TRU opens doors to Community Scholars

By Dana Bach, TRU

As an open access research university, TRU (Thompson Rivers Universtity) prides itself on reducing barriers.

Which is why we are thrilled to announce that TRU has joined the Community Scholars Program, providing access for regional non-profit organizations and registered charities to the latest research.

In partnership with Simon Fraser University, and funded through the McConnell Foundation, TRU will support 20 community groups, granting access to 20,000 journal titles and ebooks. Access to scholarly research benefits non-profit and charitable organizations and the communities they serve by providing a tool for program development, policy advocacy, grant-writing and professional development. Through the Community Scholars Program, community groups can make research-informed decisions to improve practice, and to benefit grant applications.

Are you a representative of a non-profit organization or registered charity?

Non-profit organizations and registered charities will also be supported by Community Scholars Librarian Shane Neifer, who will work with participating groups to guide them through the information gathering process. Community Scholars will be able to retrieve scholarly publications from anywhere they have an internet connection.

The Community Scholars program is a perfect fit for TRU, which boasts a history of community-engaged research, said Kathy Gaynor, University Librarian.

“The social justice component of this program appeals to me because it reduces barriers,” Gaynor said. “We’re training our students to be critical thinkers, but then after graduation we send graduates out into the community to practice where they no longer have access to high caliber academic resources.”

While TRU’s library is open to the community, it is not always feasible for non-profit organizations to send a representative to campus to gather data, especially when many of its members volunteer their time, and may live in outlying areas.

“Adoption of this program opens one more door,” said Gaynor.

Access to scholarly research is largely restricted to academic researchers, and is mostly inaccessible to the more than 170,000 non-profit and charitable organizations in Canada doing critical work on social issues.

Qualifying Community Scholars will

• Work at a registered non-profit or charitable organization in the BC Interior

• Recognize the benefits of access to published research, analysis, publications on research methods, and/or reference works in their areas of work

• Agree to the Library’s Terms of Access

For more information go to: https://www.tru.ca/forms/library/community-scholars-program/

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