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And They Were There — Reports of Meetings

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2021 Charleston Conference

Column Editor:  Ramune K. Kubilius  (Galter Health Sciences Library & Learning Center, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine) 

Against the Grain V34#2

Column Editor’s Note:  Thanks to the Charleston Conference attendees, both those who attended on-site and virtually, who agreed to write brief reports highlighting and spotlighting their 2021 Charleston Conference experience.  The conference moved to a hybrid format in 2021 and that presented both opportunities as well as challenges for registered attendees.  All registrants had the opportunity to view recordings, to re-visit sessions they saw “live,” or to visit sessions they missed.  Without a doubt, there are more Charleston Conference sessions than there were volunteer reporters for Against the Grain, so the coverage is just a snapshot.  In 2021, reporters were invited to either provide general impressions on what caught their attention, or to select sessions on which they would report.

There are many ways to learn more about the 2021 conference.  Some presenters posted their slides and handouts in the online conference schedule.  Please visit the conference site, https://www.charleston-hub.com/the-charleston-conference/, and link to selected videos, interviews, as well as to blog reports written by Charleston Conference blogger, Donald Hawkins, https://www.charleston-hub.com/category/blogs/chsconfnotes/.  The 2021 Charleston Conference Proceedings will be published in 2022, in partnership with University of Michigan Press. — RKK


STOPWATCH Session 1 — Beth Bernhardt (Oxford University Press, Moderator)

Reported by Ramune K. Kubilius  (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine) 

Presentations Included the following: 

The Open Road: Mapping Your Library’s Path Through the OA Publishing Landscape — Presented by Karen Kohn (Temple University) and Annie Johnson (Temple University)

Collaborative Clusters: Rethinking User Needs and Breaking Down Barriers — Presented by Jill Dawson (University of North Texas) and Laurel Crawford (University of North Texas)

Leveraging Curriculum Mapping to Support Campus OER Efforts — Presented by Jennifer Pate (University of North Alabama)

Top 10 Benefits of Using Course List Software to Scale Affordable Learning Initiatives — Presented by Teri Gallaway (SCELC) and Carolyn Morris (SirsiDynix)

2021 Charleston Library Conference: Virtual Meeting Details (pathable.co)

This first 2021 conference “stopwatch” session featuring brief presentations was unique among later stopwatch sessions, in that all presenters were on-site (except one co-author who joined remotely).  Organized and moderated by the intrepid Bernhardt, the session featured an interesting mix of topics, ranging from Temple’s “Open Road” discussions of options for supporting OA publishing, to the University of North Texas collaborative clusters of resources spotlighted in a “pop up” nature, and a curriculum mapping project at University of North Alabama. The institution has an aspirational goal of being 50% OER by 2024, and the mapping project revealed not only traditional materials used for courses, but also the current use of OER. However, some courses using OER were only discovered when faculty were surveyed, but not included in faculty course reading lists. The last presentation featured a “top 10” list of advantages to using course reading list software, a win-win-win proposition for faculty, students, and the library (one product in this marketplace that this reporter noted that was not included in their product list was featured in the 2021 vendor showcase, a new entry to the North American market).

[I love it When We’re] Cruisin’ Together: A Member-Driven Model for Consortial Collaboration

Reported by Laura Sill  (University of Notre Dame) 

Presented by Lindsay Cronk (University of Rochester) and Maridath Wilson (Boston University) — https://2021charlestonconference.pathable.co/meetings/virtual/CABYiKFfBWBMvpqju

This session focused on a new project-based approach to negotiation by members of NERL (NorthEast Research Libraries Consortium) in support of its “NERL Demands a Better Deal” and “Preferred Deal Elements” statements, which promote collaboration and shared values.  “The Better Deal” moves beyond price and individual preference and highlights agreements that reflect collective values of transparency, sustainability, equity, reproducibility, and flexibility.  The “Preferred Deal Elements” include categories of Fees, Term, Opt-in, Open Access, Authorized Users, Author’s Rights, and Content.  As a way to provide further context for this member-driven model, presenters Wilson and Cronk introduced the NERL consortium and the journey they took as members to introduce this new model.  It started with a “Malibu Dream” or desire to see change resulting in the use of a project-based approach to build a stronger statement for negotiation over the previous method of gathering feedback independently from each member.  Audience members asked how coordination between institutional partners takes place and session attendee, Cris Ferguson (Murray State University), joined Wilson and Cronk on stage to share a specific scenario illustrating the budgetary challenges and the tough decisions that are required by libraries due to current resource pricing.  Wilson and Cronk believe collaboration and project-based negotiations are required to make a real difference at this time. 

The Un-usability Study: An Analysis of Access Problems Outside The Libraries’ Control

Reported by Lynne Jones  (University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee) 

Presented by Candice Benjes-Small (William and Mary), Mary Oberlies (William and Mary) and Paul Showalter (William and Mary) — https://2021charlestonconference.pathable.co/meetings/virtual/i9Xad3e9ffgS7KPoL 

This session was sparked by the frustration that many librarians (and patrons) felt during the early days of the transition to online during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The presenters outlined some of the common issues that patrons faced trying to access e-resources and the negative effects on the morale of librarians who had to deal with upset patrons and less-than-efficient software and systems.  They point out that when library tools, library-vendor communications, and vendor-vendor communications fail, it erodes patrons’ trust in our services and resources.  It pushes patrons toward external resources like Google Scholar and undermines libraries’ efforts to get patrons to use our resources and put into practice the information literacy strategies we teach.  The presenters’ hope is that we can move forward with better troubleshooting, more usability studies, more communication, and overall, more empathy to improve the patron experience.

How has COVID Affected How we Discover, Read, and Publish Research?

Reported by Debra Trogdon-Livingston (Medical University of South Carolina) 

Presented by Elaine Devine (Taylor & Francis), Helen Fallon (Maynooth University) and Heather St. Pierre (Taylor and Francis) — https://2021charlestonconference.pathable.co/meetings/virtual/rCs62iJtq7S5ezDEf

Devine, St. Pierre, and Fallon shared perspectives on how COVID-19 affected research experiences at Taylor and Francis and Maynooth University.  Devine discussed the importance of being both “proactive and reactive” when planning data needs for future research.  Devine shared academic search engine data, bibliographic database usage trends, and described how partnerships and quick reaction time positively impacted data access and procurement.  Fallon gave insight into Maynooth University Library user behavior and library response and how measures like scanning service, investment into digital resources, and keeping the library open, helped students to better transition into digital education, grew staff confidence, and “democratized” access to information.  St. Pierre discussed how user needs are the backbone of product management work her team does and noted the importance of empathy in supporting a workforce faced with a sudden scarcity of access and resources.  St. Pierre suggests using lessons learned to be prepared before possible future emergencies.  Each speaker offered insight into their work, enacted a user-centered approach, and highlighted a focus on connection.

Conference blogger Donald Hawkins wrote a report on this session:  How has COVID Affected How We Discover, Read, and Publish Research? – Charleston Hub (charleston-hub.com)

Users What They Need When They Need It

Reported by Christine Fischer  (UNC Greensboro) 

Presented by Michael Arthur (The University of Alabama Libraries) and Emy Decker (The University of Alabama Libraries) — https://2021charlestonconference.pathable.co/meetings/virtual/28qMdTE4PymGbuCsX

Arthur and Decker presented the plan they have developed to establish a new workflow for acquiring requested collections materials.  The collaboration between acquisitions and interlibrary loan departments seeks to improve service and ensure quick fulfillment of resource requests as the Libraries move toward a point-of-need model over collection building, reflecting user expectations and shifts in Liaison roles.  The pilot project established criteria for making a purchase rather than a loan, including purchasing selected English-language materials published in the past five years with eBook as the priority over print, and expedited shipping for physical items so users could rely on quick turnaround.  Staff can add titles to the DDA pool via their eBook provider and primary book vendor.  Communication between the departments is facilitated by use of existing email accounts that are monitored daily.  The full implementation will start in January, monthly meetings will offer opportunities to consider modifications to the criteria and workflow, and assessment is planned to begin in April.

Conference blogger Don Hawkins reported on this session:  ILL and Acquisitions – Charleston Hub (charleston-hub.com)

Where the Rubber Meets the Road: Operationalizing Your Variables for Effective Assessment

Reported by Sara F. Hess  (Pennsylvania State University) 

Presented by Brianne Dosch (University of Tennessee), Rachel Fleming-May (University of Tennessee) and Regina Mays (University of Tennessee) — https://2021charlestonconference.pathable.co/meetings/virtual/fFkaFeSjzcQCcSPec

Note:  Regina Mays did not present in this session.

Fleming-May opened this session by discussing what it means to operationalize variables and why doing so is important. She talked about how by determining how you are going to measure your variables in a research project, you can create a shared understanding and language with your participants that works to improve the meaningfulness of your results.  She pointed out that one of the pitfalls of survey-based research is that it can fail to capture the nuances in participant responses and grounded her talk in literature looking at the validity of library use questionnaires.  Her points were well-illustrated by a poll of the audience, which asked attendees which of several activities constituted “use” of a library;  this poll showed that even among an audience of library workers, publishers, and vendors, there was a need to define library use.  Dosch followed with a presentation of her application of these concepts in a needs assessment she conducted among the faculty in her liaison area.  She described developing the survey instrument in cooperation with faculty in order to best capture what they want and need from the university’s libraries.  Context and description were added when needed in order to create a shared understanding with the faculty and she found that this helped produce meaningful and actionable results.

The Unusual Suspects – Collaborating for Improvement with the Pure OA Publishers

Reported by Lillian Velez  (Dee J. Kelly Law Library) 

Presented by Olaf Ernst (Knowledge Unlatched), Katrin Seyler (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg), Adrian Stanley (JMIR Publications) and Matthew Willmott (California Digital Library) — https://2021charlestonconference.pathable.co/meetings/virtual/a9AD8hsE28RcP9JfD

OA is an author-centric process, but this session’s speakers advocate for a balanced approach whereby institutions partner with full OA publishers and libraries to improve efficiency and expediency.  This changes the OA movement’s focus from transformation of publishing to collaboration.  Applications like OA Switchboard and Oable provide centralized messaging, consistent support, and streamlined processes which result in decreased miscommunication, decreased complexity, and additional transparency.  Through centralized hubs, eligibility and funding messages, and backend and specialized reports can be more easily created and communicated.  Hubs support pure OA with the goal of making OA the default regardless of publisher.  The multi-payer model discussed means libraries fund what authors cannot and force authors to be more engaged with the economics of the system while freeing them from the minutiae of the process.  Cascade journals provide a “downstream” place for “rejected” papers:  the idea being that a work can be improved and although not suitable for the top tier journal, could be adequate for another title within that publisher’s ecosystem.  Thus, publishers don’t let a good one get away.  It does, however, take exponentially more submissions to support a cascade journal and writers might be reluctant to settle for a second or third tier journal.

Referenced web sites: 

OA Switchboard https://oaspa.org/oa-switchboard/

Oable https://www.infotoday.eu/PressRelease/Oable-a-workflow-management-tool-for-institutions-engaging-in-Open-Access-activities-beta-launches–51390.aspx

“Not Every Publisher Can Support A Cascade Journal” by Phil Davis, January 24, 2018.  The Scholarly Kitchen https://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2018/01/24/not-every-publisher-can-support-a-cascade-journal/

Keynote: How to Think Like a Civilization

Reported by Ramune K. Kubilius  (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine) 

Presented by Paul Saffo (Stanford University) and Michael Keller (Stanford University, Moderator) — 2021 Charleston Library Conference: Virtual Meeting Details (pathable.co)

Saffo’s presentation was scheduled after a few morning sessions of the first conference day had already taken place.  It would have been nice to experience him delivering his talk live rather than virtually.  Still, his keynote remained true to a longstanding conference tradition in that it provided a big picture view, with inspiring quotes and references, as well as thoughts to ponder about the challenging world in which we live (including a role for libraries).  An academic-based forecaster who advises corporations and governments, Saffo described himself as a short-term pessimist.  Problems are borderless, and libraries are the thin red line in the reality of the H.G. Wells quote — “Civilization is in a race between education and catastrophe.”  Our institutions are falling short of meeting global challenges, and libraries are both fire trucks (at the upper layers), and architects (at lower layers).  Prompts for action included the Jonas Salk quote, “Our greatest responsibility is to be good ancestors.”  Saffo reminded the audience to tell compelling stories, since stories can initiate change.  Also — a long-term view can make us comfortable with change.

A recording of this keynote is available for viewing on YouTube at https://youtu.be/iPin-yntMAY

Conference blogger Donald Hawkins reported on this session:  Opening Keynote: How to Think Like a Civilization – Charleston Hub (charleston-hub.com)


Controlled Digital Lending is Just Lending, But It Needs Standards Too

Reported by Linnea Shieh  (Stanford University) 

Presented by Todd Carpenter (NISO), Chris Freeland (Internet Archive), Jennie Rose Halperin (Library Futures), Sebastian Hammar (IndexData) and Meg White (Delta Think, Moderator) — https://2021charlestonconference.pathable.co/meetings/virtual/cCvdvj4BivERb34vW

Rather than a technical discussion of implementation strategies and standards for Controlled Digital Lending (CDL), the main thrust of this presentation was as a comprehensive advertisement for the merits and utility of CDL.  As stated by one of the presenters, realizing CDL as a solution for interlibrary loan is a “light bulb moment” for many librarians, but issues of equity and social justice are also at the forefront.  While many libraries are MacGuyvering their own CDL platforms, commercial solutions are also coming online.  In 2022, NISO will be working on common vocabulary, codification of procedural norms, and other steps that will accelerate growth and adoption of CDL solutions.  The legal issues and copyright battles swirling around CDL were explicitly not discussed.


Be Careful What You Wish For: Post Hathi-Trust ETAS analysis and implications for future monograph acquisitions

Reported by Becky Imamoto (University of California, Irvine)  

Presented by Ellen George (University of British Columbia) and Arielle Lomness (University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus) — https://2021charlestonconference.pathable.co/meetings/virtual/x3EENeypcexN8DDXp

Note:  Ellen George did not present but was available during part of the discussion portion of the session. 

The content of this session was centered by Lomness and spotlighted findings of the institution’s assessment, using Tableau, of the 14 months they participated in HathiTrust’s Emergency Temporary Access Service (ETAS).  ETAS made it “possible for member library patrons to obtain lawful access to specific digital materials in HathiTrust that correspond[ed] to physical books held by their own library.”  Presenters’ institutions gained digital access to 450,000+ monograph titles from their collections.  Findings included:  Less than 2% of the titles were used.  While that is a small figure, many of those titles received multiple uses.  Also, one-quarter of the content (1500+ titles) was used for the first-time in ETAS.  Another encouraging statistic:  almost 3,400 titles which hadn’t been used in 5+ years, got used in ETAS.  This shows, in some cases, a strong preference for electronic format.  Nine of the books used the most were listed as textbooks for courses.  This signals the importance the service had for students needing access to course materials during the pandemic. The presenters concluded that there is great opportunity to do more with this data. 

Open Web Tools

Reported by Natalie Henri-Bennett  (Auburn University) 

Presented by Curtis Michelson (Infodj.io); Gary Price (INFOdj.io) — https://2021charlestonconference.pathable.co/meetings/virtual/4qqHSkMyGcGuMYGAn

The “INFOdjs,” founders of INFOdj.io, reviewed pertinent sites from the curated online list of open access tools they maintain for their professional research.  This was the fourth consecutive year they presented this developing resource at Charleston.  All 178 sites, sorted into 27 categories, are freely available and do not require a subscription by the end user.  Familiar tools like Internet Archive were shown during the session alongside the introduction of lesser-known features.   For example, they presented the Wayback Machine’s ability to archive up to 50,000 URLs at a time, ensuring future access to these pages.  Some sources of note include the Global Climate Dashboard (a NOAA site documenting climate change), Document Cloud (where journalists share data), Covaxxy (a site that analyzes social media misinformation), and the Resonator (which compiles wiki data with other related resources into a single wiki page).  Here is the resource:  https://www.infodj.io/projects-2


