Simon Lloyd

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Slide - 50 Years, 50 Voices - Simon Lloyd - 0:00
Simon Lloyd, I'm University Archivist and Special Collections Librarian,
here at UPEI Robertson Library, and I've been here since the summer of

Slide - Father Charlie and the New Faculty - 00:17 
I remember, just purely by chance I actually happened to start not too long
after president MacLauchlan began his time as UPEI President, and one of
the first things he did as president was arrange for Father Charlie
Cheverie to come and talk to new faculty hires. So I still vividly
remember—I think it would've been in August or September of '99—being
in the faculty lounge in Main Building, and Father Charlie coming to speak
with us, and just being so impressed with the level of enthusiasm for this
place, and the connection, and the passion, and the appreciation of the
heritage in the background too, like the fact that there were two
places—two forebearers—for UPEI; Saint Dunstan's University and Prince
of Wales—That stands out as well.

Slide - Our Heritage, SDU, PWC, UPEI - 01:15 
You know, sometimes when you talk about heritage you'd automatically think
about Saint Dunstan's University and Prince of Wales College, and as
important and valuable as that is; I think we should continue to do more to
recognize the University's own heritage—like, UPEI itself—and I do see
more, and more of that happening over the years, so I think that's very
encouraging, but on the other hand, I mean, we’re awfully lucky as a
place- the fact that there's so many people who we've been able to connect
with directly, who have a direct connection to Prince of Wales College, to
Saint Dunstan's University, to the early days of UPEI and then in some
cases all three. That's pretty fortunate.

Slide - Serving a Broader Community - 02:02
It was evident right off the bat that there was a really strong commitment
to the community—not just at Robertson Library, not just the campus
community, but—the Island community at large and I noticed—as I say—I
noticed that, literally almost from day 1 it was very evident in all
different kinds of way, you know, the way different people's questions were
responded to, and so- it was like an academic library but like a community
library at the same time. And I'm certainly wouldn't suggest that- you
know- some of the academics libraries I was familiar with—in Halifax, for
example—it's certainly not that they failed to serve a broader community,
but I just- I didn't get the sense of the same...sense of enthusiasm or
engagement for it that I got at Robertson Library right away, so I think
that's always—that spirit of outreach, I think—has always been there.
You know, the fact that we welcome those IB classes in for example, and
other classes as well; work being done to work with the panther academy
after school program students...Yeah, I mean, I could go on and on, I
think—as I say—I think that spirit of outreach has always been there at
the library, but the folks here are always trying to find new ways to
deliver that.

Slide - The Prince Edward Island Collection - 03:24 
The Prince Edward Island Collection, which is still our central and most
important special collection- you know, a huge percentage of the uses- of
the usage of that collection has always been off-campus users: Folks
elsewhere around the Island or further afield—and digitization has been a
huge thread in that, and you look at some of the numbers for some of the
digital collections, like Island Voices for example, the digitization of
Dutch Thompson's recordings; Island Newspapers—I mean, I think Island
Newspapers got-  you know, a million unique site visits last year—and-
you know, you talk about outreach- you know, the vast majority of that
outreach is people, in some cases who maybe even have never set foot on the
UPEI campus, and the realization that they're connecting with us, is really
exciting. So, yeah, those are thing- digitization—is not to say it's the
only thing—but it's a really important part of outreach, I think.

Slide - The beginnings of our digital outreach - 04:35 
I do think the digitization work we've done; starting with digitizing Saint
Dunstan's University materials, working with the SDU class of '54—back
for what was then their 50th anniversary, back in 2004—that was really
the seed of our digitization program, and that- again, was literally a type
of outreach in the sense of working with them to get support for the
project, but then outreach again in terms of sharing the results, and
that's been extremely valuable; working with the alumni, the SDU board of
governors; then continuing on building connections with the Prince of Wales
college alumni and digitizing material relating to Prince of Wales
College...They're working with UPEI alumni more in the future—it's
something that I hope we'll be able to do more of, and something that I
would really look forward to—but yeah, I think digitization—although it
brings challenges with it, you know, it's time consuming and expensive to
do, and we can't digitize everything—I think so long as we are able to
find ways to make projects work and you know really strategically target
high impact material the people feel a real sense of connection with, then
that would be a great opportunity—and as I say, in many ways, it's such a
terrific form of outreach, because people get something- you know, they see
it right there on their screen, you know- the pages- the pages of the
program of their graduation or graduation photographs  and so on I think
that's gonna be a real important thread of outreach going forward.

Slide - University Archives - 06:23 
I do think the university archives—as a collection, as a resource—is
really-I mean, it's essential in terms of connecting with alumni- I mean,
the displays we do at reunion weekend; the opportunities we have for people
to donate and share material—either loaned or donate—so that others can
see part of their time—part of that person's legacy—and their memories
from one of the three institutions. I'd like to see us continue to do that,
because people-... people tend to gravitate around tangible things; be it
an artifact, or a document, or a photograph, what have you—at the same
time, you know- there's lots- something I think we've more recently
realized is that there lots of very important intangible things—that is,
people's memories—and that's why it's great to see 'this' project
happening; to see the Saint Dunstan's University memories project
happening, and so on.

Slide - L.M. Montgomery Institute - 07:30 
From the Library’s perspective, and from the Special Collections
perspective, probably one of the biggest connections that’s really
flourished during the time that I've been here, has been the connection
with the L.M. Montgomery Institute—and of course, the institute goes back
to the early 1990’s—but, in the early 2000’s we really started to
build on that relationship—like obviously, the Prince Edward Island
Collection has always had a mandate to connect- to collect L.M. Montgomery
material—because of, obviously, a Prince Edward Island author and a very
successful one—but, she is such a unique and amazing phenomena that
within the scope of our normal Prince Edward Island collection development
activity, it would be, I would say, basically impossible to try to keep
pace with all the publication about Montgomery, be that variant editions
and translations of her work, and of course, the ever growing mass of
material about her- about her and about different aspects of her work—as
I say, it would just be impossible for us to properly reflect that within
the normal scope of PEI collection activity. So to make that connection
with the L.M. Montgomery Institute, and by extension, with scholars and
collectors of L.M. Montgomery material, and most notably Donna
Campbell—the donor of our Ryrie-Campbell collection—has been a pretty
amazing opportunity so we now have, you know- L.M. Montgomery research
collections, you know- a thousand unique items and counting—largely books
but also hundreds of periodical issues of course- artifacts and
memorabilia—that's been a really exciting thing to see continue to
develop and grow, and I think that's only going to continue- I mean,
there's no sign of interest in activity around L.M. Montgomery slacking,
and in fact, this past year we have seen quite an increase in Montgomery
related visits and so on, perhaps down to the—well, almost certainly down
to the success with 'Anne with an E'—but, there will always be—I
think—things like that happening for the foreseeable future—of course
this coming year there's another L.M. Montgomery conference here, where we
always see an uptick in L.M. Montgomery related questions and often
donations as well—so yeah, that's been really exciting and the tie-in and
the development of the initiative to provide the digital
portal—not to all of that material, again, you cannot digitize everything
but—to a very large percentage of it, has been really valuable, and
there's work going on now to promote that resource further
through social media, and so on, so, look forward to that growing as well.

Slide - The future of university archives and special collections - 10:42 
I do genuinely believe that the University needs to—and should—invest
more in its archive- in it's archives, in terms of mandate, mission,
funding, facilities, and so on; tied in with that, a records management
program—is a real need—because I remember, you know- talking- sorry, a
bit of a tangent, but I remember when I arrived at UPEI- you know, there
was a sense of dynamism and confidence then, but there was a sense that,
you know- 'oh, the place is still quite small, the place is still quite
young' and that is not the case anymore—I mean, yes- you know- strictly
speaking in the context of Canadian or North American universities, we are
small to medium- …small [laughs]. But, you know, we are not so small
anymore, and we are certainly not so young—50 years and counting- plus,
the legacies of Prince of Wales and Saint Dunstan's—so it is definitely
an urgent need, you know- the more the years go by, the more of the legacy
there is to preserve, and so that needs to be something that the university
really focuses on over the next 50 years, and I hope ways can be found—I
understand there's lots of demands and pulls on institutional budgets—but
I do think that's something the university will need to look at.

Slide - Affection, Connection and Respect - 12:14 
When you worked with the place for quite a while, you get a—I feel,
anyway—like a really strong sense of affection—which doesn't mean,
necessarily, that you love everything or every part of the
experience—but, it does mean- like I say- that there's just a
fundamental- I feel- kind of a fundamental level of connection, and
respect. I must say I do feel very fortunate to have landed here right at
the- sort of almost the turn of the millennia, so to speak, and a lot of
change came to UPEI in that—and continues to go on, but- you know—in
that first decade of the 2000’s—and again, you know- would I
necessarily agree with every decision or what have you? Not necessarily,
and it's not- you know- it's not UPEI rah-rah, all the time—but at the
same token, it has been exciting to see a lot of the things that happen;
the new programs, the new people that those programs have bought in; you
know- the growth in research and graduate programing—that's really
exciting to see—and I must say, you know I- President MacLauchlan used to
talk about 'defying gravity' and it did sort of- it did sort of seem like
that sometimes, like, when you look at the pressures that are there on
universities—especially universities in this region—and it's not to say
UPEI has gotten everything perfectly right, but on balance you know- like;
the way the university has bucked the trend of declining enrollment; the
way the university attracted so much investments in programming and
infrastructure through the—again—through the- especially, through the
early 2000’s. Yeah, it has been exciting to see, and even- you know, in a
small way, be a part of that.

Slide - Final Thoughts - 14:16 
No trite as it sounds, it is largely about people, so you- you get to know
people over time, and the sorts of things that they're working
on—something I feel really fortunate to have been able to do, that's
certainly not in any way library library specific, but—being a part of
the faculty association, you serve on certain campus committees and one of
them being the university review committee, which reviews tenure and
promotion files; and to get that deep immersion in what people are
doing—the teaching they're doing, the research they're doing—has just
been really awe inspiring, to be honest. There's just so many great minds
and great people on this campus and it's- yeah, honestly, it's been- it's-
I feel very privileged, very privileged.