Blogging transitions, but continues!

I know from feedback from many colleagues, including those beyond the campus, that some do actually read my blog.  So, as leadership transition takes place at the University Library officially next week, this is the final blog from this Dean on this site.

I’ll be continuing to blog, so if you would like to transition with me, visit the Centre for Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (C-EBLIP) website, where my new blog Chronicles of a Practitioner-Researcher will be posted.  Thank you to C-EBLIP for giving me a professional space!

Best wishes to Incoming Interim Dean, Charlene Sorensen and her dedicated and talented senior team of Ken Ladd (Interim Assoicate Dean), Rachel Sarjeant-Jenkins (Assoicate Dean), Jill Mierke (Director, Library HR) and Dale Amerud (Director, Financial and Physical Resources).  Special mention and thanks to my Executive Assistant, Allyssa Anton, without whom I would never have started blogging in the first place!

It’s been an honour and a privilege to serve a decade as the Dean of the University Library at the University of Saskatchewan!

Another big week at the University Library

We seem to be celebrating many significant milestones recently, and this week, with Aboriginal Achievement Week upon us, is no exception.  It is a wonderful way to spend my last week as Dean. It is also a helpful distraction from having to pack up an office full of the last 10 years of my professional life.

As our contribution to Aboriginal Achievement Week, I am pleased that we have been able to bring Ry Moran, Director of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, to campus for a two-day visit.  Ry has a busy schedule of campus meetings, and on Tuesday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. in Convocation Hall he will deliver this year’s University Library Dean’s Research Lecture.

Over the last 10 years, one of the library’s major strategic goals has been to intensify the research outcomes of librarians. Back in 2006 when I established the Dean’s Research Lecture, it was in part to help showcase library and information service professional practice and the value which librarians bring to The Academy.

A decade on, we are known as the most research intensive academic library in Canada (and some contend, in North America). Our Centre for Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (C-EBLIP) is the first of its kind in Canada, and now well into its third year of operation as an approved university research centre.  Also one of a kind is our researcher-in-residence program, with Selinda Berg from the Library at the University of Windsor in residency for this academic year.  Among our 40 faculty, there are two librarians currently holding SSHRC grants, and nine librarians with active President SSHRC grants.  Publications, conference presentations, and other scholarly activities by our faculty continue to give our practitioner-researcher approach to the practice of professional skills in library and information service prominence.

So, it is an appropriate week to celebrate many things, and to look to the future and wonder what might be ahead for us all.

Forward Momentum

Forward Momentum is the subtitle for the 2014-15 Annual Report from the Centre for Evidence Based Library & Information Practice (C-EBLIP).  It is an appropriate catch phrase for a report that showcases the work of the Centre, including its growing international reputation in the world-wide evidence based practice movement.  Led by Director Virginia Wilson, the Centre’s growing profile was very evident to me last July when I attended the 8th International Evidence Based Library and Information Practice Conference in Brisbane, Australia.

For more background on the work of C-EBLIP, check out the latest report at:

C-EBLIP Symposium

I am excited to help welcome 61 registered participants to this year’s Centre for Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (C-EBLIP) Fall Symposium!

Building on a highly successful program held last year, C-EBLIP is hosting the second C-EBLIP Fall Symposium: Librarians as Researchers today, October 14.  A pre-symposium workshop facilitated by our Researcher in Residence, Selinda Berg, entitled Transforming Ideas into Well-Designed Research Questions was held yesterday afternoon, October 13.

Our 61 participants include librarians from the University Library, from elsewhere in Saskatchewan (in particular, from Saskatchewan Polytechnic), and from across Canada. Thirty-four of those also attended the afternoon workshop. You can find more information about the symposium on the C-EBLIP website, including information on the program and the speakers here:

The C-EBLIP Fall Symposium helps to further the mission of the Centre, that of supporting librarians as researchers and promoting evidence based library and information practice. Please be on the lookout for symposium guests as they may take the opportunity to visit our library branches.

Welcoming the Researcher in Residence at the Centre for Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (C-EBLIP)

We are excited to welcome to campus and to the University Library, the C-EBLIP Researcher in Residence, Selinda Berg, who joins us for the coming academic year while she is on sabbatical leave from her home library at the University of Windsor.

