Volume 19, Number 4 | December 2021
A red bird sits in a tree with a backdrop of snowy branches. Text overlay reads Happy holidays from the BC Electronic Library Network
In keeping with a BC ELN Office tradition of making a collective donation as a celebration of the season of giving, this year we chose to make a contribution to the Pacific Association of First Nations Women.
A Collective Vision for BC ELN Emerges
View of a valley surrounded by mountains from the vantage point of a platform.
Close to sixty BC ELN partner library directors, library staff, and BC ELN staff and steering committee members met virtually on December 2nd to kick off a four-part strategic planning process.

Led by a team of facilitators from HueLife, attendees spent the first day reviewing the BC ELN strategic planning survey results and staff SWOT review, and then identified trends in libraries using a wave metaphor.

Read the December 2nd Meeting Outcomes

Day 2 brought library directors, BC ELN staff, and steering committee members back together to engage in practical visioning. Guided by the question “What do we want to see in 3-5 years as a result of our united efforts?” attendees surfaced ten vision elements, including statements such as:
  • Sharing of knowledge and collective expertise
  • Strong, inclusive, and responsive engagement
  • Enhanced external partnerships

View the December 3rd Visioning Activity Outcomes

BC ELN will pick up these threads in the New Year to complete the strategic process on February 10th and 15th.

In session 3, partner library directors, BC ELN staff, and steering committee members will work together to identify underlying contradictions - essentially obstacles that could prevent the vision from becoming a reality. In session 4 the group will set clear directions for the consortium by answering the question: "What innovative, substantial actions will deal with the underlying contradictions and move us toward our vision?" The directions that emerge from this discussion will form the strategic foci for the next five years.
Celebrating Successes of 2021 and Counting Down to a New Year
Close up of a burning sparkler
Did you know: BC ELN was formed in 1989 out of the “Access for All” education strategy introduced by the Ministry of Advanced Education?

32 years later (!) BC ELN continues to bring partner libraries together to meet access and information needs of students, educators, and researchers in the province and beyond.

As the year winds down, we look back and celebrate some of BC ELN's 2021 highlights.
91,838 Visits Made to Arca in 2021

Arca collaborative repository saw close to 100,000 visits (the year's not over yet - we might get there!) in 2021 from 178 different countries around the globe. The most viewed item in Arca for 2021 was Behind Closed Doors: Stories from the Kamloops Indian Residential School.

1,533 More Students in the Province Now Have Access to WriteAway

Northern Lights College joined WriteAway in 2021, and now its 1,533 students and those at 18 other participating institutions have access to free, fast, and friendly writing support.

63% Increase in AskAway Usage in 20-21 Fiscal Year over Previous Year

A major story of 2020-2021 was the myriad ways virtual support services like AskAway helped students through the pandemic. While we continue to face uncertainties, AskAway remains a constant.

33 BC ELN Licenses Were Negotiated with Other Consortia and Groups

By standing shoulder to shoulder with other consortia to negotiate e-resource licenses, BC ELN taps into a broader pool of expertise and leverages higher subscription numbers to garner better discounts for partner libraries.

~5 Million Union Database Records Refreshed in Illume

With help from Illume libraries and Auto-Graphics, the Illume Support Centre cleaned and weeded a million records so that now item search and requesting is smoother than ever.

4 New Partnerships Formed

This year BC ELN partnered with the Irving K. Barber Library Centre at UBC to create a new support service for GLAM organizations, and forged new connections with DataBC, X̱wi7x̱wa Library, and Indigitization Program. Watch for more details about these last three partnerships coming soon!

3 Students Contributed to BC ELN Project Successes

BC ELN has had the pleasure of hosting three students this year: Elizabeth Pau from the Langara College Library & Information Technology Program, and Elizabeth Traylor and Jane Jun from the UBC iSchool. All have made significant contributions to BC ELN projects, and we've appreciated their work!

2 Librarians - Externally Funded Hired

This year Cristen Polley was hired as AskAway coordinator, and Myfanwy Postgate was hired as Illume Support Centre coordinator. They each bring a breadth of experience in their respective roles, and strengthen these service areas with their invaluable expertise.

And the #1 Top BC ELN Tweet is... A Bit of Arca Trivia!
Screengrab of the top tweet. Text reads #DYK “Barca” is the latin word for a treasure chest? Makes sense for Arca, BC’s Digital Repository! Check out Arca Actions & Achievements 2020 featuring photos from @VPL collections & spotlight on… [text cut off]
Icons of 10 holiday sweaters on a clothes line, with the name of a BC ELN staff person under each. The title over the image reads “Have a great break! From all of us at BC ELN.”
The BC ELN Office will be closed from Saturday December 25th to Monday January 3rd, 2022,
reopening on Tuesday January 4th. See you in the New Year!