Library Update – July 7, 2017

Post Date:
Jul 7, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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