Queen's University - Utility Bar

Queen's University Library

Queen's University Library

Martha's Blog

Library Update – January 9, 2015

Posted on January 9th, 2015 in Library updates

Happy new year everyone! I hope you had a restful break over the holidays. It was good to see many of you at the staff breakfast on Tuesday morning.

The month of December was a busy one right up to the lovely lull. It started out with Scholars Portal Day 2014. If you weren’t able to attend or tune in, you can catch up on the full day’s webcast or check out the presenter slides online. I participated in McGill Queen’s University Press Board and committee meetings, and we said a sad farewell to Acquisitions Editor Jill Bryant, who is now pursuing new writing opportunities. December is also the time when we have a week of Faculty presentations to the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Budget. With that step now completed, we’ll know our budget parameters for 2015-16 by the end of this fiscal year, and we’ll soon be setting a date for an all staff meeting that will include my annual budget update.

The Library Heads met in December as well, and shared their regular unit/division updates. The minutes of the last Library Leadership Team meeting of the year are also posted, and provide a brief status update on numerous projects.

At this week’s Library Leadership Team, our project manager Joe Davis presented updated project charters for several major projects and one new one, the Law Library renovation project.  The team agreed that the Library will adopt Joe’s project charter template, which includes new sections such as ‘business process impact’ and ‘acceptance criteria/operation plan.’  As well, the team will now be reviewing a project status report table from Joe at each meeting, highlighting any issues that need attention. The status report will also be available to all staff.

Amongst the other items of the Library Leadership Team agenda was the draft text of our new annual report, which is now heading into design layout. It presents stories about the Library and the Archives in an engaging style that will highlight our activities to the Queen’s community and beyond. We’re looking forward to sharing it broadly.

Right now, I’m admiring the snow sculptures created by the wind outside my window and wishing you all a cozy weekend. (Read any good books lately?)

Library Update – November 28, 2014

Posted on November 28th, 2014 in Library updates

One of the great pleasures of my job is hearing how people in our library make a difference.  Last week, I was overjoyed for the student sending this note, and the librarian (Morag Coyne) receiving it:  “Just wanted to thank you again for the other day, you helped me both with my assignment and gave me a reason to fall back in love with science. For this I’m very grateful.”

Isn’t that lovely?  After this busy time of term papers and projects, those are great words to have ringing in our ears.

In that spirit, I’d like to alert you to Staff Appreciation Day events coming up on Tuesday, December 16.  To celebrate in the Library, refreshments will be delivered to each unit early in the day and we hope you’ll take some time to enjoy each other’s company.  Campus events include interesting tours, free fitness classes, the Principal’s holiday reception and staff recognition awards. Human Resources is finalizing the event schedule, and information about signing up for activities will be available in coming weeks.  A free shuttle bus between Duncan McArthur Hall and the ARC will operate every half hour between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm.  For further information, see the recent Queen’s Gazette article.

The past couple of weeks for me have been packed with interesting initiatives and people.

Moments before attending a regular Research Data Canada Steering Committee meeting in Ottawa last Tuesday, I participated in the first meeting of a group also related to the data realm, here at Queen’s.  Both Jeff Moon and I are involved with this group of stakeholders from units across campus, which is considering the possibilities for an institute that is so far being referred to as Advanced Computing, Analytics and Data at Queen’s.  Jeff reported on this at the Library’s Research Data Working Group meeting yesterday, and we’ll look forward to learning and sharing more as discussions proceed.

Much of last week was also devoted to the Ontario Council of University Libraries, with the Fall Directors meeting taking place at the University of Guelph.  Highlights included review of a project charter for Collaborative Futures and a Geo Community proposal for digitizing and sharing Ontario’s public domain topographic maps.  Watch for the meeting digest available in the next few weeks.

The Senate Library Committee met this week and had ‘digital scholarship’ as its main agenda focus. We had a wonderful presentation by Tiffany Chan, our student in the Digital Humanities Assistantship in Jordan Library.  She talked about the project she’s working on involving 19th-century stereoscopic view cards, and mentioned its relevance to her current studies in English. The conversation prompted comments and suggestions from committee members in other disciplines, and it all gave a taste of our envisioned Centre for Digital and Print Culture. You can follow Tiffany’s writing about her project on the HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science and technology Alliance and Collaboratory) site.  Tiffany is one of the current HASTAC scholars.

