Welcome to the 2014 Winter Institute on Statistical Literacy for Librarians (WISLL)!

We are pleased to announce that the 2014 Institute is tentatively set for Wednesday, February 19, Thursday, February 20, and Friday, February 21, 2014 at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada.

Librarians are facing more statistical information than ever before because of the dissemination of statistics over the Internet. Concomitant with this are greater demands for statistics from user communities. Greater availability of statistics online, however, has not made this information necessarily easier to find or retrieve. The Institute provides training in the strategies and tools for finding statistics and the provision of formats directly useful to users. The Institute is valuable and relevant to professionals working in academic, public, and special libraries.

NB: We request that participants from previous workshops do not re-register in 2014, due to limited enrollment. We appreciate your cooperation.

Keep checking back for WISLL 2014 registration dates!

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Participants will work with a variety of online official and non-official statistical sources and with the tools used for locating and retrieving statistics.

Topics to be covered:

  • A framework for thinking about statistics
  • How statistics are derived from data
  • The importance of definitions, standards and classifications to understanding statistics
  • Using metadata to find statistics
  • Knowing how to interpret statistical metadata
  • Evaluating statistical sources
  • Choosing official and non-official statistical sources
  • Tools and strategies for locating statistics
  • How to cite online statistics
  • Finding and using statistics based on geography
  • Addressing the challenge of finding statistics for small geographic areas


The workshop will be of interest to reference librarians working in academic, public and special libraries who serve user communities with interests in statistical information. There are no prerequisites for enrollment.

NB: This Institute will cover the same curriculum as WISLL 2013. This is not an advanced version of last year's Institute.

NB: We request that participants from previous workshops do not re-register in 2014, due to limited enrollment. We appreciate your cooperation.

Please check back this Fall for WISLL 2014 registration information!

The 2014 Institute is tentatively set for Wednesday, February 19, 2014 to Friday, February 21, 2014 at the University of Alberta, in Edmonton, Canada.

The Institute takes place in Rutherford Library South (select North Campus map) in the second floor computer lab, 2-03. Signs will be posted inside the Rutherford Complex directing participants to this location. In-person registration will begin at 8:30 a.m., next to Room 2-03 on Wednesday, February 19. Light breakfast will be available at 8:30 a.m. each morning.

Once the Institute is full, names will be placed on a waiting list on a first-come, first-served basis if requested. The cost for this workshop is $250, which includes breakfast and lunch for all three days.

This Institute is valuable and relevant to professionals working in academic, public and special libraries.

NB: We request that participants from previous workshops do not re-register in 2014, due to limited enrollment. We appreciate your cooperation.

We would like to draw your attention to the following in order to avoid any conflicting information: this workshop series will not provide instruction on conducting data analysis nor will it provide assessment training. However, some examples will include the use of data to demonstrate how statistics are produced. Also, some exercises will make use of a statistical software system (SPSS), but participants are not required to know SPSS in advance. This workshop series focuses on finding statistics, not their production.


Chuck Chuck Humphrey has been the Head of the Data Library at the University of Alberta since 1992 and also assumed responsibility for the implementation and management of a Statistics Canada Research Data Centre (RDC) at the University of Alberta in 2001. He has worked on several regional, national and international initiatives to increase access to data for teaching and research. Over the past 21 years, he has team-taught a week-long workshop offered by the ICPSR Summer Program at the University of Michigan on providing social science data services. He helped create the curriculum for and is an instructor in the DLI training program that teaches specific data services skills in regional workshops across Canada. In 2000, Mr. Humphrey received the Canadian Association of Research Libraries Award for Distinguished Service to Research Librarianship recognizing his "expert knowledge of data formats, data access and preservation."

      Chuck Humphrey
      Data Library Coordinator
      University of Alberta


Anna Anna Bombak (MLIS, 1985) has served as the University of Alberta Data Librarian since 1989. In addition, Anna has worked as a Reference and/or Metadata Librarian for the University of Alberta, Concordia College, and Alberta Education, with special subject expertise in government publications, statistics, technical reports, and computer-readable research data. Anna currently works as a Digital Content Specialist in the Digital Initiatives Unit of the University of Alberta Libraries.

      Anna Bombak
      Data Librarian,
      Univeristy of Alberta


Larry Larry Laliberté is a librarian with over ten years experience working with GIS and spatial data. Currently he is the GIS Librarian at the University of Alberta where much of his work revolves around analyzing and synthesizing spatial information at many scales, across many disciplines, in various formats and under numerous licensing agreements. Over the last decade, he has been involved with teaching different class sizes in a variety of learning environments, developed and maintained an online collection of historical maps of Manitoba and recently, taken a great interest in both the use of handheld devices (smartphones) due to their increasing use among library patrons and in developing best practices for the long term preservation of digital geospatial data.

      Larry Laliberté
      GIS Librarian
      University of Alberta


David David Sulz (MA, MLIS) is a Public Services Librarian at the University of Alberta and is the liaison librarian for Economics, Religious Studies, and Social Work. He previously worked for the Alberta Government Library as a Reference Librarian to several ministries. A graduate of WISLL himself, he is lately interested in how librarians think of statistical literacy vis-a-vis information literacy, especially in terms of instruction.

      David Sulz
      Public Services Librarian,
      University of Alberta


Amanda Amanda Wakaruk (MLIS, MES) is the Government Information Librarian at the University of Alberta. Amanda returned to Edmonton after working as a Reference and Government Information Librarian at York University (Toronto) from 2001-2009, where she also served as Acting Data Librarian from 2002-2003. While in Ontario, Amanda edited a quarterly column dedicated to web-based government resources in the Ontario Library Association publication Access (2003-2007) and another focused on statistical resources in the SLA Courier (2001-2002), published by the Toronto Chapter of the Special Libraries Association. She has also worked in public, special, and government libraries.

      Amanda Wakaruk
      Government Information Librarian
      University of Alberta



Please direct WISLL 2014 inquires to the Registar: wisll@ualberta.ca.

Keep checking back for WISLL 2014 dates!

The following timeline from WISLL 2013 should provide a general idea of the WISLL registration schedule and payment deadlines:

November 8, 2012: Registration opens

January 31, 2013: Registration closes (or when registration is full)

February 1, 2013: Last day for refunds (with a $50 administration fee)

February 20 to 22, 2013: WISLL 2013 at the University of Alberta

Here’s what some participants of WISLL 2013 had to say:

  • "Presentations with hands-on tutorials were very useful! Loved everything!"

  • "Great conference! The passion of the instructors was definitely well received and presented."

  • "I will definitely recommend this workshop to my colleagues."

  • "Every aspect was helpful. I learned a lot from each instructor. Thanks for your efforts in planning and offering this Institute."

  • "Practical exercises were very useful in cementing the concepts / processes for locating statistics."

  • "It was all extremely helpful and instructors were great. I actually had fun with statistics… who knew?"

  • "[I] liked the exercises and the methodological approach to discussing possible answers."

  • "…All aspects [were] very helpful. [I] learned a great deal. [I] Increased my awareness of resources, tools, and strategies."

University of Alberta

Downloadable Campus Map

Interactive Campus Map (select North Campus map)

Information about Rutherford Library

HUB Mall is adjoined to Rutherford Library, and this is the closest location to obtain miscellaneous amenities and services (i.e. ATM machines, etc.)

Accommodations (on or near Campus)

University of Alberta Conference & Guest Accommodations
Various locations on-campus:
ph: 780-492-6056
Email: guest.services@ualberta.ca

Campus Tower Suite Hotel
11145 87 AVE NW
Edmonton AB T6G 0Y1

Metterra Hotel
10454 82 AVE NW (Whyte Avenue)
Edmonton AB T6E 4Z7

Varscona Hotel
8208 106 ST NW (Whyte Avenue)
Edmonton AB T6E 6R9


From Airport:
Airport Taxi Service (Flat Rate)
Sky Shuttle Bus/Van Service (Flat Rate)

Public Transportation:
Edmonton Transit Service (ETS) ($3.20/adult)
Use the ETS Trip Planner to plan your trips around Edmonton using our bus or LRT (subway) system.
NB: The University of Alberta is accessible via bus or LRT (UNIVERSITY STATION stop).

Campus Parking:
Visitor parking is available at the Timms Centre (underground, heated), Education Car Park, and HUB Mall (Lots N & U)
Campus Parking Map
Parking Services Information

Restaurants Near Campus

10922 88 AVE NW
Edmonton AB T6G 0Z1

High Level Diner
10912 88 AVE NW
Edmonton AB T6G 0Z1

Da Capo Cafe
8738 109 ST NW
Edmonton AB T6G 1E9

Transcend Cafe
8708 109 ST NW
Edmonton AB T6G 1E9

Leva Cafe
11053 86 AVE NW
Edmonton AB T6G 1G6

Café Mosaics (Vegan & Vegetarian)
10844 82 AVE NW (Whyte Ave)
Edmonton AB T6E 2B3

Urban Diner
8715 109 ST NW
Edmonton AB T6G 2L5

8701 109 ST NW
Edmonton AB T6G 2L5

Remedy Cafe
8631 109 ST NW
Edmonton AB T6G 1E8

La Poutine
8720 109 ST NW
Edmonton AB T6G 1E9

Kyoto Japanese Cuisine
8709 109 ST NW
Edmonton AB T6G 2L5

Earl’s Campus Tower
8629 112 ST NW
Edmonton AB T6G 1K8

Hudsons Tap House Campus
11113 87 AVE NW
Edmonton AB T6G 0X8

Steeps Tea
11116 82 AVE NW (Whyte Ave)
Edmonton AB T6G 2L8

The King & I Thai Cuisine (just off Whyte)
8208 107 ST NW
Edmonton AB T6E 6P4

Dadeo New Orleans Diner and Bar
10548A 82 AVE NW (Whyte Ave)
Edmonton AB T6E 2A4

Murrieta’s West Coast Grill
10612 82 AVE NW (Whyte Ave)
Edmonton AB T6E 2A7

Entertainment and Shopping

Art Gallery of Alberta
2 Sir Winston Churchill Square NW
Edmonton AB T5J 2C1
On the LRT line (CHURCHILL STATION stop)

Princess Theatre
10337 82 AVE NW (Whyte Ave)
Edmonton AB T6E 1Z9
Current films and documentaries

Garneau Theatre
8712 109 ST NW
Edmonton AB T6G 1E9
Current films and documentaries

Old Strathcona
Information about the various shops, services, and restaurants in the historical Old Strathcoma district. Within walking distance to, and on bus route via University Transit Centre.

West Edmonton Mall
Visit North America's largest mall! Direct bus (#4) available from the University Transit Centre.

Southgate Mall
Conveniently located on the LRT line (SOUTHGATE STATION stop).

E-mail: wisll@ualberta.ca

Phone: 780-492-5212

Mailing Address:

c/o Data Library, Digital Initiatives Unit
2-10 Cameron Library
University of Alberta
Edmonton AB   T6G 2J4