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Thesis Collection

This collection includes theses conducted by MLIS and combined degree students from 1971 to present.

Collections Development

The State of the Art of Paper Conservation and an Experimental Evaluation of Two Deacidification Techniques

Author: Edward A. Collister
Year: 1979

Abstract:
An analysis of the literature indicated that acid is considered to be the primary factor contributing to the deterioration of paper.

The relative effectiveness of the modified Barrow single-step solution and the Wei T’o Nonaqueous Aerosol Spray Deacidification Solution were measure using the “Folding Endurance of Paper (MIT Tester)”, pH determination of cold extract solutions, and titration measurements of the Slowpoke atomic reactor to determine the magnesium content in each sample. These measures of effectiveness were used to test paper that had been “aged” over a period of time (0,3.6,12 days). The “aging” that took place in sealed glass tubes was measured against the “aging” that took place in open aluminum foil trays.

Sixteen sample of Plainfied Brite-White Offset, 16OM were used. Each sample contained twenty strips of paper (25mm x 200mm).

There were noticeable changes in colour and smell of all the sealed paper samples. The pH values of the extract solutions of paper “aged” in glass tubing were significantly different than the pH values of the extract solutions of the paper “aged” in the open trays in the oven. It was found that an increase in the pH value of a solution was correlated to an increase in the acidity as determined by titration with standard tenth normal sodium hydroxide. Both deacidification methods were effective in deacidifying the paper but better protection was given by the Barrow method. Activation analysis showed that the modified Barrow single-step solution deposited more than twice the amount of alkali in the paper than did the Wei T’o Nonaqueous Aerosol Spray Deacidification Solution.

In spite of superimposed aging, the Barrow treated paper retained a higher degree of folding endurance than did the Wei T’o treated paper. The untreated paper that was aged in glass tubing was significantly more brittle than the untreated paper “aged” in open aluminum foil trays.

It was concluded that, in spite of its use of water, the modified Barrow single-step solution is the better method to use because it deposited a greater amount of alkali in the sheet, it is less expensive, and involve equipment that is relatively easy to use. It permits the paper to retain a higher degree of folding endurance.


Development/Principles of LIS

The Books Were Re[a]d: A Dialogic Approach to the Censorship and Social History of the Grapes of Wrath and Doctor Zhivago

Author: Lora Hamilton
Advisor: Vivian Howard
Year: 2012

Abstract:
Mikhail Bakhtin’s philosophical thought is largely focused on the interconnectivity of human discourse, privileging literary genres (i.e. the novel). Language comprises of both the structural components of linguistics and a non-verbal component that corresponds to the context of the enunciation. Therefore, the social situation that creates an utterance cannot be diminished. This thesis examines the social history of John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath (1939) and Boris Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago (1958), both realist novels that have faced censorship, using Bakhtin’s theories of dialogics and centripetal and centrifugal forces. The Grapes of Wrath and Doctor Zhivago came out in different epochs and were products of the two conflicting ideologies of the 20th century – liberal capitalism and communism. These distinctions provide an interesting forum for comparing the legitimacy of Bakhtin’s theories with regard to censorship across societies.

Full text:
Available online through the Dalhousie Repository.

The Ethical and Legal Principles that Regulate the Work Performance of Reference Librarians

Author: Ginette Theriault
Year: 1994

Abstract:
This research has shown that the term, "librarians", cannot be replaced by "information professionals", unless this latter term specifically defined and delimited. Lawyers, accountants and other types of workers are also included in the term, "information professionals".

Libraries' objectives and policies dictate the level at which reference work is performed. The process of answering reference questions is also regulated by one of two philosophical viewpoints: instruction or counselling. The prevalent instruction viewpoint promotes the identification of appropriate key terms from the clients' requests and the instruction on the use of reference sources. This viewpoint leaves evaluation and interpretation to the clients. The counselling viewpoint advocates the search, evaluation, interpretation and summarization of the contents of recorded infoknowledge and the presentation of a report to the clients. It is submitted by this researcher that the counselling viewpoint stands outside the scope of reference librarians' tasks and constitutes an infringement on the expertise of other professionals.

The codes of ethics of two library associations (American and Canadian) do not regulate librarians. No established standards of conduct govern the librarian-client relationship, nor do these codes provide any guidance in the process of answering reference questions.

The research has shown that librarians are not members of a "recognized profession": their knowledge base does not create an exclusive jurisdiction; they are not committed to an ideal of service; they lack control and autonomy over their work performance; and their associations do not exercise control over members and the performance of their work.

Metaphor, Simulation and Discourse in the Social Construction of Hypermedia

Author: Stuart James Boon
Advisors: Heidi Julien, Haidar Moukdad & Ronald Tetreault
Year: 2001

Abstract:
This thesis examines the role that three specific agents--metaphor, simulation, and discourse--play in the social construction of hypermedia. This thesis explores the significance of that agency in impacting and potentially engineering how hypermedia are perceived, used, and represented in the information society.

I examine the constructive and destructive social aspects of hypermedia made evident by the examination of its social construction, then attempt to further the discussion by achieving a synthesis of these positive and negative aspects. Specifically, each of metaphor, simulation, and discourse are used to explore different positive and negative aspects, but in each case, the purpose of the discussion is, through the synthesis achieved by a dialectical methodology, to clarify an area of interpretation often clouded by either technomania or technophobia. The resulting research focuses on using cognitive, constructivist, literary, and cultural theory to throw new light on the roles of metaphor, simulation, and discourse in the social construction of hypermedia and to clarify the potential of hypermedia.

