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Library Update – January 22, 2016

Posted on January 22nd, 2016 in Library updates

I’m delighted to share with you our Annual Report 2014-2015. In it you’ll find stories about the ways that our services, information resources and spaces support the university’s strategic framework, as well as key facts and figures. The stories are like the tip of the iceberg: while only a few are highlighted, everyone knows there is mass below the surface as well. Thank you all for your roles in all our contributions to learning and research. And, I’d like to thank Jen Amos for all her work on producing the report. If you have ideas for next year’s edition, please let her know.

Our information resources strategy has been top of mind for many people for many months. I’d like to draw your attention to several developments you’ll be seeing in coming weeks.

  • The fall in the Canadian dollar is raising longstanding issues in scholarly communications. I’ve been working on a discussion paper, with a view to addressing problems that we face at Queen’s and can’t address alone.  It should be available in early February. Essentially, in my view, Canadian universities need to take a two-pronged approach:  develop joint strategies to challenge the costs of existing subscription models, including working together to tackle “the big deal,” and at the same time allocate resources to developing collaborative, sustainable scholarly publishing infrastructure. This is about disruptive change, not sustaining the status quo.
  • The Library Leadership Team has agreed on a set of groups to cover various aspects of strategy development and implementation. A new Information Resources Working Group will oversee strategy as a whole and manage various sub-groups such as the existing Electronic Resources Working Group, a significant gifts working group, and a Downsview project group.  It will also liaise with other working groups focused on particular elements of the research lifecycle, such as the Research Data Management Working Group. The LAMP Collections project group is wrapping up, having completed its role in developing a layered approach to print collections access. I’d like to thank all the members of that group for their foundational work in moving these matters forward.
  • Various paths are being planned for further communications with users about the layers of access concepts, in particular in relation to bound journals and plans for moving Music collections, and acquisitions budget planning.
  • The Library Leadership Team is looking into the possibility of a campus event this spring on the topic of sustainable scholarly publishing, building on a suggestion from the Scholarly Communications Working Group.
  • Heather McMullen and Anne Smithers are meeting with each unit head to review the status of accounts for this fiscal year. Plans for next fiscal year will be developed with advice from them as members of the new Information Resources Working Group.

The Teaching and Learning Working Group terms of reference were revised last fall, a call for membership was issued in December, and the new group is now ready to get under way. Members are Paul Clifford, Jackie Druery (chair), Susan Korba for the QLC Services Team, Cory Laverty as a liaison with CTL, Amanda Ross-White, Jillian Sparks, Mark Swartz and Sara Wickett.

The Library Leadership Team has had several updates on other groups and initiatives as well:

  • Implementation of the new service model continues, and we’re hearing great suggestions for course corrections in some aspects of operations; as well, we reviewed a wrap-up report on the service development project that summarizes that first stage of public services renewal implementation. We expect there will be continual “check-in” moments ahead, such as at the end of this term.
  • The service philosophy project is nearing completion: the group will be seeking feedback on a set of service guidelines to accompany the philosophy statement.
  • A set of principles for the development and operations of LINQs will be posted shortly, and designs for a site on the first floor of Watson Hall have been drawn up.
  • A social media strategy is ready for input from units and operational aspects are next.
  • We’ll soon be hosting faculty writing sessions one morning a month in library space at the request of the Vice-Principal Research, following on a recent popular session held at the Donald Gordon Centre. Watch for further information as details are confirmed.

As you may recall, the Provost initiated an Advisory Committee on Student Services Strategic Planning last year, in response to a Board-Senate retreat discussion about the importance of strong student services to support the university’s strategic priorities. “Student services” refers to services across the university, including those provided by Faculties and Schools, the Library, Student Governments and Student Affairs. I was on the advisory committee, along with several deans and other representatives of various areas. The framework document is now posted on the Provost’s website, and will be provided to Senate this month for information.

It was a pleasure to host visitors from Library and Archives Canada on Wednesday. We discussed opportunities for connections that would enhance learning and research and the services offered at both institutions, such as student learning experiences, visiting staff and projects of mutual interest. There will be follow-up over the next few weeks, and we hope to arrange a return visit including a public talk. Some of our students had a treat already – a special surprise visit by the Librarian and Archivist of Canada, Guy Berthiaume, during a class in our Archives.

