Immediate priorities (2014-2015)

The 43 Immediate Priorities represent the initiatives and themes that surfaced during our December 2013 planning exercise that staff and librarians felt could be accomplished in the upcoming academic year (FY15).  All of these tasks address the question “what are the top initiatives that are most important to our users”. Some tasks have been completed (green light), others are about to be launched (red light) and most are well underway (yellow light). Our progress will be updated monthly.

Task Executive owner(s) and collaborators Status
Last status update: November 10, 2015
1. Set up intranet technology, and work with early adopters (including Digital Initiatives) to begin use.  Jenn Riley
Ed Bilodeau, Dan Romano, DI Application Development Team staff
Atlassian Confluence implemented. Launched October 2014.

Summer 2014 Completed

2. Improve internal communication mechanisms to foster a more open information sharing environment and improve library internal communications. Jenn Riley
Merika Ramundo, TBD
Task force report delivered to Dean's Cabinet and approved in September 2015. New Communications Committee planned.

Summer 2015 Completed

3. Ensure all content formerly in SFX/MetaLib is represented in the OCLC Knowledgebase. Joseph Hafner
Jenn Riley

Collection Services team, Ed Bilodeau

Large scale migration of data from SFX to WorldCat Local is complete. Some resources required verification after this migration; this is mostly complete as of the end of August.

MetaLib/SFX retirement plan describes the steps involved in this migration.

WorldCat Local is the comprehensive, primary catalogue containing all print and all e-resources (updated in Knowledge Base). Aleph will contain only print material (all e-resources supressed to eliminate confusion).

CompletedSummer 2014

4. Improve mechanisms for reporting and responding to problems with discovery systems. Joseph Hafner
Jenn Riley

Collection Services, DI User Experience & User Support Team

Phase 1 implemented: Any broken link or problem to be reported to collections.library [at]

Reporting structures in place. 

Analysis made of questions for the fall, and recommendations made and implemented based on findings.

Phase 2 review to see if a tracking system should be implemented by DI and CS. 

CompletedWinter 2014






Summer 2015


5. Set up production workflows for pushing all digitized Canadian, unique, and rare textual material to Hathi Trust. Jenn Riley
Sarah Severson
Workflow design complete. Newly digitized content will be pushed to Internet Archive and HathiTrust monthly. Legacy digitized content will be ingested into HathiTrust by January 2016.

Winter 2014Completed

6. Ensure all electronic theses are represented available through the WorldCat Local discovery layer. Jenn Riley
Megan Chellew & Sarah Severson

Digitized electronic theses and dissertations have records in WorldCat Local. (As of Jan. 1, 2015 27,000 added to WCL and up-to-date with digitized versions.)


Workflow in place to add records to WorldCat Local for each year of newly digitized theses going forward.


Fall 2014


Winter 2015 Completed

7. Create matrix of highest digitization priorities for Archives and Rare Books & Special Collections, to drive future digitization activities and guide responses to digital project and digitization requests from users, partners, and library staff. Jenn Riley
Sarah Severson, Richard Virr, Lori Podolsky, Chris Lyons, Joseph Hafner, DI Projects Committee

Work group began meeting September 2014. Work tracked in an intranet space for the group.

Matrix for analysis created and agreed upon. Resource issues in the special collections units preventing systematic use for prioritization.

Matrix will instead be used for individual project prioritization.

Summer 2014 Completed

8. Identify needed resources and design new workflows for significantly scaling up digitization activities and other related tasks needed to deliver digital content online to users. Jenn Riley
Megan Chellew & Sarah Severson
Equipment and staffing plan for scaling up digitization over the next few years complete. First phase (purchase of Atiz and normalization of existing staffing throughout the year) implemented Winter 2015.

Summer/ Fall 2014Completed

9. Begin work on a repository for campus research data. Consult campus stakeholders on needs. Plan for integration of our local system with consortially-run preservation environments. Jenn Riley
Dan Romano, DI Application Development Team staff, Amy Buckland, Ed Bilodeau, Jenn Riley

Preliminary requirements gathering and researcher engagement begun.

Additional technology discussions with Campus IT needed to move forward.