Full text:
Available online through ProQuest

Perpetual Beta: A Study of the Attitudes and Opinions of Nova Scotian Academic Librarians Towards Change

Author: Deborah Hicks
Advisor: Bertrum MacDonald
Year: 2007

Abstract:
Organizational change happens for many reasons. For public organizations, the pressures to change are particularly strong, especially because increasingly rapid innovations in information technologies have placed a large burden on organizations with limited resources. Academic libraries (and librarians) experience change like many other public organizations. As technologies change, library services have been changed. This thesis offers observations, based on an analysis of interview and related data, on how academic librarians understand change in their profession. This research has been conducted in the context of environments where user demands and innovations in information technologies are placing continuing pressure on libraries to modify their services. The future of librarianship will not only be directed by the expectations of users and new information technologies; the opinions and views of librarians themselves will also influence the future of the profession. Organizational change is explored in this thesis from the perspective of insiders, librarians themselves.

Full text:
Available online through ProQuest

The Role of Libraries and Monastic Centres in the Development of the Eleventh Century Byzantine Humanism

Author: Daphne Kyriaki
Year: 1986

Abstract:
This study will attempt to describe the relationship between the intellectual development of the eleventh century Byzantine society, its educational level, its bibliographical transcription centres, and its libraries. Specifically, it shall seek to demonstrate that the intellectual and educational level of the Byzantine society of that period was directly related to the functioning of its libraries. In order to do this it will examine the evolution and the role of libraries in a society that was strongly characterized by a theocratic and a deeply religious spirit. Libraries in Byzantine society were indelibly marked by this cultural atmosphere – most of them were in monasteries—and in turn reflected it throughout their environment.

A Study of an Unpublished Manuscript in the Library of King’s College, Halifax

Author: Joan E. Dawson
Year: 1971

Abstract:
The aim of the study is to investigate the origins of a legal manuscript in roll form in King’s College Library, whose main texts are the Brevia Placitata and Casus Placitorum. Minor texts are the Assisa Panis et Cervisie and the Sententia Lata, and two prayers.

The form of the material of the main texts indicates methods of complication similar to those of other versions. From internal evidence, they appear to belong to a group of texts dating from before 1275, and were probably written between 1267 and 1275.

The owner of the roll probably belonged to a group of people studying and teaching law in the Royal Courts. This group may have included clerks as well as apprentices: a roll containing a Registrum Brevium, dating from earlier in the centry, is physically similar and seems to be the work of a clerk. The roll form was probably used for reasons of economy and convenience. The legal career of the owner of the roll was apparently cut short, and he may never have had the opportunity to replace his roll with a codex.

A Textual Analysis of Librarians’ Work: Conflicts in Service and Management Practices

Author: Teresa A. Johnson
Advisors: Heidi Julien, Marguerite Cassin & Frances Gregor
Year: 2001

Abstract:
This study was focused on the question: How do librarians experience conflicts in carrying out a service ethic while maintaining management practices of cost-efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and accountability in the library. In order to understand how librarians experience conflicts in their work, I examined how librarians promoted information literacy in the library. I conducted a textual analysis in which I observed and interviewed librarians in one university library system, and examined the documents they used in their work.

The results of my study found librarians to experience conflicts in promoting information literacy in day-to-day practice. Librarians were working within staff cutbacks that altered their ability to provide a consistent instructional program, and librarians were receiving little support from the university and faculty in terms of implementing an integrated instruction program in the university curriculum. However, librarians were also found to sustain the conflicts they experienced in promoting information literacy as they worked within the generalized and abstract notion of service, embedded in the library mission statement and budget strategy. The abstract ideal of “service” allowed librarians to interpret their work within management practices of library budget restraints. This notion of service in everyday practice took the form of librarians needing to be flexible, innovative, effective, wanting to do more, managing resources responsibly, and furthermore, adopting information technologies to sustain information literacy values in light of budget restraints. As a result, librarians’ work became managed as they provided resources and access to databases via the Libraries’ web pages. Librarians’ work became more accountable as their tasks centered on managing resources responsibly and mediating appropriate modes of access in a technologically sophisticated environment with limited staff. The outcome was a change in how librarians knew their work, how service was accomplished, and what it meant to be a professional.

The significance of my findings comes from gaining an understanding of how librarians’ work is organized and how it is managed in taken for granted ways. It is through such knowledge that we can direct change in the provision of library services and the management of librarians’ work.

Full text:
Available online through ProQuest

User Fees for Information Services: An Exploration in North American Publicly Funded Libraries

Author: Troy G. Myers
Year: 1993

Abstract:
This thesis deals with the topical issue of user fees for publicly funded library services. The central objection by librarians to the imposition of user fees has related to their alleged conflict with basic principles of librarianship. The development of these principles is traced with the historical myths surrounding usage and social consequences exposed thereby casting doubt on the absolute validity of some of these principles. Also, user fees are shown not to be the recent phenomena that they are sometimes portrayed as being, but a regular feature of the library since the last century. A survey of selected Canadian and American fee-based information services in libraries is included to illustrate the contemporary nature of fees for library service. Another issue explored is the dilemma posed by the realities of public funding and the costs, e.g. online searching, for purists who oppose user fees in all circumstances. Rather than promoting the dissemination of information this deprives libraries of a source of revenue which will result in less access by less people to less information. Finally, two case studies--Arizona State University's FIRST service and Cleveland Public Library's CRC service--are included to illustrate the nature, as well as the problems, of fee-based information services in publicly funded libraries.


