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Author: Sara

Library Budgets in the News

Earlier this week, the news broke that Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) is reviewing 2,500 journals and looking for cost savings where possible. The response has been an outcry from the professoriate at MUN. We thought this was a good opportunity to discuss the collections budget at Ryerson.

Can we anticipate similar activities at Ryerson?

Yes, we can. Academic libraries across the country are enduring a budget crisis. The librarians at Ryerson have been diligently undertaking analysis of our collections to determine where we can find maximum savings with minimal effect on the community. Liaisons are working directly with their departments to keep faculty informed of developments that may affect them. If you are concerned about journals or databases specific to your area, please contact your liaison librarian.

Why are collections being targeted in budget reduction scenarios?

Along with all other departments on campus, the library has had to reduce its base budget for eight consecutive years. Sustaining journal subscriptions on an annual basis requires base funding. Given that our subscription costs have a standard inflation rate of 5-10% per year, this alone has created a difficult situation. Coupled with the historic low of the Canadian dollar – like MUN, the vast majority of our subscriptions are billed in US dollars – we find ourselves in an unprecedented situation, and must make difficult decisions. We simply cannot maintain our current levels of spending within the confines of our reduced budget allocation. Unless the Canadian dollar recovers, we can continue to expect the loss of access to some resources.

How can we maintain our reputation if we don’t have access to the latest research?  

Librarians are working hard to ensure that we are not sacrificing core journals. We also provide access to top-notch document delivery services, sometimes providing access to PDF articles held by other university libraries in your email in under 48 hours. In some cases, we are maintaining access to a journal via an aggregator database with embargoed access. These embargo periods are set by the publishers and are not within our control. We encourage faculty who may be on editorial boards address this issue and advocate for an end to embargoes and turn toward more progressive Open Access policies.

What can I do to prevent further cuts to the library budget?

Advocacy is key. As publishers reap profit margins of upwards of 40%, academic libraries simply cannot keep pace with the cost of subscriptions – and nor should we. As viable Open Access models emerge, we must band together and be forces for change. The Tri-Council agency has demonstrated leadership in this area with their new Open Access policy. This is the beginning of a sea change – we must be part of it and see the opportunity that has been presented in challenging circumstances.

Further reading:

Academic publishers reap huge profits as libraries go broke– CBC news, June 15, 2015

Academic publishers make Murdoch look like a socialist” – Guardian, August 29, 2011


Corrections made December 14, 2015:

  • Clarification that MUN is reviewing journals for cancellation but has not undertaken any cancellations as of this post.
  • Turnaround time for Document Delivery journals can be as quick as 48 hours.

GIS Day 2015 – Celebrate with us!



GIS Day 2015 at Ryerson – A Showcase of Geographic Information System Research and Applications

Ryerson students, faculty, staff, and the local community are invited to explore and celebrate Geographic Information Systems (GIS) research and applications. Keynote presentations will outline the pervasive use of geospatial data analysis and mapping in business, municipal government, and environmental applications. Research posters, software demos, and course projects will further illustrate the benefits of GIS across all sectors of society.


Date: Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Time: 1:00pm-5:00pm
Location: Library Building, LIB-489, 4th Floor, 350 Victoria Street


Schedule and Keynote Presentations:

1:00 pm  – Kick-off and welcome address (1:25 pm)

1:30 pm – Dr. Namrata Shrestha, Senior Landscape Ecologist, Toronto & Region Conservation Authority

2:00 pm –  Posters and demos

2:30 pm – Andrew Lyszkiewicz, Program Manager, Information & Technology Division, City of Toronto

3:00 pm – Posters and demos

3:30 pm – Matthew Cole, Manager, Business Geomatics, and William Davis, Cartographer and Data Analyst, The Toronto Star

4:00 pm – GIS Day cake

Research & project exhibits include:

Live demos:

  • The Neptis Geoweb (Neptis Foundation)
  • Augmented-reality sandbox (Digital Media Experience lab)
  • Scholars GeoPortal and Simply Map Canada (Geospatial Map and Data Centre)
  • Geovisualization projects (Master of Spatial Analysis students)


  • A selection of recent conference posters by Ryerson faculty and students
  • GIS application examples in the Toronto area
  • Geography Awareness Week and the BA in Geographic Analysis


Coffee/tea and snacks will be available throughout the afternoon.
Tweet @RyersonGeo, @RyersonLibrary

Contact: Claus Rinner <> or Dan Jakubek <>


Get a Free Toronto Public Library Card at Ryerson Library!

This Monday, November 2nd and Friday, November 6th, staff from Toronto Public Library (TPL) will be in the Library to sign students up for a Toronto Public Library card. The TPL booth will be set up from 1pm until 5pm both days.

All Ryerson students are eligible to get a TPL card. All you need is a valid One Card to sign up!

