Opportunity to Join the Dal CAPAL Executive!

The Dalhousie Student Chapter of the Canadian Association of Professional Academic Librarians (Dal CAPAL) is seeking to fill two vacant positions on the executive:

Outreach Chair: This position will reach out to academic librarians at Dalhousie and surrounding academic institutions when appropriate on behalf of the Dal CAPAL Student Chapter.

Treasurer: This position will be responsible for setting up and managing a bank account for Dal CAPAL along with pursuing funding sources for the group.

Deadline to Apply: October 16th, 2015.

Who can apply: Students currently enrolled in the Dalhousie MLIS program.

While you need a CAPAL membership to accept these positions, no other experience is required.

Dal CAPAL is in its second year and has an exciting future ahead. We focus on workshops to help develop skills librarians and information managers need for the future. To find out more about Dal CAPAL, please visit our website,https://dalcapal.wordpress.com/. 

Time Commitment: Dal CAPAL meets once per month and tries to host two events per semester.
To apply for one of the open position our executive team, please send a statement of interest to dalhousie.capal@gmail.com.

$10 Student Membership for September!

For the month of September, CAPAL is offering student membership at a half-price special of $10. If you are a current student, interested in a career in academic libraries, then we encourage you to join us! You can sign up for your membership here!

A Year in Review (2014/2015)

The 2014/2015 academic year was the first year of existence for the CAPAL Dalhousie Student Chapter (affectionately referred to as Dal CAPAL by its members). While this was a year of firsts for our team, it was also a year of accomplishments.

In the summer of 2014, our founding members assessed the needs of students studying at Dalhousie’s School of Information Management. We are a relatively small program (averaging about 35 students per academic year), with a multitude of student associations. Students in this program are tasked with the difficult decision of what opportunities to pursue through associations. Because there are so few of us, students who get involved are often involved in multiple organizations. Sometimes students suffer from “associations fatigue”. In light of this, we wanted to offer our fellow students something different to entice them to join and participate in events organized by Dal CAPAL.

We decided to focus our event planning on workshops, where students could continue to develop practical skills related to the field of academic librarianship outside of the classroom. We set a modest, but attainable goal of two workshops per semester: one in the first month of the semester, and one in the second month. This timeline allowed us to offer events before the student body became too bogged down with school work in the latter half of the semester.

Our first event was an informal Round-Table Discussion with current library interns, held at “The Grad House” (one of Dalhousie’s campus pubs). This event was designed to allow the incoming year of students to talk to outgoing students about employment opportunities in academic libraries in and around Halifax. The turnout for this event was excellent, and positive connections were developed between the incoming and outgoing students.

Our second event was a “Databases Workshop”, designed to complement the curriculum for the class INFO 5530 Information Sources & Retrieval. This workshop offered students the opportunity to further develop their expert searching skills in specialized databases such as the ABI/INFORM Business Database. Five students attended this event and feedback was positive.

Our third “event” was the development of a web resource, designed to teach students how to brand themselves as professionals, and create their own business cards using Adobe Creative Suite. This resource was circulated freely for all students through the MLIS Facebook Page & list-serv. We intend to post this resource on the Dal CAPAL website, for future use.

Our fourth and final event was another workshop on how to develop “LibGuides”. This workshop focused on how academic librarians go about building and maintaining specialized subject guides. This was perhaps the most successful of all our events, and turnout was high.

In addition to these four events, incoming Dal CAPAL members bravely pursued a research project on the Status of Canadian Academic Library Internships. This project was undertaken in the context of the Research Methods course, and revealed many interesting insights into the academic library work experience for LIS students in Canada. The students involved in this project are currently revising the resulting paper according to faculty & peer feedback, and look forward to sharing the results with the rest of CAPAL, soon. Dal CAPAL hopes that these students will consider presenting this project at next year’s CAPAL conference in Calgary!

One area where our chapter has room for improvement is our web presence and social media. While we started off the academic year strong, communications through these channels dropped off as the school year took off. We primarily communicated with each other through email, and with our fellow students through the MLIS Facebook page and list-serv. However, future development of a sustained web-based communications could help to raise our profile.

Our chapter is also on the lookout for a local working LIS professionals who can act as a point of contact to CAPAL organization as a whole, and also act as a mentor to aspiring academic librarians. This past year, no known CAPAL members were available locally. In lieu of a local member, Dal CAPAL may choose to connect with members at a distance through digital means.

In summary, the 2014/2015 academic year was a very positive first year for a student organization seeking to establish itself. The development of attainable goals contributed to this success, and has provided a good framework for the chapter’s future plans. In addition, our chapter has identified areas where we can build and improve for an even better second year. If you are a MLIS student at Dalhousie, and you are interested in getting involved, don’t hesitate to contact us at dalhousie.capal@gmail.com. We are always looking for students who can bring their skills and enthusiasm to Dal CAPAL!

EVENT: Round Table with Academic Library Interns

What: Come have a chat with the current academic library interns in a “round-table” & post-evening class decompression event.

When: Monday, September 22nd @ 8:30 p.m.

Where: The Grad House

Why: Learn more about the available work-experience opportunities in Halifax! Interns from the Dalhousie Libraries, St. Mary’s University and Mount Saint Vincent University will share insights and information about their internship positions.CAPAL_RoundTable

Orientation Week Re-Cap

Dal CAPAL was present at the Orientation Week Associations Display, organized and hosted by SIMSA.  We are pleased to see so much interest from the incoming class, and are looking forward to a great year!

Special thanks to Valerie Collins for organizing the Associations Display!

Hilary, Mark & Jaq-Lin from Dal CAPAL

From left to right: Hilary, Mark & Jaq-Lin from Dal CAPAL

Dal CAPAL Officially Recognized

We are pleased to announce that on Friday, August 22nd, Dal CAPAL received official recognition by the CAPAL / ACBAP Parent Committee. We received the following message from president Harriet Sonne de Torrens:

“On behalf of the CAPAL Steering Committee, it is with great pleasure that we are writing to inform you that the Steering Committee of CAPAL has recognized you as the official Dalhousie Student Chapter of CAPAL / ACBAP http://fr.capalibrarians.org/ or http://capalibrarians.org/ .
CAPAL is a national non-governmental membership organization representing academic librarians and the profession of academic librarianship in Canada. We hope your involvement in CAPAL will enrich your understanding of the roles of librarians in institutions of post-secondary education.
I want to applaud you for taking the initiative to start a student chapter. I trust it will be a very rewarding experience and encourage you to continue to reach for opportunities in the months ahead.”