Information Systems & Retrieval

Homeless Bound: A Search for Digital Literacy Within the Realm of Social Media

Author: Melissa Goertzen
Advisor: Anatoliy Gruzd
Year: 2012

Abstract:
Social media usage trends within the homeless community are not well documented. To date, few studies have examined how the poor navigate and/or build relationships in online environments, and whether these activities provide opportunities for integration into mainstream society. This study aims to fill the existing research gap by observing the usage trends of the website Homeless Nation. The objective of this study was to examine if the site aids in the development of a) digital literacy skills, b) information seeking behaviours and/or c) relationships in online communities. The data show that the site promotes relationships between the homeless community and mainstream society as well as inclusive discussions about poverty that are extrospective in nature. These findings contribute to the discussion of the digital divide, and provide insight into how social media initiatives can prevent the further solidification of social roles that segregate marginalized communities from mainstream society.

Full text:
Available online through the Dalhousie Repository

Information Use by Visual Artists

Author: Jodi McLaughlin
Advisor: Elaine Toms
Year: 2008

Abstract:
Over the last thirty-five years the use of information by visual artists has been studied primarily in terms of their library use. Yet information can be transmitted and communicated from many sources other than formal repositories, and from many objects other than textual ones. Given the nature of their activities, artists are likely to be attuned to receiving information from a range of possible sources, and it is this hypothesis that is being tested in this research. The following questions guide this study: (1) What information sources do artists use to create/produce art? (2) How is information used by the visual artists? Fifteen professional visual artists were interviewed using a series of semi-structured interview questions that examined the role of information from conception to final production, following a phenomenological approach to the research design. Results indicate that artists use information that was communicated by people, and emanated from objects and their environment. Notably from conception to production, some information is actively received and some passively. Prior to the conception of an idea, artists absorb information that influences the direction in which the art product takes. It is only during the creation of an object that artists actively seek information.

This research extends our understanding of the use of information by artists, and has implications for how the information field services the art community.

Full text:
Available online through ProQuest

Managing Interruptions to Information Searching in the Workplace

Author: Emilie R. Dawe
Advisor: Elaine Toms
Year: 2006

Abstract:
Interruptions are a dynamic part of the modern workplace. At the same time, the quest for information has become a significant workplace task. Building on prior research, this study: (a) tested the effect of interruptions on workplace search while manipulating how the interruption was conveyed to the participant, and (b) explored how interruptions are managed, and developed a two stage strategic framework for interruption management. In a simulated work place setting, (within-subjects experimental design) fifteen workplace participants were treated to three types of interruptions: by Telephone, In-Person, and via Instant Messaging. Results suggest that interruptions affect the length of time required to complete a search task, but not its outcome. There was no effect of modality. In addition, this study identified a two stage approach to interruption management strategies.

Full text:
Available online through ProQuest

Planning for the Use of Machine Readable Data Bases for the Needs of Agricultural Research in Brazil

Author: Marynice de Medeiros Matos
Year: 1978

Abstract:
In this dissertation, CAB, AGRICOLA and AGRIS Data Bases are discussed. We consider the printed version of each service: Plant Breeding Abstracts, Bibliography of Agriculture and AGRINDEX, respectively, taking into account the existing overlap between the systms by means of experiments carried out in the course of the study. There is a need of cooperation between the systems to avoid such duplication. The analysis shows that the ervices overlap not only in journal title coverage, but also in articles selected for indexing. The retrospective search revealed both duplication and retrieval of unique references. Care must be taken to avoid the retrieval of citations two or even three times by each data base.

The creation of AGRIS as an international information system gave developing countries the opportunity of participating in a system which makes their own publications available to any interested party through AGLINET. The developing countries themselves benefit from awareness of researches developed in the industrialized countries. CARIS, which is responsible for on-going research, works as a means to such awareness for researchers, keeping them informed of research in progress. This means the avoidance of duplication and wastage of time, money and effort.

The part played by EMBRAPA and EMBRATER, as Agencies responsible for the development of agricultural information in Brazil, is discussed, as well as the use of CAB, AGRICOLA and AGRIS data bases, which have served as disseminators of the agricultural information.

Grants must be made available to university agricultural libraries in order to build up basic collections and hire suitably qualified library staff to fulfill the demands of students and professors.

The Brazilian Government must spend widely in the field of information availability by means of creation of programs and new libraries in order to further the development of the country to create a well informed people. Information in both fields, Sciences and Humanities, must be regarded as a basic tool in the country’s development.

Public Libraries and Search Engines

Author: Zoe Dickinson
Advisor: Mike Smit
Year: 2016

A Study on Information Systems in Agricultural Sciences: Data Bases and Selective Dissemination of Information

Author: Rose Mary Juliano Longo
Year: 1978

Abstract:
Selective Dissemination of Information services requires an understanding of the systems and data bases available. Studies have been conducted in order to try to determine the benefits of having both the AGRICOLA and CAB data bases as means of providing a current awareness service for the user community of EMBRAPA.

Three experiments were carried out in an attempt to measure serial titles overlap, languages covered by both data bases, most frequent serial titles, and coverage of non-serial publications.

The overlap between the data bases shows that AGRICOLA has a higher percentage of duplication but the presence of both in the same SDI service is nevertheless justifiable.

The coverage of languages does not differ appreciably from one system to the other, and the predominance of the English language is evident, being thus considered the carrier language for both data bases.

The most frequent serial titles in the samples do not necessarily represent either the most frequent entries in both data bases as a whole or the most important in their subject fields.

A descriptive comparison between SDI services in Canada , Europe, and the U.S.A. has been made in order to observe features, hardware, software, etc. and their compatibility to EMBRAPA’s own SDI service.

