TRU is in the process of formalizing a final strategic five-year plan for a new library development to house all academic references under one roof. The proposal is to convert the House of Learning into the primary TRU library instead of accommodating more than 400,000 books, numerous journals and online resources in two separate locations, one being the current TRU library building as well as the third floor of the House of Learning. A Steering Committee, made up of library staff and faculty, oversees the planning process.
University librarian Kathy Gaynor describes her ambitions for the plan, along with her experiences as a member of the Steering Committee, by consulting with various interest groups to identify the priorities that should be emphasized in the development.
“My primary goal is that when we do consolidate the two libraries into one, that it will be resourced appropriately; meaning to make sure we have more collections, be that books or journals that would be supportive of the teaching, learning and research that happens on campus,” she said. “We’ve been engaged in some deep consultations across campus as well up in Williams Lake; we held a series of focus groups, met with TRUSU caucus and spent two days up in Williams Lake talking to students, faculty and staff up there.”
Gaynor mentions how the Steering Committee is sifting through the survey responses as quickly as they can while and identifying strategic priorities. She aims to have the final document completed by late February to early March.
“There were many thoughtful and insightful comments and right now the strategic planning Steering Committee is sifting through that, identifying strategic priorities and we should have a document available for the campus by the end of February, hopefully, the beginning of March,” she said. “That will guide the next five years for us.”
Throughout October to December, the Steering Committee, with the aid of an external strategic planning consultant, gathered information and perspectives on the project by consulting with stakeholders directly along with disseminating surveys across campus.
“In addition to face-to-face conversations we sent out a series of surveys to the entire campus community,” Gaynor said. “We spent the last month or so going through all of that feedback and it was quite voluminous, I was pleased with the response we got.”
Implementation of the development is scheduled to commence in January, however, until the full revision of the final document is completed, the changes to library space, resources and services will have to wait. Considering her 20-year experience as a TRU librarian, Gaynor is realistic about the five-year project timeline.
“Five years is my goal, but I’m also realistic to know that every plan never works out as smoothly as you wish,” she said. “Should something happen unforeseen we might have to adjust our timeline, but I’m pushing for five years.”