Nov. 1, 2018

Transforming the role of academic libraries in the research enterprise

Second round of sub-grants awarded by Libraries and Cultural Resources under innovative project funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Seven research projects led by UCalgary scholars have received sub-grants awarded under an innovative project to develop a new model for the role of libraries in multi-disciplinary research.

Seven research projects led by UCalgary scholars have received sub-grants.

John Brosz

Seven teams of University of Calgary scholars are receiving funding through a project to develop a new model for the role of libraries in multidisciplinary research. In March 2017, the University of Calgary received US$750,000 (C$1M) from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to enhance the role of libraries in offering leading-edge technologies, collaboration spaces and new designs in research services.

$400,000 is being devoted to funding University of Calgary research projects selected through a competitive process. Five projects were funded last year, and seven new projects have been announced.

In 2015, a planning study involving 50 researchers from 15 different disciplines identified a number of principal components of a multidisciplinary research platform: analytics and visualization, data curation and sharing, digitization, metadata services, expertise and training, and collaborative spaces.

“This exciting project will strengthen scholarship by exploring ways for all academic libraries to develop additional capacity in support of today’s research,” explains the project’s principal investigator, Tom Hickerson. “We need to think creatively. Academic libraries must continually evolve with the changing nature of scholarship.”

Seven new projects have been awarded funding:

  • Mapping and Visualizing Victorian Literary Sociability
    - Karen Bourrier and Dan Jacobson
  • Are Smart Cities Healthy? 
    - Jenny Godley and Seok-Woo Kwon
  • Visualizing a Canadian Author Archive: Alice Munro
    - Murray McGillivray, Noreen Humble, Michael Ullyot, Jagoda Walny, and Jason Wiens
  • Soper’s World: A Journey into the Canadian Arctic Through Art
    - Maribeth Murray, Steve Liang, Michael Moloney, and Shannon Christoffersen
  • Making Specialized Natural History Collections Accessible to Diverse Users: A Case Study Involving the Bees of Alberta
    - Mindi Summers, Lincoln Best, Marjan Eggermont, Paul Galpern, John Swann, Jessica Theodor, Jana Vamosi, and Jess Vickruck
  • Preserving and Disseminating Maker Skills with Mixed-Reality Videos
    - Anthony Tang, Jason Johnson, Lora Oehlberg, and Jennifer Adams
  • SmartCampus: Interactive Visualizations for Data-driven Design
    - Wesley Willett, Angela Rout, Frank Maurer, John Souleles, and Andrew Szeto

The 29 participants are from the Faculty of Arts, Schulich School of Engineering, Haskayne School of Business, Werklund School of Education, Faculty of Environmental Design, Faculty of Science, and the Arctic Institute of North America. 

“It is great to see the library working so closely with scholars and providing opportunities to support research collaborations,” says Dr. Penny Pexman, PhD, associate vice-president (research). “This project is having a significant impact on the work of faculty members across campus, and it will strengthen multidisciplinary research in general.”

Dr. Mary-Jo Romaniuk, PhD, vice-provost and university librarian, observed, “This project provides a model for academic libraries as energetic partners in the research enterprise.”

Details about the projects and the research teams are listed on the project’s website.