Eight out of the ten services described have software compatible with EMBRAPA’s hardware. IITRI/CWC is one of the most sophisticated services in that it almost entirely uses interactive terminals in its SDI service. RIT has one of the most constantly implemented software packages.

Finally, the study shows that manual current awareness services are still in use, mainly to complement the computer-based SDI services in subject areas where automated information systems fall short of meeting needs.

Task Specific Coastal Information and Sources for Customizing Search Results

Author: Jennifer Weldon
Advisors: Elaine Toms & Peter Wells
Year: 2011

Abstract:
“Getting an overview” is a common task performed by coastal professionals in the early phases of management activities. This task involves collecting a variety of information about an area or topic to generate a first impression. This exploratory study examined this single task in detail so as to make recommendations about customizing search results to support that task through the use of an e-Card. Using a structured questionnaire, 20 coastal managers selected coastal characteristics that they would use to generate that first impression. Analysis of the data revealed fifteen core coastal characteristics that were used for the task. The work role that the professional was involved in emerged as a factor that influences characteristic selection. Fieldwork, such as scientific data collection, and management activities, such as drafting management plans, required different coastal characteristics to generate an overview. A prototype e-Card was designed as a proposed task-based search tool.

Full text:
Available online through the Dalhousie Repository

Two Roads to Middle-earth Converge: Observing Text-based and Film-based Mental Images from TheOneRing.net Online Fan Community

Author: Jennifer Grek Martin
Advisor: Vivian Howard
Year: 2011

Abstract:
Mental imagery as a form of human cognition is still not well understood, particularly in the area of spatiality. This thesis attempts to find the relationship between the mental images of places created while reading a story (ekphrastic) and the mental images created while viewing a cinematic adaptation of that story. Using Bakhtin’s idea of chronotope, and Panofsky’s theory of iconography, associations can be made between places in text and film that inform the themes that readers/spectators identify and evaluate. Netlytic, an online text analysis tool, permits the analysis of online message board fan opinions of J.R.R. Tolkien’s and Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings according to themes of visualization and of place. Analysis of findings suggests that mental images created from the text and from the filmic adaptation are both passively and actively integrated in order to increase comprehension of spatial elements in Tolkien’s epic.

Full text:
Available online through the Dalhousie Repository


Management/Administration

Factors That Influence the Sustainability of Community Archives: A Case Study of Nova Scotia

Author: Alison Froese-Stoddard
Advisor: Fiona Black
Year: 2014

Abstract:
Small archives are essential for understanding the historical context of social groups and geographic communities by those who live in them or study them. Using a multiple case study of eight archives serving in Nova Scotia, this study delves into the factors that influence the sustainability of these institutions and employs qualitative methodologies of expert interviews and an online questionnaire. These case studies show that sustainability can be strengthened through the support of their socio-geographic, religious, or ethno-cultural communities, strong leadership able to make strategic alliances with neighboring community institutions, and continued professional relationships with regional archival councils and national associations.

Full text:
Available online through the Dalhousie Repository

What Do Users Want From a State of the Environment Report? A Case Study of the State of the Scotian Shelf Report

Author: James Ross
Advisor: Bertrum MacDonald
Year: 2015

Abstract:
This thesis is a case study of awareness and use of the State of the Scotian Shelf (SoSS) Report, a state of the marine environment report produced by the Canada Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO). The study utilized multiple methodologies to find evidence of awareness and use of the report in the coastal zone management community of practice, as well as to investigate the nature of the report's usage. Web traffic analysis and online surveys were used to obtain evidence of awareness and use. Interviews were conducted with members of the former ESSIM Stakeholder Advisory Committee, which oversaw the report's development. Discussion focuses on the various uses the report serves for its audiences. Conclusions regarding the effectiveness of the report's publication and promotion are presented, with recommendations for increasing the awareness and use of the SoSS Report and future state of the environment reporting endeavours by DFO and others.

Full text:
Available online through Dalspace


Organization of Information

Image Use within the Work Task Model: Images as Objects and Images as Data

Author: Lori McCay-Peet
Advisor: Elaine Toms
Year: 2008

Abstract:
The purpose of this study was to investigate the use of images as data--for the information contained within the image, or as an object to illustrate. Thirty historians and journalists from academic and professional work settings were interviewed using a series of semi-structured questions. Findings suggest that historians use images both as objects and data while journalists use images almost exclusively as objects. The use of images as data or objects has an impact on the stages in the work task process when images need to be accessed and the image attributes required. This study highlights the importance of images as a source of information, adds to our knowledge of historians' and journalists' use of images, increases understanding of the function of images in the written work task process, and provides new knowledge of what image attributes would be most useful based on image use.

Full text:
Available online through ProQuest

The Uses of Archival Metadata for Administration and Resource Discovery

Author: Kathryn Harvey
Advisor: Louise Spiteri
Year: 2005

Abstract:
This thesis examines the types of metadata collected during accessioning and description and provides a model for archivists planning to evaluate metadata management within their own institutions. Chapter 1 outlines my overall objectives and methodology. Chapter 2 examines research on administrative metadata and recommends a minimum set of elements that should be captured early in the accessioning process. Chapter 3 reviews literature on descriptive metadata and suggests strategies for improving resource discovery of archival holdings. Chapter 4 contains a case study of the pilot metadata use survey implemented in the Dalhousie University Archives, the results of which form the basis of the policies and procedures to standardize administrative metadata collection, streamline the description process, and improve resource discovery outlined in the Appendices. Chapter 5 summarizes my findings and articulates how archivists can adapt the methodology for their own use.

