Posts Tagged ‘Service-learning’

Over the past few days I’ve had the opportunity to enrich my professional career by attending the 66th annual Canadian Library Association conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  The city is vibrant (if a bit foggy) and the conference lineup is stacked with appealing speakers and great info sessions.

With so many concurrent sessions it can be difficult to hit everything, but if I were only able to attend one session this would be it:

Service Learning: Bringing the World into LIS Education

Friday, May 27


Room 312/305

What does every manager want from LIS graduates? Librarians who are able to tackle real library problems. How do we help students develop these skills? By giving them experiences to apply and test themselves. Come to this session to discover how service learning benefits LIS students and to hear about recent service projects led by Librarians Without Borders’ students in Costa Rica and Guatemala.

Speakers: Carolyn Doi, Liaison Librarian, McGill University
Melanie Sellar, Education Services Librarian, Marymount College 
Erin Walker, Children’s Services Librarian, Bradford West Gwillimbury Public Library

Considering I was one of the twenty-seven librarians who was lucky enough to participate in our April 2011 service trip to Guatemala, I may be biased in my choice. Regardless, I urge anyone with an interest in non-traditional librarianship or advocacy for under-serviced populations to stop by and learn about our efforts and successes in Central America.

*CLA logo and italicized text courtesy of the Canadian Library Association


Event in Ottawa – Librarians Without Borders: International Service Learning in Guatemala

Thursday, March 24, 2011, 5:30 pm

Ottawa Public Library

Rideau Branch, 377 Rideau

In a few short months, myself, along with 25 other progressively minded librarians will be travelling to the Miguel Angel Asturias Academy in Xela, Guatemala.  The group is primarily made up of library students from McGill University, University of Toronto, University of Western Ontario and Dalhousie University, but several member of the Librarians Without Borders Executive Committee will be tagging along.

The Asturias Academy is a one-of-a-kind institution, catering to the literacy and educational needs of rural Guatemalans that may not otherwise have access to such services.  Their teaching philosophy is based on the writings of Paulo Friere, primarily his somewhat revolutionary text Pedagogy of the Oppressed.  Instead of being treated as vessels to be filled with knowledge, students are seen as co-creators of knowledge.

If anyone happens to be in the Ottawa area March 24th, I urge you to drop by and hear a pair of wonderful speakers espouse the merits of international service learning and regale you with their experiences of previous trips to the Academy.  The text below comes courtesy of the Canadian Association of Special Libraries and Services website:

Librarians Without Borders (LWB) is a non-profit organization that strives to improve access to information resources by forming partnerships with community organizations in developing regions. In this talk, Carolyn Doi and Robyn Maler will speak about the student-led collaboration between Librarians Without Borders and the Asturias Academy Library, a private, non-profit, K – 12 school in Guatemala that aims to create informed, critically-thinking, and socially conscious citizens through a unique model of education.


Carolyn Doi received her MLIS from McGill University in 2010 and is a Music Liaison Librarian at the same institution. She has been active in Librarians Without Borders (LWB) since 2008, and helped to co-organize a service learning trip for eleven LWB student members in 2010 to Guatemala to do fieldwork with the Asturias Academy Library. She is currently Asturias Library Project Manager.

Robyn Maler is the Chair of Librarians Without Borders McGill student committee and is currently finishing the MLIS program at McGill University. A participant in the April 2010 trip to Asturias, Robyn is excited to continue LWB’s hard work as this year’s Project Lead.”

Please register using the link below: