Monday, November 10, 2014
Monday, September 1, 2014
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Engaging learning opportunities brought to Maskwacis college
Published: July 23, 2014 9:00 AM
Updated: July 23, 2014 10:44 AM
Invited by Khetarpal down from Edmonton was the Let’s Talk Science team, an outreach science organization affiliated with the University of Alberta, to engage the community in several topics.
“We grabbed activities that encompasses all the areas of science we cover,” said site lead Shakib Rahman.
Let’s Talk Science uses simple household items to further interest kids in learning. “The biggest thing is, if you make science approachable to the kids . . . you find a lot of them coming out,” said Rahman.
He says teaching children science isn’t about intimidating them with every detail but about fostering an interest and a passion. “It’s about self-discovery.”
He wants approachable science to break down barriers and attract students of all ages to learning.
In the spirit of furthering their education and knowledge, the students of the college are exposed to a sociology class taught by Yun-Csang Ghimn.
Ghimn joined the college almost six years ago and began teaching a course equal in value to those at the University of Alberta, making the course transferable and providing more post-secondary options to the students.
He also teaches sociology at the University of Alberta and feels the smaller classes are more beneficial in readying the First Nations students for other schools and experiences. “Academically, I would say they’re more than ready.”
The small size also allows for more emotional interactions between the students; heated arguments and debates are common, says Ghimn.
Ghimn focuses on social structure and inequality with a First Nations perspective.
“(It) seems like the last five years, my students have had some organic exposure to non-white ethnic people,” said Ghimn. “I believe it’s an important thing for native students to have.”
The open dialogue of the class deals with customs, traditions, and truths and myths behind stereotypes, both for First Nations people and the rest of the world. “That’s a quite unique Maskwacis sociology class,” said Ghimn.
“I believe the college has to work as a window for them to the outside world,” he added.
Unlike most academic courses, where one lesson segues into the next, Ghimn’s class jumps from one topic to another depending on what the students wish to discuss.
He finds some of the topics closest to students’ hearts include race ethnicity and the hierarchy of “white” people, which refers to immigrants and other styles of people in a traditional western secular society, such as Hutterites.
“Students tend to find a few or several topics they love to talk about and they’re on fire,” said Ghimn.
Maskwacis Cultural College, 40th anniversary
Maskwacis Cultural College is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a year of cultural ceremonies and celebrations.
The college was provincially sanctioned in 1988 and has graduated more than 2,000 students with degrees, diplomas and certificates. “We’re a provincial private institution,” said president Patricia Goodwill-Littlechild.
“We hire the finest faculty; highly qualified faculty and teach courses approved by the government of Alberta,” said Goodwill-Littlechild. Maskwacis Cultural College’s courses are transferable to many universities, including Edmonton, Calgary and Lethbridge.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
First Nations Community Library Service development
Support by people, agencies, media, corporate organizations, tribal, provincial and federal government is gratefully acknowledged.
May 23, 2013: Library in a Box Service launched
May 29, 2013: Information Research Forum (Duty to consult)
June 10, 2013: CBC book drive mobilized $23,000 for the collection and development
July 17, 2013: ATCO Library Showcase BBQ (Community Collaboration raised $1400 and mobilized $3000)
September 28, 2013: Alberta Culture Days contributed $10,000
October 1, 2014: ebook reader borrowing service launched
December 2014: Viewing station by Alberta Enterprise and Advanced Education $10,000
January 27, 2014: NoFrills Literacy day mobilized $10,000
February 28, 2014: New Horizons for Seniors Grant for computer training and digital literacy $23,000
April 15, 2014: Indigenous Library Training and Mentoring program proposal submitted
July, 2014: Online catalog in collaboration with Soutron Global http://demo3.soutronglobal.net/Library/Catalogues
July 16, 2014: 160 indigenous community members registered for the summer reading program at the library showcase on July 16, 2014. http://setuppubliclibrarywithfncommunity.blogspot.ca/2014/07/160-people-registered-for-tdsrc-on-july.html
Join in the conversation right now and visit http://setuppubliclibrarywithfncommunity.blogspot.ca
The 10 new priority occupations are: geoscientists, carpenters, electricians, heavy duty equipment technicians, heavy equipment operators, welders, audiologists and speech language pathologists, midwives, psychologists, and lawyers.
Government of Canada Helps More Skilled Newcomers Get Jobs in Their Fields Faster
July 18, 2014 – Vancouver, British Columbia – Employment and Social Development Canada
The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism, and the Honourable Chris Alexander, Canada's Citizenship and Immigration Minister, announced that the Government of Canada, in partnership with the provinces and territories, will improve foreign credential recognition for 10 additional priority occupations including the skilled trades and healthcare. They made the announcement today at separate events in Vancouver and Toronto.
The 10 new priority occupations are: geoscientists, carpenters, electricians, heavy duty equipment technicians, heavy equipment operators, welders, audiologists and speech language pathologists, midwives, psychologists, and lawyers.
Minister Kenney explained that occupations in the skilled trades were selected because they are in demand in some sectors and regions of the country, while occupations in health care were emphasized because they help address skills shortages and improve the quality of life of Canadians.
These occupations are part of a national framework that aims to streamline foreign credential recognition for priority occupations. For priority occupations, service standards are established so that internationally trained professionals can have their qualifications assessed within one year, anywhere in Canada.
- Under the Framework, high-skilled newcomers in the 14 priority occupations, including some 2,000 pharmacists, 1,200 dentists and 5,600 engineers, are already benefitting from improvements to foreign credential recognition.
- The Government also launched the Federal Skilled Trades Program to facilitate the immigration of skilled tradespeople to Canada and help address serious skills shortages in the construction industry. Applicants are selected according to criteria that put more emphasis on practical training and work experience. Altogether, there are 90 occupations currently eligible for processing under this program.
- On May 13, 2014, Minister Wong launched the NHSP 2014-2015 Call for Proposals for Community-Based Projects. Through this call for proposals, organizations may receive up to $25,000 in grant funding for projects that are led or inspired by seniors. The call closed across Canada on July 4, 2014, except in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, where it was extended until July 18, 2014, as a result of significant damages caused by flooding in June.
- The Government of Canada also offers a microloans pilot project to help internationally trained workers cover the cost of having their credentials recognized. To date, more than 1,300 skilled newcomers have benefitted from microloans.
"Our government's top priorities are creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity. We recognize that skilled newcomers help fill shortages in key occupations and make an important contribution to Canada's economy. That is why we are speeding up foreign credential recognition for 10 more occupations, including jobs in the skilled trades and healthcare. This means that even more new Canadians can put their skills to work sooner across Canada."– The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism
"To ensure that immigration continues to support our future prosperity, our government is building a faster and more flexible immigration system that ensures this country attracts the best newcomers who are able to contribute to their communities and the Canadian economy while helping address Canada's labour market needs. This includes the launch of Express Entry next January, which will revolutionize the way we attract skilled immigrants and get them working here faster."– The Honourable Chris Alexander, Canada's Citizenship and Immigration Minister
- Employment and Social Development Canada: Credential Recognition
- Applying for Foreign Credential Recognition Loans
- A Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Credentials
- Federal Skilled Trades Program
- Express Entry
- Job Bank
Office of Minister Kenney
Thursday, July 3, 2014
7 surprises about libraries in our surveys
The Pew Research Center's studies about libraries and where they fit in the lives of their communities and patrons have uncovered some surprising facts about what Americans think of libraries and the way they use them. As librarians around the world are gathered in Las Vegas for the American Library Association's annual conference, here are findings that stand out from our research, our typology of public library engagement and the quiz we just released that people can take to see where they compare with our national survey findings: What kind of library user are you?
1Each time we ask about library use, we find that those ages 65 and older are less likely to have visited a library in the past 12 months than those under that age. Equally as interesting is the fact that younger Americans (those ages 16-29) are just as likely to be library users as those who are older.
2Although 10% of Americans have never used a library, they think libraries are good for their communities. We've identified this group of library users as "Distant Admirers," and they are the majority of the nearly 15% of Americans ages 16 and older who have never been to a library. Despite their lack of personal use of libraries, their positive views of libraries might stem from the fact that 40% of Distant Admirers report that someone else in their household is a library user. About two-thirds of them or more say libraries are important because they promote literacy and reading, that they play an important role in giving everyone a chance to succeed and they improve the quality of life in a community. Finally, 55% say the loss of the local library would be a blow to the community.
3E-book reading is rising but just 4% of Americans are "e-book only" readers. The incidence of e-book reading has been steadily climbing during the course of our libraries research. It now stands at 28% of the population who have ever read an e-book. But this has not really affected the number of those who read printed books. The vast majority of e-book readers also enjoy printed books.
4Those who read both e-books and printed books prefer reading in the different formats under different circumstances. One of the reasons many book lovers read in both printed and e-book formats is that they feel each format has its own virtues. In a head-to-head competition, people prefer e-books to printed books when they want speedy access and portability, but print wins out when people are reading to children and sharing books with others. When asked about reading books in bed, the verdict is split: 45% prefer reading e-books in bed, while 43% prefer print.
5One of the big concerns in the publishing industry about selling e-books to libraries is that allowing free access to e-books through libraries might eat into book sales. In fact, Pew Research data show that those who use libraries are more likely than others to be book buyers and actually prefer to buy books, rather than borrow them. Among the 78% of Americans 16 years and older who had read a book in the previous year, according to a survey we did in 2011, a majority of print readers (54%) and readers of e-books (61%) said they prefer to purchase their own copies of these books rather than borrow them from somewhere else.
6One of the foundational principles of librarians is supporting the privacy of patrons. Librarians have long resisted keeping or sharing records of the book-borrowing or computer-using activities of their patrons. However, in the age of book-recommendation practices on all kinds of websites, many patrons are comfortable with the idea of getting recommendations from librarians based on their previous book-reading habits. In a 2012 survey, 64% of respondents said they would be interested in personalized online accounts that provide customized recommendations for books based on their past library activity. Some 29% said they would be "very likely" to use a service if it were made available by their library.