Another highlight of my week was a workshop offered by the Ministry of Labour and attended by members of the QUFA and University bargaining teams (including Constance Adamson, Michael White and myself) set to begin negotiations in early 2015:  Building and Maintaining the High-Trust Labour-Management Relationship. It was led by expert mediators from the Ministry’s Dispute Resolution Services, and was a day of good conversations.

It was great to see the workshop on citation management options happening in the Library yesterday. Sharon Murphy and Sandra Morden will be reviewing feedback and analyzing the options to arrive at recommendations for the Library Leadership Team early in the new year. They’ll also create a transition plan, including migration paths and communications with our RefWorks account holders.  The current RefWorks service offered through Scholars Portal will no longer be available after August 2015.

This week ends with a conference call late today with the Directors of the libraries involved in the Downsview storage collaboration. Anne Smithers and Joe Davis will be joining me. One of Joe’ first priorities is to bring together the LAMP Collections project group, which includes the Queen’s individuals involved in the Downsview initiative. They are Anne Smithers on the Coordinating Committee, Sandra Morden on a Metadata Subcommittee and Sharon Musgrave on a Service Standards Subcommittee, and Nancy Petri and Michael Vandenburg on the Business Committee reporting to the Steering Committee of Directors.  Joe is reviewing the current LAMP Collections project charter, which includes a full list of members.

A coffee this week with our Scholarly Publishing Librarian and our resident acquisitions editors of McGill Queen’s University Press prompts me to highlight the latter’s catalogue, noted in Monday’s Queen’s Gazette. Whenever I peruse the MQUP site I discover something I want to read – this time it was Ursula Franklin Speaks, because she was on my mind after hearing her on the Next Chapter with Sheila Rogers.  Time to start amassing the holiday reading e-pile?

Hard to believe we’re at the end of November and the end of classes. Once again, thank you all for your work with our students and faculty this term.

Library Update – November 14, 2014

Posted on November 14th, 2014 in Library updates

The Royal Society of Canada released the Expert Panel Report on The Future Now: Canada’s Libraries, Archives, and Public Memory yesterday.  I’ve read it with interest and recommend at least a quick scan soon of the full report and 70 recommendations, or the Executive Summary. The report provides the perspectives of many library users, and an impressive snapshot of the landscape of all kinds of libraries and archives, including mentions of OCUL, Scholars Portal and CARL’s Project ARC.  LAC was quick out of the gate with a public statement of interest in the report and a summary of the recent commitments of our Librarian and Archivist of Canada, Guy Berthiaume.  I know we’ll all be interested in the commentary on the report from our associations and the engagement of our academic community in coming days.

The CARL Fall General Meeting was held last week in Quebec City. Highlights of the meeting included the presentations posted in CARL’s follow-up announcement, and committee discussions of projects relating to Canadian scholarly journals and government information. I’ll be taking the discussions of the emerging Portage research data management network to our QUL Research Data Working Group at its meeting in late November.

What a week of great library highlights we’ve had, starting with the Incunabula and Vesalius exhibits and receptions, and ending with our celebration of the generous gift that formed the Plumsock Mesoamerican Studies Collection at Queen’s University. As the day begins I’m looking forward to the presentations by W. George Lovell (Geography, Queen’s), Christopher H. Lutz (CIRMA, Guatemala), and Wendy Kramer (CIRMA, Guatemala), occurring under the banner ‘Research Frontiers in Spanish America.’ Thank you to all who have enriched our collections and promoted them with these events. Of course, this week of celebration truly began on the weekend, with the awarding of a Distinguished Service Award to someone who enriched the Library for decades, Barbara Teatero.

The Library Leadership Team met this week and discussed three project charters:  Web Redesign, Service Point Development, Citation Management. As each is finalized you’ll see it posted in an email to all staff.  The LAMP Collections Project will be newly initiated with the start of our Library Project Manager, whom I’ll introduce shortly as the contract is finalized.

