Holidays are upon us!

The holiday season is upon us as we turn our thoughts to our friends and family.  In my country of origin it is hot; the smell of freshly mowed grass fills the air; school is out for the summer; cricket is being played in backyards and at the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground); and, the BBQ’s are primed and ready to go.  Preparations are in hand for Boxing Day, which marks the start of the famous Sydney to Hobart yacht race.  It is shaping up to be a typical Aussie Christmas.

This year, though, Australia is haunted by the recent tragic event at Sydney’s Martin Place Café, and many are asking how could this happen?  In a country where gun laws are already strong (well at least by comparison to North America), in broad daylight in the tourist centre of one of the most picturesque cities in the world, its simply hard to comprehend.  This topic is sure to be on the minds of many and will be spoken about at many Christmas BBQ’s and family gatherings. A world away, I am speculating about the timing of the next snow fall.  Will it be a refreshed white Christmas and how far will the temperatures drop?

Happy holidays everyone!  Stay safe and enjoy time with family and friends.

Researcher in Residence Announcement

The University Library in conjunction with the Centre for Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (C-EBLIP) is very pleased to announce our 2015/16 Researcher in Residence. Selinda Berg is a librarian at the University of Windsor and she will be spending her sabbatical with us beginning in July 2015. You can read Selinda’s bio on the C-EBLIP website, here.

Selinda is an active and engaged librarian researcher with a keen interest in building a Canadian librarian culture of research. We’re really fortunate to have her join us and she’s very excited to come and immerse herself in our research culture. C-EBLIP will be hosting some activities with Selinda so watch for details in the months ahead.

Book of Remembrance

On Wednesday, December 10 I had the privilege of receiving on behalf of the University of Saskatchewan a “Display Set” of the Book of Remembrance of First World War Fallen from Saskatoon and University of Saskatchewan, presented by the Military Institute of Saskatoon.

The following text is from the official news release regarding the Books of Remembrance:

In order to honour the citizens of Saskatoon and members of the University of Saskatchewan community lost in the First World War and to commemorate the centenary of the beginning of that War, the Military Institute of Saskatoon (MIS), in partnership with the North Saskatchewan Branch of the Corps of Commissionaires, the Spadina Branch 63 and the Nutana Branch 362 of the Royal Canadian Legion, the Saskatchewan Command of the Royal Canadian Legion, the Last Post Fund, and the Poppy Fund, will be presenting Books of Remembrance to the City of Saskatoon and the University of Saskatchewan. To “remember them,” the Book contains the names and brief biographies of 622 citizens of Saskatoon and 69 individuals from the University of Saskatchewan lost in the First World War. The formal “Presentation Set,” consisting of a wooden case with the image of the Brooding Soldier carved in the top and a copy of the Book of Remembrance, will be housed in the City Archives and publically displayed on appropriate occasion: the “Display Set,” consisting of a bound copy of the Book appropriate ascribed, will be housed in each of the Public Libraries in Saskatoon. An additional “Display Set” was presented to the University of Saskatchewan. It is the intent of the MIS to develop similar books of remembrance commemorating the citizens lost in the Second World War, the Korean War and subsequent actions.

Thank you to the employees in University Archives & Special Collections for arranging the presentation ceremony. The Book of Remembrance is a significant addition to our collections and will be a valuable resource for our campus community.


What are librarians reading and researching?

This week I had the opportunity to be a guest contributor on Brain-Work, the Centre for Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (C-EBLIP) blog that features topics related to research, evidence based library and information practice, and librarianship.

My blog post, entitled The Value of Big Picture Trends in the Smaller Context, can be found here.

Brain-Work publishes a new blog post every Tuesday morning and is definitely worth checking out!

Music to my ears

In a week where I had an unusually intense work schedule, I found one hour of peace and harmony yesterday when I attended a lunchtime concert performance by Peter Stoicheff, Dean of the College of Arts and Science.

It was great to see a strong cohort of library colleagues in attendance and to catch up with colleagues across campus. Peter’s music, commentary, humour, and educational perspective made for a wonderfully relaxing and enjoyable event. Most of all, it was great to see a decanal colleague doing what he so obviously enjoys doing and is so clearly very good at. It was also a timely reminder, as one of my library colleagues remarked, that we are after all just people doing what we like and enjoy doing.

Thank you, Peter, for sharing your gift of music, composition, and creative talent with us all. I hope it’s a practice that you will continue from time to time.

Peter Stoicheff

Transforming Library Spaces

Yesterday I had the opportunity to tour the Veterinary Medicine Library and see the progress that has been made on the renovations taking place. The renovations continue to be on track for completion by the end of December 31, 2014.

The renovation project is a complete overhaul encompassing both floors of the library, and includes new study spaces for students and new work spaces for library staff, as well as new furniture throughout.  The repurposed space provides refreshed individual and group study areas including carrels, tables and chairs, soft seating, and bookable team rooms.  The project team consists of Susan Cook and Ralph Hildebrandt from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, and Jill Crawley-Low and Dale Amerud.

Veterinary Medicine Library Renovations

ARL Membership Meeting and Fall Forum 2014 Proceedings Online

As noted in my blog on October 9, I recently attended the Association of Research Libraries’ (ARL) 165th Membership Meeting, followed by the ARL Fall Forum, “Wanted Dead or Alive – The Scholarly Monograph.” Summaries of both meetings with links to all available slides are now available on the ARL website.

In particular, I would like to draw your attention to the Fall Forum presentation by Laura Mandell, Texas A&M University entitled “Imminent Demise or Potential Rejuvenation? The Future of the Scholarly Monograph“, and the concluding remarks by Brian E. C. Schottlaender, University of California, San Diego, as they are, in my opinion, well worth the read.

Let’s Celebrate 40 Years of Dedicated Service!

On November 25, 1974 Donna Canevari de Paredes commenced her career at the University Library. Donna is currently a Liaison Librarian based in the Murray Library. Over the years, Donna has made many positive and important contributions to the University Library. There are many projects, services, and donor relationships that have benefitted from Donna’s expertise and deep professional knowledge.

Congratulations on this important milestone in your career, Donna. On behalf of all of your colleagues, I thank you for your service, and your many and varied contributions to the University Library, and the University of Saskatchewan.

Accreditation of Library and Information Science Programs

Coming to you this weekend from the windy city of Chicago, where I am fulfilling commitments as the Canadian representative on the American Library Association (ALA), Committee on Accreditation (COA). The recently released 2014 Fall issue of Prism: the newsletter from the ALA Office for Accreditation is now available at and gives a snapshot of current matters occupying the time of the committee.

The issue includes information about:

  • Accreditation actions taken at the 2014 ALA Annual Conference
  • Office for Accreditation Director Karen O’Brien provides an update on COA’s plans for this year, information about an increase in the annual fee, and information on the Degree Qualifications Profile Project
  • Committee on Accreditation Chair Mary Stansbury gives an update on the draft revised Standards for Accreditation and the COA’s use of interim reports
  • Spotlight on Process and Policy: A look at the how the Committee on Accreditation communicates with programs in the accreditation process
  • 2014 ALA Midwinter sessions with dates and times: ERP Chair training and AASL-CAEP (formerly NCATE) program reviewer training
  • Acknowledgement of External Review Panelists and AASL/NCATE reviewers from spring 2014 reviews
  • AASL/NCATE National Recognition decisions from spring 2014

The Centre for Evidence Based Library & Information Practice (C-EBLIP) – One year on…

As they say, time flies… and so I invite you to review the achievements of C-EBLIP during its first full year of operations.  It’s been a busy and productive time as Centre Director, Virginia Wilson has overseen the development of the Centre’s programs and activities.

The first annual report for C-EBLIP was recently released.  You can find the Director’s Report to the Dean on 2013/14: A Year of Building here:

Happy reading!