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Library Update – November 13, 2015

Posted on November 13th, 2015 in Library updates
 Hello from Ottawa, where Thursday I represented CARL at the Library and Archives Canada Stakeholders’ Forum and today at an event titled “Canada’s Archives – A New Blueprint: A vision and areas of focus 2016-2026.” The Stakeholders’ Forum participants were from associations of archives, libraries and museums, and the Canadian Historical Association. We discussed LAC’s three-year business plan, draft national heritage digitization strategy and international engagement strategy, and I gave a presentation about CARL’s Portage initiative. We all agreed it was a wonderful opportunity to learn about priorities across our sectors and to interact with LAC. There was optimism in the air. Today’s event brought together about 100 stakeholders in the archival community (including our Heather Home) to discuss a strategy to provide a high-level roadmap to guide collaboration between members of the Canadian archival community with a view to responding to the opportunities and challenges of the digital world.

It has been a busy period at Queen’s over the past few weeks, including:

  • Homecoming weekend: Thank you to all who provided a warm welcome to our alumni!
  • Campus Master Plan Advisory Committee: The project to light the trees outside Stauffer and Douglas has the support of CPAC, with the understanding that the library is not responsible for funding the initiative.
  • LAMP LINQ project: The group is at the point of preparing a discussion paper that outlines the principles for developing and operating LINQ sites.
  • LAMP Douglas and Stauffer project:  We’ve contracted with CS&P Architects to develop schematic design drawings for several high priority renovations, including the move of Music to Stauffer, reconfiguration of the Jordan Library floor of Douglas Library, and reconfiguration of service space on the entry level of Stauffer. The first site visit and stakeholder consultations will be held Dec.2/3.
  • Service philosophy project: The background work is well under way and the group’s next task is to prepare a draft statement for review by staff.
  • University Council:  The Nov.7 meeting of the Council focused on its advisory and advocacy role and the agenda included a series of breakout discussion sessions including one on the library. Sandra Morden and I engaged participants in discussions of current and future priorities and opportunities.
  • Faculty IT Advisory Committee: I am a member of this committee as University Librarian. At its meeting on Nov.10, the main topic was faculty support for learning management systems and the onQ pilot.  Mark Swartz was asked to sit on the onQ Advisory Committee, because of the push towards using e-reserves to support copyright compliance of course readings, and he is working with ITServices to organize a library session about onQ.

One of my top-of-mind matters these days is the strategic work required to address the scholarly publishing issues that are now eroding information access at our universities, in an era where access should only be expanding. At the moment it still feels like we can’t see the forest for the trees – it’s a dense landscape – but we’re on the verge of a breakthrough. Today was yet another opportunity to contemplate the co-dependencies of libraries, publishers and scholars as I participated in a meeting of the McGill Queen’s University Press Financial Committee. Next week I’ll be attending a one-day seminar organized by Erudit, titled “New Models of Knowledge Dissemination and Open Access in Canada.” One thing is clear: we need to work together to solve these problems, here at Queen’s, across the country and around the world. More on this topic in weeks and months to come.


Library Update – October 23, 2015

Posted on October 23rd, 2015 in Library updates

There’s a new university initiative with a title I love: Thrive! Sponsored by Human Resources, Thrive has been established to increase education and communication on the topic of positive mental health. It is seen not only as a week-long series of events, but as a mindset that can promote learning, change, resiliency and a more positive campus culture.The initiative runs from November 2 – November 6 and you can find event details at http://www.queensu.ca/connect/thrive/. Currently, there are more than 60 events scheduled to take place at various times throughout the week.

This week, another kind of helpful initiative came to fruition with the launch of a free, online data management planning tool for all researchers in Canada, the Portage DMP Assistant. The aim of the tool is to assist researchers in putting together data management plans by taking researchers through all the questions that are appropriate for developing a DMP. The tool was developed with input from researchers and the broader stakeholder community. Congratulations to Jeff Moon, Chair of the Portage DMP Expert Group, and others across the country who have collaborated in this endeavour. The tool and further information is available at https://portagenetwork.ca/.

This was international Open Access Week, and at Queen’s it featured a lively discussion at an event organized by our Scholarly Communications Working Group, Open Access: What it is, What it Means for You and Why You Should Care. Kudos to the group for putting together an engaging set of speakers and drawing a crowd.

