ATLA 2019 Annual Conference

By: Anne Marie Lyons, Training and Library Solutions Consultant

Atlas table at ATLA. Photo by Anne Marie Lyons

Atlas table at ATLA. Photo by Anne Marie Lyons

Atlas Systems had the pleasure of exhibiting for its first time at the ATLA (American Theological Library Association) Annual Conference, which was held in Vancouver, BC, June 12-15, 2019. ATLA is a “membership association of librarians and information professionals, and a producer of research tools, committed to advancing the study of religion and theology” (https://www.atla.com/about/).

Atlas table at ATLA. Photo by Anne Marie Lyons

Atlas table at ATLA. Photo by Anne Marie Lyons

Over 200 people attended the conference, hailing from the U.S., Canada, Nairobi, Auckland, Kiev, and Taiwan, to name just a few countries. Session topics varied from building institutional repositories and archives, to performing library instruction and outreach with analog and electronic educational materials. The program is available here: https://www.atla.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Atla-Annual-Program-2019.pdf.

Juan Pablo Alperin, an Assistant Professor at the School of Publishing at Simon Fraser University, spoke during the first plenary address about the need for open access research. 

For the second plenary address, Sarah Dupont, the Aboriginal Engagement Librarian at the Xwi7xwa (pronounced “whei-wha”; Squamish for “echo”) Library, First Nations House of Learning and the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre at the University of British Columbia, discussed educational and cultural changes that information professionals are urged to embrace in light of the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada regarding the genocidal experiences of indigenous children. 

The final plenary address was delivered by Dr. Patricia O’Connell Killen, Professor of Religious Studies and Senior University Fellow at Gonzaga University (Wa.), on the histories and trends of religion and spirituality in the Pacific Northwest. 

 The conference also hosted a few hands-on sessions for adding missing, or “hidden,” information to widely used Wikis, including Wikidata (https://www.wikidata.org/) and Wikipedia (https://www.wikipedia.org/).  

From “Wikipedia and Libraries: Better Together” by Meryl Cinnamon, OCLC. Photo by Anne Marie Lyons

From “Wikipedia and Libraries: Better Together” by Meryl Cinnamon, OCLC. Photo by Anne Marie Lyons

Dr. Colleen D. Hartung and Rosalind Hinton led workshops and created a poster about their “1000 Women in Religion” Projects\, which teaches information professionals how to find cited sources and add them to Wikipedia in an effort to increase the visibility of notable women and their work “in the world’s religious and wisdom  traditions” (http://womenscaucusaar.wixsite.com/womenscaucusaarsbl/1000-women-in-religion-project).

Rosalind Hinton and Dr. Colleen D. Hartung, Poster Session on “1000 Women in Religion” Wikipedia project. Photo by Anne Marie Lyons

Rosalind Hinton and Dr. Colleen D. Hartung, Poster Session on “1000 Women in Religion” Wikipedia project. Photo by Anne Marie Lyons

Some other favorite events from the conference:

Job board at ATLA where employers could post job ads, and job-seekers could post their resumes. Photo by Anne Marie Lyons

Job board at ATLA where employers could post job ads, and job-seekers could post their resumes. Photo by Anne Marie Lyons

Attendees could complete a passport by visiting each vendor table. Completed passports were entered into a number of drawings for prizes from vendors. Photo by Anne Marie Lyons

Attendees could complete a passport by visiting each vendor table. Completed passports were entered into a number of drawings for prizes from vendors. Photo by Anne Marie Lyons

Finally, here are some sights from around Vancouver, where it was warm and pleasantly sunny:

Cityscape near the conference hotel, Vancouver, BC. Photo by Anne Marie Lyons

Cityscape near the conference hotel, Vancouver, BC. Photo by Anne Marie Lyons

Bee sanctuary in Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC. Photo by Anne Marie Lyons

Bee sanctuary in Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC. Photo by Anne Marie Lyons

Brockton Point Lighthouse, Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC. Photo by Anne Marie Lyons

Brockton Point Lighthouse, Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC. Photo by Anne Marie Lyons

Siwash Rock, Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC. Photo by Anne Marie Lyons

Siwash Rock, Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC. Photo by Anne Marie Lyons