All Comments

  • John on If you could change one thing about the Library or the Archives, what would it be? Posted January 22, 2016
    I would welcome an extension of stauffer to create space that is specifically group rooms, Mac computers/ special technology areas for programs/projects that require it (garage band/movie maker, networking rooms), and dedicated private reading spaces (not isolated like 4th floor, but with such desks that grant privacy while potentially being in a condensed area) in a modern atmosphere
  • My Experience as a Digital Scholar: Benefits, Challenges and the Centre for Digital & Print Cultures | Tiffany Chan on 2014-10-07 What's it all about? Posted June 18, 2015
    […] for Digital and Print Cultures is a new initiative and part of the Library Archive Master Plan (LAMP). Although it’s still taking shape, I think it’s the most exciting thing since sliced […]
  • 2015-06-16 Pedestrian-related improvements at Library Square, University Avenue and Union Street | Library and Archives Master Plan on Library and Archives Master Plan Report Posted June 17, 2015
    […] see Report Number 15-307 for more information on the recommendations, and see the Library and Archives Master Plan for a vision of the Queen’s Library and Archives of the present and the […]
  • Shelley King on 2014-10-18 Homecoming at Library Square Posted October 26, 2014
    I regret that I was away from Kingston that weekend and so couldn't experience the sneak preview of "Library Square" but it is very exciting to have a glimpse of things to come as LAMP is developed and implemented.
  • Courtney on If you could change one thing about the Library or the Archives, what would it be? Posted September 25, 2013
    I would have the libraries open until 2 am every night. It's strange to me that they all close at 9pm on the weekend. This is the time when I can stay the latest since I don't have classes the next day but I can only be there until 9pm. It's really unfair
  • Queen's Learning Commons on LAMP is heading into the home stretch - further thoughts? Posted June 11, 2013
    Recently, Donna Katinas from the Writing Centre and I (Nathalie Soini, Learning Commons Coordinator) discussed the need for International Students who need ESL support in the Learning Commons. There is a need for a space where students can work on online modules to practice their grammar and a space to work on assignments with Donna (or peer tutors). It doesn't need to be huge space, but looking at the photocopy alcove on the main floor, we thought that this space would be ideal for this kind of work. There are windows so that the students don't feel like there is a barrier to the rest of the commons and their friends AND it is close enough to the Writing Centre, where there are resources for Donna and /or the Peer tutors. We hope that a space to help students improve their English (who are not part of the SOE or the bridging program) can become part of the new space in Stauffer. Thank you, Nathalie and Donna
  • Stewart Renfrew on Contact Us Posted April 27, 2013
    I attended the focus group and while listening to the ideas being promoted I had an idea.One young lady asked about what one might call the ''south" or what we called the "old" reading room in Douglas. I had an office cum work room just off that reading room for a number of years. As a result I walked through the room several times every working day. What struck me most about that room is that it was the place were so many generations of Queen's students sweated out study time over the years. I often thought that it was in its way a memorial to those thousands of students who passed though Queen's. It has now occurred to me that perhaps Queen's should do just that. Keep the room as a study space, albeit one that can be used for special occasions from time to time. On the other hand universities are very good at memorializing famous graduates, faculty and donors. Why not a memorialize all the students who passed through Queen's and what better place to remember them than in that lovely study hall. As my enthusiasm grew I began to think of ways to make this work. For example why not put a collection of publications written by Queen's people in the bookshelves along the walls. It does not need to be a formal collection, the books can be donated and simply placed on the shelves in some sort of order so that contemporary students can brows and understand what some of their predecessors have accomplished. The could also be a collection of faculty publications, Queen's Quarterlies, publications about Queen's history and for that matter about the history of Kingston and area. Just think of the space books by Robertson Davies, George Munro Grant, William Lawson Grant and his son George Parkin Grant would make up. Perhaps a committee of Alumni could take up the task of finding the books. Most books could come from second hand shops and I know that the Archives often receives such material and since it is published and does not fall into their mandate is often discarded. It is just an idea, but one I think worth a few thoughts. Certainly the idea of honoring all the graduates would be a bit of a departure but they are, after all, the real body of the college. Moreover it might prove interesting enough to prompt some of those tight fisted old Scots to part with a few pennies to help the cost of the renovation.
  • David de Witt on Have your say: Do you relax in the library? Posted April 25, 2013
    I don't relax in the library because I have other spaces to relax. Free time is something that I might associate with a student centre, but not a library, which I see as a compact, intensive and motivating environment where I can best focus on study or research problems. Indeed, the "relaxation" behaviour of other in library settings often interferes with study and academic excellence: it's distracting. The library is the one place I look to, where the possibility of access to material and good focused study is safeguarded, as much as is practically possible. Relaxation spaces, in my view, don't need to be located next to study and research resources.
  • Alice Wang on 2013-04-05 Stauffer and Douglas emerging concepts Posted April 13, 2013
    These concepts are really interesting. I encourage you to garner more student attention by putting them in the monthly newsletter or just emailing all students and faculty about these designs. My favourite library is Douglas, and I especially enjoy studying in the basement of Douglas where there is little to no cell phone signal and is extremely quiet. There are no elevator dings, talking, large desks in an open but small space, and is very cozy and warm. According to the designs, it seems like you are thinking of getting rid of that personal paradise of mine, and I implore you to leave some study space in the basement of Douglas. It has more value than you think. Thank you.
  • Sarah Wickett on 2013-04-05 Stauffer and Douglas emerging concepts Posted April 12, 2013
    Thank you for giving us a glimpse of these emerging ideas. It is exciting to see the potential for archives and special collections to collaborate and especially make use of exhibit space to highlight collections that we might not otherwise have the privilege of seeing. The plans for Stauffer Library are also interesting. I am very glad to hear that serious consideration is being given to maximizing light in the spaces (libraries shouldn't be dark!) I hope that a balanced approach is being taken between providing inspiring and bright student spaces, and providing the same inspiration and light for staff. Students are here working diligently for a significant commitment of about four years. Please don't forget that staff are often here working diligently eight hours per day for 30 years. Natural light is good for productivity in staff too :)
  • Amber on Have your say: Loud versus quiet? Posted April 10, 2013
    I really appreciate the quiet study floors. However, at the education library, there is no truly quiet space - due to the open nature of the library, the "quiet study area" is never actually quiet. There is noise from below, noise from people talking on the stairs, and many people don't respect it as a quiet space (ie: they use it as a space for group discussions). If there was a more distinct/separate space I think that would help a lot - it would get rid of the "open" noise, and would be more obvious to people that they are actually in a quiet space. Even if this space had to be just outside the current library, a designated QUIET study room/space, easily accessible in Duncan McArthur, would be greatly beneficial.
  • Matthew Scribner on What exciting uses, services or partnerships would you like to see in the transformed spaces of the Library and Archives system? Posted April 09, 2013
    Also, we need refillable water-bottle stations. The drinking fountains don't currently fit that purpose. The bathroom taps are the only other option!
  • LAMP steering group on 2013-03-26 Information Exchange Posted March 31, 2013
    Some comments heard at the Information Exchange... Provide more group rooms for students, like the breakout rooms in Goodes Hall. Ensure staff are still visible and very connected with their faculties. Think even bigger -- e.g. a pedestrian overpass between Douglas and Stauffer. Plan radical linking. Parking is a problem for Archives, given their many community users. A student enthused about bringing Archives together with Special Collections, because he often needs to consult both for the same project. A suggestion for shelf read functionality in the catalogue to replace the serendipity that gets lost online. Someone who was struggling with small group room booking and was going to think about sizes and furniture and give us feedback. Someone in history who would love to have more access to the archives. One person who did not like the low ceilinged spaces in Douglas. Several people who had strong preferences for levels of noise (in both directions) and open/closed spaces (in both directions). Someone who was appalled that they couldn't bring food into the adaptive tech area because they'd been told "there's no money to replace the equipment". What about green/sustainable issues for library and archives spaces (? green wall in Stauffer)?
  • Matthew Scribner on What exciting uses, services or partnerships would you like to see in the transformed spaces of the Library and Archives system? Posted March 29, 2013
    The Writing Centre is an existing service that is very important and helpful to all of the University community. It warrants expansion, both in terms of space and hours open. It is regularly full and unable to offer new appointments. Learning how to write is a crucial skill that all students should possess. Yet, not enough classes give it the attention it deserves. The Writing Centre is an elegant solution that allows instructors to teach what they want while allowing students to get the hands-on writing training that they need. We need more Writing Centre!
  • Matthew Scribner on Have your say: What do you want in the library and archives of the future? Posted March 29, 2013
    Even as we imagine the library technology of the future, we can consolidate our efforts on the library technology that exists today. The History graduate students whom I've been talking to report that even one extra microfilm machine would do wonders in creating work efficiencies and help with time-to-completion. Also, self-checkout machines are the norm in many university libraries around the world. Yet they have been slow to come to Queen's (the one at Stauffer is always broken, too). Using these machines effectively can improve access to the libraries.
  • Matthew Scribner on Have your say: Is the library open when you need it? Posted March 29, 2013
    Let's not forget that grad students are here throughout the summer! Regular access to the library is crucial to completing our degrees. Summer is the best time to get research done, because there are fewer classes and other distractions (like grant applications). If the libraries and archives have reduced hours, that cuts into that advantage.
  • Matthew Scribner on Have your say: Which library do you use? Posted March 29, 2013
    The libraries at Queen's tend to be closely connected to a particular faculty, especially in the case of the Law library and the Education library. While it is good to promote opportunities for interdisciplinary work and research, the libraries are separate for a reason. Every student should feel free to be in every library to check out the materials that they need. That said, special synergies exist between students of the same faculty. There are different cultural expectations about when it is appropriate to be silent and when it is appropriate to work together. I believe that it is important that study spaces in the faculty-specific libraries be accessible to students from those faculties as much as possible. We need to create enough study space for everyone, so that people from other faculties don't feel the need to encroach on the study space that is best suited to students from another faculty.
  • Matthew Scribner on Have your say: Which furnishings really work for you? Posted March 26, 2013
    One grad student that I have been corresponding with had this to say about furnishings in a particular room: "the fireplace reading room in Stauffer - with its armchairs and fireplaces, this has such potential to be a great reading area, but it is never used. Why are the fireplaces never turned on?"
  • Matthew Scribner on What benefits or constraints can you imagine in a joint expanded facility for archival and special collections? What opportunities do you see for enhanced access, conservation, display and technology? Posted March 26, 2013
    I've been corresponding with a grad student about the role of digital collections in the library and also (especially) the archives. Here is what she has to say: "I am concerned about the emphasis on digital technology that we saw [in some stakeholder consultations]. I think there's an underlying assumption that students have access to the newest and best technologies and are eager for more ebooks, but looking at ebooks on a laptop or desktop is not ideal, and many of us are reluctant to invest in new technology such as tablets or ereaders. Even on an ereader or tablet, reading can be a pain with regards to using the index, flipping through chapter headings, etc. I know the committee are working with a 15-20 year outlook and perhaps ereaders and tablets will become the norm by then and ebook technology will become a lot better, but I am still uncomfortable with the downloading of costs onto students - an ereader becomes one more piece of technology to have to buy and replace every couple of years and on a grad student budget most of us are trying to hold onto our tech for as long as we can. My second point is about microfilm. The architects seemed shocked that anyone is still using it and I think it really needs to be stressed that in many disciplines microfilm is an integral research tool. Most of the material historians use is not digitized and will not be digitized any time soon and I don't know if we were clear enough about this. The material that I use has already been moved from near the readers in the basement to compact shelving on the fifth floor and I wonder how much longer before it is moved offsite altogether. Digitization would be great but the time and costs associated with it mean it is very unlikely. I'm sure the library and archives reps on the committee have also spoken to this issue but I really wanted to reiterate it as the shortage of readers with printing capacities and their poor location is probably the biggest concern people in the history department have with the library. I'm sure this is an issue in other departments as well. [...T]hese are very real concerns that have to do with how we use the library space and services, and it would be a shame to see the research tools that work for many students cut back on out of a belief that they are obsolete. I think digitization can work in some instances but there are a lot of caveats to it depending on the type of reading/research being done and I am wary of how it [is] being touted as a great problem solver. [...] I think ebook/ereader technology would have to get a lot better before I would be on board with full digitization. Just thinking with regards to using an index or looking at endnotes - I am yet to see an e format that makes it easy to quickly flip back and forth between sections or look at notes. Also thinking of preparing fields - the prospect of having to read 100+ scholarly books using current ebook technology is painful. Flipping back and forth between windows, having to sit at the computer to read... buying an ereader might solve this, but as I said [...] I'm a bit wary of the possibility we will all be expected to buy ereaders in a few years time. Another thing to potentially be wary of is the proprietary nature of ebook technology - what happens when a bunch of books are bought in one format and a few years down the line there is no longer technology available to open the files? Data migration could be a real headache. For me digitization depends a lot on the type of item - I am totally on board with digitized journals and edited collections of articles but the longer the item I'm reading is, the more I prefer a hard copy.
