Employee orientation and development are essential organizational processes. This paper examines a competency-based new-librarian development program in a legislative library setting, emphasizing program redesign and continuous improvement. The new-librarian development program was originally introduced in 2012 and was revised in 2018 in response to changes in the organization’s structure, the introduction of a revised competency framework and feedback from stakeholders. The new-librarian development program uses recommended practices from the employee development literature as a frame. The process of developing and redesigning the program offers insights into how librarians can develop customized development programs. A copy of the competency profile for research librarians is included in the appendix.
In August 2021, we piloted an online academic skills orientation program for incoming undergraduate and graduate students. The program featured a range of synchronous online sessions that provided students an opportunity to learn from librarians, learning specialists, peer mentors, professors, academic advisors and other campus partners during presentations, panels and Q&As. The program was attended by 548 unique students with overall workshop attendance totaling 1310 over a four-day period. Due to the success of the 2021 pilot, we ran another iteration of the program in August 2022, which included both online and in-person elements. The three-day online program was attended by 309 unique students with overall workshop attendance totaling 1084 while the one day in-person program was attended by 37 students. Approximately 8% and 20% of program attendees completed program surveys in 2021 and 2022 respectively. While the low response rates make it difficult to generalize about the data, feedback overall was positive, with most respondents indicating that they found the experience to be valuable. We conclude by encouraging other libraries to consider the role that they play in familiarizing students with university supports and services and to take a leading role if such programming is not currently in place at their institution.
The quickly changing landscape of the scholarly communication ecosystem necessitates critical reflection on the preparedness of students entering this area of librarianship. A literature review of common roles, skills, and competencies of scholarly communication librarians followed by a personal reflection on learning and development as a Masters of Library and Information Studies (MLIS) student reveals that collaboration and adaptability are required to succeed in this area.
As Canada’s climate warms at double the rate of the rest of the world, Canadian libraries have an important responsibility towards guardianship and activism on the climate crisis. Libraries are often appraised on their climate change goals by inward-facing factors, such as building standards and collections. While these remain important, this paper proposes a taxonomy that develops assessment further outward in the direction of community activism and climate justice, and tests that taxonomy against the environmental sustainability indicators published by Ontario public libraries.
This research investigates the accessibility of Ontario public libraries’ social media feeds. Social media plays an important role in how public libraries engage with their communities. This patron engagement outside of library-maintained websites, raises questions around accessibility for persons with disabilities. Given the increasing usage of social media as a communication mechanism, how accessible are Ontario public library social media feeds? Of specific interest here is the use of alternative text (alt text) attributed to images posted on Ontario public libraries’ social media posts. Findings indicate a dearth of alt text on social media feeds. Suggestions are made for creating good alt text in order to create a more equitable environment.
This study examines materials challenges in Canadian libraries, compiled by the Canadian Federation of Library Associations (CFLA), with the intention of identifying demographic trends in patron challenge behaviour. By cross-referencing the CFLA data with five demographic fields from the 2016 Canadian census of population (median age, city size, educational attainment level, median income, and political representation), the study aims to determine whether challenges of a certain nature are more likely to occur in communities with certain demographic profiles. The study identifies twenty-two challenge categories derived from user complaints and three ideological alignments of challenges based on the political ideology standards set by moral foundations theory. Though the available sample is too small to draw any definitive conclusions, some strong trends were apparent. Findings show that the most common challenge types, challenges to racist content and sexual content, are fairly consistent throughout demographic groupings, but notable correlations were found between demographic profiles and materials concerning LGBTQIA+ issues. Progressive-leaning communities were far more likely to challenge homophobic/transphobic materials while conservative-leaning communities challenged more LGBTQIA+-positive works. From an ideological standpoint, young communities tend to be the most progressive in their challenge behaviour, while communities with a low level of educational attainment tend to be the most conservative in their challenge behaviour.
The Canadian Federation of Library Association’s (CFLA-FCAB) Guidelines for the Education of Library Technicians were last updated in 2011 and in need of a reboot. These guidelines have helped to establish a national standard for the education of library technicians in Canada and provided a framework for the development of skills, knowledge, and abilities of library technicians to provide job-ready, and highly skilled graduates. As much has changed in the library and information landscape in recent years, we instigated a substantial update to the Guidelines in 2021. The update was completed and approved by the CFLA-FCAB in July 2022 and is a guide for library educators, library administrators, supervisors, and practitioners. This paper details the research process undertaken to update the Guidelines that reflect the core competencies of library technicians in Canada.
