The University Library is pleased to announce it is now accepting applications for the 2022 Open Educational Resources (OER) Grants. These grants are designed to encourage the creation and adoption of open educational resources.
OER are learning materials that are openly licensed, making them freely available to be adapted, copied, and shared. OER can be courses, modules, textbooks, multimedia, assessments, and supplementary materials.
The OER grants advance the University’s priorities to foster an innovation ecosystem, ensure excellence in student learning experiences, and build on the Library’s digital initiatives, expertise in Open Access and Open Education Resource publishing and dissemination, and academic priorities of access and openness.
Throughout the month of February we will be expanding our onsite access. The Library’s virtual and digital online resources and services remain available to meet the needs of students, faculty and researchers wherever you are located.
Please check back regularly for expanded onsite updates!
Visiting the Library:
Enter from the lower ground entrance of the Library Building (350 Victoria St. at the corner of Gould and Nelson Mandela Walkway). The main entrance (east entrance) is located on the 2nd floor of the building. Students, faculty and staff can also enter through the west entrance from the 2nd floor of the SLC.
To enter you must have:
Your OneCard and provide contact tracing information at doors
The Library is updating and renewing many of its learning and study spaces! Keep up to date with these exciting new developments!
Note: While the Library will continue to be open during the renovations, it may take longer to complete print pick up, scan and deliver, as well as any eReserve requests and retrievals.
Status: Two elevators finished and operating. Two elevators unavailable.
All four of the Library elevators are being refurbished. Two have been completed and are fully operating. Work on remaining two is still in progress.
Library 8th floor
New group study rooms are now complete on the Library’s 8th floor. These new study areas feature glass front walls and doors to improve sightlines and safety. Double glazed glass and sound insulation has been added to ensure limited noise transmission between rooms. All rooms have accessible doors and interiors and are equipped with monitors, white glass boards, and improved lighting. Thermal insulation has been added along the perimeter walls to reduce heat loss during colder months.
In addition to these new state-of-the art study rooms, new furniture will be installed in the individual open study areas. There is new carpet throughout the floor.
Library 6th and 7th floors
New furniture alert! Individual study “pods” are here! These semi-private study seats have replaced many of the dated study carrels. Pods are complete with charging modules and soft seating.
Library 4th floor
Status: Under construction – 4th Floor Quiet Study area unavailable at this time
The Library is expanding and revamping the 4th floor quiet study space. This natural light filled area will add additional academic study space seating which can be transformed and repurposed for Library programming and workshops. A fabulous new showcase Special Collections area and reading room will also be included in the renovation.
Ronald D. Besse Information and Learning Commons
The Ronald D. Besse Information and Learning Commons is now open! New floor installed and computer stations are back in place.
Refresh Project: Floors 5, 6, 7, 9 and 10
New flooring and paint has refreshed floors 5, 6, 7, 9 and 10!
The Library is very pleased to be launching the inaugural Virginia Edinger Walker University Library Research Award. This award recognizes student achievement in original research with a special focus on the critical use of library resources and research skills. Three awards of $2000 each are available and are open to students across all disciplines and areas of study. Applicants are asked to submit a long-form research paper, a short reflective essay regarding the research process, and a brief statement of support from the course instructor. For more information about the 2021/22 academic year application process, students should refer to the AwardSpring platform.
This award celebrates the legacy of Professor Virginia Edinger Walker, who taught art history at Ryerson for more than 20 years. It has been established by Petros Dratsidis, the love of her life and husband of 50 years, in recognition of her great respect for history, art history, books and libraries. Professor Walker’s dedication to her students exemplified her unflagging passion and commitment to scholarship and research, which Mr. Dratsidis is commemorating through this award to inspire future generations of scholars.
Professor Walker’s Ryerson career was hard earned; her life’s journey to academic distinction was a road constructed around many obstacles and frequent delays. Her Depression-era childhood in a struggling farm family in the U.S. Midwest, described in a brief memoir, is reminiscent of John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. It was a hardscrabble existence that delayed her school admission until she was nine years old.
In high school she was placed in a commercial stream rather than college prep as she wanted, a decision she ascribed to her working class roots. As a result, when she decided some years later that she wanted to attend university, she was required to complete a difficult pre-entrance year to prove her worth. She was eventually admitted to the University of California at Berkeley, from which she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master of Arts degree before moving to Toronto with her family in 1965. It was here, in 1969, that she met Mr. Dratsidis in a seminar while both were pursuing post-graduate studies at the University of Toronto. They were together until her passing in 2019, sharing a life full of passion and travel.
For several years after her arrival in Canada, Professor Walker taught part-time at York University and in the Fashion Department at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute, where she designed three courses (History of Art, History of Costume and History of Design). After she was hired full-time at Ryerson in 1980, she organized annual study tours for second-year students, with whom she visited museums, galleries and workplaces in London, Paris, Milan and Florence. Those students she encountered in later years often told Professor Walker of the deep impression those unique experiential learning opportunities left on their lives. The tours continued until her retirement in 1994. She spent many subsequent years as a docent at the Art Gallery of Ontario.
Professor Walker valued education; it had not come easily to her and she never took it for granted. She loved teaching and took a great interest in her students. To the end of her life, she continued her own education through research and extensive reading, developing an interest in world history in her later years.
It is important to Mr. Dratsidis to commemorate his wife’s legacy and passion for teaching and learning – indeed, for life. In creating this award at the Ryerson Library for original student scholarly, research and creative (SRC) work, it is his desire that Professor Walker’s contributions to the Toronto Metropolitan University academic community are not forgotten.
Copies of winning students’ work will be deposited in the University Library’s Digital Repository, an open access digital archive for the University’s research publications and output.
In addition, winning authors will be invited to present their work at an annual University Library event to recognize and celebrate outstanding student SRC achievement.
The Library is now open for study space bookings and print pick up.
Please note: when visiting the Library by appointment, students, researchers and instructors can enter at the lower ground entrance of the Library Building (350 Victoria St. at the corner of Gould and Nelson Mandela Walkway). Masks are required at all times. The Library remains closed to the general public. OneCard, health screening pass and proof of vaccination through the RyersonSafe App is required to enter the building.
In Spring 2021, the University Library introduced a pilot Research-in-Residence (LRiR) program designed to foster, enhance and expand its role as a centre of innovative and collaborative interdisciplinary SRC on campus.
This past fall, Assistant Professor Linda Zhang from the School of Interior Design was selected as the inaugural resident beginning January 10, 2022.
Zhang’s work focuses on innovation in community engagement methods, sustainable material fabrication, and visual data collection through architectural heritage technology (namely virtual reality, augmented reality, video games, 3D scanning and machine learning).
During her residency, Zhang will be working to further develop and build her research plan for her current projects, and to collaborate with the SRC expertise of librarians and other faculty from across campus.
“I am humbled and honored to be selected as the inaugural resident researcher,” says Zhang. “The university library has had such a remarkable impact on my career growth and trajectory since my first year at X University. Collaborating with the Library has propelled my research in ways I would have never imagined. I am so grateful to have this opportunity to delve in deeper within such a generative, innovative and experimental environment. I can’t wait to get started.”
Throughout the year, she will be conducting research on two existing projects, developing a research data management plan and providing open access for data collected.
While the technologies (VR, AR, video games and 3D scanning) she uses in her work have provided opportunities to explore new and more equitable methods for engaging in community research, they create new types of visual and spatial data not traditionally collected or considered in research.
This new type of data presents challenges and opportunities for innovation in research data collection as well as unique open access for datasets.
The LRiR program gives Zhang an ideal opportunity to further develop solutions for accessing, sharing and managing these types of datasets. Working with librarians and library staff, Zhang will explore the potential for the Library’s new digital repository in expanding access to this type of research, while also utilizing open access publishing tools to create opportunities for sharing more broadly.
In addition to her work with research data collection and open access, Zhang will utilize the Library’s newly installed 360 Immersion Studio to explore additional methods of working with and understanding data, as well as how to make data more accessible to a wider audience including community researchers.
“The Library’s Researcher in Residence program is an excellent new addition to the Library’s work in SRC innovation and capacity building,” says Chief Librarian, Carol Shepstone. “I am thrilled Linda is our first Researcher-in-Residence and I look forward to seeing what is possible through these kinds of deep research collaborations.”
Welcome to winter term 2022. Although we find ourselves starting another term virtually and with uncertainty, I know there is still the same anticipation of new classes, new ideas and new possibilities. The University Library remains committed to making sure you have what you need to succeed wherever you are located and however you reach out to us Whether you are a student looking for a safe study space, access to specialized equipment, or expert research help; or an instructor needing digital course readings, open textbook alternatives, or embedded research instruction from a librarian; or a researcher wanting to create a research data management plan, find advice on publication and dissemination, or join our interdisciplinary research collaboratory, the Library’s team of experts is here to collaborate and assist.
The Library has a robust digital infrastructure, and a team with considerable experience working in both virtual and in-person modes. We provide academic programming and services to suit the shifting environment — and do so with health and safety always in mind and in action.
We thank you for your patience with evolving health and safety protocols and for doing your part to help us keep everyone safe.
Wishing you all the very best for a successful 2022 full of learning, new possibilities and ideas.