  • Matthew Scribner on 2013-01-16 Stakeholder Consultations Round 2 Posted March 26, 2013
    I've heard from a student that has been trying to get online access for a journal that is directly related to her work. Two months have passed and the matter is still being discussed. Especially in light of the new time-to-completion requirements, timely access to journal material is crucial. Currently, the student is paying for every article through interlibrary loan. Online material is very convenient as it is easier to do keyword searches. Let's use the LAMP process to acquire more online material! Collection: asking for a journal that is directly related to work. Said they could do it, but have to discuss. 2 months. For getting a new journal online. Must be able to access this before degree. Otherwise paying money for each and every article. Easier doing research electronically. Keyword searches.
  • Donald Forsdyke on What exciting uses, services or partnerships would you like to see in the transformed spaces of the Library and Archives system? Posted March 22, 2013
    In seeking funding, administrators tend to look to the short-term rather than the long-term. This has become apparent over their reluctance to press the Board of Governers to name the New Medical Sciences Building "Romanes Hall," after the great Kingston-born biomedical scientist George John Romanes and (indirectly) after his father (one of the founding Senators at Queen's, Professor of Classics and our first Librarian), George Romanes. Instead, they are looking for some wealthy benefactor with deep pockets whose name on the building will be his/her "reward." I recently deposited some 19th century documents relating to Romanes in the Queen's Archives, which added to the existing collection of Romanes-related documents. However I, and perhap others, are much aware that these documents have a value on the open market that may grow in future years. We doubt whether future Administrations, ever-ready for a fast buck, will be able to resist the temptation to sell off Archival materials of this nature (not to mention paintings in the Agnes Etherington Arts Centre). Thus, if Queen's wishes to build a great archive (and also special collections, and art collections) by attracting valuable depositions, it should be made quite clear in some written "mission statement" that an archival document is there "for ever" (come hell or high water)!
  • Heather Home on Have your say: Is the library open when you need it? Posted March 14, 2013
    MITH at the University of Maryland is a great example.
  • Anna Peterson on Have your say: Which furnishings really work for you? Posted March 11, 2013
    Big tables. High back chairs with heigh adjustment option. Currently the wooden chairs at Stauffer are much lower than the tables (unless you are over 6' tall). Working on a laptop for long periods of time is really hard on the shoulders
  • Maliha on 2013-02-07: Take the LibQUAL+ survey Posted February 25, 2013
    A large private study space for graduate students would be great! More access to newspaper archives from around the world - either via online portals or onsite would be nice. Access to more online journals would be great.
  • Suzanne on Have your say: Where is the best place to study on campus? Posted February 24, 2013
    Unfortunately I don't think there are nearly enough places to study on campus especially during exam season. There need to be more open, free study spaces like the red room for students to study. Not every faculty has a building or lounge dedicated for their students and lets face it; stalking a study corral in Stauffer is no fun. My idea study place is somewhere cozy, with a mix of tables and comfy chairs, ideally a fireplace, and a washroom in close proximity. Something like the upper floor of the arc but cleaner
  • Scott on Have your say: Where is the best place to study on campus? Posted February 20, 2013
    The fireplace reading room in Stauffer. LOVE studying there.
