Future Forward: Reflections on New and Emerging Service Directions in Canadian Academic Libraries.
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Many Canadian academic libraries are revisiting directions and priorities for user services delivery. This talk will give an overview of selected new emerging trends in this area, including a summary of the factors driving these changes, the core characteristics of services provided, and opportunities and challenges experienced along the way. This presentation will draw in quite large part on research conducted and new service directions at York University Libraries (Toronto, Ontario). The speaker will highlight what has been learned through shifts in service design locally, through research on effective and innovative practices at other Canadian academic libraries, and through the study of emerging trends in the academic library world beyond the local context. Four types of Canadian academic library service will be the focus of discussion and critical reflection. Noteworthy and forward-looking developments will be featured, and illustrated with examples. (1) Some key trends in the design of learning spaces (including the learning commons concept) with reference to some Canadian academic libraries widely regarded as best practice models; (2) Heightened emphasis on the library role in supporting the research agenda in higher education, both through emerging services to support faculty and postgraduate student research (such as institutional repositories, bibliometrics, Virtual Research Environments), and strategies for strengthening librarians’ own research productivity; (3) Selected examples of new directions in reference services, such as Ask Ontario, a successful collaborative virtual reference service; (4) Recent trends in information literacy policy and planning, with emphasis on standards adopted, increasing attention to teaching critical information literacy, new opportunities for curriculum integrated approaches, resulting from the OCAV University Undergraduate Degree Level Expectations (UUDLEs), and greater adoption of standardized assessment tools, including SAILS, ETS iSkills, and WASSAIL, to facilitate an ongoing evidenced-based approach to the design of information literacy programming.