Actions Panel

Library Research Symposium

When and where

Date and time


Sherman Centre for Digital Scholarship Mills Library (1st floor) McMaster University Hamilton, ON L8S 4L6 Canada

Map and directions

How to get there


12:00 noon – 12:45 pm – Light lunch

If you have any dietary restrictions, please notify Chryslyn Pais at

12:45 pm – 1:00 Welcome (Vivian Lewis)

1:00 pm – 1:30 pm The Right to Explanation: Artificial Intelligence and Information Policy

The European Union has approved the General Data Protection Regulation for implementation in 2018. Among other things in the GDPR is the idea of the "right to explanation" with respect to algorthmic processing of decision or recommendations about an individual. In other words an artificial intelligence (AI) has to be able to explain itself. And so far, they can't. Now what? That's what librarians in particular should be thinking about.

Speaker: Mike Ridley (former Chief Librarian and Chief Information Officer, University of Guelph AND CURRENTLY a PhD student at FIMS, Western University)

Convenor: Leeanne Romane (McMaster University Library)

1:30 – 2:15 PM Librarian Research Short Talks

Speakers participating so far:

Jeannie An, McMaster (Use of

Kathy Ball, McMaster (Library assessment and strategic planning in Canadian research libraries)

Rick Stapleton, McMaster (Report from his research leave with a focus on Bertrand Russell)

Jeff Wahn, McMaster (prospect researching for university advancement)

NOTE: If you are interested in presenting your research project (or idea), please contact Chryslyn Pais at We'll allot 10 minutes for a completed research project or 5 minutes for a project in progress.

2:15 – 2:45 PM Libraries and Digital Storytelling: Motivations and Challenges

This talk describes a case study investigation of a city-wide digital storytelling initiative, “Love Your City, Share Your Stories” (LYCSYS), led by two libraries and one municipal cultural department in Hamilton, Canada. This talk describes the motivations that lead libraries to embark on digital storytelling projects, the challenges that deter libraries from disseminating digital stories, and the factors that lead to success. Results from this case study investigation support other research findings that: i) many social impact organizations lack the capacity to create compelling stories that capture people’s attention and imagination; ii) few employ people with the knowledge and skill necessary to craft stories strategically; iii) many struggle to identify the right platforms to reach their target audiences; and iv) few understand how to evaluate their success at storytelling.

Speaker: Dr. Brian Detlor, Professor & Area Chair (Information Systems) at the DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University.

Convenor: Kathy Ball (McMaster University Library)

2:45 - 3:00 PM BREAK

3:00 – 4:00 Defining the UK information worker: the CILIP-ARA Workforce Mapping Project

Prof. Hall will describe the methods, main findings and impact of a recent study of UK workers in library, archives, records, information management, knowledge management and related professions. Key findings of this work relate to an estimated population of 86,376 workers, their general demographics, qualifications and memberships and the diversity of the population as a whole. Of particular interest are the findings on pay differences and seniority according to gender, and the low ethnic diversity of the population surveyed.

Speaker: Prof. Hazel Hall, Professor of Social Informatics in the School of Computing at Edinburgh Napier University and Docent in Information Studies in the School of Business and Economics at Åbo Akademi,

Convenor: Janice Adlington (McMaster University Library)

4:00 – 4:45 PM – networking reception (Join your colleagues for a glass of wine and a chance to talk more about the library research!)