The last couple of years have been transformative, and I invite you to take a moment now to give yourself credit for your bravery, patience, strength, resilience, and for persevering through such unprecedented adversity. You are doing a great job, and I'm proud of you.
It’s time for me to pass the torch to OCULA’s incoming President, Sarah Shujah. As my term as President ends, I would like to share what an honour it has been to work with an organization that places the importance of libraries in all communities at the forefront of their work. I would also like to share my infinite gratitude for OCULA and the members of OCULA council, who have been nothing short of remarkable this year as I tackled the presidency during my journey into first-time motherhood. Our activities in 2016 would not have been the absolute success they were without the hard work, dedication and passion of our council members and volunteers.
As some council members leave, we are joined by new ones. I would like to take this opportunity to say a very special goodbye to our outgoing Past-President, Shanna Pearson, who also took on the brave role of council executive and first-time parenthood this year. Shanna’s contributions to council and her commitment to advocating for the value of academic libraries has been nothing short of inspirational. She has also been a gracious and steady support for me these last two years. I can only hope to offer the same support to our incoming President in 2017.
I would also like to thank everyone on OCULA Council and the members-at-large who volunteered to make our 2016 activities a success. Your commitment to OCULA and your contributions to our activities are directly responsible for our success in 2016.
Something of note that I have learned during my time on council is just how much academic libraries are capable of transforming to meet the varied needs of their users physically, digitally, and philosophically. When libraries share these changes with other libraries, the value is immeasurable. It demonstrates that in a time of budget crisis and compulsion to demonstrate our worth, a community of open sharing ensures that academic libraries remain at the heart of all our academic institutions as vibrant, information-sharing centres.
It has been an absolute pleasure to serve OCULA Council and the OLA Board this past year. I wish Sarah Shujah all the best in her new role as she leads OCULA into 2017.
Denise Smith is an early-career librarian in the process of forging a path for herself. She is currently an Education Liaison Librarian at McMaster University’s Health Sciences Library, where she is the liaison for the Bachelor of Health Sciences program. She is past-president of OCULA Council and has a seat on the IFLA Information Literacy Standing Committee. Denise can be contacted at dsmith [at] mcmaster.ca and @DeniseSmith85.