No. 453 - July 6, 2020

Coming Events

Online Teaching Town Hall: Informal information gathering
Tuesday, July 7, 2020
3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Online via Zoom
Check your Western email for the invitation and Zoom info.
This first informal town hall will be an information gathering session focused on compiling questions and key topics that will be addressed more formally at the following town halls by CTL members and FIMS faculty members experienced in teaching online. These subsequent town halls are tentatively scheduled for July 14th and 21st.

City Symposium: Confronting Anti-Black Racism
Tuesday, July 7, 2020
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Online by registration 
The purpose of this dialogue is to explore concrete ways that people — individually and collectively — can acknowledge and dismantle their roles in the perpetuation of racist attitudes and actions. We will explore how silence, privilege, microaggressions, and unconscious bias continue to enable anti-Black racism in our institutions and communities. Register now.

Panelists: Colette Chapman, Nyabuoy Gatbel, Leroy Hibbert, Arielle Kayabaga, and Malvin Wright Hosted by Dr. Melanie-Anne Atkins (Acting Associate Director, Graduate Programs, Western University’s Centre for Teaching and Learning) and Dobijoki Emanuela (Doctor of Education Candidate, Western University).

FIMSwrites - Virtual Edition
Every Thursday
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Via Zoom
Do you expect to have paper, story, article, report, thesis, or book deadlines coming up? Does having other people writing around you help keep you on-task? Then join FIMSWrites, an informal initiative to provide some solidarity in the sometimes-solitary writing process. All FIMS graduate students, staff and faculty are welcome to bring their favourite writing devices and join us to write and check in. If you're interested, contact Pam McKenzie.

Important Dates

- Monday, August 3, 2020 - Civic Holiday (FIMS offices closed, no classes) 

News & Announcements

FIMS Seminar Series 2020-2021: Call for Speakers
This coming year, we will again be hosting a round of FIMS Seminar Series talks. The goal of these talks is to provide an opportunity for FIMS faculty members and graduate students to present their current research to the FIMS community. The Seminar Series also allows presenters to test their ideas and receive feedback from a friendly, supportive audience.

We are looking for people interested in presenting this fall or winter. The format will, for obvious reasons, be different come September. As long as required by physical distancing guidelines, we will host the talks via Zoom on Wednesdays over the noon hour, shortening the length to 30 minutes for the presentation, followed by 30 minutes for Q&A/discussion. When it is safe to resume face-to-face talks we will go back to the usual format.

If you are interested in presenting to the FIMS community – either alone or with collaborators and/or your graduate student(s) – please contact Karen Kueneman ( and/or Sandy Smeltzer ( We will be in touch to schedule a time for your presentation.

FIMS posts Faculty statement on Police Violence and Racism
On June 8, 2020, FIMS posted a Faculty statement online addressing police violence and racism. The full statement is available on the FIMS website (read statement).

Nominations for Spirit of Librarianship and Fantastic FIMS awards open
Submit your nominations by Friday, July 10, 2020 at midnight, to Rachel Weisdorf (check your email for her message to reply to). Your nominations should include an explanation as to why you are nominating that individual. You can submit multiple nominations. For full details of the awards and a list of previous winners, visit the FIMS Awards webpage: 

Awards & Accomplishments

Heidi Julien, PhD'97 (LIS), is the recipient of the 2020 SIG-USE Outstanding Contributions to Information Behaviour Research Award. Julien is currently a Professor at the University of Buffalo Department of Information Science.

Martin Nord, LIS PhD candidate, won the 2020 Eugene Garfield Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship. The award, distributed by the Beta Phi Mu Honor Society, provides support for doctoral students who are working on their dissertations in LIS, Information Studies, Informatics, or a related field.

Publications & Presentations

Professor Nick Dyer-Witheford co-authored an article titled, "Riot Logistics," in Into the Black Box, an open research site available online. Co-authors include Jaime Brenes Reyes (Western PhD candidate in Comparative Literature) and Michelle Liu (Western MA'20, Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism).

Michael Ridley, LIS PhD candidate, presented "Machine Information Behaviour" at the Ontario Library and Information Technology Association's Digital Odyssey Online conference, June 9, 2020.

In the Media

Heidi Jacobs, MLIS'06, was featured in an article titled, "Alumna's debut novel wins Leacock Medal for Humour," published in Western News on June 28, 2020.

Additional Activities of Note

Matt Stahl and his band release new music
Associate Professor Matt Stahl and his band Infromaton (formerly called Little My), released their first new record in 23 years. The album (12" vinyl LP) is called "Zittle Muy," and it is available on Elftrap Records. You can also listen on Infromaton's Bandcamp site.

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 Bulletin will be published four times over the summer. The final summer issue will be published on Wednesday, August 5. The deadline for submissions is noon on Tuesday, August 4.