CARL and CRKN met jointly in Ottawa this week. For me it was three days of immersion in some of the critical matters shaping our information landscape, such as copyright considerations under a new government, the Canadian scholarly journal ecosystem, and our advancing research data management network. In CRKN, we’re seeing a much-needed focus on influencing the publishing landscape and creating a more sustainable model, in the work of the Institutional Mobilization Task Group.

At its meeting last week the Library Leadership Team approved the Collections Disaster Recovery manual prepared by the Disaster Recover project group, and discussed a university-wide working group aimed at advancing digital humanities at Queen’s, co-chaired by English Department Head Shelley King and myself. This group will involve a variety of stakeholders, including many in the Library, and its focus will include developing concepts for the proposed Centre for Digital and Print Culture and planning a Matariki Network digital humanities event.

Library Heads met last week as well: see their updates on unit/division activities.

One of our current strategic priorities is to “demonstrate the value of Library services and resources and potential areas for change, working closely with the Office of Institutional Research and Planning and other university units.” As a step in this planning, and as President of CARL, where “measuring impact” is a strategic priority, I attended the Canadian Library Assessment Workshop last week with Heather McMullen and Michael Vandenburg. We will be meeting with the OIRP and then following up with LLT and Heads to develop an assessment plan that aligns with the university’s key performance indicators.

It was a pleasure to meet with several groups this week relating to other aspects of our strategic priorities. The Service Philosophy project group touched base to review members’ plans for each of the project’s deliverables. The LINQ Principles and Planning project group got under way with a lively discussion of elements to be considered in achieving the library look and feel in a variety of spaces. The LAMP Implementation Advisory Committee provided helpful feedback on various aspects of current and planned LAMP projects.

The Provosts’ Advisory Committee on Teaching and Learning discussed the report of the Experiential Learning Working Group at its meeting last week, and it will be available for distribution shortly. For the Library, implementation of the recommendations will provide a helpful framework for supporting further development of the experiential learning opportunities we offer students.

The Senate Library Committee is holding its first meeting of the academic year today. The Chair will be reviewing the agenda topics for the year and providing an update from the LAMP Implementation Advisory Committee, and my update will include an introduction to our Collection Cost Reduction Strategy.

This week is bracketed by events engaging the members of our community who aren’t often with us in person but are woven into the fabric of the university – our emeritus faculty and our alumni. It was a pleasure to co-host an event with the Faculty of Arts and Science for their emeritus faculty on Monday, and on Saturday we will be greeting visitors during Homecoming in Grant Hall and outside Stauffer Library and Douglas Library. Also of note: the Department of English will be holding a Battle of the Books in Stauffer Library at 10:30am on Saturday, and they promise it will be “rowdy and raucous, NOT academically serious!”

Enjoy the Homecoming buzz!

Library Update – October 9, 2015

Posted on October 9th, 2015 in Library updates

Yesterday the ARL Fall Forum on Research Partnerships in Digital Scholarship for the Humanities and Social Sciences wrapped up with Geoffrey Boulton, who noted, in speaking about global access to data and publications, that he turns to the library as a data partner because libraries “have the right ethos.” Boulton is Regius Professsor of Geology Emeritus and former Vice Principal at the University of Edinburgh, and president of CODATA, and he was principal author of the influential Royal Society Report on open data.

I like that word ethos, and this definition from the OED: “The characteristic spirit of a people, community, culture, or era as manifested in its attitudes and aspirations; the prevailing character of an institution or system.” Our service philosophy project group got under way last week, and will be working to reflect our library ethos in a short memorable service philosophy statement, developed with input from staff and users.

The Library Leadership Team reviewed a new project charter at its meeting last week, a sub-project of LAMP. We want to develop more detailed concepts for spaces in Douglas Library and Stauffer Library, so that we have costing and options for moving forward as funding allows. A first step is a walkabout with CS&P Architects on Tuesday. Web redesign activity was on the Library Leadership Team agenda last week as well and it’s great to see that project’s progress.

The first Senate meeting of the academic year was held September 29. As you probably know, a variety of academic programs come forward to at each meeting, and I encourage you to follow these throughout the year. The full schedule of Senate meetings, agendas and minutes are posted on the Governance Portal. At the September meeting there was resolution to a matter you may recall discussing in the summer of 2014: the need for a pathway to Senate for all members of the Queen’s community, including librarians and archivists. The Senate Governance and Nominating Committee recommended, and it was approved, that the size of Senate remain the same and that adjustments be made to provide three faculty-at-large seats. Amongst other notable items on the agenda was the Senate Library Committee report for 2014-15.

