"Before arriving at the Centre for Industrial Relations & Human Resources, I graduated with my MLIS from Western University. I have held positions as a librarian at the Prison for Women (Kingston); teaching in the Library Technician program in Cambrian College, Sudbury; Head of online cataloguing for the North Central Regional Library system; and cataloguer for UTLAS (University of Toronto Automated Library System). I joined the Jean and Dorothy Newman Industrial Relations Library (IRHR Library) in 1985 in a job-sharing position as a reference librarian and became the Head Librarian in 2008 after the retirements of two of the Centre’s outstanding Head Librarians, Elizabeth Perry, and Bruce Pearce.
Once upon a time the IRHR Library had its own online catalogue that could only be accessed via our website. When I became ‘Head Librarian’ -- I always joked ‘the only librarian’ -- we made our library collection easily accessible by joining the University of Toronto Libraries System (made up of 44 libraries) central catalogue – it now seems impossible that it could have been otherwise.
Bringing Work Study students to the IRHR Library in 2008 was a win-win for the library and the students. A big thank you goes out to those students, graduates of the Faculty of Information, as our library could not accomplish what it has without your work and collaboration – particularly on our website! We are proud of your career successes.
My passion has been our weekly newsletter and blog, the PWR: work&labour news&research which I have developed and edited for over 13 years. The goal of the newsletter was to keep students, alumni, faculty, and practitioners, across North America, up-to date in the latest issues and literature in the multidisciplinary field of Industrial Relations. The web was rich in information but not in organization, so our mission was discovery. The proliferation of websites, blogs, think tanks, academic research centres, and journalism was exciting, and it was our job to alert our readers to resources that were not easy to find nor published in the academic journals. We were loved by our readers, and they let us know it!
I met Vicki when I was checking out the CIRHR as a potential place to study. I was drawn by the warm welcome that I received from Vicki and the other library staff. This was a big factor in my decision to attend the CIRHR and her support has been immensely helpful in the pursuit of my degree. I wish Vicki all the best as she begins this new chapter!” -Jen Harmer, PhD Candidate