(Ottawa, April 24, 2007) – The Canadian Library Association (CLA) is
pleased to announce Melissa Poremba as winner of the Canadian Library
Association’s 24th Student Article Contest for “Resources You can Count
on @ Your Library”.

Melissa is a distance education student in
the Library and Information Technician Program at Mohawk College. The
idea for Melissa's entry was based on a paper she wrote in 2006 while
studying for her additional qualification in school librarianship at
the Faculty of Education, University of Western Ontario. Melissa has a
BA in both Arts and Mathematics from the University of Waterloo, and a
B. Ed. from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at
University of Toronto. She has specialist qualifications to teach
Economics and Mathematics at the Intermediate/Senior divisions in
Ontario schools. Melissa has an interest in numeracy education, and her
submission discusses how library resources can be used for numeracy

The Advisory Committee thought that her entry was
original, engaging, well-written, imaginative, readable and had broad
appeal in addition to being a timely topic. One committee member wrote
that “. . . it should inspire all librarians to rethink the potential
of their collections.”

Melissa will be awarded a cash prize as
well as free registration, accommodation and transportation to the
CLA/APLA/NLLA 2007 National Conference and Tradeshow in St. John’s,
Newfoundland, May 23-26, 2007.

The first runner-up is Jason
Hammond for “You Must Have a Lot of Young Readers in Your Family: The
Experiences of Lone Male Patrons in Children's Libraries”. Jason
graduated in December 2006 from the MLIS program at University of
Western Ontario. The Committee members liked that this entry was
personal and experienced-based as well as being interesting, timely and
original. A number of the committee members mentioned that the topic
was eye-opening. Jason will receive a cash prize courtesy of the Wosk
Family and a choice of CLA publications.

The second runner-up is
Kendra Bender for “Library Services for Newcomers to Canada: Embracing
Cultural Diversity”. Kendra is a student in the MLIS program at the
School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alberta.
Comments on this entry were that it incorporates both personal
experience and a professional research approach, it was well-written,
timely and focuses on Canada. Kendra will also receive a cash prize
courtesy of the Wosk Family and a choice of CLA publications.

year, there were many excellent and unique entries for the Student
Article Contest which made the judging enjoyable, but also very
difficult”, shared Mary-Lu Brennan, Convenor of the Member
Communications Advisory Committee. As one committee member responded –
“Wow! This was a tough exercise – all were well-written, the topics
were interesting and in some cases quite thought-provoking.”

prizes are awarded courtesy of CLA, Micromedia ProQuest, Coutts
Information Services and the Wosk Family Bursary. Entries are judges by
Member Communication Advisory Committee which is comprised of librarians and information professionals.

(via Cabot Y.'s Facebook page)

An early draft of the paper I submitted is on my blog
It was revised a bit for submission to the contest – mostly tightening
it up and re-wording some parts.  But the gist of the thing is still in
the original I uploaded if you're interested.  Also, a very public
thanks to John M, Bruce F and Michael T
as well as a few anonymous male classmates who gave me the great
feedback which helped make my paper into something much better than I
could've written without their help. 

It's funny too that I start the blog post where I uploaded my essay by
talking about Cantilever which was an idea David, Sabina, Linda and I
had to start an open-source student writing journal/repository.  The
idea never came to fruition which is too bad – I often felt like I
learned as much reading my classmates' work as reading the source
articles from the pros! 

Other publishing-type news – just got official word last night that after a lengthy revision process, my essay on Alberta user fees (now bearing the much more academic title:  “Cash Cow: User Fees in Alberta Libraries”) has been accepted for publication by Partnership: The Online  Journal That Has A Really Long Name I Can Never Remember

After I got my first suggested revisions back from them, I did a blog
post suggesting that everybody should go through a peer-review process
like this at least once.   I'd stand by that suggestion.  Professors are often short for time and
although many give good feedback and suggestions, few have the time to
deeply analyse your paper the way the journal's anonymous reviewers

It's super-easy to submit – pick one of your best/favourite essay and
follow the submissions instructions online.  Make sure you do have some
time to do revisions though  because you likely will be asked to do so
(I went through three major revisions of my paper before it was

But it's now a completely different and much much better paper than the original version that's also posted on my web site (I'm running out of “favourite” paper to do stuff with – I might have to start writing some more on my own! )

I'll post a link to the paper when it's published on the Partnership
web site so you can compare the original X-titled version with the new
PG-titled version. 

