Well, that was definitely not the year that any of us were expecting!
In last year’s Annual Report, I described the herculean efforts it took for Archer’s faculty and staff to move all of our services and supports online in under three weeks. At that time we hoped the move would be short-lived, and that we would return to full in-person services in three or six months. As we all know now, that proved to be a very optimistic expectation.
That optimism, coupled with the dedication, problem-solving abilities, and adaptability of the Archer Library and Archives employees meant that our services, supports, and collections have been available every day of the remote teaching and learning period. A very real and important accomplishment. These same qualities also enabled us to quickly re-open access to the main floor to allow students a safe place to study, to implement curbside pickup for needed research and learning materials, and to dedicate our group study rooms to supporting the writing of online mid-term and final exams.
We’ve had to learn how to do some things in new ways (we are all more proficient at Zoom), we’ve had to rely on colleagues and peers across Canada and internationally (the Hathi Trust helped us provide digital access to books we only held in print), and we invested in some new technologies (book lockers).
But through it all, what has continued to matter most are our people. The Dr. John Archer Library and Archives could not have succeeded without our amazing staff and faculty; we could not have succeeded without the co-operation of our students; we could not have succeeded without the active collaboration of faculty and staff across the entire campus; and, we could not have succeeded without the full support and trust of the President, the Provost, and the other members of the University Executive Team.
Over the past year, we again proved to ourselves and our communities that libraries are innovative, inventive, and remarkably adaptable. We were also reminded every day that the Archer Library and Archives are a critical component of the teaching, learning, and research enterprise. I just want to conclude this message by extending my personal thanks to everyone who contributed to the success of the Dr. John Archer Library and Archives this past year. We couldn’t have done it without you!
– Brett Waytuck, University Librarian