Dr. John Archer Library to celebrate 50 years with Town Hall and Open House event

By Jon Tewksbury Posted: October 4, 2018 4:36 p.m.

Brett Waytuck, University Librarian, Dr. John Archer Library
Brett Waytuck, University Librarian, Dr. John Archer Library Photo by External Relations

In an era when people think that no one uses libraries anymore, Brett Waytuck and the Dr. John Archer Library team couldn’t disagree more, and the stats back them up. For the past 50 years, the Library has been the educational epicentre of the University of Regina, and on October 11 the library will be hosting a Town Hall and Open House in celebration of the historic building and all it has to offer.

“While the Library’s 50th anniversary is a very important milestone,” says Brett Waytuck, University Librarian, “our focus is really on what we do here, the incredible services we offer to thousands and thousands of students and other patrons each year.”

Last year alone, 630,349 people walked through the Dr. John Archer Library doors. 12,623 students and faculty members either attended an information literacy session in the Library or asked a librarian a question and got the in-person assistance they needed. 95,000 people used the Library website. And combined, the 12 Library study rooms were booked for over 28,800 hours of study time.

Those numbers don’t include the additional services that librarians and user services staff offer or the times people sit at their computers accessing material like sound recordings, films, and books through the Library’s online portal.

“Someone could be doing field work in Australia and still have access to all the resources the Library’s online portal has to offer,” says Waytuck, “so the Library’s 50th anniversary Open House is a way to showcase some of the exciting things that we’ve been doing and our exciting plans for the future.”

The University of Regina Students’ Union Textbooks for All program is just one of the recent initiatives that has been happening at the Library. Any student from any class can ask for a required textbook to be purchased and reserved in the Library. The book is then put on reserve so that the student doesn’t have to purchase the textbook. It’s a fascinating program and over 1,500 students have made use of Textbooks for All to date. Through the program, the Library has purchased 330 textbooks which have been circulated 7,600 times, speaking to the need for the student support programs being offered through the Library. They also have a huge resource of electronics like laptops and iPads that are popular loan items; so popular in fact that they circulated over 3,400 times last year.

Even with the success of current offerings, Waytuck and the Library team know there are other areas where they could provide added value, so they’re reaching out to hear from the end users themselves.

“We are here to support students, but also to support faculties and researchers,” says Waytuck, “We also want to get input into how we do that, so as people tour the Library during the Open House they can let us know what other services they’d like to see us develop.”

One new pilot program recently developed by the Library will provide a personal librarian for every self-identified Indigenous student on campus.

“That’s an example of one of the ways we’re looking to reach out and support people,” says Waytuck, “and what prompted things like that was realizing that in First Nations’ culture, libraries reside within the Elders.”

Waytuck says that staff at Dr. John Archer Library have always looked at things that way, and that the Library is about so much more than just books and shelves. “The librarians and staff who work here are really the heart and soul of the place and that’s really what makes it run. It goes beyond the computers and the study rooms and the books sitting on the shelf; it’s the people behind all of those services. That’s the Archer Library.”

Dr. John Archer Library 50th Anniversary Celebration

Thursday, October 11, 2018
Dr. John Archer Library
Town Hall: 10:00 - 10:30 a.m.
Come and Go Open House: 10:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. (tours, demos, refreshments, and prizes.)