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Martha's Blog

Welcome! It’s my privilege to work with people who make a difference — people across the University and across the Library who help people to learn, think, discover and do. My blog is intended to keep these people informed about key matters I’m engaged in on their behalf. Together, we develop information resources and services that inspire learning, spark creativity and build community.

Library Update – June 27, 2014

Posted on June 27th, 2014 in Library updates

We’ve moved from spring to summer since my last update, good timing for the theme of ‘renewal’ introduced by our Public Services Renewal project consultant, Rebecca Jones. It was good to see so many people at the all staff meetings this week, where Rebecca provided an overview of the process now under way. You can find the Project Plan, Timeline and Overview presentation on the Public Services Renewal page on the Library Staff Web.

At the beginning of this week we had our “Queen’s Senate 101” all staff session with University Secretary Lon Knox. He has made his slides available, and welcomes any follow-up questions or suggestions.

At the beginning of last week the Queen’s Research Data Centre (QRDC) Advisory Committee met to review the past academic year. There’s considerable interest in promoting the services of the QRDC to researchers who may not be aware of what it has to offer. Shortly after the meeting we learned that two QRDC researchers are this year’s recipients of the John Vanderkamp Prize for the best article in Canadian Public Policy, a very nice piece of promotion indeed! (See further information).

I attended the McGill Queen’s University Press Board meeting last week as well.  The Fall 2014 catalogue is out, with some stunning publications.

In LAMP matters… In a teleconference last Friday, representatives of the five institutions working on the Downsview shared print storage facility project agreed on several next steps for determining policies, the business model and operational details. Here at Queen’s, I’ve had meetings recently with Advancement, Campus Planning, Marketing and Communications to discuss various aspects of implementation. This summer will see a significant push on several supportive elements such as identification of sub-projects, recruitment of a project manager and development of a communications plan.

The Library Leadership Team meeting last week included Suzanne Maranda and Paola Durando presenting their recommendations regarding library support for the BHPI-CRP (Bangladesh Health Professionals Institute – Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed), working with the ICACBR (International Centre for the Advancement of Community Based Rehabilitation) at Queen’s. The LLT noted the strategic importance of ICACBR projects, and discussed the need to establish internationalization priorities in the context of the Library’s Standard Service Level Definitions.The inclusion of internationalization as a strategic driver in Queen’s Strategic Framework, and the recent appointment of the new Associate Vice-Principal International provide opportunities to begin addressing these matters.

The annual Heads planning session was held yesterday. As I’m sure you’re aware, the Library’s strategic planning aligns with the University’s Strategic Framework. On an annual cycle, we review activities of the previous academic year, look at opportunities and risks, affirm priorities for the current academic year, and establish priorities and service levels for the next multi-year budget and plan. The agenda for this year’s session, including advance input, is posted on the OUL section of the LIbrary staff web. This event begins the process of drafting reports and plans over the summer and input from all staff in the Fall.

The Accessibility Services Self-Study team concluded interviews last week and began compiling the results today. We expect to have a report with recommendations ready this summer to inform budget plans to be submitted in September.

If you haven’t had a chance to look at the OCUL Collaborative Futures Planning – Next Steps document that I emailed out last week, see the OCUL Collaborative Futures wiki space. This is an ambitious OCUL project and there will be many opportunities to be involved. We are moving forward immediately to initiate the first step associated with the timeline – recruitment of a Collaborative Futures Project Manager.

OCUL recently received an invitation to respond to the Ontario Online Steering Committee’s consultation framework leading to the establishment of Ontario Online as a not-for-profit corporation by this coming Fall. OCUL’s response provides background on OCUL’s mandate and activities in the context of online learning and offers suggestions for clarity on a number of matters relevant to the consortium (and our work at Queen’s).

As you enjoy the warmth of the coming months, keep in mind that one of my summer projects is to resume my Library People profiles, so if you are interested in participating, please let me know.

Library Update – June 13, 2014

Posted on June 13th, 2014 in Library updates

Our vision of ‘library’ was very much on my mind last week at the Bader International Study Centre at Herstmonceux Castle, UK, where I was helping with the selection of a new librarian. We emphasized to all involved that the scope of responsibility of the new position is far, far broader than what is thought of there as ‘the library’ – two lovely small rooms with books and a view of the garden. The new librarian will be working closely with faculty on development of the new first year program, information literacy learning outcomes in all programs, embedding information services in the virtual learning environment, exploration of e-text options, linkages to Queen’s virtual library, digital humanities research and other undergraduate and faculty research programs, and broadly speaking the learning and study space needs of students and faculty. In thinking about updating the existing library spaces, the context is the castle as learning commons. In the presentations I give about the evolution of great libraries, I often start with the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, noting that the ancient Library of Alexandria is thought to have been an early version of the modern university, including collections and reading rooms, meeting and lecture rooms, shared eating space and gardens. This intertwining of the concepts of libraries and learning in the campus fabric was very much part of our thinking in LAMP and it will be at the castle as well.

And now, since I only deal in virtual souvenirs, here’s a little digital humanities treat from England… if you’re interested in memes, Victorians and/or jokes, click on this link!

Speaking of LAMP, I’m meeting next week with the Provost and the Vice-Principal (Advancement) to discuss aspects of positioning for Library fundraising, and then we’ll proceed with the LAMP Steering Group included in our transition and implementation plan. As well, discussions are beginning with Campus Planning to identify sub-projects and sequencing.

The Library Leadership Team had a lengthy meeting yesterday to review accomplishments of 2013-14 and actions relating to our 2014-15 budget submission – priorities section.  At the Heads retreat on June 26th we’ll review the 2014-15 priorities for public posting, and we’ll begin discussing priorities for the 2015-16 annual budget plan.

One of the things I’m most looking forward to in our 2014-15 activities is the thinking that everyone will engage in with our public services renewal project. It will be a pleasure to welcome Rebecca Jones next week as she begins her work with all of us.

Have a great Friday and weekend! (I’ll be back in England virtually, via some books – in visiting Monk’s House and Charleston, I picked up a bit of a Bloomsbury bug!)

Library Update – May 30, 2014

Posted on May 30th, 2014 in Library updates

Congratulations to Nancy McCormack, who has been honoured by the Canadian Association of Law Libraries with the 2014 Denis Marshall Memorial Award for Excellence in Law Librarianship, presented on May 26 at the CALL annual conference. The award is bestowed upon a current member of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries who has provided outstanding service to the Association and/or enhanced the profession of law librarianship in the recent past. The award also honours a former Queen’s Law Librarian, Denis Marshall, whom many of you will remember well.

Queen’s first Data Day was a great way to begin this week. I heard very positive feedback from people who attended from various departments on campus and can imagine strong interest in similar events going forward. Congratulations to the organizing committee. My data day continued Monday afternoon with a visit to the CANARIE office in Ottawa where I participated in delivering a virtual workshop on the Research Data Canada pilot projects to support data management plans.

In my brief remarks in the opening panel at Data Day I mentioned an organization called DataKind to engage people in thinking about data as a public good and some of the reasons for the culture of stewardship we promote in libraries. For a treat, watch a TEDxTalk delivered by DataKind founder Jack Porway back in 2012, on big data in the service of humanity.

The Senate Library Committee’s Annual Report 2013-2014 was on the May 27th Senate agenda, for information. There were no questions. I’d like to thank Sandra Halliday for her service as Secretary to the Senate Library Committee this year, and everyone who spoke with the committee on its agenda topics .

The Provost has circulated information about budget planning for the three years beginning 2015-16; see the 2015-16 Budget Planning site and related Queen’s news items. All shared services have received their budget instructions. In the Library we begin our planning with a heads meeting in June and present our budget to the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Budget in September.

The Library Leadership Team agenda this week included a couple of key initiatives. We discussed the idea of supporting collections assessment with a visible program such as Trent University Library’s Subscription Review Initiative and agreed that it meshes well with 2014-15 strategic directions and the budget planning process. We also agreed that the Library should participate in a Matariki Network event at Queen’s in 2015, focused on humanities research. Planning for the event is just getting under way.

On OCUL matters, here’s the promised Digest of OCUL Directors 2014 Spring Meeting.

Today I’ll be welcoming donors to a thank you event at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, as part of my work with the Campus Community Appeal. I’m looking forward to a tour of the gallery with David de Witt, Bader Curator of European Art, and Stephanie Dickey, Bader Chair in Northern Baroque Art.

The Bader theme continues tonight, as I board a plane for a visit to the Bader International Study Centre next week. I’ll be participating in the interviews for the new librarian and meeting with the University Librarian at nearby University of Sussex, where BISC students have access to the collections.

Enjoy your weekend — what a beautiful time of year!

