Representing the Alumni of the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alberta
The Library and Information Studies Alumni Association (LISAA), represent the graduates of the School of Library and Information Studies (SLIS) at the University of Alberta. LISAA facilitates social and professional networking among the graduates of University of Alberta's MLIS, MLS and BLS programs. LISAA participates in fundraising to support scholarships and encourages alumni to continue in their support of SLIS.
All graduates of the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alberta are members of LISAA.
Information on the history of LISAA can be found here.
The LISAA Executive
The LISAA Executive are a group of alumni volunteers that facilitate and maintain the organization. Nominations for executive members are needed on an annual basis. If you are interested in serving on the executive please contact the past president by email (see below).
Della Paradis enjoyed many years of work in ‘library land proper’ before venturing out into the fascinating world of fundraising. At present, she is Senior Director, Faculty Development at University of Alberta and delighted to have both SLIS and the UofA Libraries within her portfolio. Della lives by Millcreek Ravine with her husband, son, and puppy. In her spare time, she runs a little, reads a lot, and travels whenever possible.
Aleksandra Nowacka - Class of 1993
Aleksandra is an information management professional with more than 20 years’ experience researching and executing on competitive intelligence, business development, and fundraising prospect researching projects. Aleksandra holds a Master of Library and Information Studies from the University of Alberta and a Master of Arts in Languages from the University of Nicolaus Copernicus in Torun, Poland. Aleksandra and her husband enjoy spending time with family, playing tennis, skiing and scuba diving in the warm waters of Andaman Sea. She loves poetry, classical music, jazz, and live theatre. In her spare time, Aleksandra walks the beautiful trails of Edmonton natural areas and translates poetical verses.
Vice President / President Elect
Kirk MacLeod - Class of 2014
Kirk MacLeod is the Open Data Coordinator for The Government of Alberta's Open Government Program. Kirk also just finished an 18-month internship with the Reference and User Services Association (a part of the American Library Association) coordinating the IAmRUSA project, a series of 60 week-long in depth interviews with reference librarians across the continent.
Carla Iacchelli is a Digital Literacy Librarian in the Edmonton Public Library Digital Literacy Initiatives Department, designing and deploying new technology-related services, programming, and staff training, including the EPL Makerspace. She has also worked as Associate Manager of the Mill Woods branch and as a 21st Century Library Spaces Intern Librarian at EPL. A lifelong Edmontonian (so far!) she holds a BA (Comparative Literature) and an MLIS from the University of Alberta.
Secretary - Treasurer
Weiwei Shi is the Digital Initiative Applications Librarian at the University of Alberta. In 2003, she made a bold decision to leave her home country and pursue new education opportunity and career path in the library field in Edmonton. This has been one of her best decisions. She is currently leading the development work for several Digital Initiative projects at UofA, and enjoys the challenges and innovation opportunities this job has brought. She is also interested in linked open data, digital humanities, and censorship of social media in China. In her spare time, she loves to hiking, running, and swimming with her two little boys.
SLIS Faculty Representative
Margaret Mackey is Professor Emerita in the School of Library and Information Studies, currently teaching half-time. Her most recent book is One Child Reading: My Auto-Bibliography (University of Alberta Press, 2016).
2nd-year Student Representative
Rachel is an incoming student at SLIS. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Dowling College in Oakdale, NY, USA. She has loved reading ever since she was young and is looking forward to pursuing her degree in Library Science.
1st-year Student Representative
Pam is entering her first year at SLIS. She has lived in Edmonton her whole life and completed her Bachelor of Arts (History and Religious Studies) at the U of A. Pam has had the opportunity to work for EPL doing tons of outreach programming with children and youth. She is excited to be pursuing her MLIS at the U of A!
The LISAA Newsletter
LISAA produces a newsletter twice a year. The latest issue and archived copies of the newsletter can always be found via ERA at the University of Alberta Libraries.
Most Recent Newsletter
The Spring 2016 Newsletter is now available. Click on the image on the right to be taken to Education and Research Archive (ERA) at the University of Alberta where we upload all of our newsletters. The newsletter can be downloaded from ERA.
If you have content for the newsletter feel free to get in touch with our communications officer -- see LISAA Executive for details.
LISAA currently has a long-term goal to raise the amount of the two student scholarships it provides to students on an annual basis. Currently these scholarships amount to $1,500 in support and LISAA would like to raise this support to $2,000. In order raise the amount of these scholarships we need to raise the endowment principle from $72,500 to $82,000.
To help us reach our goal please consider donating! Just click the link below and put the amount of your donation into the box next to Library & Info Studies Alumni Association Endowment Scholarship.
Building up to SLIS's 50th anniversary next year, LISAA will feature one alumnus profile every month. Current students of the SLIS and SLIS-combined programs will interview a SLIS alumnus, strengthening connections and relationships within the SLIS community.
If you're a SLIS student who would like to interview an alumnus, or are an alumnus who would love to share your story, contact Carla at firstname.lastname@example.org
Leslie Latta has been the Provincial Archivist/Executive Director of the Provincial Archives of Alberta (PAA) - located in Edmonton - since late 2004. She worked with the City of Edmonton Archives from 2002-04 and the University of Alberta Museums from 1990-2002. She graduated with a Master of Library Science degree from the University of Alberta in 1985 and worked in academic libraries for over 7 years. Leslie is a current member of the National, Provincial and Territorial Archivist Conference in Canada as well as the Alberta Records Management Committee, and sat on the Canadian Council of Archives board from 2007-13. She has past experience on the boards of the Archives Society of Alberta and the Alberta Museums Association. Leslie was the instructor lead for LIS593: Archives Administration from 2009-15, and the PAA regularly provides a 100-hour practicum placement opportunity for SLIS students who are pursuing an archival focus during their studies.
interviewed by Rachel Cardillo
Rachel Cardillo is a current SLIS student at the University of Alberta who will be graduating in April. She is also the second year student representative for LISAA, co-chair for Future Librarians for Intellectual Freedom (FLIF) and works in Bibliographic Services in Cameron Library. Rachel came all the way from New York to study at the U of A and is enjoying her time in Edmonton. Rachel is also an avid gamer which is how she spends most her free time.
1. Can you talk a little about the path that led you to working in LIS?
When I started university in Lethbridge in September 1978, I had the opportunity to walk into a serials-related library position that my sister vacated when she went travelling in Europe with her boyfriend. I worked in various areas of the University of Lethbridge library from 1978-83. When I was about to graduate, my father suggested I apply to library school. It wasn’t huge on my agenda of exciting career choices but I’m sure glad I took his advice. I have loved my work in libraries, museums and archives since graduating from the University of Alberta’s MLS program in 1985.
2. What drew you toward archiving specifically?
I love history. When I worked with the University of Alberta Museums from 1990-2002, I worked in close proximity to colleagues operating the UofA Archives. Seeing archival work from a closer vantage point, I knew it really appealed to my passion for history and the importance of its preservation. I decided I wanted to be an archivist when I grew up! A job opened up at the City of Edmonton Archives in 2002 and another at the Provincial Archives of Alberta in 2004, and the rest is my history!
3. Your Personal Hero(s)?
My parents, who took a risk and left family in the USA to move to the hinterland of Canada in 1965, and my daughter, who has a passionate voice for human and women’s rights and uses it subtly in a timely fashion.
4. If you could go back and tell yourself anything when starting at SLIS, what would it be?
Library school and moving to the big city of Edmonton frightened me to no end. I would tell myself not to be scared, that I was good enough and smart enough to get through.
5. Last Book You Couldn't Put Down?
Ah, I love books and have too many to mention on the go at one time. Recent reads include: Provence, 1970, by Luke Barr; Etta and Otto and Russell and James, by Emma Hooper; and Empty Mansions, by Bill Dedman.
