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v32#5 And They Were There: Reports of Meetings — 39th Annual Charleston Conference

by | Dec 4, 2020 | 0 comments


Column Editors:  Ramune K. Kubilius  (Galter Health Sciences Library & Learning Center, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine)  and Sever Bordeianu  (Head, Print Resources Section, University Libraries, MSC05 3020, 1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM  87131-0001;  Phone: 505-277-2645;  Fax: 505-277-9813) 

Issues in Book and Serial Acquisition, “The Time has Come … to Talk of Many Things!” Charleston Gaillard Center, Francis Marion Hotel, Embassy Suites Historic Downtown, and Courtyard Marriott Historic District — Charleston, SC, November 4-8, 2019

Charleston Conference Reports compiled by:  Ramune K. Kubilius  (Galter Health Sciences Library & Learning Center, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine) 

Column Editor’s Note:  Thanks to all of the Charleston Conference attendees who agreed to write short reports highlighting sessions they attended at the 2019 Charleston Conference.  Attempts were made to provide a broad coverage of sessions, but there are always more sessions than there are reporters.  Some presenters posted their slides and handouts in the online conference schedule.  Please visit the conference site, http://www.charlestonlibraryconference.com/, and link to selected videos, interviews, as well as to blog reports written by Charleston Conference blogger, Donald Hawkins.  The 2019 Charleston Conference Proceedings will be published in 2020, in partnership with Purdue University Presshttp://www.thepress.purdue.edu/series/charleston.

Even if not noted with the reports, videos of most sessions as well as other video offerings like the “Views from the Penthouse Suite” interviews are being posted to the Charleston Conference YouTube Channel as they are completed, and are sorted into playlists by date for ease of navigation.

In this issue of ATG you will find the fifth installment of 2019 conference reports.  The first four installments can be found in ATG v.32#1, February 2020, v.32#2, April 2020, v.32#3, June 2020, and v.32#4, September 2020We will continue to publish all of the reports received in upcoming print issues throughout the year. — RKK


AI, VR, and Other Interactive Content: How Libraries and Classrooms are Using Emerging Tech to Advance Knowledge — Presented by Douglas Ballman (USC Shoah Foundation), Dan Hawkins (The Citadel), Jolanda-Pieta (Joey) van Arnhem (College of Charleston) — https://sched.co/UXrv

Reported by Christine Fischer  (UNC Greensboro) 

Ballman described various applications of 360-degree video in sharing testimony on genocide through the platform of the USC Shoah Foundation and in their pilot collaborations with several museums through interactive biographies of survivors telling their own stories.  These virtual reality experiences tend to have a greater impact on empathy of the participants and on the educational process than other means of engagement.  In describing the makerspace at The Citadel, Hawkins told of the services being offered, equipment available, and how the makerspace fits with the library’s mission, including the value of offering students and faculty the opportunity to learn new technologies.  After defining augmented reality versus virtual reality, van Arnhem specified a variety of equipment, such as headsets, available for participating in the technology and considered how libraries may best choose what could work in their circumstances.  She showed a project developed by an art student.  All the speakers conveyed an energy and engagement with interactive content that confirmed the potential for use within the academic curriculum.

Communicating Collections: Strategies for Informing Library Stakeholders of Collections Budget & Management Decisions — Presented by John Abresch (University of South Florida), Laura Pascual (University of South Florida), Anna Seiffert (Colorado School of Mines) — https://sched.co/UXry

Reported by Chris Vidas  (Clemson University) 

It was enlightening to hear the perspectives of librarians from two very different institutions addressing unique problems regarding the ways in which libraries communicate with stakeholders, specifically surrounding collections decisions.  Abresch and Pascual discussed some of the findings from a survey of 25 academic libraries and how those institutions convey collection management decisions via their websites.  Pascual highlighted many of the hurdles that arise when attempting to share relevant details about building collections.  Not only is it complicated to reach the proper audience or to utilize an effective method for disseminating information, but it can be problematic to determine which details are most effective to share.  Ultimately, they concluded that information should be publicized, including collection development policies, e-resources decisions, and cancellation information.  The goal should be to become as transparent as possible.  Seiffert described a truly daunting situation at the Colorado School of Mines in which she initially had no formal liaison program, no communication with departments, and no feedback from faculty.  Using an array of usage and expenditure reports and by comparing data with peer institutions, she was eventually able to enhance the way in which she communicated with faculty, and she began to make inroads where they had not previously existed.  Her progress suggests that any communication void can be overcome with the proper data and when an appropriate outreach strategy is implemented in order to appeal to a specific audience, although it could vary between institutions.  Each of the presenters offered valuable details to help attendees improve the manner in which collections decisions are shared with all types of library stakeholders.

