Category Archives: Congress 2010

Congress & Open Access

You wrote:

Hello, I’ve heard that the library administrators genuinely listen to comments made on this weblog. My sincere thanks for the time and attention you give to library users. Below are the issues I would like to address, in no particular order:

1)The 2010 Congress on the Humanities and Social Sciences, and the student press. The student press may not solicit contributions from library staff, but I believe the library has some responsibility to directly communicate with students. The student press and its audience would appreciate the outreach.

It is my sense that the library is really pushing the open access agenda at the upcoming Congress, for example. Most students don’t know about the Congress, and even fewer students are aware of the libraries’ push for open access. Perhaps that’s a deliberate tactic on the library’s part, but I don’t believe so. A column by a librarian and authority on open access would be a welcome addition to the student press.

2)The library should have a voice on student enrollment, and on the newly constructed buildings, which should have large libraries of their own (if they do not already). Yes, the university has emerged from the crisis and is now in surplus territory, but the surplus came at the cost of a major increase in student enrollment. It makes no sense to increase student enrollment without sufficient physical and academic infrastructure in place.

The library is just one space that bears the brunt of this increase. Many people I speak with avoid the downtown campus altogether because of its zoo-like atmosphere.

The reading week has proven to be a beautiful calm in the eye of the storm at the library, and at the university more generally. Everything breathes. It’s luvly! This is the ideal we should aim for, and student enrollment and academic infrastructure are vital in this regard. I hope the library expresses its voice clearly with regards to new libraries and student enrollment not only in Senate and at the Board, but also through the various staff, student and faculty unions.

Again, thank you for taking the time to genuinely listen to library users. It’s a real pleasure to have a receptive and active administration.

Thank you for your thoughtful comments and suggestions. Yes, the Library actively listens to and takes serious interest in the feedback we receive through the Suggestion Box.

You are right: some students may not be aware of Congress, the upcoming annual Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, which is being held this year at Concordia from May 28-June 4. It’s a major academic conference where dozens of Canadian scholarly associations meet at the same time. If students want to find out more about Congress, they can begin by consulting the official Congress site or Concordia’s Congress site. There are even opportunities to volunteer at Congress.  Over 9000 scholars will visit Concordia for this conference with its theme of connecting understanding.

Currently, the University Librarian is leading discussion of open access at Concordia. In a nutshell, open access is a movement to make scholarly research publications openly available on the Web, not just in journals that charge expensive subscription rates. Professors who write academic journal articles, for example, usually have the right to make a copy of their articles openly available on the web by depositing them in an open access research repository at their university. Spectrum, Concordia’s open access research repository was launched in Fall 2009. Concordia researchers can deposit their research publications there.

Discussions about open access at Concordia have been underway at Faculty Councils and Senate. The Library has an information page on open access. There you will find the discussion paper on Open Access at Concordia which was commissioned by The Office of the Vice-President of Research and Graduate Studies. This paper was the basis for the discussions that have been taking place at the university.

In addition to the University Librarian, various library professionals are engaged in work and research related to Open Access, and you are welcome to consult the various research interests of our librarians to reach them.

With regards to student space, the Library is very conscious of the need for student space on campus, especially  in our two libraries. We do indeed express our needs for space on campus, and we are always working on ways to maximize the amount of space we have.

Thank you for voicing your concerns about these matters. I have also shared your suggestions (not included here, but greatly appreciated) for useful Politcal Science resources with the appropriate librarians.  Thank you!