Library Budgets in the News

Earlier this week, the news broke that Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) is reviewing 2,500 journals and looking for cost savings where possible. The response has been an outcry from the professoriate at MUN. We thought this was a good opportunity to discuss the collections budget at Ryerson.

Can we anticipate similar activities at Ryerson?

Yes, we can. Academic libraries across the country are enduring a budget crisis. The librarians at Ryerson have been diligently undertaking analysis of our collections to determine where we can find maximum savings with minimal effect on the community. Liaisons are working directly with their departments to keep faculty informed of developments that may affect them. If you are concerned about journals or databases specific to your area, please contact your liaison librarian.

Why are collections being targeted in budget reduction scenarios?

Along with all other departments on campus, the library has had to reduce its base budget for eight consecutive years. Sustaining journal subscriptions on an annual basis requires base funding. Given that our subscription costs have a standard inflation rate of 5-10% per year, this alone has created a difficult situation. Coupled with the historic low of the Canadian dollar – like MUN, the vast majority of our subscriptions are billed in US dollars – we find ourselves in an unprecedented situation, and must make difficult decisions. We simply cannot maintain our current levels of spending within the confines of our reduced budget allocation. Unless the Canadian dollar recovers, we can continue to expect the loss of access to some resources.

How can we maintain our reputation if we don’t have access to the latest research?  

Librarians are working hard to ensure that we are not sacrificing core journals. We also provide access to top-notch document delivery services, sometimes providing access to PDF articles held by other university libraries in your email in under 48 hours. In some cases, we are maintaining access to a journal via an aggregator database with embargoed access. These embargo periods are set by the publishers and are not within our control. We encourage faculty who may be on editorial boards address this issue and advocate for an end to embargoes and turn toward more progressive Open Access policies.

What can I do to prevent further cuts to the library budget?

Advocacy is key. As publishers reap profit margins of upwards of 40%, academic libraries simply cannot keep pace with the cost of subscriptions – and nor should we. As viable Open Access models emerge, we must band together and be forces for change. The Tri-Council agency has demonstrated leadership in this area with their new Open Access policy. This is the beginning of a sea change – we must be part of it and see the opportunity that has been presented in challenging circumstances.

Further reading:

Academic publishers reap huge profits as libraries go broke– CBC news, June 15, 2015

Academic publishers make Murdoch look like a socialist” – Guardian, August 29, 2011


Corrections made December 14, 2015:

  • Clarification that MUN is reviewing journals for cancellation but has not undertaken any cancellations as of this post.
  • Turnaround time for Document Delivery journals can be as quick as 48 hours.

Clear Fines & Return Overdue Items Before the Winter Break

Congratulations on completing the Fall term! This is a reminder to clear all outstanding fines and return overdue items by as soon as possible to ensure access to grades over the holiday break. Head to the renewals page or click on the orange Renew button on the Library homepage to see if you have overdue items or fines greater than $10.

All fines can be paid to the Library at the Circulation Desk, either by cash, debit, VISA, MasterCard, American Express or with your Ryerson OneCard. The Library also accepts payment by VISA, MasterCard, and American Express by phone – please call 416-979-5055 and select option 2.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact the Library Circulation Desk by email at or by phone at 416-979-5055.

Please note that the Library will operate on reduced hours starting Monday, December 14th. Check the Library website for all of our hours over the next two weeks.

From all of us here at RULA, thank you and we wish you a safe and happy winter break!

Lighting Outages in the Commons

The lights in the Commons Learning Lab – LIB272A – aren’t functioning.  Two electricians from Campus Facilities are on-site and are attempting to remedy this problem.  As they test the circuits to determine the source of the problem, lights in other areas of the Commons may be briefly impacted.  The electricians have indicated that these brief outages will be restricted to lights – computers and the release printers should not be impacted.

Apologies for any inconvenience.

GIS Day 2015 – Celebrate with us!



GIS Day 2015 at Ryerson – A Showcase of Geographic Information System Research and Applications

Ryerson students, faculty, staff, and the local community are invited to explore and celebrate Geographic Information Systems (GIS) research and applications. Keynote presentations will outline the pervasive use of geospatial data analysis and mapping in business, municipal government, and environmental applications. Research posters, software demos, and course projects will further illustrate the benefits of GIS across all sectors of society.


Date: Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Time: 1:00pm-5:00pm
Location: Library Building, LIB-489, 4th Floor, 350 Victoria Street


Schedule and Keynote Presentations:

1:00 pm  – Kick-off and welcome address (1:25 pm)

1:30 pm – Dr. Namrata Shrestha, Senior Landscape Ecologist, Toronto & Region Conservation Authority

2:00 pm –  Posters and demos

2:30 pm – Andrew Lyszkiewicz, Program Manager, Information & Technology Division, City of Toronto

3:00 pm – Posters and demos

3:30 pm – Matthew Cole, Manager, Business Geomatics, and William Davis, Cartographer and Data Analyst, The Toronto Star

4:00 pm – GIS Day cake

Research & project exhibits include:

Live demos:

  • The Neptis Geoweb (Neptis Foundation)
  • Augmented-reality sandbox (Digital Media Experience lab)
  • Scholars GeoPortal and Simply Map Canada (Geospatial Map and Data Centre)
  • Geovisualization projects (Master of Spatial Analysis students)


  • A selection of recent conference posters by Ryerson faculty and students
  • GIS application examples in the Toronto area
  • Geography Awareness Week and the BA in Geographic Analysis


Coffee/tea and snacks will be available throughout the afternoon.
Tweet @RyersonGeo, @RyersonLibrary

Contact: Claus Rinner <> or Dan Jakubek <>


Get a Free Toronto Public Library Card at Ryerson Library!

This Monday, November 2nd and Friday, November 6th, staff from Toronto Public Library (TPL) will be in the Library to sign students up for a Toronto Public Library card. The TPL booth will be set up from 1pm until 5pm both days.

All Ryerson students are eligible to get a TPL card. All you need is a valid One Card to sign up!

For more information on what TPL has to offer, check out our helpful guide to Toronto’s libraries.


Elevator Outage in the Library

CFS has informed us that one of the four elevators in the library is undergoing necessary repair work. The other three elevators will still be working, but may be slower than usual due to traffic.

The elevator is expected to return to full service no later than Tuesday, November 10, 2015.

Calling All Students! Applications Now Open for RULA-SAC 2015-2016

What is RULA-SAC?

The Ryerson University Library & Archives Student Advisory Committee (RULA-SAC) is designed to facilitate direct communication between the Library and the students it serves. The committee is comprised of students who are interested in enhancing Library resources, services and space, providing constructive feedback, and developing ideas for creating a better student experience at the Library. We welcome Undergraduate, Graduate and Continuing Education students to join!

When does it meet?

The Committee will meet at scheduled times during the Fall and Winter terms (see the list of dates, below). Membership is from November to March 2015-2016.

What will RULA-SAC members do?

  • Attend meetings
  • Provide a student perspective on Library resources and services
  • Participate in the development of surveys and other assessment tools

Who can join?

We encourage participation from undergraduates, graduate students, and CE students from across all disciplines. The committee will ideally have 15-20 members.

What’s in it for you?

  • Help improve the student experience at the Library!
  • Add to your resume!
  • Learn more about your Library!
  • Gain committee experience!
  • Meet new people!
  • Free dinner/lunch!!!


Wednesday November 25th, 2015.  4 pm – 6 pm

Session 1: “What’s the latest research saying about how you use the library?”

Tuesday January 19th, 2016. 2 pm – 4 pm

Session 2: Is everything really online? Share your thoughts about electronic resources e.g. eBooks, journal databases and more ….

Wednesday March 2nd, 2016. 2 pm – 4 pm

Session 3: Did you know that the Library brings you your on-line One Stop course readings? How can we improve this service? Did you know that copyright@ryerson has changed?

Deadline and Application

Fill out the application form here

The deadline for applications is Friday November 6, 2015. Successful candidates are expected to commit to attending meetings. This ensures consistency in committee membership. To be as inclusive as possible, and provide the opportunity to as many students as possible, the 2014-2015 committee will be comprised of students who have not been part of RULA-SAC in previous years.

Have More Questions? Please email (

Introducing Ryerson Library’s Open Access Wall of Fame

Ryerson Library is very proud to announce the inaugural inductees for the Library’s Open Access Wall of Fame!

The Wall of Fame honours researchers who have demonstrated a commitment to ensuring their research is open and available to all. Our aim is to acknowledge and support those who consider open access avenues when publishing their work. Open Access material is scholarly work that is made legally available with no restrictions so the anyone can access the full text.

This year’s inaugural inductees are Dr Harald Bauder and Dr Enza Gucciardi.

Portrait of Dr Harald BauderDr Bauder is the Academic Director of the Ryerson Centre for Immigration & Settlement and a graduate Professor in Immigration & Settlement Studies and the Department of Geography. Dr Bauder has been a long-time supporter of Open Access publishing, participating as both as writer and an editor. He was the editor of the journal ACME: An International e-Journal for Critical Geographies  for nearly a decade and also served as editor of the open-access book publisher Praxis (e)Press. Through Praxis (e)Press, Dr Bauder published the textbook Critical Geographies: A Collection of Readings with Salvatore Engel-di Mauro. In addition, as the inaugural Academic Director of the Ryerson Centre for Immigration and Settlement (RCIS), Dr Bauder founded and edited the open-access RCIS Discussion Paper Series and the RCIS Research Briefs. Other Open Access publication venues include Comparative Migration Studies, the CERIS Working Paper Series, and popular media, such as Open Democracy. For more information about Dr Bauder’s work, including links to his publications, please see his faculty page.

E. Guacciardi (2)Dr Gucciardi is an Associate Professor in the School of Nutrition and an Affiliate Scientist with the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute. She has written over a dozen publicly-accessible manuscripts on diabetes research. On the subject of open access, she writes:

I feel that everyone should have equitable access to publicly-funded research. Many libraries cannot purchase all of the journals available, particularly in less developed countries; thus, open access material helps to support research at all institutions worldwide. I also believe that publishing in open access journals will help attain a higher level of impact from greater numbers of citations. Ultimately, if all research is moved out from behind paywalls, our work can inspire broader collaboration, proliferate more research and potentially have greater benefits on society globally.

For more information about Dr Gucciardi’s work, including selected publications, please see her website.

Congratulations to Dr Bauder and Dr Gucciardi! Ryerson Library is honoured to have you as our first Open Access Wall of Fame inductees.

Cast Your Vote on Campus!

The federal election is coming up – don’t forget to cast your vote

When: October 5-8, from 10a.m. – 8p.m.
Where: Student Centre (55 Gould St.)

Students must be 18 years and over and a Canadian citizen to vote. You can register and vote at the polling stations – just show up with the proper ID requirements to vote. For more information, check out this valuable information on voting for students from Elections Canada.