Next week brings the OCUL Fall meeting, and many topics of interest.  As I’ve said in my report to Directors, serving as Chair of OCUL is a privilege and, as I look back and look forward from the Chair’s seat, I have to say I’m in awe.  There have been so many dedicated, smart, collaborative individuals who have brought us to where we are today.  We owe them thanks, and we all feel a shared responsibility for the stewardship and continuing development of OCUL in the years ahead.

Walking through the libraries these days, I see the intensity of this period of the school year and the early winter season, and I think about how much our busy students appreciate all you do to support their learning and research.  Good work, everyone!  I hope you find some moments this weekend to recharge and to enjoy the finer aspects of November.

Library Update – October 31, 2014

Posted on October 31st, 2014 in Library updates

The Library Leadership Team agreed at its meeting this week on a set of projects that places the Public Services Renewal (PSR) project recommendations in the context of existing plans and priorities.  There are two important observations to bear in mind. First, we’re continuing with the organizational direction set with the recommendations of R2 and the Library Change Steering Group in 2010 and the Library and Archives Master Plan in 2013.  Second, the PSR report affirmed that direction and provided an initial chart of the landscape, but, to use a hiking metaphor, the trails still need to be blazed and marked. That doesn’t happen overnight, and service delivery changes won’t happen overnight.

The Library Leadership Team compiled a set of four major projects that will be integrated and facilitated with the help of the contract project manager position to be filled this month.  Project charters are in progress.  The projects are:

  • Services, including defining the scope and staffing for the organizational unit proposed in the PSR recommendations and undertaking a multi-pronged implementation process
  • Web presence redesign, including virtual service point look and feel, content to support service at any location, and interactive services
  • Collections, including the new print collection paradigm envisioned in LAMP, Downsview storage implementation, and specific physical collections moves
  • Spaces, including planning for projects outlined in LAMP, such as Law Library renovations, the move of Music to Stauffer, the Stauffer terrace, etc.

A draft communications plan in development with University Marketing and University Communications was also reviewed by LLT this week.  Comments are welcome.  This will be a guiding plan for our communications coordinator when that role is filled.  The position is currently in the job evaluation process.  And speaking of communication, we’ve had several stories in the Queen’s News recently: our open access event, our ‘pop-up café’, and our champion spellers.

A sad item of note last week was the passing of Donald A. Redmond, chief librarian at Queen’s from 1966 to 1977.  His background is mentioned briefly in notices, but for those of us with a penchant for history we can enjoy longer stories of this period from the writings of former Library staff member Hilary Richardson.  Hilary’s accounts are in QSpace, including one about Douglas Library in 1966.

Library Update – October 17, 2014

Posted on October 17th, 2014 in Library updates

The Public Services Renewal project group submitted its final report last Friday. I’d like to thank the group for their guidance of the project, with the leadership of Sharon Murphy, and our consultant, Rebecca Jones, for facilitating and synthesizing information and ideas into a very useful set of recommendations.  The report is now available on the PSR page of the Staff Web.  The Library Leadership Team reviewed it this week and discussed next steps in the context of related elements of the Library and Archives Master Plan and other aspects of our 2014-15 to 2016-17 Strategic Priorities.  Project charters are now being drafted and further updates will be shared in the next few weeks.

Amidst the LLT discussion of priorities and capacity, there was confirmation that an important project this academic year will be the process to discuss options and develop a strategy for citation management at Queen’s after OCUL RefWorks hosting ends in August 2015, as mentioned in Sandra Morden’s message  of August 8th. Meanwhile, if you have any questions, or any feedback from users, please contact Sandra or Sharon Murphy.

I attended the first meeting of the Student Life Space Plan Advisory Subcommittee on October 6th. This group is advisory to the Campus Plan Advisory Committee, which met yesterday and included a LAMP update as information on its agenda. The work of these two groups and LAMP is very interwoven, particularly with regard to the concept of LINQs (Library Information Network at Queen’s). The mandate of the Student Life Space Plan Advisory Subcommittee is to develop a Student Life Space Plan to support and complement the Campus Master Plan (CMP) and the Library and Master Plan. It draws on the recommendations of the CMP that state, in part: “Student Life Spaces should be considered priority areas for additional social infrastructure. Social infrastructure includes all space and informal environments that facilitate student and faculty interaction, sustaining or enhancing programming that supports a more holistic Queen’s out-of-classroom learning experience. These include group study spaces, cafés, LINQ locations, student government offices, club spaces, and student-run services.”

Did you see our tactical urbanism approach to Library Square yesterday? The section of the CMP noted above goes on to say, “Areas with a high concentration of social infrastructure should be considered priority areas for public realm improvements that incorporate infrastructure for gathering and socializing, such as outdoor patios, public seating, and attractive landscaping.” What a thrill to see what happens when a few tables and chairs are set up in front of Stauffer Library!  As one passerby noted, it transformed the whole campus.

If you missed yesterday’s set-up – which we did to help with a student research project in the School of Urban and Regional Planning – you can see it again with some added flair, today 2-4pm and Saturday 9:30am-12pm.  We’re listed in the Homecoming events as “Future Library Square: Pull up a chair at one of the bistro-style tables in “Future Library Square,” a Homecoming café outside Stauffer Library! You can enjoy some coffee and a library-themed cupcake and watch a video of what’s in store in the coming years for the Library and Archives.” A big thank you to Kathy Christmas for her extraordinary planning and implementation of this event.

Our work with our philanthropic consultant, arranged by Advancement, is progressing well. As mentioned in my LAMP update, this is about writing a vision for the student learning experience, including LAMP, to position it prominently in the Initiative Campaign. We’ve met a few times now, most recently last week.

Last week I attended the ARL Membership Meeting and Fall Forum. The Forum, Wanted Dead or Alive: The Scholarly Monograph, was a fabulous set of presentations and discussions involving numerous scholars. It was well covered in an article in Inside Higher Ed the next day. There were many takeaways for me, including intriguing digital humanities conversations about the shift from “monograph thinking” to “virtual research environment thinking” and what such shifts in scholarly communications mean for our traditional discovery channels.

Next week includes the first meeting of the Senate Library Committee for 2014-15. Its agenda topics this year are Library and Archives Master Plan, acquisitions support, and digital scholarship.  Two librarians were elected to other Senate Committees this year:  Michele Chittenden is serving on the Senate Committee on Educational Equity and Nasser Saleh is serving on the International Centre Council, both from October 1 2014, to August 31, 2016.  Congratulations Michele and Nasser.

Happy Homecoming weekend – enjoy the tricolours along with the fall colours!

QUL People: Olivia Middleton

Posted on October 10th, 2014 in QUL People

Today’s profile is a QUL person who has been a welcoming presence at service points since 1991 – Olivia Middleton.  Olivia started in Douglas Library in September of that year, moved to Stauffer when it opened in 1994, and stayed for 19 years. Since December 2013, Olivia has been Circulation Coordinator (a temporary appointment) in the Law Library.

Where are you from?

Olivia was born and bred in Kingston, as were three family generations before her.  Olivia’s family not only lived in Kingston, one of them led Kingston: her grandfather, J. Stuart Crawford, was elected mayor in 1946 and held office until he passed away a year later.  Olivia has seen many changes over her years in our city. For example, she notes that when her family moved into her childhood home near Portsmouth and Johnson, it was surrounded by fields.  Olivia attended Centennial Public School – one of many schools across the country named for Canada’s centenary – and then LCVI, and earned a diploma as a business/legal assistant at St. Lawrence College.

What might people not know about you?

She plays the ukulele!  This isn’t part of the current fad, but something she began as a child at school. Her ukulele group played in nursing homes and other such venues around the city. It sounds like they were a harbinger of the joy-spreading ukulele uprisings seen in cities like Toronto. (This evokes ukuleles to me: “Project Ukulele Gangsterism(PUG) is inspired by the Emersonian idea that while some pursue happiness, others create it.”) We’ll be looking for you on the streets Olivia!  She hasn’t volunteered for that, but she does enjoy getting out her ukulele every once in a while.

Why the library?

Following her college training, Olivia worked in a few offices in town, but after the birth of her son she heard about part-time work at Douglas Library.  She started there as a photocopying clerk, and progressed through several roles, always working with the public. I asked Olivia about her trademark smile and warmth in her interactions with people, and I concluded it’s something that comes so naturally that she doesn’t see any particular trick to it. As she says, it’s just who you are. Lucky us, and our students and faculty! Olivia applied her skills to a new position last year when she moved to the Law Library. She says it was daunting at first to take on a whole new set of responsibilities, and then she just loved it.  She has enjoyed applying some of her early training in the legal realm as well as getting to know another library location and the people there.  She likes to observe, “Can you teach an old dog new tricks? The answer is yes!” Said with that bright smile, it sounds like lyrics for a happy ukulele tune.

Library Update – October 3, 2014

Posted on October 3rd, 2014 in Library updates

I’m delighted to let you know that Barbara Teatero has been selected for a Distinguished Service Award. Inaugurated by the University Council in 1974, this award recognizes individuals who have made the University a better place through their extraordinary contributions.  The award will be presented at the Council Dinner on November 8th.  Friends and colleagues who wish to attend may purchase tickets here: www.events.queensu.ca/universitycouncil.  A news item about the award recipients will appear as the event draws closer.

This week included the first Senate meeting of the academic year (see agenda). Amongst the various reports is the Provost’s Report Sept 2014, which includes mention of something you may have wondered about for our own work with Queen’s Quality Assurance Processes (QUQAP). In February 2014, QUQAP was audited as part of the normal review for quality assurance processes at all Ontario universities.  The Provost’s update indicates that the draft report is positive with no causes for concern, and he summarizes the recommendations for improvements.

The Library Leadership Team met on Tuesday. The agenda included a review of next steps for the Public Services Renewal  (PSR) project, discussion of other current 2014-15 projects, and an update on specialist roles, all of which will be considered in more detail in planning for the implementation of the PSR. This will be the main topic for LLT’s next meeting following the PSR project group’s submission of the final report.

The latter half of my week has been with the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Budget, hearing Shared Services budget presentations and giving the presentation for the Library. For a reminder of the 2015-16 budget process, see the communication issued earlier this year on the Provost’s website.

In my last update I mentioned attending meetings about CARL’s Project ARC, where we reviewed the status of the project and developed plans for its completion. With an update now circulating amongst CARL Directors, I’d like to share some more details with you. In particular, note that you may start hearing about the network by its evocative proposed name, “Portage.”

As you recall, Project ARC was launched in March 2013 to develop a library-based data management network in Canada. The network will have two major components: (1) a networked centre of expertise for research data management (RDM) and (2) a national preservation infrastructure for RDM that will evolve and expand over time.

Since its launch, Project ARC has collected a comprehensive set of resources to support the delivery of data management plans. These resources, along with an automated DMP tool, will be made available as a set of trusted national resources and ultimately be maintained as part of the networked centre of expertise.  Discussions have begun regarding the coordinated and distributed nature of this support, envisioned as involving institutions across the country.

At the same time, we have been working on a pilot project to connect the various infrastructure components needed for a national preservation network. The pilot involves close collaboration with Compute Canada, Research Data Canada, and some of the domain data centres to ensure that the network will be both inclusive and interoperable, a key characteristic to be eligible for external funding and to leverage existing national infrastructure.

The proposed name for the national network as a whole is “Portage”, along with a byline:  “supporting Canadian innovation through shared expertise and stewardship of research data” (en français, “Portage: Soutenir l’innovation canadienne par le partage d’expertise et la gestion des données de recherché”).

Project ARC is now working on developing a funding model, organizational framework and operational plan for the network, with the aim of officially launching in 2015.

Here at Queen’s, I recently shared with the Research Data Working Group a brief I prepared for the Provost, on national research data management initiatives, including information on the draft Tri-Agency Data Management Policy. You can find this Research Data Management Brief on the group’s page on Staff Web.

Also in the digital realm, it was thoroughly energizing to listen to the panelists and attendees at this week’s Expanding Horizons Workshop, Digital Humanities in Academia. Kudos to Nathalie Soini for organizing and Alvan Bregman for facilitating. There are exciting things happening in this arena, and more to come. Complementary to initiatives on campus, three of our Queen’s student scholars – Tiffany Chan, Jenn Hardwick, Emily Murphy – have been accepted into the HASTAC Scholars program, a community of students from over 75 universities and dozens of disciplines, “working at the intersection of technology and the arts, humanities and sciences.”

And, in a similar future-oriented vein, I’m recalling that over a decade ago I enjoyed hearing a conference speaker say: “I’ve seen the future of libraries, and it is to talk about the future of libraries.”  That ever popular topic had major media coverage last weekend on CBC’s Cross Country Checkup, with guest host Peter Mansbridge facilitating a discussion of “What is the future of the library in the age of Google?” There were plenty of thoughtful voices in the mix, worth a listen if you didn’t catch it already: Download September 28, 2014 – Future of libraries

Have a great weekend!

Library Update – September 19, 2014

Posted on September 19th, 2014 in Library updates

Much of this week has had an external focus for me, but first, an update on some local matters.

At the Provost-Deans group meeting this week I described our Public Services Renewal project, the central topic for our all staff meetings at the beginning of last week. Our consultant, Rebecca Jones, has been reviewing the feedback accumulated from those meetings, the subsequent drop-in sessions, and comments sent to her directly, as she works on her final report. Discussions of implementation planning began with the PSR project group last week as well.

The Queen’s Research Data Centre Advisory Committee met this week and heard the very interesting observations of researchers who have relied on the QRDC. Their stories were striking examples of how an awareness of available information, such as data sets, is crucial to both sparking and answering research questions.

The Information Services and Technology Faculty Advisory Committee had its first meeting of the academic year last Monday. Topics included a draft procedure for de-provisioning IT access privileges when an employee leaves the University, a draft procedure relating to the authorization required for providing access in exceptional circumstances to an employee’s IT resources such as email, calendar, etc., and cloud-based collaboration and productivity services for Queen’s faculty and staff. Materials are posted on the Committee’s website.

The Information and Communications Working Group of the Queen’s Accessibility Framework caught up on various topics last week, including the work that ITServices has been doing to support website accessibility compliance and the Library’s plans to address details relating to the upcoming AODA requirement to make available accessible or conversion ready format of print-based resources or materials, upon request. For the latter, Library Services for Students with Disabilities will be providing recommendations to the Library Leadership Team this fall.

A meeting of the Campus Community Appeal co-chairs was a nice opportunity to reflect on the reasons people want to give back to Queen’s. We talked about ways to thank the hundreds of faculty, staff and retirees who make a gift to an area where they feel it is most needed. It has certainly been a pleasure for me, in my role as faculty co-chair, to see people from the Library at various thank you events.

Now, externally… between the CARL Board meeting in Ottawa on Monday, a CARL-CRKN Board teleconference on Tuesday, the CANARIE Summit on Wednesday and Thursday, and the CARL Project ARC meeting today, it has been a very Canadian week.  The CANARIE Summit, which I attended on behalf of CARL, was illuminating as a fairly new community for me, and opened new conversations about Project ARC and the Canadian digital infrastructure landscape.

I also engaged in a bit of cross-border activity this week with the inaugural teleconference of an ARL group relating to the recent Strategic Thinking and Design process.  The ARL Board appointed a small transition team (Brian Schottlaender (UC-San Diego), Anne Kenny (Cornell) and myself) to provide an assessment of the existing ARL committee structure and recommendations on new structures to engage the membership and move forward with the new ‘system of action’ framework that emerged from the design process. It’s quite fascinating to consider how an organization shifts its focus from supporting activities within each of its member institutions to facilitating cross-institutional collaboration and cross-sector engagement. I’ll look forward to sharing the reports with you in the coming months.

Relevant to this ARL work, and strategic change in any organization, is an interesting research project that two students in the Queen’s School of Business have discussed with me. They’re looking at the impact of ‘imprinting’ on organizational strategic change.  The idea is that the basic characteristics of every organization – its structures, values, roles, and relationships – are influenced by its history. They see the Library as an ideal context for exploring questions relating to the impact of imprinting, noting that the organization has existed since the university’s founding in 1841 and has experienced numerous periods of technological and organizational change during its history. When their research plans are confirmed they’ll provide information I can circulate for your interest.

