By: Anne Marie Lyons, Training and Library Solutions Consultant
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/).
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/).
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).
Some other favorite events from the conference:
Finally, here are some sights from around Vancouver, where it was warm and pleasantly sunny: