Meet Your Humanities and Social Sciences Liaison Librarians

Being back on campus has been so great! There have been reunions within the stacks, a new library space app Waitz, and most importantly, the friendly staff of the Humanities and Social Sciences Library have made the space feel like a second home again. As we head move forward in the semester and assignments are starting to pick up, there’s no better time to check in with your Liaison Librarian.

With such a variety of scholarly topics covered at McGill, each department has a Liaison Librarian who specializes in their field of study. There are 13 Liaison’s in the Humanities and Social Sciences Library that support arts, education, and management programs.

Liaisons can help you find the best resources for your project or paper; their help extends to the entire McGill community. You can find the rest of the HSSL Library staff here which includes your Library Liaisons. (Tip: for quick search, key ctrl+f and search the topic of interest).

Hear from some of our Liaison Librarians about this library resource:

Tatiana Bedjanian

A blonde haired woman smiles at the camera, her hair is shoulder length with a slight curl at the end and she is wearing frameless glasses.

Tatiana is a Liaison Librarian for Russian Studies, German Language & Literature, Linguistics, the School of Continuing Studies’ Intensive English Program, and the Writing Centre. Her favourite book is The Demons by Dostoevsky

Liaison Librarians are the primary Libraries’ contacts for faculty and students. By providing specialized subject expertise in their academic disciplines, they support teaching, learning, and research and help navigate a rapidly changing information landscape

Eamon Duffy

A man with short brown hair is giving a closed lip smile. He can be seen from the neck up and is wearing two-tone coloured glasses.

Eamon is a Liaison Librarian for History, Classical Studies, and Government Information. His favourite book is Common Ground by J. Anthony Lukas.

“As far as what I have learned about my subjects I would say that historians look at everything. There isn’t any kind of documentation that wouldn’t have some value as a primary source in the right context.”

David Greene

A young man with short curly brown hair and a bear is smiling at the camera. He can be seen from the chest up and is standing in front of a bookshelf.

David is a Liaison Librarian for the Department of Art History & Communication Studies, the School of Architecture, and the School of Urban Planning. His favourite book is Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman.

We get to help with all kinds of projects. One of the strangest involved running a 3D printing and virtual reality space in the library’s Innovation Commons.

Sandy Hervieux

A young woman with curly red hair is smiling at the camera. She has on bright red lipstick and can be seen from the chest up. She is standing in front of a bookshelf.

Sandy is a Liaison Librarian for Political Science, Philosophy, Public Policy, and the School of Religious Studies. His favourite book is The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E Schwab.

“I can help students find sources for your assignments and research projects. This means helping with creating a strong search strategy, finding primary and secondary sources (such as academic articles), and evaluating the information. The Library has a multitude of sources so it’s not always easy to know where to search, that’s something I can help with as well.”

Marcela Y. Isuster

A young woman with long, wavy brown hair is smiling with closed lips at the camera. She has large black glasses and can be seen from the chest up. She is standing in front of a bookshelf.

Marcela is a Liaison Librarian for Hispanic Studies, Information Studies, and Kinesiology & Physical Education.

“One of the things I like the most about being a liaison is how I much I learn about the subjects I work with from discovering new musical movements in Colombia to better understanding decolonizing pedagogy to exploring respiratory training for hockey goalies. No two days are the same and I am always learning new things”

Emily Kingsland

A young woman with long black hair is smiling at the camera. She is wearing a bright fuscia shirt and is standing in front of a bookshelf.

Emily is a Liaison Librarian for Educational & Counselling Psychology, and Psychology. Her favourite book is Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

My favourite part of my role as the liaison librarian to the Department of Psychology and the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology is that I’m able to collaborate with professors and students on systematic reviews and scoping reviews. I love being able to guide them through the process of selecting the right databases for their research question and building elaborate search strategies together. It’s so satisfying when I’m able to see their reviews in print and know that I had a hand in informing research, practice, and policy.

Dawn McKinnon

A woman with shoulder length, wavy brown hair is smiling at the camera. She can be seen from the neck up and is standing in front of a book shelf.

Dawn is a Liaison Librarian for Management and Business. Her favourite books are The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, and Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell.

It makes me happy when I can help students become excited and engaged with their subject areas, so that they learn to love learning, which will hopefully continue after graduation. Also Business students love competition which makes the games we play in class really fun.

Michael David Miller

A young man smiles at the camera, his dark hair is pouffed up on the top of his head and he is wearing a bright blue scarf. He has rectangular, black framed glasses.

Michael David is a Liaison Librarian for French Literature, Economics, International Development, Public Policy, Translation Studies, and Women’s, Feminist, Gender & LGBTQ+ Studies His favourite book is is En finir avec Eddy Bellegueule (original French) / The End of Eddy (English translation) by Édouard Louis.

“I work closely with all of my subject areas. In French literature I teach a five-part seminar series at the undergraduate level and a seminar in the methodology courses at the Master and PhD level. In Genders, Sexuality and Feminist Studies (GSFS), I give seminars on a few courses on writing literature revies and finding GSFS materials. In Economics, I recently had the opportunity to develop a workshop for a graduate level methodology course on finding economic data sets. In Public Policy, my colleague Sandy Hervieux and I participate in orientation activities and are developing a workshop to help students next semester search for grey literature for their final policy projects.”

Sharon Rankin

A woman smiles at the camera with closed lips. She is wearing half-rimmed glasses with her long hair in a half-up do. Behind her you can see trees and the forest floor.

Sharon is a Liaison Librarian for Children’s & Young Adult Literature, Education, Post-Secondary Education, Maps, Teacher Education, and Teaching & Learning Services. Her favourite book is box set of Robert Louis Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses.

My most interesting project was undertaken for the Marvin Duchow Music Library, who received a donation of organ plans from a Montreal-base organ builder named Hellmuth Wolff. It was a challenge to organize, describe and preserve such large and fragile documents. It took the best part of a year and with the assistance of several McGill Music students.

Nikki Tummon

A woman is smiling toward the side of the frame. Her short golden-brown hair rests at her shoulders and her bangs are swept across the side of her forehead.

Nikki is a Liaison Librarian for Social Work, Anthropology, Indigenous Studies, and Sociology. Her favourite book is the children’s book of poems Garbage Delight by Dennis Lee.

“In my liaison areas I frequently interact with faculty members and teaching staff as well as students. For faculty, I offer support in collection development, resource access, and teaching. I also answer scholarly publishing questions and research queries and assist with search strategy formulation for specific projects and research groups.”

Lonnie Weatherby

A man with short gray hair is smiling up at the camera from his desk. His right arm is outstretched toward the keybaord and behind him are lots of old books.

Lonnie is a Liaison Librarian for English, American & Canadian Literatures, Film & Cultural Studies, Italian Studies, and Reference Collection. His favourite books are The Mystery of Charles Dickens by A.N. Wilson, and The bookseller of Florence by Ross King.

“I like selecting books in English, American, Canadian and Italian literature for the Library collection and selecting films for our DVD collection. I enjoy interacting and conferring with the students, the faculty in the English and Italian Departments and with my colleagues.”

Amanda Wheatley

A young woman smiles at the camera, viewable from the neck and shoulders up. Her wavy brown hair is loose around her shoulders and she stands in front of a wall of green leaves.

Amanda is a Liaison Librarian for Management, Business, and Entrepreneurship. Her favourite book is The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern 

“I enjoy being a Liaison Librarian because it gives me a chance to connect to the students and faculty at the university. I get to help them on their research journey and show them resources they might not have known about otherwise.”

Macy Zheng

A woman with shoulder length black hair smiles at the camera while holding a large book open. She has frameless glasses and is wearing a lanyard. Behind her is a bookshelf.

Macy is a Liaison Librarian for East Asian Studies. Her favourite book is Snow Flower and the Secret Fan: A Novel by Lisa See

“There’s this quote by Jon Jeffryes ‘Every time someone apologizes for reaching out for research help I want to say: This is the best part of the job!’

I totally agree with what Jon Jeffryes said. It is one of liaison librarians’ essential duties to help students and faculty with their learning and research, and we should encourage them to ask us any questions for help.”

Redpath Book Display: E-Scholarship

As members of such a large (and busy) University, it can be easy to forget one of McGill’s main purposes as an institution: scholarship. With over 48,000 thesis and dissertations, a fantastic way to look back on the rich history of our University’s academic excellence is through e-scholarship; the complete archival data basis of McGill thesis and dissertations, spanning from 1833 to present day.

In order to celebrate another year of scholars completing their studies at McGill, the Humanities and Social Sciences Library created a virtual book display featuring a few thesis published this past year. These are especially impressive, as some are from scholars whose works were successful even in unprecedented times. Access this display to see some of the fantastic thesis here.

E-scholarship is an excellent– and underutilized – resource. Created in 2005 in order to increase accessibility to the thesis archives, the e-scholarship institutional repository ensures that research produced at McGill is visible, free, accessible, disseminated, and preserved for future interests – all while maintaining researchers copyright.

“My favorite part about e-scholarship – beyond the fact that it’s open access of course – is the history” Jessica Lange, e-scholarship librarian added, “you can delight in interesting gems [in the archives]. McGill research is really imbedded in the history of Montreal. You might find stories or projects that tell you more about the history of this city than you were expecting; stories you can’t find other places.”

One of the benefits of this free history is the quantity of famous or successful works in the collection. To view some of the more well-known alum on record, such as Harriet Brooks, Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, and  John O’Keefe , visit the Highlights from McGill theses and dissertations.

To learn more about e-scholarship and to access the database, visit e-scholarship at McGill.

Have any questions? Contact for concerns on e-scholarship or for other assistance.

Indigenous Rights and Data Sovereignty: A story of success and community

Keoni Mahelona and Peter-Lucas Jones on Indigenous Data Sovereignty, March 3, 2021.

In the era of big data, it is difficult to know our privacy rights and how our information is being used. Hosted by the Feminist and Accessible Publishing, Communications, and Technology Speaker and Workshop Series and by the Initiative for Indigenous Futures , I attended the workshop by Keoni Mahelona and Peter-Lucas Jones speaking on Indigenous Data Sovereignty through their roles at Te Hiku Media in New Zealand. 

Te Hiku Media is a charitable media organization coming from Far North Iwi (regions) of Ngāti Kuri, Te Aupouri, Ngai Takoto, Te Rārawa and Ngāti Kahu in New Zealand. The organization creates ways for members of these regions who are living away from traditional territories to access their culture and historical knowledge through radio, online television, and other media. Like many Indigenous groups, these regions are struggling with the decline of their historical language, Maori. On top of the fantastic cultural preservation and revitalization efforts, Tehiku Media decided to tackle this issue as well. “Language provides a gateway into the mind of our people. It is imbued with cultural memory and ideological thought. [Language holds] all of the things that inform our world view. When we lose a word in our language, we lose a part of our culture” states Peter-Lucus Jones, Te Hiku Media Manager. 

All current language processing giants in big media such as Duo Lingo and Google have methods available to record and process new languages at little to no cost, however there is a catch: the data you share with these companies is no longer yours, and can be sold as they see fit.

“To have our language stolen from us by the colonizers through generations of abuse and residential schools, and then for them to turn around and sell it back to us?… We couldn’t do this. It wasn’t right” explained speaker Keoni Mahelona.

Rather than turning to these companies, Te Hiku Media decided to take matters into their own hands. For the past 30 years, they have collected recordings from many Maori speaking elders, paying special attention to specific dialects that are not well recorded. Through these datasets, Te Hiku was able to create programs which store language, and eventually were able to build their own Maori speech-recognition software. The goals for this project were to maintain sovereignty, make the Maori language more ubiquitous, and promote language and culture. 

A major challenge in this data sovereignty journey was the choice to license the data. Maori historically does not include the concept of ownership, however, if the data isn’t licensed there is potential for a corporation to steal it. The difficult decision to license the data was ultimately made, and the communities have entrusted guardianship of this data to Te Hiku Media for safekeeping. 

In order to hear more about Te Hiku Media’s preservation of Maori culture, take a look at their website at

A recording of this discussion is available. Access it here: