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OCAD U Library 2019 Summer: Reference


Critical Times

TRY + Conference Session: Experiential Learning + Information Literacy

The Dorothy H. Hoover Library had a paper accepted that combined the research work of librarians and experiential learning staff:

Visualizing a common research language: Breaking down curricular walls through dialogic practice 


  • Daniel Payne, Head, Reference & Instructional Services, Dorothy H. Hoover Library
  • Serena Lee, Coordinator, Experiential Learning, Centre for Emerging Artists & Designers


“Language is not a neutral medium…it is populated—overpopulated—with the intentions of others

Mikhail Bakhtin lived through critical times, facing the full force of incarceration and exile under Stalinism; yet amid this adversity he developed the concept of dialogism, one of the most optimistic communication theories posited for overcoming the divisions and discord often associated with departmentalization. At its core lies the deceptively simple goal of translating one’s own ideas to others; not just through a literal process of word‐by‐word description, but by employing an emotive deep language structure that allows others to internalize messages as if using their own words. Of course to be truly dialogic, this communication process must be reciprocal.

Daniel Payne and Serena Lee will explore ways to bridge curricular divides by finding a common research language between learning outcomes, degree learning expectations, and information literacy frameworks. Each of these rubrics clearly strives for a common goal: to create meaningful learning experiences for students in the academic environment. But do specialist vocabularies—or “idiolects”—isolate stakeholders, blocking their attempts to achieve broader unified pedagogical objectives?

Through using interactive experiential learning objects and visualized mnemonics of deductive and inductive research models, then mapping these onto curricular learning outcomes, a common grammatical parlance can occur between research support units and curricular goals. Likewise, the use of linguistic metaphors based on the academic learning environment—in this case a studio‐based art and design instructional forum—helps translate the conceptual syntax of information theory to the everyday lived experiences of students.

Mikhail Bhakhtin, “Discourse in the Novel,” in The Dialogic Imagination (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1983), 294..

TRY + 2019: Critical Times

Since 2005, the TRY + Library Conference has been a dynamic gathering of librarians and library staff from GTA region universities, exploring topics in collections, services, and mandates for academic libraries in the new information environment. In 2016, OCAD U was invited to participate in the event was then subsequently offered official membership. 

Daniel Payne, Head of Reference and Instructional Services at the Dorothy H. Hoover Library, serves as the OCAD U member of the planning committee and in this role has proposed the conference themes and drafted the conference overview description for the previous years of membership: Cultivating Connections (2017) and Reflective Practice (2018). This year, Daniel wrote the description for the 2019 iteration featuring the title: Critical Times.

TRY + Conference Session: TRC and the University Library

Library staff were pleased to be able to represent new institutional initiatives, including the establishment of Indigenous Learning Outcomes through a roundtable discussion at the TRY + Conference.

Critical Issues Roundtable: Reconciliation and Academic Libraries

Métis Facilitator:

  • Stacey Allison-Cassin Associate Librarian, Department of Student Learning and Academic Success, Scott Library, York University Libraries


  • Kelly Dermody E-Learning and Accessibility, Ryerson University Library and Archives
  • Daniel Payne Head, Reference & Instructional Services, Dorothy H. Hoover Library, OCAD University


The Truth and Reconciliation Commission calls all Canadians to action in support of a commitment to education for reconciliation. Much of the labour of reconciliation, however, has fallen on the shoulders of Indigenous academics, knowledge-keepers, elders, and professionals working in the cultural heritage sector, who oftentimes are overworked, under-compensated, sometimes even unacknowledged.

The TRY + TRC working group will offer a forum to discuss community building initiatives that empower all in university environment to build capacity for intercultural understanding, empathy, and mutual respect (Call to Action #63)

A discussion circle facilitator will lead participants through a sharing of stories in their library communities about critical issues, activities they are pursuing, and opportunities for collaborative projects that could be initiated.