Joy Kirchner Honoured with CARL Award for Distinguished Service to Research Librarianship

From left to right: Gwen Bird, Joy Kirchner, and ProQuest representatives Tina Brown & Chris Burghardt
From left to right: Gwen Bird, Joy Kirchner, and ProQuest representatives Tina Brown & Chris Burghardt

June 1, 2023 – The Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) honoured Joy Kirchner with the CARL Award for Distinguished Service to Research Librarianship during its Annual General Meeting. This award, which is generously sponsored by ProQuest, is conferred annually to a Canadian individual who has served the profession with marked distinction and has made significant national and international contributions to research librarianship through their leadership and engagement.

Ms. Kirchner has served as Dean of Libraries at York University since 2015, where she runs a large and complex library operation. In this role, she initiated and co-chaired a joint Provost/VP Research Open Access Open Data Committee and her work led to a Senate-approved institutional open access policy at York in 2019, serving as an important model for other Canadian universities. She also refreshed the York Libraries strategic plan and restructured the organization to carry out the ambitious goals therein. Prior to joining York, Ms. Kirchner held a number of senior library leadership positions at several research-intensive Canadian and US universities.

Ms. Kirchner has also made a number of CARL contributions. She chaired the CARL Advancing Research Committee 2015-2017, and spearheaded the 2017 CARL Scholarly Communication Roadmap. She led a working group to create Canadian-specific resources on developing campus-wide open access policies, and published a series of related interviews for reference by other institutions. She currently chairs CARL’s Working Group on Open Educational Resources, and her work in this area was instrumental in creating the CARL Visiting Program Officer position for Open Education. The first ever national summit on OER strategy was also hosted by Ms. Kirchner at York in November 2022.

Ms. Kirchner served on the OCUL executive 2018-2021, where she was instrumental in conducting a governance review, and brought accessibility issues to the forefront. She also served on the SPARC Steering Committee 2019-2021, as well as on the ARL/CARL Joint Task Force on Marrakesh Treaty Implementation. In earlier positions at UBC and the University of Minnesota, she was a key leader and faculty member in the ACRL Scholarly Communications Roadshow. Her longtime leadership in scholarly communications and her involvement with SPARC brought OpenCon to Canada for the first time when it was hosted at York in 2018. In addition to the positions highlighted above, she has also served on the SPARC OER Advisory Board, the ARL Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, and the PKP Advisory Board.

“Joy has been a generous and kind collaborator. She is my contemporary and over the years she has unfailingly offered a willing and compassionate ear whenever I or others in our cohort have had challenging times. She has never failed to offer genuine words of kindness and encouragement when needed by her peers.” – Gwen Bird, Dean of Libraries, Simon Fraser University.

“Throughout an impressive career, Joy’s passion, motivation, and collaborative spirit have served to galvanize the Canadian as well as the North American research library community in its development of a rich and deep agenda for advancing the shared goals of Open Access and Open Education. On a personal level, Joy is a trust-builder, and has been a highly effective spokesperson for the deep value that libraries bring to the higher education landscape through their role supporting Open Access and Open Education in the academy.” – Beth Sandore Namachchivaya, University Librarian, University of Waterloo.

CARL would like to congratulate Ms. Kirchner and thank ProQuest for their generous ongoing support of the CARL Award.