6. Music You're Listening to right now?
I have a friend who is retired from the Provincial Archives. We meet for coffee every couple months. He makes me mix CDs that are fantastic combinations of musical artists. I love music and have volunteered for the Edmonton Folk Music Festival since 1991. Joni Mitchell is my all-time favourite but so is my daughter, Emily Nancy Guthrie; Google her :)
7. What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a career archival work?
Although my daughter is a wonderful young musician, she has decided to pursue a career in archives and/or libraries. What I’ve told her and any other young person who’s thinking about the field is, it allows for wonderful possibilities of knowledge transfer between not only libraries, archives and museums but also records and information management. If you know how to management information and/or are insatiably curious and love to research, archival and/or library work is the field for you.
8. Dream Vacation Destination?
I’m a knitter and I tend to go on knitting tours to see “new to me” countries. Next up: Northern Ireland in September 2017, with my sister – the one who went to Europe and left me her library job :)
9. Weirdest Personal Habit?
My friends would say I’m a bit of a clean freak.
10. Best advice for current students?
Enjoy school. Delve in. Explore. Have fun. Don’t fret. Don’t worry too much about the bottom line of final grades.
11.Most Terrifying Memory from your first term at SLIS?
I was so frightened about a reference assignment that I just froze and didn’t do it. My prof sat me down, calmly talked me through my anxiety and allowed me a do-over. I got very high marks on all subsequent assignments that class.
12. Most interesting item you have come across in archival work?
I’m the Exec Director; they don’t let me touch the stuff! Seriously though, I’m not sure I could say one thing is the most interesting. I love it all: letters, diaries, photographs, 8 mm home movies and I can lose myself in associated resources like Henderson’s Directories for hours upon hours.
13. Proudest Personal Achievement?
I’m so proud of the creative team I work with each and every day at the Provincial Archives. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.
14. Do you have any particular advice for people in their final term at SLIS?
Get out and get known. Don’t worry about contract work; we all have to do it. Volunteer. Do anything to get known and get experience.
15. Favourite Archival Project that you have worked on?
Oh, there are so many! The Provincial Archives is celebrating its 50th anniversary in December 2017 and we have an amazing year of activity stacked up, leading up to the day. We also have a fun and informative exhibit being launched on July 1 that is titled “150 Firsts: The Ways Albertans Changed Canada…Forever”. Tell your friends and neighbours!
16. Best thing about Edmonton?
Green onion cakes
17. Favourite Childhood Book?
Anne of Green Gables
18. Favourite Weekend Breakfast?
Eggs Benedict and super strong black coffee
19. What did you do with all of your time after finishing at SLIS?
It’s been 32 years! I’ve lived my life, had a wonderful career, raised an amazing daughter, spent time in relationship with friends and family, read so many books, travelled to wonderful places, finished numerous knitting projects.
20. Words you live by?
One day at a time.
LISAA hosts a number of events through the year, below you will find a list of the ones coming up soon.
Library & Information Studies Alumni Association Celebration Brunch
In honour of:
Join us as we welcome current SLIS students to our vibrant community and recognize the outstanding achievements of our 2016 award winners, Heide Blackmore and Louise Reimer.
Current and former faculty members will be on hand to share news and stories from our School. Also, enjoy the many great activities on campus that Alumni Weekend has to offer — music, entertainment, food trucks and more.
Saturday, September 24, 2016
11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Henderson Hall, Rutherford South
University of Alberta North Campus, Edmonton
By donation at the door to the LISAA Scholarship Endowment
Includes continental breakfast
Free parking on campus during Alumni Weekend
Register online by September 16, 2016 on the Alumni Weekend website.
Choose 'Register Now', enter your contact information, and then select the events you would like to attend.
On an annual basis the LISAA awards both a Distinguished Alumni Award and an Honorary Alumni Award.
Members wishing to nominate someone for an award are asked to send a letter of nomination to the Past President of LISAA at any time. The annual deadline for nominations is June 30th.
Award winners get their names on a plaque and LISAA donates a book to the University of Alberta Libraries Bruce Peel Special Collections in their honour.
The Distinguished Alumni Award
Awarded to a graduate of the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alberta who has made a significant contribution to any or all of the following:
Please see the List of Past Recipients before nominating.
Honorary Alumni Award
Awarded to non-graduate of the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alberta who has made a significant contribution to any of the following:
Please see the List of Past Recipients before nominating.