PLC 2018: Day 4, Morning Session

Blog Post by Shannon Christoffersen

Thursday morning began with the keynote session, “Arctic Service Design Research” by Professor Satu Miettinen. Professor Miettinen is a designer, but unlike many designers who work with products or spaces, she works with service experiences.  As she noted, users’ experience of quality of service can be affected by scent, sound, and vision. As such, service can be tailored and designed, even prototyped in storyboards or video clips. From the perspective of polar library service, it was fascinating to hear how we might work to design service provision for library users.

Ivar Stokkeland, speaking for Kjell-G. Kjaer who members may remember from the Rome PLC, presented on “Arctic Marine Mammal Products in 19th century European Industries, the development of the north Norwegian sealing fleet (1859-1909) and the ‘Kjell-G. Kjaer Historical Register of Arctic Vessels.’” The history of the sealing fleet was very interesting, but Colloquy participants were particularly interested in Kjaer’s database which is online at The database does not require a subscription and is available in English.

Laura Kissel presented next on “Thinking Outside of the (Hollinger) Box: Professional Writing for the Archives.” Laura asked if any of us knew what a Hollinger Box was or if that was a joke just for her. I confess that I did not know what a Hollinger box was — until I googled it. Although I have taken archive classes as a library student, I did not know that the gray, acid-free document boxes in archives were actually called Hollinger boxes. Now I know, and you do as well! Laura described a new Ohio State University course that involves matching students learning how to write proper grant proposals with real-world clients (in this case, the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Centre Archives). The students are given information on projects that require grant funding, research and identify potential funders, and write a grant proposal. The results of the student work may be used to submit actual grants. Given how often I have to write grant proposals in my job, as am sure many of us do, I strongly recommend we all try to convince our institutions to run this kind of course!

The morning coffee break featured excellent fruit smoothies that were very popular with participants. I worked through part of the break and only managed to get a spoonful into a cup — they went fast! From that one spoonful, I can confirm that the smoothies were delicious and it has prompted me to add lingonberry preserves to my IKEA shopping list when I return home.

The morning was bookended by a second keynote, “Human and Societal Security in the Arctic,” by Kamrul Hossain. Professor Hossain gave a comprehensive overview of security, explaining the traditional understanding of security as well as the more untraditional approach which broadens the term to include, for example, social, economic, and humanitarian security issues (eg food security). He also went into security theory and noted that it is not so much about identifying a threat as it is about understanding how a threat is constructed by society. Professor Hossain has written extensively on the subject and more about his work in Human Security can be found at his project website:




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