Office of the University Librarian

About the Office of the University Librarian

Rebecca Graham | Barbara McDonald | Amanda Etches | MJ D'Elia | Kelly Bertrand

The University Librarian leads the library’s overall strategy and advances the organization’s engagement with the University’s academic and research pursuits. The Office of the University Librarian is located on the third floor of the McLaughlin Library.

Welcome to the McLaughlin Library!

The committed and talented staff in the McLaughlin Library work hard on your behalf to advance teaching, learning and research at the University of Guelph. We:

  • Provide convenient access to high quality scholarly information resources
  • Empower students, faculty and staff to find, evaluate and use information effectively
  • Offer learner-focused library services and facilities
  • Advise researchers as you create, curate and disseminate new digital knowledge
  • Welcome all types of learners, readers, dreamers, knowledge seekers, and knowledge creators

The McLaughlin Library opened 50 years ago this October. During that half-century traditional academic scholarly communication systems—developed over the course of 500 years—were thrown into turmoil. Books and journals, long the dominant knowledge containers, are now juxtaposed with new digital vessels, which publish research much, much faster. The next 50 years will see a new scholarly dissemination system emerge that ensures digital knowledge is created, disseminated and preserved for current and future knowledge seekers.

Libraries exist to help make the world a better place by advancing knowledge. Libraries inspire us to seek out new ways of thinking. At McLaughlin Library, our doors (physical and virtual), are open to inquiring minds seeking to read, learn, study, think, escape or dream.

Barbara McDonald
Acting University Librarian (2018/19)

September 2018

Rebecca GrahamRebecca Graham,  University Librarian (On leave)

Rebecca Graham joined U of G in 2012 from Harvard College Library in Cambridge Massachusetts, where she managed 12 library buildings and was responsible for a preservation and digitization program.

She began her Harvard tenure in 2003, as Associate Director for Library Operations at the Countway Library of Medicine where she had responsibility for access and technical services and collection development. During her time at Countway, Graham led the merger of service desks and the first-ever licensed resource collaboration among the libraries of the affiliated hospitals. She also served as a Co-Director of Countway with additional responsibilities for research and instruction, information technology, and administration before moving to the Harvard College Library (HCL) in 2006.

In the College Library, Rebecca served as the Associate Librarian for Preservation, Digitization and Administrative Services. Her portfolio included oversight of the Houghton Library as well as responsibility for communications, finance, human resources, information technology, operations & security, and conservation and digitization for both general and special collections. During her tenure, Graham brought greater emphasis to the customer service orientation of the HCL administrative units, contributed to the development of the multi-year collaborative digitization project with the National Library of China, provided leadership in the renovation of the Littauer Library as an interim location for the relocated Fine Arts Library, and served as a management representative to Harvard’s negotiations with the Harvard University Clerical and Technical Workers union.

Prior to Harvard, Graham’s academic library experience includes responsibilities for library IT and the digital library program at Johns Hopkins University. She served as the Interim Director and Program Associate for the Digital Library Federation (DLF) where she had responsibilities for project management on efforts related to authentication and authorization as well as the development of the Academic Image Cooperative. Rebecca was instrumental in the establishment of the well-attended DLF Forum Series. She served as Manager, Integrated Library Systems at the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign (UIUC) where she led the library’s campus-wide implementation of a new integrated library system.

Graham’s experience prior to receiving her MLS includes management of the Johnson County (Kansas) Public Library’s integrated library system, help desk manager and application programmer at the Springfield, Ohio Navistar manufacturing plant, and senior computer operator at Wright State University.

Graham earned a BS in organizational management at Wilberforce University, and an MS in library and information science from UIUC. She was a member of the inaugural cohort in the Association of Research Libraries Research Libraries Leadership Fellows (RLLF) program, designed to develop the leadership skills required for strategically managing large research libraries. Graham has been recognized by the UIUC Graduate School of Library and Information Science with both the Jane B. and Robert B. Downs Professional Promise Award and the Library School Alumni Association Leadership Award.


Barbara McDonald

Barbara McDonald, Acting University Librarian

Barbara McDonald holds an MLIS from Dalhousie and a BA (History/Canadian Studies) from Trent University. Before coming to Guelph in 2015, she worked at Memorial University (1990 – 2000), McMaster University (2000 – 2010) and Brock University (2010-2015). She has been an instruction librarian, Head of Lending Services, Head of Reference, Scholarly Communication Librarian, Head of Liaison, Associate University Librarian and Interim University Librarian.  

Since 2009 she has focused on open scholarship—working to understand the political, technical and economic challenges required to transform the scholarly publishing ecosystem into one which provides better access to knowledge. 


Amanda Etches

Amanda Etches, Associate University Librarian, Research

Amanda Etches is the Associate University Librarian, Research, at the University of Guelph McLaughlin Library. In this role, she taps into her background and interest in design, usability, and user experience to provide strategic leadership for the delivery of user-focused resources, services, and technologies in support of research, teaching, and learning. Etches has an MA in English Literature and a MISt in Library and Information Science, both from the University of Toronto. When she’s not at work, you can find Etches painting in her studio at home or out in the world with a pen and a sketchbook.


MJ D'Elia

M.J. D’Elia,

Acting Associate University Librarian, Academic (On Leave)

M.J. D’Elia is the Acting Associate University Librarian (Academic) at the University of Guelph McLaughlin Library. Along with the other members of the Library Executive Team, he provides strategic leadership and oversight for the library, including human resources planning, strategic priority setting, resource allocation, program assessment, and budget management.

In addition to his administrative responsibilities, M.J. often teaches an entrepreneurship course for the College of Business and Economics. This interactive course focuses on the entrepreneurial mindset, and encourages students to learn practices, habits, and tools used by serial entrepreneurs. With the intent of bringing the library world and startup community together he helped organize the first-ever Library-themed Startup Weekend. This event brought librarians, designers, developers and business minds together to pitch and prototype new library ideas in 54 hours.

M.J.’s research interests include applied creativity, design thinking, and business model design. Recently he completed the Association of Research Libraries Leadership Fellows Program.

When time permits M.J. doodles, plays with Lego and runs a small company that specializes in creative problem-solving. He has facilitated sessions with libraries and associations across the country, including University of Toronto Libraries, Association of Research Libraries, University of British Columbia Library and Niagara College. 


Kelly Bertrand

Kelly Bertrand, Director, Library Administration Services

Kelly Bertrand has over 25 years of financial and administrative experience, including the past 21-years at the University of Guelph. After a 13-year audit career in the federal government, private industry, and at the U of G, Bertrand took the position of Associate Director, Organizational Services in the Office of the CIO.

That position has morphed into his current role which includes providing administrative, facilities, financial, and human resources support to the library. For over a decade, Bertrand has also overseen areas such as communications, evaluation and analysis, and information technology. Bertrand has acquired significant experience in space and facilities planning and renewal, including chairing the Library Master Space Planning Project and as the key department lead in a recent 20 million dollar renovation. Bertrand is also the chair of the Professional Staff Association at U of G, which represents over 800 professional and managerial staff on campus.

In his spare time he has completed more than ten marathons, including four trips to the Boston Marathon. In order to give back to the University community that has provided him with a rewarding career and opportunities, he funds an annual scholarship for the Gryphon Cross Country Team.