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Welcome! At Queen’s University the library is a gathering place — both physical and virtual — where ideas are explored, concepts are learned and theories are unearthed, and where friends are met, relationships are forged and community is created. With its extensive research collections, user-centred services and inviting spaces, the library is the keystone of campus, a place of inspiration, imagination and initiative. Above all else, the library is people, people who make a difference — people who help people to learn, think, discover and do. It’s my privilege to work with people across the library system who engage wholeheartedly with students, faculty and staff across the university.

Martha's Blog

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.

Library Update – December 20, 2013

Posted on December 20th, 2013 in Library updates

Fellow word game lovers may have noticed…  If you’re in downtown Kingston at night, stand on King St across from the Earth to Spirit Fair Trade Co and look at the top floor of that building. You’ll see written on the backlit windows: “Joy to the Word No L.” I’m probably the last person in Kingston to observe this, but definitely one of the most delighted.

It’s also delightful to be wrapping up another calendar year and looking forward to the new term. I hope you’re in a similar recharging frame of mind.

It has been a landmark year, with our role in the fabric of the university recognized at the level of the Board of Trustees in its approval of a Library and Archives Master Plan.  As well, years of discussions with the City of Kingston concluded in a Council-approved agreement regarding Queen’s management of the City Archives. In terms of our ongoing services and research, we’ve seen many people engaged in significant projects and many embracing new roles. We’ve also felt sadness at seeing longtime colleagues retire, mixed with happiness for them as they embark on new chapters. All in all, an eventful year.

Turning to most recent weeks, here are a few updates from the leadership team:

  • Jackie Druery and Sharon Murphy are in the process of forming the group to guide our upcoming public services renewal project, which they are co-chairing. They’ll send information out to all early in the new year.
  • Jane Philipps has prepared a charter for a project that will begin the process of implementing the collections-related recommendations of the Library and Archives Master Plan.
  • As mentioned by Jane earlier this week, the final report of the E-book Strategy Project is now available here, along with a document identifying some proposed actions that will address the report’s recommendations.
  • The Scholarly Communications Working Group prepared QUL’s response to the Draft Tri-Agency Open Access Policy, which University Research Services suggested be reframed as the University response. With a few adjustments to reflect feedback received from some Queen’s researchers, the response was submitted under the names of the Vice-Principal Research and the University Librarian (posted on the working group’s page on the QUL Staff Website).
  • The Vice-Principal Research drafted Queen’s response (posted on the Research Data Working Group’s page) to the TC3+ Capitalizing on Big Data discussion paper, drawing on the CARL submission I had worked on (posted here) and those of other organizations as well.

Faculty-Division Heads met on December 13th and provided interesting updates on activities in their areas, posted here.

Earlier this week I gave a short presentation to the Provost-Deans-Management Group about OCUL initiatives. I provided background on the evolution of Scholars Portal, including the leveraging of over $8 million in government funding received since 2001 to create new collaborative services, and then highlighted recent initiatives. The ACE (Accessible Content E-Portal) began as a pilot with a $150K EnAbling Change Program grant, and has now been approved by OCUL Directors as a sustained Scholars Portal service. The Ontario Digital Library Research Cloud, a project in which Queen’s University Library is a partner, has been awarded $1.2 million from the MTCU Productivity and Innovation Fund (PIF).

Please take a moment to review the digest of the OCUL Directors Fall 2013 meeting, now available here. (The links in the PDF will take you to all of the available reports now posted on the OCUL wiki. If you are not able to log in to the wiki, please send an email to ocul@ocul.on.ca.)

In particular, OCUL Directors encourage staff in our member libraries to read the report of the Collaborative Approaches Task Force and discuss it widely with OCUL colleagues. There is much to consider and the implications of the recommendations are far reaching. The report is available for staff here.

Last week we were sorry to say farewell to our visitors from the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, Liu Xia and Xu Qin, as they completed their study period. They expressed their sincere thanks to everyone they have worked with over the past several months.

McGill Queen’s University Press (MQUP) recently welcomed a second acquisitions editor to its Queen’s office, Jill Bryant. Jill joins James MacNevan in the MQUP offices on the entry level of Douglas Library. As a member of the MQUP Audit and Finance Committee and the Board I attended their semi-annual meetings this week on the Queen’s campus. It reminded me of a title I intended to add to my holiday reading list: Sandra Djwa’s Journey with No Maps: A Life of P.K. Page. The Press was delighted to see her awarded the Governor General’s Award for Non-Fiction in 2013.

Whether it’s words, the presence of friends and family, winter light, or moments of solitude you seek over the holidays, I hope they bring you much joy. Wishing you all the best, and looking forward to seeing you at the New Year’s Breakfast,


Library Update – December 6, 2013

Posted on December 6th, 2013 in Library updates

Both the Campus Master Plan (CMP) and the Library and Archives Master Plan (LAMP) have milestones today. I hope you’ll drop by the Campus Master Plan Open House in the Biosciences Complex Atrium between 2pm and 6pm to view the 27 panels that describe the overall directions of the CMP.  Tonight at the Board of Trustees meeting, the Principal will be moving approval of LAMP, as chair of the Queen’s University Planning Committee, and I will provide a brief presentation.

OCUL Directors met at the beginning of last week, and Scholars Portal Day was held this past Wednesday. As usual, there are many great initiatives, including continuation of the Accessible Content E-Portal project and further development of the Cloud Storage project. With regard to the latter project, we’re delighted that it was included in the projects supported by the Ontario government under the Productivity and Innovation Fund announced today.

Senate met this week, and I’d like to point out that the agenda now includes reports from standing committees as well as periodic reports from Faculty and Schools that you’re welcome to peruse. Senate Library Committee met as well, with a focus this time on the information and communications aspect of Queen’s Accessibility Framework.

I’m keeping this update short today in anticipation of a bit of a first term wrap-up next time… meanwhile enjoy the winter weekend.

Library Update – November 22, 2013

Posted on November 22nd, 2013 in Library updates

After two weeks on the road my mind is very full. The topics in each of the two weeks have been quite different, as have the locations.

My first stop was the Bader International Study Centre (BISC) in the Sussex countryside, where I was asked to review library services and resources and consider the potential for greater connections with the Queen’s University Library system. It was a very interesting time of year to visit, with the First Year Program in full swing. I was able to interview students in both the First Year Program and the Upper Year Program, as well as numerous faculty and staff.  I also spent a few hours at the University of Sussex Library, where BISC students are able to borrow materials. Last weekend I made the transition from the quiet of Herstmonceux to the bustle of London, where I spent a day at the British Library. I was able to write up most of my draft report there, enjoying the ambience of one of the world’s great libraries and the nearby coffee shops of Bloomsbury.

This week was a digital preservation immersion, at the  Aligning National Approaches to Digital Preservation conference in Barcelona. I was here because of the work I’ve been doing at the broad level of data management with Research Data Canada, and it was fascinating and helpful to be surrounded by international leaders of one of the more focused aspects of the digital lifecycle.  At the risk of overkill, I’d like to share with you some of the links I perused as a result of the discussions, as they paint an interesting picture of various aspects of the current landscape — a landscape so important for the future of research libraries. This is by no means a list of all important initiatives, just a sampling of some topics of conversation.

MetaArchive: This is the group behind the conference. MetaArchive is a cooperative, distributed, digital preservation solution for locally created digital materials. It began in 2002 with 6 libraries in the US and now has over 50 institutions in 4 countries. It uses LOCKSS software to embed the technical infrastructure within individual member libraries, and its distributed nature is based on principles similar to those underpinning the OCUL Cloud Storage project. http://www.metaarchive.org/

Educopia: In 2006, MetaArchive founded Educopia, a not-for-profit organization, to manage its collaborative program. http://www.educopia.org/

ANADP: Educopia organized the Aligning National Approaches to Digital Preservation conference in Estonia in May 2012 and this one in Barcelona.  The publication of papers from the first conference is an excellent compilation of various threads of discussion in digital preservation in the international context. http://educopia.org/publications/ANADP

LOCKSS: As I’m sure you know, the LOCKSS Program, based at Stanford University Libraries, provides libraries and publishers with open source digital preservation tools to preserve and provide access to digital content. The Council of Prairie and Pacific University Libraries has a Private LOCKSS Network with a particular focus on freely available born digital Web content including e-journals and small presses, and, with others across Canada, government documents. I learned more about LOCKSS at this conference than I knew before, as two of their key people led a discussion of potential new models for collaborative preservation. http://www.lockss.org/

DaMSSI-ABC: The UK has long provided a wealth of research data management training materials through the Digital Curation Centre and other JISC RDMTrain projects, which we’re looking at in Canada. DaMSSI-ABC aims to support and improve coherence in the development, dissemination and reuse of those materials. http://www.dcc.ac.uk/training/damssi-abc

Research Information and Digital Literacies Coalition (RIDL): This is a UK project that’s developing criteria for describing, reviewing and assessing practice in information literacy training that encompasses the culture of data stewardship. People working on DaMSSI-ABC also connect with RIDL. http://www.researchinfonet.org/infolit/ridls

Jorum: A repository for finding and sharing open education resources produced by the UK higher education community. http://www.jorum.ac.uk/

DigCurV: One of my co-presenters talked about DigCurV. Funded by the European Commission, this is a collaborative project to address vocational training needed by digital curators in the library, archive, museum and cultural heritage sectors. DigCurV developed a curriculum framework of different lenses on the topic of digital curation (executive, manager, practitioner) that is being adopted by other programs. http://www.digcur-education.org/

Library of Congress Digital Preservation Outreach and Education (DPOE): Another of my co-presenters spoke about DPOE and its development of a collaborative network of instructors and partners to provide training to individuals and organizations seeking to preserve their digital content. http://www.digitalpreservation.gov/education/

RCUK Common Principles on Data Policy: These RCUK common principles on data policy provide an overarching framework for individual UK Research Council policies on data policy. This has been around for a while, but seems timely to review as we consider the Canadian funding councils’ consultation document. http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/research/Pages/DataPolicy.aspx

4C project – Collaboration to Clarify the Costs of Curation: The costs and benefits of digital curation is a focus for many organizations needing to ensure effective investment, and it was a topic at several conference sessions.  http://www.4cproject.eu

International Internet Preservation Consortium: The people who brought you the Wayback machine, and a highly effective organization. http://www.netpreserve.org

Scholars Portal: Our own Scholars Portal comes up in various contexts where digital preservation is concerned, as one of only a few digital archives certified as trustworthy by the Center for Research Libraries. The LOCKSS people mentioned how very helpful our documentation has been in their application for certification currently under way. http://www.crl.edu/archiving-preservation/digital-archives

Lest you think this is a crazy way to spend time in Barcelona, let me assure you I’ve also taken a couple of days of vacation. I’m completely overwhelmed with the beauty of this city. For example, the Sagrada Familia has long been on my list of places I wanted to experience, but I wasn’t at all prepared for how it would feel – so amazing.

I’m heading back to Canada on Sunday, with OCUL Directors meeting in Ottawa on Monday and Tuesday. I’m looking forward to being back at Queen’s on Wednesday!

Library Update – November 8, 2013

Posted on November 8th, 2013 in Library updates

The Library Leadership Team began to discuss the details of a ‘public services renewal’ project this week. This stems from the discussion of strategic directions begun in June with Heads and brought to the All Staff session on October 7:  how best to apply our resources to deliver user services that are both seamless and user-centred. The project charter will be in place at the end of this month.

A few items of note posted recently on the QUL Staff Website:

The Library Leadership Team also reviewed a project charter arising from the October 23Faculty-Division Heads meeting:  an updating of the Code of Behaviour for Library Users.  First adopted in 1998 and updated sporadically, this compilation of policies no longer reflects our learning and research environment.

