Ahoy, me library hearties! For just a barrel o’ fun, we’ve created a tab on our Library Leisure Guide for International Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19th, 2021).
From general history and classic pirate books in our collection (It that Long John Silver yonder?) to pirate-themed movies in our library databases (It’s CAPTAIN Jack!), check it all out before we sail away!
We are pleased to launch a new library guide called Indigenous Conversations and the Library.
The purpose of this subject guide is to provide a general source of information for current Indigenous conversations, issues and social movements.
Where possible academic resources via the university library have been provided, but external sources are also noted for general information and research. This guide is a living resource and will be updated whenever possible.
The Archer Book Club team is delighted to offer three reading selections and meetings over the Fall 2021 semester:
September 22, 2021: 12-1pm, Title: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
October 27, 2021: 12-1pm, Title: The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty (50th Anniversary). Professor Marcel DeCoste (Department of English) will join us for the discussion.
November 24, 2021: 12-1pm, Title: Dog’s Best Friend? edited by John Sorenson and Atsuko Matsuoka
To attend please reply directly to this email (please do not reply all), OR visit the Archer Book Club page and contact us there: https://uregina.libguides.com/archerbookclub Please note that all book club meetings will continue on Zoom for the Fall 2021 semester. We will be sending out Zoom information closer to the time for all those who have signed up.
More information about September’s selection (including how to access it), discussion points, etc. can also be found at the above page (vote for future book selections too!)
What is a Collection Development and Subject Librarian?
First, I’ll mention that all librarians and archivists at Archer Library hold faculty status, so there are 14 in-scope librarians. Regarding collections, I coordinate reviewing some faculty requests for new physical and e‑book purchases. Decisions are based on various criteria: price, if it supports teaching, research and curriculum development.
I also oversee physical book donations, but we do get the odd donation of music records and items that might be suitable for placement in special collections, like older materials. We can often be gifted with unique titles, or at times we’re relying on faculty requests for new items to support curriculum and research. When faculty retire, they often will think of the library and donate their materials. I love donations work. It’s really interesting — it’s kind of like getting gifts, so it’s fun.
Regarding being a subject librarian, I provide library supports, which include instruction and showing how to use our online resources and services, providing research and reference assistance to students and faculty in different departments and faculties. Part of that library support involves, especially with students, instilling a knowledge of information literacy which involves developing critical thinking skills and evaluating sources used in the library’s many databases.
Part of your work is exploring and fulfilling requests for new resources. Do you also seek out new resources or materials?
For collections, we have a committee called CAT, or the Collections Assessment Team. CAT includes the Head of Technical Services and Collections, myself, and other subject librarians. We meet regularly throughout the year and assess database license renewals. Decision-making is based on various criteria including usage statistics, cost per download and how resources support teaching, research, and curriculum development. When funds are available, offers for one-time purchases of specialized online historical collections are discussed.
How has your work as a librarian been impacted by COVID-19 and what adaptations have you made?
Like everybody else, we quickly and fairly successfully pivoted to serving the university community online last March. But it wasn’t much of an issue for the more than 50 librarians and library staff. One of the main reasons is that many of our resources have been online for decades; you can access them from anywhere. One challenge was how people could request to loan materials in our physical collections when those areas in the library building were closed.
For the most part, the library’s main floor has been open by appointment where people can book a time and come in for books that we cannot provide as an e‑book. We have a digitization service where we can scan, based on copyright laws, a certain percentage of a book and then it can be uploaded onto an instructor’s reading list in UR Courses. This service was in place before COVID, but knowledge of that, and demand, has increased tremendously.
The library has provided access to many more e‑books temporarily that other libraries have scanned. It’s kind of a consortium of libraries sharing their resources.
In my case, with donations, that’s crawled to a halt. I’ve reviewed one major donation but there are many boxes I need to go through, something I cannot do at home. A lot of my meetings with colleagues and some library instruction sessions, I have done online, which has advantages and disadvantages, but it works. Like others, I miss the hallway conversations, the face-to-face.
The common misconception is that the library closed. We physically were closed for a while, but we’re available through Zoom, chat and email every day, seven days a week.
Is there a unique or obscure book or item in the collection you can highlight?
Our oldest book is in special collections. It’s in Latin and I’ve got the Google translation: In the Hebraic Questions on Genesis as well as over the twelve to take the explanation of the Divine Jerome the younger and the four prophets, by his parents, with the privilege of the newly impresse Commentaria in the Bible by heart. It was published around the year 1497 CE. The binding’s been redone but the pages are original so it’s a massive book. There’s only one copy in the world and we own that copy.
Next thing unique to Archer is we have a great collection of different editions of the novel Robinson Crusoe. The book turned 300 years old in 2019. We have one of the biggest collections of Robinson Crusoe novels in Canada, getting back to like the 6th edition up to copies in different languages; we have a copy in Pitman shorthand.
There are so many books. How does a library decide which novel to collect?
That’s really part of collection development and donating. When I was given this assignment of special collections, it was determined that Dr. John Archer, who was the head of the University of Regina Library at the time back in the early 70s, purchased many old books on different subjects. He purchased this collection from a bookseller in Montréal in the early 70s and it included all of these Robinson Crusoe titles.
What do you find the best part of being a librarian?
I really enjoy the one-on-one sessions with students — you can really spend a lot of time and answer the questions and do some searching with them. And then there is that moment where they begin to understand, it’s a cyclical process of defining your research topic, narrowing it down, choosing a database, developing a search strategy, finding relevant articles, maybe going back and revising. It’s a circular, cyclical process. And if students can understand that, then I’ve been successful.
I want to try and instill in students that we have lots of information to help you. I’m here to help you navigate a pathway through using those materials and it’s a challenge, but I enjoy it.
This summer a new University Archivist, Alyssa Hyduk, joined the Archer Library family. We asked Alyssa to tell us three things she enjoys about being an archivist:
1. You get a true, authentic feel for life outside of your own time. Seeing how people spoke, reading the handwriting, understanding what they valued and what motivated them-I think it’s all brilliant, and it really does put your own life in perspective while simultaneously connecting you to the past.
2. You never know what you’re going to get. I’ve been going through collections about ornithology when I suddenly came upon naked pictures of the researcher. I’ve had to chase silk-worm pupae across the floor because it’s fallen out of a textile scrapbook. You truly never know what you’re going to find in a collection, so the thrill, (and shock), of discovery never goes away!
3. I love connecting the dots for people, especially in genealogical research. It’s such a wonderful thing to see the joy, shock, satisfaction, (and sometimes even horror), on people’s faces when they finally find that missing piece of the puzzle; when they find the branch on the family tree, or the passenger records of their ancestors, or the birth certificate of an unknown family member. Things like that, which are 100% human, unfiltered reactions, make my job incredibly worthwhile.
Looking for something new to read? Interested in reading more about a hot topic? Craving a cozy movie night with a literary adaptation? Well, the Archer Book Club has a new Summer Reading page!
We have three sections of books: -Hot Topics and Critical Conversations (non-fiction and fiction) -Classic Summer Reading (all available through the university library) -For the Beach and Rainy Days (all fiction)
Not only that, but if you scroll down to the bottom of the page we’ve got a few ideas for newer literary adaptation films (all movies available through our databases)!
Whenever possible we have listed items available through the library, but if not each book has a link with more information about it, and we encourage you to consider options like your local public library.