PLG and GRC present… Human Library at FIMS

PLG and GRC present the first ever FIMS Human Library!

The Human Library will take place on Monday, November 21 from 12noon – 1:20pm. this event will offer multiple sessions focusing on the topic of Information dilemmas, ethics, and challenges.

What is a Human Library?

A human library provides a structure for a community to come together and talk to one another. The idea is that we benefit from sharing stories, and specifically that our stories needn’t rely on asynchronous media such as books and PDFs. The focus is on stories that don’t necessarily fit conventional models of knowledge dissemination, such as publishing. This focus includes stories that stem from personal experience; incomplete or preliminary studies; or, professional practice. In this way, a human library celebrates diversity, the role of people as knowledge producers, and the wealth of personal experience/perspective that people bring to their research.

Our human books will lead five short sessions (15 mins each). Each session will be limited to 4 attendees. Human books will start each session with a brief  overview of their topic and perspective, and then take questions and lead discussion for the rest of the session.

To register, you may sign up at the GRC. You will be able to sign for 5 sessions total – each one with a different book.

Meet the Human Books

Ajit Pyati


Role: Associate Professor

Personal Bio: A first generation Indian-American and native of Los Angeles, Ajit joined FIMS in July 2007 after finishing his PhD in Information Studies at UCLA.  His research interests include critical information studies, international library development, and immigrant information behaviour.  Most recently, he is becoming interested in the intersections between contemplative education and information/media studies.  Ajit is also a certified yoga teacher (meditation teacher certification in progress) and a proud father of a 2 year-old son.

Title: “Re-Envisioning Contemplation in an Age of Overload”

Abstract:  Most of us are aware from our own personal experience about the reality of information overload, increasing levels of stress, and burnout.  In fact, the widespread reality of these phenomena has led the Korean-German philosopher Byung-Chul Han to say that we live in a “burnout society.”  Given this reality, what are ways we can cope or perhaps even push back?  What might be the role of contemplative practices (both traditional and modernized) to deal with these issues?  Could these practices actually draw us further into our own “bubbles,” or might they help better inform our actions to create social change?

Eleonore Shaffer


Role: MLIS Candidate

Personal bio: Based in Vancouver, Eleonore received her B.A. in anthropology from Mount Allison University in Sackville, NB. She is attending the MLIS program at FIMS while on a leave from her position at the Vancouver Public Library. Her interests include travel, crafts, contemporary art, social responsibility, and pop culture. She is currently working as a reference assistant at Huron University College.

Title: Information issues in caring for someone with dementia

Abstract: Becoming a caregiver for a family member can happen very unexpectedly. How do you find the information you need for this new role? How do you manage decision-making for someone with dementia? Over the past three years Eleonore has become a caregiver for her father, who has both Parkinson’s disease and dementia. She will discuss some of the challenges she has encountered in navigating her new role as a caregiver, including patient advocacy, navigating the healthcare system, information sharing between caregivers, and ethical and legal dilemmas.

Heather Brinkman


Role: MLIS Candidate

Personal bio: Formerly a professional volleyball player, Heather is interested in how young children learn about gender stereotypes and how those stereotypes can encourage an/or discourage behaviours, and influence perceptions about limitations with regard to socia norms, career choices, and behavioural expectations. Heather is in her last semester of the MLIS program, she is the mother of three children, and is an assistant coach with the Western women’s volleyball team.
Title: Gender in Children’s pictures books (and other media)
Abstract: During a time where gender and media issues are taking a front seat (think the US presidential election), one wonders where and how ideas about gender norms and stereotypes are formed. Shockingly enough, by the age of five, children have formed fairly rigid ideas about what’s right and wrong for girls and boys, and their ideas about gender are often so strong that they misremember information to conform to gender schemes. A look at the most encouraged form of media for the youngest set – books – shows that children’s picture books are still filled with characters that fit the norm rather than challenge it. Why? Let’s talk about it and take a look.

datejie cheko green, MES


Role: MS PhD candidate

Personal bio: datejie has two decades of combined, international expertise in research, teaching, media production and community advocacy. Her praxis intersects equity, labour, and media through embodied knowledge production and pedagogy. At FIMS datejie is a researcher with the Digital Labour Group and co-organizer of the March 2017 Organizing Equality International Conference. As 2015-16 Asper Fellow in Media, she produced the public event series, “Dialogues with Solidarity Conscious Knowledge Workers.” After receiving such a warm reception at FIMS, she has taken up PhD studies. Her topic is, “Valuing Black people at the future of news-media: toward a praxis of solidarity conscious relations.”

Title: The Case for Radical Attribution

Abstract: We have complicated our lives. Almost all our information and communications are mediated by technologies. We mobilize devices and texts to serve human needs and wants. Yet all senders and receivers, doers and makers are people with bodies, hearts and minds, existing and relating in time and space. Digital or analog, the efforts we make, meanings we seek, integrity of our intentions and dignity of our bodies all come alive in our social relations. But how are we relating? I will reflect on this and make the case for radical attribution as an antidote for our times.

Toluwase V. Asubiaro


Role: LIS PhD candidate

Personal bio: Toluwase had a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Mathematics and a Master’s degree in Information Science. He worked with African Languages Technology Initiative (ALT-I) for a year as a volunteer research assistant. He is currently a medical librarian at E. Latunde Odeku Medical Library, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria. He is a father, husband, researcher, violinist, computer programmer, mathematician and a library and information scientist.

Title: Taking the Library to the Users: Sailing the Storm during Library Renovation

Abstract: Renovations usually disrupts the activities of the inhabitants of the renovated building especially if alternative shelter is not provided. E. Latunde Odeku Medical Library (ELOML) was due for rehabilitation and alternative building was not provided. This talk describes the practical approach to delivering advanced information literacy programme and other library services to the library user during the renovation which spanned more than two years.

Davin Helkenberg, MLIS


Role: Doctoral Student, Teaching Assistant and Previous Sessional Instructor

Personal bio: Davin Helkenberg is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Library and Information Science program here at FIMS. Her doctoral research examines fictional narratives of sexuality in Young Adult Literature and explores, through in-depth interviews, how these narratives have informed the sexual lives of young women readers. She also taught LIS9364-Young Adult Materials in Summer 2015.

Title: Youth Need (More) Sexually-Explicit Novels

Abstract: Young Adult fiction that contains sex has a contentious presence in public libraries. A long and continuing history of challenges to these books has led to systemic issues of censorship and limited access to materials for young users. These limitations inhibit the potential for Young Adult fiction to be utilized as a way of introducing contemporary understandings of sexuality into the lives of youth. Through my interviews with young readers on this topic, I am learning that fiction can be greatly informative to how readers construct and perform their sexual identities, their relationships, and their sexual fantasies.

Jacquie Burkell

Role:  Assistant Dean, Research; Professor

Personal bio: coming soon

Title: coming soon

Abstract: coming soon



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