The Campus Master Plan Advisory Committee met this week. We reviewed a set of information panels for a Campus Community Open House to be held Friday, December 6, from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm in the Biosciences Complex Atrium.  A report is also in the works, and it is even longer than the Library and Archives Master Plan!  Along with other committee members, I’ll be reading the first draft with interest and providing feedback over the next few weeks.

I presented the Library and Archives Master Plan to Senate on October 29 and the Vice-Principals’ Operations Committee on October 31. In both cases there was great interest and support. The next step is a presentation to the Queen’s University Planning Committee this coming Monday, in preparation for their recommendation to the Board on December 6.

The Queen’s University Biological Station is a Queen’s ‘campus’ that few of us visit often, but it’s top of mind for our liaison to the Biology Department, Morag Coyne. Morag has been appointed to the Queen’s University Biological Station Advisory Committee, which is having its first meeting this coming Sunday.

This week was the Fall meeting of CARL Directors, preceded by a day-long CARL Board meeting. There is a great deal of activity taking place these days, from exploration of new journal models to the next Librarians Research Institute. I’ll be facilitating a meeting of key stakeholders in early December to define the objectives of a proposed national network of research data management services offered by research libraries and the parameters of a project to develop a service model and business plan.

My next update will be from “the castle”… I’ve been invited to the Bader International Study Centre for a few days to review its library services and consider opportunities for connections with the Kingston campus.  Meanwhile, I’m looking forward to a cozy Ontario weekend and hope you are too.

Library Update – October 25, 2013

Posted on October 25th, 2013 in Library updates

Open Access Week promotions by our Scholarly Communications Working Group have been highlighting developments in the open sharing of research, including the harmonized Draft Tri-Agency Open Access Policy. At a Heads meeting on Wednesday, group lead Sharon Murphy asked for input on the consultation process, and will follow up with the group on ways the Library can facilitate discussions leading to a QUL response.

The federal granting agencies have also jointly issued a consultation document on a related topic, digital infrastructure for research data management: Toward a Policy Framework for Advancing Digital Scholarship in Canada.  It was released last week and discussed at the CASRAI conference Reconnect Big Data 13, where Jeff Moon, Sharon Murphy and I were amongst the speakers. Responses will be submitted by various organizations, including Queen’s and the Canadian Association of Research Libraries.

The Senate Library Committee had its first meeting of the year last week. Shelley King is the new Chair, and Sandra Halliday the Secretary. Agenda topics for 2013-14 are the Library and Archives Master Plan, Information and Communications Accessibility, and Digital Scholarship.

The Information and Communications Working Group of the Queen’s Accessibility Framework met this week and reviewed preparations for the official launch of the Accessibility Hub (October 30th, 3pm, Alan G. Green Reading Room, Stauffer Library – please join us), as well as plans for assessing its impact and ongoing operating requirements. A related task for this academic year is a university-level review of the mandate of the Adaptive Technology Centre in light of current and upcoming AODA requirements. As well, the Library Leadership Team is following up on applicaiton of the university’s new accessibility statement for various communications; following consultation in the Library, we will provide guidelines later this fall.

The Library Leadership Team reviewed two new project charters this week. One is a project to refresh Library web site content that provides information about our people, services, projects, priorities and plans. The other sets up our local coordinated approach to the OCUL Cloud Storage Network project that kicked off in September. Michael Vandenburg also updated the LLT on OCUL’s Collaborative Approaches Task Force, which is preparing recommendations for the OCUL Directors meeting in November.

In addition to this week’s national media mention of QUL (the Globe and Mail National University Report article on The university library of the future), thanks to Barbara Teatero and Shelley King we found ourselves mentioned in Times Higher Education, in a brief note about the Catherine Parr Traill scrapbook in Special Collections’ Edith and Lorne Pierce Collection of Canadiana. THE boasts a weekly print circulation of 28,000, a weekly readership of “60,000 HE professionals,” and the website “registers a global audience of over 400,000 unique HE users each month.”

Have a good weekend!

Library Update – October 11, 2013

Posted on October 11th, 2013 in Library updates

As mentioned in an update in September, the Library Leadership Team has heard a need for additional communication mechanisms for staffing news, such as retirements and position changes. Practices have reflected the wishes of various individuals expressed to us in the past, with information being shared at the unit and division level rather than through broadcast messages. We agreed to look into additional paths that will continue to respect individual privacy but make it easier for people across the system to keep up with changes.

You’ll now find a new page on the QUL Staff Website, under Library Life, titled People News: http://staff.library.queensu.ca/people-news. Updates will appear on the main page of the QUL Staff Website, and position postings will continue to be sent out via email. Let us know what you think of this approach.

As part of our conversations on this topic, the Library Leadership Team also decided to update the 2011 Organizational Design and Staffing Plan document this year to reflect current priorities established through our annual planning processes.

At a Library Leadership Team meeting this week, a proposed Research Data Management Services Work Plan was reviewed and approved with minor changes. Prepared by the Research Data Working Group, the plan outlines steps to enhance the research data management activities of QUL over the next three years.  The work plan will be reviewed and updated continuously; a current version will be maintained on the group’s page on the QUL Staff Website.

We’ve entered the Fall season of association meetings, and there is much to report about important developments in our transforming landscape:

  • CRKN has a new Strategic Plan, discussed at the Annual General Meeting held in Toronto last week, which includes a key new strategic objective to “collaborate to advance digital scholarship”: http://crkn.ca/sites/crkn.ca/files/site/crkn_straplan_en_fnl.pdf
  • The IFLA Trend Report was discussed at the ARL Directors meeting this week, to explore “How will we access, use and benefit from information in an increasingly hyper-connected world?”
  • “ARL has embarked upon a strategic process that frames the critical work of the Association and defines the role it plays in higher education to maximize its ability to be agile and responsive to rapidly changing priorities and member institution needs.” See ARL Strategic Thinking & Design.
  • The ARL Transforming Research Libraries Committee, of which I’m a member, had very useful meetings all day Wednesday, including several key topics:
  • The development of SHARE (SHared Access Research Ecosystem), a cross-institutional coordination framework to ensure access to, preservation and reuse of, and funding compliance for, federally funded research. It was timely to hear about the current thinking behind this, which is very similar to the community building and leveraging of existing infrastructure that CARL and other groups in Canada are working to facilitate this Fall.
  • Projects relating to various elements of transformation, including: a proposed training program in participatory design; a Mellon funded research grant to explore knowledge and skill capacity for digital scholarship; a joint task force on librarians’ competencies in support of e-research and scholarly communication; follow-up on the recent publication and webcast of the report titled Transforming Liaison Roles in Research Libraries; an outline of a new white paper to explore models of strategic human resource management that could be applied to transforming and restructuring the library workforce; a discussion of the ‘mainstreaming’ and highlighting of special collections and archives as a central element of research libraries (watch for an upcoming issue of  Research Library Issues which includes a focus on this topic).

Many of you will have been following the controversy around an article in Science, which highlights problems with the process of peer review but claimed it as a problem with OA journals. Be sure to read the CARL response.  The CARL Directors’ meeting is a few weeks away, but we’re preparing now for good discussions of OA, given the consultation on a draft tri-agency OA policy to take place between October and December. Watch for an announcement on this from NSERC and SSHRC on October 15.

And now, I hope you’re all looking forward to wrapping up the work week in preparation for the long weekend, and perhaps some reading of Alice Munro?

Library Update – October 4, 2013

Posted on October 4th, 2013 in Library updates

Budget was a focus last week, with each of the Shared Services presenting their 2014-15 to 2016-17 submissions to the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Budget over the course of four afternoons. Faculty submissions will be heard later this Fall. As in the previous cycle, the full budget details should be available in the first quarter of the new year. In the All Staff session on Monday, I’ll provide an overview of the priorities developed for inclusion in the Library’s budget submission.

