Past Conferences

Keynote Speakers FIP 2014

Morning Key Note: Anabel Quan-Haase


Title: Can serendipity research change our design of digital environments? A critical look at how information production, seeking, discovery and use unfold at the boundaries

Abstract: Much of the research on how we encounter information tends to focus on linear models of intentional information search. Recently a number of studies and frameworks have suggested that not all information individuals encounter is through goal-oriented search but, rather, that individuals often find information and connect with people accidentally, without purposefully looking. A wide range of terms and models have been proposed to describe the phenomenon. The present presentation has three goals. First, it provides an overview of the current debate around the phenomenon of serendipity, presenting and contrasting various models of how serendipity occurs. Second, it discusses how technology could affect serendipity and opportunities for designing digital tools that support innovation, creativity, and resource discovery. Finally, it presents current research findings on how serendipity impacts the work of scholars. The presentation will end with a discussion of how notions of serendipity, resource discovery, and information at the boundaries can inform the design of future digital tools, such as OPAC, DPLA, and even Google.

Anabel Quan-Haase is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Information and Media Studies and the Department of Sociology, Western University. Currently, she is the director of the SocioDigital Lab ( Dr. Quan-Haase holds a MSc. in Psychology from Humboldt University, Berlin and a Ph.D. in Information Studies from the University of Toronto. Her current interests also lie in how electronic resources are changing the nature of scholarship, innovation, and creativity. One key interest lies in how such factors as serendipity, insight, and work routines are changing through digital tools. She currently holds a SSHRC Insight Grant to study serendipity and digital environments in the humanities (  She is the author of over 40 articles, proceedings, and book chapters. Her articles have been published in American Behavioral Scientist, The Information Society, Information, Communication, & Society, Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, and Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. Dr. Quan-Haase is the author of two books Technology and Society (2013 with Oxford University Press) and Information Brokering in the High-Tech Industry (2009 with Lambert).

Afternoon Keynote: Edmonton Public Library Digital Literacy Initiatives

Digital Literacy and the Public Library

The Digital Literacy Initiatives department was established in 2011 at Edmonton Public Library with the goal of establishing technology as a core library service. To make this possible, we support all public services staff by providing training, supplying gadgets, and lending a hand with tricky questions. We also evaluate and revise existing technology programming and spearhead new initiatives, including eReader lending programs, iPad kits, XBoxes, Minecraft tournaments, Chromebooks, and most recently, the opening of the EPL Makerspace. The Makerspace is more than a place for customers to access new technologies like 3D printers, or expensive software like the Adobe Creative Suite. In 2014 we are hoping to establish it as a true community learning space, where individuals and organizations in Edmonton can share their expertise and ideas with others, and where someone who might have heard about an Arduino but isn’t sure how to get started with it can get some help crossing that threshold in a risk- and judgment-free space. Fostering curiosity, experimentation, learning, creativity, and relationships – not just providing cool technology – are all part of the vision of the Makerspace, and now, the vision of Edmonton Public Library itself. Integrating technology into the very fabric of libraries has proven to be both a reflection of and a catalyst for potential changes in our approaches to providing service, our underlying philosophies and understanding of libraries themselves – sometimes in different and unexpected ways.

Carla Haug, Jason Harris, and Holly Arnason are digital literacy librarians at Edmonton Public Library. They are a part of the team that leads the development of digital literacy services and programs for customers, as well as providing training and support for EPL staff.

 Carla is a native and so-far lifelong Edmontonian (much to her surprise), having earned an MLIS and a BA in Comparative Literature from the University of Alberta.   


Jason is, believe it or not, actually enjoying his first winter in Edmonton. Prior to joining EPL, Jason assisted staff and students at Dalhousie University’s Sexton Design and Technology Library, and provided teaching assistance in Electronic Text design. He holds an MLIS from Dalhousie University, a BEd from the University of Ottawa and BA in History from Carleton University.


Holly hails from Stony Plain, Alberta, and is both a video game and basketball enthusiast. She received her BA(Hons) in Political Science and her MLIS from the University of Alberta.



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