Communities of Practice (CoPs) bring together practitioners who share a common interest and provide a forum for them to improve upon their practice. The City Librarians Community of Practice was formed in late 2019 to fulfil a professional development need among librarians across the city. Librarians from across sectors were invited to join in this multi-sectoral CoP with the intent of it being an opportunity for networking, collaboration, and sharing of best practices. Multi-sectoral communities of practice are not common in the literature, with most CoPs focusing on a narrow subject area of interest or being hosted by a single institution. This study reports on the results of a survey of City librarians, including those who became members of the CoP and those who opted not to join. The survey was intended to garner anonymous feedback on the CoP, to determine its benefits, and to identify potential areas for growth and improvement. While the CoP did not directly impact practice of its members, there have been perceived indirect impacts, including the sharing of information, hearing about librarianship issues from other perspectives, and affective, social elements. Many members preferred an informal, flexible approach over a more rigid, academic slant towards meetings. Regular communication and check-ins with members and potential members is another identified way of handling the natural attrition that comes with CoPs and to continue to keep the CoP relevant and engaging for the librarians of City.
This paper explores legal considerations for how libraries in Canada can lend digital copies of books. It is an adaptation of A Whitepaper on Controlled Digital Lending of Library Books by David R. Hansen and Kyle K. Courtney, and draws heavily on this source in its content, with the permission of the authors. Our paper considers the legal and policy rationales for the process—“controlled digital lending”—in Canada, as well as a variety of risk factors and practical considerations that can guide libraries seeking to implement such lending, with the intention of helping Canadian libraries to explore controlled digital lending in our own Canadian legal and policy context. Our goal is to help libraries and their lawyers become better informed about controlled digital lending as an approach, offer the basis of the legal rationale for its use in Canada, and suggest situations in which this rationale might be strongest.
The purpose of this exploratory case study is to consider from peer tutors’ perspective the relevance of information literacy (IL) in their roles as tutors, students and in their everyday lives. The research used a qualitative methodology, wherein nine participants shared thoughts and reflections in course discussion forums in response to six online modules, each outlining one the the six frames of the ACRL information literacy framework. The data-gathering phase of the study was bookended by focus groups that were also recorded. Analysis of these various discussions reveals that while tutors see the relevance of IL in their everyday lives, their responses in terms of their roles as tutors and students varies depending on the nature of their program. The need to budget research time efficiently in response to a heavy course load prevents some from pursuing information more broadly or deeply than strictly necessary. The paper considers implications of these insights for further inquiry into the library’s role in advancing IL development in a polytechnical environment.
To learn about the experiences of librarians working through COVID-19, we conducted semi-structured interviews with academic librarians from across Canada on issues such as workload, collegiality, and overall satisfaction with their working conditions during the pandemic. Themes emerged around job security, workload changes (both in terms of hours worked and the type of work being done), working from home, relationships with colleagues and administrators (including the perceived speed of the institution’s pandemic response and the state of communication from or with administration), and hopes for the future. This article focuses on the semantic elements of librarian work during COVID-19 uncovered during thematic analysis, including an in-depth discussion of how academic librarians’ workload changed; a second planned article will focus on latent themes on the caring nature of library work. This study connects isolated individual situations with the overall picture of what librarians’ work looked and felt like during the COVID-19 pandemic. For library administrators, we identify the ways in which institutional support helped or hindered librarians in doing their work.
In March and April 2021, we conducted semi-structured interviews with academic librarians from across Canada about their experiences working through COVID-19 thus far. Topics included workload, collegiality, and overall satisfaction with their working conditions during a pandemic. Themes emerged around job scurity, meaningful work, workload shifts, working from home, relationships with colleagues and administrators, and hopes for the future. While individual experiences varied greatly, the biggest uniting factor was the care and deliberation that characterized both our participants’ framing of work that was meaningful to them as well as their ideal relationships with colleagues and administrators. This research connects to previous literature on vocational awe and emotional labour in libraries. For librarians, this study connects isolated individual situations with the overall picture of what our work looked and felt like during the COVID-19 pandemic. For library administrators, we have identified some general trends, which can provide insight in the areas of communication, flexibility, and institutional support as we work toward a post-pandemic new normal.
