A catalyst for discussion

On May 9, 2011, a group of librarians at the University of Toronto got together to discuss the future of academic librarianship. The meeting was conceived and organized by Marcel Fortin, GIS and Map Librarian at the University of Toronto Map and Data Library (see meeting minutes here). It was also prompted by a presentation made by Jeff Trzeciak, University Librarian at McMaster University, to the Libraries Colloquium Committee at Penn State University entitled Transforming Organizations: McMaster 2006 – present, in which Trzeciak sets out his vision of the future of McMaster University Libraries.

The basis of much of the discussion at the meeting was tied to many of  Trzeciak’s ideas for the future as well as the proposed hiring strategy, which includes (most contentiously) replacing vacant library positions with post-doctoral fellows and replacing library paraprofessionals with IT staff. His provocative vision of academic libraries  has spurred discussions related to the future of the discipline, the nature of our training, and the future of academic libraries more broadly.

Berenica Vejvoda, Data Librarian at the Map and Data Library, and Jenaya Webb, Librarian at OISE, made the suggestion to post information and to have further discussions via a blog. Thank you to Jenaya Webb for setting up the blog.

What follows is a list of some resources that were circulated as part of the discussion.

  • Blog post from Sense and Reference: Shut up, Jeff (11-Apr-2011)

One response to “A catalyst for discussion

  1. Julie Hannaford

    One area that was discussed at our event was an interest in educational technology issues and a desire to be more aware of things going on in this area at U of T. Avi Hyman (Institutional Strategist for Academic Technology, CIO’s Office/CTSI) has recently set up a new listserv: EdTech-L for people to discuss educational technology issues.
    Here is the description from his recent email:

    “For many years I’ve thought that we should have an online forum for people in the University of Toronto community who work professionally with educational technologies. Part community of practice, part peer-based professional development, part support group for those of us who make a living from this stuff.

    By “educational technologies” I mean any kind of technology that supports or enhances teaching & learning. So, we have colleagues on the list that do classroom technologies, colleagues that do online learning, colleagues that do multimedia, and colleagues that do social media.

    I know I’ve gotten so much from my relationships with most of you regardless of which sub-domain you work in, and that the overlap is so high these days, that I thought I’d be inclusive.

    Topics? Anything that you feel is worth talking about with others who make their living helping people learn and/or teach with technology. It could be asking or giving advice (both pedagogical and technical), it could be about work environments (respectfully, of course :), it could be suggestions for professional development opportunities, events, etc. Pretty much anything.”

    If you would like to join, please contact Avi at a.hyman@utoronto.ca

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