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Annual Plan 2013-2014


To create the best possible complement of resources and spaces that will enhance faculty and student success at Algoma University.


The Library empowers faculty and student success through:

  • Enhancing access to research and learning resources;
  • Creating new spaces for collaboration and innovation; and
  • Developing targeted and unique collections.


The Arthur A. Wishart Library staff and resources are critical supports for delivering the highest quality education to Algoma University students and for ensuring student success. The range of collections and instructional capacity of the Library are areas that require constant improvements in order to meet the needs of a growing university.

The Library is an integral part of the overall academic experience, serving as the access hub to research and learning collections for all degree programs. The Library accomplishes this through the continuing to develop and implement learner-centered programs in research skills and infrastructure for online information access, in addition to other methods. These services must be systematically built and delivered by professional librarians and trained paraprofessional staff in order to meet the goals of improving opportunity and access, improving student success rates, and expanding teaching and research capacity.

The Library works constantly to develop more targeted collections for research and learning. In addition, it plays a core role in knowledge creation through developing unique archival, special, and faculty research driven collections, online and in print. The Library supports these efforts through also developing the specialized online and physical infrastructures required to deliver unique content to users.

Examples of this include facilitating the university’s legislated mission to support Northern Ontario and to “cultivate cross-cultural learning between aboriginal communities and other communities, in keeping with the history of Algoma University College and its geographic site” by acquiring and making accessible over 300 collections now in the University Archives and the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre . The Library does this work in conjunction with many important regional, provincial and national partners such as Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association, National Residential School Survivors Society, Aboriginal Healing Foundation, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Bon Soo Winter Carnival, the 49th Regiment Royal Canadian Artillery, the Anglican Diocese of Algoma and the Anglican Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario among others.

In order to meet the university’s academic objectives and to realize the directions laid out in the Special Mission for Algoma University, the Library must also reorganize its purpose-built space on an ongoing basis to meet the increased demands for appropriate spaces for individual and group study, collaboration and innovation. The Library as space is critical for supporting Algoma’s expanded program offerings and most importantly, the Library’s core role in contributing to university student success.

Additionally, the Library as part of an independent university now plays important provincial and national roles as a member of scholarly research networks such as the CONIFER library consortium, the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL) and the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN). Algoma’s three librarians participate in strategic planning, budgeting, granting writing, administration and other activities for these networks, which benefit the university system as a whole, but require staff time away from the campus. Finally, the Library staff has also promoted its resources and services heavily to area high schools to enhance research skills at the secondary school level as well as to introduce secondary school students to university.


Priority #1: Enhancing access to research and learning resources for faculty and students.

  1. Design and implement new collection development process for all purchased collections with Public Services Librarian (Dr. Michelle Atkin) at head of the Library’s Collection Development Committee.
    1. Works in conjunction with external OCUL-IR and CRKN-NRT consortial partners.
    2. Supported by ongoing collection and analysis of collection data from many sources by the Administrative Assistant to the University Library (proposed position).
    3. Considers university academic plan, internal and IQAP program reviews, library budget data, consortial product prices versus standalone alternatives, electronic versus hard-copy formats, product reviews, and ongoing statistical analysis of circulation data (internal and from each vendor package) in decision making process.
  2. Design and implement new online and integrated access infrastructures under the direction of the Systems Librarian at the head of the Library’s Systems Committee.
    1. Works in conjunction with peers and appropriate committees at OCUL and CONIFER partner institutions and CRKN and Scholars Portal staff groups.
    2. Implement OCUL User Rights database with SFX OpenURL resolver service to provide clear user rights management (e.g. fair use rights, licence rights, copyright, etc.)
    3. Implement RACER self-directed requests for Inter-Library Loans through the Library’s Web Site.
    4. Implement direct-to-requester email delivery for RACER Inter-Library Loan / document delivery requests per best practices at OCUL partner institutions to speed and make Inter-Library Loans faster, more convenient and cost-effective.
    5. Implement and integrate SYRUP Reserves System to manage all electronic and print reserves.
  3. Initiate research into and RFP/testing processes for implementing a Federated Search Engine, an information retrieval technology that allows the simultaneous search of multiple searchable Library resources under the joint direction of the Public Services Librarian and the Systems Librarian and a Library/Faculty/ ITS working group to be established.
    1. Expected Outcome: a user makes a single query request, which is distributed to the search engines participating in the federation. The federated search then aggregates the results that are received from the search engines for presentation to the user.
  4. Design and implement the regular rotation of displays in the Library and University from holdings in the University Archives and Special Collections under the direction of the University Librarian and a working group to be established.
  5. Design and implement a regular program of marketing Library resources to faculty and students through multiple media under the direction of the University Librarian.
    1. Ongoing program carried out by the Administrative Assistant to the University Library (proposed position).
    2. Includes a proactive series Library events e.g. donor recognition, speaking series, author events, etc.)
    3. Special emphasis on regular updates Library web site in a timely manner (e.g. new resources announcements, events, updated policies, etc.).

Priority #2: Developing targeted and unique research and learning collections.

