University of Waterloo librarians were amidst the G20 action last month, albeit remotely! They joined forces with other academic librarians from across the country to provide an “Ask-a-Librarian” service to delegates and the media within the Canadian Digital Media Network’s social community "G20Net" powered by Open Text software.
Librarians from Waterloo, University of Toronto, University of Alberta, University of Western Ontario, and University of British Columbia staffed the “Ask-a-Librarian” service from 5:30 a.m. to midnight during the G20 Summit, responding to questions such as,
Librarians at the Centre for International Governance Innovation and students currently enrolled in Master of Library and Information Science programs at the University of Western Ontario and the University of Alberta also contributed many hours to the service.
The University of Waterloo organized librarians' involvement in G20Net and was coordinated primarily by Annie Bélanger, Head of Information Services and Resources at the Dana Porter Library.
In addition to the “Ask-a-Librarian” service, Waterloo librarians harvested a large quantity of open source documentation pertaining to the Summit’s primary topics, making it searchable within the network.
While traffic in the “Ask-a-Librarian” room in no way compared to some of the foot traffic that a vacationing library staff witnessed in downtown Toronto, it was a worthwhile venture.
Annie Bélanger remarks, “all involved librarians and Library Sciences students were incredible - they pulled together quickly and enthusiastically to make sure that this information service experiment could be achieved. We were able to offer the first G20 Summit Ask-a-Librarian service.”
For more information, contact:
Head, Information Services and Resources
Dana Porter Library