Full text:
Available online through ProQuest


Services to User Populations

The Canadian Information Highway Debate and the Experience of Public Access in Rural Communities, 1993-1999

Author: Leo J. Deveau
Advisors: Fiona Black, Bertrum MacDonald & James McNiven
Year: 2003

Abstract:
In the early 1990's the federal government undertook an information policy initiative that is now referred to as the Canadian Information Highway debate. Underlying the debate was the growing presence of the Internet as a new global medium of communications. The government wanted to create a strategic plan for developing an "Information Highway" infrastructure. The debate consisted of a series of policy development activities that gathered ideas and input about how the government should develop the Information Highway.

The provision of "public access" services for the Information Highway was one of the dominant concerns expressed by many groups during the debate. How was "access" going to be defined and what did it mean for communities?

This thesis frames the complex policy development dynamics of the Information Highway debate and links the outcome to subsequent impacts upon the experience of "public access" in rural communities from 1993-1999. Specific attention is focused on how the federal government gathered information policy input during the debate; how advocacy groups expressed the need for a broader understanding of "public access;" how SchoolNet and the Community Access Program (CAP) were eventually piloted and implemented in the province of Nova Scotia; and what the early analysis of CAP sites has indicated about the strengths and weaknesses of the federal government's original access policy.

In the final analysis, this thesis provides a deeper understanding and awareness about how communications technologies and issues of public access continually develop with respect to very specific needs and interests.

Full text:
Available online through ProQuest

An Examination of the Information Resources Preferred by Physicians

Author: Lawrence J. Duggan
Advisors: Bertrum MacDonald, Heidi Julien & Fred Burge
Year: 2000

Abstract:
This research study was focussed on the question: What are the characteristics of the information resources now chosen by physicians that make those resources attractive for information-seeking? Research on the information resources used in daily practice has shown three main categories of resources preferred by physicians. These are human (e.g., colleagues), print (e.g., textbooks), and electronic (e.g., Medline) resources. Although the preference for each type has been studied previously to identify which categories are most used by physicians, little has been done to describe the reasons why each type is chosen. Using a qualitative methodology, this study examined physicians' affective responses to various information resources. The sample included seven General Practitioners in Nova Scotia. Semi-structured, open-ended interviews were conducted with the aim of allowing the physicians to talk at length about their likes and dislikes, comfort level, and preferences regarding various sources of information. The data indicate that, in addition to the speed, validity, familiarity, and relevance described in previous studies, physicians also desire resources that are interactive, provide assurance and comfort, and are flexible in dealing with complex patient cases. The implications for the design of new resources, or the redesign of existing ones, are discussed, along with considerations for future research on the information behaviour of physicians.

Full text:
Available online through ProQuest

First Nations' Reporting to the Federal Government: Challenges of Process and Accountability

Author: Monique Woroniak
Advisor: Fiona Black
Year: 2008

Abstract:
First Nations are required to report to federal government departments and organizations as part of programme funding agreements. There is a general consensus among First Nations and government departments that the process of First Nations' reporting is in need of improvement. This study utilized government documents and interview transcripts with Health Canada officials to (a) examine the process of First Nations' reporting and (b) investigate the potential for information mapping to serve as an evaluation method for the reporting process. Content analysis reinforced that First Nations and the federal government view the reporting process as inefficient. Analysis also revealed a lack of information management practices to support an efficient process, as well as the presence of gaps in cultural understanding and perceived accountability relationships. The study recommends increased collaboration with First Nations, the establishment of information mapping pilot projects and an increased profile for information management initiatives.

Full text:
Available online through ProQuest

How Biblical Studies Researchers Find Their Answers: The Use of People as Information Sources in Biblical Studies

Author: David H. Michels
Advisors: Heidi Julien, Bertrum MacDonald & Glenn Wooden
Year: 2001

Abstract:
In this thesis I sought to explore the use of people as information sources in information seeking by Maritime Canadian Biblical Studies researchers. The intention was to determine what role these information sources play in the resolution of a research problem and to determine whether the use of electronic communication has chanced the role of people as information sources in research. Since no research has been conducted on information seeking behaviour in Biblical Studies, and little has been done on the use of people as sources in Humanities research, this study was exploratory and qualitative in nature. Interviews were conducted using a series of informal semi-structured questions.

The data demonstrated that the majority of the respondents regularly use people as information sources in conducting their research. However, people, as information sources, were not easily identifiable until the respondents were asked directly if they consulted people in their information seeking process. The need being met by the people information sources was affective in nature. The respondents sought the opinions and judgments of their colleagues as to the direction and viability of their research projects. Although, face-to face communication was the most common form of communication with these people, email was frequently used as a means of communication with distant sources. It remains unclear if email has actually increased the use of people as information sources.

Full text:
Available online through ProQuest

Information Behaviour of Pediatric Emergency Department Physicians

Author: Andrea C. Talbot
Advisors: Bertrum MacDonald, Elaine Toms & Heidi Julien
Year: 2002

Abstract:
The objective of this exploratory research was to identify and describe the information behaviour of pediatric emergency department (ED) physicians. The study, which was conducted in three phases, focused specifically on instances of clinical information need, seeking and use. The participants were the thirteen pediatric ED physicians employed in a tertiary care pediatric hospital. During the first phase of the study physicians completed an initial questionnaire designed to describe current information management practices. Secondly, using a micro-cassette recorder, each physician recorded questions arising over three eight-hour shifts and indicated how quickly answers were needed. In the third phase a follow-up questionnaire solicited responses relating to several issues, including whether or not answers were sought and found, if answers were found within specified time frames, which sources were used, and present and future impact on patient management.

Full text:
Available online through ProQuest

Information Literacy in Academic Libraries: Assessment of Japanese Students’ Needs for Successful Assignment Completion in Two Halifax Universities

Author: Yusuke Ishimura
Advisor: Haidar Moukdad
Year: 2007

Abstract:
Post-secondary academic institutions in North America have been coping with increased campus diversity and the need to enhance international students’ learning experiences. Previous research has shown that international students have difficulties access, evaluating, and using information. This research investigated specific difficulties and recommended types of assistance that should be provided to improve the information literacy of Japanese students.

As a sample of the larger international student population, this study investigated how Japanese students complete their assignments at two universities in Halifax, Nova Scotia: Dalhousie University and Saint Mary’s University. Research was conducted using focus group methodology. Discussion points were based on students’ assignment completion processes and needs.

The analysis of the focus group discussions showed that Japanese students needed language support to complete their assignments. Students showed certain information literacy skills, but there was room for improvement in this area. Campus-wide collaboration is indispensable to reach and assist Japanese students.

Full text:
Available online through ProQuest

Marine Environmental Grey Literature: A Case Study of the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment

Author: Danielle Cossarini
Advisor: Bertrum MacDonald
Year: 2010

Abstract:
This thesis is a case study of the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment (GOMC), an intergovernmental organization with a complex governance arrangement guiding its grey literature publication practices. To gain further understanding of the use of GOMC grey publications and their influence on public policy, in-depth interview were conducted with 19 key GOMC Working Group Members. Barriers and enablers to production, distribution, and use of GOMC’s publications were identified and contributed to an increased understanding of publishing in the grey genre. Insights about GOMC’s diverse methods of distribution of publications, and Members’ understanding of the use of publications, are addressed by this thesis. Conclusions regarding how Working Group Members perceive the grey publishing genre are provided, including the observation that publishing in the grey genre is not a matter of concern when promoting awareness of publications.

Full text:
Available online through ProQuest

Orientation Programs for International Students at Canadian Academic Libraries

Author: Vivian Howard
Year: 1994

Abstract:
This thesis examines the current state of orientation programs for international students at Canadian academic libraries from a variety of perspectives. To obtain the most current information, three different survey questionnaires were developed. These surveys were designed to be completed by academic librarians and international student advisors at thirty selected Canadian universities and degree-granting colleges, and by a random sample of thirty-five international students enrolled at Dalhousie University and at the University of British Columbia.

Seven experimental hypotheses correlated the type of library orientation offered (a separate program for international students only, or an integrated program for both international and domestic students) and various other factors, such as intercultural training for library staff, methods used in orientation, features included in the orientation, methods used to evaluate the orientation, and liaison between library staff and other university personnel concerned with the academic progress of international students.

Chi square tests were used in testing the hypotheses. Analysis revealed that optional integrated orientations are the norm at the majority of Canadian academic libraries surveyed. Similarly, eight percent of all libraries surveyed do not offer any form of training program to acquaint library staff with the special needs of international students. At libraries which do offer separate orientations for international students, the methods used in the orientation itself and the specific library feaures included in the orientation do not differ significantly from the methods and features included in integrated orientations with two exceptions: government documents and electronic reference sources appear to be included less often than expected in separate orientations for international students. The majority of librarians surveyed indicated that they do not formally evaluate their orientations for international students nor do they maintain any liaison with university personnel responsible for the academic welfare of international students.

There is a need for further investigation of the precise library needs of international students enrolled at Canadian universities and colleges. Until such an investigation takes place, librarians will have no firm evidence upon which to justify their approach to orienting foreign students.

Personal Growth, Habits & Understanding: Pleasure Reading Among 1st Year University Students

Author: Melanie Parlette
Advisor: Vivian Howard
Year: 2010

Abstract:
This thesis examines the reading habits and experiences of first-year undergraduate students at Dalhousie University and the University of King's College in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Participants were recruited to participate in focus groups and responses were analysed to more fully understand the pleasure reading habits and experiences of this group. This research addresses five aspects of the reading experience and habits of this group: (1) the role of reading in their lives, both academic and personal; (2) the development of reading habits from childhood; (3) how they engage with what they read; (4) how they select what they read; and (5) their online reading behaviour and engagement. The conclusions of this research address these five aspects of the reading experience and habits and provide recommendations for librarians and university administration in an effort to respond to increasing demand to engage students and increase rates of retention in postsecondary institutions.

Full text:
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The Poisoned Pierian Spring: Jane’s Fighting Ships as an Error Source in World War II Naval History

Author: John Howard Oxley
Year: 1983

Abstract:
The major reference tool for this world’s navies, Jane’s Fighting Ships is examined critically for World War II issues, and their effects on subsequent naval history displayed. The reputation of the naval annual is examined, followed by an explanation of the most common sorts of errors contained therein, the reasons for such errors, and an overview of how accurate the reference tool was in World War II. The degree to which critical opinion inside and outside librarianship took account of this is covered. 39 books on naval history and technology in World War II are given detailed content analysis, followed by a less detailed examination of 18 other books on the topic. The result of this investigation is the fact that some 75% of the books examined contained errors which probably or definitely resulted from the use of Jane’s Fighting Ships as a reference source. The significance of this finding for librarianship is discussed.

