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Bringing Libraries to Life in Saskatoon

With over 30 years of experience working in academic, public, school and special libraries, Dr. Donna Brockmeyer owns the service and does the primary consulting. Brockmeyer Library Consulting has started operations in Saskatoon to meet the new and evolving needs of libraries, librarians and individuals. To meet client expectations, she works with all stakeholders as well as with experts both within the library and the community. She believes that we are all called now to plan together, work together and grow together, in a just and fair way, because we are all in this together. For more information, connect with Donna here.

Dr. Donna Brockmeyer Resume

Library Leadership

My doctoral degree examined leadership, administration and policy within a variety of educational settings, for those from childhood onward, including life-long learning. It included the exploration of types of leadership and governance models, ethics in educational leadership, and the purpose and the social construction of educational policy within various institutions. In that, it explored issues of race, class, gender, disparity suffered by the disadvantaged, and the educational and creative needs from childhood to adulthood within public educational institutions.

The purpose of my dissertation was to capture, describe and interpret an adult educational leadership institute that moves learners in an emotional, soulful and spiritual way. This research was explored within an adult education framework. It indicated that soul in education is nurtured through: relationships with mentors, peers and the self to enhance a feeling of self-respect; the creation and experience of a caring community; the recognition and honoring of different faith communities; equiable opportunities for those from different economic backgrounds; the opportunity for creativity and the use of the imagination; and, the critical importance of feeling a sense of belonging to a community in a meaningful way.  The book "On Sibyl's Shoulders: Seeking Soul in Library Leadership" was premised upon this research.

 

Areas of Expertise

  • Library Buildings and Design: St. Thomas More College Shannon Library won  the Saskatoon Municipal Heritage Award in the Sensitive Addition Category (2018) for the North Library Expansion. Working closely with the architects, Edwards Edwards McEwan, who created the foot-print and foundational design, I then created my own vision of the interior of the library based on a bronze coloured, Romanesque / Renaissance theme with a barrel vault ceiling, large orbital chandeliers, over-sized large doorways to allow the transference of light, a curved glass curtain wall, and a fireplace. The bronze colour was chosen based on the three sets of bronze doors designed by Lionel Thomas which are at the College. I studied Library Buildings in graduate school and later travelled throughout 14 countries in Western Europe, visiting the Bodleian Library at Oxford University, the National Libraries of Britain, Austria and Spain, the ancient scroll library at Ephesus, Turkey, the older Vatican library in Rome, and the Canadian Embassy Library in Paris, to name a few. I also visited many of the great libraries in Canada and the United States. My first-hand experience and extensive study and travel have informed my understanding of both the process and the product of academic, public, and special libraries. In designing a library, or even a special room within a library, I believe strongly that it is critical to begin from the point of what already exists in terms of library purpose, institutional leadership and cultural values, and then build a library that is consistent with, and specific to, those founding parameters. At the current time of COVID 19, I think the library can, from a distance, initiate a new program to bring the citizens of thier communities and especially those tucked away in retirement homes, a sense of expression and belonging. 
  • Advocate for Indigenous Resources: I have  been involved with the  indigenous community for over 30 years. I worked with an Indigenous Cree elder, Librarian Ernie Ingles (RIP) to launch a leadership institute called Northern Exposure to Leadership, which incorporates a Cree blanketing ceremony, story-telling and soul centered, humanistic leadership.  I collect Indigenous art and created Of Birch and Bison at St. Thomas More College, which was an exhibition of my personal art collection. I installed an educational ‘poster session’ on children in Residential Schools, and in doing so, reviewed the Report on the National Inquiry on Reconciliation. I am familiar with Indigenous literature, including research resources, fiction, non-fiction, children’s books, and graphic novels. I have supported the now well-known artist Kevin Peeace since the year 2000, and commissioned an art piece that has been donated to the Oskayak High-school on Broadway Ave in Saskatoon.
  • Special Collections: I am very interested in rare books, special collections and archival collections. For example, the Hinz / Teunissen Memorial Collection in 20th Century Literature specialing in Anaïs Nin was donated to St. Thomas More College by Dr. John Teunissen at the passing of his wife, Dr. Evelyn Hinz. This Collection in particular includes books, manuscripts, correspondence, photographs, audiotapes and many original documents relating to Anaïs Nin, Henry Miller, D.H. Lawrence and other writers and figures of the day, as well as the work of Dr. Hinz. Drs. Hinz and Teunissen have roots in Saskatchewan, met at St. Thomas More College and taught at the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Manitoba. In this case, I recognized the unique nature of the collection itself, as well as the value it inherently holds for the academic community and the community of readers who are interested in an emergent genre of writing in the early 20th century. I hope to continue to do research in this area.

  • Local History: I am a strong advocate of the role of libraries in preserving, retaining and sharing historical information for use to researchers, organizational and community developers, and citizens at large. Similar to the collection above, easy access to a large variety of records is essential, including - but not limited to: books; manuscripts; local historical documents; local art in a variety of forms; community and individual histories; photographs; maps; and other forms of relia. The Library can, and should be, a core asset and resource for everyone and anyone to use in order to enhance and inform their opinions, engage in democracy, and embrace their citizenship.
  • Leadership within Librarianship: I was an early founding member of Northern Exposure to Leadership, an Institute by and for Canadian library leaders.

