The Canadian Digital Collective

Following up on my recent post on libraries, digitization, and the advancement of copyright legislation, this article from 2009 details a study of various copyright statements from library members of the Digital Library Federation.  Like so many American academic libraries are doing, it is important for Canadian academic libraries to similarly unify their digitial interests and practices in order to effectively influence Canadian copyright legislation.

Making a Statement

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In my MLIS class 9001 Perspectives in Information and Library Science, I recently wrote a paper where I argued that individual libraries and librarians need to project a more collaborative voice on copyright legislation.  Currently, libraries that undertake large-scale digitization projects are left to independently determine how their digitization practices align within current copyright laws.  Despite disparate efforts by various library associations and advocacy groups, there exists no singular, unified stance from the library community on how emerging digital practices fit within the diaphranous language of fair dealing; librarians are left to singularly determine how and if their library’s practices comply.  As more and more libraries undertake digitization projects in order to make their collections available online, it is essential that these libraries confront potential limitations due to copyright legislation dead-on.  I am encouraged by the recent blog entry from the Ohio State University Library’s Digital Scholarship @ the Libraries, where their Digital Publishing Librarian has outlined a list of standard copyright statements that can be used with different types of digitized content.  Such statements should not be construed as being protectionist, but rather as pro-actively asserting the library’s rights providing to information access.  It’s important for more libraries to follow suit and make similar proactive statements in order to solidify their digitization interests and efforts.  When voiced in concert, these statements will send a strong message to copyright legislators and influence future practices by providing language that is more clear and direct.  Rather than tip-toeing around current legislation, librarians can boldly reformulate copyright and fair dealing language that better aligns with digital information and the future of information access.

Follow the Leader

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For new librarians trying find how our interests and voices fit within the profession, it may seem much too early to start thinking about taking on leadership roles at this early stage of our careers. Often considered to be analogous with “management”, considering to take on a leadership behaviours may seem to be “too much too soon” for many new librarians. However, there is actually a distinct difference between being a manager and being a leader, and in fact, neither should be considered to be off-limits for new librarians.  Regardless of age and experience, new librarians entering the workforce have the advantage of intensively eating, sleeping, and breathing library and information science-related discourse while pursuing their degree.  Compared to many practising librarians, new LIS grads are often more immersed in and attuned to current trends, developments, and practices relevant to libraries and information institutions today.  Because of this, new professionals entering librarianship actually have a meaningful edge over more “experienced” librarians.  As valuable experts in their field, recent LIS grads must seize every leadership opportunity made available to them.

In terms of distinction from managerial positions, being a leader is more about asserting certain practices or behaviours within your particular role as a librarian, as opposed to the hierarchical management of others.  Usually, the difference lies in inputs rather than outcomes. As Naomi House implies in the INALJ blog, leadership on a basic level involves the simple alignment of expertise and ideas, while having the confidence to assert these when working in a collegial environment.  It is important not to undermine the value of both your knowledge and experience when working in collaboration with more experienced librarians.  When working on committees, workshops, and even when performing your day-to-day work, meaningfully projecting your voice in small ways, every day, can allow others to take notice of you and your leadership potential.  It is essential to not be afraid to put yourself “out there”, despite any initial fears you may have of experiencing failure or judgement from your colleagues.  When done constructively and confidently, others will soon recognize your value and begin seeking you out for your input and opinions.

For many introverted librarians however, the initial step of putting yourself and ideas “out there” may be a huge challenge.  When working in a new environment with new people, it may seem extremely difficult to speak up in group settings. Often, it is all too easy to defer to the opinions of more experienced colleagues rather than taking the bold step of offering up your own informed ideas.  But this is not to say that introverted librarians can’t be effective leaders…  Perhaps we just require a little more internal coaching and self-encouragement to get the ball rolling.  Susan Cain’s book and TedTalk Quiet: The Power of Introverts, as well as her blog, speak to the ways in which introverts can assert themselves as leaders in a world that seems to revolve around extroverted individuals.  Stimulated by internal and conscious reflection, introverts as leaders can aid in balancing the dynamics of workplace collaboration by taking the first crucial step of putting themselves “out there”.

In the end, whether introverted or extroverted, displaying effective leadership behaviours requires a cooperative exchange of ideas as colleagues work toward a common goals.  When put into practice, it is the input of leaders that develops into tangible managerial-guided outputs.

All packed up and ready to go!

20140430_093653Hello!  This blog, created for one of my first term Masters of Information Library Science courses at Western University, will be the home to my impressions and musings of my year away from life and work in Ottawa.  My trek from being a Library Technician at Carleton University to becoming a Librarian (i.e. librariantrekker) is one that has been years in the making, and as I’ve finally arrived in London to achieve my goal of obtaining an MLIS degree, I’ll post the ups and downs and in-betweens of my experience pursuing my degree, as well as interesting (hopefully!) articles, links, and other things surrounding my interest in academic libraries specifically and Librarianship more broadly.

So come along with me on this trek, won’t you?  Let’s see where this next year will take us!