Comments 10

  1. Anonymous wrote:

    Congrats Jason. I still remember the other title. Didn't Sam shake his head in mock dismay, smiling all the while, when you submitted it for 501?

    Posted 02 May 2007 at 2:24 am
  2. Anonymous wrote:

    congrats Jason, well-deserved. 🙂

    Posted 02 May 2007 at 6:11 am
  3. Anonymous wrote:

    Congratulations. I'm sure that this will only motivate you to even greater achievements.

    Posted 02 May 2007 at 6:01 pm
  4. Anonymous wrote:

    Terri T posted on Facebook:
    hmmm you could be an academic. Lots of good stuff Jason. Keep it up.

    Posted 06 May 2007 at 5:27 pm
  5. Anonymous wrote:

    I'm hoping I can convince some others to submit as well!

    Posted 06 May 2007 at 5:28 pm
  6. Anonymous wrote:

    “Mock” dismay? I think it was real!
    We'd all handed in our papers and he's flipping through and sees mine (titled “Useless as Tits on a Bull: User Fees in Alberta Public Libraries”) and goes: “Oh, Jason” and everybody laughs.
    I think he said something else like “I can't even say this in class” and I go “Sure, you can” but he didn't. A couple classmates were looking back at me so I blurted the title out, getting another round of laughs.
    Another classmate made some joke about how it wasn't a very academic title or something but I wasn't quick enough to shoot back that it was a perfectly acceptable title in Western Canada!
    I asked permission to post the Partnership reviewer comments but never got it unfortunately. But most of them did comment on the title which I found incredibly funny – people who I felt should know better (censorship happens from both right AND left if you asked me) – focused on the word “tits” even though it had nothing to do with the human female breast at all!
    In the end, changing the title was made a condition of their acceptance and after some internal debate about whether this was censorship or not, I got the editor to tell me that it wasn't an “academic” title and I was better able to accept that.
    The other funny detail is one of the papers I'll remember best from my entire program was one Sam assigned in 501 called something like”Can you Tell Me How To Smoke Crack Cocaine” about a student who tested reference librarians' reaction to a request for controversial information.
    Something I learned in publishing – the title is as important as anything in making something memorable – and that was a lot of what I was going for. The new title, “Cash Cow” isn't as provocative but still captures a bit of what I was trying to do.

    Posted 06 May 2007 at 5:37 pm
  7. Anonymous wrote:

    Or it might be the last thing I ever publish in my life!

    Posted 06 May 2007 at 5:39 pm
  8. Anonymous wrote:

    I never really considered academic librarianship until about halfway through school, at least partly because I was doing my independent study, where I realised, “hmm, maybe this wouldn't be so bad.”
    Hopefully my lack of a Master's wouldn't be a block but I've heard that can hurt you.

    Posted 06 May 2007 at 5:41 pm
  9. Anonymous wrote:

    why does the academic world self-police so strictly for boringness?
    I got a tut-tut in a paper on a local architect in Victoria – all I said was that, for a family of five, four toilets might be appropriate for a game of musical chairs, but otherwise seemed a trifle excessive. To be fair, I guess I was adding needless opinion. Also, I've now revised my opinion, after meeting my life partner – you would definitely need FIVE toilets for a family of five…

    Posted 03 May 2009 at 6:03 pm
  10. Anonymous wrote:

    I think it's hilarious that a title that had nothing to do with the human female breast (except in the reviewer's politically correct mind?) had to be changed or my paper wouldn't have been published. Sure, it wasn't an “academic” title but you can't say it wasn't boring!

    Posted 04 May 2009 at 2:47 am

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