For more information on what TPL has to offer, check out our helpful guide to Toronto’s libraries.


Calling All Students! Applications Now Open for RULA-SAC 2015-2016

What is RULA-SAC?

The Toronto Metropolitan University Library & Archives Student Advisory Committee (RULA-SAC) is designed to facilitate direct communication between the Library and the students it serves. The committee is comprised of students who are interested in enhancing Library resources, services and space, providing constructive feedback, and developing ideas for creating a better student experience at the Library. We welcome Undergraduate, Graduate and Continuing Education students to join!

When does it meet?

The Committee will meet at scheduled times during the Fall and Winter terms (see the list of dates, below). Membership is from November to March 2015-2016.

What will RULA-SAC members do?

  • Attend meetings
  • Provide a student perspective on Library resources and services
  • Participate in the development of surveys and other assessment tools

Who can join?

We encourage participation from undergraduates, graduate students, and CE students from across all disciplines. The committee will ideally have 15-20 members.

What’s in it for you?

  • Help improve the student experience at the Library!
  • Add to your resume!
  • Learn more about your Library!
  • Gain committee experience!
  • Meet new people!
  • Free dinner/lunch!!!


Wednesday November 25th, 2015.  4 pm – 6 pm

Session 1: “What’s the latest research saying about how you use the library?”

Tuesday January 19th, 2016. 2 pm – 4 pm

Session 2: Is everything really online? Share your thoughts about electronic resources e.g. eBooks, journal databases and more ….

Wednesday March 2nd, 2016. 2 pm – 4 pm

Session 3: Did you know that the Library brings you your on-line One Stop course readings? How can we improve this service? Did you know that copyright@ryerson has changed?

Deadline and Application

Fill out the application form here

The deadline for applications is Friday November 6, 2015. Successful candidates are expected to commit to attending meetings. This ensures consistency in committee membership. To be as inclusive as possible, and provide the opportunity to as many students as possible, the 2014-2015 committee will be comprised of students who have not been part of RULA-SAC in previous years.

Have More Questions? Please email (

Introducing Ryerson Library’s Open Access Wall of Fame

Ryerson Library is very proud to announce the inaugural inductees for the Library’s Open Access Wall of Fame!

The Wall of Fame honours researchers who have demonstrated a commitment to ensuring their research is open and available to all. Our aim is to acknowledge and support those who consider open access avenues when publishing their work. Open Access material is scholarly work that is made legally available with no restrictions so the anyone can access the full text.

This year’s inaugural inductees are Dr Harald Bauder and Dr Enza Gucciardi.

Portrait of Dr Harald BauderDr Bauder is the Academic Director of the Ryerson Centre for Immigration & Settlement and a graduate Professor in Immigration & Settlement Studies and the Department of Geography. Dr Bauder has been a long-time supporter of Open Access publishing, participating as both as writer and an editor. He was the editor of the journal ACME: An International e-Journal for Critical Geographies  for nearly a decade and also served as editor of the open-access book publisher Praxis (e)Press. Through Praxis (e)Press, Dr Bauder published the textbook Critical Geographies: A Collection of Readings with Salvatore Engel-di Mauro. In addition, as the inaugural Academic Director of the Ryerson Centre for Immigration and Settlement (RCIS), Dr Bauder founded and edited the open-access RCIS Discussion Paper Series and the RCIS Research Briefs. Other Open Access publication venues include Comparative Migration Studies, the CERIS Working Paper Series, and popular media, such as Open Democracy. For more information about Dr Bauder’s work, including links to his publications, please see his faculty page.

E. Guacciardi (2)Dr Gucciardi is an Associate Professor in the School of Nutrition and an Affiliate Scientist with the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute. She has written over a dozen publicly-accessible manuscripts on diabetes research. On the subject of open access, she writes:

I feel that everyone should have equitable access to publicly-funded research. Many libraries cannot purchase all of the journals available, particularly in less developed countries; thus, open access material helps to support research at all institutions worldwide. I also believe that publishing in open access journals will help attain a higher level of impact from greater numbers of citations. Ultimately, if all research is moved out from behind paywalls, our work can inspire broader collaboration, proliferate more research and potentially have greater benefits on society globally.

For more information about Dr Gucciardi’s work, including selected publications, please see her website.

Congratulations to Dr Bauder and Dr Gucciardi! Ryerson Library is honoured to have you as our first Open Access Wall of Fame inductees.

Cast Your Vote on Campus!

The federal election is coming up – don’t forget to cast your vote

When: October 5-8, from 10a.m. – 8p.m.
Where: Student Centre (55 Gould St.)

Students must be 18 years and over and a Canadian citizen to vote. You can register and vote at the polling stations – just show up with the proper ID requirements to vote. For more information, check out this valuable information on voting for students from Elections Canada.


