FIMS Profile

Joyce Garnett

About Me

Joyce C. Garnett, BSc, MLS (McGill)

University Librarian Emeritus, Western Libraries 

Lecturer, Faculty of Information and Media Studies

I have decades of experience as librarian and library administrator in the public and private sectors.  From 1998 to 2013, I was University Librarian at Western University, accountable to the Provost and Vice-President (Academic) for the Libraries and the Archives, the latter established during my tenure. I was truly privileged to be University Librarian at Western where libraries are much appreciated and well-supported, and where librarians and staff have a strong commitment to customer service.

From 1991 to 1998, I was at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario: initially as Director of the Library, accountable to the Vice-President (Academic) for the J.N. Desmarais Library and the University Archives (established during my tenure), and subsequently as Executive Director of Advancement accountable to the President for Alumni Relations, Communications and Development (aka Fund Raising), and leadership for the University’s Capital Campaign.

Prior to Laurentian, I was Area Librarian for Science and Engineering at McGill University (accountable to the Director of Libraries for a group of sci-tech branch libraries), Chief Librarian at Pratt & Whitney Canada (accountable to the Vice-President of Engineering for P&WC’s corporate/special library), and Reference Librarian in first the Medical Library and then the Engineering Library at McGill University (applying my BSc and MLS degrees from McGill).   And even earlier in time, I was a student assistant during high school at my local public library branch in Montreal.  In summary, I have experienced public, special, and university libraries (small and large), and can state with confidence that I appreciate and value the academic environment.


I have many years of university teaching experience in the areas of information retrieval, scholarly communication, and scientific research resources, and have been teaching the Academic Libraries course (in-person and online) in the MLIS program at FIMS since 1999; I have introduced changes in course content and delivery over the years based on student feedback, and will continue to do so.  I have also developed and delivered undergraduate and graduate courses at Concordia University, McGill University, Laurentian University, and the University of British Columbia.  I am particularly interested in the impact of the digital library on research, teaching and learning; in the role of technology in transforming information access and communication; and in the emergence of information literacy as a core competency for 21st century graduates.


Throughout my career, I have been active in professional associations with contributions at the local, provincial, national and international levels.  I held leadership positions with the Special Libraries Association (SLA) as Chapter President (Eastern Canada) and Division Secretary (SciTech), the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL) as Chair and Board member, the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) as President and Board member, the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) as Board member, and the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) as Board member, and was elected to OCLC’s Global Council as a representative from Canada.

Academic libraries thrive and prosper because of extensive networking among institutions and individuals, and professional volunteer contributions. I encourage students to explore opportunities to be involved with library organizations, near and far, during your time in the MLIS program and as you enter the library field as a practitioner.