Site visit and some reflections

I had an exciting visit to the soon-to-be-opened Gordon Oakes Redbear Student Centre today!  This new student centre was designed to be an inclusive, intercultural gathering place for the entire campus community. The building is a demonstration of the University’s ongoing commitment to Aboriginal engagement and student success.

After many years of watching from the bird’s eye view through my office window adjacent to the Arts Tower and the Centre, it was great to finally see inside.  Somehow I think Lesya Ukrainka would also be impressed. The Lesya Ukrainka statue was relocated ahead of the commencement of construction to its current location between the Murray Building, Arts Tower, and the Gordon Oakes Redbear Student Centre.  The statue takes centre stage in my bird’s eye, first-floor window view.

I am very confident that the newest building, and the surrounding spaces, are already intercultural gathering places.  Just a few weeks ago, around mid-morning, I looked out my window to witness a silent vigil in front of the Lesya Ukrainka statue.  I saw a medium-sized crowd of about 70 to 100 people holding candles and quietly praying before her statue. I am not exactly sure what the gathering was remembering, but it was a significant and moving moment to witness from my office window.

It was timely that my site visit to the Gordon Oakes Redbear Student Centre came in the week when I had my guided reflections meeting as part of my participation in our library employee development program Indigenous Voices – Library Edition.  Somehow  in a hectic week these two moments provided time to reflect on reconciliation and related matters.  When the construction fence comes down, perhaps others will explore our newest intercultural gathering space.IMG_1111

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Identifying and avoiding predatory publishers: a primer for researchers

The Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) has pooled their expertise to help researchers identify predatory publishers.  Check out the recently released guide at: http://www.carl-abrc.ca/uploads/SCC/predatory_pubs_primer-e.pdf 

29 major academic research libraries across Canada, together with Library and Archives Canada, and the Canadian Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (CISTI) make up the membership of CARL.  CARL strives to enhance the capacity of member libraries to partner in research and higher education; it seeks effective and sustainable scholarly communication and public policy that encourages research and broad access to scholarly information.

Music in Saskatchewan

Our current exhibition Music in Saskatchewan, curated by librarian Carolyn Doi, continues to attract strong public interest, including media interest with both CBC and the Star Phoenix recently interviewing Carolyn. For more information, click here.

The exhibition, on the first floor of Murray Library, continues through until the end of March.

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.

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.

A New Academic Year… A New Beginning

This week the University Library is thrilled to welcome new and returning students and faculty to campus. With the start of a new academic year, we at the University Library are focused on our academic and service mission to create a positive experience that leads to success in learning, scholarship, and practice.

We want all of our clients to know that we will be taking a little extra time to welcome and support those new to campus. I trust that you will appreciate getting to know about our collections, facilities, services, and our approach to quality client service. The start of a new academic year always brings an interesting mix of enthusiasm, excitement, and some frustration as new students find their way around the campus and begin to engage, enlighten, and explore at the library.

During Welcome Week be on the lookout for our Library Rovers who are visibly identifiable ‘roaming’ library employees. The Rovers will be in popular student hot spots with maps and branded highlighter pens available to help students find their classrooms and/or answer other questions. Below you will find a photo of Lara O. and Rachel H. – two of our Library Rovers looking fabulous in their Ask Me! Library Rover t-shirts.

University Library Rovers

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