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Martha's Blog : Library updates

Library Update – July 7, 2017

Posted on July 7th, 2017 in Library updates

June was a month of summing up and looking forward. Building on our all staff planning event in May, heads met on June 14 to discuss current key initiatives and strategic priorities for 2017-18 to 2019-20. One of the items discussed was the report of the Learning Organization project — thank you project group! We’ll be putting together a new working group to follow through on the project recommendations. In the OVPUL, we’ve been immersed in preparing documents that frame our work and present our value to the university community:  our Summary of Accomplishments, Annual Report, Strategic Priorities, and our Budget Plan 2018-19 to 2020-21.

As well as this focus on library reporting and planning, in June I began informal communications regarding the new portfolio of digital planning.  I’ve met with about 30 individuals and groups so far. My goal is to put together a high-level slide deck to inform further discussions, by the end of the summer.  I’ll look forward to discussing that with you at our all staff meeting in September, along with summarizing the library documents mentioned above.

All staff meetings! We’ll soon be issuing the schedule for the full 2017-18 year, set in coordination with service point coverage, to maximize the opportunities for all to participate.

I’m always struck by how little of what any of us does can be done in isolation – no library unit can work alone, no single university unit can work alone, and no single university can work alone. This was brought home multiple times in June, in events held at Queen’s and events I attended externally. At Queen’s, we had the pleasure of hosting and participating in HPCS 2017CANHEIT 2017 and, closest to the library, ABC Copyright 2017 (congratulations to Mark Swartz and colleagues for organizing a very successful and interesting conference!).  Externally, my work with the Leadership Council on Digital Research Infrastructure (which held Summit 2017 on June 27) has focused on co-ordination issues that relate directly to the support we offer at Queen’s.

Another interesting connection between local and external developments was the discussion last week with David Porter, CEO of eCampus Ontario. Naturally you can find his slides online!

Many other initiatives are moving along in these spring/summer months, thanks to many different groups. The projects we discussed at our all staff planning event have a particularly strong focus: Modifying Acquisitions, Collaborative Futures, Ask Us. Please feel free to follow up with any of those project leads if you have any questions. As well, we’re excited that construction has begun on the new LINQ in Watson Hall! As we get closer to an opening date in the fall we’ll send out an announcement with all the details.

I also want to be sure you’re aware that I’m on the Principal’s Advisory Committee for two key searches – the AVP Information Technology and CIO, and the VP (Research). This is very good for our library priorities, given that a strong partnership with those portfolios is crucial.

In external commitments, I’ve agreed to serve as Chair of the CARL Policy Committee, as Co-Chair of the search committee for the Executive Director of ARL, and as a member of the five-person advisory group for the 2018-2019 iteration of the ARL Leadership Fellows program.

Coming back to the summing up and looking forward, I want to leave you with some observations made by Benoit at a Provost-Deans-Management Group meeting last week, as he talked about his first year at Queen’s and the year ahead. He noted Queen’s many strengths and urged us to not take them for granted and to build upon them. He sees four key areas of focus for himself (and thus us!) for the coming year: research and innovation; diversity and inclusion; digital planning; internationalization.

So, many good conversations to come in the fall, and meanwhile I hope you feel a sense of accomplishment from 2016-17, and have the opportunity to both prepare for the “new year” and enjoy some relaxation during these summer days.

Library Update – June 2, 2017

Posted on June 2nd, 2017 in Library updates

May was certainly a busy month of community engagement! Many thanks and congratulations to all involved with the successful Data Day program on May 11, and our GLAM event on May 25. And, your engagement and feedback on our All Staff planning event of May 24 was excellent. Thank you again to our planners, presenters, facilitators and participants!

Special congratulations to our people whose five-year milestones we honoured at a lunch this week. Not often that we have a group ranging from five years to fifty, all fit and fabulous! You can see the whole list and lovely photographs in this Queen’s News article.

In my update of May 5, I mentioned some meetings I had attended in April. There is a helpful digest now available for one of those meetings – the OCUL Directors Spring 2017 Meeting. And here’s an update on events of the past several weeks, with links to their agendas:

  • Confederation of Open Access Repositories: I attended this meeting on behalf of CARL. Queen’s is also a member, to support the vision of a sustainable, global knowledge commons based on a network of open access digital repositories. One of the major highlights of the meeting was the launch of an International Accord for Repository Networks. The accord, which was signed by 8 regional organizations (including CARL), will lead to greater alignment of repository networks, and strengthen the distributed, community-based open access infrastructure around the world. I gave two talks – one an update on the Canadian repositories landscape, and another on the Portage research data management network.
  • Collaborative Futures Directors: On the morning of May15, I attended the first meeting of the directors of the institutions that have confirmed their participation in the next phase of OCUL’s Collaborative Futures project, the procurement and implementation of a shared library services platform.  We focused on the governance needs for this phase, and I’ve been working with two other volunteers to draft the terms of reference for the committees and working groups. Calls will go out in June.
  • CRKN and Canadiana: On the afternoon of May 15, the library directors of CRKN member institutions met to discuss a proposal to merge Canadiana and CRKN. This was a meeting to discuss the opportunities and challenges identified to date, to be followed by further information gathering and a decision at the CRKN AGM in the Fall.
  • CARL: The CARL Board and then the Directors met in Hamilton May 16-18, joining up on the final day with the Canadian Urban Libraries Council for a program of interest to both of our associations. The speakers on linked open data were pleased to have a room full of directors hearing about the strategic need for libraries to have a search engine optimization strategy! (See Getting Found: SEO Cookbook, May 2015). This was my last meeting as CARL President but I continue to be a member of the Portage Directors Steering Committee.
  • OCUR (Ontario Council of University Research) Task Force on Research, Innovation and Community Impact Metrics: I’m representing OCUL on this task force, which was given the mandate to recommend system-wide metrics for the research, innovation, and community impact priorities for consideration by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development in the implementation of Strategic Mandate Agreements. It was felt that in order to propose metrics, a set of first principles must first be identified, so at a meeting on May 19 we reviewed a list of principles for selecting metrics. Queen’s interim Vice-Principal (Research), John Fisher, also serves on the task force.
  • FHSS digital infrastructure consultation: Last Sunday I attended a workshop in Toronto organized by the Federation of the Humanities and Social Sciences to discuss digital research infrastructure needs.  Researchers from several different institutions and disciplines talked about the opportunities and challenges they encounter in their digital scholarship. The conversations were to inform the work of the Leadership Council on Digital Research Infrastructure.

Closer to home, the Comprehensive Information Resources Strategy Project Group had its first meeting at the end of last week, and has changed its name to Comprehensive Information Resources Vision. We’re planning to be ahead of the CIRV!

The Library Leadership Team approved a project charter to establish details of the library’s program of experiential learning opportunities for Queen’s students in order to lay the foundation for further development, promotion and assessment of those opportunities and to provide guidance for library supervisors. This will be a very brief project involving a survey of current practices and internal consultation. This project itself does not include the development of particular experiential learning opportunities; the scope is limited to resolution of identified issues and guidance for future program offerings.

On a personal note, walking back from a meeting across campus this morning, and feeling a few raindrops, I was reflecting on my train ride home last night (I was in Ottawa yesterday for a meeting related to the Leadership Council on Digital Research Infrastructure). The ride was a great opportunity to admire cloudscapes over open fields – there must be something good about this weather, right? I recently learned about Alfred Stieglitz’s series of photographs of clouds, titled Equivalents, and recommend pulling up some of those images on the web if you’re ever feeling the need for some beauty on a cloudy day.

Happy June!

Library Update – May 5, 2017

Posted on May 5th, 2017 in Library updates

Good morning, it’s May and the trees are budding! I’m just back from the spring ARL meeting in Philadelphia, and happy to be in Canada, Ontario, Kingston, Queen’s. This morning I have the pleasure of welcoming a group of Education librarians from across Ontario who are meeting at Queen’s. Thank you Brenda and Mary Claire for the invitation!

Today I’m most delighted to congratulate Bonnie Brooks, who was recognized for her 50 years of service at the campus-wide Celebration of Service Dinner on Thursday. Bonnie was invited to celebrate her “golden anniversary” at the head table alongside the Queen’s Principal, Daniel Woolf, and Canadian businessman and philanthropist, Aubrey Dan. Bonnie began her time with Queen’s and the library back in 1967 when she was hired in the acquisitions department as a typist. Throughout her many years with us she has worn a number of different hats during her positions in: Interlibrary Loans, Special Collections, Ordering, Access Services, Content Management Systems, and her current position as Interlibrary Loans Coordinator in Information Services. Congratulations, Bonnie! We thank you for your many years of hard work and achievements!

It was a pleasure to hear recent division and unit updates at a Heads meeting on April 25. At that meeting we also reviewed the Organizational Design document sent to all of you on April 5, and it is now available the May 1, 2017 version.

Last week, Heather McMullen and I met with individuals from several peer institutions for an ad hoc discussion about how we’re each approaching our efforts to modify acquisitions practices and influence publishing models. Here at Queen’s we’re looking forward to the next stage of analysis resulting from the country-wide journal usage survey facilitated by CRKN. That analysis will be another engagement point for librarians and faculty. We’ll also keep in touch with our peers over the summer as we approach this fall’s round of big deal offers and decisions.

Last Friday I attended a day-long meeting of the SSHRC Programs and Quality Committee in Ottawa, always an interesting opportunity to connect with researchers from across the country and SSHRC staff. Earlier in the week I attended a teleconference meeting of the Ontario Council of Research (OCUR) Task Force on Research, Innovation and Community Impacts Metrics, which I serve on as a representative of OCUL. I’m delighted that our local Research Working Group is getting under way and that the kinds of things I have the opportunity to learn about through the Tri-Agencies and OCUR will become a greater part of our common institutional knowledge.

Last week I also had an engaging visit with the Executive Director of the Leadership Council on Digital Research Infrastructure (LCDRI) and Queen’s Vice-Principal (Research), a teleconference meeting of the Executive of the LCDRI, meetings of the McGill Queen’s University Press Finance and Audit Committee and the Board, and a teleconference with the Portage Advisory Committee. Best of all, we had the Open and Affordable Course Materials Working Group discussion sessions with instructors and a useful debrief with the facilitator on Monday. More on that in the days ahead.

Next week I’m speaking and representing CARL at the Confederation of Open Access Repositories in Venice, followed by meetings in somewhat less exotic locations. CRKN is having a special meeting on May 15 in Toronto regarding recent discussions about merging with Canadiana, then the CARL Spring meeting will be held in Hamilton, May 16-18.  So, my next update will include developments in our national and international communities.

Meanwhile, enjoy the gentle rain and gradual greening of our local world, and have a good weekend.

Library Update – April 21, 2017

Posted on April 21st, 2017 in Library updates

Hello from Windsor, site of the Spring 2017 OCUL Directors meeting.  These spring meetings move around the province so that we can experience each institution over time. Some trips also make us aware of the size of this province (here’s an OCUL map). With Detroit across the river, it feels far from Kingston.

Amongst yesterday’s highlights was a presentation by Scholars Portal Director Alan Darnell on the recently announced collection of more than1000 historical topographic maps of Ontario that have been made available online in a project initiated by the OCUL Geo Community. Alan spoke about it as a model of OCUL collaboration – a good idea, coordination and work on the part of individuals in various institutions, leveraging of the Scholars Portal digital infrastructure, and the delivery of significant benefits to the community within OCUL and beyond. For example, Francine Berish engaged Queen’s in the project by contributing to the inventory and arranging for digitization and georeferencing of some maps in our local collection. If you haven’t taken a look already at the results of the project, I suggest checking out the collection highlights.

My Queen’s update to the OCUL Directors included the very significant acquisition that Alvan Bregman was able to secure for us, thanks to his sleuthing and the support of our generous donor Mr. Seymour Schulich — William Caxton’s edition of the Polycronicon (1482). By now I’m sure you’re aware that this is one of the oldest printed English-language books, and there are only about 50 known copies in the world. It is quite an amazing addition to the Schulich-Woolf Collection launched in 2016.

The last few weeks have seen many important announcements, including the release of the Fundamental Science Review (also known as the Naylor Report). I would encourage you to review the report as an important effort to improve the research enterprise. Key recommendations include the formation of a National Advisory Council on Research and Innovation, strengthening cooperation across the granting councils and a greater orientation towards investigator-led research. In particular, given our current discussions on research data management, see section 6.2.2 on Digital Research Infrastructure (DRI). It was a pleasure to hear Dr. Art McDonald, one of the review panel members, present the report highlights at a meeting of the Principal-Vice-Principals-Deans earlier this week. He reminded us that “science” in this context includes the research of the humanities and social sciences as well as the physical and natural sciences.

My own involvement with national DRI discussions has continued with several meetings of a data working group of the Leadership Council on Digital Infrastructure (LCDI), described in this recent update from CASRAI.