7Many librarians are struggling to figure out how to think about their book collections in the digital age. The responses in a 2013 survey was the most divided verdict we got in the range of changes in the library world that we probed. Some 20% of respondents said libraries should "definitely" make changes with the ways they arrange their books, such as moving some print books and stacks out of public locations to free up more space for tech centers, reading rooms and cultural events, according to our 2013 survey. However, 36% said libraries should "definitely not" make those changes and 39% said libraries should "maybe" consider moving some books and stacks.
Thursday, June 5, 2014
Sustaining Communities, Sustaining Ourselves
"When everything is online, why come to the library at all? The library of the future most certainly is not about storing books, but what is it? Well, we get to decide. That means, we get to do what we want, and everything is allowed."
- Chrystie Hill at TEDxRanier - Libraries Present and Future
Aarhus Public Libraries in Aarhus, Denmark, built their new library using a process they call Participatory Democracy in Action. They did so by asking their community the question in the quote above, "If everything is online, why come to the library at all?" Feedback came from all over, children and adults, and had a huge impact in shaping the plan for the new Aarhus library building, Dokk1, which will open later this year on the harbour front in Aarhus.
What they achieved in Aarhus is not just a beautiful new library building offering innovative services, but a library that was planned, from the ground up and with the participation of its community, to serve the community in the ways that the community said it wanted to be served. Since the new library hasn't opened yet, it's still too early to say what impact this type of participatory planning will have, but odds seem good that the library AND the community will thrive because of this connection between the two throughout the entire process.
When the services and space of the library meet the needs of the community, the library will help to sustain that community and the community, in turn, will sustain the library.
[Take the poll: What makes a library sustainable?]
Chrystie Hill presents at TEDxRanier on Libraries Present and Future. Video uploaded to YouTube on December 28, 2011. Courtesy of TEDx Talks.
Sustainability starts with communication
You can call it advocacy, marketing, or demonstrating impact; you can call it outreach or "embedding" or engagement - whatever you call it, though, sustaining communities (and sustaining libraries) starts with communication. In Aarhus, that involved communication from concept through completion, and it seems like a good model to follow. Of course, we can't all build new libraries just to test this practice, but we can look at the services we are providing, the space we have in our buildings and what we are doing with it, and we can invite the community into a conversation to talk about these things and tell us what they want.
Are we really talking about DIY -- it's starting to feel like 'do it together.' Now what does that look like?
- Beth Farley, Bellingham Public Library (WA)
In our recent webinar on Transforming Library Space, Beth Farley shared some of her experiences conceptualizing and creating SkillShare, an alternative programming space that's now located in the sweet spot between holds, new books, and the self-check stations that many library visitors never venture beyond. The library wanted a space with fewer hurdles than their traditional meeting rooms, one that would serve as a venue for community members to present and engage in a more informal setting.
But it didn't take shape under library steam alone. Friends groups purchased technology and worked late hours. Architects donated ideas and time. Visionary volunteers emerged and brainstormed. The result was an amazing restructuring of space that was built not only with community needs in mind but with community involvement through every step of the process.
Why come to the library at all?
Everyone who is strongly connected to libraries has their own answer to this question, but does your library understand it's value to the patrons that use it? What about the people who aren't using the library? What answer can we give them to this question that will bring them in the doors and make them active, participating members in the library and in their community?
Every community is different, but there is some broad research that can help libraries get started answering these questions. Lee Rainie, Director of the Internet and American Life Project at the Pew Research Center, has given some excellent talks about people who use the library (and people who do not). In his examination of patron profiles, Rainie explores who our patrons and non-patrons are, what their information needs are, what kinds of technology they use, and how libraries can meet the varying needs of their patrons.
Pew surveys obviously cover a very wide net, but there are many ways that libraries can use similar tools to touch the pulse of their communities. In our recent webinar on Library Surveys for Success, Colleen Eggett from the Utah State Library shared strategies on how to create successful surveys to make, measure, and meet your library's goals.
And if you don't want to make your own survey instrument, there are tools out there for you to use. The Impact Survey, evolved from the 2009 Opportunity for All study, makes the complex job of surveying patrons easy and fast at no cost to library staff. Libraries can implement this survey quickly, run it for 2 to 6 weeks, and the day after they close it they will receive a suite of professional, full-color reports customized with your library's survey results. In addition to graphs and charts analyzing your survey responses, the standard reports include an op-ed customized with your survey results ready to submit to your local paper; an advocacy flyer featuring your survey results with regard to education and employment; and a ready-made presentation about your library's outcomes, ready to share with the city council, commissioners, service groups, or others.
Lee Rainie presents as the Tuesday Keynote speaker at Internet Librarian conference, 2013. Lee starts his presentation around the 6m 28s mark. Video courtesy Steve Nathans-Kelly on Vimeo.
We get to do what we want, and everything is allowed
The library that is sustained by the community will be the library that sustains the community; the two are inextricably linked. Library staff need to not just be a part of the library, but also a part of the community; they need to talk to other people in the community (both inside and outside of the library) and find out how they can, as people and as an organization, help the community thrive.
The best part is, we get to be a part of figuring that out. Maybe we can't all build a new library on the harbour front, but we can listen and we can learn and we can make changes, and we can tell ourselves and our communities that the library that will hold up for years and years to come is going to be a new library, whether or not it is in a new building, and everything is, in fact, allowed.
A new state library project in Arizona explores yet another e-book path for libraries
We've heard a lot about the progress libraries have made in the e-book realm. But the underlying story of public libraries and e-books remains nettlesome: research shows that most people still do not know that libraries lend e-books, that the lending infrastructure itself remains fractured and restrictive, and that the content is mostly licensed—not owned—and is often costly. As a result, there has been growing concern that public libraries are losing ground to more consumer-friendly private companies eager to become the exclusive e-book providers of the future.
Just last month, for example, the subscription services Oyster and Scribd announced that they will offer Simon & Schuster's entire backlist (over 10,000 titles), along with titles already on offer from HarperCollins and a growing number of indie presses. Such developments are at once exciting and unsettling for public library administrators, who can't help but question their future in such a digital world.
In response, some libraries have leaned on their traditional strengths—collections and resource sharing—to create new opportunities in the library market. Most famously, the Douglas County (Colo.) Libraries pioneered its own e-book platform. And in the same vein, the Arizona State Library this month signed an agreement with South Carolina–based BiblioLabs to offer a new service called Reading Arizona.
Arizona State librarian Joan Clark said that the project drew its inspiration from the Douglas County Libraries platform, and like that platform, is a direct response to the pronounced shift toward the consumption of digital products. "More libraries are beginning to develop projects like this, where they have their own platforms, select their own content outside of the usual third-party vendors, and find innovative ways to bring content to patrons," she says. "Reading Arizona will not only provide relevant e-books to its patrons—it will contribute to a national conversation about how libraries can best meet growing demand for e-content."
Powered by BiblioBoard (BibioLabs' multimedia content delivery platform), Reading Arizona will offer Arizona-related e-books and other materials via the state library's website starting in August, and eventually via local libraries in the state. The program will use geolocation to allow registration from within Arizona; thus, no library card will be required. All of the content will be available for unlimited, multiuser access, and patrons will be able to have up to three books at a time on offline bookshelves.
The collection guidelines include everything from fiction, history, and travel guides to public domain books and manuscripts stored in archives around the state. Resources from other cultural institutions and libraries, such as the Amerind Museum and Northern Arizona University's Cline Library, will also be included. In addition, the project will have a self-publishing portal.
Mitchell Davis, the founder and chief business officer of BiblioLabs, says it is significant that the program aligns with the library's mission: to preserve and promote Arizona history. "They are not trying to provide bestsellers free to everyone in the state," he says. "Rather, they are providing access to books that are much more difficult to discover and, sometimes, to obtain."
Davis has long been invested in finding ways to offer alternative paths to content. He is the founder of BookSurge, which was acquired by Amazon in 2005 and eventually became CreateSpace, Amazon's self-publishing platform. And, in 2007, he launched BiblioLabs, which now has projects similar to Reading Arizona up and running in Massachusetts (MA eBook Project) and North Carolina (NC Live).
Clark says that BiblioLabs is an attractive partner, presenting a powerful platform for hosting statewide e-content, for "a reasonable" annual fee. "We had initially envisioned building our own platform and acquiring content ourselves, but partnering with BiblioLabs provides us with an experienced information technology team, content acquisition, and marketing professionals at a much lower cost."
The agreement with BiblioLabs is confidential, but state library officials say they have committed to spend $50,000 on content in the first 18 months. In addition, while self-published authors included in the project retain the rights to their works, the library, for the most part, owns the items they collect for the program and can move the collection to a different vendor platform, if they one day choose to do so.
Massachusetts and North Carolina had similar motives for working with BiblioLabs, Davis says. By partnering with the company, libraries can spend less time trying to play technological catch up and focus more on what they do best. "We allow them to provide their content on a cutting-edge platform, and they don't have to create and maintain their own e-book infrastructure," Davis notes. "Most libraries cannot absorb these costs and provide solutions that compete with the user experiences that readers are accustomed to from the likes of Apple, Amazon, and Google." Davis says his company invested over $8 million in platform development over the two years leading up to its 2013 launch.
Clark says that it was also important for the library to provide a platform for self-published works that could draw on experts in local communities. "Many libraries are beginning to assume a library-as-publisher role, and, with the coming release of BiblioLabs' self-publishing module, it seemed like an appropriate addition," she explains. "We want content about Arizona that is relevant to Arizonans, so it makes sense to invite authors to share how they interpret the landscape."
As part of the project, the Arizona State Library is also reaching out to large commercial and academic publishers to acquire content, Clark says, as well as negotiating with local publishers, like Scottsdale-based Poisoned Pen Press. State librarians have also provided BiblioLabs with a list of desired titles that the company is working to include in the project. In addition to providing hosting, BiblioLabs has its own collection of content (about 125,000 e-books and five million pages of curated content), which is offered to libraries in modules that they can subscribe to on a multiuser, simultaneous-access basis.
Changing the Game
It may not be a commercial blockbuster, but Davis says projects like Reading Arizona matter—in part, because they show publishers that libraries will spend money to support viable alternatives to the dominant e-book regime.