Post-secondary students bring with them unique skills and knowledge which may affect their learning. Information literacy (IL) is a set of abilities which permits the discovery of information as well as using this information to create new knowledge (Association of College and Research Libraries, 2016). While IL abilities are heralded as important, it is difficult to find a simple measure of information literacy, especially since its conceptualization as a framework (Association of College and Research Libraries, 2016). In this paper, we propose a new online measure of information literacy—Your Information Literacy Practices (YILP)—which aligns with the new framework. We compare it to another published measure of IL and student resourcefulness. Implications and recommendations for its use are discussed.
Five academic librarians from libraries that represent the Canadian Academic Research Libraries (CARL) were invited to share their experiences as racialized librarians. In 2021, the Canadian Academic Research Libraries (CARL) hosted an Inclusion Perspectives Webinar Series, organized by CARL’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Working Group (EDIWG) and the contents of this paper are presentations by these librarians who were invited to speak on systems, structures, and policies needed to dismantle racism; practical strategies to attract and retain racialized library employees; accreditation issues; and provide advice for what Canadian library leaders can start doing immediately.
This article describes the professional learning around early literacy experienced by library paraprofessional students at a post-secondary institution in Canada. Students completed a survey to gauge their conceptions of early literacy at the beginning of a course on library services for children and young adults. These students then experienced hands-on, engaging course elements such as in-class discussions, guest speakers, and authentic assessments. At the conclusion of the course, students were again surveyed and were asked to identify course elements that contributed to their learning. Most students aligned with an emergent literacy approach to early literacy. While a comparison between the two surveys did not reveal a significant difference in terms of students’ conceptions of early literacy, multiple students identified the hands-on elements of the course as beneficial. The researchers conclude that providing authentic professional learning opportunities that include knowledge application reinforces learners’ conceptions about emergent literacy.
Canadian public libraries play an important role in supporting official language minority communities on a cultural and socio-economic level as well as on a linguistic level. However, there is limited research on the practices and impact of libraries in linguistic minority contexts. This exploratory study presents results from a pan-Canadian survey on French-language collections in public libraries serving French-speaking minority communities in Canada, focusing on the practices of library personnel and on their level of satisfaction when it comes to developing, promoting and evaluating these collections. Analysis of survey results reveals four main factors, often interconnected, that influence collection development in French-speaking minority communities: the level of French knowledge among employees, reliance on vendors and intermediaries, lack of resources and support, and collection development limited to content for preschool and school-age children. Results of this study are being shared to encourage discussion and reflection on the unique challenges of this work.
Partnership vise à encourager la dissémination de la production scientifique francophone et anglophone canadienne en bibliothéconomie et en sciences de l’information. Ce numéro met de l’avant la recherche en français avec trois articles. Ces manuscrits de qualité touchent différentes questions et furent un plaisir à lire et éditer. Mais, pour un numéro dédié à la recherche diffusée en français, pourquoi y a-t-il si peu d’articles?
Partnership aims to encourage the dissemination of Canadian Francophone and Anglophone scientific production in library and information science. This issue highlights research in French with three articles. These quality manuscripts touch on different issues and were a pleasure to read and edit. But, for an issue dedicated to research published in French, why are there so few articles?
Recently community engagement has emerged as a priority among universities, offering new opportunities for their libraries. A literature scan of community-centred work in libraries reveals diverse examples but a lack of conceptual definitions or frameworks to help practitioners advance their work for social impact. We present a case study using the Carnegie Foundation definition of community engagement and apply two conceptual frameworks: living lab constructs and boundary spanning theory. The living lab constructs provide a framework to describe an innovation process that addresses a social challenge, experiments with specific actions for change, and defines specific returns or social impact. Boundary spanning theory provides a framework to help university leaders conceptualize linkages to community in ways that account for institutional complexity and foster reciprocal, mutually beneficial relationships with community partners. We use these two frameworks to describe the Making Research Accessible initiative which has three goals: i) increase the accessibility and impact of research done in the community; ii) increase the availability to researchers of community-generated research; iii) create opportunities for community and university members to share information and learn from each other. From the case study, we summarize what we have learned about community engagement to be of general relevance to library practitioners.