Also relating to research, note that the Strategic Research Plan renewal process at Queen’s is under way. A variety of forms of engagement are planned with the community, including the library. The renewal is taking place in three phases: 1) Planning, consultation and feedback, 2) Drafting the SRP and soliciting feedback, and 3) Revision of the SRP draft followed by a consultation phase culminating in Senate consultation. (For further information see the VPR website). As well, see the April 4 edition of the Gazette for a nice interview with John Fisher, Interim Vice-Principal (Research). A search is about to commence for the newly titled role of Vice-Principal (Research and Innovation).

Within the library, our Research Services Working Group has launched, and various project groups and working groups are forging ahead. Remember that you can keep up with their activities on the projects and working groups pages of the staff website.

As chair of the university’s Open and Affordable Course Materials Working Group, I’ve been guiding a flurry of activity to begin campus conversations relating to our work, such as the instructor discussion groups coming up next week.Yesterday the OCUL Directors meeting included a presentation by David Porter, CEO of eCampusOntario and we’ll be arranging for him to give a similar talk at Queen’s in June.

Senate this week included a discussion of the report of the Principal’s Implementation Committee on Racism, Diversity and Inclusion, an important report for all of us. In relation to the library’s roles in learning and research, we need to pay close attention to recommended changes in the university’s guiding planning documents, diversification of the curriculum, revisions to the Queen’s learning outcomes framework, and support for courses and research related to anti-racism.

At Senate the Provost gave a presentation about the drafting of the second round of Strategic Mandate Agreements (SMA) between Ontario’s Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (MAESD) and the universities and colleges of the province. The first round of these agreements (SMA1) were finalized in the summer of 2014 and cover the period from April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2017.  Last December, MAESD announced that the process of developing and negotiating SMA2 would begin in early 2017. We have now received a near-final SMA submission template from the Ministry in which detailed information is requested on our planned enrolments and on key aspects of our academic mission: Student Experience; Innovation in Teaching and Learning Excellence; Access and Equity; Research Excellence and Impact; Innovation, Economic Development and Community Engagement. We have started to populate the template based on the Strategic Framework, Academic Plan, SMA1 and recent SMA1 progress reports. SMA2 will cover the period 2017-2020. It’s important to note that this is not a change in how we conceive of Queen’s mission or a new planning document, but rather a statement based on other materials.

Academic programs approved at Senate:

  • Establishment of a Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Politics-Philosophy-Economics specialization undergraduate degree plan in the Faculty of Arts and Science, effective September 2017.
  • Establishment of a Bachelor of Arts (Honours), major in Languages, Literatures, and Cultures in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, Faculty of Arts and Science, effective September 2017.
  • Establishment of a Doctor of Science (Rehabilitation and Health Leadership), School of Rehabilitation Therapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, effective May 2018.
  • Major modifications to the PhD Program in the School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, effective September 2018.
  • Establishment of the David Barsky Chair in Ophthamology and Visual Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, subject to ratification by the Board of Trustees.

Senate also approved the report of the Academic Integrity Working Group.

It was a pleasure to see so many of you at the All Staff meeting on April 5. Our next event together is our planning day on May 24.

Enjoy the weekend!

Library Update – March 24, 2017

Posted on March 24th, 2017 in Library updates

As we approach the end of the winter term (yes, winter will end!), we complete and re-start our annual planning cycle. We have an all staff meeting scheduled for Wednesday April 5th at 10am, where I’ll outline our 2017-18 budget, and then we have our annual staff planning event on May 24th. Mark your calendars, and let us know if you have any suggestions for the planning event.

Senate this week included a presentation of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force, which is also both a conclusion and a beginning. The commission has completed its work and its impact will be seen in the months and years ahead. One of the first steps is the university’s creation of an Office of Indigenous Initiatives.

Senate approved the following programs:

  • establishment of a PhD program in Gender Studies, effective September 1, 2017
  • major modifications to the National Executive MBA program, effective immediately.

There was also notice of motion to approve the Report of the Academic Integrity Working Group at the next meeting of Senate. The group’s chair, John Pierce, spoke to the notice of motion, observing that the Senate approved the Academic Integrity Policy Statement in January 2006, and that the working group concluded that although significant progress has been made since 2006 in terms of the development of policies, procedures and practices, there are still areas for improvement.

You may have heard that Queen’s was successful in receiving approximately $1.2 million in funding from eCampusOntario to develop or redesign seven online programs through the New Program Development grant program. One of the seven programs is the Certificate in Advanced Research Skills, which includes the course the library is developing in collaboration with the Faculty of Arts and Science.

Jackie Druery and I spoke with the Ad Hoc Committee for the Review of the Academic Plan last week, providing initial library input in the consultation process. The consultations are in the preliminary stage, and there will be additional opportunities for library input in the next stage as well. Feedback from these consultations will be used by the ad hoc Committee to formulate recommendations to the Senate Committee on Academic Development to ensure that the Academic Plan is relevant and continues to articulate a broad set of principles, priorities and recommendations for the University.

The Queen’s Digital Scholarly Record Working Group had its first meeting this week. This committee includes representatives of the Library, the Office of the Vice-Principal Research, University Research Services, the Centre for Advanced Computing, ITServices, the School of Graduate Studies, the Society for Graduate and Professional Students and an Associate Dean Research. I am the Chair, and Rosarie Coughlan and Jeff Moon are ongoing resources to the group. Next steps for the group are development of a work plan, including two high priority “quick wins”:  increased support for Data Management Plans and implementation of institutional support for ORCID IDs.

The Open and Affordable Course Materials Working Group met again last week and is taking steps to prepare for a call for proposals for pilot projects. Its work plan and other materials are available on the Queen’s wiki page for the group, and a web guide is in development. We hope you’ll come to Stauffer Library Rm.121 on Tuesday March 28 from 2-3:30pm to learn more about the Open Education Resources landscape and the work of this Queen’s group.

Have a good weekend everyone – stay warm.

Library Update – March 3, 2017

Posted on March 3rd, 2017 in Library updates

There was a voice from our collective Queen’s past in the media this week — Patrick Deane, writing that Parochialism and protectionism are the enemies of enlightenment Patrick’s eloquence and his reference to twelfth-century Bologna took me back to a library all staff event at the university club in 2009, where he talked about a different point in time in Bologna — the Bologna Process and the notion of increased compatibility between education systems, underpinning the articulation of learning outcomes. I find it so interesting to think about all of these aspects of the open flow of ideas, which of course is what libraries are all about.

Taking that train of thought brings me to a discussion with the Library Leadership Team yesterday about the OCUL Collaborative Futures project. We were reviewing input arising from the February 16th staff update session and steps and considerations regarding local preparations. Those will be outlined soon in a project charter. We also affirmed that while we could work independently to migrate to a new library services platform, there are significant benefits to the vision of Collaborative Futures as articulated in 2014 and the years since, and we want to be on board and helping to steer the ship.

And these trains and ships bring me to the important concepts of differentiation and diversity. We want a free flow between different ideas and experiences, that’s why we come together. Our goal in increased compatibility isn’t to make us all the same.

Bear in mind that these are early morning musings… I’d love to continue the conversation and hear your thoughts on these matters in the months ahead.

Now for some general updates!

