Change. Such a simple word, and yet one with so many implications. Over the years, the Dr. John Archer Library and Archives have been at the centre of any number of changes — from card catalogues to powerful online discovery systems; from silence reigning supreme to acceptable noise zones that allow for private study and spirited collaborative group work; from an exclusively physical collection to electronic journals and e-books available 24/7 from almost anywhere in the world. This year was no different, and we saw many changes at Archer (some expected, some very unexpected). As you peruse the pages of this Annual Report you will see many examples where the Archer Library and Archives supported or led meaningful change at personal, institutional, and community levels.
At the root of all of these changes are people – people who work at Archer, oUR students and faculty, community members, and our generous donors. I will let them speak for themselves, but do want to highlight two stories in particular. Joshua Jordan G. H., a brave and eloquent author, changed all of us when he shared his life story through his poems. David Lemon and Sylvia L’Écuyer changed forever the nature of our Archives and artistic research in Canada with their generous donation of the complete oeuvre on paper of Mary Filer, who studied in Regina and embodied the ethos of change throughout her long and productive career as a visual artist.
Finally, I would just like to recognize the greatest change of all. Through the first two months of 2020 it became increasingly clear that the COVID-19 pandemic was going to be a major disrupter of institutional and personal priorities. In the space of 2 ½ weeks in early March, the Archer staff and faculty collectively moved all of our services and supports to remote delivery, with the goal of never abandoning or disadvantaging students, teaching faculty, and researchers. I believe we not only succeeded, but exceeded our goal of maintaining and continuing to build essential library services in the face of unprecedented and extraordinary circumstances. This was only possible due to the commitment, professionalism, and innovation of Archer’s staff and faculty; the collaboration and dedication of our Campion College, First Nations University, and Luther College library partners; and, the support and understanding of all of you — our Archer teaching, learning, and research community.
Thank you all for embracing and supporting our many changes this year.
– Brett Waytuck, University Librarian