  • Library Networks: I initiated the amalgamation of St. Thomas More College Shannon Library Catalogue with that if the University of Saskatchewan Library. In the early 1990s, I was also the founding Coordinator for NEOS, a 20 + member library consortium in Edmonton, AB and surrounding area.

  • Public Library Advocacy and Support: I have spoken at national library conferences on the importance and future of the public library and wrote an appeal to the citizens reading the Saskatoon Star Phoenix and the Regina Leader Post regarding new, much needed libraries in both cities.

  • Library Donor Development and Recognition: I have roots in Saskatchewan, both Regina and Saskatoon, and has had some success in donor development in these regions. I also assisted to acquire the initial and ongoing funding for a leadership institute, now in its 25th year.

  • Documentary Film Making: I studied TV, Radio and Documentary Film Making and have an ongoing interest in these areas; I also have skills in interviewing others.

 

Testimonials

 

Tribute: Dr. Donna Brockmeyer,  written by: Donna Canevari de Paredes, Librarian, U of S, February 18, 2020:

 

  • "Donna Brockmeyer has shown her dedication to St. Thomas More’s Shannon Library in so many ways throughout her years as the Library Director.  As an experienced librarian practitioner-scholar with total commitment to the STM Library, Donna has been an innovator with regard to the Library’s collections and to the Library as place.  Her initiative and leadership toward the 2003 amalgamation of STM Library resources into the University Library Catalogue was a historic achievement that not only increased use of the STM library collection, but also highlighted the prominence of the Library and its distinctive liberal arts holdings more generally, both within USASK and beyond.  It is notable that Donna chose to focus on the Dr. Evelyn Hinz/Dr. John Teunissen Collection in 20th Century Literature -- the Anais Nin Collection, housed within Shannon Library, during her 2013-2014 sabbatical.  That sabbatical gave her the opportunity to research, discover, appreciate, and highlight for future research, a unique STM Library treasure.  The 2000 renovation, which provided a computer lab addition within Shannon Library, was also an important advance that made the Library yet more attractive and accessible for library research and study.  The essence and epitome of Donna Brockmeyer’s vision, leadership, and dedication is the recently completed expansion and renovation of the Shannon Library.  Through her foresight, planning, and constant attention to detail, that Library project--approved by the STM Board in 2015 and designed and renovated under her direction in 2016-2017—has transformed the Library into a place of award-winning beauty for study and scholarship, and the nucleus of the College.  Further, it is lasting proof of the commitment and accomplishments of Dr. Donna Brockmeyer as STM Library Director."  

 

Tribute: Dr. Donna Brockmeyer,  written by: Chris Adams, Librarian, U of S, February 18, 2020:

 

If one could step back through the last 20 years as you enter St. Thomas More’s Shannon Library, and see what the Library used to be, while at the same time see what it has become, what would jump out at you??

  • To your right, a small computer lab for individual student use complete with the technology including a data projector for teaching purposes
  • In front of you at the circulation counter a fully automated catalogue of Shannon Library’s own holdings and which is dovetailed as a “joint catalogue” and as such fully integrated with the larger University of Saskatchewan Library Catalogue with its holdings, circulation and cataloguing functionality…
  • Thus bringing STM Library and its collection into 21st century state-of-art accessibility by a remarkably generous agreement between administrators of STM, and the Directors of Shannon Library and University of Saskatchewan Libraries. This was brought to fruition after 10 years of discussion and negotiation between the two organizations.
  • In front of you a wonderful black-white checkered flooring stretching all the way to back… providing a worldly European-Dutch feeling ala Vermeer for contemplative study.
  • It’s at the back that you now see gorgeous custom cabinetry internally-lit shelving units featuring displays of  STM Faculty publications as well as some of Shannon Library’s unique rare books from its own small but select Special Collections.
  • In browsing the book collection you might even notice that some of these some unique items relate to the lives of Anais Nin, Henry Miller and even D.H. Lawrence as contributed by its distinguished alumni faculty, Dr. Evelyn Hinz and Dr. John Teunissen which was the focus of Donna's research.
  • Turning to the left, you pass through the former exterior wall of the building into the curved addition with its fireplace and floor-to-ceiling windows providing natural light to those seated in the comfortable leather reading chairs or working at the customized tables.
  • The Museum of Antiquities cabinets of coins and its bust of Constantine the Great collaborated with Shannon Library to give this such a sophisticated, warm and yet enlightened space to read, write and relax.

So as you stand here before these windows you turn and look back at this lovely tribute to academia and its users – students, staff and its faculty – you realize that none of this would have been possible without the vision, drive, and dedication of Dr. Donna Brockmeyer, Director of Shannon Library. All of this, and more, were achieved under her 20 plus year tenure as the sole Librarian for, and Director of, STM’s Shannon Library.

 

 

 

 

 

INFORMATION

Brockmeyer Library Consulting

Phone: 306-230-1272

Email: donna.brockmeyer@me.com

hours

Hours available upon necessity based upon requirements and location of services.

SERVICE AREA

Saskatoon and Area; National

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