Doucette: Recognizing the ‘unique and essential role’ we play

With Western’s librarians and archivists currently in negotiations for a new collective agreement, we look to the campus community for your support so we may continue our important work.

Librarians and archivists play a unique and essential role in the university’s teaching and research missions, and our relevance has only grown as the Digital Age sees students and researchers consuming and creating even more information and data. We also actively contribute to our own professions of librarianship and archival practice through service and research. I want to share with you a few examples of the work of Western’s librarians and archivists.

We contribute to teaching and learning by engaging directly with students and collaborating with teaching faculty. Over the summer, four D.B. Weldon librarians (Colleen Burgess, Melanie Mills, Marg Sloan and Courtney Waugh) worked with Donna Pennee to redesign two graduate research methods courses and incorporate academic research skills and information literacy in a blended learning format.

As part of her role in supporting research at Western, archivist Anne Daniel has worked with History doctoral student Nina Bozzo for a number of years on her research about contributions by Canadian universities to First World War medical services. Anne helped Nina define her topic, navigate archival records and make connections between documents (such as diaries, photographs, telegrams, correspondence and flyers).

Librarians and archivists also fulfill service responsibilities by contributing to the profession and to the university. Elizabeth Marshall, Director of the C.B. ‘Bud’ Johnston (Business) Library, has been on the organizing committee for a number of conferences, including the Canadian Association of Professional Academic Librarians at Congress. She recently joined the Non-Medical Research Ethics Board, where she reviews ethics protocols from our faculty, librarian, and archivist colleagues.

Finally, Western’s librarians and archivists actively create and disseminate new knowledge. Our scholarship reflects diverse research interests and includes presentations at major conferences and articles in peer-reviewed journals on topics such as mentorship in university libraries, effectiveness of blended learning approaches, and professional identity of librarians and archivists.

These are just a few of the many exciting collaborations and accomplishments by librarians and archivists that I’ve seen during my eight years at Western. Your support of our important work helps ensure that we can continue our contributions to Western and beyond.

Lise Doucette
Assistant Librarian