Developing guidance for clients when performing or regulating work in the world’s nearshore and offshore environments requires access to up-to-date scientific knowledge. To support that client need, CSA provides its scientists with a full research library headed by a professional librarian.
This support is indispensable and contributes to the company’s high quality services, reports, surveys, and evaluation of environmental datasets. The collections of this marine and aquatic science library hold resources essential to the assessment of environmental impacts of offshore projects, such as those needed by government (e.g., agencies contributing to the management of resources and protected species) and industry (e.g., petroleum exploration, liquefied natural gas pipelines, dredging of ports, submarine cables, wind farms, other renewable ocean energy projects).
The CSA library has more than 50,000 electronic and hard copy documents, including books, journals, government documents, and invaluable “grey literature”. Grey literature is an important resource for scholarly research produced at all levels of government, academia, business, and industry that is not handled by commercial publishers; the CSA library collection is particularly strong in this area due to document collection dating back to the inception of the company (2020 marks CSA’s 50th Anniversary). Additionally, the library has electronic access to dozens of scientific and technical databases through Proquest Dialog, which provides direct access to research publications supporting the full diversity of CSA projects, well beyond simply Googling needed information.
CSA’s librarian, Kristen Metzger, has more than 40 years of experience in marine information management, scientific and technical database searching, and collection development. Keeping the scientific staff up to date on the latest available information is a priority task, as refereed journal articles are a prime source informing environmental assessment projects. CSA manages this information through the use of EndNote, a reference management software, under the direction of Ms. Metzger. She is a charter member of the International Association of Aquatic and Marine Science Libraries and Information Centers (IAMSLIC), formed in 1975 as an organization of librarians and information professionals involved in all aspects of aquatic and marine sciences and their allied disciplines. The association provides a forum to exchange and explore ideas and issues of mutual concern and greatly expands members access to the expertise of other library professionals and to publications of all kinds.
Cooperation and sharing of information is further enhanced by CSA’s membership in the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC), which has 18,000 member libraries from 123 countries sharing their library holdings records and working with other libraries in the international interlibrary loan system. CSA also holds an annual copyright license with the Copyright Clearance Center, consequently, CSA scientists are fully supported in the otherwise daunting task of staying current with the extremely fast pace of knowledge development in ocean science.