Library Update – November 13, 2015

Post Date:
Nov 13, 2015

 Hello from Ottawa, where Thursday I represented CARL at the Library and Archives Canada Stakeholders’ Forum and today at an event titled “Canada’s Archives – A New Blueprint: A vision and areas of focus 2016-2026.” The Stakeholders’ Forum participants were from associations of archives, libraries and museums, and the Canadian Historical Association. We discussed LAC’s three-year business plan, draft national heritage digitization strategy and international engagement strategy, and I gave a presentation about CARL’s Portage initiative. We all agreed it was a wonderful opportunity to learn about priorities across our sectors and to interact with LAC. There was optimism in the air. Today’s event brought together about 100 stakeholders in the archival community (including our Heather Home) to discuss a strategy to provide a high-level roadmap to guide collaboration between members of the Canadian archival community with a view to responding to the opportunities and challenges of the digital world.

It has been a busy period at Queen’s over the past few weeks, including:

  • Homecoming weekend: Thank you to all who provided a warm welcome to our alumni!
  • Campus Master Plan Advisory Committee: The project to light the trees outside Stauffer and Douglas has the support of CPAC, with the understanding that the library is not responsible for funding the initiative.
  • LAMP LINQ project: The group is at the point of preparing a discussion paper that outlines the principles for developing and operating LINQ sites.
  • LAMP Douglas and Stauffer project:  We’ve contracted with CS&P Architects to develop schematic design drawings for several high priority renovations, including the move of Music to Stauffer, reconfiguration of the Jordan Library floor of Douglas Library, and reconfiguration of service space on the entry level of Stauffer. The first site visit and stakeholder consultations will be held Dec.2/3.
  • Service philosophy project: The background work is well under way and the group’s next task is to prepare a draft statement for review by staff.
  • University Council:  The Nov.7 meeting of the Council focused on its advisory and advocacy role and the agenda included a series of breakout discussion sessions including one on the library. Sandra Morden and I engaged participants in discussions of current and future priorities and opportunities.
  • Faculty IT Advisory Committee: I am a member of this committee as University Librarian. At its meeting on Nov.10, the main topic was faculty support for learning management systems and the onQ pilot.  Mark Swartz was asked to sit on the onQ Advisory Committee, because of the push towards using e-reserves to support copyright compliance of course readings, and he is working with ITServices to organize a library session about onQ.

One of my top-of-mind matters these days is the strategic work required to address the scholarly publishing issues that are now eroding information access at our universities, in an era where access should only be expanding. At the moment it still feels like we can’t see the forest for the trees – it’s a dense landscape – but we’re on the verge of a breakthrough. Today was yet another opportunity to contemplate the co-dependencies of libraries, publishers and scholars as I participated in a meeting of the McGill Queen’s University Press Financial Committee. Next week I’ll be attending a one-day seminar organized by Erudit, titled “New Models of Knowledge Dissemination and Open Access in Canada.” One thing is clear: we need to work together to solve these problems, here at Queen’s, across the country and around the world. More on this topic in weeks and months to come.

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