The President and Executive Vice-President of SSHRC were on campus last week. I was included in the schedule and took the opportunity to talk about challenges and strategies around providing information resources for social sciences and humanities research, as well as support for data management plans (DMPs). (SSHRC is interested in working with CARL/Portage on a demonstration project involving an identified set of researchers using DMP Assistant, to be carried out in 2016 in conjunction with the adoption of the Statement of Principles on Digital Data Management.) Other discussions during the day highlighted researchers’ needs for support with DMPs, and this also came up on a conference call the next day with the Tri-Agency Data Management Advisory Committee. All of this is very much on the radar of our Research Data Working Group, and of course we’re fortunate that the chair of the Portage DMP Expert Group is our very own Jeff Moon.

2016 is off to an energetic start – my own calendar has been filled with great discussions of interesting things ahead, and I hope you’ve had similar immersions in the new year. Certainly an All Staff meeting with Sidney Eve Matrix at the start of this week was a delight! This coming Monday, be sure to enjoy another treat: Jillian Sparks will have a pop-up exhibit celebrating Robert Burns Day in Stauffer Library, and in Jordan Library you can get a close-up look at Burns’ very own chair and more books. Drop by between 11am and 2pm. If you’re lucky, the popular haggis button or Burns button might still be available!

Library Update – December 18, 2015

Posted on December 18th, 2015 in Library updates

The fall is concluding with a wonderful announcement going out this morning: we are thrilled to be receiving a joint gift of rare books dating back to the 16th century that will make up The Schulich-Woolf Rare Book Collection at Queen’s University Library. Seymour Schulich, one of Canada’s foremost philanthropists, has partnered with Queen’s Principal Daniel Woolf to make a donation of rare volumes. In addition to this, Mr. Schulich has made a $1-million gift to help the library preserve and expand the collection. Many sincere thanks to our donors, and to Alvan Bregman for stewarding their gifts.

We’ve had other good news as well, with the announcement last week of the inaugural winners of the Principal’s Teaching and Learning Awards, to be presented January 27.  Sandra Halliday and Suzanne Maranda are receiving the Curriculum Development Award, sponsored by Centre for Teaching and Learning, with fellow team members Heather Murray (Department of Emergency Medicine), Melanie Walker (Division of Cancer Care and Epidemiology), Linda Levesque (Centre for Health Services and Policy Research), and Sheila Pinchin (School of Medicine). Working alongside students and researchers, the team developed an innovative new curricular plan for the four-year School of Medicine M.D. program, introducing students to evidence-based medicine and research.

The Library sponsored and co-ordinated the Promoting Student Inquiry Teaching Award, which this year recognizes Dr. Gabor Fichtinger, of the School of Computing. Dr. Fichtinger teaches his students the rigors of scientific inquiry, encouraging students at all levels to conduct research in his laboratory. Over the past six years, undergraduate students under Dr. Fichtinger’s supervision have authored and co-authored over 50 refereed research publications.

Last week we were also delighted to see the presentation of one of eight annual Queen’s University Staff Recognition awards to Kim Bell. We all felt a great sense of pride and gratitude for all Kim’s contributions to the Library and Queen’s.

And, sometimes recognition comes at events like Scholars Portal Day, which took place last Friday in Toronto. Alex Cooper and Jeff Moon gave a great presentation about our research data management services that contributed substantially to advancing the discussions on this topic.

The Service Philosophy Project Group has been drafting a statement to capture the essence of what underlies all this good work. I hope you’ve had a chance to review the draft service philosophy statement developed by the group and shared this past week (and if not please contact a member of the group). The group met yesterday and reviewed feedback, and plan to finish the statement and associated guidelines in January.

The word “service” relates not only to individual interactions but to our approach to the foundations of our work, such as information resources. At the Library Leadership Team meeting last week, as well as providing input for the draft service philosophy statement, we reviewed and approved the most recent layers of access criteria document for bound journals developed by the LAMP Collections group in consultation with units. Collection Development and Assessment’s next steps include coordinated communications with faculty groups.

Another major focus regarding information resources is our acquisitions planning, which relates to our broader information resources strategy. I heard a wise person say yesterday, “strategy means choices” and that’s a theme I’m focusing on with others in the country as we consider how Canadian universities can help steer the course towards sustainable publishing models. Here at Queen’s, the analysis and decisions of members of the Electronic Resources Working Group have been much appreciated, and they’ve helped lay the groundwork for more planning to come in 2016.

