd Banquet and Awards Conference Attendees – Included

$35 for unregistered guests

Saturday May 25th Annual General Meeting No charge.
Accommodations and Travel


Homewood Suites by Hilton Hamilton
40 Bay Street South
Hamilton, ON L8P 0B3 Canada
Tel.: 905 667 1200
Website: https://www.hilton.com/en/attend-my-event/oalt-abo-conference-2024/

Group Name: OALT/ABO 2024 Conference

Travel dates can be between Wednesday May 1st to Saturday May 4th, 2024

GROUP RATE: $214.00 + taxes and other charges / Night
Use Promo code: OLT

**Promo Code Expires: April 3, 2024

You may also phone the hotel at 905-667-1200 to book rooms. Please quote the promo code OTL.


The Hamilton Waterfront Event and Conference Centre is located at:
555 Bay Street North
Hamilton ON L8L 1H1



The closest airport is John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport, which is approximately twenty minutes from our conference venue by car.