Academic librarians most deal with many imperatives to offer information literacy training. The purpose of this article is to share our experience of working as a cross-sectoral team composed of faculty members, librarians, and digital pedagogy and multimedia integration specialists. By using our diverse expertise, we co-created an information literacy training program for masters students in management. This innovative project developed at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) was officially launched in January 2022. Students accepted to the masters in management will be required to successfully complete this program, which will introduce them to digital and information literacies on the one hand, and to different principles related to scholarly communication and academic integrity on the other. The steps that led to the initiation of this project as well as challenges encountered until its completion will be detailed.
This experience could inspire other educational institutions, but our main goal is to show the importance of cross-sectoral work in helping students achieve academic success. We are convinced that many of the concepts presented in the training program are cross-curricular, that they go beyond mastering strict technical competencies required for learning and that they lay the foundation for a better understanding of the digital world in which students evolve. Although not directly part of the Quebec Ministry of Education and Higher Education's Digital Action Plan (2018), initiatives such as the one led by the the team at UQAM are nonetheless consistent with several of its orientations, including the first, which is to support the development of digital skills in young people and adults so that they can be better informed citizens and professionals.
Using research on the political economy of the music industries, interviews with independent musicians about their lived experiences, and the authors' experience participating in government copyright consultations in Canada, this article discusses how the market power of major music companies, and their capture of the policy-making process through lobbying, has made copyright reform an extremely limited avenue for remedying the variety of hardships facing musicians in the streaming media era. Against the continued consolidation and concentration of power within the music industries, we explore a case study of Edmonton Public Library’s Capital City Records as an alternative model that may inspire further initiatives that advocate for artists and users. We conclude by discussing a commons-based, public infrastructure and governance model that could serve as a tool to circumvent uneven power dynamics in the music industries, facilitate stronger music communities, and provide sustainable livelihoods for working musicians in Canada.
As part of a research on the application of open science principles to the field of bioeconomy, we conducted a scientometric study of the scientific production of France in this field, for the period 2015 to 2019. The study identified 1,913 publications in the Scopus database. We analysed this corpus under different aspects: types and sources of documents, with volumetry and impact; authors, organisations and institutions; sources of funding; degree of internationality and openness (open access). The discussion focuses on the terminology and sources of such a scientometric study, on the accessibility of publications and on the position of France in this field. The conclusion proposes some recommendations for conducting a similar study, particularly for information professionals.
Although it is crucial for libraries to meet required online accessibility standards (e.g., Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0), compliance with these technical standards does not guarantee optimal or equitable experiences for all library users who interact with online spaces or materials. Recent literature on accessibility testing has acknowledged the value of including people with disabilities in testing and designing digital objects and spaces. This thinking aligns with the library-based user experience (UX) principle that talking directly to users about their experiences using library services and resources is the most effective way to understand and thereby improve the overall library experience. In 2020, the UX Group at Western Libraries undertook a pilot accessibility testing initiative to plan, design, and deliver participatory accessibility testing with campus community members who had self-identified as living with a range of disabilities. Three accessibility tests were designed to assess five distinct digital objects, and 14 testing sessions were completed with eight participants. A semi-structured and participatory testing method allowed participants to freely interact with the testing objects, provide detailed feedback regarding their experiences using the objects, and recommend improvements to elements they found less accessible. This article includes an overview of considerations and challenges of the initiative as well as lessons learned in the process of securing funding, recruiting participants, designing the tests, and conducting testing. We reflect on the value of participatory accessibility testing and make recommendations for conducting similar projects at other libraries.
In anticipation of the then forthcoming Tri-Agency Research Data Management Policy, a consortium of professionals from Canadian university libraries surveyed researchers on their research data management (RDM) practices, attitudes, and interest in data management services. Data collected from three surveys targeting researchers in science and engineering, humanities and social sciences, and health sciences and medicine were compiled to create a national dataset. The present study is the first large-scale survey investigating researcher RDM practices in Canada, and one of the few recent multi-institutional and multidisciplinary surveys on this topic.
This article presents the results of the survey to assess researcher readiness to meet RDM policy requirements, namely the preparation of data management plans (DMPs) and data deposit in a digital repository. The survey results also highlight common trends across the country while revealing differences in practices and attitudes between disciplines. Based on our survey results, most researchers would have to change their RDM behaviors to meet Tri-Agency RDM policy requirements. The data we gathered provides insights that can help institutions prioritize service development and infrastructure that will meet researcher needs.