RULA Joins the BC Libraries Coop

Logo for the BC Libraries Cooperative

Today, Toronto Metropolitan University Library and Archives (RULA) and the BC Libraries Cooperative (BCLC) are thrilled to announce RULA’s membership in BCLC.

RULA becomes the first Ontario Higher Education institution to become a BCLC member. Speaking to the decision to join BCLC, RULA Associate Chief Librarian Gillian Byrne said “we are excited about BCLC’s emerging services and the opportunity to work together with BCLC members across Canada on initiatives of significance.”

While BCLC provides services to a number of Higher Education institutions in Ontario, RULA’s membership in BCLC marks a new opportunity for collaboration at scale. BCLC Board Chair Melanie Houlden remarked that “it is wonderful to see continued national interest in BCLC’s service diversification, especially from progressive institutions like RULA. Through cooperation we are advancing together.”

About the BC Libraries Cooperative

The BC Libraries Cooperative (BCLC) is a national social enterprise with nearly 200 member libraries and related organizations across Canada. BCLC’s mission is to help libraries help people, by making it easier and more affordable for libraries to access the technology, ideas, content and expertise they need to deliver services to users. BCLC is a member-owned cooperative. All our services are optional – members choose to participate – and our democratic model means that every BCLC member has a voice in the decisions we make together. At BCLC, our members call the shots. When you become a member of BCLC, you’re investing in a library community that supports each other – and libraries working together are stronger. Visit for more information.

Media contacts:

Toronto Metropolitan University Library and Archives: Sara Allain, Communications Librarian T: 416 979-5000×4093. E:

BC Libraries Cooperative: Ben Hyman, Executive Director T: 1 855 383 5761 x1001 E:


Celebrate Aboriginal History Month with RULA!

bigaboriginallogoJune is National Aboriginal History Month!

The Library has been working hard to expand our collection of resources related to the first nations people of North America, including 100 DVDs. You can also check out the Library’s new Aboriginal Research portal to find books, articles, and community resources on aboriginal topics.

There are also dozens of events happening around the city to celebrate National Aboriginal History Month – check out this list from Muskrat Magazine as well as these Toronto Public Library events, taking place at branches across the city.

Ryerson Library at Doors Open TO!

The Toronto Metropolitan University Library & Archives (RULA) is pleased to be participating in Doors Open Toronto this Saturday & Sunday alongside our colleagues in the Student Learning Centre. Come check out our beautiful new building right at the corner of Yonge & Gould! Take a look at what we have in store for this weekend:

Saturday & Sunday, 10am-5pm

  • SLC508: History of Yonge & Gould and Ryerson on Film, 1955-1968
  • SLC515: Librarian Lego, mini-golf, & book sale
  • SLC516: RULA Projects and Posters

Scheduled tours of the building, Saturday and Sunday

  • 10:30am – 11:15am
  • 12:00pm – 12:45pm
  • 1:30 pm – 1:15pm
  • 3:00pm – 3:45pm
  • 4:30pm – 5:15pm

Saturday, 1-3pm

Researching Big Business Without Paying a Dime

Business research is challenging – the information available is vast, complex and frequently very expensive! Learn about resources that are free to use that can help you understand an industry or investigate a company’s history. Lucina has extensive knowledge of business research and can answer questions you may have about how to expand your own knowledge of Big Business, and how to interpret the wide web of business data out there.

Saturday, 3-5pm

Digital Media Experience Lab Artist-in-Residence Nathaniel Brunt

Nathaniel Brunt is a Canadian documentarian, digital content strategist and educator based in Toronto. His work focuses on the aftermath of conflict, trauma and the social and political problems that arise during this period. A graduate of Toronto Metropolitan University’s Arts and Contemporary Studies program and the University of Kent’s War, Media and Society program, Nathaniel is currently enrolled in the Communication and Culture joint program at York and Toronto Metropolitan University where he is also a special program instructor. In March 2013 he began a long-term photographic study of the Kashmir Valley, which led to the creation of The Country Without a Post Office in July 2014. Come by SLC516 to meet Nathaniel and hear more about his work at the intersection of technology, history, and the arts.

Sunday, 1-3pm

Innovating in the Library – RULA’s Phyllis Yaffe Library Innovation Student Scholar Presents Her Work

Over the past two semesters, Ryerson Architecture student Tiffany Cheng has worked alongside the Toronto Metropolitan University Library’s Information Technology team to brainstorm and implement innovative and exciting new projects within the Library. Her projects range from implementing 3D scanning for the exhibition Remembering the Real Winnie: The World’s Most Famous Bear Turns 100 to designing new spaces for the Digital Media Experience Lab as well as the Library’s 4th Floor Archives & Special Collections Project, as well as participating in the Yourfry Library Design Challenge. Come by SLC516 to meet Tiffany and hear about her exciting work in the Ryerson Library!

* Note that all rooms are located on the 5th floor of the Student Learning Centre.