Thursday, 17 May 2007


Today, I attended the second and last day of the Cross-Faculty Teaching Forum conference that I presented at yesterday. (Check out my abstract in the list: A3 on this list) Informative, inspiring and interesting. And it brought me into Goodes Hall, a very nicely reworked building that I've never been in on campus. (I'll put my materials up here somewhere when I get a chance...)

And I may have helped save 400 lives yesterday... Just a regular day in the life of a reference librarian. But seriously, it's possible. When I came to relieve my colleague at the desk, she had just received a request to look up a non-profit foundation based in Ontario, working in Columbia, by the name of "Child & Youth of the Future". I took over and scoured all the foundation-related directories that we have, plus called over to Stauffer (the humanities library) to get them to do the same. Nothing. I also checked the Canada Revenue Agency website which has a searchable database of charities registered with them, which this foundation would probably have to be. Not the easiest search function I've ever used, but nothing there either. Calling back, I told the info-requester that I had found nothing in the main resources that such an institution should be in if it existed, so, it's unlikely that it did. He told me about the offer a group going by this name and description gave to 400 students in Columbia: free university education. Very elaborately set up: recruiting local trusted figures to help pass on the message, tours, t-shirts, some free cellphones, etc. Before they were taken away to a university where they were to stay the night, something interfered, and some sort of police involvement developed. Nothing very clear, I don't know how the person contacting us was involved, or whether any of this ever really happened, but scary nonetheless. But apparently a tragic ending avoided. And I helped. Whew.

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