Selinda is a librarian at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry–Windsor Program and the Leddy Library at the University of Windsor. Concurrently, she is completing her PhD. in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at Western University.

For more information about Selinda, and the Researcher in Residence program, click here. To stay up-to-date with C-EBLIP programs and activities visit their website at:

More about EBLIP8

Coming to you this week from Room 156, Murray Building. Yes, I’m back in the office attending to the in-tray and accumulated emails, with the memory of travel to Australia for the International Evidence Based Library and Information Practice Conference in Brisbane now a fading memory. However, I did manage to bring Brisbane’s winter maximum daytime temperatures during the conference of 22º to 24º back for our Saskatchewan summer!

EBLIP8 was a huge success and I was especially pleased and proud to be there in person to hear my colleague Virginia Wilson (Director, Centre for Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (C-EBLIP) at the University Library) give the opening keynote address of the conference.  Virginia’s outstandingly presented and intellectually challenging presentation was entitled: Poking and Prying with a Purpose: The Librarian Practitioner-Researcher and Evidence Based Library and Information Practice.

Included in the presentation, was the first public release of the results from Virginia’s sabbatical leave research, which provided strong and credible context setting for the entire conference. As if providing the keynote address was not enough, Virginia also co-presented later in the conference with Denise Koufogiannakis (from the U of A) on the topic of Canadian LIS Faculty Research: Linked to Library Practice? and with Lisa Given, ran a workshop on Translating Research into Practice: Strategies for Engagement and Application.  Congratulations all-round, Virginia – you provided very strong evidence of your record of sustained accomplishment in professional practice and scholarship before an international audience, who I know value your established expertise within librarianship in an academic setting, and appreciate you demonstrating leadership in the establishment and the profession.

The day 2 keynote address by Dr. Neil Carrington (CEO, ACT for Kids) on Creating and Sustaining a High Performance Team Culture: Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast was equally inspiring and left me with a personal and professional Ah Ha! moment around his question of: Are you spending your time the way you want?  Dr. Carrington’s direct and engaging delivery style had his audience spellbound for his one hour presentation.

Visit these blog posts for more about EBLIP8:

2015 Dean’s Research Lecture – Save the Date

The Centre for Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (C-EBLIP) in association with the University Library will host the 2015 Dean’s Research Lecture on September 16 at 2:30 p.m. in Convocation Hall.

I am pleased to announce that our 2015 Dean’s Research Lecturer will be Dr. Laura Mandell. Dr. Mandell is a Professor in the Department of English, and Director, of the Initiative for Digital Humanities, Media, and Culture at Texas A&M University.

Professor Mandell will give a presentation entitled “New Modes of Humanities Research: How Libraries Can Help”

In 2005, Jerome McGann first started NINES, or the Networked Infrastructure for Nineteenth-century Electronic Scholarship, as a way to “bring scholars to the table” of discussions about how digital media might change our research environment. This has been a push-me pull-you operation: traditional scholars do not want it to change at all, begrudgingly using new digital finding aids provided by libraries and their vendors rather than directly contributing to how these resources might be organized. Mandell discusses how the Advanced Research Consortium or ARC ( has tried to remedy this situation, discussing as well faculty usability testing and outreach programs conducted by vendors such as JSTOR, Gale, and EBSCO. She presents new research into data visualization techniques: these approaches are least congenial to textual scholars, but most necessary as we enter into an era of big literary and historical textual data.

Dr. Mandell is the author of Misogynous Economies: The Business of Literature in Eighteenth-Century Britain (1999), a Longman Cultural Edition of The Castle of Otranto and Man of Feeling, and numerous articles primarily about eighteenth-century women writers. An article in New Literary History, “What Is the Matter? What Literary History Neither Hears Nor Sees,” describes how digital work can be used to conduct research into conceptions informing the writing and printing of eighteenth-century poetry. She is Project Director of the Poetess Archive, an online scholarly edition and database of women poets, 1750-1900 (,  Director of 18thConnect (, and Director of ARC, the Advanced Research Consortium overseeing NINES, 18thConnect, and MESA. Her current research involves developing new methods for visualizing poetry, developing software that will allow all scholars to deep-code documents for data-mining, and improving OCR software for early modern and 18th-c. texts via high performance and cluster computing.

I hope you will join us on September 16 for what is sure to be a timely and interesting lecture.

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:

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.

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!