(The session’s slides can be found in Sched.)

A Comparison and Review of 17 E-Book Platforms — Presented by John Lavender (Lavender Consulting), Courtney McAllister (Yale University, Lillian Goldman Law Library) — https://sched.co/UXrg

Reported by Ramune K. Kubilius  (Northwestern University, Galter Health Sciences Library & Learning Center) 

McAllister provided a librarian’s perspective on eBook assessment criteria after Lavender reported on a study he undertook at the behest of the University of Michigan Press, with support from the Mellon Foundation.  (The presentation slides, attached in the SCHED provide much more granular detail that could not be appreciated in viewing presentation slides in the large session room).  Functionality, not content, was the focus of the study.  Some of the features sought and analyzed included: filtering, browsing, search prediction, highlighting of terms, ranking, indexing, downloading by chapter or book.  Not all eBook platforms licensed by (or familiar to) audience members were represented in this study, but it still served as a reminder to all that these platforms are scrutinized, analyzed, and compared against others.

(Lavender’s and McAllister’s slides are available in Sched.)

The time has come…for next generation open access models — Presented by Anneliese Taylor (University of California, San Francisco), Celeste Feather (LYRASIS), Kim Armstrong (Big Ten Academic Alliance), Sara Rouhi (Public Library of Science) — https://sched.co/UXrL

Reported by Lindsay Barnett  (Cushing/Whitney Medical Library, Yale University School of Medicine) 

This session explored multiple open access models, followed by a discussion of challenges and opportunities.  

Rouhi detailed specific challenges faced by native open access publishers, stating that flipping subscription dollars to open access funds is not possible for publishers with no subscription revenue.  The Public Library of Science (PLos) is considering new funding models such as bundled APCs and annual billing, moving away from individual APC transactions.  

Taylor listed negotiation with publishers on open access agreements as a core principle of University of California’s (UC) Call to Action.  She acknowledged that read and publish agreements disadvantage native open access publishers and central APC funding may influence where authors submit their articles.  UC San Francisco is in discussion with PLoS about a multi-payer model in which libraries and authors, through grant funds, share APC costs.

Feather noted the diversity of LYRASIS members in type, size, and goals.  An open access model must appeal to all members to be successful.  Consortia should develop diverse scenarios that fit each type of content and institution.  

Armstrong described the Big Ten Academic Alliance as 14 independent universities each with their own governing system.  Big Ten is taking a measured approach, working to understand institutional goals and exploring emerging models.  

(The session’s slides can be found in Sched.)


Down the Rabbit Hole We Go Again (the 19th Health Sciences Lively Lunchtime Discussion) — Presented by Susan K. Kendall (Michigan State University Libraries), Ramune Kubilius (Northwestern University), Sarah McClung (University of California, San Francisco), Jean Gudenas (Medical University of South Carolina), Rena Lubker (moderator, Medical University of South Carolina)  — https://sched.co/UYCv

:  This sponsored session took place off-site and was open to all. Registration was requested.  Wendy Bahnsen gave words of greeting from lunch sponsor, Rittenhouse Book Distributors.

Reported by Nathan Norris  (Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center) 

Lubker served as moderator for the session on “things that keep us up at night,” library expansions, and considerations for moving toward “read and publish” agreements.  To answer “what things keep us up at night,” Kendall concluded that our collections mix has become more complicated, and our users live in a “re-mix culture,” in which they desire a myriad of content re-use capabilities.  She discussed how assessment has become more sophisticated and referred to the Bibliomagician Blog, DORA, and principles of the Leiden Manifesto as contributors.  Kendall also asserted we must be flexible and rely on our values.  Kubilius provided the annual “Developments” update and handout containing the major events from the publishing world from the past year.  Gudenas described how she was able to quickly extend her subscriptions at the Medical University of South Carolina when her institution purchased four hospitals.  She contributed her success to effective communication.  Gudenas created ad hoc communication workflows and stressed the importance of including hospital administrators.  McClung reported on a unique scenario at the University of California, San Francisco, as a participant in the California Digital Library (CDL).  The faculty are particularly supportive of OA, and faculty have even been included in vendor negotiations there.  The CDL has signed a single “read and publish” agreement with Cambridge University Press.  While they have not yet been able to sign a similar agreement with Elsevier, McClung believes the CDL remains open.

(Kubilius’ handout is in the Galter IR, DOI 10.18131/g3-yvaf-3330 and will be deposited in the conference proceedings.)


Do the Right Thing: Sustainability, Values, and Streaming Video — Presented by Trey Shelton (University of Florida), Sarah McCleskey (Hofstra University), Alex Hoskyns-Abrahall (Bullfrog Films) — https://sched.co/UZR2

Reported by Christine Fischer  (UNC Greensboro) 

McCleskey described the need for budget predictability in an environment with many acquisition models for streaming content.  While tending to purchase life of file licenses, McCleskey pointed out the necessity of meeting the needs of the academic curriculum through purchasing one- or three-year licenses or subscriptions.  She seeks to contribute to the revenue stream for content creators and distributors.  Shelton stated that he prioritizes owning films in perpetuity, while acknowledging that libraries are faced with balancing between building a collection versus access and serving immediate academic needs; he stated that there is no clear path forward.  He touched on the issue of lack of metadata and the challenges of discovery for library users.  From the perspective of a film company and distributor, Hoskyns-Abrahall talked about filmmakers as activists and films creating change by educating the public.  The role of the distributor is getting films noticed through promotion and marketing, arranging for showings at film festivals, securing reviews, and curating collections.  Discussion with the audience touched on topics such as commercial streaming services that offer individual subscriptions and the question of use of those services in the classroom.

Let’s give them something to talk about… Textbook Affordability and OER — Presented by Derek Malone (University of North Alabama), Linda Colding (Florida Gulf Coast University), Jennifer L. Pate (University of North Alabama), Peggy Glatthaar (Florida Gulf Coast University) — https://sched.co/UZRl

Reported by Cori Wilhelm  (SUNY Canton)   

This session highlighted textbook affordability initiatives at two academic libraries.  Pate and Malone described an Alabama Commission on Higher Education state-funded grant which served as the springboard for both UNA’s textbook affordability project and an OER initiative.  Because there is not currently an OER for all courses, the library established a textbook reserve program, focusing on the highest enrollment classes when selecting textbooks for purchase.  At FCGU, librarians started a textbook affordability project focusing on loaning textbooks for courses with the highest DFW rates.  They also solicited student input — some creative takeaways include FGCU’s use of a whiteboard for student textbook purchase suggestions and an online fillable form for the same.  As Colding and Glatthaar explained, FGCU administration initially provided funding for the program, which has not been renewed.  This led to conversations about sustainability of textbook programs, and alternatives when there isn’t funding available.  

Audience members added much to the presentation by contributing questions and experiences from their own institutions, sparking lively discussion between the presenters and audience, and between audience members themselves.  Ideas were enthusiastically shared regarding using eBooks, how these programs work with existing courseware, and the sustainability of such textbook affordability initiatives.


Never Waste a Crisis: Re-imaging Interlibrary Loan as Part of the Resourcing Picture Presented by Rice Majors (University of California – Davis), Kelley Johnson (Griffith University) — https://sched.co/UXu9

Reported by Rob Tench  (Old Dominion University) 

The presenters expertly addressed two of the thorniest issues facing interlibrary loan/document delivery departments: migration to Tipasa and the effects of breaking a Big Deal.  Johnson outlined the step by step process her library undertook over three years to implement Tipasa.  Migration involved a lot of trial and error, an organizational restructure, and workers assuming new duties.  Policies had to be updated, software tools implemented, and multiple workarounds developed to meet users’ needs during the transition.  Among the many lessons learned were that disruption can be great when done right, assumptions should always be questioned, accountability needs to be built into the process, and failure is a learning opportunity.  Above all, she counseled the audience to be patient but mindful that the future is now.  In contrast, Majors and his team developed a plan to address the expected increased demand of ILL services as a result of the UC system cancelling Elsevier’s Science Direct.  Challenges included translating previous downloads of Science Direct articles into ILL requests, overcoming patron uncertainty about how to place ILL requests, developing patron support for the cancellation decision, coordinating requests across multiple campuses with divergent needs, providing 24/7 access in a Monday through Friday business model, and being copyright compliant.  To address these issues, a system-wide task force is looking at ways to enhance ILL operations with decisions being driven in large part by ILL usage.  Both presentations were outstanding — highly informative and extremely well received.

