Alberta For Sale!

With Archives Week just around the corner, Vino (archivist) and I made sure that Musée Héritage Museum brought its game.

Every year, the Archives Society of Alberta encourages archives from across the province to submit photographs from their collections that embody the annual theme. This year's theme, "Alberta For Sale" had us pull out the best of our local business advertisements!

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I created this poster for Archives Week on Canva, my go-to free graphic design site - the same one I used to make my poster for the SLA 2015 conference back in June!

It's an exciting Archives Week for Musée Héritage Museum, because one of our submissions ended up being on the cover for the 2016 calendar! Read the museum's blog entry about it here!

This beauty featuring a very 80s Wayne Gretzky belongs to the extensive photograph collection in our Victor Post fonds, which commemorates the work of a well-recognized photographer from St. Albert.

This beauty featuring a very 80s Wayne Gretzky belongs to the extensive photograph collection in our Victor Post fonds, which commemorates the work of a well-recognized photographer from St. Albert.

For part of our display, I searched for ads local to St. Albert from older issues of the St. Albert Star and St. Albert Gazette, which ranged from the 1910s to the 1960s. I wanted to recreate one of those advertisement walls where people staple and paste their posters over top of one another's (although, we opted for painter's tape as a much less damaging alternative). All of the newspaper ads used are available on the public domain through the University of Alberta's own Peel's Prairie Provinces database. This resource provides access to a multitude of older newspapers, images, and maps from the Canadian prairies, and is definitely worth checking out.

I was happy to briefly step away from my main project to help out with this task, especially after seeing all of the book displays created by my colleagues who work in public and academic libraries.

The advertisement wall on display at Musée Héritage Museum from October 3-9, 2015.

The advertisement wall on display at Musée Héritage Museum from October 3-9, 2015.

Please come to Musée Héritage Museum to see our great spread of archival material as well as our current exhibit called, The Street Where You Live! 

Be sure to visit the other archives across Alberta this coming week to see what they have For Sale! 

#SLAyingBoston

Last month, I attended the SLA Annual Conference in Boston, MA! It was my first time traveling to the US on my own, my first visit to Boston, but my second time to the SLA (last year, it was in Vancouver). I cannot express enough how gratifying and inspiring it is to attend a congregation of information professionals who share the same dreams and challenges!

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The conference badges only allowed you to have one occupation, so because I was presenting a poster for Musée Héritage Museum, and work there 3 days a week, that was what I went with. Regardless, I was able to attend sessions for each of my jobs, which were equally as informative and inspiring. 

This year, for the first time, the conference organizers held a Joint Poster Session and invited seasoned professionals, new professionals, and students alike to submit proposals based on the Be Revolutionary! theme. To my pleasant surprise, my poster on the marketing strategies used by Musée Héritage Museum was accepted! With a profound amount of support from the staff at the museum and from the rest of the Arts and Heritage Foundation of St. Albert, I was able to put together a poster that reflected how sometimes "being revolutionary" can mean using basic, grass roots strategies to draw interest. you can read more about my poster session experience on the museum blog!

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In the production of my poster, I utilized 2 great, free online tools! The first is Canva, a platform that allows you to make beautiful works of graphic design online at no cost! You do have the option of purchasing certain add-ons as on other similar media, but most Canva elements are available free of charge. You can use it to make anything from business cards to Facebook cover photos to menus to invitations and of course, customizable posters, down to its dimensions! After completing your design, you can choose to download it as an image file, or as a high resolution PDF. Canva is my new dear friend. My new dear addicting friend.

The second is called Spoonflower, which is actually a fabric-printing site. Did you know that you can print a poster on fabric too? Just as you would with creating your own printed fabric, you simply upload an image, and select the size and type of fabric that you would like it to be printed on. It makes for an easy, lightweight poster to travel with! Just fold it up, stick it in your suitcase, and press the creases out with an iron when you reach your destination. Who needs a poster tube?