I’ve been involved in a number of external meetings in recent weeks, including the CANARIE National Summit, the fall meeting of the RDC Steering Committee, the advisory committee for the selection of the RDC Executive Director, and the SSHRC Programs and Quality Committee. The latter was my first experience with that committee, and I was delighted to discover that I’ll learn a great deal about supports for humanities and social sciences research that I will be able to share.

As well, in matters both international and local, it was a pleasure to welcome representatives of our Matariki Network partner institutions to the Matariki Humanities Colloquium last week. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the success of the event. We’ll be sharing outcomes later this fall.

This week was the ARL Fall meeting in Washington. I’m a member of the Membership Engagement and Outreach Committee, a group charged with looking at new ways to promote discussion and support the ‘systems of action’ that emerged from recent ARL strategic planning. We had lots of opportunity for generating and sharing ideas, including a discussion I facilitated at a morning breakfast session on research libraries and experiential learning. Despite it being 7:30 am, it was a lively conversation that helped frame a number of ideas I look forward to sharing here.

Dr. Boulton’s wrap-up yesterday ended with a couple of statements that we hear often, with dubious attributions but happy reflection. “If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.” And, his final advice, “We should have our feet on the ground and our head in the clouds.”

All good thoughts and wishes for a fall long weekend – enjoy!

Library Update – September 18, 2015

Posted on September 18th, 2015 in Library updates

It was good to see many of you at the All Staff Meeting on Tuesday, where we welcomed the new academic year by sharing thoughts on a variety of current initiatives. Please note that our 2015-16 to 2017-18 Strategic Priorities and 2014-2015 Summary of Accomplishments are publicly available on the Library website.

In recent meetings, the Library Leadership Team has approved two project charters. The LINQ Principles and Planning project will lay the foundation for the development and operation of the physical spaces that comprise the Library Information Network at Queen’s, building on the concepts developed in the Library and Archives Master Plan. This includes consideration of design elements that identify a space as having the Library look and feel, and will inform further development of service points as well as new connections to LINQ spaces such as the Jack Hambleton Library at Queen’s University Biological Station (QUBS). Related to this is the Service Philosophy project, which will consider how we want our users to perceive our people, places and services, whether they’re with us in person, online or on the phone. The Library’s strong service ethic is something we want to continue and to build upon, across the entire organization.

As I mentioned at the All Staff Meeting, we’ll soon be turning our attention to the specific changes needed in Stauffer Library to accommodate music collections and services, and plans for the current music space in the Jordan Library. Given other space pressures on Stauffer and Douglas as well, the Library Leadership Team discussed the floor plans of both buildings yesterday with a view to the sequence of changes that would be needed to lead to the arrangements recommended in LAMP. More on this in coming weeks as a project plan is developed.

With ‘library as place’ much on my mind lately, it was interesting to wander through Stauffer and then the ARC after dark last night. The tables in the ARC were empty and people were passing through on their way to the gym. In the library, students were studying throughout and the space had a warm quiet glow. As the sun sets earlier and the cozy evenings of autumn approach, it’s nice to know that we provide such great space for students to gather, think and dream.

Thank you all for your energy and enthusiasm at this busy time of getting into the swing of the new term.


Library Update – September 4, 2015

Posted on September 4th, 2015 in Library updates

Earlier this week the Service Point Development project group held its last meeting, and we celebrated its work and the new Information Services division. In moving from project mode to ongoing operations, implementation of the new service model will still continue to involve individuals in multiple units. As I said in my remarks, I have appreciated how people across the library system have embraced planning for this new service model and I have great confidence in all who will be moving us forward.

Library heads met last week. Discussions included the materials coming out of this summer’s planning and budget process (I’ll discuss these at our September all staff meeting and meanwhile see the documents posted on our Planning and Assessment page), website redesign content authorship and the service point development project. Roundtable updates from each unit and division are available on the staff website.

Planning for our Sir Sanford Fleming exhibit first began when I responded to the President of Sir Sanford Fleming College, Tony Tilly, about his interest in any ways Queen’s and the College could work together in honouring Sir Sanford Fleming on the 100th anniversary of his death. Fleming College’s celebration of Sir Sandord Fleming’s legacy occurred on that anniversary, July 22, and our exhibit opened at that time. It was a great pleasure to see Dr. Tilly visit the exhibit last Friday and have a guided tour from Alvan Bregman and Deirdre Bryden. Thank you to all in the Jordan Library and the Archives.

In recent weeks, we’ve been preparing promotional materials about LAMP and considering ways to move forward with specific aspects of the plans for Stauffer Library and Douglas Library. This short description is appearing in a list of current Queen’s capital projects seeking funding:

At the academic junction of University Avenue and Union Street are the award-winning Stauffer Library on one corner and the iconic Douglas Library diagonally opposite. The project envisions innovative renovations to 375,000 sq ft of these two libraries, and to the public square between them, to dramatically increase student learning spaces, advance research opportunities and build community engagement. Libraries are transforming to meet current and future academic needs. Stauffer Library will feature the academic support services of the Queen’s Learning Commons. Students will explore existing treasures and create new ones in the Douglas Library’s Centre for Digital and Print Culture. Expected outcomes include a 40% increase in learning space: the welcoming warmth of the traditional library augmented by digital studios, special collections and archives, collaborative study rooms, contemplative corners, community event space, and the knowledge of the world at your fingertips.

In case you’ve missed mention of this elsewhere, I’d like to point out the recent release of the Horizon Report Library Edition 2015 from the New Media Consortium (NMC). It’s quite a good and easy-to-read summary of matters we’re all thinking about in research libraries today.

In the middle of August I attended IFLA’s World Library and Information Congress in Cape Town, South Africa, on behalf of the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL). Being immersed in this international gathering was informative and interesting, and the setting was beautiful. Here is CARL Executive Director Susan Haigh’s brief report on how CARL and its members contributed to a strong Canadian presence at the congress.

Of over fifty Canadian delegates, many have played long-standing roles at IFLA and they should be proud of their international contributions. Among the most dedicated is Ingrid Parent, past President of IFLA who, as we announced separately, was formally recognized for her achievements.

Collectively, CARL and its members contributed widely to the programme. CARL President Martha Whitehead (Queen’s) and our Research Associate Kathleen Shearer presented about Portage at a session on the collaborative use of technology.  At a rich Copyright session chaired by Victoria Owen (U of T), Dr. Colleen Cook  (McGill) provided a fascinating overview of Canada’s role in the development of the Marrakesh Treaty and the road toward Canada’s accession to it (which we hope will take place in the next session of Parliament).  At a session on assessing library value co-chaired by Leslie Weir (Ottawa), Vivian Lewis (McMaster) presented about the need to translate assessment data into the effective communication of library worth. Todd Suomela (Alberta) presented about University of Alberta’s web archiving experience at a strong session on web archives.  Ingrid Parent (British Columbia) chaired a session about UNESCO’s PERSIST Project and described its draft Guidelines for the Selection of Digital Content for Long-term Preservation, and Diane Beattie (LAC) added the perspective of importance of the new guidelines for archives.  Joseph Hafner (McGill) described McGill Library’s experience as an open access journal publisher at a session on libraries as publishers.  At the session on standards, Chris Oliver (Ottawa) described the impact and evolution of IFLA’s three conceptual models for bibliographic data.  And finally, at the open session on national libraries, Dr. Guy Berthiaume (LAC) delivered a paper assessing the successes, challenges and directions for Library and Archives Canada ten years after the merger of Canada’s national library and national archives.

CARL also mounted a poster describing the role and outputs of its Open Access Working Group. At the busy poster sessions, Jane Burpee (McGill) and I talked with delegates from around the world and handed out CARL’s primer on recognizing predatory publishers.

I know we’re all feeling a bit surprised that it’s September already and at the same time enjoying the vibrancy of the campus filled with students. Thank you for all the preparations of the summer, and all the best for the first days of term. Have a good long weekend.

Library Update – August 7, 2015

Posted on August 7th, 2015 in Library updates

It’s good to see Kaleidoscope approaching once again (August 13th, Speaker’s Corner), with its promise of thoughtful and thought-provoking presentations by our colleagues. Sharing our learning with each other at this event has become one of the staples of summer! Thank you in advance to all the organizers and presenters.

On other organizational development matters, we’ll be engaging in a brief project this fall to develop a service philosophy statement to support the transition to the new service model and ongoing staff training and development programs. Facilitated by a broad-based project group, this exercise will consolidate ideas already expressed in the Public Services Renewal project and the Service Point Development project, and also update them through thoughts and questions now arising in implementation. The statement will be included in the updated Organizational Design and Staffing Plan document that Gillian Akenson and I are working on, and it will form the basis of the customer service element of orientation and training for any new employees.

In the teaching and learning realm, there are a couple of interesting updates. Conversations are beginning with the Faculty of Arts and Science on next steps for an online credit information research skills course. It was planned last year that this would follow the online module development currently in progress. In the Office of the Vice-Principal Research, a student hired for the summer has been gathering information on undergraduate research as a starting point for dialogue on the topic, and he met with Library representatives this week. Undergraduate research initiatives are in line with the Strategic Research Plan, which says “The VPR portfolio will promote opportunities for increased participation of undergraduates in research, including expanding opportunities and supporting initiatives that celebrate undergraduate research.”  Of note:  2016 will be the 10th anniversary of the Inquiry@Queen’s Undergraduate Research Conference!

Research is the focus of a two consultations currently in play. Industry Canada is consulting on “Developing a Digital Research Infrastructure Strategy” and SSHRC, NSERC and CIHR have issued a “Draft Tri-Agency Statement of Principles on Digital Data Management.” The Library will be contributing to responses from Queen’s, and other organizations such as CARL will be responding as well.

I’m looking forward to greater involvement with the Tri-Agencies over the next year and a bit. Last month I was invited to serve on the SSHRC Programs and Quality Committee from July 2015 to December 2017 and will attend my first meeting in October.

The Library Leadership Team discussed the summer progress of several key initiatives yesterday – the website redesign, service point development and the Library’s fall budget submission. Updates on all of these matters will be on the agenda for an all staff meeting in early September.

Next week I’ll be on my way to IFLA, in Capetown. The talks I’m giving are on panels titled “Building Bridges for Research Data” and “Technology for multi-institution co-operation: aggregating, sharing and collaboration.” The best part will be listening to my co-presenters, individuals from Germany, Kenya, Iran, Singapore, South Africa, the UK and the US.

Enjoy the summer weekend, and see you in a few weeks.

Libary Update – July 17, 2015

Posted on July 17th, 2015 in Library updates

Summer is definitely in full swing! It’s hard to believe how quickly the past several weeks have flown. Students are registering for fall courses, while we’re immersed in activities aimed at developing exceptional learning experiences for them. My own schedule is packed, but I’m finding that the backdrop of Kingston and the campus in the summer can make a part of every day feel like holiday time. As well, it’s good to hear from many of you about the vacation plans you have, or have already enjoyed.

The reflection and planning begun at the all staff event in May is now at the stage of an updated set of 2015-16 to 2017-18 Strategic Priorities. You’ll find the draft document posted on the OUL Strategic Planning page on the Staff Website, along with a summary of the Heads June planning session outcomes. Comments on the priorities and suggestions for further implementation are most welcome. The formatted version of the document will be ready for public posting by the end of August, as will our 2014-15 Summary of Accomplishments.

In a nutshell, we’re striving to develop our research services, further enhance our teaching and learning initiatives, and facilitate Queen’s international strategies, within a framework of financial sustainability. Amongst our key priorities are matters well under way, such as various aspects of LAMP implementation, website redesign, service point development, new teaching and learning initiatives, scholarly publishing support for researcher compliance with granting agencies’ open access policies, research data management services, and more.

There are also new areas of focus, such as initiatives to review and implement changes to acquisitions expenditures to address the issues of the Canadian dollar’s fallen value, publishing models and licensing costs, and new and continuing teaching, learning and research needs. This week the Library Leadership Team approved a charter for an Electronic Resources Review Group, as well as a communications plan regarding our collection assessment strategies. The goal in our collections communications is to ensure that library staff and users understand the issues that academic libraries across the country are experiencing, and our strategic approach to dealing with them. You’ll hear more about this over coming weeks.

At the beginning of next week, OCUL Directors will be meeting to discuss the OCUL Collaborative Futures Business Case. Reaching this point in the project has been an outstanding example of collaboration in itself, with contributions from dozens of individuals across OCUL institutions. From Queen’s, Michael Vandenburg has chaired the Shared Workflow/Business Processes Working Group and will be facilitating sessions at the Directors meeting, Sandra Morden contributed her technology marketplace knowledge to the business case as a member of the Market Research Working Group, and Jane Philipps has been helping with project communications as a member of the Communications Team. I’m looking forward to the meeting, and to sharing the results.

Meanwhile, have a good weekend!

Library Update – June 19, 2015

Posted on June 19th, 2015 in Library updates

The transition to our new public services model is top of mind for many of us these days. Several aspects stand out for me as I reflect on our recent staff planning and development session and heads discussions of our strategic directions:

  • First, that there is tremendous engagement in the development of our services across the system, and people feel proud of each other’s accomplishments.
  • Second, that the plan for our public services model not only supports the financial sustainability of our multiple locations but also weaves a stronger network of people and services across the system.
  • Third, that the phrase I heard an ARL colleague use yesterday in a teleconference, talking about the incubation of new initiatives, is apt for our current stage of implementation: “some assembly required.” For some time to come, it will feel like we’re looking at all the parts and figuring out how they all fit together. Fortunately we have the plans, the tools, and the skillsets and barn-raising goodwill of all of you.

The materials relating to the May 25th staff development and planning event at QUBS, The Library is Everywhere, are now posted. They include the excellent presentations, summaries of the interesting group discussions, and compilations of the very helpful individual comments. Heads met this past Monday to review that input, drill down on the service level definitions and the 2015-16 priorities set last year, and tweak those priorities for the 2016-17 to 2018-19 budget submission for this fall. That meeting agenda is posted on the Strategic Planning page of the staff web and the report of discussions should be available by early July.

Speaking of heads… In consultation with the heads of our faculty-based units, I’ve shifted from individual meetings with each of them to a group meeting at which we can more easily share developments across the faculties and discuss common elements of their roles. This seemed particularly important at this point in time, as we transition into the new public services model. We’ve met a couple of times now to discuss the impact on their responsibilities and related changes in their position descriptions. I asked for a volunteer to plan and coordinate our discussions, and Nasser Saleh kindly agreed.  These informal meetings in no way replace the Faculty-Division Heads meetings, which will continue with the broader purpose of information sharing and consultation across the organizational matrix.

The Library Leadership Team met yesterday. Sharon Murphy is representing the Library on a Student Survey Working Group, chaired by Chris Conway of the Office of Institutional Research and Planning, and she reported on its first meeting and upcoming activities. The LLT discussed broad categories of information we would like to glean from a general student survey, and Sharon will be following up with others in the Library as the working group proceeds. Other LLT agenda topics included acquisitions planning and communications, annual reports and 2015/16 objectives for several working groups, a template for a staff name tag that would include the option of indicating languages spoken, an update on librarian specialist roles, and a planning session with Queen’s Learning Commons partners to take place this summer.

Our WHOLE committee has been busy these last few weeks. First, the committee arranged to host a talk by Jochebed Katan, who survived the holocaust and has written a book about her experience called You’re Not Allowed to Shoot Me! The reading at our Speaker’s Corner was well-attended, and several employees took the opportunity to chat with Jochebed, and purchase her book after her presentation.

WHOLE also organized and hosted a wonderful staff barbeque. We enjoyed the good company, delicious food, creative games, enticing cook book and perfect weather.

Thank you to committee members Gillian Akenson, Kathy Christmas, Peggy Lunn and Shannon Tureski for all of your hard work coordinating these great events.

Other activities for me in recent weeks have included presenting at CLA on the Portage national research data management network, a first meeting of the new ARL Membership Engagement and Outreach Committee, a meeting of the Student Services Strategic Planning advisory committee here at Queen’s, and a meeting with the Head of the Matariki Network Secretariat.  I’ll have more to report on the latter two matters shortly. The Student Services Strategic Planning is resulting in a useful broad framework applicable to all units engaged in various forms of student services. Matariki Network plans include this fall’s Humanities Colloquium at Queen’s (our Library project group is meeting this afternoon) and the possibility of a digital humanities conference here in 2016, for which I’ve offered Library support.

I also enjoyed a week of vacation last week, which was the result of a new year’s resolution to finally try do something about being unilingual. I’ve always admired people who speak multiple languages and since being involved in national initiatives I’ve longed to improve my high school French. A week of immersion classes in Quebec City and homestay with a francophone felt like a great start, though far too short!

Wherever you’re heading this weekend, I hope it’s as beautiful as this summer day in Kingston. Enjoy!

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.

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Martha Whitehead Martha Whitehead
Vice Provost and University Librarian

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