OngoingFall 2014

10. Raise awareness of Open Access issues on campus. Jenn Riley
Amy Buckland

Quick library response to new Tri-Agency OA mandate. Library staff presented or discussed with many campus researchers.

Public web pages and Intranet OA content overhauled.

Significant increase in requests to archive with eScholarship@McGill observed.

Fall 2014Completed

11. Redesign web hosting environment (Drupal) in collaboration with Content and Collaboration Solutions so that library staff have more flexibility with the deployment of changes to the Library web site. Jenn Riley
Ed Bilodeau & Branch/Unit Heads
Hosting & development environment set up. Migration completed late July 2014. A few final issues resolved in Fall 2014, including formatting of drop down menus and the "channels" feature for news items.

Summer 2014Completed

12. With input from librarians and library staff, develop a set of principles for timing of updates to the library web site. Jenn Riley
Ed Bilodeau & branch/unit heads
Principles developed.
Principles for managing changes to the Library website

CompletedWinter 2014

13. Investigate feasibility of adding dynamic floor plans (map button) to WorldCat Local. Jenn Riley
Jane Aitkens, Ed Bilodeau, Joseph Hafner
WorldCat Local does not support configuration to add custom buttons witih URLs pulling item data via their API. Awaiting word on the possibility of this feature in WorldCat Discovery. StackMap application investigated; no current support for WorldCat Local or WorldCat Discovery for non-WMS users.

Summer 2014 Ongoing

14. Enhance training for staff to ensure an understanding of new resources and technology, including the provision of in-depth workshops for WorldCat Local. Joseph Hafner
Jenn Riley
Ed Bilodeau, Louis Houle
Starting in January 2014 start holding a monthly WorldCat Local Open Office Hour to share information about changes in WorldCat Local, give staff an opportunity to ask questions about functionality and issues, share information about how to use the tool, etc.
WorldCat Discovery Task Force working to engage library staff and campus with this upgrade. Awaiting functionality fixes before beginnning public beta.
Continue inviting vendors and publishers to present training and information sessions on resources. For example: Credo, ProQuest, EBSCO, etc. coming in April & May 2014.

CompletedSummer 2014


OngoingFall 2014



15. Add a computer availability map to public LCD screens in all branches that have these screens. Jenn Riley
Ed Bilodeau, Greg Houston, Merika Ramundo
Branch heads determined no longer needed.

Summer 2014 Completed

16. Reconstitute the Collection Stewardship Committee to review collection issues including reviewing and communicate weeding policy to all staff, creating guidelines related to collection storage and other collections issues. Joseph Hafner
Working Group: Louis Houle to lead; one rep from Law, Music, Mac, Islamic, HSSL, Schulich.
Kick off meeting to be announced and meeting schedule to be developed. Review issues raised about collection development policies and determine next steps.

Ongoing Completed

17. Any duplicate or wrong call numbers will be reported to CS and corrected. Collection Services managers will review workflows to ensure best practices are in place. Joseph Hafner
Louise Robertson
All correction requests to be sent to collections.library [at] for immediate triage and attention.

CompletedWinter 2014

18. New materials shipped to branch libraries (outside the McLennan/Redpath Complex) will have an "in transit" status to show it is going from CS to the branch. Joseph Hafner In transit status implemented.

CompletedWinter 2014

19. Continue automating and improving workflows for e-book cataloguing ensuring discoverability (e.g. Pilot shared e-book cataloguing project with the Top 5 CARL Libraries). Joseph Hafner CS has automated the updating procedures of e-books into the Knowledge Base of WCL. For example, ebrary titles.
800,000 e-books loaded in 2013-14.
Joint E-resource cataloguing project with the top 5 CARL Libraries. Starting with Canadian maps, Canadian Government Documents, NFB online films, etc.

