Participants who couldn’t make it in person used technology to attend a round table on the rights of Ontario francophones held earlier this year. Nadia Caidi (left in blue) and her students organized this important event.
Associate Professor Nadia Caidi has been recognized for her significant and innovative use of evolving technology by the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE), which has named her the 2019 recipient of its Pratt-Severn Faculty Innovation Award.
Over the years, Caidi has used multiple technologies to create impactful and meaningful learning opportunities, modelling to her students how technology can be used in innovative ways to promote diversity and inclusion. One major project was the On–Demand Book Service, originally conceived in 2005 to address the unique challenges for delivering library and other information services to remote First Nations communities in Northern Ontario. It was notable both for its innovative use of technology and the involvement of students, encouraged and mentored by Caidi.
In this past year alone, there have been two more examples. At a time when the francophone community of the province of Ontario has seen its institutions come under fire from the provincial government, Caidi organized an important and inclusive round table, inviting participants from all over the province. Technology broke down barriers, enabling participants to attend without incurring costly travel expenses.
At the same time as she was planning the round table, Caidi was also helping to organize an educational trip for a dozen Faculty of Information students to Geneva for the World Intellectual Property Organization’s 38th Session of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights. Among other things, these students audited and participated in discussions about how technology is affecting both intellectual property and copyright. One of the students subsequently received a much coveted one-year fellowship to the Accessible Book Consortium, a WIPO group, which strives to use technology make books available to the visually impaired.
ALISE is also honouring Faculty of Information alumna and University of Denver Assistant Professor, Keren Dali, who has received the 2019 Norman Horrocks Leadership Award for her leadership qualities in professional ALISE activities.
Last year, Dali and Caidi won the American Library Association Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT) David Cohen/EMIERT Multicultural Award for their article,Diversity by Design. “I think that the work that Nadia and Keren have done to design diversity into LIS curriculum is outstanding,” said Wendy Duff, Acting Dean of the Faculty of Information. “Nadia’s use of cutting edge technology to broaden engagement is both inspiring and practical. And Keren’s leadership award is well deserved.”
Recipients will be honored at the awards luncheon on Wednesday, September 25, 2019 at the Annual Conference in Knoxville, Tennessee.