Library Update – May 16, 2014

Posted on May 16th, 2014 in Library updates

May is a month of many meetings.

At the OCUL Spring Directors’ meeting in North Bay, major topics on the agenda were confirmation of a set of operating principles for OCUL, and next steps in the Collaborative Futures project. Be sure to watch for the meeting digest that I’ll circulate soon, when it’s available from the OCUL office. At the end of the meeting I moved from the role of Vice-Chair to Chair, and Rebecca Graham (Guelph) is now Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect.

I’m just back from the CARL Directors meeting in Fredericton. The Committee on Research Dissemination has several interesting projects on the go, including Project ARC, the initiative to develop a library-based national research data management network, and a new project that will look at ways that libraries can help with the sustainability of Canadian scholarly journals. We also had an update on the many great activities of the Open Access Working Group, of which Jane Philipps is a member. One of the most interesting parts of the CARL program was a session on “Engaging and Supporting Our Campus Aboriginal Communities” which generated ideas I’d like to follow up with some of you.

On May 26th, we have our Data Day on campus in the morning, thanks to the initiative of our Research Data Working Group. Then in the afternoon I’ll be facilitating part of a virtual workshop for the folks working on technical infrastructure aspects of the Research Data Canada federated pilot intended to support the research data management plan requirements we expect we’ll see from the granting councils in the near future. Project ARC is a major part of the federated pilot, and something that will be a continuing focus for me over the coming months, working with project manager Kathleen Shearer and a strong working group representing interests across the country.

Here at Queen’s, we had a Heads meeting on May 5th where the acquisitions budget and draft gifts policy were agenda topics and there was the usual helpful sharing of roundtable updates.

A new and very interesting topic discussed recently in the Library Leadership Team is a suggestion to hold a learning session on university governance. University Secretary Lon Knox has agreed to speak about the roles of Senate and the Board, and we’ll also talk about Faculty Boards and the Library’s intersection with academic program proposals and reviews. One of the goals of the session is to build knowledge to enable an open discussion of ways to ensure that it is possible for any member of the University community to be elected to the Senate, including anyone in the Library and the Archives. Hold the date: Monday June 23rd, 9:30 am.

The Library Leadership Team met with Equity Advisor Heidi Penning last week to learn about the AODA training suite. This includes the Accessible Customer Service training you’ve participated in already, and several new modules. Shannon Tureski and Michele Chittenden are following up with the Equity Office on the details, including planning communications with all staff about this training.

The Library Leadership Team also discussed the proposed Electronic Information Security Policy Framework last week, and we provided feedback to the authors to ensure that the policies meet our needs in the Library and the Archives. As well we’ve met recently with the Public Services Renewal project group to ensure a common understanding of the project scope in advance of our work with Rebecca Jones.

The Accessibility Services Self-Study I mentioned in an earlier update is under way, with several interviews conducted last week and more to come in late May and June. We’re looking at what’s needed to meet accessibility requirements in information and communications beyond current services for students with disabilities, including sustaining the pilot Accessibility Hub.

Amongst the highlights of the past few weeks are, of course, our annual spelling bee events!  I hear that our own Libary and Arkives Spelling Bee was a fun time for all, and wish I could have been there. And how marvelous that our team of Sharon Murphy, Jane Philipps and Carol Tennant then placed first in the 20th Annual Grate Groan-Up Spelling Bee, Kingston Literacy & Skills’ annual fundraiser to help support its Family Literacy programs.  The “Bee-Attitudes” look beatific in this picture!

May is also a month of some vacation days for me. I made a long weekend last week for a trip to New York City with my family, where we enjoyed many Manhattan moments. One of the best was unexpected: we decided to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday morning, not realizing we would be part of a fundraising walk for the National Alliance on Mental Illness. The energy and camaraderie was as inspiring as the setting.

I hope you all enjoy a great long weekend.

Martha

Library Update – April 25, 2014

Posted on April 25th, 2014 in Library updates

On this last Friday in April I’d like to thank you all sincerely for your contributions to our students’ experience in this academic year. I hear in their comments a feeling of accomplishment, and hope you feel the same.

I’ve had a chance to speak with some of you about my recent experiences on the Brazil study tour, but look forward to sharing more. I’d like to discuss it in the context of Queen’s and Latin American Studies more broadly, so I’ve asked Nathalie Soini, as our liaison librarian for Latin American Studies, to join me in a presentation open to all staff.  We’ll do this after Nathalie attends SALALM (Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials) in May. Watch for a date coming soon.

Closer to home… My title has been changed to Vice Provost and University Librarian, effective March 14, 2014, to better reflect the position’s scope and alignment in the Provost’s portfolio. It is not a change in reporting or responsibilities.

Organizational charts and other information about the Library will be updated this spring to reflect changes since the last full revision in 2012: the completed merging of ERM and Discovery Systems into Discovery and Technology Services; the recommended move of University Records Management to the Library; the AUL vacancy; a communications officer vacancy discussed with Communications and Advancement as a limited term position if one-time funding can be identified. The updated overview ‘organizational framework’ chart is available now on the OUL page on the Staff Web and revised organizational charts will follow.

The Senate Library Committee had its last meeting of the academic year on April 16. Jane Philipps spoke about acquisition budget pressures and decision-making in the context of academic programs and research priorities. The committee reviewed the topics discussed this year and will deliver its annual report to Senate in May.

At Senate next week, revised terms of reference for the Senate Library Committee are on the agenda. The changes were suggested by the 2012-13 committee and submitted this year. You can view the new terms of reference from the Senate agenda site.

Work is under way on recommendations from last year’s environmental scan and gap analysis conducted by the Information and Communications Working Group of the Accessibility Framework. An ‘Accessibility Services Self-Study’ will look at what’s needed to meet accessibility requirements in information and communications beyond current services for students with disabilities, including sustaining the pilot Accessibility Hub.

The Bader International Study Centre in the UK is in the process of recruiting their new librarian (http://queensu.ca/bisc/bader-international-study-centre-librarian). I’m on the selection committee and will be taking part in interviews in the first week of June.

I’ll be at the OCUL Spring Directors meeting in North Bay next week, April 30-May 2. It will be a full agenda, with discussion of next steps from the recent Collaborative Futures Summit. Stay tuned.

Have a great weekend!

Library Update – March 28, 2014

Posted on March 28th, 2014 in Library updates

The matters on my mind today span the library, the university, the region and the country – not an unusual combination – with the added element of an international learning experience.

Locally, it’s a pleasure at this time of year to begin reflecting on the past academic year and the accomplishments visible in annual reports across the system. In the Library Leadership Team we’re seeing the work of divisions, working groups and project groups move us forward in significant ways. You’ll see an update from the Public Services Renewal project group next week. I met with Advancement colleagues earlier this week, and had a follow-up discussion with the Provost, about LAMP project plans and campaign support. There are a few more conversations to come, for example about the steering group, and then we should launch into our implementation phase in the spring months.

Regionally and nationally, OCUL and CARL continue to support our local strategic priorities in ways that touch most of my weeks.  Last Thursday and Friday were filled with nice examples. On the 5:30 a.m. train into Toronto I was working virtually with colleagues across the country on Project ARC (the project to develop a national research data management network), which is intersecting nicely with a variety of Research Data Canada initiatives. Thursday and Friday morning, I participated with several Queen’s colleagues in the OCUL Collaborative Futures Summit, and Friday afternoon I met with three separate groups on separate but interrelated topics – shared print storage, governance processes for collaborative initiatives, and potential collaborative approaches to supporting scholarly journals.

The OCUL Collaborative Futures Summit resulted in many ideas for projects that will support a number of possible directions in the ways we support access to information resources.  I encourage you to have a look at the documentation on SPOT Docs: OCUL Collaborative Futures Summit 2014. The next steps are a report that will summarize the Summit, including ten potential projects with work plans, as well as further thoughts. The report will be provided to OCUL Directors for consideration of priorities for moving forward, at our May 1-2 meeting. More information will be posted to the Summit wiki space and the OCUL Collaborative Futures wiki space (accessible to all OCUL members) as it becomes available.

On the international front, I’m embarking on a major professional development experience tomorrow, a study tour in Brazil with CARL colleagues. My advance work has included learning about a variety of Queen’s interactions with institutions in Brazil, such as exchanges of faculty, post-doctoral fellows and graduate students for research in various fields. I’ll look forward to telling you more about what I learn about those projects, and about the institutions and association groups we’re visiting. For a sense of the information landscape in Brazil here’s a snapshot (with thanks to the CARL office for providing the details):

University of São Paulo (USP): USP is a public university, maintained by the State of São Paulo. USP is one of the largest institutions of higher education in Latin America, with approximately 90,000 enrolled students. It has eleven campuses, four of them in São Paulo.

