MacOdrum Library has made a number of changes over the last few months, many of which could affect you.

A new Department called Research Support Services was created in the Library. It replaced References Services and the Maps, Data and Government Information Centre, both of which provided front-line services to students and faculty.

Patti Harper, the Head of the new Department, says” “Graduate students and faculty are benefiting from this change as it provides a co-ordinated approach to scholarly communication services and digital resource support and establishes a larger pool of expertise to support subject-specific and interdisciplinary research and instruction.”

The staff of Research Support Services provide library research support and instruction about Library services, and also support the development of Library collections. The new name has “support” at the centre in order to indicate the main focus of the Department in relation to students and faculty.

There have also been some changes to the Library’s reference desks – service points. Says Harper:  “We are excited to be taking part in the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL) chat services which allow for remote access to a librarian for all library users at Carleton.”

This “on-call” services is accessible from many points on the library website and within its electronic collections. Currently this service is active Monday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Weekends 12 to 6 p.m. You can access the online chat service at

The physical reference desk on the main floor now covers all library reference questions, including those related to maps, GIS, and government data. It operates Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Although there is no longer a service point on the first floor of the Library, staff is always available for consultation and assistance. Please direct all questions to the main floor reference desk.  For more information about getting help please visit

You may have noticed that the reference collection (previously located behind the main floor reference desk) is no longer there. These holdings have been integrated into the Library’s main collections. A working group determined that integrating the collection into the main holdings would facilitate a more synergistic discovery by students and faculty. Additionally, many of these reference materials are now available for circulation.

If you wish to know more about some of the research surrounding library collections, de-selection of material and the future of reference collections:

*             Detmering, R., & Sproles, C. (2012). Reference in transition: a case study in reference collection development. Collection Building, 31(1), 19-22.

*             Johnson, A. M., Finley, S., & Sproles, C. (2015). Dismantling the Reference Collection. The Reference Librarian, 56(3), 161-173.

*             Kessler, J. (2013). Use It or Lose It! Results of a Use Study of the Print Sources in an Academic Library Reference Collection. The Reference Librarian, 54(1), 61-72.

*             O’Gorman, J., & Trott, B. (2009). What Will Become of Reference in Academic and Public Libraries? Journal of Library Administration, 49(4), 327-339.

*             Tyckoson, D. (2013). Facts Go Online: Are Print Reference Collections Still Relevant? Against the Grain, 16(4).

There have also been some changes to the Library’s Ottawa Resource Room, now called “The Ottawa Resource Collection”.  To provide a more secure and focused environment, the collection has been moved from its location on Floor 1 to Room 581, in the Library’s Archives and Research Collection. The collection has been complemented by a significant donation of retrospective documents from the City of Ottawa Archives. You can continue to conduct your local research in the comfortable Reading Room or in a bookable Seminar Room (Rm 583) with regular hours of 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 4 p.m. Access after 4 p.m. is available through the main Library service desk on the second floor. For special arrangements or more information, do not hesitate to contact

During the 2017 summer months, a Library committee spent time evaluating its holdings e.g. What books have been used heavily? Do we need another copy? What books have not seen use in 10 years? Should we keep it, send to storage or discard? Based on this evaluation, some changes were made to the Library’s newspaper subscriptions.

Says Harper: “We realized that physical print use was low and thus have cancelled our foreign language papers and the London Times as delivery costs for these papers have translated into significant savings for other collections.” The Library has maintained access to The New York Times, The Globe and Mail, and The Ottawa Citizen. Six months of these papers are available and are located behind the circulation desk on the main level of the library.

The Library is interested in your feedback about these changes. Please send comments to (Head, Research Support Services).

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