Beyond Hope 2011 – Library Gaga

June 6 & 7, 2011 in Prince George, BC

Guest post by Vaunda Dumont

The Prince George Public Library (PGPL) once again hosted a wonderful library conference with Beyond Hope 2011 – Library Gaga. It was nice to connect with fellow library types from all around northern BC, hence the name Beyond Hope. The keynote address – A funny thing happened on the way to the library, presented by Unshelved creators Gene Ambaum and Bill Barnes – got us all moving and laughing. It demonstrated, with the help of the audience, that libraries are not always the quiet, calm environments that some may think.

For a smaller scale library conference, the PGPL provided a wide variety of session topics, some of which included:  reporting in SITKA; search strategies for the Internet, NoveList, business reference, and PubMed; Ebsco key features; library marketing, renovations and programming;  mobile and new media technologies and social media; acquisitions, cataloguing, digitization and public service/interpersonal skills improvement.

PGPL also hosted an excellent social on Monday night at the Hummus Brothers Tapas Bar. It was fun and delicious!


Some of the highlights for me were:

Search: the Next Generation (by presenter Kay Cayhill, VPL) Kay provided information about new and/or alternative search engines to Google, such as Yippie, DeepDyve and why you would choose to use them.  She introduced us to Google tools such as Public Data Explorer, Google Sets, Fast Flip, and Google Books ngram. I found it interesting to learn about other uses for Search Engines and Google tools that I had not heard of, or explored myself.

True colors: Keys to personal success (by presenter Christine Gish, PG & District Elizabeth Fry Society) We explored the four “color personalities” with this interactive and entertaining workshop. It was fun to see what colour spectrum we fit into, and to learn how this knowledge could potentially help us with our personal goals, self-awareness, communication skills and team building.

Websites gone wild: Managing a library website (by presenter James MacDonald, UNBC)  James kept us engaged by polling us with Clickers and added his great sense of humour to providing us with tips for managing library websites. He provided some basics about topics such as website appearance, content, layout, and hosting costs.

Library to go (by presenter Jeff Kozoris, PGPL) Jeff demonstrated the information that he provides to PGPL users in his public sessions about how to get a library book on an eReader and to how to use the eBook and audiobook service available to all of us here in BC via the BC Library to Go program. Working at an academic library, I find that I lose touch of the public library programs available to us; it was an eye-opener for me!

It doesn’t have to be a bad romance: Using free web tools to improve info services to people with different learning styles (by presenters Kathleen Reed, VIU and Darby Love, Squamish PL) Kathy and Darby emphasized the importance that libraries provide information to users in a variety of formats and methods to cater to those with different learning styles and/or learning disabilities. It was an interesting and informative session where we were introduced to some great free tools available on the Web that do just that, such as search-cube, xerte,, BrowseAloud, JayCut and more!


Thanks to the Prince George Public Library for hosting the conference and to all the PGPL staff involved with planning this excellent biennial library conference for those of us located and/or willing to travel Beyond Hope!


Vaunda Dumont, Lib. Asst. – Heath Sciences
UNBC’s Geoffrey R. Weller Library


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