Library Staff Papers and Publications

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Mixing Digital Humanities and Applied Science Librarianship: Using Voyant Tools to Reveal Word Patterns in Faculty Research

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2019-06-24
Abstract: 

Awareness of faculty research interests is an important aspect of a subject librarian's responsibilities. This paper illustrates the potential of Voyant Tools, an application in wide use among digital humanities researchers, to reveal word patterns in the research output of applied science faculty. A corpus of recent article citations from Web of Science from two engineering departments was obtained, and the articles' title field was extracted and uploaded to the application. The exercise indicated that articles on fuel cells dominates the research output of one department, and articles on optical coherence tomography dominates the other. Both the corpus of citations and its visualizations in Voyant Tools contribute to librarians' knowledge of their departments and historical spending patterns on specialized resources. This knowledge can be used in professional practice, including collection development and instruction. As academic subject areas become increasingly complex and multidisciplinary, this paper encourages librarians to engage with Voyant Tools to better understand the specialized language and concepts of these evolving fields.

2018 SFU Liaison Librarian Program Evaluation Survey

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2018-05-01
Abstract: 

As the Liaison Program continues to evolve in response to Library and University priorities, this brief survey is intended to:

- Identify and assess the strengths and challenges of the liaison program model;

- Elicit ways in which liaison librarians would like support in their roles;

- Determine the degree to which the liaison model and current liaison activities meet the emerging needs of the Library.

 

This 30 question survey was distributed online using SurveyMonkey to SFU liaison librarians (departmental and functional) in May 2018. Not all questions were mandatory, and librarians were told that their responses would remain anonymous. We received a total of 27 responses to the survey.

Document type: 
Report
File(s): 

2017 SFU Liaison Librarian Program Evaluation Survey

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2017-05-02
Abstract: 

As the SFU Library Liaison Program continues to evolve in response to Library and University priorities, this brief survey is one element in a multi-faceted, continual evaluation process that intends to provide a snapshot of the overall program from the liaison librarians' perspective, as well as to identify 1) areas of success, 2) issues that require further investigation, and 3) new areas of growth emerging in the work.This 23 question survey was distributed online using FluidSurveys to SFU liaison librarians (departmental and functional) in May 2017. Not all questions were mandatory, and librarians were told that their responses would remain anonymous. We received a total of 24 responses to the survey, 21 of which were complete.

Document type: 
Report
File(s): 

Do Languages Represent?: A Pilot Study on Linguistic Diversity and Library Staff

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2018-11-19
Abstract: 

This paper aims to add to conversations on access, diversity, and representation in libraries by addressing the importance of language as a factor in library service and providing some of the first data on library workers’ language skills. Much of the literature on language in libraries focuses on issues of multilingual access and collection development, and there is less emphasis on the roles of staff and language skills in providing and mediating access. As well, while US librarians are less diverse than US library workers and the wider population in terms of gender and race, it has not been shown whether the same holds true in terms of language.

A pilot study of staff from three US public libraries sought to address these gaps in knowledge about staff language skills and representation and to generate further lines of inquiry. Responses were compared with US Census data to determine linguistic representation relative to the service population. The results indicated that while staff surveyed were more likely than the wider population to know another language besides English, they were not likely to use that language on the job, and those who did use a language besides English often reported low fluency. Responses also showed differences in language knowledge and use between staff with and without MLIS degrees. The results highlight the differences between language knowledge, fluency, and usage, offer implications for library service and professional values, and suggest many future directions for research.

