Library Update – December 18, 2015

Post Date:
Dec 18, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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