Queen’s University Library Review

In the fall of 2019, the Office of the Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) initiated an external review of the Queen’s library. The intent of the review was to provide an objective assessment of the current state and future opportunities of the library, and to inform the appointment of the next Vice-Provost and University Librarian. The review team was asked to consider the following areas:

  • Mission and strategic priorities
  • Governance and administration
  • Provision of services, including assessing whether the library services meet the needs of the Queen’s community
  • Collections and information resources
  • Facilities and spaces
  • Financial resources
  • Internal and external relationships
  • Operations, including employee engagement
  • Challenges and opportunities

In recent years, the library has been engaged in a continual process of organizational improvement, and the review builds on existing reports such as the Library and Archives Master Plan, the Public Service Renewal Project, and the External Review of University Archives and W.D. Jordan Rare Books and Special Collections, among others.

The review was undertaken by Vivian Lewis, University Librarian at McMaster University, and Jonathan Bengtson, University Librarian at the University of Victoria.

The reviewers met with many individuals and groups from inside and outside the library on October 31 and November 1, 2019.

The following documents helped the reviewers prepare for their campus visit:

1.      A self-study report, prepared with input from many staff in the Library, which was circulated to the Library community.

2.      A confidential report on a series of focus group meetings, which were designed to allow participants’ views about the strengths, weakness, threats, and opportunities facing the Library to be conveyed to the reviewers. The focus group report was sent only to the reviewers, as is the usual practice in external reviews at Queen’s in order to respect the confidentiality of participants.

3.      Confidential written comments on the present state and future direction of the library submitted by members of the community.

After their visit the reviewers prepared a written report, which was circulated to the Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) and the Interim Vice-Provost & University Librarian for correction of any factual errors and follow-up with the reviewers. In addition, as is standard in external review processes, the Library will have the opportunity to provide a written response to the assessment. A summary of the reviewers’ report, containing all the reviewers’ recommendations, is linked below.

Recommendations for consideration arising from the Library review will be based on the published terms of reference, the external reviewers’ assessment, and the Library’s response to their report. These recommendations will be used to inform the search for the new Vice-Provost and University Librarian.

The valuable contributions of members of the Queen’s community to this important review ensure the library will continue to evolve to serve Queen’s teaching, learning, and research needs.

Terms of Reference (PDF 107 KB)

Summary of Report (PDF 213 KB)