Taiga Forum 2015

Taiga 11 – October 29, 2015
Vancouver, British Columbia

10am – 4pm
Lillooet Room (301), Chapman Learning Commons, Irving K Barber Centre, University of British Columbia Vancouver Campus (map)

Breakfast will be available at 9am.

Transportation to UBC and the Irving K. Barber Centre

Public transit option – There is a direct bus from downtown Vancouver to the UBC campus. Total travel time including walking time is 45 minutes per Google. This map has directions that get you there in time for breakfast. The cash fare is $2.75; as per usual, exact change is required.

Taxi option – We have created a mailing list for all attendees. We suggest that those wishing to share a taxi from the Pinnacle or to the airport after the event self-organize via the list.

Uber option – Alas, there is no Uber option, yet.

This year’s theme –
Crossing the Table: Employee Relations Issues in Libraries

The Taiga Forum, held annually in conjunction with the DLF Forum, is a place to facilitate a robust community of practice for academic library leaders who cross traditional organizational boundaries to focus on creating the future within our organizations. The 2015 event will be a conversation about employee relations in libraries.

Employee relations in higher education can be a difficult maze of interrelated policies and issues that can involve multiple library and campus groups, as well as the relationships between these groups. Academic library leaders must envision and lead change in library services and staffing, negotiate complex issues with labor unions and other employee associations, effectively place the library staffing model within the campus research and teaching culture, and do all of this while strengthening employee morale and engagement and promoting a culture that values all levels of staff.

The Taiga Forum, following the DLF Forum in Vancouver, will feature expert speakers and open, honest discussion of challenges and strategies for these types of employee relations issues, including evolving staffing models, changes in promotion and tenure models for librarians, and working with unions and employee associations. The conversations will focus both on staff and on librarians, and on productive ways to work with each and to bridge the gap between them.

In addition, we will ask willing participants to share their own employee relations experiences and tips in lightning talk-style presentations. Come learn and share your own experiences with how these issues affect academic libraries, and what tools you can employ as a current or aspiring academic library leader to effectively navigate challenging employee relations matters.


9:00am Light breakfast
10:00 Welcome
10:15 Introductions
10:30 Keynote – Gwen Bird, Dean of Library Services and University Librarian, Simon Fraser University
11:00 Lightning talks
12:00 Lunch & discussion
1:00 Lightning talks, continued
1:30 Group discussions
2:45 Close – Jennifer Vinopal, Librarian for Digital Scholarship Initiatives, New York University
3:30 Wrap-up

Registration has now closed.

About “Gentle Disturbances”

The title of our new blog, “Gentle Disturbances”, is a tribute and a reference to the husband and wife artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s art consists of vast, temporary outdoor installations, such as the wrapping of the Reichstag in Berlin, the 24-mile Running Fence in Sonoma and Marin counties in California, and The Gates in New York City's Central Park. Christo has asserted that their art creates “gentle disturbances," designed to challenge traditional perceptions of the spaces and landscapes they inhabit. By encouraging viewers to see familiar landscapes in new ways, their art disrupts assumptions about permanence, ownership, and categorization.

While we claim none of the artistic or political impact of Christo and Jeanne-Claude, we hope that this blog and its many contributors will challenge us all to look at the landscape of academic libraries and higher education in new ways. We aspire to “gentle disturbances” of the kind that will lead to productive conversations and creative approaches to our common challenges.