"Today's library e-book models strive to imitate the print world to the point of absurdity, with hold lists and checkout periods for digital items," Davis says, adding that the protections that publishers and e-book vendors use to "ensure against cannibalization of the consumer revenue stream" for their frontlist titles make it very difficult for libraries to offer a decent user experience.
"If libraries move away from bestsellers and focus on those e-books and collections that offer other value, they can foster different business models that lend themselves to creating an excellent user experience and don't penalize them for being successful at promoting individual books," Davis says. "But if libraries say they want one business model, yet spend their money on another model, the model where they spend their money is the one that will survive and thrive."
Friday, May 30, 2014
Friday, April 18, 2014
State of America's Libraries Report 2014
Libraries continue to transform to meet society's changing needs, and more than 90 percent of the respondents in an independent national survey said that libraries are important to the community. But school libraries continue to feel the combined pressures of recession-driven financial tightening and federal neglect, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics, and school libraries in some districts and some states still face elimination or de-professionalization of their programs. These and other library trends of the past year are detailed in the American Library Association's 2014 State of America's Libraries report, released today during National Library Week, April 13– 19.
Press release: ALA releases 2014 State of America's Libraries Report
Saturday, April 12, 2014
Surviving the Survivor anthology call for submissions
Writing the Eighth Generation: Surviving the Survivor is an anthology looking for submissions of original creative writing pieces of up to three poems, or narratives of up to 7,500 words by Indigenous writers. Creations in Aboriginal languages (with translation) are especially welcome. Submit by June 1, 2014 to Renate Eigenbrod, University of Manitoba at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Calgary Herald, March 24, 2014 10:17 AM
A local library program for newcomers to Canada has received a $550,000 boost from the RBC Foundation.
The funding for the Welcome to the Library program will support orientation tours, a welcome video - which is available in 18 languages and will expand to others - and free library access for newcomers for one year.
"Public libraries have historically been the first point of contact for people who are new to the community and new to the country," Bill Ptacek, CEO of the Calgary Public Library, said in a news release.
The funding was made in partnership with the Calgary Public Library Foundation.
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
National Library Week will be observed April 13-19, 2014 with the theme, "Lives change @ your library(R)."
National Library Week
National Library Week will be observed April 13-19, 2014 with the theme, "Lives change @ your library®."
First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation's libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support. All types of libraries - school, public, academic and special - participate.
Celebrations during National Library Week include: National Library Workers Day, celebrated the Tuesday of National Library Week (April 15, 2014), a day for library staff, users, administrators and Friends groups to recognize the valuable contributions made by all library workers; National Bookmobile Day, celebrated the Wednesday of National Library Week (April 16, 2014), a day to recognize the contributions of our nation's bookmobiles and the dedicated professionals who make quality bookmobile outreach possible in their communities; and Celebrate Teen Literature Day, celebrated the Thursday of National Library Week (April 17, 2014), aimed at raising awareness among the general public that young adult literature is a vibrant, growing genre with much to offer today's teens.
The Public Information Office of the American Library Association coordinates the promotion, placing articles in national media. Librarians, Friends and trustees of libraries join in sponsoring local promotions. Posters and other promotional materials are available through the ALA Graphics Catalog.
The ALA Public Awareness Committee assists in planning National Library Week and related activities. The committees hold open meetings at the ALA Annual Conference and Midwinter Meeting. Suggestions are welcome.
Join the Autism Society in getting involved with the autism community this April. April 2014 is National Autism Awareness Month (NAAM) 2014.
How is it celebrated?
- Presidential/Congressional declarations
- Online events and activities
- Local events and activities through affiliates
- Partner opportunities
- Create your own National Autism Awareness Month event
What can I do?
- Place the NAAM logo badge on your blog, Facebook profile, Twitter page or other social media site! Customize it to include your logo too!
- Download a toolkit of visual and content resources to help you celebrate National Autism Awareness Month!
- Create your own National Autism Awareness Month event!
- Sign up for e-newsletter Autism Matters to continue sharing ideas on how to make a better world for autism here.
- Share your experience/stories with NAAM or autism with us!
Put on the Puzzle! The Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon is the most recognized symbol of the autism community in the world. Autism prevalence is now one in every 68 children in America. Show your support for people with autism by wearing the Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon – as a pin on your shirt, a magnet on your car, a badge on your blog, or even your Facebook profile picture – and educate folks on the potential of people with autism! To learn more about the Autism Awareness Ribbon, click here. To purchase the Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon for your shirt, car, locker or refrigerator, click here.
Make a difference. Contact your representatives at the state and federal levels and ask them to “Vote 4 Autism.” For more information about this legislation and to take action to support it, visit http://www.autism-society.org/get-involved/vote-4-autism/.
Connect with your neighborhood. Many Autism Society local affiliates hold special events in their communities throughout the month of April. But if you can’t find an event that suits you just right, create your own!
Watch a movie. Did you know that something that seems as simple as going to the movies is not an option for many families affected by autism? The Autism Society is working with AMC Theatres to bring special-needs families Sensory Friendly Films every month.
The hospitality industry in Alberta, for example, relies heavily on temporary foreign workers. One out of every five full-time employees in the hotel industry across Alberta are temporary foreign workers, according to a survey conducted by the Alberta Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA).
"There are businesses that wouldn't be able to operate without the component of temporary foreign workers and that would jeopardize jobs for Canadians that are there," said Dave Kaiser, president of AHLA.
Twenty-eight per cent of its members employ foreign workers under the program and 44 per cent plan to hire more within the next two years, he adds, noting there are added costs associated with bringing them in.
"It's not a cheap labour solution," Kaiser said. "It's been an onerous process over the course of time. The rules keep changing."
Moran stresses the importance of sourcing local talent as the key strategy, followed by expanding that nationally. However, when that fails, it's clear the TFWP is essential to providing companies of all sizes and in all sectors with an important pool of workers.
Truscott, meanwhile, said the federal government's recent changes have hit small business particularly hard. They include the elimination of the accelerated part of the program for certain skilled labour jobs; the elimination of wage flexibility in terms of how much foreign workers are paid; advertising longer and more broadly across Canada; and, the requirement of all businesses to create a transition plan back to a fully Canadian-staffed workforce.
"This whole new transition plan is another pile of paperwork that businesses have to go through," said Truscott. "There are some jobs within the economy that Canadians clearly don't seem interested in."
He also credits the Alberta government for launching some pilot projects targeting the food service industry and an accelerated option for some skilled workers. However, he says there is an abundant supply of foreign workers ready and willing to fill those roles.
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Monday, March 31, 2014
The storyboard is part of the Crossing Boundaries through Communication project, cooperatively supported by the Chilkoot Indian Association, Haines Borough Public Library, and a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency that fosters innovation, leadership, and lifelong learning.
Obtaining a driver's license has been identified as one of the top three barrier to employment for low-literacy learners, and this becomes especially significant in rural areas. Literacy Alberta has created the Clear Language Driver's Guide which is designed to help learners get their license, and by extension, participate more fully in Alberta's economy.
Friday, March 28, 2014
|Funding Organization||Canadian Institutes of Health Research|
|Program Name||Foundation Scheme : 2014 1st Live Pilot|
|Program Launch Date||2013-11-22|
Note: The Foundation Scheme: 2014 1st Live Pilot funding opportunity has been posted 7 months in advance of the competition's registration deadline in order to provide the research community with the program details and the opportunity to prepare for the competition. It is important to note, however, that updates may be made based on results from on-going pilots.
Note: Some elements of this competition may be unique to this live pilot and CIHR will continue to refine the funding scheme based on this and other pilots.
Note: Some of the links within this funding opportunity are not yet active. They will become available as soon as the relevant information is available.
Note: The Transitional Operating Grant: 2014-2015 competition is being run in parallel with the Foundation Scheme: 2014 1st Live Pilot competition in order to facilitate the transition within CIHR's open funding scheme.
For more information, please see Reforms to CIHR's Open Suite of Programs and Peer Review Process: Design or contact Roadmap-Plan.Strategique@cihr-irsc.gc.ca.
The content of this funding opportunity has been updated
Date updated: 2014-03-28
Sections updated: Important Dates (Anticipated Stage 3 Notice of Decision), Eligibility, How to Apply
Date updated: 2014-02-14
Section updated: Important Dates (Funding Start Date)
Table of Contents
The Foundation Scheme is designed to contribute to a sustainable foundation of new and established health research leaders, by providing long-term support for the pursuit of innovative and high-impact research programs.
The Foundation Scheme is expected to:
- Support a broad base of health research leaders across all career stages, areas, and health-related disciplines;
- Develop and maintain Canadian capacity in health research and other related fields;
- Provide research leaders with the flexibility to pursue novel and innovative lines of inquiry;
- Contribute to the creation and application of health-related knowledge through a wide range of research and/or knowledge translation activities, including relevant collaborations.
New and early-career investigators: Special consideration
New and early-career investigators are eligible to apply to the Foundation Scheme competition as a Program Leader. To support the objective of the program – a sustainable foundation of health research leaders – a minimum annual intake of new investigators into the Foundation Grant portfolio will be established. Competition processes and peer review for this cohort will be fully integrated with the competition as a whole with no additional steps being required on the part of the applicant. Eligibility for consideration as a new or early-career investigator is outlined in the eligibility section below.
The success of new/early career investigators in the Foundation Scheme will be actively monitored. Peer reviewers will be instructed to take into consideration the career stage, research field and institution setting of all applicants. At Stage 3, new/early career investigators will be assessed and ranked against other new/early career investigators.
CIHR's financial contributions for this scheme are subject to availability of funds. Should CIHR funding levels not be available or be decreased due to unforeseen circumstances, CIHR reserves the right to reduce, defer, or suspend financial contributions to grants received as a result of this funding opportunity.
- The combined total amount available for CIHR's 2014-15 Open Grant Programs (2014-15 Transitional OOGP and Foundation Scheme: 2014 1st Live Pilot) is approximately $500M.
- The number of grants expected to be funded for this Foundation Scheme competition is approximately 120 to 250 grants over the multi-year terms of the grants. An investment at this level assumes a robust application pressure: therefore, the actual number of grants awarded may vary.