“…of research workflows – and changing roles – and the challenges it brings” — Presented by Anne Rauh (Syracuse University), Vincent Cassidy (Institution of Engineering and Technology), Emily Hart (Syracuse University), — https://sched.co/UXtZ

Reported by Lynnee Argabright  (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science) 

This session impressively approached author services from the perspective of a publisher — specifically, a society publisher — and a library in their efforts to become embedded throughout the researcher workflow. The presenters packed their slides full of valuable information and takeaways;  a favorite was a visualization showing where author services had been applied to the research workflow in the case of IET and Syracuse University LibraryCassidy rapidly explained six slides on a researcher usage study in six minutes, which was far too interesting to crush into that time, so individual review of the poster presentation slides (in Sched) and the video recording is highly recommended.  Syracuse librarians Hart and Rauh highlighted the value of shaping librarian roles based on their specialized skills rather than generalist support for a discipline. 

Overall, the presenters conveyed their roles’ challenges, efforts to learn, and processes decided upon to become supportive, competitive, and connected.  The changes both institutions rolled out can be models for turning a problem on its head, facing risk, and flexibly adapting to changing needs. 

(The session’s slides can be found in Sched.)

Trot So Quick:  Addressing Budgetary Changes — Presented by Jeff Bailey (Arkansas State), Star Holloway (Arkansas State) — https://sched.co/UXu3

Reported by Amy Lewontin (Snell Library Northeastern University)   

Library Director Bailey opened the session on budgetary changes, by letting the audience know he had been at the Library for ten years, and the changes he planned to outline in his talk were budgetary issues that he had been dealing with for the last year and a half.  Prior to 2019, his library had traditional library accounts, as well as funds from a library fee from enrollment of each student, which then became a smaller sum, as the university’s enrollment began to drop.  Some budgetary changes came quickly for their Library, presenting severe budgetary challenges, and both Bailey and Collection Management Librarian Holloway, gave a very thorough explanation of how they managed to cope with the changes.   These are challenges that many libraries face, they explained, and their experience could be considered drastic, but their strategies would most likely work for any library.  Arkansas State, when it began to suffer budget difficulties, hired an outside consultant to help the University find efficiencies, to cover their budget deficit.  One place the consultant identified was the Library, and its reduced spending suggested the University could save one million dollars a year, representing around a 34% budget cut for the Library.  Both Holloway and Bailey explained their efforts to work with the faculty and to gain input into the cuts and changes they needed to make.  They also asked departments if they could offer funds to retain items that might need to be cut.  They also discussed working with their Provost, about the decisions and making sure that everything they were doing was approved by the Provost’s office.  

Holloway went into useful detail on how journal packages were examined and trimmed, and  how their databases were reviewed.  They considered usability when making decisions on what to keep and conducted considerable overlap analysis, all of which were fruitful for the Library and then shared widely.  Noteworthy in the work that Arkansas State University’s Library did to achieve the necessary savings was the speed in which this all had to be accomplished.  Bailey closed the talk by acknowledging that the University’s administration developed a better understanding of the Library and its issues.  

(The session’s slides can be found in Sched.)

Preprints – Why Librarians Should Care — Presented by Susan K. Kendall (Michigan State University Libraries), Oya Y. Rieger (Ithaka S+R), Rachel Burley (Research Square), Jessica Polka (ASAPbio) — https://sched.co/UXtN

 Jessica Polka presented remotely.

Reported by Ramune K. Kubilius (Northwestern University, Galter Health Sciences Library & Learning Center) 

Polka reviewed categories of preprints and their benefits in providing: rapid dissemination, earlier, broader feedback, visibility — collaborator finding opportunities, institutional recognition (grants, jobs), reduced gatekeeping, broadened dissemination (e.g., negative results).  The biggest criticism?  No peer-review.  Burley spoke about the “In Review” option at Springer Nature (partnered with Research Square) being piloted by 17 BMC journals, which allows sharing and feedback to take place while an article goes through the editorial and peer review process.  Authors can see the peer review timeline, there is a preprint to publication continuum.  Kendall surveyed the 40 some preprint server landscape, remarking that many are scientific and non-profit.  Disciplines differ regarding fears of getting scooped and others exhibit slow adoption of: open access (chemists); preprints (health practitioners).  Librarians can help alleviate preprint confusion — pointing out check boxes in submission checklists, journal policies, and funder requirements.  Per Rieger, librarians should care — preprints ensure integrity and durability of scholarship.  View business models holistically.  Recognize that content is not homogenous: 20% (computer science) and 85% (materials science) preprints get published.  Confusion differentiating institutional repositories and preprint servers remains.  Technologies such as Open Science Framework OSF Preprints can make sharing easier.  Researchers and librarians prefer community driven options, expect transparency, stability, durability.  Advisory boards are optimal.  There are bad actors and, in general, there should be some information skepticism.


