Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications

On Friday, February 27 I was excited to hear that the new Tri-Agency Open Access Policy for Research was released. The Policy requires that all peer-reviewed journal articles funded in whole or in part by the Agencies, including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) must be made publicly available within 12 months of publication.

This long awaited announcement by Minister Holder builds on the existing CIHR Open Access Policy, which has been in place since 2008, and is the culmination of the 2010 endorsement of Open Access principles by all three agencies.  The policy takes effect on May 1, 2015.

The policy initiative has been well received within the library profession and by professional bodies across North America and in the international Open Access community.  For example, both the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) and the Scholarly Publishing and Research Coalition (SPARC) have issued public statements welcoming the policy initiative.

Locally, one is left to speculate if this national policy change might finally foster a campus-wide conversation and institutional endorsement of Open Access principles by the University of Saskatchewan – something which has been the norm at similar institutional across the world for some time now.  Is now the time for a University Council resolution in support of Open Access?

Music in Saskatchewan

While the continuous cool weather lends itself to staying inside with a good book, there is always the option of visiting the Link Gallery (located on the first floor, Murray Library) to view our current exhibition: Music in Saskatchewan.

This exhibition explores the diversity of Saskatchewan’s musical history through the work of local artists, composers and producers. The musical artefacts from the Saskatchewan Music Collection and the University Library collections serve to provide a record of the province’s people, culture and heritage. This exhibition also features an interactive listening tour in addition to the displayed ephemera, instruments, scores, historical sheet music, sound recordings and print monographs. Some of the themes include the history of music on the radio, music education, Aboriginal and Métis music, music at the University of Saskatchewan and featured award winning albums. Visitors to the exhibition will also be able to listen to selected musical tracks and browse the newly launched Saskatchewan Music Collection website through an iPad display.



Library Transformation Continues | Veterinary Medicine Library Renovations

The University’s commitment to continue the transformation of our library’s collections, facilities, and services in response to changes in scholarly communication and publishing; capturing opportunities provided by new and emerging technologies; meeting growing demands for differently configured learning spaces; and, consolidating low use print collections, continues.

Since last summer, the Veterinary Medicine Library has undergone renovations, and the University Library and Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) are planning a celebration to mark the completion of the capital refurbishment work.  The renovations have repurposed spaces to provide refreshed individual and group study areas, including the addition of carrels, tables and chairs, soft seating, and bookable team rooms. Congratulations to the joint college and library project team who, together with Facilities Management Division, have overseen the many aspects of planning and implementation for this project.

The University Library and the WCVM will host a grand re-opening event at the library on Tuesday, March 3 at 3:00 p.m. I hope you are available to attend and view library transformation in action!

Click here to view photos of the Veterinary Medicine Library transformation!

The Research Library Workforce #3

Back on November 4 and 6, 2014 I wrote about the 8Rs Redux Study: CARL Libraries Human Resources Study (2015) – a comprehensive research project led by University of Alberta Principal Investigator Kathleen DeLong and Co-Investigators Marianne Sorensen and I.

With the release of the research and final report by the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) very close, I am excited to welcome my research colleagues to the U of S campus and to the University Library later this week. Kathleen and Marianne are visiting the Centre for Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (C-EBLIP); meeting with me and other senior library leaders; and, presenting the research findings to library colleagues.

Recruitment, Retirement, Retention, Remuneration, Repatriation, Rejuvenation, Re-accreditation and Restructuring (the 8R’s) were important human resource issues in research libraries when the original 8Rs Study was published in 2005.  Those 8R’s remain important, however our latest research shows there is now 9Rs – with role change joining the list.  The study found that the CARL workforce has become more diverse; there has been an influx of younger professionals (both librarians and other professionals); growth in the number of other professionals; and, larger numbers of new staff who represent visible minorities.

Overall, the 188 page research report provides a wealth of information about the composition of the workforce employed within CARL member libraries.

Showcasing SHO and Digital Opportunities for Memory Institutions

A recent report from the Council of Canadian Academies, entitled Leading in the Digital World: Opportunities for Canada’s Memory Institutions clearly shows how the digital revolution has already changed relationships between memory institutions and the general public.  The report draws attention to the development of a culture of citizen participation and to the need for memory institutions to build ongoing and lasting relationships with the public. The report goes on to talk about the efforts required from all those involved in the Canadian system of memory institutions to help Canada regain its position as a leader in digital initiatives.

As I worked my way through the report, I could not help but reflect on the great work that has been possible over the last three years through the Saskatchewan History Online (SHO) Project.  With provincial government funding, SHO has assembled an effective partnership of many memory institutions across the province of Saskatchewan with the aim of digitizing content unique to Saskatchewan.  SHO is an practical example of those changed relationships between memory institutions and the general public that have emerged through the digital revolution.  SHO is also highlighting ways in which local memory institutions are helping to once again position Canada as a leader in digital initiatives.

If you haven’t already visited SHO, I would strongly encourage you to do so at this link:


Librarian Downunder

I’m not a dedicated follower of Twitter but recently I did take note of some exciting chatter on the airwaves about Virginia Wilson, Director of the Centre for Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (C-EBLIP).  Virginia is to be the opening keynote speaker for the Eighth International Evidence Based Library and Information Practice Conference being held in Brisbane, Australia this July.

Virginia will be giving a presentation entitled: Poking and Prying with a Purpose: The Librarian Practitioner-Researcher and Evidence Based Library and Information Practice. The read more about Virginia’s keynote address, visit:

Aboriginal Achievement Week at the University Library

It’s Aboriginal Achievement Week on campus and the University Library is contributing to the celebrations in a number of exciting ways.

