Monday, February 1, 2016

OLA SuperConference 2016 & Treasure Mountain Canada 4

This will be the first year that I will not write an official "SuperConference Reflection", complete with summaries, key points, and action items. The reason is that although I was there at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, I wasn't present for many workshops. I still learned a lot, but it's hard to capture the insights gleaned from an informal conversation in a way that respects the intimate nature of a small group talk. I'll try my best!

OLA SuperConference 2016

Highlights and Photos by Diana Maliszewski
(Tweets by assorted writers - see image attributions)

Thursday, January 28, 2016 - 5:30 p.m.

OSLA Awards Ceremony and AGM

I was at a TDSB Mentor Leaders meeting on Thursday afternoon, so I was only able to come to the evening event. The following awards were given. (This was originally part of a press release issued by the Ontario Library Association. I added the section about CSAE because this prize was presented at the AGM even though it is not an OLA award.)

L'Association des bibliothèques de l'Ontario-Franco (ABO-Franco) Le Prix Micheline Persaud     Joanne Plante, Conseil Des Écoles Catholiques Du Centre-Est
Canadian Society of Association Executives - Communication Awards of Excellence for Best Print / Electronic Publication
The Teaching Librarian magazine (OSLA)
Ontario Library Association Technical Services AwardLisa Radha Weaver, Library Learning Resources, Tippett Centre, Toronto District School Board

Ontario School Library Association (OSLA) Administrator of the Year AwardLynn Wisniewski, Halton District School Board
Ontario School Library Association (OSLA)Award for Special AchievementTreasure Mountain Canada
Ontario School Library Association (OSLA) Teacher Librarian of the YearDawn Telfer, Thames Valley District School Board 
James, Dawn, & Jeanne - TL of the Year Award

James, Joel, Lisa, Jeanne - Lib Tech Services Award

James, Lynn, Jeanne (sorry, forgot names!) - Admin Award

James, Diana, Jeanne - Best Print Publication

(Oops, another name lost) & Joanne - ABO-Franco Award

What did I learn?
I learned that Ontario school library professionals are the most encouraging and supportive people out there. My Twitter feed was swamped with well-wishes, even though I was only the representative for the magazine - aka the one who held the trophy and made the speech. 
I also learned that it's a good idea to hold the AGM before the awards ceremony, because about 2/3 of the attendees left immediately after the awards ended. 

I was also fortunate to go to dinner that evening after the OSLA meeting with Martha, Johanna, Alanna, and Sharon. Sharon Seslija is the head of libraries for the Greater Essex Country District School Board and she will be retiring this year. I publicly want to congratulate and thank Sharon for everything that she's done for her school board and for school libraries across Ontario.

L-R: Alanna, Johanna, Diana, Sharon, Martha

At the Multi-Vendor After-Party, I was fortunate to chat with Mary-Rose, a new OLA staff member, as well as one of my favourite board library leaders, Richard Reid from the Durham District School Board, who is also the OLA 2016 SuperConference Co-Planner. You make a difference, Richard - never forget that!

Friday, January 29, 2016 - 12:00 noon

OLA Open Shelf Editorial Board Meeting

This annual meeting brings together all the players involved with creating OLA's official magazine. 

What did I learn?
Every publication is different. I'm very familiar with how The Teaching Librarian operates, but Open Shelf is a unique creature. Kudos to Mike Ridley for his flexibility. We'll get that Terms of Reference document done by March 1, we hope!

I was tempted to squeeze in a workshop, like Monica Berra and Leona Prince's "Culturally Responsive Aboriginal Resources" or Sandra McLarnon and Sara Furnival's "Igniting your School Library with Maker and Spark Spaces". Instead, I chose to visit the Expo Hall and it was very relevant. I spoke with the Ontario Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) about arranging a field trip and with the Centre of Equitable Library Access (CELA) about borrowing Braille and texture books for students at my school with vision impairments.

Friday, January 29, 2016 - 3:00 p.m.

OLA Closing Keynote - Wab Kinew

Wab Kinew was amusing and at the same time, he did not pull punches.

Francis, Alanna & me @ the 2016 OLA closing keynote

Wab on the big screen

Next steps for the audience

What did I learn?
I learned that I have a lot to learn. The library and school systems, not just in the past, but even today, have done wrong to FNMI communities and individuals. I was dismayed to hear the Libraries and Archives Canada made it difficult to obtain information requested by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Wab stated this in a room full of library professionals. Yet, it was not with resentment, but in the spirit of resilience and reconciliation. As my new friend Melanie (and new OSLA president Kate) tweeted ...

Friday, January 29, 2016 - 6:15 p.m.

Treasure Mountain Canada Opening Keynote - David Cameron

David Cameron is a researcher with People For Education. He spoke about the Measuring What Matters initiative.

What did I learn?
I learned that it's pretty difficult to listen to a speaker in a crowded, noisy restaurant. Despite the obstacles, David spoke eloquently and got participants excited about contributing to action research (past, present and future) for the areas identified by People for Education.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Treasure Mountain Canada

Activities were fast and furious at Treasure Mountain Canada - once I was able to get Internet access and catch my breath, I started capturing my discoveries and observations as the day progressed, via Twitter. I hope the hashtag search captures some of the energy and diversity. I presented on two separate topics based on two papers I wrote for this research symposium for four "table talks". Thankfully, I'm going to take the mentoring notion of "reciprocity" seriously, so I won't be regretful or disappointed that I didn't get to hear other table talks - I only saw the whole group ones by Diane Oberg and Monica Berra.

Just because the symposium is over doesn't mean the learning stops.

This link takes you to the papers offered:

This link takes you to the symposium activities, TED talk, polls, and slides that we used on Saturday:

This link is the Treasure Mountain Canada blog:

Thanks to the Treasure Mountain Canada 2016 Planning Committee: Carol Koechlin, Anita Brooks Kirkland, Liz Kerr, Jeanne Conte, Cindy van Wonderen, Jo-Anne Gibson, and David Loertscher and to everyone that contributed to this and to the OLA SuperConference. I'll be thinking about all the conversations now and in the near future.


  1. Very nicely summarized! I am still processing :) ... may have to write a blog post of my own. I look forward to when our paths cross again. Because you know they will! You have WAY too much to teach me about MINECRAFT!

  2. Thank you Diana for your kind words and for your work on the Teaching Librarian. I always look forward to reading it and I certainly appreciate all the work that goes into getting a publication to print. Thank you to you and your team!