learning around indigenous collections development

I just signed up for a new Coursera course that started on November 27. In response to the Truth & Reconciliation Commission report, I have been looking at how Library Services can respond through sound collection development practices. I have worked with one the campus librarians to examine curated ebook and print collections offered through two of our vendors, and I also plan to look at streaming video content in Macintyre media. I hope that this course will help frame my perspective.

Indigenous Canada


21st century college library collections – i’m on the right track!

Crumpton, M. A., & Bird, N. J. (2013). Handbook for Community College Librarians. Oxford: Pearson Education.

In this book, two of the researchers I have frequently encountered in my workplace information literacy research, Michael. A. Crumpton and Nora J. Bird, have written about all aspects of library services in community colleges, including collection development. In reading this chapter, I was encouraged by the fact that I have implemented a number of practices which they recommend. In this table, I have highlighted their recommendations and noted what I have in place already, or what I would like to implement:


Recommendation Response
Instead of prescribed collection size the new 2012 ACRL standards encourages librarians to “use assessment and advocacy to build a case for what the …collection should be” (p. 88) Library Liaison program collections piece.
Community college collections must focus on a wide variety of topics, support the current curriculum and rely on a smaller number of more recent materials (p. 88)  
Clear policies describing the collection and how it supports the institution’s mission, goals and objectives (p. 89) Collections policy revised
Begin with a description of the communities which will use the collection (p. 89). In the collections policy
Popular fiction collections have been shown to increase reading levels (p. 90). Public library deposit programs
“Libraries in the digital age should not be buying collections of noncirculating materials” (p. 90)  
Acquire requested materials in the most expeditious way (p. 90). Proquest Thesis on demand purchasing and Reprints Desk purchasing for some ILL requests.
Monitor publications produced by the trades you support (p. 91).  
Consult faculty on a regular basis for suggested materials (p. 90).  
Use reviews, vendor tools and comparisons to items purchased by other institutions to find quality resources (p. 91). GOBI set up with reviews included, ability to see what other libraries have purchased a title.
Consider the best format — ebook, paperback, hardcover, dvd, etc. (p. 92).  
Consider using a vendor to obtain catalogue records at the time of purchase (p. 92). EDI ordering processes with Midwest.
Consider ownership versus access (p. 92)  
Set up cooperative e-resource arrangements when possible (p. 93). Novanet ebook DDA
Use data to assess the collection (p. 95). LibInsight
There are strong rationales for establishing an archives in a community college – the yearbook collection is a good place to start (p. 96). Yearbook project, Archives policy underway




shaking up shakespeare

I have been taking part in an online Shakespeare course offered by CBU. Video sessions are recorded and posted on Facebook, and those of us who are choosing to only watch the video classes are called the “Curiosity” group. “Classes” are held once a week, and you can watch them live or recorded.

This has been a fascinating process for me because it reminds me of how much I love to learn and how important it is to me to always be involved in a learning process.

It is also interesting to think of how many opportunities there are for people to receive high-quality instruction without incurring costs. It’s an equalizer and will be a game-changer in lifelong learning.

connecting LCPs

Today I met with a colleague who is considering embarking on an LCP on supports between blocs for students with disabilities, to help ensure they are ready for their learning-intensive blocs and that the supports are in place when they are here for bloc training. We discussed some of the soft skills that I am researching, and I was able to recommend some resources that might be of help:

Experiences with Blended Learning Program Delivery for Apprenticeship Trades: A Case Study

Vogt, Rosemary

International Journal of Higher Education, v3 n4 p85-95 2014

How Organisations Are Using Blended E-Learning to Deliver More Flexible Approaches to Trade Training

Callan, Victor James; Johnston, Margaret Alison; Poulsen, Alison Louise

Journal of Vocational Education and Training, v67 n3 p294-309 2015

Exploring Embedded Remediation for Community College Career Technical Education Pathways: Promising Practices

Cooper, Donna Walters

ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, California State University, Fresno


Harmonization and Responsiveness: Lessons from German Apprenticeship Reforms

The Conference Board of Canada, 17 pages, December 9, 2015


Skills—Where Are We Today? The State of Skills and PSE in Canada

The Conference Board of Canada, 164 pages, November 4, 2014

Report by Daniel Munro, James Stuckey, Cameron MacLaine

“pretend you’re an “eccentric poet” instead of a “rigid librarian”!

In an recent Harvard Business Review column,

Your Brain Can Only Take So Much Focus,

Srini Pillay discusses how excessive focus actually exhausts our brain, and instead we need to give the brain time to let neural connections form. Our “default mode network (dmn)” at rest uses 20% of our body’s energy, compared to 5% that effort requires. So, we actually do a lot of work when we are doing nothing!

Some things which the author suggests can help us be more creative and productive by helping us toggle between focus and unfocus are:

  1. Take a 10-minute nap.
  2. Pretend to be someone else (psychological halloweenism). He refers to a study: “In 2016, educational psychologists, Denis Dumas and Kevin Dunbar found that people who try to solve creative problems are more successful if they behave like an eccentric poet than a rigid librarian.” — I must try to not be a rigid librarian 🙂
  3. Use positive, constructive daydreaming.

presenting workplace literacy to public libraries

On October 1, Mary Jane and I attended the 2017 Nova Scotia Library Association/LBANS conference and gave a presentation entitled, “Libraries and 21st Century Workplace Literacy Skills: A Study of NSCC Library Services”. Our program had the highest attendance of all sessions that weekend and those who attended (mostly public library staff and board members) indicated that the information we shared about NSCC students and their workplace information needs was new to them.

We know that public libraries have a significant role in helping Nova Scotians develop effective workplace literacy skills, and over the course of this year I hope to spend some time finding out about this.

NSLA conference presentation


21st century library collection development

Library collections in the 21st century (2011, December 05). Retrieved September 27, 2017, from

Last evening, I viewed a brief video presentation by James G. Neal, VP for Information Services and University Librarian, Columbia University/OCLC Board Trustee, in which he outlined four shifts driving 21st century library collection development:

  1. Primal innovation – We have to rethink what we are and be innovative.
  2. Deconstruction – We will have to tear apart what we have and creatively reassemble it, bringing in new parts as needed. He says that it no longer makes sense to think of library collections in terms of individual libraries.
  3. Radical collaboration – Libraries can no longer stand side by side as we have been doing (so well) but WITH each other, working as one and/or in collectives to accomplish our goals.
  4. Survival – We must focus on what the user needs, looking at non-traditional measures; Are users happy with our products and services? Are they achieving their goals with our support?

For the last 50 years, the goal of the larger library community has been to develop new approaches to coordinate collection development, but we have not done that; we have not been successful in implementing shared investments in collections. And now we are at the point where we must act as a collective by selecting, acquiring, owning, synthesizing, organizing and distributing TOGETHER.

  • We force users to make hard choices by limiting their information queries to what’s on OUR shelves.
  • Sophisticated interlibrary loan isn’t enough. User expectations have shifted dramatically and limitations of time and distance shouldn’t matter anymore.
  • With the massive decline in faculty coming to post-secondary libraries, we need to deliver content and functionality to the desktop of faculty and students and to deliver information in the online environment they are mostly in, to move librarians to the point of need.