Libraries prepare volumes for Congress 

By Karen Herland

The university libraries are contributing to the growing list of firsts spearheaded by Concordia at Congress 2010.

“We wanted to assure the participation and the presence of the library in this important event for Concordia,” said Guylaine Beaudry, who hit the ground running when she took over as Director of Webster Library in October of 2009.

The libraries are leading a number of initiatives under the theme Connected Understanding by showcasing the university’s engagement with Open Access.

There will be two panels on the subject. The first, at 2:30 on May 31 in the De Sève Cinema, brings together some leading thinkers on Open Access including University of Ottawa’s Canada Research Chair of Internet and E-commerce Law, Michael Geist and leading scholarly open access publisher Heather Joseph, along with Concordia’s University Librarian Gerald Beasley.

The second panel focuses on the impact a shift towards Open Access will have on the developing world, with scholars from Venezuela and South Africa joining North American experts. “A lot of projects reference the impact of open access on the developing world, but we wanted to address the subject directly, instead of simply suggesting it,” said Beaudry.

That panel will take place on June 2 at 2:30 p.m., also in the De Sève Cinema. Later that day, at 5 p.m., the libraries will host a cocktail reception and vernissage to unveil graduating MFA student Andréanne Abbondanza Bergeron’s public sculpture, Over the Bridge. The sculpture will be suspended over the LB Atrium, literally uniting the two sides of the library usually divided and figuratively linking the different universes of traditional and Open Access publishing.

“Combining research repositories, like Concordia’s Spectrum, with content indexed by powerful searching tools links the traditional scholarly communication system and the emerging open access model,” said Beaudry.

The sculpture was the winning entry of seven different proposals offered in response to a call for proposals early this spring. Bergeron worked with engineers and the team at facilities management to develop the system (based on fishing line and clips) that will suspend the temporary artwork. She will benefit from the help of a professional for the installation of the work that will likely remain up long enough to greet students starting in the fall.

The libraries’ Congress-related activities will also feature a catalogue of more than 160 Concordia’s authors’ books published since 2007. “We really wanted to showcase the work of Concordia’s researchers,” said Beaudry, of a project she finds particularly meaningful. The complete list will be accessible online.

Finally, all Congress delegates will have access to the libraries during their stay. Presenters whose laptops die before they can finalize their PowerPoint or who need to check an email, or update a reference, will be able to do so whenever they want during Congress. They will also be able to consult the collections.


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