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OCULA President’s message: What’s your mentoring experience?

In the last issue of InsideOCULA, I asked “what issues stand out for you as challenges for academic librarians?” Your answers are shown in the graph below.

Issues and Challenges for Academic Librarians


Read the following brief update on some of our activities and how they relate to these issues, and if you consider yourself a mid-career librarian or library worker, tell us about your experiences with mentoring in our second presidential 60-second poll.

Copyright. OCULA and OLITA members passed a Resolution on Opposition to Access Copyright License Agreements at our annual general meeting on January 31, 2013. We have now sent the text of that resolution to all Ontario universities that have signed an agreement with Access Copyright*.   We were pleased to hear that the University of Toronto and the University of Western Ontario have decided not to renew their current agreements, and we hope that they will set up “systems of knowledge creation based on fair dealing, open access, site licensing as well as transactional licenses where they are needed.”

The OLA Copyright User’s Group hosted a copyright symposium in May 2013. All university and college copyright officers were invited, and attendees heard from Margaret Ann Wilkinson, OLA’s copyright adviser, on changes to the legislation and suggestions for wording in institutional policies.

Information Briefs. As library workers, we must stay informed so that we can respond effectively to challenges that arise, whether those challenges are due to constrained budgets that threaten library services or to librarians being sued by publishers. OCULA’s new series of information briefs are a good place to start.

OCULA Fall Event. Join us in Ottawa on Friday, October 25 for a fun and rewarding day featuring M.J. D’Elia and The Startup Library. As we address the challenges of many new initiatives and services in libraries—from research data management to maker spaces—the concepts of The Startup Library promise to help us make those initiatives effective and user-focused.

Mentoring. OCULA and OLA have been very involved in mentoring over the years, and increasingly we have been talking about mid-career mentoring—in other words, support and guidance for those who are most likely to move into senior administrative positions, or who may be learning new skills in order to offer new services. Don’t forget to take our presidential 60-second poll on mentoring!

We will continue to work on your behalf on these and other issues. As always, I look forward to hearing from you, and hope to see you at this fall’s OCULA event in Ottawa!

We have been unable to locate a list of Ontario colleges that have signed with Access Copyright. If anyone knows of such a list, please contact me.


Kristin Hoffman, 2013 OCULA President, is Head of Research and Instructional Services at the D.B. Weldon Library, Western University.

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