  • I’ll be attending a Joint Board-Senate retreat on Saturday focused on diversity and inclusion on campus.
  • At the Senate meeting this week there was approval of the implementation of a Fall Term Break to take place on the Thursday and Friday of week 7 of Fall term classes, to be implemented as outlined in the final report of the Fall Term Break Task Force for the academic year 2018/19 if practicable. Academic program changes:
    • closure of the Bachelor of Physical and Health Education programs in the Faculty of Arts and Science;
    • establishment of the Stephen Sigurdson Professorship in Corporate Law and Finance, Faculty of Law, subject to ratification by the Board of Trustees;
    • major modifications to the Certificate in Employment Relations, effective September 2017.
  • At the Heads meeting last week I provided an update on several topics arising at some meetings I’ve attended recently:
    • Academic Planning: An ad hoc Committee for the Review of the Academic Plan, reporting to the Senate Advisory Committee on Academic Development, has been struck to update the Academic Plan approved in 2011. The committee is engaging in a consultation process that will include input from the library.
    • Strategic Research Plan: The Vice-Principal (Research) is leading a process to update the Strategic Research Plan 2012-2017. Faculties are being consulted at an early stage and there will be an opportunity for input from other stakeholders, including with the library. This process is informed by Recommendation 1 of the Queen’s External Research Review 2016: “Develop a new strategic research plan, with increased focus built on collective input, including that of Deans and heads of interdisciplinary research units.”
    • Academic Integrity: The report of a group discussing academic integrity will go to Senate in March, with a recommendation that there be an academic integrity subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Academic Development (SCAD) and the Senate Committee on Academic Procedures (SCAP).
  • At the Heads meeting we discussed the outcomes of a session on the topic of student engagement held with the Senate Library Committee at its December 5th meeting. Heads reviewed the notes from the discussion session, distributed earlier, and shared their initial impressions and ideas. They will review the notes with their units/divisions and also complete a similar consultation exercise with their library advisory committees if appropriate. The ideas generated will be used to inform priorities in the annual planning cycle and overall library communications/engagement strategies, which will also be aligned with the Queen’s Marketing project to update the university’s brand idea in a way that differentiates us.
  • The projects and working groups announced in late December are populated and starting to get under way.
  • The Open and Affordable Course Materials Working Group (reporting to the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Teaching and Learning) has had two meetings, and information will be shared in a variety of ways including materials posted to the working group wiki.
  • The Library Leadership Team recently received and approved a project charter for an interesting Digital Humanities Pilot Project relating to the Diniacopoulos Collection at Queen’s that will both address some specific digital needs of the researchers involved and inform our strategy for such support going forward.
  • I’ve been involved in a Leadership Council on Digital Infrastructure (LCDI) effort to map the data management aspects of the digital research ecosystem in Canada, involving CARL, RDC and CASRAI. The goal is to have an easily communicated picture for government officials and funders. I presented initial concepts on behalf of our small working group at an LCDI workshop on Tuesday in Ottawa. I’ve also been asked to sit on the LCDI Executive.
  • This afternoon I’m participating in the first meeting of the OCUR (Ontario Council of University Research) Task Force on Research, Innovation and Community Impact Metrics. I’m a member of this task force, representing the Ontario Council of University Libraries. OCUR established this task force to compile and evaluate a range of possible standard research metrics that would be recommended to government to be considered for accountability and, potentially, outcomes-based funding.  I’m looking forward to learning and bringing back ideas to OCUL and Queen’s and also to providing research library perspectives to the task force.
  • Next week I’ll be in the UK, first touching base at the Bader International Study Centre on Monday and then heading to London for a meeting of the International Alliance of Research Library Associations on Tuesday and the RLUK meeting Wednesday through Friday. CARL Executive Director Susan Haigh and I will be presenting at RLUK on “The Canadian Roadmap for Advancing Scholarly Communications.”

Have a wonderful March weekend!

Martha’s Update – February 10, 2017

Posted on February 10th, 2017 in Library updates

Since my last update we’ve had the Ontario Library Association SuperConference, with strong Queen’s participation. For me, it means a variety of meetings of other groups as well, such as the CARL Board, the Canadian National Heritage Digitization Strategy Steering Committee and a CARL meeting with directors of Canadian information schools.

I’ve appreciated recent opportunities at OLA and elsewhere to contemplate values, in these early weeks of the new US government and in the wake of the killings at a mosque in Sainte-Foy, Quebec. The latter occurred the night before our CARL Board meeting, and we all shared the devastation felt by our Board colleague from Quebec. The Principal’s Statement spoke of Canadian values and Queen’s values, and our library community has affirmed our core library values. When I review our own Queen’s University Library values, I’m proud that a sense of openness, inclusivity and community is woven throughout our set of words.

Building on those values… I tend not to highlight reports that you’ll have seen through regular channels such as the CARL weekly digest E-lert,  but I would like to point out several recent items that frame important aspects of our “information access” value and strategies:

The Senate Meeting of January 31 included:

  • Approval of the major modifications to the Master of Education, effective September 2017, allowing for a dual M.Ed. degree program between Queen’s University and the South China Normal University (SCNU).
  • Approval of the major modifications to the Certificate in Business, effective January 2017, allowing it to be completed in its entirety online in order to permit students outside of Queen’s to benefit from the program and allowing students to register for the certificate if they are either enrolled in, or have completed, an undergraduate degree.
  • Committee of the whole discussion of the External Review of Research.

As always, please contact me if you’d like to discuss any of these topics.

Library Update – January 27, 2017

Posted on January 27th, 2017 in Library updates

I have a number of updates about our work together but first I’d like to highlight some recent events.

  • Thank you to all who attended the all staff meeting this week to think about the themes of Truth and Reconciliation and indigenous cultures and research, and thank you to our speakers Nathalie Soini and Armand Ruffo.
  • It was a pleasure to present the Promoting Student Inquiry Teaching Award to Steven Maynard at the Principal’s Teaching and Learning Awards event on Wednesday.  This award is sponsored and coordinated by the library. Jackie Druery is my delegate in this process – thank you Jackie – and she notes the pleasure and challenge her committee had in judging the nominations. (See more information on the awards.)
  • I attended the 2017 INKE (Implementing New Knowledge Environments) gathering in Victoria last week, for CARL, and left with the mantra “networked open social scholarship.” I’ll look for opportunities to share more on this topic in the months ahead. (See the meeting program.)

Now those  updates…

  • I’d like to thank all who put forward their names for working groups and projects in response to my recent calls for expressions of interest. The Library Leadership Team has reviewed the memberships, and sponsors will begin the follow-up with individuals next week.
  • A new project charter has been posted, for a project to guide the Mobile Self-check Pilot, involving a new type of self-check solution named MeeScan. MeeScan allows users to check out materials in the stacks with an app available for Android and iOS devices, and to desensitise them as they leave the library. The project will involve completing the configuration and testing of MeeScan and integrating it into the service model at the Lederman Law Library and encouraging users to check out their own materials where possible. The pilot will assess the MeeScan solution and make recommendations about whether to continue and possibly further expand its use.
  • The Library Leadership Team has been working on updating our Organizational Design document to reflect current details about our organizational structure and relationships across the matrix, and we’re aiming to have a draft out in February.
  • I’d like to let you know about some thinking occurring regarding University Archives and W.D. Jordan Rare Books and Special Collections. The University Archivist has been reporting to me for five years now, and I feel it’s time to explore the organizational relationship in more detail, in particular as LAMP envisions the physical joining of University Archives and W.D. Jordan Rare Books and Special Collections with a Centre for Digital and Print Culture in Douglas Library. We’re going to proceed with three steps:  the University Archivist, the Head of W.D. Jordan Rare Books and Special Collections, the two Associate University Librarians and myself are now meeting together regularly to develop a more comprehensive shared understanding of archives and special collections plans and operations in relation to library and university strategic priorities; an external review of University Archives and W.D. Jordan Rare Books and Special Collections will be conducted in Fall 2017; in late 2017 or early 2018, a planning group, with membership including individuals from each of the units, will be formed to address the recommendations of the external review. This is all at an early stage and I would welcome your questions and thoughts.
  • We have new development support! We have entered into an arrangement with the Faculty of Arts and Science and the Office of Advancement to have an assigned development officer who can also draw on the expertise of a strong advancement team. John Kraemer is now the development officer assigned to the library. His role with us relates to the library as a whole, not just priorities involving the Faculty of Arts and Science. John is familiar with the university as both an employee and a student, having completed his Master of Arts in Political Studies with a focus in Canadian Politics at Queen’s in 2014. Prior to moving to Kingston, John earned his Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of Manitoba. With regard to John’s working arrangements, he will continue to be in the faculty but he will also use the office immediately outside the Office of the Vice-Provost and University Librarian. John will be getting to know the library over the next little while and you may see him visiting your units (See a picture of John.)

Have a good weekend everyone!

Library Update – December 2, 2016

Posted on December 2nd, 2016 in Library updates

Diversity and inclusion. Consider those two words closely, and the mind expands with possibilities. What do we do in the library — in our collections, services and spaces — to contribute to an intellectual climate of inclusivity? That question continually guides our thinking and needs further consideration in this tumultuous period.

Senate this week began with a focus on “fostering a climate of inclusivity in which all members of the university community feel valued and supported” and “achieving educational equity and enhancing diversity in racial, ethnic, religious and cultural domains.” (I’m quoting from the Diversity and Equity Task Force Action Plan, 2010-11). I encourage you to review past reports and action plans on the webpage for the Diversity and Equity Task Force, which completed its work in the Fall of 2011.

As well, I suggest this inspiring article by a former Senate Library Committee member, Erin Clow, The politics of my classroom: everyday compassion. Erin says:

“In my syllabi and classroom I will practice the politics of hope and compassion. I will empower my students to face challenges, eyes and minds fully open. I will demonstrate that diversity is a gift and that our differences should intrigue rather than polarize. My classroom must be a space where students from all racial, socio-economic, gender identities and political affiliations feel able and encouraged to engage in constructive and challenging dialogue. More than words of division, I fear silence.”

Please talk about diversity and inclusivity in your units, and share your action ideas.

The Senate meeting agenda also included several academic program approvals and reports for information:

  • Graduate Diploma in Biomedical Informatics and a Professional Master’s in Biomedical Informatics in the Faculty of Arts and Science and the Faculty of Health Sciences, effective May 1, 2018
  • Major modifications to the Advanced Design and Manufacturing Institute (ADMI) Master of Engineering program, effective May 1, 2017
  • Strategic Framework Report
  • Equity Office Annual Report
  • Enrolment Report

As well, it was good to see mention of the Indigenous-named study rooms in Stauffer Library in both the Principal’s Report – November 2016 and the Provost’s Report – November 2016.

