Library and Information Technology
On February 23, 2017 UFV’s Library and Information Technology department hosted the first Fraser Valley Cryptoparty. Inspired by recent events and discussions about personal privacy as it relates to our online behaviour, cryptoparties are part of a decentralized “movement” around the world where people pass on knowledge about protecting communications and general security in the digital realm.
Our discussions were led by anonymity expert and researcher, Sarah Jamie Lewis (SarahJamieLewis.com), and Dan Ballard (danballard.com) who discussed cyber security (www.cryptoparty.in). The event was open to the community, with guests comprised of people from all over with varying levels of technical interest and abilities. In addition to learning about the Tor Project (www.torproject.org) and Virtual Private Networks, guests discussed security protocols in cross- border travel, new ‘listening devices’ like the Amazon Echo, ‘smart’ tv’s, and Signal, the encrypted telecommunications app.
On March 29, 2017 UFV hosted a Health and Wellness Open House for at-risk youth as a joint interdisciplinary venture between Health Science, Social Work, Kinesiology, and Library and Information Technology. The main themes for the event included: Healthy Relationships, Options for Sexual Health, Addictions and Opioid Crises, and Mental Health.
In addition to having general Library and Information Technology student volunteers, other students participated through Libt 235 (Information Services for Young Adults). The course offered students a practical opportunity for engaging with local community.
Reaching out and connecting with community involved a book giveaway with many free young adult materials supplied by a donation from United Library Services. Many more materials were collected from student donations. Janeen Parent (pictured below), Community Services Librarian with Library Live and on Tour, also participated by offering free Fraser Valley Regional Library cards and information support.
This event was a tremendous success for all involved and demonstrates the important community-centred learning that enhances student experiences to prepare them for work.
More practice-based experiences are in the works!