  1. Design and implement a cohesive and pro-active collection development and donor cultivation for Archives and Special Collections under the direction of the University Librarian, and supported by the Administrative Assistant to the University Library (proposed position) and a Library/Faculty working group to be established.
    1. Develop programs for donor solicitation and recognition.
    2. Develop processes to ensure follow-up and relationship maintenance for tax receipt purposes and administration of donations.
  2. Design and implement a proactive and cohesive grant-writing program under the direction of the University Librarian supported by the Administrative Assistant to the University Library (proposed position) to solicit government and private funds to increase Library capacity and create extra-budget opportunities.
  3. Establish an arms-length “Friends of the Wishart Library” group under the direction of the University Librarian with the support of the Administrative Assistant to the University Library of interested campus and community members to provide financial, gifts-in-kind, and other forms of support to the Library.
  4. Conduct collection analysis of the print monograph circulating collection with goal of weeding 50-60% of materials. Re-invigorate collection through re-allocating funding from discontinued print journals.
    1. Currently our collection contains many items that are not suitable for a modern academic library. Examples of this include gifts of non-academic materials from public libraries who weeded their own collections, outdated materials (primarily in Science and Social Science), as well as items that have never circulated or have not circulated in the last 20 years. In preparation for the first major weed of our existing collection in more than a decade, an internal Collection Development Committee will be formed in mid-March, which will set out the criteria for weeding. Once the criteria have been established we will seek to use summer students to de-accession the items from our catalogue over the spring and summer months. Where this will be a major undertaking, we will be requiring Maintenance Staff to assist us in removing and reconfiguring the shelves in August 2013.
  5. Initiate testing, RFP process, and implementation of electronic monograph purchasing program on a book-by-book basis (as opposed to the current package model) under the direction of the Public Services Librarian and the Library’s Collection Development Committee.
    1. Work with OCUL peers/ committees (OCUL-IR/PSAG) to consider best practices.
    2. Integrate and promote e-book reader/tablet loan program using OCUL-IR/PSAG research.
  6. Complete and enhance the catalogue records for two unique library collections linked to the Arthur A. Wishart Library under the direction of the Systems Librarian and the Library’s Systems Committee with the support of the Library’s Collection Development Committee.
    1. 49th Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery “Lest We Forget Remembrance and Military Library” (housed at the SSM Armoury) – Canadian Military and Peacekeeping History Special Collection.
    2. Gail Guthrie Valaskakis Memorial Resource Library (currently located on the third floor of the Wishart Library) – donated to Algoma University and the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association by the Aboriginal Healing Foundation – 6,000 item Special Collection on the Indian Residential Schools Legacy.
  7. Migration of digital archives platform to Drupal 7 under the direction of the Systems Librarian and the Library’s Systems Committee with guidance from the University Librarian and the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre’s Archives Technician.
    1. Implement digital archive feature requests to enhance end-user accessibility.
    2. Implement of new theme for university archives to differentiate between it and the SRSC’s collections and to honor a donor’s gift to the Library.

Priority #3: Creating spaces for collaboration and innovation for faculty and students.

  1. Plan and implement multi-phase renovations to the Library under the direction of the University Librarian and with the support of the Administrative Assistant to the University (proposed position) to repurpose the existing layout to create collaborative workspace and space for innovation with in the Library.
    1. Requires consideration of the ARL 2010 LIBQUAL survey of the Library as well as previous internal reviews and surveys. And requires review of research concerning best practices for proposed new spaces.
    2. Requires consideration of the campus master plan in conjunction with the Board of Governors’ Campus Development Committee as well as the direction of the Vice-Presidents Academic and Finance.
    3. Requires assistance and expertise of the Director of Physical Plant and staff.
    4. Requires additional, substantial weeding of physical collections by Library’s Collection Development Committee to clear space (i.e. Government Documents removed from 3rd floor and 50-60% reduction of print circulating collection on 2nd floor per Priority #2 item 4.
    5. Requires project based funding above and beyond regular, annual Library budget request.

Supports Required for Successful Completion of Priorities

  1. Conduct Internal/External Library review on the same lines as departmental self-study followed by academic IQAP review with external reviewers and implement recommendations.
  2. Hire Administrative Assistant to the University Library to provide:
    1. Core administrative support for Internal/External Library Review for 2013-2015;
    2. Overall support to the university library;
    3. Administrative, analytical, and budget support to University Librarian;
    4. Administrative, analytical and communications support to Librarians and Library staff;
    5. Coordinate special projects, initiatives and other duties as required.
  3. Updated University Library budget to support vision and priorities; e.g.:
    1. Adjustments to and promotion of faculty and student Inter-Library Loan subsidy provided by Library;
    2. Establish E-Book Patron Driven Acquisitions budget line;
    3. Better forecasting of and accounting for vendor increases.
  4. Centralizing and digitizing master library administrative records (e.g. licenses, contracts, invoices, etc.) and making accessible to Librarians and staff who require access to complete operational activities.
  5. Documentation needs assessment for all library information systems and workflow processes.
  6. Complete statistical review of:
    1. All database products for collection development and budgeting, including:
      1. Access to resources through SFX OpenURL link resolution service;
      2. Off-site (i.e. main campus) access to resources via Library’s Proxy Server;
      3. COUNTER™ compliant statistics from each product (60+ packages).
    2. Hourly in-library head counts;
    3. In-library door counts;
    4. Circulation of physical items;
    5. Inter-Library Loan and electronic document delivery (items in/out):
    6. Items catalogued and made accessible:
      1. Purchased and donated:
      2. Monographs, journals, archives;
      3. Print and electronic.
    7. Items weeded and discarded.
      1. Monographs and journals.
      2. Print and electronic.
    8. Equipment and room bookings.
    9. Number, length, and type of class-based information literacy and bibliographic instruction sessions.
    10. Number, length and type of reference questions answered in person, electronically or by telephone.
    11. Fines, fees and other revenue charged.
    12. Print, archival, and electronic collection sizes and overlap analysis.


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