CBU Librarian Wins National Award for Research Paper

A visit to the Cape Breton University Library offers a team ready to help students and faculty with their research projects, assisting with everything from gathering information and navigating technology, to citing sources and managing research data. Martin Chandler, Librarian for the School of Arts and Social Sciences, says that while most see the librarian as a research assistant, it’s a little-known fact that they, too, conduct research, publish papers and yes, even win awards.

“As a trained researcher, I’m not just eager to support the academic success of students and faculty, I also conduct my own research on information needs and use,” Martin explains. “One of my focus areas is maps as an information source.” He noticed a gap in the literature to direct the practice of retiring maps and decided to take a deep dive into best practices in managing map collections.

“Maps are a well-loved resource, but their function as an information source isn’t as obvious,” says Martin. “Further to this, how libraries and librarians make decisions about what is acquired or, in this case, retained or removed from a collection is regularly misinterpreted.”

Martin decided to accept the challenge of providing clarity to the practice of weeding map libraries. As he delved further into the study, he started to jot down ideas and shaped those into some guiding principles that might direct those tasked with weeding maps in an academic library. Martin summarized this into an article which he submitted to the Association of Canadian Map Libraries and Archives for publication.

“The article offers guidelines to new and middle-career map librarians who find themselves managing a collection,” explains Martin. “Not everyone who studies library science gains training in maps and GIS, nor do collection management courses often touch on these non-typical collections.” Martin says the article provides some direction to weeding maps at a time when academic libraries are short on space and under pressure to create more without expanding actual footprints.

Following publication this year, the paper was awarded the Cathy Moulder Paper Award from the Association of Canadian Map Libraries and Archives (ACMLA), Canada’s national map library association. Martin is the first person to receive this award since 2017, for his article titled: Academic Map Library Weeding – Thoughts and Guidelines Developed from Two Experiences

Congratulations to Martin Chandler for receiving this recognition! Martin has since been invited to present workshops with colleagues in Colorado and California.