On Thursday, February 5 from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. in the Education & Music Library, Jessica Generoux, our Aboriginal Intern, will be speaking about her journey of becoming a librarian. Her session is titled:  Ayamihcikêwikamik — An Aboriginal Woman’s Journey into Librarianship. As a passionate puppeteer and single mother, Jessica will share the knowledge she has gained, resources she has found useful over the years, and experiences that can connect and inspire students to consider studies in librarianship.

There is an exciting new webpage highlighting the Aboriginal art showcased in our libraries thanks to the great design work of Amy-Renee St. Jacques with assistance from Tina Leckie and Lara O’Grady. Designed to encourage an art walking tour, the page can be accessed from the banner on the library’s homepage or directly at

Each our of library locations are showcasing parts of the library collection with a focus on Aboriginal achievement and Aboriginal scholarship. In addition, University Archives and Special Collections (UASC) is displaying items from their collections, particularly highlighting Nan MacKay, the first Aboriginal graduate of the U of S.

For information about all of the activities taking place next week, go to the Aboriginal Achievement Week page at

Librarians in the Windy City – Part Two

Librarians gathered en masse in the windy city of Chicago, IL last weekend and many remain there unable to undertake return travel to their home destinations because of the travel chaos created by Mother Nature.  Chicago experienced record snow falls last weekend – I heard it said that it was the largest snow dump in five years.  It all started around 7 p.m. on Saturday and finished at 7 a.m. Monday morning.

I was fortunate to be heading in the opposite direction of the intense winter storm.  Regardless, O’Hare airport was like a crowded zoo. I did make it back to Saskatoon late Monday, but many I suspect remain holed up in their Chicago hotel rooms or at airports in the northeast of the US.  Everyone at the airport had a travel disruption to relate and/or a travel story to tell.  Public announcements, at least in the Delta Airlines section of the airport, were inaudible, and when you could hear them, they encouraged you to consult your Delta mobile app for the latest information.  Unfortunately, due to overload, the app had stopped responding many hours earlier.

My award for the worst nightmare travel experience goes to those who boarded the first scheduled flight out of Chicago for New York around 8.30 a.m. on Monday.  You usually think that once you are on board, things can only get better from there.  Unfortunately, coinciding with the passenger boarding of that flight, New York airports were simultaneously closed due to a bad weather mix of snow and ice rain.  With the Chicago flight half way through de-icing, the flight was cancelled and passengers deplaned.  This, of course, all took some time to sort through, leaving gate and runway congestion that then caused flight delays for all other Delta flights. The behaviours at the zoo enclosure just got worse from there on in.

Well suffice to say, ALA Midwinter 2015 will be added to the book of ALA myths and legends.  I can see badges in the future, saying: Chicago 2015  “I was there!”. All in all, perhaps the combined experience will help to air the question that everyone is a little afraid to ask, namely how much longer can ALA sustain two major conference offerings per year?

Visit from Clare Appavoo, Canadian Research Knowledge Network

Library employees are looking forward to welcoming Clare Appavoo, the Executive Director of the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN), who will be visiting the University Library on Wednesday, February 4.

CRKN is a partnership of Canadian universities, dedicated to expanding digital content for the academic research enterprise in Canada. Through the coordinated leadership of librarians, researchers, administrators and other stakeholders in the research community, CRKN undertakes large-scale content acquisition and licensing initiatives in order to build knowledge infrastructure and research and teaching capacity in Canada’s universities.

As the CRKN Executive Director since late 2012, Clare Appavoo has worked with the Board and staff to develop and launch a 3 year strategic plan.  The strategic objectives include a renewed focus on engagement with both members and stakeholders, and a new focus on collaboration to advance digital scholarship through the Integrated Digital Scholarship Ecosystem (IDSE) project launched in January 2014.  Ms. Appavoo is actively engaged in the Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics (SCOAP3) partnership as a member of the Executive Committee of the Governing Council.

Clare will be speaking on a broad range of topical issues around the theme of the shifting challenges in licensing digital scholarly content.  Sure to feature in her remarks are the economic challenges, CRKN negotiation priorities, preservation, text and data mining rights, Open Access options, and repository posting.

Librarians in the Windy City

Coming to you today from Chicago, IL where librarians and library workers from all types and sizes of libraries are gathering for the mid-winter conference of the American Library Association (ALA). It’s a big deal as far as conferences go, and given the anticipated number of delegates, there are only a hand full of major US cities that have conference venues large enough to host the event.

I’m attending to fulfill commitments as the Canadian representative on the ALA’s Committee on Accreditation (COA). COA meets in parallel with the conference program all day Saturday and Sunday, making it almost impossible to attend any of the mainstream conference sessions.

This year’s mid-winter meeting is a big milestone for COA committee members as the culmination of some three years of work, discussions and deliberations see the presentation of Standards revisions to the ALA Council for adoption.  Background information and a copy of the Standards revisions are available here. It’s been an interesting professional experience to work through the process of developing revised standards and to be part of this process from the “inside” perspective of a committee member.  It’s also been fascinating to follow along with the highly consultative discussions that have engaged a great deal of input from the broader profession.  The final product of this intensive work will have an impact on the library and information service profession (from initial education and training through to workforce engagement and the development of the professional practice of librarianship) for many years to come.

It’s timely that the standards revision work is reaching its conclusion at exactly the same time that locally librarians at the University of Saskatchewan are discussing and working through revision to their standards for promotion and tenure.  The profession of librarianship is definitely changing.