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InsideOCULA Newsletter: December 2016

Well, you know what they say—winter is coming.  If recent weather hasn’t consistently shown it, as final assignments are turned in and the exam period approaches for some, it’s clear from a distinct increase in nervous energy on campus that the end of the fall term isn’t far off.  In this issue of InsideOCULA, we’re not just crossing seasonal boundaries; we’re also crossing the boundaries of space, time, academic discipline and the world of work.

OCULA Fall Conference Logo

OCULA Fall Conference Logo


Aspects of the future of libraries are treated in two of this issue’s articles. Last weeks’ OCULA Fall Conference took place online, and was guided by the theme “The Next Transformation: Libraries and the Future of Higher Education.”  InsideOCULA editor Michel Castagné attended the event and provides a brief overview of the presentations made by the invited speakers in this issue’s Around the Province column.

Facilitating user engagement with new technologies or fostering interdisciplinary approaches to learning through technology is another direction libraries are taking when looking toward future service models. Jonathan Younker and Tabitha Lewis highlight a recently launched makerspace at Brock University’s James A. Gibson Library in their article Brock’s new Makerspace: connecting community and technology.

Matariki/Pleiades star cluster

Matariki is the Māori name for the Pleiades star cluster.
Public Domain image from NASA and the Space Telescope Science Institute.


Three of this issue’s features focus on collaborations between people and organizations separated by distance, but united by aspiration.  A recent event hosted at Queen’s University brought together representatives from libraries around the world to share knowledge and experiences related to Digital Humanities from their own unique perspectives.  In her article Matariki Digital Humanities Colloquium: Research and the Curriculum, Martha Whitehead highlights the event and the international network of universities facilitating collaboration and communication between its members.

For librarians with niche roles particular to their institution or geographic area, it can sometimes be challenging to find a local community of colleagues who have the same information needs and share the same challenges and responsibilities.  In their article Startups in the library: supporting campus entrepreneurs, Carey Toane, Christina Kim and Rachel Figueiredo describe their grass-roots effort to build a network of Canadian academic librarians supporting entrepreneurship and to develop opportunities to engage with those with similar responsibilities and interests beyond our borders.

Flag-map of Ontario

Flag-map of Ontario. Image Credit: Svgalbertian, CC BY-SA 3.0


At a more local level, a collaboration within a community of a network of Ontario university libraries is highlighted in the article Preserving Ontario’s documentary heritage – one annual report at a time.  Written by myself and Catherine McGoveran, this article reports on a digitization project aimed at making historical government information more discoverable and available to all.

Last, but not least, if you’re a newly-minted librarian from an Ontario library program, the OCULA New Librarian Residency Award could help you cross the boundary between school and work.  Learn how libraries and new librarians can both benefit from this award in this issue’s column from OCULA President Denise Smith.

Speaking of opportunities to collaborate and take on challenging new roles, InsideOCULA is on the lookout for additions to our editorial team.  Keep your eyes peeled for a call for applications in the near future.

Have a great end of term and holiday season. The next issue if InsideOCULA is planned for February 2017, just in time for Super Conference. We hope to see you there!

Graeme Campbell is the Open Government Librarian at Queen’s University Library, and Deputy Editor of InsideOCULA.


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