May 8, 2018

Research initiative to reshape the role of libraries in multidisciplinary research brings distinguished panel of innovative leaders to campus

Public invited to presentation May 17 exploring the impact of University of Calgary research
Original grant applications reflected a rich diversity of disciplines.

Original grant applications reflected a rich diversity of disciplines.

John Brosz, Libraries and Cultural Resources

Six distinguished leaders in research and scholarship from across Canada and the United States will arrive on campus next week to explore the support of multidisciplinary research in libraries. They will examine the progress of the initiative Academic Research and University Libraries: Creating a New Model for Collaboration, led by Tom Hickerson, vice-provost (Libraries and Cultural Resources). This investigation, supported by a $1-million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, has provided funding for Calgary researchers in social and environmental sciences and the humanities during the past academic year. 

“Scholars are conducting research much differently than in the past and academic libraries must continue to adapt,” explains Hickerson. “It’s broadly recognized that international research priorities of this century call for increased multidisciplinary research, requiring digital media and new services, expertise and technologies.“

An aspect of this research into the role of the library in multidisciplinary research is an external review that will bring outside experts to reflect upon and contribute to disseminating findings. 

The reviewers’ comments will focus on the envisioned impact of the research here at the University of Calgary on their own institutions. The expert review panel includes:

  • Larry P. Alford is chief librarian at the University of Toronto and has recently served as president of the Association of Research Libraries.  He was awarded the 2018 Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial Award by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) in recognition of his outstanding experience in library automation and library management.
  • Lorcan Dempsey is vice-president and chief strategist at OCLC (Online Computer Library Center). He is widely recognized as one of the leading theorists in the field of information policy. He has worked for libraries and related institutions in Ireland, the U.K. and the U.S. and has received the highest award from the National Federation of Advanced Information Services, the Miles Conrad Award.
  • Megan Meredith-Lobay is the digital humanities and social sciences analyst for Advanced Research Computing at the University of British Columbia. She also serves on the Compute Canada Humanities and Social Sciences National Team.
  • Shan Sutton is dean of University Libraries at the University of Arizona. He is active in organizations concerned with scholarly communication, having served on the Steering Committee of the Coalition of Open Access Policy Institutions, as well as chairing the ACRL Research and Scholarly Environment Committee.  
  • Harriette Hemmasi is the Joukowsky Family University Librarian at Brown University, where she provides leadership in the delivery and integration of information resources and new technologies into the campus’ teaching, learning, and research environment. She has recently served as co-principal investigator in Mellon Foundation-supported research in digital scholarship. 
  • Charles Eckman is dean and university librarian at the University of Miami, previously serving as university librarian and dean of Library Services at Simon Fraser University. While at SFU, he served on the boards of directors for the Canadian Association of Research Libraries and the Canadian Research Knowledge Network.

The reviewers will explore the findings of five multidisciplinary projects by University of Calgary research teams led by: Ryan Burns (Geography), Peter Dawson (Anthropology and Archaeology), Brent Else (Geography), Stefania Forlini (English), and Suzanne Goopy (Nursing). These projects included extensive collaboration with Libraries and Cultural Resources staff in the areas of data curation, metadata services, spatial and numeric data services, digitization and repository services, copyright management, special collections, web development, and visualization.

This external review takes place May 16 and 17 and will inform preparation for the second round of subgrants, which gets underway this summer.