A Busy Month for Weeks

October marks both International Open Access (OA) Week and Saskatchewan Library Week.

Libraries of all kinds across Saskatchewan are celebrating Saskatchewan Library Week from October 19 to 24. For more information, visit: http://saskla.ca/programs/slw

International Open Access (OA) Week, a global event now entering its eighth year, runs from October 20 to 26. For more information, visit: http://www.openaccessweek.org/page/about

Tune in next week, as I will have a bit more to share on the topic of OA.

C-EBLIP Fall Symposium

Coming to you today from the Marquis Hall Private Dining Room on the University campus, where the Centre for Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (C-EBLIP) is hosting its inaugural Fall Symposium: Librarians as Researchers.

When the Centre Director, Virginia Wilson, first floated the symposium idea, I asked her what a successful symposium would look like in terms of numbers attending. Privately, I was thinking somewhere between 12 to 15 participants. Virginia thought before responding, but then announced confidently that she thought having 20 participants was realistic and would make for a successful day’s discourse and discussion.

Imagine our delight to today welcome 54 registered participants from libraries in Saskatoon, Regina, Prince Albert, British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and the United States! Keynote Speaker Margy MacMillan from Mount Royal University will get the day started, presenting on the topic of “Interactions between the what and why of research” and I will book-end the day speaking about workforce data to inform workforce planning.

A lively and exciting day is promised. For more details, please visit the C-EBLIP Fall Symposium website.

What is a Monograph?

This is a question I was asked recently at a meeting of library users at the stage of a discussion where quite frankly too much ‘library speak’ was being used to describe the business of libraries.  So, for the record, Wikipedia defines a monograph as “writing on a single subject” and I say, it’s really just a library technical term for a book.

Regardless, its future in the context of scholarly publishing is being debated this week at the ARL Fall Forum. Under the catchy title of “Wanted Dead or Alive—The Scholarly Monograph,” ARL members, having thrashed out the future directions and priorities for ARL, have now moved on to tackle the future of scholarly book publishing.  Friday’s discussion will be framed by a keynote address by Laura Mandell, Director of the Initiative for Digital Humanities, Media, and Culture at Texas A&M University. Additional sessions will cover the engagement of university leadership and faculty in creating new forms of scholarship and other strategies being employed to address the changing scholarly environment. Stay tuned for more next week.

What’s being talked about this week in Washington, DC?

Coming to you this week from Washington, DC, where Deans/Directors from the member libraries of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) are gathering for the 165th ARL Membership Meeting.  Working sessions got underway on Tuesday with President Carol Pitts Diedrichs (Ohio State) calling the meeting to order. Program sessions will explore a range of topics, including the survival of critical primary and global resources; data management centres; privacy in a digital age; and, innovation in fundraising and accessibility.

However, the real action is likely to be around the agenda item to discuss the future of the association.  This fall meeting is something of a watershed in ARL’s long and distinguished history.  Over the last year or so, members and association staff have invested heavily in a Strategic Thinking and Design Framework and the outcomes of which will be presented for consideration by the member representative.  The design process to help identify the future of the research library and to chart a new course for the association has been a long and at times tiresome process but I understand all will be revealed when the full details are shared.  Regardless, the stage is set for what could be an interesting membership discussion.

ARL is a non-profit organization of 125 research libraries in the United States and Canada. The University of Saskatchewan is one of 16 Canadian members.  ARL’s mission is to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve. ARL pursues this mission by advancing the goals of its member research libraries, providing leadership in public and information policy to the scholarly and higher education communities, fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise, facilitating the emergence of new roles for research libraries, and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests with those of allied organizations.

October 1, 1979 – 35 Years of Dedicated Service…

Thirty-five years ago Pope John Paul II commenced a visit to the United States of America, and Fern Fitzharris commenced her career at the University Library.

Fern began her long and distinguished career in the Law Library, and today there was a quiet but significant celebration on the 6th floor of the Murray Library, where Fern works as the Supervisor of Collection Services.

Congratulations Fern! Thank you for your many and varied contributions to the library and to the University!

In the words of the President…

Last week, Interim University President Gordon Barnhart came to visit me as part of a schedule of individual visits he is undertaking with all Deans in their campus work locations.  It was not the first time a U of S President has called into my office, and I hope it will not be the last.  I did appreciate the President taking time out of his busy schedule to have a more personal and reflective conversation with me.

I already knew that Gordon Barnhart, the historian, is a library user and well acquainted with our collections, especially in the Murray Library, which is home to the majority of our humanities and social sciences collections, our extensive microform collection, and the many gems housed in University Archives and Special Collections.

The President and I did a brief tour of some of the lesser known and less savoury areas of the Murray Building on floors two and five in particular.  I also took the opportunity to brief the President about a range of initiatives across the library system that are underway to support Aboriginal programming and engagement.

After the President’s visit, I reflected on the words of Walter Murray, who in his President’s Report from 1915-16 stated: “There is no better index of the intellectual activity of the students than the use made of the Library.”

I think President Murray would be pleased to learn the following:  From July 2012 to June 2013, visits to the then Health Sciences Library were 158,034. Visits in the first full year of the operations of the Leslie and Irene Dubé Health Sciences Library, from July 2013 to June 2014 numbered 182,095!

I was also thankful that the President’s visit had not been scheduled for Wednesday, September 17 when failing building infrastructure and the lack of water in the building forced the early closure of the Murray Library.

Library Collaboration in Western Provinces – Part Two

As I mentioned in my post on September 18, last week I attended the deans’/directors’ meeting of the Council of Prairie and Pacific University Libraries (COPPUL). Presentations at the COPPUL Indigenous Initiatives Workshop, held in conjunction with the deans’/directors’ meeting, are now available on the COPPUL website, here.

The workshop made for a rich day of learning, with some concrete and achievable goals for COPPUL being identified. The opportunity to view and experience the wonderful campus facilities at MacEwan University was also appreciated.

What’s the future of the library in the age of Google?

On Sunday, September 28 at 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. EST CBC’s Cross-Country Checkup is broadcasting live from the University of Waterloo’s Stratford Campus for a town hall on the topic of the future of libraries and learning.

Digital technology is changing the way we store information, and how we learn from it. Does it make sense to stack printed books in costly buildings when virtual libraries are just a mouse-click away?

Tune in for what is sure to be an interesting conversation!

2014 Dean’s Research Lecture Now Available!

Following his release from a hospital emergency room, our 2014 Dean’s Research Lecturer, Dr. Bruce Kingma, has found time to record his presentation! Now that is a commitment above and beyond the call of duty!

Dr. Kingma’s lecture is now available on the Centre for Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (C-EBLIP) website, here.

Throughout what was clearly a very challenging week for Dr. Kingma, he delivered on his commitment to share thoughts and research on the topic of the value of an academic library and return on investment (ROI).

I hope you enjoy Dr. Kingma’s presentation.

Library Collaboration in Western Provinces

Coming to you this week from MacEwan University in Edmonton, AB…

This week I am attending the deans’/directors’ meeting of the Council of Prairie and Pacific University Libraries (COPPUL). I am also presenting on the topic of the University Library Aboriginal Internship at the COPPUL workshop to highlight Indigenous initiatives underway in COPPUL member libraries in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia. Deborah Lee, our Aboriginal Engagement Librarian is also speaking at the workshop.

COPPUL is a consortium of 23 university libraries in Canada’s four western provinces. COPPUL provides leadership in the development of collaborative solutions addressing the academic information resource needs, the staffing development needs, and the preservation needs of its member institutions.