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Library update – May 29, 2015

Posted on May 29th, 2015 in Library updates

Monday’s Library staff planning and development event held at the Queen’s University Biological Station (QUBS) was a great day, judging by the conversations that took place there and the feedback received since. The theme, The Library is Everywhere, seemed appropriate in that beautiful setting – so remote and yet so connected with Queen’s and with researchers around the world. As mentioned, presentations and notes will be posted, and any further thoughts on priorities and actions are most welcome.

Mark your calendars for Sunday June 28, noon to 3pm, for the QUBS open house, which includes the grand opening of the Jessie V. Deslauriers (BA’87, BSc’91)Centre for Biology and the Jack Hambleton Library.

On the day before our QUBS visit, several Queen’s librarians attended the open house at the Elbow Lake Environmental Education Centre (one even stayed overnight!). The Library was thanked for our support of the new trail guide app – particular thanks go to Francine Berish and Cate Jackson for supplying images from our maps and geospatial data collections.

The Library Leadership Team met yesterday and agreed that its membership will change slightly going forward. As I’m sure you’re aware, the LLT facilitates connections across several functional divisions, in support of Library services and operations. It makes decisions on policies that impact multiple divisions and is one of the vehicles for input to my office’s budget and personnel decisions. Members will now include the heads of all functional divisions – Academic Services (Sharon Murphy), Collection Development and Assessment (Anne Smithers), Discovery and Technology Services (Sandra Morden) and Information Services (Nathalie Soini) – as well as the Vice-Provost and University Librarian and the Associate University Librarians.  The Business Officer, Communications Coordinator and Human Resource Officer are resources to the team.

The LLT reviewed and approved a project charter for the development of the online course module Information Skills: Strategies for effective and efficient use of information. This is one of the Queen’s courses/modules supported with funding from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, for development as part of the Ontario Online initiative. The project involves the Faculty of Arts and Science (Continuing and Distance Studies) and the Library, with Nasser Saleh working on course development with an instructional design team. Nasser will be ensuring participation and disciplinary input from liaison librarians in the module content development to maximize its use and implementation in Queen’s courses for Fall 2015 and beyond. The module will be developed for adoption by any first or second year undergraduate Ontario Online course on any course management software.

I became President of CARL on May 14, after two years as Vice-President. I look forward to working closely with the CARL office staff, Directors and other colleagues on matters of significance to research libraries across the country, in our global context. One of my first activities was a statement regarding CARL’s support for the Hague Declaration. The month of May also brought the end of my term as Chair of OCUL, and I moved into the role of Past Chair.

At both the CARL and OCUL meetings in May, there were many items of interest. CARL agreed to fund the position of Director of the Portage research data management network, further enabling the development of services that will benefit researchers at Queen’s and across the country. The CARL meeting agenda had two excellent programs, one including directors of information schools in discussing human resources needs and the other reviewing the results of the inaugural Canadian run of the Ithaka S + R faculty survey. The OCUL meeting involved the normal wide range of business of the consortia, plus a focus on the Collaborative Futures project.

Immediately following the CARL Directors meeting, CARL hosted Leviathan North: Long-term Access to Government Information in the Digital Era. Attendees included Graeme Campbell, Queen’s Open Government Librarian. It was an excellent program, starting with keynote speakers Janice Stein and Thomas Blanton, and including presentations on various aspects of federal and provincial/territorial government information and international perspectives.

This past weekend, right after the OCUL Directors’ meeting, the partners in the Downsview shared storage project met in Toronto to discuss terms of a memorandum of understanding. Anne Smithers, Michael Vandenburg and I attended on behalf of Queen’s. The new facility at the Downsview site is scheduled to open in September.

Senate met this week, with agenda items including an update from the Provost regarding the 2015-16 budget approved by the Board on May 8.  Recent approved Senate Committee nominations include Dierdre Bryden on both the University Promotions and the Scholarships and Student Aid committees, effective September 2015.

I’ve heard many people musing lately about the mysteriously missing month of May – it has indeed gone quickly! That must mean that we’re all immersed in the myriad of things we try to accomplish in the spring and summer. I hope you’ll all take a few moments to enjoy the campus in the days of convocation over the next few weeks. There’s nothing like beaming graduands!

Wishing you all a relaxing spring weekend,

Library Update – May 1, 2015

Posted on May 1st, 2015 in Library updates

At the start of May I like to reflect on the past academic year and all that has been accomplished. Our students and faculty pursued lines of inquiry, created new ideas and shared knowledge, with the help of the Library and the Archives. And we learned and developed as well – through our service model explorations, collections projects, research data management initiatives, open access progress, experiential learning opportunities, teaching and learning developments, accessibility services self-study, multiple special events, new colleagues and the delivery of our day-to-day services. It has been an interesting and productive year thanks to the stellar work of many dedicated people.

At Senate this week there were several proposals and approvals to note:

  • ·Biotechnology Specialization Plan in Biology and a joint Degree/Diploma in Biotechnology in conjunction with St. Lawrence College, effective September 1, 2015
  • Amalgamation of the Schools of Drama and Music in the Faculty of Arts and Science, to create a School of Drama and Music, effective July 1, 2015, subject to ratification by the Board of Trustees
  • Major modification to the Bachelor of Science General in Life Sciences in the Faculty of Arts and Science, to make the exiting program available as well via a new mode of delivery, i.e fully online, effective September 1, 2015
  • Renmin University, Beijing, China, as a location to deliver the Queen’s Master of Finance Program, and significant changes to the faculty delivering the Queen’s University Master of Finance program at Renmin University, Beijing, China
  • Introduction of a graduate field in “International Business” in the MSc and PhD programs, Queen’s School of Business, effective September 2016
  • Combined BCom/JD Degree Program in the School of Business and Faculty of Law, effective September 1, 2015

As well, two nominations of Library people were approved:  Cory Laverty for the Senate Cyclical Program Review Committee and Sharon Murphy for the Senate Committee on Academic Development.

The Senate Library Committee had its last meeting of the academic year on April 24 and the Chair is now drafting the committee’s annual report for Senate.

The group guiding a strategic review of the Union Gallery received a report last week from the two graduate students assigned to carry out the first stages of the review. Its recommendations for the ongoing sustainability of the UG were well received. The report is undergoing a few revisions and will then go to the UG Board.

Library Heads met last week, and reviewed the staffing changes arising from the service point development project. The roundtable updates prepared by each unit provide helpful updates on activities across the system.

Kudos to Rosarie Coughlan and Sharon Murphy this week, for their webinar held by the Canadian Association of Research Administrators. Titled “Between the Green and the Gold: Open Access to Canadian Research,” their talk explored what the Tri-Council policy means for funders, institutions and researchers, the methods and mechanisms available to enable compliance (both free and fee routes) as well as ways to address any concerns and/or barriers to open access which faculty and other key stakeholders may have.

I began this update with comments about the academic year just completed, so I’ll close with a new beginning. The Faculty of Education is top of mind for many people these days, as we watch with interest the start of the new Consecutive Education program. It takes the unique approach of four successive terms, starting in May and ending in August the following year. I’m greatly appreciating the strengths of the Faculty as I serve on the Principal’s advisory committee for the appointment of the next Dean. The Faculty is clearly held in very high regard across the country.

I hope you have an opportunity to enjoy these early days of May, and are looking forward to the spring and summer months ahead.

Library Update – April 17, 2015

Posted on April 17th, 2015 in Library updates

April 17?  The snow flies no more, but time seems to be flying even faster!

The weeks since my last update began with a meeting with the School of Medicine’s accreditation visitors, with Suzanne Maranda. It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to talk about the strengths of the Library’s resources and teaching programs. Information is available on the School’s Accreditation site, and one of the Dean’s blog posts includes a “by-the-numbers” snapshot of the work involved.

I chaired the final meeting of CARL’s Project ARC Working Group at the end of March, and now we move into implementation of the Portage research data management network.  A full report on the working group’s deliverables, including an organizational framework for the network, is being prepared for the CARL Directors meeting in May. The progress over the past year has been impressive, making us very optimistic about future directions.

At the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) Meeting on Monday, several of us involved in Project ARC spoke in a session we titled Collaborating to develop and test research preservation workflows.  Another project related to this landscape is the Ontario Library Research Cloud, which will provide petabyte-size storage for preservation storage of data. Michael Vandenburg was one of the presenters on that topic at CNI. (Watch DSHR’s Blog for an upcoming post by David Rosenthal of LOCKSS, who attended the session and was very impressed with what we’re achieving in Ontario.)

I was pleased to be part of a panel of library directors at the ARL Leadership Fellows’ third and final strategic issues institute held March 29–April 2 at Guelph and Waterloo. It was a pleasure to team up with Gerald Beasley (UA), Jonathan Bengtson (UVic), Vivian Lewis (McMaster), Mary-Ann Mavrinac (Rochester) and Catherine Steeves (Western). We enjoyed talking about our leadership experiences with the fellows, and hearing about areas they’ve been exploring in the program.

In other ARL matters, I’ve been working with the Strategic Thinking and Design Transition Team as we prepare our interim report with recommendations for implementing the new Framework.  We offered three webinars to ARL Directors over the past week, and will be presenting the report and facilitating discussions at the upcoming spring membership meeting.

The LAMP Implementation Advisory Committee has its first meeting on April 1st. There were interesting ideas for ways to promote the vision for various library spaces, and we’ll work on those over the summer with a view to Homecoming visitors in the fall.

One of the major projects on many minds at the moment is Service Point Development. With summer approaching, and with the Head of Information Services now in place, we’re in the midst of many details. We’ll have more to share on that project over the next two weeks.

It was great to see the recent Queen’s Gazette article highlighting the interesting digital humanities experiential learning opportunity undertaken by Tiffany Chan this year in the W.D. Jordan Special Collections and Music Library.  Using the concepts and skills she learned at the inaugural Digital Humanities Field School at the Bader International Study Centre last summer, Tiffany researched and created a virtual exhibit using materials from the “Stereoscopic Views” collection. I know the project meant a lot to her, and to those who made it possible – BISC faculty member Shannon Smith, course instructor Emily Murphy, Curator Alvan Bregman, and many others in the Library.

We’ve also been fortunate to have an intern with an interest in digital humanities with us in the Library this past term.  Alexandre Tur has been visiting on a 3-month internship from École nationale supérieure des sciences de l’information et des bibliothèques in France.  He has spent much of his time doing research on humanities data – formats, software, standards, preservation and access – and has created a useful guide. Alexandre will give a presentation on his work on Monday, April 20 at 10:00 in Stauffer Library Rm 121.

Spring is in the air, and I hope in your step – enjoy the weekend

Library Update – March 27, 2015

Posted on March 27th, 2015 in Library updates

An interesting initiative got under way this week: a Student Services Strategic Planning Exercise.  This arose in part from discussions at the Board-Senate retreat last fall, where it was noted that support services for students are integral to the Strategic Framework pillars of enhancing our student learning experience and internationalization. This is a high level planning exercise encompassing a broad range of services delivered by units across campus, including the Library. At the first advisory committee meeting on Wednesday we discussed the project scope and we’ll soon have a plan for the information-gathering and discussion to take place over the next three months. For the Library, it provides a useful intersection between our own services planning and the campus as a whole. As more details become available, we’ll look for ways to engage many people in the conversation.

The period since my last update included most of a week at the Bader International Study Centre, for the space study under way. The Provost’s update to Senate includes this note about the study: “CS&P Architects have been engaged to conduct a comprehensive space study of the Bader International Study Centre (BISC) with the primary focus of ensuring Herstmonceux Castle and its surrounding buildings support the student learning experience. A steering group with representation from both the BISC and Kingston campuses is working closely with the consultant, who also worked for Queen’s on the development of the Queen’s Library and Archives Master Plan. The ultimate goal of this study is a space plan that supports the BISC’s long-term teaching, learning and enrolment objectives.”

On our Kingston campus, the Student Life Space Plan Advisory Subcommittee met on Monday to review the results of a student survey, which confirms the libraries as top study choices. The comments also mirror comments we heard in LAMP and other user feedback: the need for more study spaces, both for quiet and group study. The subcommittee is now planning follow-up information gathering with units across campus, and a gap analysis, with a goal of developing a Student Life Space Plan and recommendations for policies, processes and guidelines to support the plan, by the end of 2015. The subcommittee reports to the Campus Master Plan Advisory Committee.

Our LAMP Implementation Advisory Committee has its first meeting next week. We’ll be reviewing current priorities: collections, Law, Stauffer Terrace and Library Square, and the move of Music collections and services to Stauffer. Thank you to all who took part recently in envisioning possibilities for the Stauffer Terrace.

It was a pleasure to see many people at the All Staff Meeting yesterday. Alvan Bregman’s presentation highlighted the stewardship role of our work with collections, with his fascinating account of past preservation interventions and his introduction of our updated disaster preparedness processes. My part of the meeting was a 2015-16 Planning and Budget Update. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Have a good weekend everyone!

Library Update – March 6, 2015

Posted on March 6th, 2015 in Library updates

It has been an event-filled couple of weeks, including the announcement of the long-awaited Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications. There is great satisfaction in knowing libraries are well-positioned to support researchers in meeting the policy requirements.

It was a lovely moment in a national teleconference I attended yesterday, when Kathleen Shearer, who has many roles, put on her Executive Director of COAR (Coalition of Open Access Repositories) hat and reassured a researcher that universities have systems in place to support open access. I could hear the delight in her matter-of-fact statement. It made me think about all the small steps taken over many years, and all the people we have to thank for that progress – locally, nationally and internationally. Here at Queen’s, I’m grateful for the strong relationship we have with our research community, our repository experiences of more than a decade, and the recent preparations of our Scholarly Communications Working Group. Thank you all.

Speakers’ Corner has facilitated the open sharing of ideas this week and last, with Freedom to Read events and the Inquiry@Queen’s Undergraduate Research Conference.  Congratulations to all the organizers and participants for the inspiring programs!

The Provost’s Advisory Committee on Teaching and Learning met on March 2nd, and I provided an update on library initiatives. The committee has a variety of affiliated groups that connect with the Library on teaching spaces, experiential education, Queen’s learning outcomes and educational technologies. The latter group is discussing the development of an e-learning portal, and that topic was also brought to a joint meeting of the Information Services and Technology Faculty Advisory Committee and the Student Advisory Committee on March 2nd. The meeting also included discussion of interest in TurnItIn.

We had great news late last week about our Information Skills module proposed as part of Queen’s 2014-15 submissions to the Ontario Online Initiative. Our ‘top-of-the-waiting-list’ status changed to ‘partial-funding,’ and we confirmed that we wish to go ahead. The module is to be ready for 2015-16. It will be designed to be integrated in online and in-person courses across a variety of disciplines, as a tool to help students develop the information literacy skills required to complete course assignments. Thanks go to Nasser Saleh for writing the proposal and Sharon Murphy for coordinating with the Queen’s team organizing the submissions. Stay tuned as next steps are established.

Having chaired the Information and Communications Working Group of the Queen’s Accessibility Framework for several years, I’ve decided it’s time to pass that privilege to others at the university. The time seems right, with the Accessibility Services Self-Study completed, and several key requirements of the AODA Information and Communications Standard addressed. Two new co-chairs have now been appointed — Helena Debnam and Andrew Naples of University Relations. I chaired my last meeting of the group on Wednesday and was sorry to be stepping away, but championing information accessibility is something I’ll be doing forever.

A project charter for ‘Section 18 Information and Communication Standard Compliance’ was approved by the Library Leadership Team on Tuesday, and a membership call will be sent out shortly. The university meets the requirement, which states that libraries of educational and training institutions “shall provide, procure or acquire by other means an accessible or conversion ready format of print, digital or multimedia resources or materials for a person with a disability, upon request.” The group’s role is to address recommendations of a recent report prepared by Michele Chittenden, who remains on the Information and Communications Working Group, along with Andrew Ashby. The recommendations relate to a number of processes to support compliance. I’d like to thank Michele, Andrew and Carol Tennant for their endless energy and thoughtful analysis as they continue to provide leadership in this arena.

Library Heads met on February 24th and began a discussion of library assessment in relation to a university management data portal in development. We welcomed guest Chris Conway of Institutional Research and Planning. Chris presented examples of the analysis of NSSE data to assess the student learning experience at Queen’s and in comparison with other institutions. The portal will include data from various sources and it will help track progress towards targets in the strategic framework.

At the Senate meeting on February 24th, the Senate Governance and Nominating Committee’s Senate Composition Report was presented and discussed. Queen’s has been working on many changes to its governing bodies in recent years. Both the Board of Trustees and University Council are undergoing composition changes, and the Senate is now moving through the process as well. The Senate Composition Report outlines a set of principles and goals, and a weighted calculation for Senate composition. The resulting proposed changes include alterations in the number of seats allocated to each Faculty and the creation of three faculty-at-large seats to ensure a path to Senate membership for all faculty, including those in post-doctoral programs and those holding appointments as librarians/archivists. The GNC will be considering feedback provided by Senate.

The Senate Library Committee met on February 27th. A faculty seat that remained vacant at the beginning of this year has now been filled by Michael White to August 31, 2017. The Chair welcomed Michael to the committee. The main agenda topic of this meeting was an update on collection development and assessment provided by Anne Smithers.

On February 23rd, CARL’s Executive Director, Susan Haigh, visited Queen’s to job shadow, visit the campus and learn more about how the library functions within the university. She joined me for most of my meetings, from regular individual ones to the Campus Community Appeal Co-Chairs and the Campus Planning Advisory Committee, and while I was chairing an OCUL Executive teleconference she met a few library folks whose responsibilities intersect with key CARL initiatives. The visit was part of Susan’s plan to learn more about CARL member organizations in this early period of her appointment. Susan joined CARL on October 22, 2014.

I’ll be visiting the Bader International Study Centre next week to take part in a space study. All elements of the student learning environment are involved, including the library.  Many of you will remember meeting the BISC Librarian, Sarah Butler, on her visit to Queen’s in September. She is in full swing with her new role, and in consultation with BISC students, faculty and staff, has mapped out immediate priorities with BISC’s  Library Aims and Objectives 2015-2016.

In space planning on this side of the pond, congratulations go to Ryerson University on the opening of their new Student Learning Centre. As you may know, the Centre is located where the iconic Sam the Record Man store once stood, and one of the design partners is Snøhetta, the architectural firm responsible for the Isabel at Queen’s. It sounds quite marvelous: see the story in Ryerson News.

Happy March everyone!

Library Update – February 20, 2015

Posted on February 20th, 2015 in Library updates

As we finish Reading Week and look forward to the return of students next week, take a moment to enjoy this glimpse of Queen’s.

I’ve enjoyed being back on campus this week after a set of meetings last week in Vancouver. (Yes really, despite leaving 14 degrees and some blossoms!) The meetings involved the technical group working on the Portage research data management network development, and a broader group involved in the ‘federated pilot’ coordinated by Research Data Canada. It was one of those events where I wished I could easily transfer everything I was learning — about various open source tools at play, about Compute Canada, and about several domain data repositories — to others upon my return. The good news is that the purpose of developing the network of expertise under the Portage umbrella is to do just that — to share useful information and tools relating to research data management. I’m very pleased that Jeff Moon has recently taken on the role of chairing one of the Portage groups that will be instrumental in this work — the DMP (Data Management Plan) Experts Group. My task over the next month is to work with the Project ARC project manager and working group, and the CARL Board and other stakeholders, to coordinate the transition from the overarching project work of the past year to a sustainable model for the Portage network.

The OCUL Collaborative Futures Phase One Project is getting off to a great start with the involvement of librarians and staff from seventeen OCUL member libraries. The memberships of the Shared Vision Task Force (the project steering committee), four Working Groups, and the Communications Team are now confirmed. From Queen’s, we have Sandra Morden on the Market Research Working Group, Jane Philipps on the Communications Team, and Michael Vandenburg on the Shared Vision Task Force, chairing the Shared Workflow/Business Processing Working Group. General information about the project is posted on the OCUL website. More detailed information about the project activities and progress will be posted on the dedicated wiki space.

You may notice information about a Student Life Space Survey under way until early March. As stated in the Gazette news item, “Student life space is a broad term for any space that facilitates out-of-classroom interaction and helps enhance a holistic Queen’s experience. It includes a diversity of spaces, including formal and informal group study spaces, club spaces, etc.” Although it is not focused specifically on the Library, it does relate to concepts in the Library and Archives Master Plan. We’re in the loop through my membership on the Campus Planning Advisory Committee and the Student Life Space Plan Advisory Subcommittee. The subcommittee is expected to complete its student life space plan by the fall. The plan will align closely with the Campus Master Plan, the Library and Archives Master Plan and the Academic Plan.

The LAMP Collections project group met on Tuesday and the Downsview steering group met this morning. The conversations are helping to identify matters to address as we define the layers of our new collections paradigm, in consultation with stakeholders. In other LAMP developments, it has been wonderful to see the interest in the project now unofficially dubbed Terrace of Dreams — plans for opening up the terrace beside the Fireplace Reading Room in Stauffer Library. And, congratulations to all involved in the Law Library project work this week.

Have a good weekend everyone!

Library Update – February 6, 2015

Posted on February 6th, 2015 in Library updates

The Library Leadership Team had several items of broad interest on its agenda yesterday.

We reviewed a summary prepared by M.Chittenden regarding our compliance with the requirements of Section 18 of the Information and Communciations Standard, which states that libraries of educational and training institutions “shall provide, procure or acquire by other means an accssible or converstion ready format of print, digital or multimedia resources or materials for a person with a disability, upon request.” The library is able to meet the requirement, which came into effect January 1, 2015, but there are a number of procedural aspects to address. It was agreed that a small library working group will be formed to consider the recommendations and engage people across the system, and to integrate with the work of service point development and LAMP implementation. As well, the report is being reviewed by the Information and Communications Working Group of the Queen’s Accessibility Framework.

Joe Davis provided an update on LAMP projects, in particular the progress on the collections work in the Law Library and collections planning more broadly. A news item is in preparation to alert users to bound journal moves on the lower level of the Law Library in reading week, and information will appear on the LAMP website. We also heard an update on the Service Point Development project: work is proceeding on a number of fronts, including inventories of operational details in each location.

Two project charters were approved. One is for a project group that will establish a roster of events or initiatives in the Library and the Archives for the period of May 2016 to April 2017, to be branded as part of Queen’s 175th anniversary celebrations. The other is for a project group that will develop the program for the library stream of the second Matariki Humanities Colloquium to be held at Queen’s in the fall of 2015.

A draft of details for a new Student Inquiry Teaching Award was reviewed, and will be forwarded to the AVP Teaching and Learning for consideration along with a number of other new award possibilities. The proposed award would recognize innovative instructional design which enables active student engagement in learning, and would be sponsored by the library.

My external activities in recent weeks have included a CARL Board meeting, further work on drafting a governance and operational framework for the emerging Portage research data management network, and ARL Transition Team work on developing the new framework to support ARL’s ‘systems of action’ resulting from its recent planning activities. Next week includes a meeting with Portage and Research Data Canada colleagues, regarding the preservation and discovery network aspect of Portage.

I hope you’re all staying warm and getting the rest needed to make the most of these deepest days of winter. Have a good weekend!

QUL People – Pam Manders

Posted on January 29th, 2015 in QUL People

Pam Manders is a Reference Assistant in the Jordan Special Collections and Music Library.

Where are you from?

Speaking with Pam about her personal history, I liked the breadth of this question… the answer actually continues to build throughout one’s life.  Pam has had a home in Kingston since she was six years old, but her life has taken her many different places. After high school she moved to Montreal. This was the era of Expo 67 and interesting jobs on offer, and Pam took one with a small public relations firm, working in the pavilions. That led to a job for several years as a media buyer for an advertising firm. Then, in the mid-1970s, she and a friend packed their bags and travelled around Europe and north Africa for a year. It was on that trip, on a bus in Morocco, that she made the decision to go to university. It was a combination of seeing the world and just knowing she was ready.  Queen’s seemed the natural choice, following in the footsteps of siblings, so Pam came back to Kingston.

What might some people not know about you?

Pam’s answer to this question is “My dog is a big part of my life.” There’s another answer, but perhaps some do know:  one of Pam’s core strengths is her determination.  Her dog, Wally, was in bad shape when she picked him at a rescue shelter, but after many years of tender care he is now calm and healthy. Pam and her daughter – they live in the same neighborhood – walk their dogs together every morning before work.  Going to university was a matter of determination too, involving summer work in Yellowknife and part-time jobs. And, here’s something many of us do know for sure – several years ago Pam made the decision to start going to the gym and she hardly ever misses a day. “Get a schedule,” says Pam, “And don’t break it.” She also adds, “At night I flop. I read, or watch documentaries, and am a fan of Downton Abbey. I also have some great friends to hang out with. They’ll get me out cross country skiing after a day of work.  I also do volunteer work at the Grand a couple of nights a month. I love the theatre. ”

Why the Library?

There was a job! And it has worked out well. When Pam came back to Kingston to go to Queen’s, her sister Kathy Harding worked in the Library, in Maps. Pam started out in Serials, and, except for time out for those summers in Yellowknife and a year in France, she moved through Law, Art, Bracken and Acquisitions before landing in Special Collections. With her degree in art history, and her early experience in the world of publicity, it has been a very good fit. Pam often says she has the best job in the Library, particularly when she’s working on a display. “It’s interesting,” says Pam, “and the Library is a home away from home.”

Library Update – January 23, 2015

Posted on January 23rd, 2015 in Library updates

Three weeks into 2015… how are those resolutions holding up?  To everyone who responded to my question last week (“read any good books lately?”) this video is for you (shared with me by the Chair of our Senate Library Committee).

The Library Leadership Team met yesterday and reviewed two new LAMP-related project charters:  one relating to Music and the other for Stauffer Library Terrace and Library Square.  Regarding Music, there was a meeting of the School of Music last week that I attended with Alvan Bregman and Lucinda Walls, where I presented the concepts of LAMP and particularly those impacting the Jordan Special Collections and Music Library.  There was immediate useful input from faculty and students, and it will continue with the help of the project group, which include representatives of the School.  The question of timeline for the project is one we can’t answer quite yet – it will depend in part on the work of the LAMP Collections project group, which had its launch meeting last week as well. Regarding the Stauffer Library Terrace and Library Square, there will be a mix of Campus Master Plan and LAMP in this initiative: there is great excitement about the possibilities for enhancing these spaces. Again, the timing is to be determined, based on a variety of factors. For example, as you may have heard, Kingston City Council recently passed a motion calling for a staff report to council before this June on the possibility of a scramble crossing (think Yonge and Dundas) at Union and University as early as September 2015.  The LAMP project that is most urgent at the moment is the Law Library renovation, and things are moving along well there thanks to the engagement of faculty and students and the work of many library people. An update on that project will be provided on the LAMP website shortly.

My visit to the Queen’s University Biological Station last week related to LAMP as well: I had a tour of the building housing their new library, and Director Stephen Lougheed and I talked about the concept of LINQs (Library Information Network @ Queen’s). When researchers are accessing information resources and services provided by Queen’s University Library from the shores of Lake Opinicon, it truly does feel that the library is everywhere. The building was made possible through the generosity of donor Jessie Deslauriers. It is scheduled to open this spring. As well as the Jack Hambleton Library, named in honour of Ms. Deslauriers’ father, the facility will include the Fowler Herbarium and four laboratory classrooms.

A number of other initiatives have progressed in the past few weeks. There was a debrief with individuals who attended the Matariki Humanities Network meeting in Otago, and it was confirmed that Queen’s will be hosting in the Fall of 2015, likely in early October. Gillian Akenson is representing the library in an initiative to pilot lynda.com (a suite of tools aimed at developing software skills) as a campus resource for staff training and development as well as for students. The recommendation of the Citation Management project was approved, and Sharon Murphy and Sandra Morden are now working on communication and other next steps.

I thoroughly enjoyed speaking at the Cha Gheill luncheon of the Kingston branch of the Alumni Association on Monday. It’s always a pleasure to experience alumni interest in the library  and to hear stories of their favourite library experiences – here and wherever their lives have taken them.

Planning for Queen’s 175th Anniversary is well under way, and a group of us met with the lead team yesterday. Paul Banfield is involved, and Archives will be drawn upon in various ways, and keen Queen’s alum Sandra Morden will represent the Library in the broad stakeholder group contributing to the year of events. A Library project group will begin scoping out activities in the next few months, knowing that 2016-17 is really just around the corner.

And speaking of planning… dates are being set for the annual planning cycle that begins in the spring, including an all staff event on May 27. The idea is to provide an interesting development opportunity as well as gain input on strategic priorities. Watch for a questionnaire next week that will help guide the planning for that event.

Happy weekend everyone!

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?)

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Martha Whitehead Martha Whitehead
Vice Provost and University Librarian

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