Taiga Forum at DLF 2015

A few notes from the 2015 DLF Forum in Vancouver BC.


  1. 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.
  2. Wrapping up the full day that was Taiga Forum 2015 is not an easy task. Rather than attempting to capture it all, here are a few thoughts that might provide a sense of what happened.

    First and foremost, thank you to everyone who made it out to the spectacular University of British Columbia campus and our sponsors - OCLC and Katherine Kott Consulting. And many thanks to DLF - their continued support allows us to hold these forums.

    Also, a big shout out to Allan Bell and the UBC Library forall their support and allowing us to use this room free of charge.

  3. The big question at Taiga as introduced by our moderator/@taiga4um steering committee member Dale Askey:

    “Crossing the Table is our theme, but it occurs to me thatone doesn't so much cross the table as slowly change position at it. At theoutset, one is low on the org chart. There's a supervisor, or two or three,between oneself and the UL or dean. As one takes on new positions, there arefewer instances, and the place at the table when it comes to personnel issuesevolves.

    Eventually, at the AUL/AD/UL/Dean level, one is squarely onthe side of the table from which good news and bad news emanates. On the upsidethis means that promotions, outstanding ratings, reorganizations are now partof your job. On the downside, it means that one must accept the role ofoccasionally being the bearer or even the agent of bad or difficult news.Anyone who says this comes easy or naturally is probably either lying or asociopath.

    In our orgs, there are precious few people with whom we canspeak about these matters. We have our boss, but their time is even morelimited than our own. We have our AUL/AD peers, but that's a small cohort, andwe have so much work to talk about. What we need is a peer network, either onour campus, or in our profession. This is the role that Taiga strives to fill.We are not here to prognosticate; we are here to learn from each other andsupport each other as we make these challenging transitions in our work lives.” -
  4. One thing we did early on was to setuout some social media rules of the road… some of what we set out to discuss could be taken out of context or otherwise misunderstood. In order to make the day a safe space for all to openly discuss their views, we asked that attendees ‘think twice’ before tweeting. That will at least in part help explain why the number of #Taiga2015 #TaigaForum posts are a bit thin. It was by design.
  5. Once we got going, the opening presentation was given by Gwen Bird - Dean of Library Services and University Librarian at Simon Fraser University

    “Employee Relations: a University Librarian’s View”
    —Gwen Bird,Dean of Libraries, Simon Fraser University