Brasiliana USP/Mindlin Library: Biblioteca Brasiliana Guita and José Mindlin Library, inaugurated in March 2013, is a modern, 20,000-square-meter building in the centre of Universidade de São Paulo’s campus. It was projected by Eduardo de Almeida and Rodrigo Mindlin Loeb (the couple’s grandson) with the assistance of USP’s Architecture and Urbanism School.

Scientific Electronic Library Online: SciELO is a cooperative decentralized platform for electronic publishing of scientific journals, with national focal points in 15 countries from Latin America and the Caribbean. Scielo provides open access to more than 750 journals from the region, allowing searches in article and journal level, by subject or country, to view and download abstract, full-text, and citation information.

Latin-American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Information: BIREME coordinates and conducts technical cooperation activities on the management of scientific information and knowledge with the aim of strengthening and expanding the flow of scientific health information in the region as a key condition for the development of health, including its planning, management, promotion, research, education, and care.

University of Campinas Libraries: The Library System of Unicamp (SBU) comprises a central library and more than 20 other libraries located in its various colleges. The library system is fully automated and its collections may be accessed and searched on the Internet. Its Digital Library section supports a database with more than 25,000 dissertations presented in the university, in full text, as well access to the largest electronic libraries of academic journals in the world.

Edgard Leuenroth Archive: Arquivo Edgard Leuenroth is a historical and media archive that is maintained by the Brazilian State University of Campinas. It was started by a donation of the media collection assembled by Brazilian anarchist journalist and publisher Edgard Leuenroth (1881–1968).

Sao Paulo State University: Education, research and development services and activities in 23 cities throughout São Paulo State, Brazil Unesp was created in 1976. It has consolidated a project joining scientific, technological, economic, cultural and social development committed to democratic principles and clearly conscious of its status of a governmental institution, inserted and highly active in Brazilian society. Unesp´s actions are focused in nearly every field of experimental and theoretical sciences such as: engineering, health, communication, humanities, social sciences and arts, among others.

Mário de Andrade Public Library: It is the largest public library in São Paulo. Founded in 1925, with a donation of holdings by the library of the city’s Câmara Municipal, it became one of the most important cultural institutions in Brazil, as well as one of the leading research libraries in the country. It is named in honor of Mário de Andrade, one of the founders of Brazilian modernism.

Brazilian Federation of Library Associations: FEBAB was founded in 1959, it consists of member organizations – associations of librarians and information scientists, affiliated institutions and bodies.

Federal University of Sao Paulo Central Library: Until 2005, UNIFESP was exclusively for Health Sciences, but after that year the university became multisubject due to Brazilian Federal Government’s University Reform Program (REUNI). Now, the university has six campuses, the oldest in Vila Clementino, in São Paulo (Health) and four more in Guarulhos (Humanities area), Diadema (Science, Engineering and related), Santos (Health), São José dos Campos (computational area) and Osasco (Business and related).

Federal University of Rio de Janeiro Libraries: In 1983, the university implanted the System of Libraries and Information (SiBI), through which students and staff enjoy easy and speedy access to the entire collection of its forty-three libraries. General (i.e. non-affiliated to the institution) digital access to UFRJ’s libraries is made through the Minerva Base, a database that, much like the SiBI, gathers all university libraries into a single website.

Pontifical Catholic University in Rio: PUC-Rio is a major private and non-profit Catholic university. It is maintained by the Catholic Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro and the Society of Jesus.

Rio de Janeiro State University: UERJ was created in 1950 and has, since then, grown and established itself as one of the main higher education institutions in Brazil. Several areas of knowledge are covered by 97 undergraduate courses, 346 research groups, almost 500 extension projects and artisticcultural activities, which put together teachers, administrative workers, students and the neighborhood community.

National Library of Brazil: The Biblioteca Nacional do Brasil is the depository of the bibliographic and documentary heritage of Brazil. It is located in Rio de Janeiro, at Cinelândia square.The largest library in Latin America and the 7th largest in the world, its collections include about 9 million items.

National Library of Brasilia: The National Library of Brasília occupies an area of 14,000 square metres (150,000 sq ft), consisting of reading and study rooms, auditorium and a collection of over 300,000 items.

University of Brasilia: UnB’s Central Library has the largest archive in midwestern Brazil and caters to the needs of the federal district and of researchers from across the nation.More than 260 research-groups work in more than 400 laboratories, investigating around 900 areas.