The Information and Communications Working Group met last Friday to plan next steps in AODA compliance and review the summer work on the Accessibility Hub. The beta is live and feedback is appreciated. A great opportunity to learn more and provide that feedback will be the first Accessibilty Café in this year’s series:  Wednesday, October 9th, 11:30-12:30, Speaker’s Corner, Stauffer Library. The launch of the Accessibility Hub will take place on October 30th in the Fireplace Reading Room.

Earlier this week I had the pleasure of serving as the CLA Observer on the External Review Panel visiting the University of Ottawa’s School of Information Studies as part of their accreditation process. It was fascinating to see how different strands of the digital environment come together across the curriculum, and to get a taste of the current research occurring at the School. I was intrigued by their ‘research conversations’ series, and wishing Ottawa wasn’t quite so far up the road.

In the LAMP presentations this week I mentioned developments in the exploration of storage options.  The project charter for the Library and Archives Storage Project, approved by the Library Leadership Team in June, had anticipated a decision in late Fall regarding partnering with the University of Toronto in using the Downsview storage facility. This sped up in August with an opportunity to participate in a joint funding application to the MTCU Productivity Innovation Fund for a shared storage solution and approval of that application by the Provosts at each institution. Discussions with the University of Toronto regarding procedural details will take place in 2013-14 with the project group. The intention is to have storage space available in the Fall of 2014, presuming construction of a new module at the Downsview site goes according to plan. The project charter also anticipated that storage solutions for university records would be a subsequent project, but explorations are now under way to secure space that can serve as a pilot for some records, as the full assessment of needs recommended in the Records Management Review proceeds. The Records Management Review was presented to the Operations Review Committee in August and goes to the Vice-Principals Operations Committee this month.

In addition to the matters above, at its last meeting the Library Leadership Team discussed and approved the migration of OJS from QUL to Scholar’s Portal hosting, as requested by the Scholarly Communications Working Group. Other OCUL schools successfully host their OJS with Scholar’s Portal. It removes the burden of technical upkeep while retaining the direct relationship with journal creators. Katie Legere and Sylvia Andrychuk will liaise with Scholars Portal staff on migration timing and issues and communicating the change with current clients.

It’s a big weekend at Queen’s, with Board meetings today, a joint Board-Senate meeting tomorrow morning and Homecoming festivities throughout. In our own Speaker’s Corner (Queen’s Learning Commons, Stauffer Library) on Saturday at 10:30, the English Department will hold a Battle of the Books in which eight people will try to persuade the audience that their pick merits the Giller Prize. How could I not have the winner, at a Homecoming event, with the title Going Home Again? The event is a feature in the celebration of the Quasquicentennial of the English Department at Queen’s. Hope to see you there!

Library Update – September 20, 2013

Posted on September 20th, 2013 in Library updates

The Library and Archives Master Plan Steering Group will be meeting on Tuesday to review the full Plan compiled over the summer. Following any final edits of this draft, the Plan will be posted on the LAMP website for your review and feedback. The document includes a six-page executive summary to entice people to read further and to dip into various parts of the full 112 pages. As chair of the Steering Group I’ll present an overview in two separate and identical sessions for all staff on Thursday, October 3rd, 11am-noon and 2-3pm, Robert Sutherland Hall (Policy Studies).

LAMP is intended as a framework, and it’s certainly framing many of my thoughts these days. One of the highlights of my start to the new term was an invitation from students in the School of Urban and Regional Planning, prompted by my guest blog post on the Campus Master Plan blog, to speak to their incoming class on September 6th on the topic of placemaking. Very fun! As well it has been a pleasure to prepare LAMP briefs for various groups (Campus Master Plan Steering Group, Vice-Principals’ Operations Committee, Queen’s University Planning Committee, the Board of Trustees) – an opportunity to reflect on our alignment with Queen’s strategic framework.

