No. 450 - The Corona Virus Issue

Coming Events

City Symposium on Gender Equality (Live webcast)
Tuesday, March 31, 2020
6:40 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Live webcast
At this symposium we will explore questions about gender equality in our community. What is being done to address inequity? With Vanessa Ambtman-Smith (PhD cand., Geography), Melanie-Anne Atkins (Ph.D, Education), Dr. Helene Berman (Distinguished University Professor Emerita, Faculty of Health Sciences’ Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing), Julie B (co-founder, coordinator and Board Chair of SafeSpace London), Councillor Maureen Cassidy (London City Councillor for Ward 5), Dr. Jodi Hall (professor in Western- Fanshawe Collaborative BScN Nursing Program), Jenna Rose Sands (Cree Anishinaabe artist), and Taylor Holden (singer and songwriter). Register now.

"Resilience can be learned: Helping children bounce back from stress and anxiety"
Thursday, April 9, 2020
7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Presented by Professor Karen Bax, Faculty of Education. Children and youth today seem to be struggling with unprecedented levels of stress and anxiety. Youth appear to struggle far more than previous generations in regards to “growing up” and becoming independent. This presentation will explore some of the reasons for this change in youth resilience, including social media, spending less time with peers, and a growing culture of “safety” in our everyday lives. Additionally, research related to practical ways parents and educators can help children learn to bounce back from stress and be more resilient will be discussed.

This talk will be offered online using Collaborate Ultra. Livestream link: 

Financial Wellness Webinar: Connect with your Money
Monday, April 27, 2020
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Learn how easy it is to manage your workplace retirement and savings program with the tools and services available online through The Retirement Planner and the Sun Life Mobile app are just two of the financial tools that we will explore. Suitable for plan members wanting to learn how to navigate their account and make the most out of their workplace savings plan. Register now.

Important Dates

- Friday, April 10, 2020 - Good Friday holiday

News & Announcements

ELIP 2020: Cover Contest | Submissions due May 1st
MLIS students: Emerging Library and Information Perspectives (ELIP) is FIMS’ student-run, open access journal that publishes work related to a broad range of topics within LIS. Many people in our community have worked hard on creating, reviewing, and editing submissions throughout the year, and now we need a cover for the forthcoming volume of the journal. If you’re looking for a creative project, consider creating something for our cover contest. To learn more about ELIP and to see past covers, check out our website. Please send submissions to by May 1st.

Congress 2020 to move online & FIMS participants

Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, Congress 2020 will be moving online and will continue on as a virtual event. You can find updates about how COVID-19 is affecting the conference on their website. Currently, two research teams from FIMS have collaborated for an accepted panel titled, "AI Opaqueness: What Makes AI Systems More Transparent?" Professors Victoria Rubin and Jacquie Burkell will lead a team of grad students including Sarah Cornwell (LIS PhD), Toluwase Asubiaro (LIS PhD), Yimin Chen (LIS PhD), Danica Potts (LIS PhD), and Chris Brogly (HIS PhD).

In Memoriam: Patricia Dewdney
The FIMS community was saddened to learn of the passing of retired Western LIS faculty member Patricia Dewdney on March 12, 2020 in London, Ontario. Pat is remembered very fondly by many colleagues and alumni of the former School of Library and Information Science. The next FIMS Alumni Newsletter will include some words from Catherine Ross, Pat's doctoral supervisor, and some additional memories from a number of other colleagues and former students

Awards & Accomplishments

Toluwase Asubiaro, LIS PhD candidate, won the Medical Library Association's 2020 Eugene Garfield Research Fellowship.

Elisabeth Davies, Assistant Professor, was awarded the Winter 2020 Fantastic FIMS Award, while MLIS student Jessica Dinan received the Spirit of Librarianship Award. Both awards are given by the MLISSC on a term-by-term basis.

Max Martin, MMJC'19, has been nominated for multiple Ontario Newspaper Awards for work that he did with the London Free Press during his MMJC internship. Randy Richmond, who has previously taught for FIMS and who has presented a Clissold Lecture, was also nominated.

Amber Silva and Nick Sokic, both MMJC'19 alumni, have been named finalists in both the Couch Film Festival and the Alternative Film Festival for their film Living for the Risk. This film was produced as a component of their final project in the MJCOM 9201 Integrated Storytelling course. 

Publications & Presentations

Toluwase Asubiaro, LIS PhD candidate, published the following article:

Asubiaro T.V. and Badmus O.M. (2020). Collaboration clusters, interdisciplinarity, scope and subject classifications of Library and Information Science Research from Africa: An analysis of Web of Science Publications from 1996 to 2015. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science

Douglas Mann, Assistant Professor, published the article "From the Enterprise to the Discovery: The Decline and Fall of Utopian Technology and the Liberal Dream," on March 24 on

Professor Nadine Wathen published a column titled, "Not all find comfort while 'safe at home'," in Western News on Monday, March 30. The column addresses the concerns felt by people who work to reduce Gender Based Violence, and fits with Professor Wathen's appointment to the Canada Research Chair in Mobilizing Knowledge on Gender-Based Violence.