Luiz Viana Filho Academic Library: The Library of the Senate begins its story in May 18, 1826. It is among the first libraries arising at the time of the Brazilian Empire. The creation of the library was due to the Viscount of Cairo, who expressed the need to form a committee to create the Bookstore Senate.

Chamber of Deputies Library: The library integrates Pedro Aleixo Documentation and Information Centre of the Chamber of Deputies and has a collection of nearly 200,000 volumes, is one of the largest of Brasilia and the country’s own collection is specializing in Social Science with an emphasis in Law, Political Science , Economics and Public Administration. It features rich and valuable collection of rare books, totaling approximately 4700 volumes.

CAPES Portal de Periódicos: The Brazilian national electronic library consortium for science and technology was created in 2000 to make scientific knowledge more easily accessible in Brazil. It is a virtual library that aggregates high quality content, provided through publishers and international scientific associations.

It’s been hard to put aside time to think about this trip, but I’m now amazed at the opportunity as I review these destinations. I’m not the best photographer — why snap another picture when there are so many better ones online? — but some of my colleagues fall into the avid shutterbug category and I don’t mind writing, so I’m sure we’ll have great reports to share.

As we support our students in this last busy part of term, I know we’re also hoping that the  ‘in like a lion’ days of March will soon give way to ‘out like a lamb’. It looks like things have melted down to the December ice storm layer now? Have a good weekend, and stay cozy.

Library Update – March 7, 2014

Posted on March 7th, 2014 in Library updates

Congratulations to the amazing students, faculty and organizers of this year’s Inquiry@Queen’s Undergraduate Research Conference – the 8th one!  The incredible array of interesting topics continues today. See the full program with abstracts, here.

It was so nice to hear Jill Scott open I@Q with comments on her own learning and research journey, a good bookend to the presentation she and Brian Frank gave at the All Staff meeting earlier in the week, on the Teaching and Learning Action Plan.

For any who missed the All Staff meeting, you can view the slides of my planning and budget update, here.  I was at another ‘all staff’ meeting at the beginning of this week — I gave a presentation to a meeting of all Advancement staff.  It was a real pleasure to see the faces of so many people supporting the interests of the university, in both cases.

A related pleasure is a recent invitation from the VP Advancement to be one of the two Faculty Co-Chairs of the Campus Community Appeal, along with Professor Tim Bryant. I had my first meeting in that role this week, and look forward to working with Advancement to raise awareness about the Appeal over the next two years.

Another highlight of my week was attending the presentations of the Employment Equity Award (Victoria Nkunu, Queen’s Black Academic Society), the Human Rights Award (CFRC Radio 101.9FM, Kristiana Clemens), and the Steve Cutway Accessibility Award — our wonderful colleague Andrew Ashby.  The suite of awards was a moving tribute to equity efforts, and of course we can’t help but feel particularly happy to see Andrew honoured in this way.

Thanks to everyone who joined in the OCUL Collaborative Approaches Task Force Report (CATF) webinar earlier this week. For those who were unable to attend, the recording of this webinar is now available, here.

And I hope you’l lcome to hear more on this topic in the webinar on Distributed Shared Storage Strategies on Monday at noon in Dunning Hall, Room 10.  I think you’ll find this particularly interesting for our own LAMP Collections project. I’ll be speaking for a few minutes on behalf of the partners involved in the Shared High Density Library Storage Facility (aka Downsview), and before that you’ll hear about various other projects and aspects of long-term strategies for caring for our research collections.

I’m in Toronto today chairing a meeting of the CARL-sponsored working group that is embarking on developing a national research data management services network.  A very exciting way to end the week, with great colleagues from across the country.

I hope you all have a relaxing weekend, and for those heading into March break with children, have fun!

Library Update – February 21, 2014

Posted on February 21st, 2014 in Library updates

We love our special collections, and we love our undergraduates, so it has been a huge pleasure to see a dynamic combination of the two highlighted on the Queen’s home page this week. Molly-Claire Gillet’s exhibition A Pocket Cathedral: The Queen’s Kelmscott Chaucer and the Arts and Crafts Presses runs March 3-April 21 at the W.D. Jordan Special Collections and Music Library. The Library will host a reception on March 11 from 4-5 p.m.