Even though this was only my second time attending SLA, I felt so much more confident and relaxed. I already knew how to get the most out of sessions as possible, how to approach fellow professionals in the field and make connections with them, and how to effectively collect as much conference swag as possible. I went on extravagant adventures with librarians I didn't know before the Boston trip, in search of free reception food at the Westin (the primary hotel of the conference), listened to librarians rocking it out at the karaoke party, and danced the night away with librarians who just love to have a good time. 

I am still learning more and more about the field, but I am 12 months more of an information professional than I was at the last conference! I currently serve on the board of the SLA Western Canada Chapter as their Membership Chair, and because of that, I made an effort to connect with the other wonderful beings who also sit on this board, whom I had previously only heard the voices of via teleconference. It was great to match faces to names, bounce ideas off of each other over some delicious Bostonian food.

By the way, if you are in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Yukon, Northwest Territories, or Nunavut, please reach out to us as you belong to our chapter too! We always welcome new faces, and are constantly seeking new ideas and opportunities for our members :)

If you are on the fence about attending SLA, I would highly encourage you to take on the opportunity wholeheartedly, or even to attend any other library conference out there! Perhaps, I will see some of you in Philly next year!

Library Escapades: Musée Héritage Museum (St. Albert)

Ever since I've started to actively work on my own networking, I constantly encourage my peers and colleagues to take advantage of networking opportunities when they can, because you never know where they'll lead to.

Near the end of my final term in the MLIS program at the University of Western Ontario, I attended a Speed Networking Event hosted by our very own Canadian Library Association (CLA) student group. Students had the chance to bounce questions off of information professionals for 15 minutes at a time. There were 4 information professionals from various backgrounds (Linda Ludke from London Public Library, Tom Adam from Western Libraries, Sandra McKeown from the London Health Sciences Centre, and Mary Kosta from the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph Archives). Mary was the last professional that I got to speak with, and upon telling her that I was from Edmonton, she told me that an MLIS student, Jennifer Vickers who worked at the Archives with her was doing a placement at Musée Héritage Museum in St. Albert, AB! At first, Mary joked with me about surprising Jennifer, but after considering how I hadn't yet visited Musée Héritage Museum, I decided to take a more stable route by communicating with Jennifer beforehand.

With Mary's kind assistance, I was able to connect with Jennifer over LinkedIn, and with the permission of her supervisor, also the Archivist at Musée Héritage Museum, Vino Vipulanantharajah, I arranged for an informational meeting and networking opportunity. After chatting with the two wonderful people, we briefly discussed my past experience working in archives, and a volunteer opportunity with Vino surfaced! 

I am happy to report that as of today, I have started working on two volunteer projects at Musée Héritage Museum - creating an inventory for Information Files of various items representative of the City of St. Albert's civil history, and supporting the image database that accompanies the museum's collection of artifacts. Vino mentioned that later on, as the volunteer base grows, there may even be opportunities for some program planning! I am excited to get to work with more amazing people and continue to gain more valuable experience on my quest for a career in the library science field!

You can find out more about the exhibits and other great things that Musée Héritage Museum has to offer on their website!

Jennifer has since headed back to her hometown of London, ON. I wish her all the best and as she said to me, "we have to stick together"!

Musée Héritage Museum!

Musée Héritage Museum!

St. Albert Place is the building that houses both Musée Héritage Museum and the St. Albert Public Library! It is conveniently along St. Anne Street where St. Albert's Farmer's Market is on Saturdays, which everyone should go to at some point.

St. Albert Place is the building that houses both Musée Héritage Museum and the St. Albert Public Library! It is conveniently along St. Anne Street where St. Albert's Farmer's Market is on Saturdays, which everyone should go to at some point.

Musée Héritage Museum's Discovery Room and Research Desk!

Musée Héritage Museum's Discovery Room and Research Desk!

Stay tuned for more library escapades because they aren't going to stop any time soon...