Queen’s University Library planning renovations and strategic development

‘Libraries are always changing’

Image by: Kaida Cheah
The library is looking towards the future.

Queen’s University Library is establishing a framework for strategic development and plans to renovate Stauffer Library.

In alignment with the University’s strategic plan, Queen’s Library is addressing six areas in its current strategic development period: research impact, student learning, research and teaching integration, global engagement, community relations, and organizational culture.

The developments will be guided by feedback from students, researchers, and instructors to ensure the framework will be built in response to their changing needs.

According to Vice Provost and University Librarian Mark Asberg, it’s time to “reimagine” the library’s website, even if it may take several years.

“It’s a very complex website that’s integrated with very large search interfaces that give you access to tens of millions of dollars, or tens of millions of resources, both digital and physical,” Asberg said in an interview with The Journal.

The library’s “Ask Us” virtual chat service and the Omni library database “blossomed” over the pandemic and are now central to the library’s operations, Asberg said. The database has more than 23 million physical items and allows users to search across 16 different university libraries.

“Technology has transformed into the work of libraries, and the way people use libraries and the expectations they have,” Asberg said.

The second floor study area at Stauffer Library. Photo: Chloé Rainville

Along with these developments, the main floor of Stauffer library will be revamped for the first time since the ’90s. The renovations will occur over the next 24 months, with most of the work completed during the summer to reduce disruptions during the academic year.

Students can get involved in the planning and design process. Feedback can be shared through a survey on the library website or by signing up to discuss ideas with Asberg.

As a part of strategic development, the library’s collections will also be made more diverse and accessible, according to Asberg.

Queen’s Library is working with other Canadian libraries and the National Indigenous Knowledge and Language Alliance (NIKLA) on the Respectful Terminology Platform Project—a project ensuring catalog language is respectful and up-to-date.

“[We are] making sure that our collections reflect the diversity of the communities we serve,” Asberg said.

The library is working to support the accessibility of materials through free Open Education Resources. A part of this is the Annual Call for proposals, a fund to create resources accessible to all.

According to Asberg, the library can make a “real difference” in the lives of students and instructors by supporting the creation and integration of Open Education Resources.

Queen’s collaborates with the Kingston-Frontenac Public Library, co-sponsoring authors and working with high school students. Forming strong community relationships is a cornerstone of the library’s strategic vision, according to Asberg.

“[We want to] help demystify what it’s like to come to university, to be responsible for your own research and learning,” Asberg said.

Queen’s Library is looking to the future in supporting the next generation and updating the facilities for archives and special collections.

Asberg believes books will always be around, and libraries help to create a sense of “wonder.”

“People sometimes think of libraries as bases that hold books. And they are to some extent, and they always will be, but they were always meant to be places for people to connect with information, technology, each other, and maybe themselves.”

Looking down the spiral staircase at Stauffer Library. Photo: Kaida Cheah

The entrance to the Education Library on West Campus. Photo: Chloé Rainville

The main study area of the Lederman Law Library. Photo: Chloé Rainville


Library, Queen's, Stauffer Library, strategic plan

All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to journal_editors@ams.queensu.ca.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to content