At the upcoming Senate Library Committee meeting on Monday, our Chair Alexander Braun (Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering) will be facilitating a topic at his suggestion: student awareness of the library’s resources and services. This comes from his own experience of the value of such student engagement in his own courses, through his work with our liaison librarians. The meeting will have a focus group feel, engaging the students and faculty of the Senate Library Committee in talking about their personal experiences with the library. Our communications coordinator Jen Amos will be involved and we’ll share a summary.

On the research front, I’d like to point out an important report, for your information: the External Review of Research – Summary Report. We’ll come back to this in various ways over the coming months.

On November 17 and 18, I attended the OCUL Directors Fall 2016 meeting in Toronto. See the Digest of OCUL Directors 2016 Fall Meeting and also the recently released OCUL Annual Report 2015-16.

One of the key topics on the OCUL Directors agenda was Collaborative Futures. Directors expressed strong interest in moving on to Phase 3 as quickly as possible. We discussed next step priorities including determining which institutions will participate in procurement, preparing and issuing an RFP for the shared LSP, revising costing models, conducting a legal review of the draft memorandum of understanding and determining the staffing needed for implementation and coordination. Here at Queen’s, we are planning a Collaborative Futures update session for all staff in January.

Another OCUL topic was the Government Information Community’s digitization initiative, which you can read about in the latest edition of the Inside OCULA Newsletter. See our own Graeme Campbell’s editor’s message, and the article he co-authored, Preserving Ontario’s Documentary Heritage – One Annual Report at a Time. As well, you can learn more about discussions at the digital humanities hosted at Queen’s in October, in my article Matariki Digital Humanities Colloquium: Research and the Curriculum.

A more recent event at Queen’s was the wonderful launch of our Schulich-Woolf Rare Books Collection last week. There was extensive coverage of the event, which honoured our two donors and introduced the fabulous current exhibition. In addition to our sincere thanks to Mr. Schulich and Principal Woolf for their outstanding generosity and commitment to learning and research, I would like to thank Alvan Bregman, everyone in Jordan Rare Books and Special Collections, and many others who contributed to the successful launch of the use of this important collection.

Last but not least, I’m pleased to report that Heather McMullen and I have now met with a dozen academic groups this fall to discuss strategies for modifying our “big deal” acquisitions practices. The journals usage survey is in progress and was further promoted in a Queen’s Gazette article today.

Have a good weekend, and see you at festivities next week.

Library Update – November 11, 2016

Posted on November 11th, 2016 in Library updates

Remembrance Day, a melancholy end to a week in which it feels the ground has shifted.  I went to look for appropriate Leonoard Cohen quotes this morning, and see that many people have landed on this one:

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.

On the morning after the US election, as I prepared for a day of CARL meetings in Ottawa, I took a moment to re-read an article in The Economist, October 29th,  “Canada, The last liberals: Why Canada is still at ease with openness.” That certainly resonates for me, personally and professionally.

Looking back over the past few weeks, the theme of openness is visible in multiple activities. Our international Matariki Network Digital Humanities Colloquium on October 24-25 was a great success. On October 28 we proudly launched our 12 new study rooms in Stauffer Library featuring Indegenous names and artwork, celebrating diversity and raising the profile of Indigenous people on campus.  And, we continued with multiple presentations to faculty groups, including Senate, about providing access to the information they need for teaching, learning and research.

Several matters to note at the November 1st meeting of Senate:

The Library Leadership Team has been busy preparing to put out calls for membership for several project groups relating to objectives in our 2016-17 to 2018-19 Strategic Priorities. We plan to bring up several towards the end of November, so that the various opportunities are visible at the same time.

This week’s CARL events began with a meeting of the Canadian Scholarly Publishing Working Group. This is a multi-stakeholder group including scholarly publishers, academic libraries, funders, and researchers, who are joining forces to develop a framework for advanced, robust, sustainable, collaborative models for the Canadian dissemination of the scholarly record. Yesterday, we held a complementary event, an open national forum in collaboration with COAR, titled Where Next for Repositories? The many interesting presentations included one by our own Rosarie Coughlan. And in the days between these events, CARL Directors discussed and approved the Portage Business Plan for 2017 and 2018, which will be available in its final form in January. All in all, a very good week for the scholarly record. The future can indeed be open.

Have a good weekend everyone.

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