Library Staff Papers and Publications

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Consultants in Academic Libraries: Challenging, Renewing, and Extending the Dialogue

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2018
Abstract: 

There is a trend in academic libraries to hire consultants for internal crises, change management projects, strategic planning processes, outcomes assessment, evidence-based decision making, information literacy instruction, and more. Although we hear informally about the use of consultants in academic libraries, the practice has gone unexamined. We employ a historical and linguistic analysis of consultants in academic libraries, using a critical framework for this research. A critical perspective provides a structure to discuss issues that librarians may not have been able to previously fit into library practice dialogue. A chronological history of consulting in libraries acts as our literature review. This review, along with a targeted examination of library and information science resources, is used to guide two lines of linguistic analysis. The first provides a critique of the core tenets used to define and characterize library consultants, namely, the claim that consultants are unbiased professionals who bring “expertise” and “fresh” ideas to libraries. The second analysis investigates the rhetorical strategies used in existing texts: polarizing language, straw man reasoning, and figurative and indirect language. The discussion section unpacks these linguistic strategies, reflects on what is missing from the texts, and considers how knowledge and power are exerted through language, making connections to the broader context of neoliberalism.

Document type: 
Article

On the Disparity Between What We Say and What We Do in Libraries

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2017
Abstract: 

Uses Keller Easterling's concept of infrastructure space to probe the discrepancies between what we state to be our core purpose and values and what we do in libraries.

Document type: 
Book chapter
File(s): 

Inserting librarians into the Canadian oral history conversation

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2017-10-06
Abstract: 

Canadian archivists played prominent roles in collecting, preserving, and conducting oral history interviews as early as recording technology allowed interviews to be recorded. This conference paper discusses archivists' involvement in the early days of Canadian oral history, the debates they held regarding their engagement, and some implications that their activity has had. Academics currently dominate the field in Canada; however, librarians are poised to have a stronger presence in the future. Librarians have begun to engage as both interviewers and supporters of oral history practice: they are initiating projects as well as providing digital repositories, equipment, and makerspaces. 

Document type: 
Conference presentation
File(s): 

An Examination of Oral History and Archival Practices among Graduate Students in Select Canadian Comprehensive Research Universities

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2016-04-05
Abstract: 

Preserving oral history interviews is an important aspect of oral history practice. This article examines a sample of theses published by Canadian graduate students and asks two questions: first, how many researchers who conducted oral histories archived their interviews; second, how many researchers consulted oral history interviews as a secondary data source? Thirty-six theses from five universities were examined. 81% of the theses applied oral history as a methodology; 41% examined oral history interviews previously recorded; 22% conducted original interviews in addition to consulting previously recorded interviews. The archival rate of original interviews was 28%. Possible reasons for the low archival rate are discussed. Recent Tri-Agency funding agencies requiring Canadian scholars to adhere to new open access policies could result in higher preservation rates of oral history interviews

Document type: 
Article

Teaching an Invisible Subject: Educating Instructors about Copyright

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2017-06
Abstract: 

This session will share results of the presenter’s Canada-wide survey of university copyright administrators, which explored the following research questions: How are copyright officers, copyright librarians, and other copyright administrators reaching instructors with information about copyright and how it affects their teaching? What are the most common methods of educating instructors, and how are these opportunities advertised? How effective do copyright educators feel their instructional methods are at giving instructors the information they need to find, use, and create teaching materials confidently?

Many respondents feel, like the presenter, that they are not reaching enough faculty with copyright information. While no one has a perfect solution, many are starting to plan education more strategically, reaching out to faculty through their departments and working with deans or provosts to lend copyright messaging more weight.

Document type: 
Conference presentation
File(s): 

Keeping it REAL - Research in Academic Libraries: Final Report

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2017-03-01
Abstract: 

This report documents the program "Keeping it REAL: Research in Academic Libraries" that was held at UBC on November 18, 2017. This event was the result of a collaboration between SLAIS and librarians at UBC, SFU, and UVic. The purpose of the program was to enhance academic librarians' skills in planning and conducting research and to foster research culture among practitioners. Sessions were held on research processes such as ethics, dissemination, generating ideas, and cultivating research culture, as well as the importance of securing extra funding through grants. Participants also had the opportunity to interact with librarians who have experience in specific theories and methodologies. Feedback on the workshop was positive and indicated that academic librarians are interested in further professional development in research methods, and would like to explore specific methodologies and theoretical frameworks in greater depth. Recommendations included wide distribution of this report and securing support from the sponsoring institutions for future events.

Document type: 
Report
File(s): 

A [brief] History of Librarian Activism

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2014-10-14
Abstract: 

Presentation given to the Canadian Association of University Teachers Librarians' and Archivists' Conference 2014.

Document type: 
Conference presentation
File(s): 

Teaching an Invisible Subject: How are we Educating Faculty about Copyright?

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

Copyright can be an invisible issue for instructors because infringement or improper use of copyright-protected material will not impede teaching. Copyright law is nuanced and open to interpretation; it is not always clear whether a particular action is compliant or not. This poster will share the results of the presenter’s Canada-wide survey of university copyright administrators, exploring institutions’ provision of copyright education to instructors. The presenter found more questions rather than answers as a result of the survey. Most respondents do no assessment of their copyright instruction, and instead are comfortable relying on experience, questions from faculty, and anecdotal evidence to form an impression of instructors’ familiarity with copyright rules. Is informal appraisal adequate for ensuring that libraries and copyright offices are fulfilling their responsibility to encourage and enable the confident and lawful use of copyright-protected material? What other evidence could be gathered to inform copyright administrators’ efforts? This poster will encourage participants to think about copyright education at their institutions, will share the results of the survey, including approaches being taken by universities across Canada.

Document type: 
Conference presentation
File(s): 

Naturals with a microphone: oral history and the librarian skillset

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2017-03-25
Abstract: 

As oral history has gained in popularity and acceptance since its origins at Columbia University in the late 1940s, librarians have predominantly contributed in the realm of technical services, as cataloguers of oral history interviews conducted by others. The aim of this study is to examine the skillset librarians possess as oral history interviewers. An autoethnographic approach was employed wherein the author, a librarian, recounted her experience as the principal investigator of an oral history project. This experience was examined in light of the reflections of Alessandro Portelli as an interviewer and Leah Rosenblum Emary’s work on librarian-ethnographers. Findings reveal that librarians’ ethos in collection work and training in reference are transferable to the context of oral history interviewing. Librarians status as insider-outsiders within the academy and our ability to create rapport are emphasized. The paper concludes with a call for librarians to engage more fully in oral history, and to initiate collaborations of important local digital collections such as oral histories.

Document type: 
Article

Ethics of using Google Analytics

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2017-05-04
Abstract: 

An introduction to the issue of user privacy concerns arising when libraries use Google Analytics and other user data tracking services, and how the use of these tools can conflict with professional ethics and values. Includes a brief reading list. 

Document type: 
Conference presentation