I hope you’re looking forward to a lovely September weekend. Mine includes a joint Board-Senate retreat on the topic of the broader student learning experience within a changing post-secondary environment, and the opening of the Isabel.  A proud moment for Queen’s!

QUL People: Paul Clifford

Posted on September 12th, 2014 in QUL People

This summer, Paul Clifford asked me about the profiles I did in 2012-13. Will there be more?  Good idea, I said. May I interview you? Paul was keen, and a new series has begun! This round is going to involve three easy questions.

Where are you from?

Paul grew up in Kingston, near Centre and Union, just blocks away from where he now works.  He notes that had he gone straight to Queen’s after high school his entire education would have been on Union Street – first Queen’s daycare, then Victoria Public School, then ‘Winston at Victoria’ (a facilities issue in the new Winston Churchill school sent students back to the old school), then KCVI.  Paul is also from another Victoria, in British Columbia, where he earned a computing certificate and worked in programming and graphic design for 7 years, and Toronto, where he did a B.A. at the University of Toronto, and Japan, where he taught English for 3 years before returning to Kingston and a B.Ed. degree at Queen’s.

What might some people not know about you?

Paul’s work with us has its roots in exploring computers as he was growing up, but also in a desire to support another serious interest — music. He has played the bass professionally since he was 16, wherever he has lived. Music and academic interests took him to the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music, for its jazz and academic strengths, and there he met his wife, a percussionist from Japan. They’ve been together 10 years and have an 18 month old son. Music also turned Paul into a teacher — during his university years, for example, he enjoyed teaching groups of teenagers how to play in a band. Music was also a large part of his experience in Japan, where jazz is big. And music continues to take him places. Paul observes that it was through the music community in Kingston that he heard about the Library. (If you’d like to hear Paul play, check out the Gene Smith Quartet, Friday October 3, St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 5:00-5:45pm.)

Why the Library?

After teaching for a while at St. Lawrence College, Paul took advantage of an opportunity to work at Queen’s, providing first-level support at the ITServices help desk and then doing design work in Health Sciences’ Continuing Professional Development. He saw the Library as another great opportunity. He likes the ease of engaging, and he finds it interesting to consider our information roles in relation to the worlds of information architecture and web design. He notes that it has similarities to his experience with databases, where the process of normalization requires the ability to think about big categories of things and how they’re connected to each other. The Library also matches his values, including being committed to something you care about. It may also help that his very first job ever was as a page at the Kingston Frontenac Public Library, and he worked in Douglas Library as a teenager! We’re glad you’re with us again Paul.

Suggestions for this QUL People series? Contact Kathy Christmas. Thanks! Martha

Library Update – September 5, 2014

Posted on September 5th, 2014 in Library updates

At the end of orientation week many of us feel a strange combination of energy and fatigue — it’s so great to see the students back, but it’s also such a busy time. Thank you all for the part you play in creating a welcoming environment for our students on the campus, in our libraries and at our service points, physical and virtual.

This week we also welcomed the new Bader International Study Centre librarian, Sarah Butler, on her first visit to Queen’s. Sarah is joining BISC at an exciting time, as a new first year foundations program is beginning. She tells me she has greatly appreciated learning about our roles here in the student learning experience and research enterprise, and has been very impressed. I try to see things through a visitor’s eye every day, but it helps to have an opportunity to spend time with one for several days. It underscores what I truly believe — that it’s such an honour to be part of this great university and working with such wonderful people.

People. At the all staff meetings next week, we’ll be handing out a new organizational chart designed to show every person in the Library and Archives on one page. I hope to see you all at one of the meetings, to celebrate the successes of last year, to look forward to the one ahead, and to talk together about our future together as we review the recommendations of the Public Services Renewal project.  Meanwhile, enjoy the campus today and the weekend.

« Previous Entries  

Martha Whitehead Martha Whitehead
Vice Provost and University Librarian

Office of the University Librarian

Martha's Blog