- Based on historical modeling, it is expected that most Foundation grant budget requests will fall within a range of $50K to $1.5M per annum. Foundation grant levels will be commensurate with need, which is expected to vary by research field, research approach, and scope of program activities.
- Senior and mid-career investigators will be awarded 7-year grants. New/early-career investigators will be awarded 5-year grants.
- For existing CIHR grantees, the budget request should be consistent with the applicant's previous CIHR open grant research funding history. Applicants must provide robust justification for requests that are significantly higher than their historical grant levels.
The Foundation Scheme is open to applicants in all areas of health research that are aligned with the CIHR mandate: "To excel, according to internationally accepted standards of scientific excellence, in the creation of new knowledge and its translation into improved health for Canadians, more effective health services and products and a strengthened Canadian health care system".
Eligibility criteria for all CIHR research funding programs apply. The business office of the institution of an eligible Program Leader generally administers CIHR funds. Refer to the Individual Eligibility Requirements regarding the eligibility requirements for individuals and institutions.
Eligibility to Apply
Foundation grants are designed to support research leaders at any career stage to build and conduct programs of health research across CIHR's mandate. Eligible applicants will include new/early-career, mid-career, and established researchers who are independent researchers with a demonstrable track record of excellence and impact in their field of study. An individual may only be a Program Leader on one Foundation grant at any one time.
For an application to be eligible:
- The Program Leader(s) (link to come) must be an independent researcher.
- The Program Leader who is responsible for the administration of the grant must have an academic or research appointment at an eligible institution at the time of application (See Institutional Eligibility Requirements for eligibility process and associated timelines.
- Where applicable, multiple Program Leaders submitting a single application must convincingly demonstrate synergy and a track record of co-managing programs of research with each other.
- An individual may only submit one application in the role of Program Leader per competition.
New/early-career investigators are eligible to apply to the Foundation Scheme competition as a Program Leader. CIHR defines a new/early career investigator as someone who, at the Stage 1 application deadline, has assumed his/her first independent academic position (e.g., faculty appointment) within the last 5 years (60 months).
Note: All time spent in research appointments will be taken into consideration when determining eligibility. Should an applicant hold or have held a part time appointment, CIHR will count that time as 50% (e.g., a one-year part-time appointment will count for 6 months towards the 60 month maximum).
Leaves of absence, as indicated in the Leaves of Absence section under Employment of your Common CV, will not count towards the 60-month maximum. (Updated: 2014-03-28)
For the Foundation Scheme 2014 1st Live Pilot competition, the Program Leader must also fall into one of the following three groups:
- On July 30th 2013, the Program Leader is the Nominated Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator of a CIHR Open program grant with an expiry date no earlier than October 1, 2014 and no later than September 30, 2015.
- The Program Leader is considered to be a new/early-career investigator, as defined by CIHR, at the Stage 1 application deadline.
- On July 30th 2013, the Program Leader has never held Open CIHR funding as a Nominated Principal Investigator or a Co-Principal Investigator.
The appropriate individual at the Program Leader's or Leaders' institution(s) must approve the application confirming that it agrees to support the Program Leader as articulated in the Grants and Awards Guide and also as may be further articulated within the application.
Note for Foundation grant holders: (relevant only to applicants in future competitions)
Foundation grantees interested in continuing their program of research beyond the duration of the Foundation grant may submit a new application in Year 6 (for 7-year grants) or Year 4 (for 5-year grants) to the regular Foundation Scheme competition.
In exceptional circumstances, Foundation grantees may choose to submit a new application in an earlier year with the goal of obtaining a higher level of grant support. Unsuccessful applications will result in the currently-held Foundation grant being terminated one year after the published funding start date for the competition in which the application was unsuccessful.
General CIHR Guidelines
This funding opportunity will fully comply with the policies and guidelines as outlined in CIHR's Funding Policies. CIHR policies reflect areas of importance such as (but not limited to): Gender and Sex-Based Analysis, Knowledge Translation, Open Access, Global Health Research and International Collaborations. Policies and guidelines also cover areas such as Applicant Responsibilities, Official Languages policy, Access to Information Act, Privacy Act and Communication Requirements.
Information collected by CIHR may be shared as described in the Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Policy of the Federal Research Funding Organizations.
Recipients should review the Use of Grant Funds section of the Tri-Agency (CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC) Financial Administration Guide for a complete listing and description of allowable costs and activities.
The following cost is not eligible for support through this funding opportunity:
- Salaries for Program Leaders
Conditions of Funding
Successful applicants funded through this funding opportunity and any other persons working on the program of research must comply fully with the CIHR Funding Policies. Successful applicants will be informed of any special financial requirements prior to the release of funds or when they receive CIHR's Authorization for Funding (AFF) document.
Other conditions of funding specific to this program:
- The Program Leader(s) is required to submit an electronic Final Report to CIHR.
- To meet federal reporting and accountability requirements, Program Leaders will also be expected to report periodically on their research productivity and achievements.
- The Program Leaders who are successful within this competition must enroll, and actively participate, as members of the CIHR College of Reviewers – instructions will be provided to successful grant recipients.
- While the broader research team may evolve over the duration of the grant, Program Leaders (whether single or multiple) must remain unchanged over the course of the grant.
