What Did I Do on My Sabbatical in 2013? (Part 1)

Being transparent and public about what I’ve done on my sabbatical is something I feel strongly about. Too many people (both inside and outside the academy think sabbaticals are paid vacations). Not good; or true.

I’m on a two year sabbatical + admin leave; in a previous post I outlined what I did in 2012. Now for an update on the first half of 2013 (my final year).

Master of Education (MEd)

I completed three more courses towards the Master of Education degree from OISE at the University of Toronto. In the process of completing a fourth. Two more to go; should finish the degree this year.

Access (the Official Magazine of the Ontario Library Association)

As the Editor-in-Chief of Access I have been overseeing a number of the quarterly issues during the first part of 2013. However, the most significant effort has been preparing the magazine to go fully digital in 2014. The Access Editorial Board and the OLA Board are all onside and excited. A Task Force is looking at options and possibilities as well as core technologies and new processes. The last print issue of Access will be a double issue (Fall 13 / Winter 14); the new digital Access will launch sometime in early 2014. Fingers crossed.


Despite being on sabbatical I can’t resist the opportunity to teach. I taught in the graduate program of the Faculty of Information, University of Toronto last fall and, as always, it was too much fun. So, in the Winter 2013 semester I taught “Beyond Literacy: Are Reading and Writing Doomed? (UNIV1200)” as part of the First Year Seminar program at the University of Guelph. The students were fabulous (and highly critical of my post-literacy thesis. So much for professorial authority. Grin). As part of the class project we created a radio documentary; a format in which we were all novices. The show aired on CFRU Monday April 8, 2013 on the Pioneer Radio show.

Task Force on Strategic Directions for Information ServicesFaculty of Information (iSchool), University of Toronto

From January through May I chaired a special Task Force of the iSchool at UofT examining strategic directions for their library and IT services. It was an extraordinary experience which allowed me to work closely with some extraordinary people. The Final Report documented a number of bold new directions for the services and proposed the creation of an entirely new unit. I wish them all the best during the implementation phase. Very exciting.


I am quite chuffed about a nomination and an award I received in 2013. I was honoured to be a nominee for the Master of Information Student Council (MISC) Outstanding Instructor Award at the Faculty of Information, University of Toronto for the 2012-13 academic year.

It was a special thrill to receive the 2013 Outstanding Alumni Award from the Faculty of Information Alumni Association (FIAA), University of Toronto on May 30, 2013.

Scholarly and Academic Contributions

Of course, the center of any sabbatical is the academic work you accomplish. Listed below are keynote addresses, conference presentations, workshops, other academic contributions, and work on various Boards or committees completed during the first half of 2013.

a) Keynote Addresses

The Beyond Literacy Thought Experiment or Collaborative, Online Writing: the Good, the Bad, and the Trolls.” TriUniversity Group of Libraries (TUG) Conference. University of Waterloo, April 19, 2013.

The Crisis in Libraries! And Why This is the Best Thing Ever.” Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board. Hamilton. February 28, 2013.

The Future of Libraries.” Strategic Planning Speaker Series. University of Toronto Libraries. Toronto. February 6, 2013.

b) Conference Presentations

Women in Chief Information Officer (CIO) Positions in Canadian Higher Education: Challenges, Barriers, and Opportunities.” CANHEIT (Canadian Higher Education IT Conference), University of Ottawa. June 11, 2013. CANHEIT Slides

The Crisis in Academic Libraries. Human Resource Issues in Canadian Research Libraries: Exploring Challenges and Opportunities.” Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL), Annual General Meeting. Winnipeg. May 28, 2013.

Risk and Reward: Online, Collaborative Learning Through a Networked Conversation.” Teaching and Learning Innovations Conference. University of Guelph. May 1, 2013.

Writing on the Net: Exploring Participatory, Online Writing: the Good, the Bad, and the Trolls.” University of Guelph Writer’s Workshop. Guelph. February 21, 2013.

The Crisis in Academic Libraries (and Why This is the Best Thing Ever).” Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) e-Learning Webcast. February 12, 2013.

c) Workshops

Facilitator/Instructor. “Organizational Values.” The Partnership: the Provincial and Territorial Library Associations of Canada. Toronto. January 29, 2013.

d) Other Academic or Professional Contributions

Panelist. Academic Libraries and Academic Librarianship (with Brian Cameron and Victoria Owen). Foundations of Library and Information Science (INF1300), Dr. Nadia Caidi. iSchool, University of Toronto. February 5, 2013.

Facilitator/Editor. Beyond Literacy: Exploring a Post-Literate Future. A Poster for the Ontario Library Association SuperConference. (Amber Fundytus, Patrick MacInnis, Quenby Mahood, Kate Restivo). Toronto. January 31, 2013. Prezi version.

e) Boards and Professional Committees

Member, Faculty Council. iSchool/Faculty of Information. University of Toronto. January 2013- .

Member, Physical Resources and Property Committee (PRPC). Board of Governors, University of Guelph. 2012- .

Member, Finance and Audit Committee. Board of Directors. The Ontario Research and Innovation Optical Network (ORION). 2012 – .

Member, Board of Governors. University of Guelph. 2012-2015. (Elected by the University of Guelph Senate).

Member, Board of Directors. The Ontario Research and Innovation Optical Network (ORION). 2011 – .

Professional Development

Keeping up with my academic fields of interest is also important. I attended a number of conferences and even took a MOOC.

iConference: International Conference of iSchools. Fort Worth. February 14-15, 2013.

OISE Graduate Students Conference. University of Toronto. March 22, 2013

iSchool Graduate Students Conference. University of Toronto. March 23, 2013.

Aboriginal Worldviews and Education. A MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto. March-April, 2013.

Ignite Guelph. Guelph. April 23, 2013.

ORION Think Conference. Toronto. April 25, 2013.

Voyant Text Analysis Workshop. Guelph. May 8, 2013.

Roundtable Session with David Weinberger. Toronto. May 14, 2013.

Code4Libraries Conference. Ryerson University. May 23-24, 2013.

Canadian Library Association. Annual Conference. May 29-30, 2013,

CANHEIT (Canadian Higher Education IT) Conference. University of Ottawa. June 9-11, 2013.



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