In the Media

FIMS instructor Jeremy Copeland and Professor Anabel Quan-Haase are featured in an article titled, "Times testing fractured media landscape," published in Western News on March 29.

Jeremy is also quoted in the article, "Fading print? Some publications facing challenges in wake of COVID-19 pandemic," published in the Toronto Star on March 24. 

Professor Anabel Quan-Haase is featured in an article titled, "Social media has positive possibilities in pandemic," published in Western News on March 26. 

News from the FIMS Graduate Library

The FIMS Graduate Library continues to serve the FIMS community remotely. If you are having trouble navigating Western Libraries databases or accessing digital materials, please email us at Mondays-Fridays 9am-4:30pm.

COVID-19 Coping Tips from Your Friends

The following are a series of tips, suggestions and resources, all shared by FIMS community members, that might come in useful during these challenging times. 


Some home exercise links from Hida Behzadi (faculty)

In House Workout Routines - Tried and true
No equipment needed, a good internet connection and a device is needed.

LesMills on demand: Full class samples of Lesmills programs
Endorphin boost: Zumba by Beto Perez, Zumba Zin
Strong by Zumba: Legs
Strong by Zumba: Abs 
Strong by Zumba: Gluts 
Strong by Zumba: 20 min
Endorphin boost: 6 min Dancers abs
Endorphin boost: 30 min dance cardio

Workshop Wednesdays moves online, from Sarah Cornwell (grad student)

Workshop Wednesdays: Zoom Edition
Wednesdays (starting March 25)
Online in Sarah's Zoom PMI: 
In a precarious and stressful time like this, mending becomes even more valuable! So we've moved our group online... Please join us to talk, brainstorm, work together, and repair what we love. For more information check the Google Doc, or email if you have questions or ideas to add to the list!

Staring at that quarantine knitting project but just can't interpret the pattern? Have damaged items but don't have the money to replace them? Thinking of repurposing an item and need some guidance? Call in to our weekly Zoom meeting and let's hang out and brainstorm on how to fix/upgrade them! More information.

Sarah also wants you to know that the plants are okay! She has relocated the 4th floor plants, previously living in the PhD kitchen, 4013 and 4094, to her house to be fostered and admired. She will even share a picture or two, if someone was to request one.

A few mind-soothing suggestions from Kelly Keus (grad student)

"My best advice so far (as an anxious graduate student): stop watching the news. Unplug from social media. Limit your consumption of pandemic information to tolerable amounts. Meditate daily. Walk daily. Find gratitude in the present moment. Spread love and compassion as best as you can!

For the booklovers out there, now is the time! I’m catching up on all kinds of fiction that I never have time to read. I’m doing some puzzles and some coloring and lots of cuddling with my cat. Find a way to enjoy the solitude and the blossoming of spring!

Oh, and CBC has opened up for all Canadians for free. Tons of fantastic documentaries and older episodes of The Nature of Things.

Be Well Everyone!"

A couple of good-to-know articles, from Karen Kueneman (staff)
"Coronavirus Q&As: Answers to 7 questions your kids may have about the pandemic"
The Conversation, March 14

"Anxiety about coronavirus can increase the risk of infection - but exercise can help"
The Conversation, March 22

Amber Matthews (grad student) recommends trying the Insight Timer app

Insight Timer is a free meditation app. "It has 24,000 free meditations and other mindfulness exercises including lessons, calming music, and mindfulness activities for children. There is a desktop and mobile app available."

A way to stay active and balanced, from Paulette Rothbauer (faculty)

Regular yoga studio closed? Try Yoga with Adriene, tested and approved by Paulette.

Some resources specific to taking care of your mental health, from Cabot Yu (alumnus)

Cabot has posted a number of useful resources on the website, include under the heading "COVID-19: Mental Health Resources." Check it out if you're looking for authoritative sources of information.


A resource for people teaching online for the first time from Hida Behzadi (faculty)

What I Wish I Knew Before Teaching My First Online Class: 

Juan Bellow (faculty) shares an educational resource he helped to develop

"I would like to share the link to Discover London Art, a project that I developed for Museum London. It’s an online educational platform for schoolchildren–it provides kids with access to a series of videos and activities based on highlights of the museum’s collection. We were finalizing the pilot-testing phase, working with teachers in the London school boards (TVDSB and LDCSB), but given the circumstances, the museum has decided to make it broadly available for the London community.

The contents follow the Ontario Visual Arts Curriculum K-12. The project was originally conceived for elementary schoolchildren, but adults seem to enjoy it as much as young people.

