We’ve heard your concerns about our AGM on May 1, 2020 at Red Deer College. The AAAL Executive is taking COVID-19 seriously; we’re listening to guidance from Alberta Health Services and our host institution.
Our team is exploring options for moving the meeting online by considering open source software like Jitsi and learning from those who have held online conferences, as well as postponing or cancelling the meeting.
We’ll let you know if the meeting will be cancelled, postponed, or moved online by April 1. Until then, wash your hands and stay safe!
Lethbridge College’s Buchanan Library is undergoing a significant redesign with help from funds donated over the years to increase our presence as a hub for student, staff, and faculty learning. The redesign will triple the number of student breakout rooms, add a virtual reality lab, and increase the diversity of seating options from students. We are also focusing on increasing student access to technology based on increasing demand.
The library will also feature an art gallery display, offices for the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Innovation, and a triage service model focused on student accessibility. This opportunity has also allowed for us to consult Lethbridge College’s indigenous elders to indigenize the physical space allowing for more inclusivity and honouring the Blackfoot heritage of the land on which the college resides.
The redesigned space will be open for students for the beginning of the 2019-20 academic year.
ACRL ISMLC: Critical Assessment Practices: A Discussion on When and How to Use Student Learning Data
March 13, 2019, with speakers, Ebony Magnus, Nicole Branch and Zoe Fisher. Watch this forum with a deeper understanding of the utilization of student learning data and its impact.
I am very interested in the UC vs Elsevier negotiations:
UC terminates subscriptions with world’s largest scientific publisher in push for open access to publicly funded research Link
Many Alberta libraries have ‘Science Direct’ as the Elsevier package and struggle with the expense. Fortunately, there is real time tracking of cancellations in the academic library world but often financial disclosures are not allowed under confidentiality agreements in the contracts: https://sparcopen.org/our-work/big-deal-cancellation-tracking/
However, according to the list, Elsevier is the biggest target for cancellations and it is a worldwide process. ‘Universities in Germany canceled Elsevier two years ago. The university alliance in Sweden canceled last spring, and the university alliance in Hungary canceled in December. Several other national alliances in Europe are trying to negotiate too.’ University Librarian Jeffrey MacKie-Mason, co-chair of the UC team. https://news.berkeley.edu/2019/02/28/why-uc-split-with-publishing-giant-elsevier/
Additionally, the Canadian library examples in this recent Scientist article (2018) also describe significant efforts to renegotiate. For example, after renegotiating their deal in 2015, the University of Montreal has saved approximately $1 million CAD ($770,000 USD) per year:
From my perch in Athabasca, I will also continue watch these cases because what happens in California often sets a trend in the US and Canada. In this example the size of the UC Library systems is really significant, and the emphasis on OA as a platform is a novel approach that might work as so many U California faculty are on the editorial boards for the Elsevier journals.
Robert Hudson, Associate University Librarian, Learning and Research Services
Athabasca University Library