I don't usually talk about local York stuff here, but I'd like to make an exception for the event we had last week (Tuesday, November 3rd) here at my library, The Steacie Science & Engineering Library.
The event is called YorkWrites and it's sponsored jointly by the Libraries and the Bookstore. Essentially, it's a big party in the library, with food, drink, music and speeches. In the past it was held at the Scott Library, the humanities & socials sciences library, but for 2009 we thought it would be nice to try a science and engineering focus.
What's it about:
YORKwrites is an initiative of York University Libraries and York University Bookstores, with a two-fold objective:
- to celebrate all recent scholarly, research and creative works produced by the York community and promote them, internally and externally.
- to document the scholarly, research, and creative works produced by the York community. This includes work by faculty, students, alumni and staff.
There's a brief story here and here is the story in the York daily enewsletter, YFile, with a fairly nice picture of me.
There was much that was new and notable in 2008-2009 from the Faculty of Science & Engineering, such as the development of a prototype space elevator and the discovery of snow on Mars, not to mention the award-winning Mars rover project.
Faculty, students, alumni and staff were on hand at the Steacie Science & Engineering Library last week for the YORKwrites 2009 gathering to toast each other on their research, publications and creative accomplishments. President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri, Walter Tholen, interim dean of the Faculty of Science & Engineering, and Michael Siu, associate vice-president research, science & technology, were present to congratulate those whose output raised the profile of York.
"We owe York authors a great debt. It is through their work - scholarly, scientific, professional or creative - that the wider world learns about York," said Shoukri. "This is an important initiative and a cause worth celebrating."
One of the things we did a bit differently this year was to shift a bit of the focus to the kinds of things science people do as opposed to the focus in previous years which was more on monographs. What we did was put up a bunch of poster boards at the back of the library and get faculty and grad students to lend us some of their posters that we could put up for the event. This particular initiative was a great success as we got about 35 posters given to us, more than double what I was hoping for. We ended up improvising and putting a bunch of them up on the walls & windows.
It was a great event, a great party and a wonderful opportunity to raise the library's profile on campus and to forge closer ties to the faculties we serve, opening the door for further opportunities to collaborate. Some part of the future of libraries is in building collaborations and raising profiles and working together with stakeholders across campus. Be visible.
It was also great that some small bit of the spotlight was focused on all the great work that the people here at Steacie do every day.