Portrait of the Incarcerated Woman as a Reading Mother: Revealing the Impact of a Shared Reading Program

Author: Alison Brown
Advisors: Vivian Howard & Jennifer Grek Martin
Year: 2016

Abstract:
Each year, 25 000 Canadian children will not share a bedtime story with their mother because their mother is incarcerated. For many families, contact with their incarcerated mother is rare. The separation caused by maternal incarceration can disrupt the attachment bond, create physical and mental health problems, and lead to increased anxiety, depression, loneliness, and isolation. To ameliorate some of these detrimental effects, organizations are delivering programs that allow incarcerated mothers to maintain and strengthen relationships with their children. Read aloud programs are among them. This thesis explores the outcomes of a read aloud program for incarcerated women and their children, from the perspective of those who participated. Six interviews were conducted with former participants of the program and 94 letters from participating families were read. Findings reveal how a shared reading program can provide meaningful mother-child contact, strengthen relationships, encourage love of reading, foster positive identity, and nurture resilience.

Full text:
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Supporting the Student Research-paper Writing Process, Activities, Technologies, and Sources

Author: Sarah Gilbert
Advisor: Elaine Toms
Year: 2011

Abstract:
Students use a myriad of disparate technologies and information sources to conduct a variety of activities during the research-paper writing process. While this process is considered a complex task, there is no “information appliance” that provides support. Using established frameworks of the research-paper writing process, an online survey was conducted to describe how activities, sources, and technologies used by students during the process are related to the various phases of that process. Connections were made between activities and technologies to show how an information appliance may support the process from onset to completion. Results show that the activities conducted during the process are iterative. The design application is that some technologies, such as those that support searching, need not be viewable at all times, but must always be available. These connections provide further insight into the student research-paper writing process and provide an example of how design may support task.

Full text:
Available online through the Dalhousie Repository

Understanding Information Behaviour of Parents in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Author: Michelle Lee Helliwell
Advisors: Fiona Black, Bertrum MacDonald & Erna Snelgrove-Clarke
Year: 2003

Abstract:
The goal of this study was to investigate the information needs of parents in a neonatal intensive care unit environment (NICU), and to uncover any gaps in the information exchange between parents and health care providers as perceived by parents of NICU patients. Brenda Dervin’s sense-making theory was employed to test the idea that health care providers (HCPs) offered information their clients (parents) actually wanted, not information it is assumed parents needed. The participants included parents and HCPs in a level 3 neonatal intensive care unit. The study was conducted in two phases. The first phase involved parents whose babies were in the NICU for a period of less than three weeks. Parents completed a brief questionnaire shortly after their baby’s admission to the NICU, and kept journals during the course of their baby’s stay. Before discharge, parents were interviewed. Research documents were analyzed and all of the recurring themes were coded using QSR Nudvist v.4 software. The themes were utilized to develop questionnaires, for HCPs and the general NICU parent population, which ere completed in the second phase of the research. The study’s findings showed the impact of parents’ length of stay as an intervening variable in their information search process as part of their sense-making. In the first few days after the baby’s admission, parents’ information seeking was seriously impaired by the crisis situation. Parents relied almost entirely upon HCPs as their information sources. Information barriers were largely of a personal nature, and the focus was upon their child’s viability and long-term health outcomes at this time. From 7 to 28 days, there is a marked change in parent information behaviour. Parents become more proactive in their information seeking, and viewed all information as important. The also sought secondary print information sources in addition to HCPs. Barriers encountered during this time were social/role related. After 28 days, parents became more comfortable with the information environment, and having secured a certain knowledge level, searched out information as necessary to solve problems or overcome perceived barriers. In addition, the study found that a lack of understanding about how the information process works affected efficient information delivery by health care providers. The thesis also supported the idea that parents’ perception of their parenting role was an extremely important aspect of their information behaviour. An outcome of this study, for HCPs, is a list of best practice guidelines for information provision in the NICU. This thesis offers firm groundwork for future interdisciplinary research in this area.

Full text:
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Types of Libraries & Information Providers

How Managers and Librarians Evaluate Provincial Government Libraries in Nova Scotia

Author: Ellen T. Crumley
Advisors: Bertrum MacDonald & Norman Horrocks
Year: 1999

Abstract:
In a period of downsizing, libraries in government departments are vulnerable. This thesis shows that by implementing an evaluation process such libraries are in a better position to thrive and develop in the face of the buffeting of change. The thesis begins by reviewing the history of the evaluation of libraries in government settings in Canada and the United States, and then outlines the types of evaluation procedures that have been used. The study turns next to an analysis of the data from an extensive survey, which paid particular attention to evaluation processes and the views of librarians and managers of Nova Scotia's provincial government department libraries that was conducted in February 1998. The evidence from this survey shows that there are a variety of libraries in the Nova Scotia government departments, and while there is some resistance to implementing evaluation processes, most managers and librarians are interested in securing the benefits that evaluation of the libraries provides. The thesis concludes by setting out recommendations and outlines a procedure for implementing an evaluation process that takes into account not only the survey of government department libraries in Nova Scotia but also the observations of five other major studies of special libraries. Appendices to the thesis provide sample instruments that can be used in conducting an evaluation.

Full text:
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Libraries as Public Space: Patterns of Use in Nova Scotia Public Libraries

Author: Francine May
Advisor: Fiona Black
Year: 2007

Abstract:
Public places, such as public libraries, strengthen communities by providing a place where citizens can meet and interact in a neutral environment. Understanding how public places function and the community roles they play is a first step towards preserving and supporting these spaces. This study examined three urban and three small town libraries in Nova Scotia to reveal (a) whether these libraries were functioning successfully as public places and (b) how patrons were using and experiencing these libraries as physical spaces. The data show that these libraries, each in a unique way, were flourishing public places. The data also show that patrons were using these spaces to engage in a wide variety of activities from using computers to socializing, reading and interacting with staff. These public libraries are vibrant community spaces that are used in a multitude of ways and where the public feels welcome.

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Other

Developing an Inclusive Measure of Influence for Marine Environmental Grey Literature

Author: Gregory Hutton
Advisor: Bertrum MacDonald
Year: 2009

Abstract:
Today’s seriously deteriorating global environmental conditions are focusing increased attention on the urgent need for effective public policy use of scientific information. Much scientific information which could inform public policy responses is published as grey literature but its use and influence is largely unknown. Using a case study of a UN-based intergovernmental advisory body that produces significant reports on the state of the influence of scientific grey literature, this thesis demonstrated the limitations of relying solely on Web of Science data. Based on analysis of citation data drawn from Google, Google Scholar, monographs, as well as Web of Science, a more comprehensive metric of the use and influence of grey literature was developed.

Full text:
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Effects of Cognitive Style and Curiosity on Multitasking

Author: Angela Chikowero
Advisor: Elaine Toms
Year: 2010

Abstract:
The study utilized a quantitative approach to investigate whether Curiosity in individuals and Cognitive Style - that is, the Verbalizer, and Visualizer component - influences humans' informational and technological multitasking behaviors. It tests Spink and Park's 2005 model of multitasking and task-switching behavior, which suggests that Cognitive Styles, Visual cues, and level of interest influence people's multitasking behaviors. It uses Childers, Houston, and Heckler's (1985) Style of Processing Scale (SOP) and Kashdan, Rose, and Fincham's (2009) Curiosity and Exploration Inventory (CEI-II) to measure Cognitive Styles and Curiosity, respectively. Nass, Ophir, and Wagner's (2009) instrument has been adapted for measuring multitasking amongst 319 respondents to a Web-based survey. Results indicate that people generally multitask with information and technology tasks and also suggest that Curiosity is more likely to influence people's multitasking behaviors than the Verbalizer component of Cognitive Styles. Visualizers are more likely to multitask more with technology than with Information tasks.

Full text:
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Library School Programmes Offered at Master’s Level in the United States, Canada and Brazil: a comparative study

Author: Maria Christina D. Fernandes
Year: 1978

Abstract:
This thesis was intended to clarify the modern developments in library education in relation to the challenge of a changing world by studying how library schools in the United States, Canada, and Brazil are training their students at the master’s level.

It was guided by hypothesis that effective on-the-job performance by library school graduates is directly related to the type of education they had received in their library school, and more specifically, to their library school’s goals and to its particular programme of instruction.

The diversities and similarities of the library school programmes in the three countries was analysed comparatively with reference to: (1) Accreditation vs. Certification, (2) Professionalization vs. Goals and Objectives of the studied library schools, (3) Library School’s Programmes, and (4) Specialization vs. Generalization.

Participatory Geolibraries and Information Policy Explorations with Implications for the Gulf of Maine

Author: James Boxall
Advisor: Fiona Black
Year: 2006

Abstract:

The Gulf of Maine is a bounded and discrete entity which encompasses many political jurisdictions and cultural groups; the region is a space that can be described using geographic tools and ideas. Libraries are cultural institutions that seek to provide information services to particular user groups and within a defined area. One can therefore see that a library serving clients within the Gulf of Maine would be easily classified as Gulf of Maine Library. If one develops a digital library for the region based upon providing access to geospatial information only (thereby limiting the collection), then a digital geospatial library comes into being. Such creations are now called geolibraries, and as they are still libraries, many issues are at play such as: information access policy, technical infrastructures, geographic information systems (GIS) and research (GIScience), the nature of computing and the information society, digital library and archive developments, and even such things as the political economy of information and how people interact in a policy dynamic within a digital library. This study seeks to explore these issues with the goal of expressing them overtly, and the critical element of public participation that results from policy change coming from the geolibrary and vice versa. At the core of this study are the questions of policy, in variety of forms, and how it alters the condition of access and participatory use and collaboration vis-a-vis geospatial information in geolibraries.

Collaboration, Data Sharing, and the Research Network-As-System

Author: Deborah Hemming
Advisors: Lori McCay-Peet
Year: 2017

Abstract:
The research network-as-system operates by connecting researchers across large distances and from multiple disciplines via a web-based, technological system. Through this system, researchers collaborate simply by sharing data. The Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) in the United States, and the Canadian Integrated Ocean Observing System (CIOOS), currently in development in Canada, are both examples of research networks-as-systems. By conducting semi-structured interviews with ten Canadian ocean researchers about their perception of CIOOS and their collaborative histories, this research discovered what helps and hinders in collaboration in the research network-as-system context, as well as how past and current collaboration experiences may influence researcher willingness to adapt to new network contexts. The findings of this study offer theoretical insight on researcher perception of collaboration in large, dispersed, and multidisciplinary groups, and in integrated online spaces. Further, this research provides practical direction regarding user preferences for system design in the research network-as-system context.

Full text:
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Suggestions for Expansions, Additions and Changes in Section 632 of Division 630 (Agriculture and Related Technologies

Author: Maria Dias Bicalho
Year: 1971

Abstract:
Studies have been conducted in an attempt to improve the schedules presently offered by the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) 18th edition, in a limited area of agricultural science.

The aim of this work is to adapt section 632 “Plant injuries, diseases and pests” of the DDC 18 to the newest scientific developments in order to attend to the need of special libraries and documentation centers, and in particular to provide a high degree of accessibility to precise information in the field studied. Besides the updating of the schedules to take into account expansion of the subject matter, a re-examination of the exact meaning of terms utilized in the schedules was also the object of attention.

The present attempt is directed no only at a better classification of books on shelves, but also at improving certain aspects of information retrieval.