Thoughts of LAMP are converging with thoughts about the humanities for me, sparked by a great chat with Vice Principal Research Steven Liss this week. We were talking about humanities research and he referred to the library as a ‘beacon’ for the humanities. Beacon, LAMP, brilliant! And it’s not just about the humanities, it’s about the humanities permeating all disciplines.

So why is humanities so much on my mind? It began with attending the Matariki Conference on Research in the Humanities at Dartmouth College last week. The conference aimed to bring colleagues from the seven Matariki institutions into dialogue with one another about the current state of humanities-oriented research, to exchange ideas about practices at our respective institutions, and to develop an outcome-oriented look towards areas of resource sharing and collaboration. The attendees were the universities’ representatives of humanities interests, the University Librarians and individuals involved in the Matariki Library Benchmarking project (in our case, Michele Chittenden, for her work on the first iteration of the project relating to support for students with disabilities).

Michele and I were struck by two recurring themes in our interactions with this great group: deep student learning engagement drawing on rich research resources, and the connections being made between the humanities and other disciplines. It was one of those events where people connect with each other and ideas flow, and for me it also confirmed the opportunities of the re-invisioned Douglas Library – a beacon for the humanities at the academic crossroads of all disciplines.

Back at Queen’s, it’s a bountiful fall for the humanities. The Department of English is celebrating its quasquicentennial this year, and has collaborated with the W.D. Jordan Library in mounting an exhibit entitled “125 Years of Canadian Literature at Queen’s.”  Last night the Archives hosted a launch for Dr. Sandra Campbell’s book, Both Hands: A Life of Lorne Pierce of Ryerson Press. During the October 4-6 Homecoming weekend, the English department will hold a “Battle of the Books” – a debate by faculty members on this year’s Scotiabank Giller Prize nominees – in Speakers’ Corner in the Queen’s Learning Commons, Stauffer Library.

With the student learning experience very much on my mind as well, it was wonderful to see in CRKN news that one of our long-serving QLC Student Assistants, Sabina Pagotto, is working with CRKN as Digital Services intern until the end of December. If you haven’t caught the video by members of our current QLC team, you can enter the kingdom here. And, I’ve just heard that one of our new QLC students, Grace, was the essay winner for last year’s Queen’s Common Reading Program and is the student who chose the title for this year. See more about Grace and the program on the Queen’s News.

As we all know, learning continues throughout our careers, and we’re seeing a great example of that with the professional development undertaken by our visiting colleagues from the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics (SUFE). It was wonderful to meet, Liu Xia and Xu Qin at the beginning of the week, and also to receive a lovely note from one of their colleagues at SUFE, with Mid-Autumn Day happy wishes to all of us here. Huang Yu said that Mid-Autumn Festival, also called Mooncake Festival, stands for happy reunions of friends and family, and “reminds us of many precious friendships overseas.” We celebrated in our office with cake yesterday, a tradition we may just have to continue! I’m looking forward to learning more about China from Xia and Qin during their months with us, and I know they’re looking forward to learning from all of you.

Updates from the Library Leadership Team… We invited Leslie Taylor to present a report from the e-book strategy project group, and project sponsor Jane Philipps will follow up regarding next steps for each of the recommendations.  We talked about the communication of staffing news such as retirements and position changes, having heard that people would like some additional mechanisms to learn about these changes. Current practices reflect the wishes of various individuals expressed to us in the past, with information being shared at the unit and division level. We agreed to look into additional paths that will continue to respect individual privacy but make it easier for people across the system to keep up with changes.

I spent much of today with Queen’s fabulous Jonathan Rose, on a McGill Queen’s University Press committee, and in one of the breaks he mentioned something that’s perfect to pass along on a Friday afternoon.  We were talking about public spaces and he mentioned his own free library set up outside his house. He even encouraged me to pass along the address: 48 Colborne Street.  So if you have a book to contribute or want to take one to read, wander by any time.  Have a good weekend everyone.

Free Library

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Martha Whitehead Martha Whitehead
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