The Bader International Study Centre (BISC) is beginning to recruit students for a new Field School in Digital Humanities beginning this summer.  We’ve been working with the program director, Shannon Smith, and local PhD student and program instructor Emily Murphy, to establish an experiential learning opportunity for students returning to Queen’s in the fall. These digital humanities student assistant placements will involve digital humanities projects developed by the student in collaboration with and supervised by a program instructor and our new Curator of Special Collections when that person is appointed.

There are other updates from BISC. With the departure of the Executive Director, an interim management team is in place and working closely with colleagues on the Queen’s campus. The long-serving librarian has retired and I will be working with the BISC team to help craft and fill a new librarian position.

On February 14, love, or at least collaboration, was in the air when the partners involved in the Downsview storage project met on site (Toronto, Queen’s, McMaster, Western and Ottawa). This was essentially a meta-discussion – a discussion of things that will need to be discussed and our process for addressing them – and operational details are several months down the road. The new facility, to house approximately 3 million items, is scheduled for completion in March 2015.

Related to the matter of new collaborations, watch for an imminent announcement of a couple of webinars on topics arising from the OCUL Collaborative Approaches Task Force.  The Library Leadership Team agreed it would be great if many of us could gather together to think about potential future collaborations for Queen’s.

Faculty-Division Heads met on February 18, and shared updates posted on the staff website. We also reviewed the annual planning cycle and priorities for 2014-15 to be reviewed in setting annual action plans. I’ll provide an update on planning and budget at our all staff meeting on March 4.

Often in the course of my work I have cause to reflect on the ‘library values’ that are so fundamental to our world of learning and research. Amongst them are those highlighted in Freedom to Read Week, running February 23 to March 1 across Canada. A series of public events is taking place in Speaker’s Corner: on February 25 at noon Stephanie Simpson and Barrington Walker will speak on Outside agitator: Black North American civil rights activism and the Canadian response,and on February 26 and 27 guests will read passages from challenged or banned books. Enjoy!

Library Update – February 7, 2014

Posted on February 7th, 2014 in Library updates

The OLA Super Conference held last week in Toronto again included many speakers, convenors and organizers from Queen’s – kudos to all! One of my favourite parts of OLA is perusing the posters, always a good snapshot of what’s on minds across the library sector, and it was a pleasure to see Alex Cooper talking about data access using ODESI. Her poster illustrates “the cumbersome process that was necessary to obtain data 15 years ago and compares it with the quick, innovative way it is obtained today, thus freeing up the librarian’s time to educate the researcher in the intricacies of data literacy.”

Data was a strong focus of the Digital Infrastructure Summit held in Ottawa on January 28-29. With the wish for tri-council requirements for data management plans in the air, there’s an increased sense of urgency for research data management services and technical infrastructure that includes long-term storage and preservation, as well as computational space for data intensive research. Queen’s is in the fortunate and somewhat unusual position of having close working relationships amongst the three legs of the stool of institutional support for research data management – the VP Research, the CIO and the University Librarian. Steven, Bo and I were all at the Summit and will be meeting to follow up on the intersection of institutional and national initiatives.

At the Research Data Canada Steering Committee meeting on January 27, we heard reports from each of the subcommittees exploring key elements of research data management: education and training, infrastructure, policy and standards and interoperability. The work of the RDC is very promising, bringing together many issues, ideas and initiatives to help shape a new landscape.

The Library Leadership Team reviewed a LAMP implementation plan this week, and a draft of a library gifts-in-kind policy. Following meetings with Advancement, we’ll come back to the LAMP implementation plan to develop terms of reference for the advisory committee. For the gifts-in-kind policy, input will be sought from Advancement and all units. LLT also heard an update on the Public Services Renewal project, which is moving into the consultant RFP posting and evaluation phase.

Last week the Library’s strong connections with academic units helped ensure great enthusiasm from university partners for our interest in engaging in a response to a recent MTCU request for proposals to support the development of online courses. LLT reviewed the parameters for the proposals and followed up with the Queen’s leads and the chair of our Teaching and Learning Working Group (TLWG), Cory Laverty. The TLWG is working with people across the library system on an ‘inquiry checklist’ that could be used in the development of any form of course, including blended and online.

In the open access realm, it was good to see John Willinsky honoured last week as a SPARC Innovator; see our Library News item, which recalls the work that Kim Bell did on a project with John’s team at Stanford, with the support of Sharon Murphy and our friends at the Campus Bookstore.

Today I’m at a CARL meeting in Toronto, where the weather outside is frightful but the Board is so delightful.  See you next week.