CompletedSummer 2014

20. Eliminate existing backlog of non-rare print materials and keep up-to-date with cataloguing of new print materials. Joseph Hafner Material from major vendors loaded automatically and streams through Collection Services (YBP, Coutts, Harrasowitz). Cassolini, Aux Amateurs and smaller vendors still to be automated/streamlined.
Finished cataloguing the monograph backlogs on the 2nd floor of Redpath. Approximately 40,000 titles were reviewed and processed for the branch libraries and RBSC.
CS has begun the new “box to box” process to receive material in Processing, ship immediately to the branch and pay from packing slip/invoice, ensuring the material gets into the hands of our users with minimal delay.

CompletedSummer 2014

21. Develop a storage best practice procedure document for McGill Library and Archives. Post and ensure all staff members involved with storage and shelving are trained. Recommendations to be implemented by the end of Winter 2015. Diane Koen
Lori Podolsky, Richard Virr, Chris Lyons

A draft report on existing documentation and best practices is available for comment: PDF icon Strategic Priorities #21 - Report

PDF icon Strategic Priorities #21 - Report

The report document has provisions for local modification as desired (e.g handling A/V in music) and includes:

1. Rationale
2. Instructions on proper book shelving
3. Handling material
4. Handling heavy material (such as archival boxes)
5. Instructions to readers (this will be a handout or something that can be placed in prominent areas)
6. Staff training protocol

Spring 2015

22. Improve public washrooms in HSSL, and Schulich Library, and if possible, expand and renovate the Redpath main floor washrooms. Diane Koen
Francisco Oliva, University Services

Redpath Main Floor washroom project fully funded by a substantial SSMU LIF donation and library contribution. Facilities Project Team assigned and design work completed with extensive input from student representatives.  Construction to begin Spring 2015 term with a scheduled completion date of early Fall 2015.

Remaining HSSL washrooms reviewed with Facilities. Repairs and paint touch ups to begin in Fall 2014.

OngoingSummer 2015

23. Continue to check regularly for bedbugs and mice. Diane Koen
Francisco Oliva
Schedule established with Facilities.
Ongoing process.


24. Develop and implement Noise Level Study Zones (very quiet to very noisy) in all branches. Diane Koen
Working Group: Branch Heads, Francisco Oliva, Merika Ramundo
HSSL team, lead by Amber Lannon, developed a draft policy for their branch. Consultation process with advisory committee complete. The final policy may be a model for other branches to consider, modify and implement in their local branch.

OngoingSummer 2015

25. Develop and implement policy for food in the Library based on user feedback. Diane Koen
Working Group: Branch Heads, Francisco Oliva, Merika Ramundo
HSSL team, lead by Amber Lannon, developed a draft policy for their branch. Further consultation throughout academic year is now complete. The final policy may be a model for other branches to consider, modify and implement in their local branch.

Summer 2015

26. Acquire new public seating made of wood, plastic or covered in durable, easy to clean "leatherette" fabric. Damaged furniture that is covered under warranty will be replaced with same model/material. Diane Koen
Planning & Resources staff
All furniture purchased or repaired will be either a hard surface (wood or plastic) or leather/ette.

Completed Ongoing

27. Increase number of Spirit Scanners in branch libraries. Diane Koen 6 Spirit Scanners purchased with funding from SSMU and PGSS. Delivered and installed May 2014.
Locations: HSSL – 3; Schulich – 1; Music – 1; Law – 1

CompletedSummer 2014

28. Launch newly renovated McLennan Redpath Terrace as a smoke-free environment. Diane Koen
University Wide Committee
Effective May 1, 2014. Launched formally on May 28, 2014.

CompletedSpring 2014

29. Branch signage, bookmarks and floorplans to be updated to reflect current changes. Diane Koen
Merika Ramundo & Branch Heads

Floorplan and wayfinding signage project underway during the Summer/Fall 2014 and Winter 2015.

Wayfinding signage completed in Macdonald Campus, Schulich Library, HSSL, RBSC/Archives. Floorplan work complete at Macdonald Campus and HSSL. In final stages of floorplan production and installation for Music and Schulich.

 OngoingSpring 2015

30. Install print returns bin (currently on order) in Schulich. Diane Koen
Francisco Oliva
Product delivered and in place in Schulich.

CompletedSpring 2014

31. Review and adapt Student Navigator hiring procedures with branch/unit heads to ensure the best candidate is hired for each position posted. Daniel Boyer
Daniel Boyer & Branch Heads

Hiring and funding procedures clarified and implemented in Summer 2015 with all Branch Heads.

