Curriculum Vitae

Melissa Svendsen • 250-374-0898
Kamloops, BC, V2C 3E6
Dual Canadian/American Citizenship


MSLIS, Simmons Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Boston (2006)
MA, Linguistics, University of Victoria (2000)
BA, Linguistics, University of Victoria (1997)

Recent Professional Development

True North Science Boot Camp 2015: Data Management, UBC Okanagan (2015)
Instructional Skills Workshop, Thompson Rivers University (2014)
Instruction Librarian Boot Camp, Simmons GISLIS Continuing Education (2012)
Instructional Design for Online Teaching and Learning, ACRL (2012)
Teaching Practices Colloquia, Thompson Rivers University (2012, 2013, 1014)
Cultural Sensitivity Training, Thompson Rivers University Library (2012)

Professional Experience

Reference and Instruction Librarian, Thompson Rivers University (2011–present)
•    Provide reference services to students and faculty at the reference desk and by appointment.
•    Provide chat reference through AskAway, BC’s postsecondary virtual reference service.
•    Provide information literacy instruction to individuals and classes.
•    Create research guides and other instructional materials.
•    Select library materials for the Children’s Picture Book collection.
•    Train library staff in the use of assistive technology.
•    Write instructions for use of assistive technology.
•    Created a Glossary of Library Terms for ESL students.
•    Created brochures on APA and MLA citation style.

Service at Thompson Rivers University (2011–present)
•    Serve on the Senate International Affairs Committee and Working Group for Student Success.
•    Volunteer at the annual Undergraduate Research & Innovation Conference.
•    Served on the President’s Strategic Priorities Advisory Committee (2013/2014).
•    Volunteered at the 19th Annual Stabilizing Indigenous Languages Symposium (2012).

Auxiliary Reference Librarian, Vancouver Public Library (2009–2011)
•    Provided reference and readers’ advisory services at the Central Library.
•    Performed a variety of duties at branches, including story times for babies and toddlers.

Part-Time Reference Librarian, Renfrew Branch of Vancouver Public Library (2010–2011)
•    Provided reference and readers’ advisory services.
•    Weeded materials on the basis of age, condition and use.
•    Supervised the branch when no senior librarian was present.

Virtual Reference Librarian, AskAway (2008–2010)
•    Answered reference and readers’ advisory questions using QuestionPoint.
•    Assisted with the collection, evaluation and annotation of AskAway’s Delicious links.
•    Maintained the AskAway website using the PLONE content management system.
•    Wrote copy for the AskAway website.
•    Kept the staff blog fresh with practical advice on searching the Web.

Director, Kimberley Public Library (2006–2007)
•    Raised the public profile of the library through active engagement with stakeholders.
•    Represented the library at town functions and Kootenay Library Federation events.
•    Participated in meetings and symposia sponsored by the BC Public Libraries Services Branch.
•    Improved the quality of the collection through selection and deselection of materials.
•    Improved the presentation of the collection with thematic displays.
•    Obtained a community grant to expand the Young Adult collection.
•    Promoted services to teens through outreach to high schools.
•    Obtained a provincial grant to expand the Large Print collection.
•    Revitalized services to seniors through outreach to assisted living facilities.
•    Built an extensive collection of board books to attract the library’s youngest patrons.
•    Delivered or supervised the delivery of all services to children.
•    Modernized technical services and implemented the acquisition module of the Mandarin ILS.
•    Updated public computing facilities through the purchase of new computers and software.
•    Participated in long-range planning and goal setting.
•    Supervised and trained staff.
•    Revised staff job descriptions to reflect new technologies and processes.

Auxiliary Reference Librarian, Okanagan Regional Library (2006)
•    Provided reference and readers’ advisory services at the Kelowna Branch.
•    Served as acting head of the Kelowna Branch when no senior librarian was present.

Additional Experience

Eldercare Giver for Mary Hewlett (2001–2005)
•    Provided stimulating and respectful eldercare for a senior with mild dementia.

Teaching Associate, University of Massachusetts (2003)
•    Designed and taught Linguistics 201 (Introduction to Linguistic Theory).

Teaching Assistant, University of Massachusetts (2000–2002)
•    Marked papers and led discussions for People and Their Language, taught by Dr. Peggy Speas.

ESL/Reading Tutor (1998–2000)
•    Tutored children and teenagers in ESL, remedial reading and study skills.
•    Provided enrichment and guidance for homeschooled children.

Teaching Assistant, University of Victoria (1997 – 1998)
•    Marked papers and tutored undergraduates.

Research Assistant to Dr. Leslie Saxon, University of Victoria (1996 – 1997)
•    Provided research assistance and editorial support in the preparation of The Dogrib Dictionary.

Professional Skills

Reference services using print resources, licensed databases and the Web
Virtual reference via email and chat
Information literacy instruction
Production of print and online learning materials
Provision of library services to non-traditional and ESL students
Collection development
Website management
Technical Skills
Integrated Library Systems (Mandarin, Horizon and SirsiDynix)
Content Management Systems (Springshare, PLONE and WordPress)
Microsoft Office (Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, Excel and Publisher)
Adobe Photoshop and Dreamweaver
Facebook and Twitter


Svendsen, M. (2014). Performance of Information Literacy Task by Librarians, L1 Students and L2  Students.  Paper presented at the annual Language, Culture and Community Research Institute at TRU.

Svendsen, M., & Rennie, E. (2012). Going Beyond Google: ESL Students, Library Databases and Controlled Vocabularies.  Poster presented at the annual conference of TESL Canada

Kent, J., Svendsen, M. & Lehar, W. (2012). High Impact: Online Research Guides. Poster presented at the annual Teaching Practices Colloquium at TRU.

Masters Thesis

The Typology of Wh-Questions: An Optimality Theoretic Approach.

Conferences Attended

Language, Culture and Community Research Institute, Kamloops, BC, 2014.
Beyond the Boundaries: 21st Century Education, TRU Teaching Practices Colloquium, 2014
Teaching and Learning in Multiple Modalities, TRU Teaching Practices Colloquium, 2013
TESL Canada 2012: Interiors: Landscapes of Literacies and Language, Kamloops, BC, 2012
19th Annual Stabilizing Indigenous Languages Symposium, Kamloops, BC, 2012
High Impact Practices, Thompson Rivers University Teaching Practices Colloquium, 2012
Learning in Our Digital World, Thompson Rivers University-Open Learning Conference, 2011
Seriously Entertaining: Learning through Fun and Games, BCLA, Penticton, BC, 2010
Off the Shelf and Out of the Box: Creativity in Libraries, BCLA, Burnaby, BC, 2008
Teaching and Learning Together, Kootenay Library Federation, Cranbrook, BC, 2008
Retain, Recruit, Restructure: Regenerating the Library Community, CLA, Vancouver, 2007
21st Century Literacies, Massachusetts Library Association, Lowell, MA, 2005
27th  Boston University Conference on Language Development, Boston, MA,  2002
14th International Conference on Historical Linguistics, Vancouver, 1999
Athabaskan/Dene Languages Conference, Calgary/Tsuut’ina First Nation, 1998

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