Michael Ridley
University of Guelph
Guelph, Ontario, Canada

I’m a librarian at the University of Guelph. Recently I’ve been teaching interdisciplinary undergraduate courses in the First Year Seminar program (see a list here). For the 2016-2017 academic year, I was the Acting Director of the program. Too much fun.

In the fall of 2016 I started a PhD at the Faculty of Information and Media Studies (FIMS) at Western University. I’m a newbie and delighted. My areas of research interest are literacy, artificial intelligence, information behaviour, and information literacy.

In former lives I was Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Chief Librarian at Guelph; Associate University Librarian, University of Waterloo; Head of Systems & Technical Services at the Health Sciences Library, McMaster University; and various positions at the University of Guelph Library.

I hold degrees from the University of Guelph (B.A.), the University of New Brunswick (M.A.), and the University of Toronto (M.L.S. and M.Ed.).

I have served as the President of the Canadian Association for Information Science, President of the Ontario Library Association, and Chair of the Ontario Council of University Libraries. I have been a member of the Board of the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN), the Canadian University Council of CIOs (CUCCIO), the Ontario Research and Innovation Optical Network (ORION), the Canadian Library Association, and the University of Guelph Board of Governors. For a number of years I was the Editor-in-Chief of Open Shelf, the e-magazine of the Ontario Library Association.

In 2007 I was named “Academic Librarian of the Year” (now called the OCULA Lifetime Achievement Award) by the Ontario College and University Library Association (OCULA), a division of the Ontario Library Association (OLA). In 2008 I was thrilled to be awarded the newly renamed Larry Moore OLA Distinguished Service Award (or as we now called it “The Larry”) from the Ontario Library Association. In 2010 I was honoured to be awarded the Miles Blackwell Award for Outstanding Academic Librarian by the Canadian Library Association. In 2013 I was given the Outstanding Alumni Award from the Faculty of Information Alumni Association (FIAA) at the University of Toronto. In 2015 I was very honoured to receive the Ron MacDonald Distinguished Service Award from the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN).

My job and professional life are very important to me but my family is the center of my universe. My wife is the Vice President of an advertising agency and we have two daughters (both graduates of the University of Guelph).

For some reason I am also obsessed by the alphabet. I have a collection of children’s alphabet blocks and wooden printer’s type. This has lead to a dangerous exploration of the idea of “post-literacy.” Go figure.