Librarianship at Ontario colleges has changed significantly since the pandemic. Eva McDonald explores new challenges facing academic librarians, and how best to meet these challenges.
Corrine Laverty honoured as ‘true academic librarian’
Corrine (Cory) Laverty is currently the head of the education library at Queen’s University. Her long-time friend and colleague Melody Burton paid tribute to Cory at the 2013 OCULA AGM, where she was presented with the 2013 OCULA Lifetime Achievement Award. Here is some of what Melody had to say, “for the record”.
Cory embodies the whole essence of a true academic librarian. Her career achievements easily rival those of her best faculty peers. Cory is an exemplary scholar, a gifted teacher, a prolific researcher and a trusted colleague. She is well educated with a PhD, secures numerous research grants and earns awards and accolades. Cory is frequently invited as a keynote speaker and conference presenter at regional, national and international events. Few librarians ever attempt such an ambitious agenda and even fewer still complete so many accomplishments with such consistency. This isn’t a personal best, but a typical year for Corinne Laverty.
While many university libraries promise transformational change, few deliver it. But Cory does. Steeped in educational theory and the practice of librarianship, she is best described as a tireless advocate for learning throughout the university. She has profoundly affected change at Queen’s University Library when she actively engaged in organizational restructuring in early 2000 and subsequently in her many leadership roles at committee, unit and administrative levels.
Today at Queen’s University Library, she is formally recognized as a Teaching and Learning Specialist, a role she has informally held since 1992 when she first served as Instructional Services Coordinator.
For Cory, it is essential that librarians partner with faculty to be fully engaged in the academy. It is all about learning and this thread lead Cory to conceptualize the Learning Commons at Stauffer Library. Her insights into how the library could transform learning and collaborate with external partners were inspired and ground breaking in the early 2000s. To call Cory “an early adopter” is an enormous understatement.
Cory’s reach has extended far beyond Queen’s University. The Canadian Association of Research Libraries enlisted her in the mid-2000s to be a part of an elite e-learning committee where Cory’s contribution among others was the creation of an e-learning wiki to document best practices. Recently, she has served on the OCULA Council contributing to the establishment of a marketing program and introducing new programs and content. And over the years, Cory’s involvement with OCUL has spanned committee memberships, development of an online repository and most recently the Quality Assurance and Learning Outcomes Committee dedicated to assessing student achievement.
Cory is creative, inventive, imaginative and experimental. She is a coach and a mentor who learns with her students. Cory imports intellectual rigour into every endeavour and exudes relentless mental energy until its completion. She is a bridge-builder who seeks an inclusive workplace where all can progress at her own ability. Cory is an inspiring choreographer who can map every step and move required for a successful performance. She is amazing, caring, witty and it is exhilarating to work alongside her.
I am grateful that Canada has such a remarkable librarian. There is no more worthy candidate for this award than Corinne Laverty. She is eminently deserving of OCULA’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Melody Burton is the Chief Librarian, Okanagan Campus and Deputy University Librarian, Vancouver Campus for the University of British Columbia Library.