Library Update – January 24, 2014

Posted on January 24th, 2014 in Library updates

Now here’s a great story involving a beautiful book, social activism and smart people connecting dots to make good ideas happen: Rare book now on display in Stauffer Library. It has been a treat to see Faith Ringgold’s illustrations of Martin Luther King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail in the display case – with a page turned every day  – and we can look forward to Stephanie Simpson’s and Barrington Walker’s lunch hour-talk in Speakers’ Corner on February 25th, on the theme Outside agitators:  Black North American civil rights activism and the Canadian response.

Senate approved two academic programs this week:

The Combined Provost Deans Management Group met on Monday in one of the fabulous new Ellis Hall active learning classrooms. Our discussions included the report of the Student Learning Experience Task Force to be released soon and presented to Senate in February, a call for proposals to support the development of online educational opportunities in Ontario, the report of the IT@Queen’s Strategic Review and the proposed mandate statement that addresses Queen’s strengths and priorities from the perspective of the provincial government’s differentiation framework. All of these initiatives are important for the Library’s alignment with academic programs, and I look forward to discussing them with you in coming months.

I’ll be participating in a new Information Services and Technology Faculty Advisory Committee as it gets off the ground. This week’s inaugural meeting included a roundtable review of the membership’s top-of-mind technology matters. Terms of reference and other resources are available on the group’s web space.

The Campus Master Plan Advisory Committee reviewed the draft Campus Master Plan at its meeting on Tuesday. I was pleased to see the prominent inclusion of elements of the Library and Archives Master Plan and a clear articulation of the relation between the two projects.  An overview of the Campus Master Plan was presented later at Senate, and a series of panels showing a high-level summary continues to be available on the CMP website.

Working with Campus Planning, we’re beginning to develop a LAMP implementation plan, including an advisory structure to champion initiatives. Focused planning with Advancement is expected to begin this quarter as well.

The Information and Communications Working Group of the Queen’s Accessibility Framework met with staff in ITServices this week to review the status of a pilot service to support website owners in meeting the website accessibility requirements of the AODA. Within the Library, Michele Chittenden is working with Discovery and Technology Services staff on various aspects of accessibility, including inclusion of the Queen’s accessibility statement on our web pages. More information about this and related support will be distributed to all staff this winter.

Collaborative research data management (RDM) was a significant focus for me this past fall and I’m excited about the outcomes of a meeting I facilitated on behalf of CARL in December. We’re now forming a working group to drive the development of a national research data management network amongst Canadian academic libraries.

The CARL initiative will intersect nicely with the recommendations of a group I’m chairing, the Research Data Canada Education and Training Subcommittee. We’ll be reviewing our progress report with the RDC Steering Committee on Monday, including a recommendation to develop a support similar to the UK’s Digital Curation Centre.

All of this is in alignment with the international Research Data Alliance (RDA): I’m working with colleagues in the UK to launch an education interest group under the RDA.

Directly related to RDM is an effort to advance a Canadian digital infrastructure ecosystem including attention to high performance computing, high speed networking and other infrastructure required for data stewardship, co-led by Queen’s Vice-Principal (Research) Steven Liss: the Leadership Council for Digital Infrastructure is holding a Digital Infrastructure Summit in Ottawa next Tuesday and Wednesday, which I’ll attend.

The OCUL Executive met for a day last week to follow up on the recommendations of the OCUL Collaborative Approaches Task Force. If you haven’t yet read the task force report (here), please do. You’ll be hearing more about potential collaborative futures over the next few months.

The OCUL Planning & Assessment committee held a teleconference this week. This is a new group in OCUL’s new organizational framework, and we’re dipping our toes into the processes of helping initiatives flow from idea to funded project to sustainable service.  It’s good to see several communities up and running and more on their way (see OCUL Communities).

I’m pleased to note that McGill Queen’s University Press is the proud recipient of the 2013 Wilson Prize for Publishing Canadian History.

It’s Live in for Literacy time again! Drop by to visit the students at their tent site in the Stauffer Library atrium, from January 24-31, as they promote international literacy and raise funds to build school libraries and other educational facilities in developing countries.

Bundle up! I’ll be embracing winter (and my new favourite term, polar vortex), with a visiting daughter this weekend, which may involve cross-country skiing or snowshoeing, but most definitely reading by the fire.

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Martha Whitehead Martha Whitehead
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