Discover London Art was produced with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts - Digital Strategy Fund."

For those teaching journalism-oriented courses, Bernard Graham offers the following suggestion

"The Poynter Institute, a U-S school for journalism, has opened up some of its online learning course/seminars... for free. Some good content is available to educators."

Davin Helkenberg (faculty) has her students working on virtual solutions for libraries

"Students in LIS9367: Services for Children and Young Adults are currently working on a resource document on Virtual Services for Children and Teens to help public/school library staff generate ideas, virtual programming, and creative virtual services during this time. This could also be helpful for parents."

Davin says this resource should be available soon.

Karen Kueneman (staff) provides the official news release from the Government of Ontario

News release: Ontario Helping Students Learn from the Safety of Their Own Home.

Anabel Quan-Haase (faculty) has options for accessing online research methods materials

"The Handbook of Social Media Research Methods is available at Western libraries through ebook versions. But Sage has also made most of its other learning materials and books available online for free: I hope this is helpful to graduate students and other academics doing research from home:"

- US teaching and research materials
- UK teaching and research materials

More library-specific resources compiled by Cabot Yu (alumnus) on the website

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Resources for Libraries  

Status of Upcoming Library Conferences and Events in Canada


Use Zoom not just for online classes, but also for social purposes, suggests Jeremy Copeland (faculty)

Don't let the abrupt end of in-person classes keep you from seeing your students. Using Zoom for social purposes has quickly become a common strategy for many, as demonstrated by Jeremy and this year's MMJC class during their first ever virtual mixer (see image).

Another example of using Zoom to keep your friends close, from Mark Kearney (faculty)

"One thing I'm doing with friends is that we've agreed to watch the same movie on Netflix and then we're setting up a Zoom meeting to talk about it after that. I'm hoping to do the same with some MMJC students as well because this term we've been watching journalism-themed movies every second week, and one of the students has suggested we try to doing it virtually too."

Another option for staying connected now and over the summer term, from Brittany Robinson (grad student)

"In light of the transition to online classes for the next semester, I've started a Discord server to keep connected. This can be passed on to the incoming cohort to help connect them to previous cohorts.

Discord can be accessed either through a web browser, or by downloading an application (available for PC, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS).

Sign up & download: 
The link to join the server is: 

After signing up, click the invite link to join. It's a one time process."

Staff and faculty are welcome to join too.


Some music therapy, from Grant Campbell (faculty)

Music has become even more important to many of us in recent weeks, and thus Grant Campbell has gifted us with a short musical performance from home.

Need a recommendation for your next Netflix binge? Bernard Graham (faculty) has you covered

"On Netflix, I recommend a new Japanese-British crime series called Giri-Haji (Duty/Shame). It is about a Japanese detective who goes to the UK in search of his brother who is wrapped up in the Yakuza crime world. I liked it a lot. It is quirky at times. Occasionally it even adopts graphic novel storytelling as well as dance. Yes, dance! The characters are rich. The plot was a bit complicated but there are surprises throughout the 8 episodes (just under 1 hour each)."

More info: 

And for more on music, Darryl Pieber (grad student) wants you to play a game (from a distance)

"Okay, so, I've got another COVID-19 physical distancing activity to propose to keep us occupied for the next little bit. It's called the COVID-19 Guilty Pleasure Spotify Playlist. The guiltier the better.

I've started it out with one of my guilty pleasures that I've forced on my students a couple of times now (Media Studies for the win) I would've added this song: but it's not on Spotify :(

Not on Spotify yourself? What rock are you living under? It's basically the Ikea of streaming music. Get on it!
If we do this right, we should all think a little less of ourselves and each other by the end :)

And, GO!

You can contribute your favourite guilty pleasures to the list (please, please do) at:"

Would you rather read than watch Netflix or listen to music? Novelist Mark Rayner (faculty) has a solution

"I'm giving away electronic copies of The Fridgularity here:

If you need more convincing to take him up on that, the offer comes with some helpful reviews:

“With plenty of humor and much more, “The Fridgularity” is an exciting, sci-fi view askew, highly recommended.”
~Midwest Book Review

“If you’re looking for a combination of humor, romance and a power hungry refrigerator, look no further than The Fridgularity, a very enjoyable read. 5 stars!

Art house cinema more your speed? Matt Stahl (faculty) offers this tidbit

Hyland Cinema is offering a 3-month free trial subscription to MUBI so that you can stream all your favourite (or as of yet unseen) titles. For more info, visit: 

Next Issue

The Grad Bulletin is your source for news, announcements, and events pertaining to FIMS graduate programs. Submissions from the FIMS community are always welcome and may be sent via e-mail to

The Grad Bulletin will now switch to its summer schedule (once a month between May and August). Exact publication dates TBD.