Document type: 
Article
File(s): 

Change is the only constant: Evaluating SFU Library’s Liaison Program

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2017-10
Abstract: 

With the creation of functional liaison portfolios to accommodate new areas of growth such as makerspaces, digital humanities, and data services, liaison librarian programs in Canadian academic libraries have changed significantly over the last few years. However, there are very few studies — especially in Canada — that evaluate liaison librarian programs. The research that has been done focuses largely on the return on-investment of academic library liaison programs, rather than liaison librarians’ perspectives and experience of the model that governs their work. In order to fully understand the effectiveness of liaison programs, we need to not only ask questions about outcomes, but also seek feedback and input from liaisons themselves about how they work and what supports they need. SFU Library's liaison program went through a redesign process in 2015 and assessment of the redesign highlighted the continually changing nature of liaison work, which led to the creation of the SFU Library Liaison Program Evaluation Working Group (continual with changing membership). In the 2016-2017 academic year, this working group developed a 22 question survey for all SFU liaison librarians. This survey was designed to provide a snapshot of the overall program from the liaison librarians' perspective, as well as a mechanism to identify both specific areas of success and pinch points that may need immediate attention, and to identify issues that require further investigation to find solutions. The working group intends to run this survey again in the future to allow for continuous monitoring and improvement of the SFU Library liaison program. Our poster will share the survey’s findings, highlight some strengths and weaknesses of the survey tool, and offer suggestions for further areas of investigation.

Document type: 
Conference presentation
File(s): 

Efficiency at the expense of control: open source vs. vendor-maintained knowledgebases

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2019-03-04
Abstract: 

In May 2017, our library decommissioned our locally developed, open source knowledgebase and link resolver and adopted a vendor-provided one. This session will cover the pros and cons of being a service provider for other libraries. 

Document type: 
Conference presentation

Unsettling the future by uncovering the past: Decolonizing academic libraries and librarianship

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2018-12-09
Abstract: 

Canada is at an interesting point in its history, where the atrocious assimilation practices that were in place until the mid-1990s are being acknowledged in the hopes for a better relationship between Canada’s Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. Both the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report, and the Canadian Federation of Library Associations/Federation Canadienne des Associations de Bibliotheques (CFLA/FCAB)’s report from its Truth and Reconciliation Committee (n.d.) have an emphasis on education, to address the changes needed. Where do academic libraries fit into this? I first discuss the colonial history of libraries, as extensions of education institutions, followed by a look at how library curriculum falls short in preparing students for working with Indigenous peoples and items. Finally I examine how libraries can decolonize their services. Canadian academic libraries are beyond the point of it being acceptable that staff are ill-equipped to serve Indigenous students and faculty.

Document type: 
Article

An oral history of TechBC: Surrey Place Mall's forgotten university

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2018-03-21
Abstract: 

This article provides the perspective of seven undergraduate students who attended the Technical University of British Columbia (1999-2002) when it was located within the Surrey Place Mall. They recall why they chose TechBC, what it was like to go to school in Whalley, the university's culture, and the academic program. They describe their experience when the school was under threat after the government changed in 2001, and their feelings when it was absorbed by Simon Fraser University in 2002. These excerpts were curated from the larger oral history collection, the TechBC Memory Project (http://digital.lib.sfu.ca/techbc-collection).

Document type: 
Article

Evolution of library instruction: Discovering the Facilitator Within

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2018
Abstract: 

Library technician positions have been changing in recent years, yet the literature focuses on staffing reference desks and cataloguing positions. While this is an important part of an academic library technician role, technicians are equally equipped to do “more” within their institutions. The Learning and Instructional Services Division at the WAC Bennett branch of SFU Library has three Library Assistant positions filled with library technician graduates. A major part of these roles is facilitating undergraduate workshops.

In this session we will share personal experiences with both the logistics and teaching of these workshops, highlighting the collaborative relationship we have with our Teaching and Learning Librarian.

Document type: 
Conference presentation

General Instruction at SFU Burnaby: A collaborative approach

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2018
Abstract: 

The general instruction program at SFU Burnaby includes teaching IB, FIC, FAL, and lower level SFU academic courses. This program is lead by the Head of Learning and Instructional Services, and the Teaching and Learning Librarian. Three library assistants (all with library technician diploma's) assist in the logistics of the program, and faciliate anywhere between 10 and 20 workshops a semester. 

Document type: 
Conference presentation