CRKN is pleased to announce that the 2023 recipient of the Ron MacDonald Distinguished Service Award is Dana McFarland, Librarian and Coordinator, eResources and Scholarly Communication at Vancouver Island University (VIU). Ms. McFarland’s contributions to the Canadian academic library community will be celebrated at the Ron MacDonald Award Ceremony on October 5, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. PDT during CRKN’s Member Summit in Vancouver.
After completing her MA in History and MLIS at the University of British Columbia, Ms. McFarland began her library career at the same institution and then moved to Royal Roads University as the University Librarian. She served in this vital leadership role from 1997 to 2006 and also began her involvement in the Council of Prairie and Pacific University Libraries at this time, which ultimately culminated in receiving their Outstanding Contribution Award in 2018.
On a secondment from Royal Roads, Ms. McFarland served as librarian from 2006 to 2007 with Hul’qumi’num Treaty Group as it implemented its physical and electronic library. Following her secondment, she returned to Royal Roads as Director of Library and Learning Services until 2009, before moving on to her current position at VIU.
Ms. McFarland has played a pivotal role in CRKN’s heritage program serving two terms as Vice-Chair of the Preservation and Access Committee since it was first formed in 2018. She also served as inaugural Chair of the Canadiana Content Sub-Committee (CCSC) and has been instrumental in its creation and evolution. On the CCSC, she has provided the CRKN staff team with guidance and recommendations for developing and enhancing the Canadiana collections and implementing content development recommendations of the Heritage Content Priorities Task Group Report. Ms. McFarland’s dedicated service to CRKN has ensured a strong path forward for Canadiana as vital research infrastructure with content that showcases the diverse stories of Canada’s past.
At VIU and across the British Columbia library network, Ms. McFarland is regarded for her visionary leadership and willingness to support others. She has helped advance research data management (RDM) at other small and medium-sized libraries and worked closely with colleagues at VIU to implement the institution’s first RDM strategy. She has also been one of the early champions of a national PIDs strategy and advocated for accessible participation in the ORCID Canada Consortium (ORCID-CA).
Throughout Ms. McFarland’s work she demonstrates a commitment to reconciliation and Indigenous knowledge initiatives. With colleagues at VIU, she was a part of the creation of a guide for vendors to support decolonization efforts and ensure the respect of Indigenous communities’ cultural property.
“Dana has been a deeply thoughtful contributor to the Canadian academic library environment for many years. Her contributions span the areas of collections management, digital library services, and e-resource management, and she has had service and leadership roles in COPPUL, CRKN, and BC ELN during this time,” said Gwen Bird, University Librarian & Dean of Libraries, Simon Fraser University. “She has been a role model as a non-Indigenous librarian with a sustained commitment to reconciliation and decolonization since before most non-Indigenous colleagues were thinking about these issues. And she has the invaluable skill of being able to explain technical issues to all colleagues, including those with less in-depth knowledge of current technology. I’m delighted to see her receive this well-deserved award.”
“It’s an honour to be named this year’s recipient of the Ron MacDonald Distinguished Service Award and I want to thank the CRKN Board of Directors for this special recognition,” said Ms. McFarland. “The experiences I’ve had have been rewarding and memorable, and have given me the opportunity to work with and learn from people across Canada’s GLAM network. My hope for the future is that we can continue to build partnerships that reflect and draw from the strengths and diversity of our membership, and work together to transform and enrich Canada’s content, making it accessible for all.”
In addition to the contributions that Ms. McFarland has made and the projects she has coordinated, she is regarded by peers and colleagues as a leader with vast technical knowledge and invaluable interpersonal qualities. When engaging in committee work, she provides insightful feedback, applies an equity lens, and advocates for diversity and representation of communities.
On behalf of the CRKN Board of Directors, we congratulate Ms. McFarland on her achievements and thank her for her service to digital preservation, library services, and commitment to transforming and enriching content and making it accessible for all.
The award will be presented to Dana McFarland during CRKN’s Member Summit in Vancouver on October 5, 2023 at 5:30 p.m. PDT, at Coast Coal Harbour Vancouver Hotel by APA. All attendees are invited to join us at the reception to celebrate Ms. McFarland’s work.
About the Award
The Ron MacDonald Distinguished Service Award recognizes an individual from a CRKN member institution who has demonstrated vision, dedication, and outstanding service in building bridges and collaboration to advance knowledge infrastructure in Canada. This award was introduced by CRKN in September 2008 to honour the late Ron MacDonald who was a member of CRKN’s Negotiations Resource Team from February 2000 to July 2007 and who played a key role in establishing CRKN’s collaborative programs and services.