Kathleen Scheaffer, Learning and Research Coordinator and Librarian, ICCIT, University of Toronto (U of T), works closely with faculty, researchers, professionals, students, and alumni to enrich research, teaching, and learning spaces and opportunities. At the forefront of all her endeavors is her commitment to establishing and reinforcing strong relationships with each other, ideas, and possibilities within and beyond the walls of the University.
Leveraging her unique experience and expertise in developing the Faculty of Information's co-curricular programming, iSkills, she, in consultation with community stakeholders, took the lead in developing the ICCIT Certificate of Completion in Media Skills curriculum and shepherding it through the governance process and into delivery. Kathleen is also deeply involved in lab space development, building partnerships, grant writing, as well as monitoring and managing graduate and undergraduate student projects.
Since 2015, Kathleen has served as a Digital Tattoo (DT) Strategic Co-Lead. In this position she works collaboratively with the other U of T and UBC team members to foster cross-institutional engagement in digital identity discussions. She and her colleagues at UBC, were awarded grants between 2017 - 2020 by the UBC Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund for their projects Your Professional Digital Identity [for Teacher Candidates] : Case Studies from the Digital Tattoo Project & Professional Digital Identity for Pharmacists: Case Studies from thte Digital Tattoo Project.
iRelax is U of T’s 1st secular, ethically and sustainably-sourced mindfulness resource area was developed by Kathleen as a result of her research, and in consultation and partnership with Faculty of Information community members. The goal of iRelax is to provide items to assist users with resilience, personal development, stress-reduction, and increased focus throughout the year as a means to facilitate the development and/or expansion of our community’s wellness toolkits and destigmatize mental health conversations. The first instance of iRelax was launched in the Inforum at the Faculty of Information in Fall 2016. Since then, it has served as a model for the Robarts Library Reflection Room, Vaughan Public Libraries Mindfulness, Meditation, and Relaxation Space, UTSC Library Mindfulness Space, the Gerstein Information and Science Centre Reflection Room
Kathleen is also a mindfulness teacher. As such, she has partnered with the UTM Health & Counselling Centre to offer all those who are interested to join her for mindful meditation sessions the first Friday of each month at 1pm EST on Instagram via the @utmhccwellness account.
SERVICE and LEADERSHIP
Having a strong sense of leadership and labour solidarity Kathleen currently serves that as the University of Toronto Faculty Association (UTFA) Policies for Librarians Chief Negotiator. She is invested in ensuring that the U of T librarians’ perspectives are represented and reverberated throughout the University. She serves in this position with a dedication to a collegial, diverse, transparent, and equitable future for academic librarians at the University of Toronto. After 40+ years of being frozen, the Policies for Librarians have been brought to the table for modernization to reflect our community’s priorities, the current academic landscape, and the pertinent roles of librarians within the University of Toronto.
In addition to the aforementioned leadership role, in 2019 she was appointed as the Interim Inforum Library Director, from 2018-2019 she served as the UTFA Vice-President Salary Benefits and Workload, and from 2016-2018 she served as the Chair of the UTFA Librarians Committee.
Kathleen’s research interests and pursuits stretch across an array of information studies topics, including: collaboration, social media, mobile phone usage, digital identity literacy, the changing role of the library within and information-based economy, and the intersection of mindfulness resources, spaces, and programs within universities and colleges. Her current research examines how practices of connection to ourselves, information, ideas, and each other in physical and digital environments can be shaped by concrete and emergent resources, spaces, programs, policies, terms, and guidelines.