Library Update – March 3, 2017

Post Date:
Mar 3, 2017

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

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

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

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

Now for some general updates!

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

Have a wonderful March weekend!

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