Work Samples

Below are written works that have been included in SLA Toronto’s Newsletter The Courier, an article published in OLA’s Access magazine, as well as research papers completed while earning my Master of Information Studies (2009), and my honours thesis from my Bachelor of Arts (2007) .


Title:
With a little help from my (library) friends: Volunteer talent and solo librarianship in the not-for-profit sector” (2013)

Abstract/Description:
Solo librarians working with tight budgets understand best what it’s like to make the most from very little. Creative problem solving, perseverance, and relationship-building are among some of the many skills required to dodge disasters and achieve project goals. Earlier this year, when confronted with a seemingly insurmountable systems challenge, I reached out to the Toronto special libraries community and was amazed by the altruism, enthusiasm, and generosity of its members.


Title:
Citation analysis: Measuring impact and delivering value to your organization” (2011)

Abstract/Description:
At many non-profit and for-profit companies, it is important to measure the reach, influence, and success of the organization’s efforts. This is not always easy and sometimes not even feasible, but when quantification is possible, it should be carried out to gauge the impact of a task on an audience. This is often done through media monitoring, but what about measuring your organizations other outputs?


Title:
Learning from our relatives: Academic, school, and public libraries” (2011)

Abstract/Description:
Librarians and information professionals who work in special libraries often stick together. This makes sense, of course, as we tend to serve like-minded users, provide similar information services, and face challenges unique to special libraries. Librarians in corporate, non-profit, law and “non-traditional” information centres must rarely (if ever) consider some of the fundamental and everyday decisions of their distant relatives, the public and academic librarians. While public librarians debate the impediments of children’s literacy, or academic librarians struggle to teach undergrads how to find a peer-reviewed journal article, the special library community faces entirely different user-needs and information management concerns. Despite these inherent professional differences, I believe there is much that can be learned from one another.


Title:
Re-evaluating knowing ‘too much about too little’” (2010)

Abstract/Description:
Are the most desirable reference and research librarians ones who are subject-experts, or those who have excellent broad knowledge in many areas (i.e. generalists)? Lately I’ve heard a number of opinions on the debatable impediments of subject specialization, along with the advantages of being a generalist reference librarian. Both of these positions disagree with my longstanding view of the benefits of a second Masters degree.


Title:
Defining digital humanities” (2010)

Abstract/Description:
One essential characteristic of projects in the digital humanities is collaboration. As an already multidisciplinary field, it is inevitable that humanists from a variety of disciplines would work in partnership on projects employing digital tools and emerging technologies. The creation and implementation of applications can’t and shouldn’t be done alone. Humanists can collaborate with programming-savvy colleagues, IT departments, and computer scientists to create new and exciting textual representations and information resources. The collaborative relationship between humanities scholars and programmers is imperative too because, without the other, there is something lost in the end result. Each party learns from the other in the process of creating.


Title:
Investigating the under representation of males in LIS education and library occupations” (2008)

Abstract/Description:
This sample is the research proposal for my Masters Dissertation, which I ultimately did not pursue. It was completed in a compulsory Research Methods course at the Faculty of Information (FIS1240H, Winter 2008). This work attempts to account for the weak presence of males in library occupations and LIS programs.  In the past 50 years there has been a steady production of literature on the general topic of gender in library and information science. Librarianship as a “female occupation” and other subtopics of feminist discourses have dominated research trends in this area of study.  Increasingly over the decades however, academic and library literature has witnessed growing attention to the hidden story of male experiences in the profession. One aspect of this gender issue has remained neglected by researchers in the library field, being that males continue to represent only a small percentage of students in graduate programs.

Librarians are role models and important figures of society, representing access to information, the dissemination of knowledge, information literacy skills, and the intellectual betterment of society, and currently, male library professionals are not recognized in popular ideas of this imperative role.  Overall, this research study aims to address the problem of the under representation of males in LIS education, and account for the factors that draw males to LIS education and professions.


Title:
Historical and intellectual developments in medical history” (2009)

Abstract/Description:
This paper was completed in the Fall of 2008 for a course entitled, “Literature of the Humanities & Social Sciences”.  The purpose was to determine current and future trends of an academic discipline or research area. This was done by looking at 100-125 doctoral dissertations from the past five years in a sub-field of a mainstream academic discipline (e.g. History or Sociology). The focus of my research paper was the history of medicine, and my paper is entitled “Historical and intellectual developments in medical history”. It is one of my favourite assignments, and I’m quite proud of the end-result!

There are several parts of the written component: 1) An overview of the intellectual developments (literature review) of the history of medicine and an annotated list of reference sources in the area of medical history. 2) An outline of the methodology I used to acquire and analyze the dissertation abstracts, and four visual representations of current thematic trends in the history of medicine. Lastly, 3) 20 annotations for the topics/trends discerned by my research. Overall, this is a significant project and uncovers the future trends of a sub-field of an academic discipline.


Title:
Online health information and the information-seeking behaviours of adolescent males” (2009)

Abstract/Description:
This work sample was completed for a course entitled “Introduction to Information Practices in Health Care.”  My goal was to address the problem that teen-age boys often do not know where to access free and authoritative health information. The reality is that adolescent males are less likely to consult a family physician for information about sex, puberty, personal health, etc., and are consequently apt to seek information online through sources that lack credibility and depth. I propose an online portal for free, credible and authoritative health information targeted at vulnerable male age groups (12-18), maintained by the Government of Ontario.


Title:
Queer Consequences: Homosexuality and its penalties in the canadian military, 1939-1945” (2007)

Abstract/Description:
In the early years of the Second World War, the Canadian military began to enforce discriminatory anti-homosexual policies that had harmful short and long-term effects on the lives of gay personnel. This thesis will address this problem as well as the secondary issue that the military rooted out competent personnel not because they were unqualified for combat or hindered military efficiency, but because of homophobia and the moral self-righteousness of policing investigators, senior officers, and medical professionals. From de-classified military documents in RG-24 of the Library and Archives of Canada, case studies of homosexual servicemen and their court martial proceedings will be presented to reveal the harsh legal actions taken against gay recruits. These will demonstrate discriminatory and unfair sentencing against men who were discovered as homosexual. Men who were found guilty of homosexuality were sentenced to various punishments, ranging in severity from detention and hard labour periods to a dishonourable military discharge, but all having powerful psychological, emotional, and financial consequences able to push some men to commit suicide.  Ultimately, this thesis attempts to contribute to new military history, gender studies, and the growing focus on gays and lesbians in mainstream histories.

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