The Library and Learning Commons Strategic Plan, 2013-2020, has officially and successfully ended. However, the Library has opted to defer creating a new plan following the approvals of the College’s strategic and academic plans. Whether stepping into our physical space or exploring our online presence, the Library is a vital partner in academic excellence and student success – a hub for the intellectual, cultural, and social life of the Langara community.
April 2019 started with an emergency and March 2020 closed with another event beyond our control. In both instances and through the year, the Library collaborated with instructors, students, and the rest of the Langara community to ensure instructional continuity and academic supports for students.
Until March 2020, when we all pivoted, flipped, and twirled, our services and resources were on a similar trajectory to other years. This annual report focuses on the whole year, but flags where things started changing in March. Many of the Library’s services and resources already had online components that served us well for the transition.
In-person information literacy classes continue to be in high demand, creating a challenge in scheduling access to the Teaching Lab. Research help requests had seen an increase of 23% over last year and a 43% increase from five years ago. In addition, our online reference for 2019/20 saw increase of 38% or 135% increase from five years ago.
In consultation with tutoring partners and Communications & Marketing, we re-designed the Learning Commons website to provide streamlined access to tutoring schedules and information. The Learning Commons (first floor of the library) bustled with activity, energy, and collaboration throughout the year and we look forward to the future when we can again interact with our students in person.
Our online collections continue to support our students and have helped reduce the number of articles we need to source from other institutions. This year we have completed a gradual increase for our core online collection so that we are paying the same as other BC post-secondary institutions of our size. This equalization along with annual vendor increases and exchange rate fluctuations continue to present ever more pressing budgetary challenges. Library employees continue to work hard balancing funds available, instructor demand, and adequate resources for students to successfully meet their learning outcomes.
Open Langara (open educational resources) continues to grow, supporting instructors to use, adapt, and create open textbooks. In spring 2020, Open Langara and the Library launched the Open Student Scholar Prize, coinciding with Open Education Week. Congratulations to Lindsay Tripp, Langara's Copyright Librarian, recipient of the BCcampus Award for Excellence in Open Education.
Our team of great librarians and library technicians are a tribute to our reputation as a collegial and innovative environment, and our willingness to support and advocate for our students. Their collaboration with academic areas, student services, IT, EdTech, TCDC, and other departments across the college exemplify our culture of collaboration, sharing, and innovation.
Please take the time to explore the Library and Learning Commons’ annual report, reflecting again upon a year of activities, events, and triumphs. Underlying the report is the hard work, collegiality, and enthusiasm of librarians and library technicians who strive to ensure students succeed at Langara.
Director, Academic Innovation
This Annual Report highlights the Library's successes within the context of the 5 themes identified in the Langara Library and Learing Commons Strategic Plan, 2013-2020:
Looking toward the coming year, the Library will be tackling several key initiatives: