Martha's Update - June 29, 2018

Post Date:
Jun 29, 2018

The end of June and beginning of summer seems like a good time to provide an update on the various spring planning activities that prepare for the new academic year and the next fiscal year.

First, reflecting on our accomplishments of 2017-18 was a pleasure, as always. We had a chance to talk about some highlights at our all staff planning and development event on May 8. The full summary of accomplishments document is in draft form and will be finalized at the end of July. Heads also reflected on the past year at their June 21 planning session.

For me, several key highlights revolve around the word “open.” Over the years, Queen’s has transitioned from being a great Canadian university to also aspiring to be global, inclusive… open. As the subtitle for the recently approved Queen’s 2018-2023 Strategic Research Plan puts it – bring Queen’s to the world and the world to Queen’s. This dovetails with the library’s own reflections on the changing landscape of information resources and the promise of the digital age. As we came together to contemplate our information resources vision this past year, we embraced a set of principles that speak to the full picture of that landscape, spanning our roles in the dissemination and preservation of information as well as its discovery and access. Similarly, our Action Plan to Support Anti-Racism, Diversity, Inclusion and Indigenous Cultures pointed the way to new paths for developing our information services, resources and spaces. And, across the library, each individual staff member opened doors – literally and figuratively – to the information our community needs. There are many other initiatives to mention, and I hope you’ll enjoy reading about some of them in our Annual Report 2017-18 scheduled to come out in the Fall.

Looking ahead, many of you have pointed to several critical themes that we'll need to pay attention to in order to support Queen’s strategic priorities:

  • Research: A renewed emphasis on research prominence requires that we articulate even more clearly the library research services that we provide and the related roles and responsibilities of people across the organization.
  • Diversity and inclusion: Continuing our emphasis on diversity and inclusion, we will need to move forward thoughtfully with the objectives identified in our Action Plan.
  • Online learning: In looking at trends in academic programs, the ubiquity of online learning and off-campus programs requires that our virtual information services catch up with current user experiences in the online realm and that we get even better at managing the library-related learning objects we create for academic programs.
  • Information resources: We’ve made great progress over the past few years in advancing our information resources strategies of accountability and innovation, and the coming year holds further work regarding our serials acquisitions and resource sharing processes. We’re also placing an emphasis on print stewardship projects, to appropriately care for and showcase those collections and to advance the Library and Archives Master Plan.
  • Space:  The 25th anniversary of Joseph S. Stauffer Library is coming up, so let's begin planning now for an event in the Fall of 2019! As well, the print stewardship projects noted above will enable redevelopment of spaces across the library system over time, as envisioned in the Library and Archives Master Plan.

As always, these themes will be presented as a variety of objectives under the university’s Strategic Framework in our updated library Strategic Priorities 2018-19 to 2020-21.

This is also the period when we prepare our multi-year budget plan for next fiscal year. We’re emphasizing the staff and information resources required to meet the needs of academic programs and research. It was very helpful to have details provided by the heads of our faculty liaison units regarding a variety of environmental impacts: new academic programs; growth of online and off-campus courses and degrees; fundamental academic skills; enrolment increases; international students; diversity, inclusion and Indigeneity; new faculty and increased research emphasis. A draft summary of that information is being drawn upon for the library’s budget submission.

I’ll be attending the LIBER annual conference, Research Libraries as an Open Science Hub: From Strategy to Action, in Lille July 4-6 and speaking on behalf of COAR in a session titled “Next generation repositories: new technologies to position the library in a global knowledge commons.”  And then I know that summer will speed by despite the slothful pace required in this heat. Meanwhile, happy July!

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