For recent unit activities, see the heads’ bi-monthly updates, refreshed this week.

At this time of year, when we’re all feeling the need to rejuvenate, I like to think about and celebrate all of your endeavors, from daily services for students and faculty, to information resources decisions and major projects such as the web redesign, to building the new relationships of our new service model. I hear the Library complimented often, by Deans and administration, faculty and students, and that makes me grateful for our marvelous people. Thank you, have a happy restful break, and see you in the new year!

Library Update – December 4, 2015

Posted on December 4th, 2015 in Library updates

With students taking full advantage of every inch of space in our libraries in these early days of December, it was good to begin reviewing opportunities for the Stauffer and Douglas Library LAMP sub-projects with CS&P Architects this week. The projects are: the Stauffer Library service point and adjacent staff area; the lower level of Stauffer as it pertains to the opportunities provided by the 2016 move of ITServices to MacCorry; the second level of Stauffer to incorporate Music; the Jordan Library floor of Douglas; and the entry level of Douglas. The CS&P site visit began with a general session for inhabitants of Stauffer and Douglas and the LAMP Implementation Advisory Committee. The presentation included reminders of the high level LAMP concepts for the two libraries.

Stauffer and Douglas were sites of community engagement on Wednesday night, with the Kingston WritersFest event that launched A Celtic Temperament: Robertson Davies as Diarist. Many thanks and congratulations to Jen Amos for coordinating the Library’s part in the event, and to Jillian Sparks for curating a pop-up exhibit of material from Robertson Davies personal library in Jordan Library.

Several university developments of note recently:

  • The Provost’s Advisory Committee on Teaching and Learning has received the final report of the Experiential Learning Working Group, an important element of our Student Learning Experience strategic priorities.
  • The University’s Strategic Framework Year One Implementation Report: November 2015 is now available.
  • At Senate this week there were numerous program approvals, including a Bachelor of Science Honours (BScH) in Health Sciences, effective September 1, 2016, and the Certificate in Academic Writing, effective January 1, 2016.
  • As part of a general research update from Vice-Principal Research Steven Liss, I spoke with the Deans group this week about research data management matters. As well we talked about the national digital infrastructure discussions in play and the need for Queen’s to articulate a related campus digital strategy.

I’ve been involved in a number of external events recently that relate to the library’s role in research, in different ways:

  • Yesterday afternoon I participated on a panel about data management at the SSHRC Leaders meeting in Ottawa. (SSRHC Leaders are senior university administrators appointed by their university presidents to serve as points of contact between SSHRC and their respective universities.) Whenever I interact with SSHRC I learn something new about the opportunities and challenges of the research enterprise, and ponder ways we can all share and build our understanding.
  • On November 17, Heather McMullen and I attended a seminar organized by Erudit and CRKN to explore new collaborative approaches to open access publishing, in particular to support Canadian scholarly journals in the social sciences and humanities. Considering these matters, and connecting the dots between subscription publishing issues and open access opportunities, is all part of developing a more comprehensive information resources strategy, one of our top strategic priorities.
  • Last week I had the privilege of several sets of meetings with Digital Curation Centre (DCC) in Edinburgh and Glasgow, and with the President of Research Libraries UK, who is at St. Andrews University just north of Edinburgh. The latter was in preparation for a meeting in the spring with the presidents and executive directors of national research library organizations, to explore how we can work together internationally to help the research library sector achieve a stronger position in the scholarly communications/scholarly record environment. The DCC meetings were part of researching governance models for collaborative networks and developing partnerships between the DCC and Portage.

OCUL Directors met November 19 and 20 in Toronto. OCUL Collaborative Futures is moving along nicely and garnering interest from a potential funding agency for support of the project. OCUL’s role in research data management and Portage was discussed, and a plan is in development. Please watch for a full digest of the meeting and Scholars Portal update, coming soon.

The Senate Library Committee has its second meeting of the academic year today. The focus will be on open access in learning and research, a topic of great interest to all.

I hope you’re all enjoying the final stretch of the fall term and the start of the season of winter lights and indoor coziness. Have a good weekend!

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!

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Martha Whitehead Martha Whitehead
Vice Provost and University Librarian

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