David Sharp, of Carleton University, Ottawa, tells us about his role within the academic society.

Bee in lavender field

I was born and raised in the Province of Ontario in Canada. I currently work in the Nation’s capital, Ottawa, where I work as the Head of Collections, E-Resources, and Serials (CES) at Carleton University Library. I have always worked as an academic librarian and, prior to my current position, I worked as a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Librarian, a Government Information Librarian, and as a Reference Librarian responsible for the subjects of geography and (for a while) the scientific branches of study.

Spotlight on a Librarian – David Sharp, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada

Despite the seeming and real differences between the various positions I have held, one interesting thing that links all of them was the influence open access initiatives exerted upon them. Open data, open government and open access to journals are all powerful drivers in these areas. It seems as if the more I changed positions and moved forward in my career, the more that the themes such as open access reoccurred as important issues.

Carleton University Library supports discovery in a number of ways. It is exciting time for us because on January 2nd of 2014 we launched our first discovery layer, opening up our local content, subscription content and open access content to our users in new and exciting ways. We also continue to support open access initiatives through the promotion of our institutional repository (called CURVE), through an open access author fund for our faculty and graduate student researchers, and through carefully considered collection development opportunities with our direct partners such as the Royal Society or, perhaps more often, through our participation in national or local consortia. The Canadian Knowledge Research Network (CRKN), for instance, just spearheaded a great initiative to increase electronic public access to the Canadian documentary heritage stored at our national library and archives. Carleton was fortunate to be able to participate, despite facing a challenging budget year.

Staying on top of the changing patterns of scholarly communication, and managing the costs of our resources, is and continues to be one of the greatest challenges in my current role. It is interesting to witness, and sometimes difficult to assess, how open access can shift the costs of publishing and purchasing in new ways. But all librarians, including me, have been given a real opportunity to help guide and communicate these changes. Now we have to continue to do it.


  • John Chambers

    John Chambers