New procedures have been reviewed with library heads and posted on the Library System intranet.

Completed Winter 2016

32. Assess service and study hours offered in Library Branches and develop a methodology to set opening and service hours that meets both user needs and available resources. Analyze security needs in all branches in order to offer a safe and welcoming environment to the McGill community. Daniel Boyer
Daniel Boyer & Branch Heads
Hours and security needs for 2014-15 reviewed and completed in May. Further improvements to come.

CompletedSummer 2014

33. Assess the chat reference service, including the nature and content of the questions asked, the quality of answers given (for reference), as well as the software. This will be followed by an analysis of the volume of usage to inform the range of virtual reference service and staff accordingly.

Maryvon Côté
Svetlana Kochkina, Chris Lyons & Tara Mawhinney

Working group to broaden the mandate to include the investigation of mobile (texting) reference service.
Feedback requested further assessment, investigate proactive chat reference, text requests and co-browsing implementation as well as an analysis of hours of coverage, statistics and the potential to partner with external support consortia. Final report: PDF icon virtual_reference_at_mcgill_library_report_final.pdf

CompletedSpring 2015

34. Review the implementation of a Single Service Point in all branches and develop recommendations for continuous improvement. Daniel Boyer
Daniel Boyer & Lorie Kloda
Focus groups were undertaken with staff and a report with recommendations submitted to the Head of HSSL.  The report was reviewed with staff and selected recommendations were implemented with staff input.

Summer 2015

35. Determine actionable items from ClimateQUAL feedback, and develop task force(s) to implement. Colleen Cook
Lorie Kloda & Isabelle Roberge
Actionable items identified and update delivered via email on April 30, 2014 to all staff.

OngoingSept. 15, 2014

36. Improve communication to and from the Dean's Office to all staff.  Colleen Cook
Dean’s Cabinet, Bruna Ceccolini, Merika Ramundo
Ongoing goal to be continuously considered and improved.

Winter 2014


37. Dean's Corner held four times per year. Colleen Cook
Bruna Ceccolini, Merika Ramundo
Meetings scheduled.

CompletedWinter 2014

38. Colleen's Coffee held in each branch throughout the year. Colleen Cook
Bruna Ceccolini
Meetings scheduled.

CompletedWinter 2014

39. The Dean will attend at least one staff meeting in each unit yearly. Colleen Cook
Bruna Ceccolini
Meetings scheduled.

CompletedWinter 2014

40. Improve work efficiency by having Dean’s Cabinet and unit heads review current meeting structures. Colleen Cook
Dean’s Cabinet & Branch/Unit Heads


41. Write job descriptions for new and existing librarian positions Carole Urbain
Isabelle Roberge
Post the librarian job descriptions on the library intranet.
Job description for liaison librarian will be updated in light of the work on liaison librarian model (Strategic intention D).
Job description are available for all existing librarian positions.

Fall 2015 Ongoing





Fall 2014Completed


42. Committee Information will be kept up to date on the U drive. Library documentation will exist on the U drive with a transition to the intranet when appropriate. Carole Urbain
Library Council Secretary and Committee Chairs
Information available on the library intranet.
Terms of reference, composition, terms of office, etc. for Library committees was posted on the U drive (U:\Common\Committees\2014_2015_Committees\) in July 2014.

The list of committees was posted on the U: drive (U:\Common\Committees\2014_2015_Committees) in July 2014.

CompletedSpring 2015

CompletedSummer 2014



CompletedSummer 2014

43. Strategic Intention documentation will be maintained on the Strategic Intentions website. Progress towards goals will be tracked. When changes occur, biweekly Managers Meeting staff will be informed and information passed on to each unit through the meeting notes. Colleen Cook
Dean’s Cabinet, Lorie Kloda, Merika Ramundo
Website format designed and launched May 2014.
Strategic Intentions and Immediate priorities with status updates and links to supporting documentation available on website.
Feedback gathered and carefully considered. Responses to be sent to all staff and posted on website on May 23, 2014.





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