PLC 2018: Day 1, Morning Sessions

Blog Post by Sandy Campbell

The 27th Polar Libraries Colloquy opened with coffee and sweet buns that are a Finnish delicacy, held in the beautiful foyer of the University of Lapland, Faculty of Art and Design. For those of us not able to attend the ice breaker last night, it was a first opportunity to catch up with old friends and meet new friends.

Vice Rector Kaarina Maatta, Vice-Rector gave us a warm welcome to University of Lapland, which has as its motto, For the North, for the World.

Our opening keynote was by Director Timo Koivurova of the Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, who addressed the history of Arctic governance and Finland’s role as the Chair of the Arctic Council 2017 – 2019. Finland takes over from the United States. The lecture covered the history of Arctic governance and the changes to the Arctic Council over time, highlighting the role of Indigenous organizations and the growing numbers of observer delegations from non-Arctic countries. In spite of not being able to make legally-binding decisions, Arctic Council has considerable influence. Most recently (Novermber 2017) the Council’s “Declaration concerning the prevention of unregulated high seas fishing in the Central Arctic Ocean” (that area that is not within any country’s 200 mile limit) resulted in a 16 year moratorium on fishing.

For the second half of the morning presentations, it was great to see Joe Bouchard (McGill University) and Stefano Biondo (Universite Laval) again. Joe introduced us to a new web portal, Atiku Northern and Arctic Studies Portal. This is a collaboration of McGill, Laval and INRS Univesite de Recherche. The collection, which has been selected by the collaborating librarians includes: databases, reference works, archives, maps and geospatial data, statistics and video. This new portal can be found at

Stephano spoke about Story Maps, a product that allows for integration of text, images and other information into cartographic products. As a demonstration work, he showed us a Story Map of Franklin’s Coppermine expedition 1819 – 1922. Clicking on the medallions at specific locations allows the user to see high-resolution copies of engravings from Franklin’s published travel journal. I think many of us could see the potential for using this product and process to create interactive materials for many applications, including teaching materials.



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