Review Process and Evaluation
Adjudication and Selection Process
Peer review will be conducted in accordance with the CIHR Adjudication and Selection Process Manual for the 2014 Foundation Scheme Competition. (link to come)
The Foundation Scheme 1st Live Pilot competition will be a multi-stage competition with 2 distinct applications and 3 review stages. Only successful Stage 1 applicants will be invited to apply to Stage 2.
Stage 1 and 2 review will be conducted remotely by expert reviewers supported by an internet-assisted platform that will enable communication among reviewers in a virtual space. Reviewers will review their assigned structured applications by providing a structured review that consists of rating each sub-criterion (see below) and briefly commenting on the strengths and weaknesses in each section. Aided by their ratings, reviewers will be asked to rank the group of applications they are assigned. CIHR will consolidate all individual reviewer rankings into a consolidated ranking for each application, which will be used to make funding decisions.
Stage 3, the final assessment stage, will involve a face-to-face discussion of applications by an interdisciplinary committee. This committee will be responsible for integrating the results of the Stage 1 and 2 reviews, with a focus on assessing applications that fall into the "grey zone" (i.e., applications that are close to the funding cut-off, and which demonstrate a high degree of variance in individual reviewer rankings). This committee will make final recommendations on which "grey zone" applications should be funded.
At Stage 3, new/early career investigators will be assessed and ranked against other new/early career investigators.
There are three review stages for the Foundation Scheme competition which require two separate submissions (Stage 1 and Stage 2 application) from the applicant. The first review stage will evaluate Stage 1 applications and successful Stage 1 applicants will be invited to apply to Stage 2. The adjudication criteria considered at Stage 1 and 2 are different. A detailed description of these criteria can be found within the CIHR Adjudication and Selection Process Manual for the 2014 Foundation Scheme Competition. (link to come)
A structured adjudication process will be used to help reviewers assess each applicable criterion. The relative weights of each of the criteria are noted in parenthesis. Associated sub-criteria will be equally weighted.
Criterion 1: Caliber of the Applicant(s) (75%)
- Significance of Contributions
Criterion 2 – Vision and Program Direction (25%)
Criterion 1 – Quality of the Program (40%)
- Research Concept
- Research Approach
Criterion 2 – Quality of the Expertise, Experience and Resources (60%)
- Mentorship and Training
- Quality of Support Environment
Note: The budget requested will not be factored into the scientific assessment of the application: however, a recommendation on the appropriateness of the budget requested will be sought from peer reviewers.
How to Apply
Important: Please read all instructions to in order familiarize yourself with the application process before applying. An overview of CIHR's application processes can be found under Apply for Funding. Note that these are general instructions only. Specific application instructions for this funding opportunity are described in the links below. All submissions must be made through ResearchNet.
- Registration to the 1st Foundation Scheme Live Pilot competition will be accepted between March 24, 2014 and June 23, 2014
- Eligible registrants will be invited to apply to Stage 1. Stage 1 applications for the 1st Foundation Scheme Live Pilot competition will be accepted until September 15, 2014. (Updated: 2014-03-28)
- Only successful Stage 1 applicants will be invited to apply to Stage 2. Stage 2 applications for the 1st Foundation Scheme Live Pilot competition will be accepted between December 1, 2014 and February 5, 2015.
Reminder to applicants: Please ensure that your application is complete (including all required signatures) and is submitted to CIHR on time.
To complete your Registration, follow the instructions in the Foundation Scheme: 1st Live Pilot ResearchNet "Registration" Phase Instructions.
To complete your Stage 1 Application, follow the instructions in the Foundation Scheme: 1st Live Pilot ResearchNet "Application" Phase Instructions. (link to come)
For successful Stage 1 applicants, to complete your Stage 2 Application, follow the instructions in the Foundation Scheme: 1st Live Pilot ResearchNet "Application" Phase Instructions. (link to come)
Application requirements for Stage 1 and Stage 2 are available. Note that these documents provide a summary of the application requirements for Stage 1 and Stage 2 of the first Foundation Scheme Live Pilot. While the application content is not expected to change, the application for this competition will be completed through ResearchNet, and may therefore look different.
Note: Some of the links within this funding opportunity are not yet active. They will become available as soon as the relevant information is available.
- It is important to be aware of your internal Institutional deadline.
- Your Application must be submitted using ResearchNet. Scan and upload the signed signature pages including the routing slip in the Print/Upload Signature Pages task in ResearchNet prior to submitting your application.
- This funding opportunity participates in the eApproval process. This means that when the applicant submits their application, it will be electronically directed to the Research Institution for review and approval. The eApproval process allows Administrators at a Research Institution to review and electronically approve applications for which the applicant has identified their institution as the Institution Paid. Once the applications are reviewed and approved by the Research Institution, they will submit the applications electronically to CIHR on behalf of the applicant.
For questions regarding CIHR funding guidelines, how to apply, and the peer review process, please contact:
CIHR Reforms Implementation Team
If you are experiencing technical difficulties with your ResearchNet account or the e-Submission process, please contact:
CIHR ResearchNet Support
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Telephone: 1-888-603-4178 or 613-954-1968