In November 2019, the BC provincial government passed legislation to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), which the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) confirms as the framework for reconciliation. Langara Library is committed to upholding the principles outlined by the TRC and UNDRIP. In 2021, the library published its first status report monitoring its efforts to Indigenize and decolonize its practices, which can be accessed on The LaIR (Langara Institutional Repository).
The COVID shutdown challenged us all in ways we couldn’t have anticipated. In addition to physical, mental, and emotional fatigue, many of our classmates and coworkers report feeling isolated and disconnected from community.
Using graphic novels as a touchstone, Indigenous Education & Services (IES) and Langara Library hosted semesterly student book clubs to hold (virtual) space for folks to come together. The book clubs, which typically take place over 4-5 weekly sessions, are facilitated by Langara’s Elder-In-Residence Nk’xetko using the talking circle model. Langara Counselling staff are present each session to provide participants with support as needed.
This year the Library worked on various initiatives to highlight Indigenous authors, knowledge, topics, and resources. To help instructors identify resources to use in their curriculum, subject guides were created on various topics, including:
The Library is also working on weaving Indigenous knowledge and ways of knowing throughout its collection and practices. This year, the Library created a section on citing Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers for Langara’s guide to APA 7th ed., in consultation with the College’s Elder in-Residence. Staff have also initiated a project to identify items within Library's collection with authors who identify as Indigenous. The Library's Technical Services department will then add a series note to these item records, which will improve the findability of these resources.
The Library participated in the planning and delivery of the inaugural New Indigenous Student Orientation (NISO) in early September. As part of the orientation, a Library representative spoke about services and resources provided by the Library and Learning Commons.
Staff continue to share their experiences working on decolonization and Indigenization efforts within the Library. Among other initiatives, staff members have participated in planning meetings for Orange Shirt Day, delivered campus workshops on work pertaining to reconciliation, and contributed to the Honouring Indigenous Writers Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon organized by UBC.
Lindsay Tripp, Langara's Aboriginal Studies Librarian, has been working closely with Nk'xetko, Langara’s Elder in Residence, to help prepare her memoir for publication through the self-publishing company Tellwell.
On March 4, 2021, snəw̓eyəɬ leləm̓ – Langara College joined Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Thompson Rivers University, and four US colleges (Montgomery College, Maricopa Community Colleges, Pima Community College, and the Community College of Baltimore County) as an institutional partner in the UN Sustainable Development Goals Open Pedagogy Faculty Fellowship. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) are a set of 17 goals that address a wide range of social issues, such as poverty, inequality, climate change, peace, and justice.
The Langara UN SDG fellows will join a team of 2 to 3 instructors from different disciplines and different institutions. Each fellowship team will design three renewable assignments in summer 2021 and implement at least two during the fall 2021 or spring 2022 semester. A student showcase will take place in early 2022 in which a select number of students will present on how they improved their communities and achieved global justice through open pedagogy using the UN SDG framework.
The Langara fellows are: Mike Smith-Cairns (Department of Geography & Geology), Drew Egan (Department of Geography & Geology) and Patricia Aroca-Ouellette (Department of Chemistry).
In the spring of 2020, the Langara Library, Open Langara (Langara’s Open Education Advisory Committee), and the The LaIR introduced the Langara Open Student Scholar Prize. The prize celebrates exemplary work being done by Langara students and offers them the opportunity to share their work in an open access format.
In March and April 2021, the Library jointly ran the Open Student Scholar Prize for the second time, with great success. The judges were pleasantly surprised to receive almost double the number of submissions from last year, as well as an increase in instructor-nominated projects. As part of the submission process, students are asked to share their experience with or interest in Open Education. Some reflected on using open textbooks or open-source tools in class, while others focused on why they want to openly share their work. Many students pointed to Open Education as a means of fostering equity and diversity in academia and explored the idea of scholarship as a conversation.
All winning projects can be discovered in the Open Student Scholar Prize collection of the LaIR.
Librarians continue to be active in the program review process for their liaison subject areas. As part of the program review process, librarians contribute a report that provides an overview of Library & Learning Commons supports and a statistics dashboard that highlights department usage of library services and resources. This year, librarians contributed to reviews for Art History, English, the Langara School of Management, and Latin American Studies.
Throughout 2020/21, library staff served on a variety of College committees and working groups, including: