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  • No Justice, Only Struggle

    Zvyagintseva, Lydia; Ribaric, Tim (University of Toronto Libraries - UOTL, 2023-01-09)
    2022 has been a year of overlapping crises. The so-called “Freedom Convoys” paralyzing Canadian communities, the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to cause excess death and disability, the war in Ukraine, the intensifying effects of climate change, and increasing inflation have all signaled that we find ourselves in a new era, one that can be described as authoritarian capitalism. In this article, we view the restructuring of Canadian universities as yet another facet of authoritarian capitalism, which uses overlapping crises to further proletarianize library labour and fully subsume it into the “learning factory.” Using Sandro Mezzadra and Brett Neilson’s theorization of the politics of capital’s operations, we examine the library restructuring processes taking place at four Canadian universities: Alberta, Brock, Laurentian, and OCAD. We view the reorganizations taking place there as efforts on behalf of university administrators to use the intensification of global forces of capitalism to exploit academic librarian labour. Ultimately, we argue that Canadian librarians are witnessing both formal and real subsumption in Canadian universities, precipitated by the overlapping crises outlined earlier. As a result, we insist that librarians need to develop a politics of struggle to build collective consciousness and action in the face of authoritarian capitalism.
  • “Put the fucking salary in the job ad!”

    Ribaric, Tim (Routledge, 2022-10-11)
    In February 2016, I activated the @lis_grievances Twitter bot. The dynamics of the bot are straightforward and can be described in three steps: First, a person sends a direct message to the account; second, the message is stripped of all identifying information; and third, upon passing a minimal list of posting criteria, the message is tweeted. More than five years on, the bot has collected a corpus of thousands of tweets, some safe to publish on Twitter and some not, ranging from benign takes on the library establishment to profanity-laden tirades. Quite often, the tweets invoke feelings that range from pathos to disgust, and sometimes even situational irony and humor as evidenced, for example, in this tweet from June 1, 2018: “How can we innovate when we don’t have permissions to install software?” This chapter examines tweeted content through the online disinhibition effect (ODE), a theory explaining how anonymity pushes sentiment into extreme directions. According to ODE, users of @lis_grievances experience a lack of restraint due to their anonymity and, thus, feel comfortable venting and otherwise offering observations of and comments on perceived flaws in their individual workplaces and in the LIS profession at large. Using text analysis and a new custom metric called the grief index, a qualitative and quantitative examination of the corpus of tweets is presented and explored as evidence of systemic dysfunctional library states.
  • Data Analysis as the Next Step

    Ribaric, Tim (2600 Enterprises, Inc., 2022)
    Article outlines the importance of community action for providing infrastructure to support analysis and use of whistle-blower data. Datashare from ICIJ (https://datashare.icij.org/) is described.
  • Information Seeking Behaviors, Attitudes, and Choices of Academic Mathematicians

    Gordon, Ian D.; Cameron, Brian D.; Chaves, Debbie.; Hutchinson, Rebecca (Taylor & Francis, 2020-06-05)
    Mathematicians in academic institutions utilize a variety of resources and strategies to seek, find, and use scholarly information and news. Using a sample of mathematicians, researchers surveyed 112 students and faculty at four Canadian university institutions to explore self-perceived success rates, resources consulted, databases used, use of social media, and citation management systems. Further, 12 follow-up interviews were completed with mathematicians to better interpret survey results, resulting information-seeking behaviors, choices, strategies, and feelings on keeping up to date with information needs. According to survey results, a minority of mathematicians (12.5 percent) acknowledged that they were successfully keeping up to date. However, a significant number of mathematicians (28.6 percent) indicated that they were unsuccessful and could do better in remaining current with information needs. Co-investigators, using qualitative analyses, identified four emergent themes related to remaining current: (1) The “slower pace of math” pervades all aspects of this discipline;” (2) There are “too many papers – and not enough time” to effectively search, evaluate, and read scholarly papers of interest; (3) Mathematicians collectively acknowledge that they are open to strategies and technologies where they “could do better” keeping up to date; and (4) Mathematicians have divided loyalties using databases when searching for information by means of “MathSciNet in a Google world.” Additional insights document how mathematicians are guided by mathematical peculiarities and discipline-specific practices. This study helps to shed light on opportunities for academic librarians to identify and meet mathematicians’ evolving information needs.
  • Information Seeking Behaviors, Attitudes, and Choices of Academic Physicists

    Gordon, Ian D.; Chaves, Debbie; Dearborn, Dylanne; Hendrikx, Shawn; Hutchinson, Rebecca; Popovich, Christoper; White, Michael (Taylor & Francis, 2022-01-10)
    Physicists in academic institutions utilize a variety of resources and strategies to seek, find, and use scholarly information and news. Using a sample of physicists, researchers surveyed 182 students and faculty at seven Canadian university institutions to explore self-perceived success rates, resources consulted, databases used, and use of social media and citation management systems. To complement the survey, 11 follow up interviews/focus groups were completed with participants to further uncover information-seeking behaviors, choices, strategies, and feelings around keeping up to date with information needs. According to survey results, a minority of physicists (15.4%) acknowledged that they were successfully keeping up to date. However, a significant number of physicists (28.6%) indicated that they were unsuccessful and could do better in remaining current with information needs. Co-investigators, using qualitative analyses, identified four emergent themes: (1) There are “too many papers – and not enough time” to effectively search, evaluate and read scholarly papers of interest; (2) Staying up to date is important especially in competitive research areas; (3) Graduate students seek information differently than faculty and experienced researchers; and (4) The arXiv database is important to many physicists. Additional minor themes included physics-related publishing is constantly evolving; physicists use a variety of information-seeking behaviors; and, information-seeking methods can differ between physics subdisciplines. This study aims to shed light on opportunities for academic librarians to identify and meet physicists’ evolving information behaviors, attitudes, choices, and needs.
  • InfoSkills PLUS: Your Key to Research Success

    Lowry, Linda Darlene (Association of College and Research Libraries, 2005-04-07)
    Discover the advantages of collaborating with other campus partners to develop, promote, and deliver a unique non-credit interactive information skills workshop series. Learn the importance of flexibility interactivity and modularity to the success of a non-credit information skills program. Learn how to incorporate the knowledge management practices of Learning Before, Learning During, and Learning After into team project activities.
  • I still haven't found what I'm looking for: Reflections on 10+ years of providing library orientation and instruction to a Business English bridging program

    Lowry, Linda Darlene (2017-05-11)
    A librarian's personal reflection on 10 plus years of providing orientation and information literacy instruction to graduate students in a Business English bridging program at Brock University.
  • Benchmarking business database holdings in Canada: Results of a gap analysis

    Lowry, Linda Darlene (2015-04-14)
    This lightning talk presents the results of an exploratory study of the database holdings of an aspirant group of ten AACSB/Equis accredited Canadian business schools with doctoral programs. Who had the most databases? What were the most widely held titles? What does a gap analysis reveal about how Brock University fares against this aspirant group?
  • Book Review: Rabbits

    Ribaric, Tim (2600 Enterprises, Inc., 2021)
    Book Review of 'Rabbits' written by Terry Miles.

    Murgu, Cal (Music Library Association, 2021-06)
    In this essay, we detail the pedagogical collaboration between a digital humanities librarian, a professor of music and digital media, and a second-year music student that took the form of a design sprint. The product of the design sprint was the Mapping Sentiments through Music (MStM) application. Using this project as a case study, we argue that both digital humanities and music education share a commonality: both disciplines can incorporate elements of design thinking to be successful. As a result, our efforts center direct experimentation with a team, and foster design thinking by promoting descriptive exchange, creative problem solving, and the creation of emergent rather than explicitly delimited meanings. We conclude with several remarks on overlaps between music and design pedagogy, and on librarian-faculty collaborations. This article was published in the Music Library Association’s journal, Notes 77, 4, June 2021, and 561-585. The version of record is available at https://proxy.library.brocku.ca/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=150204301&site=ehost-live&scope=site. This material may not be copied or reposted without written permission of MLA
  • Scaling up research data services: a saga of organizational redesign gone awry

    Lowry, Linda (IASSIST, 2021-05-17)
    An academic library may initiate organizational renewal and redesign in order to better pursue new strategic priorities. In the case of the Brock University Library, one of these priorities was active engagement throughout the research life cycle. The draft organizational design framework proposed the creation of a new unit that takes a holistic life cycle approach to research, including data literacy, research data management and other services. Unfortunately, it also called for the elimination of the role of subject liaison librarians, who would be redeployed in other ways. No one was more shocked at this turn of events than me, because as the Business and Economics Librarian, I know how crucial it is to understand the disciplinary landscape with respect to research practices in order to develop research data services that align with researcher needs. This study provides evidence for the discipline-specific needs of business and economics researchers for data reference, data literacy, and data retrieval assistance, derived from a content analysis of graduate student theses and a review of consultation statistics. Will this evidence be sufficient to preserve this role, or will this become a saga of organizational redesign gone awry?
  • Business data: issues and challenges from the Canadian perspective

    Lowry, Linda; Hong, Eun-ha (IASSIST, 2008-08-15)
    This paper explores the issues and challenges that we have faced as Canadian academic business librarians when working with business data. As this is an exploratory study, we hope only to start a discussion among data librarians about some key challenges facing the academic community related to supporting the teaching and research use of business data. Our paper begins with a brief discussion of general data trends, followed by a detailed exploration of business data trends and trends in Canadian business education. We discuss challenges and issues related to working with business data from both the collections and reference service perspectives, including the pros and cons of providing business data services and support within the library environment. We conclude by suggesting some measures that both academic business librarians and data librarians can take to address some of these challenges.
  • The End of Libraries and Librarianship - Part 34

    Gordon, Ian D. (The Informed Librarian Online, 2021-01-04)
    Librarians have bemoaned the constant clatter overheard from commentators that libraries are obsolete and no longer relevant. This observation is contrary to the lived experiences of those that serve in and depend upon public and academic libraries. A call to action challenges librarians everywhere to change this narrative by intentionally sharing stories of their essential work, service, community building… with anyone who will listen. An annotated list of readings and streaming videos is provided that builds on the inspirational work of David Lankes, Lisa Peet, Lance Werner, Mark Smith, Shamichael Hallman, Catherine Murray-Must, Michael Stephens and others. Libraries are observed to be places of transformative change. Librarians are found to be passionate, courageous and indispensable. Story telling is a powerful instrument for librarians and people that volunteer and serve in libraries to make the seemingly invisible work of libraries - more visible.
  • Selling Infrastructure as a Service to faculty

    Ribaric, Tim (2020-10-23)
    Presentation material for session presented at 2020 Access Conference for session entitled Selling Infrastructure as a Service to faculty. Abstract: Libraries aim to provide tools and platforms to support the research enterprise of the institution. This session will look at how a Docker based IAAS service was branded and marketed to researchers. The real challenge was communicating what could be done with the service in a way that avoided jargon and was accessible to introductory users.
  • Accounting students and information competence: evidence from course syllabi and professional accounting association competency maps.

    Lowry, Linda Darlene (Special Libraries Association, 2009-06-15)
    As Brock University’s business liaison librarian, I have had some success integrating information literacy in the business administration curriculum. However, there have been very few requests for instruction in undergraduate accounting courses. Therefore, in the spirit of evidence-based librarianship, I conducted a syllabus study in order to gain insight into the library use and research expectations of accounting faculty for their undergraduate accounting students. Syllabi from 65 sections of 23 accounting courses were examined from the 2008/09 academic year. Each course section was assigned a level of library use based on a scale of 0 (no research required) to 4 (significant research required). Over 58% of all course sections required no research or library use and only 13% of course sections, mostly at the 400 level, actually required some amount of library use or research. These findings were compared to the expected professional competencies and proficiency levels as articulated by professional accounting association competency maps and an expectations gap was identified. As Brock University Library’s goal is to integrate information literacy into the curriculum, this evidence-based study will serve to open a dialogue with accounting faculty regarding information competence so that a course-integrated information literacy program may be planned and delivered in alignment with curricular and professional expectations.
  • Visualize your doppelgänger: using information graphics to benchmark AACSB-accredited business schools.

    Lowry, Linda Darlene (Special Libraries Association, 2013-06-10)
    A poster presented at the 2013 SLA Annual Conference, Business & Finance Division poster session, June 10, 2013 in San Diego, CA.
  • Revolution or evolution? Lessons learned from a business syllabus study.

    Lowry, Linda Darlene (Special Libraries Association, Business & Finance Division, 2015-06-16)
    Although the business school student population at Brock University was growing, requests for traditional in-class information literacy instruction (ILI) sessions were declining as faculty made room in the curriculum for ‘service learning’. I conducted a comprehensive syllabus study of the undergraduate business curriculum in order to better understand this evolving instructional environment. My primary objective was to investigate the research, data, and library use expectations of business school faculty for their undergraduate students, to gain deeper insight into the extent and nature of research-intensive assignments, including those with a service learning component. My secondary objective was to identify new instructional opportunities in order to be strategic in my outreach efforts. A total of 257 syllabi from 86 courses (representing 91% of all course offerings) were rated according to a 5-point scale of prescribed research, data, or library use. Initial analysis identified 38 different courses with significant research expectations, including 13 courses with a service learning component. A comparison of the 38 research-intensive courses against my own ILI statistics identified 26 courses (including 10 service learning courses) for follow up contact. I hope to devise a plan to provide more relevant and responsive ILI support for these research-intensive courses. As a result of this syllabus study, I now have a much better understanding of the undergraduate business curriculum, and where I might add value, in order to revolutionize my ILI practice.
  • How To Fulfil All Our Lending and (Our Patrons’) Borrowing Dreams

    Taves, Adam; Whidden, Linda; Gibson, Ian (Ontario Library Association Super Conference 2020, 2020-01-29)
    Collaborative Futures (CF), a project to implement a shared library system for 14 Ontario universities, is about radical collaboration. The CF Shared Resources Working Group will discuss dreaming big to create, sell, and implement a vision of long and liberal loan policies, minimal fines, and easy cross-consortium borrowing.
  • To Jupyter and Beyond: Computational Notebooks in the Library

    Ribaric, Tim; Brett, Daniel (2020-01-29)
    Have you heard of Jupyter? Better yet, have you heard about how computational notebooks can be used to teach technologies and are part of the reproducible science movement? This session will show you the Juptyer platform and explain why you should know about it.

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