  • Professor Dave Gordon on Have your say: Where is the best place to study on campus? Posted February 17, 2013
    This might make an interesting place to study in April: Cornell University Library ‘Goes Green’ For Finals Something fun for Stauffer, or maybe Douglas in April? Dave Gordon Professor of Urban and Regional Planning
  • Martha Whitehead on Have your say: Is the library open when you need it? Posted February 09, 2013
    Thanks THATCamp - hope your event is going well today. This detail is really helpful. Any good examples you have in mind from other institutions?
  • THATCamp on Have your say: Is the library open when you need it? Posted February 09, 2013
    Digital Humanities projects and Digital Humanists (both experienced and beginner) are seeking the availability of a DH Lab. This ideal Lab would be able to provide the following to students and faculty at Queen's: - software and tools to support Digital Humanities projects (including Content Management Systems, databases, etc.), including digital sandboxes for testing ideas and projects - Collaborative space for all disciplines to meet, network and produce - Technician (Lab manager) to assist with various problems - Central node (centre of excellence) of digital projects at Queen's - Access to central server space to host DH websites - Open and inviting to all skill-levels - Space for regular DH workshops - Sustainable funding to maintain the space (possible partnerships with companies - sponsorships)
  • The future of the Archives is in your hands!!! « Queen's Cabinet of Canadian Curiosities on Have your say: What are current strengths and weaknesses of the library and archives? Posted January 24, 2013
    [...] You are invited and encouraged to visit in general, and to add input on the strengths and weakness of the current facility and [...]
  • Paul Banfield on 2013-01-10 Staff focus groups Posted January 18, 2013
    Dear Elaine: On behalf of both the Library and Archives Master Plan (LAMP) Steering Group and CS&P Architects, Inc., the consulting group assisting us in this important re-visioning process, I wish to thank you for your thoughtful observations and suggestions concerning Queen’s University Archives, in particular. Your ideas relating to how we may better serve our public, as well as your comments surrounding additional and upgraded equipment and technology, plus the ever present need for additional space will certainly be taken into consideration by both bodies as they work towards crafting a final set of recommendations. In the meantime, thank you again for your input, and I encourage you to keep your thoughts flowing! Best regards Paul Paul Banfield, University Archivist
  • Elaine on 2013-01-10 Staff focus groups Posted January 16, 2013
    Once again concerning the archives, we really need money set aside for equipment to keep up with the services we offer to the public. Even for such things as bookcarts that are not squeaky and difficult to manouever. The world of computers and services they provide is constantly changing and we need to keep up but of course once again it comes down to finances. There is also the need for more space to be considered as a priority for the Archives as we expand our wealth of knowledge to be preserved for future generations in that vein we have a space but need a floor over the movable shelving so we could provide more of that sort of storage. I hope some of these issues will be considered and perhaps solved in the coming unfolding of plans for the future of Queen's Archives and the Libraries.
  • Elaine on 2013-01-10 Staff focus groups Posted January 16, 2013
    In the future development of the Archives it would certainly be nice to have some sort of food service close by for our researchers as we have many who come to use our services who are not student's of this university. Perhaps even something as simple as a couple of food vending machines in the nook just inside the front door and to the right as you walk in the building.
  • Paul Banfield on Have your say: What do you want in the library and archives of the future? Posted January 15, 2013
    Dear Stewart: Thank you for your comments. They will certainly be taken into consideration by both the LAMP Steering Group and the consulting firm (CS&P Architects, Inc.) engaged to guide this re-visioning process forward. I did wish to note that Queen’s University Archives is very fortunate and pleased to once more be working in collaboration with the Library to bring this important and exciting exercise to a fruitful and meaningful conclusion. I wanted to note too, that while digitizing faculty papers may be one space option to consider, and as a former archivist you would be well aware of this, the originals would still need to be retained and preserved. Many thanks again, Stewart, for your input, it is very much appreciated. Best wishes, Paul Paul Banfield, University Archivist
  • Martha Whitehead on Contact Us Posted January 15, 2013
    Thanks very much for your input Anne. One of the things we're hoping to hear more about is whether there are particular features people would like in additional group meeting rooms. Any thoughts? I'm also really interested in your comment that "the library space sets the tone for quiet, industrious activity." I'm often struck by that in our library spaces at Queen's, and know that's not always the case in libraries at other universities. Understanding the factors that create this feeling of a community learning space seems important.
  • Anne O'Riordan on Contact Us Posted January 15, 2013
    I am unable to attend the focus group due to a schedule conflict but wanted to stress the importance of group meeting rooms for faculty and for students. I use them in Bracken Library on a regular basis and do not how I would do my work without them. More and more, we are stressing team-based learning and collaborative learning, and the inclusion of flexible space designed to accommodate these needs are vital in my opinion. The library space sets the tone for quiet, industrious activity.
  • Stewart Renfrew on Have your say: What do you want in the library and archives of the future? Posted January 07, 2013
    First of all I should give some background here. I started to work at Queen's as a Library Technician at the end of September 1969. I well remember my introduction to my new job by George Henderson my new boss. George welcomed me to Queen's, I was a graduate of McMaster, and went on to remark that this was a big day for Queen's. I was starting to work there, and the Library was starting its first computerized cataloging project. I stayed at Queen's until 2000 when I retired as an archivist and for the most part those were good years. On the other hand I have to admit that whatever my contributions to the University they could have never made a shadow of the difference that the introduction of computers has made to both the Library and the Archives. About the planning for the future, there are a number of things I might say but there are two ideas I think are most important and useful to think about. First of all I disapprove of the idea of amalgamating the two units. I have worked for many years in both institutions and have come to the realization that however much a casual observer might think they are much the same there is a basic difference that sets them apart. Libraries are subject based, Archives provenance based. The thinking is just different enough to make it difficult for a united staff and especially administration to work efficiently with the two bodies. Much better for the heads of each unit to report to some outside source, VP Academic it was in my day, then to have an internal head trying to balance the needs of each discipline. I am well awaire that this has been done in many places, the National Archives and Library, and McMaster University to name just two. It looks like a good and efficient way to do things from a bureaucratic point of view but if Queen's wishes, as it always had since I have known Queen's, have world leading Archives and Library it would be better advised, in my mind, to keep the internal administration of these two bodies separate. My second point is about space in the Archives. Over the years I have searched through and processed the papers of many academics. To be polite these individuals are almost always what are sometimes called "good enough" professors, perfectly adequate for their tasks and the university's needs. But few of the staff at Queen's, or virtually any other university I have known, manages to rise above the level of second class thinkers. Few can claim really original thought, as one commentator put it they are adept at crawling across the frontiers of human knowledge with a hand lens. Most are anxious to leave their papers to Queen's, should they be honest with themselves, not because they think their work is of undying value but because they know there is a good tax credit at hand. With that in mind they make sure that whatever quality they pass on will be re-enforced with lots of quantity. To my mind the work of truly original thinkers merits careful preservation of the original manuscript. What one would give to see an original draft of one of Shakespeare's sonnets. Or perhaps the original draft of Churchill's "Blood Sweat and Tears" speech, which is probably in the archives of Churchill College Cambridge. There is in Queen's Archives similar material, Bliss Carmen, G.D. Roberts, John Buchan, Al Purdy and such things as business records and the like that justify the expense of their preservation in the original form. But a huge part of the storage area is given over to the care and preservation of the papers of "Good Enough Professors." Because they are part of the university's record I do not advocate destroying these records. On the other hand I think that the space could be better used for other material. The records of the professors could be either microfilmed or digitized and preserved much more efficiently than kept in their original form. Moreover, in my experience, nearly all of this material is on acid based paper and will eventually wither with time. Much better to start a program to transfer these records into a different medium now and save the bother later. The Archives is to all intents and purposes full now, the acquisitions program will have to be halted soon or costly new construction will be necessary. Why not put the money into a program like this? In the long run it could be much cheaper and provide the necessary space as well. I rest my case. Just what sort of program and into what different medium, microfilm or digital come immediately to my mind, I must leave to a younger more technologically savvy group of Archivists to recommend, Thank you for your consideration, Stewart Renfrew