Beyond ROI: Expanding data analysis to develop a strategy for transformation — Presented by Matthew Wilmott (California Digital Library) — https://sched.co/UXuv

Reported by John Banionis  (Villanova University) 

Based on CDL’s strategic move towards transformative agreements, Wilmott explained his work supporting this initiative through the development of a data analysis tool incorporating article-level publication datasets from Web of Science (WoS), and article-level and journal-level OA status from DOAJ and Unpaywall.  However, due to gaps in coverage in WoS, Wilmott also developed publisher-specific scaling factors for the tool based on WoS coverage statements, Crossref article counts, previously observed publishing patterns, and cross-checking of publisher data.  This then allowed for an estimated calculation of University of California systemwide APC spend, which would be coupled with subscription spend and the other datapoints in the tool to generate transformative agreement models, which CDL would in turn propose to their publisher partners.  Wilmott stressed that this data analysis was critically necessary to provide confidence in CDL’s approach while conveying a compelling message to faculty and other stakeholders.  Recognizing that this process can be very time consuming, Wilmott encouraged attendees to use and adapt the tool (available at http://bit.ly/CDL_TA_Tools) for their own institutional analyses.

Resource Discovery in a Changing Content World — Presented by Christine Stohn (Ex Libris), Cynthia Schwarz (Temple University), Hannah McKelvey (Montana State University), Allen Jones (The New School), Rachelle McLain (Montana State University) — https://sched.co/UXus

Reported by Janice Adlington (McMaster University) 

This forty-minute session was evenly divided between presentation and discussion, giving the three schools and one vendor relatively little time to present their content.  Each library panelist provided an overview of the systems underlying their discovery solution, shared examples of customizations supporting library services (ILL, course reserves, storage retrievals), and described enhancements to expose unique or external content, including image viewers, fulltext delivery (Browzine+LibKey), and network zone resources.  Stohn from Ex Libris wrapped up the presentation, suggesting methods to surface archival, special, or curated collections within discovery.  This session attracted more vendors/publishers than librarians, and the ensuing discussion led into some unexpected directions.  The importance of quality metadata was emphasized, with one panelist issuing a plea to publishers to stop developing their own search platforms and instead focus on metadata and interoperability.  The need to provide additional contextual information (“look inside”) was also highlighted, to help students and researchers select sources.  Overall, the session was a little uneven, with differing levels of technical sophistication and many ideas presented very quickly.  It could perhaps have benefited from a longer time slot to more fully explore the issues raised.

(The session’s slides can be found in Sched.)

Start From Where You Are: Key Considerations for Approaching Open Access — Presented by Colleen Campbell (Open Access 2020 Initiative, Max Planck Digital Library), Gwen Evans (Executive Director, OhioLINK) — https://sched.co/UXuI

Note:  David Fischer (Vice President, Sales – Americas, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.) joined the speakers listed in the program.

Reported by Lindsay Barnett  (Cushing/Whitney Medical Library, Yale University School of Medicine)   

This session explored transformative agreements Wiley has entered into with consortial partners.

Wiley’s open access model, as described by Fischer, recognizes that one size does not fit all.  Approaches to open access vary significantly by country as funder mandates, cash flow, and institutional priorities differ.  The key features of Wiley’s approach to open access are transparency, building trust, aligning with university goals, and recognizing that all models are unique.  

Evans spoke on behalf of OhioLINK, a state agency made up of 90 institutions and 118 libraries.  OhioLINK entered into a pilot transformative agreement with Wiley in 2019.  Funding was distributed based on publishing output;  there were no limits on journal type (gold or hybrid).  A structural issue of the read and publish model is that the majority of institutions fall in the “read” category but the cost burden falls on “publish” institutions.  The collective question is how will read consortia participate in open access?

Campbell posited that there is enough money already in the global publishing economy to flip from subscriptions to open access.  She discussed Projekt DEAL in Germany, whose objective is to form transformative agreements with the three biggest publishers with Wiley as their first partner.  Consortia are naturally and strategically placed to manage these agreements.  

(Evans’ slides can be found in Sched.)  

That’s all the reports we have room for in this issue.  Watch for more reports from the 2019 Charleston Conference in upcoming issues of Against the Grain.  Presentation material (PowerPoint slides, handouts) and taped session links from many of the 2019 sessions are available online.  Visit the Conference Website at www.charlestonlibraryconference.com. — KS


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