October Member Profile: Douglas Fox


October’s Member Profile is of Douglas Fox, Systems Librarian at Victoria University Library in Toronto.


photo of Doug

What are you reading right now? What is it about?

I just finished The Paragon Hotel, a mystery novel. The central figure is a gun moll who flees Harlem and ends up at an all-Black hotel in a deeply racist Portland Oregon in 1921. Great summer read. Currently, I’m reading the new papal encyclical, Fratelli tutti.

What is your motto?

Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. – Jack Layton (1950-2011)

Tell us about someone whose work you admire.

It’s hard to single one person out! I work with such talented and passionate colleagues, including IT professionals, library leaders and archivists. However, I have a particular admiration for the work of the reference and instruction librarians at Victoria. They are so knowledgeable and hard-working, and constantly have to re-invent themselves to address the needs of students and faculty — most recently by moving to an all-online format. Their work is key to the library’s role of fostering scholarship.

What are you most excited to be working on right now?

It is work that has been put on pause due to Covid — our digitization program. I train people to digitize and describe selected materials from our extensive special collections. I’m taking this hiatus as an opportunity to redevelop my instructional materials so that we can gear back up quickly when we re-launch the program. I’m also learning a few new skills, since initially I will have to do most of the instruction remotely.

What made you decide to join CAPAL?

As a Saskatchewan native, I have always believed in co-operatives! I see CAPAL as a great chance to use my skills for the benefit of my professional community. I’ve served on the IT side, and also with the Membership Committee and on the Board.