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What’s new in Open Shelf: April 2020

So who knew we'd have 12 articles this month ... and at a time when all our lives have been so unexpectedly disrupted? But we do and our topics include acknowledging systemic racism in public libraries, voices (and photos) from those affected by the pandemic, and telling stories through memes. Plus, follow Round II of the panel on whether librarians need an MLIS, learn what's happening with K–12 education, and lisez la deuxième partie de la francisation de Scholars Portal.
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Features and Columns

No Fool’s Day

We at Open Shelf didn’t publish an April Fool’s issue .. now is not the time for pranks, even those focused on satirical articles, short stories and mystery podcasts. What do people (readers) need right now? Positivity and something to do.

Memes make the world go round

These are tough and uncertain times, and we must take the COVID-19 situation very seriously. But we still have to stop and find joy and happiness wherever we can find it. I think for many people, humour is going to get us through this situation.

Theory in practice: Moving from systemic racism to anti-racism in Ontario public libraries

Acknowledging that colonialism and systemic racism exist and working towards developing more inclusive and welcoming practices doesn’t imply that our work is inherently bad. Public libraries are good places.

Pandemic photo voices

I think of a photo voice as a tool that encourages me to use visual images to reflect upon my experiences—a different, perhaps even more intuitive way to access how I am feeling and thinking. We can find photo voicing in many contexts including school projects, community-based action research, and grief work. So perhaps this…

Librarians need an MLIS: True or false? (Round II)

To have a degree or not to have a degree? That is indeed the question … for our panellists and also clearly for many of us in the library profession. Join us for our second live panel discussion on April 8.

What’s happening at school?

The Ontario Ministry of Education has been releasing official announcements related to public schools in the province since the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 pandemic on March 11, 2020. Each announcement has led to another phase in remote teaching and learning in Ontario.

COVID-19: Academic library tales from the (home) front

We invite our members to share advice and stories from the COVID-19 outbreak and the closure of most academic libraries across Ontario.

Cultural diversity and inclusion in the workplace

Mai Lu works at the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) Library as the Head of Public Services.

Consider the source: How to spot fake news

“Fake news” has become a buzzword of late but generally refers to inaccurate information of some kind—whether propaganda, pseudo-science, misinformation, or disinformation.

La francisation de Scholars Portal : Progrès vers le bilinguisme, deuxième partie

La deuxième partie de cet article présente deux études de cas de services qui sont devenus entièrement bilingues et conclut en soulignant les attentes de Scholars Portal pour l’avenir de ses services en français.


Call-outs, shaming, and other forms of “weaponized” communication shut down conversation and political debate, and more importantly, limit the number of social spaces where differing points of view can be heard and respected.

Home-schooling and job seeking during a pandemic

Both the library closure and the closure of all publicly funded schools and child care centres after March break have left me curious to know which online resources will assist me and other parents like me who now find themselves with home-schooling responsibilities.  

Miss the last issue of Open Shelf? Read it now!

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