A Close Reading of the Six Most Common Transformative Agreements

Reported by Allison Langham-Putrow (University of Minnesota) 

Presented by Jamie Carmichael (Copyright Clearance Center), Charles Hemenway (Copyright Clearance Center) and Heather Staines (Delta Think) — 2021 Charleston Library Conference: Agenda (pathable.co)

Staines opened with an overview of DeltaThink’s annual market survey.  The open access (OA) market continues to increase at a dramatic rate:  a 25% increase for 2020 over 2019.  The market size for 2021 is estimated to be $1.1 billion.  She presented projections, such as 50% of output will be OA by 2024.  Staines then discussed the concept of “Transformative Journals,” which are a Plan S-driven development.  For a journal to be considered a TJ, it must meet annual absolute and relative OA growth targets. 

Next, Carmichael outlined six types of transformative agreements (TAs), highlighting the complexities of managing payments between institution and publisher.  To negotiate and implement these complex agreements, the institution and publisher need to have high-quality data.  Hemenway discussed the need for institutions to use “an iron fist” with their authors:  require the use of their institutional email address and provide comprehensive grant information.

Another topic of discussion was how transformation will be implemented.  Staines noted it will be difficult for small libraries and small publishers.  Even if all wanted a TA, there is not enough time and energy to negotiate.  Finally, there was a short discussion of how TAs fit in the current climate where many libraries are unbundling big deals.  Hemenway pointed out that publishers are seeking to retain their current revenue.  This tension between libraries, their budgets, and publishers was a theme throughout the conference.  It is a thorny issue that certainly cannot be resolved in a single conference!

In a nutshell, the common types of TAs are: 

• Unlimited number of articles

• Capped number of articles

• Capped spending threshold

• Institutional membership providing an APC discount

• Consortial agreement using a shared bank or individual funds, may be dispersed in a first-come, first-serve model.

• Multi-payer model:  institution pays a predetermined amount;  author pays the remaining portion

Next Steps in Shared Collection Management

Reported by Laura Sill  (University of Notre Dame) 

Presented by Charlotte M. Johnson (University of Pittsburgh, Facilitator), Boaz Nadav Manes (Lehigh University), Heather McMullen (Queen’s University) and Linda Wobbe (SCELC) — https://2021charlestonconference.pathable.co/meetings/virtual/DXFZNDaTJzYu4s2Xm

This session explored the intersection of shared print collections and resource sharing.  Questions were posed to the panel by facilitator Johnson regarding opportunities, areas for improvement, and trends in shared print collection management in coming years.  The panel agreed that the purpose for shared print collections is rapidly evolving from one focused on collection space to one centered on broader partnerships in areas such as preservation and the use of digital surrogates in resource sharing.  Another area to recognize as central to service success is metadata and the interoperability of systems, and panelists noted that metadata provides the necessary hook to ensure service and flow from the retention decisions to the use of collections by patrons.  Resource sharing has a long tradition of strong service orientation and shared print collections provide another great source for patron resources.  Resource sharing librarians and staff should consider being active in the stewardship of shared print programs and advocate along with others to make improvements to the systems and processes that support the intersection of shared print collections and resource sharing. 

Managing Open Research: Challenges and Opportunities for the Research Library

Reported by Ramune K. Kubilius  (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine)

Presented by Michael Levine-Clark (University of Denver), Elizabeth Lorbeer (Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine) and Judith Russell (University of Florida) — https://2021charlestonconference.pathable.co/meetings/virtual/Le6RupfDMfFBbT3ok

A good start to the session was the reminder that the ecosystem influences researcher actions, that there is external context.  Norms may be conveyed by a disciplinary culture.  There are also institutional expectations for compliance, metadata, reporting, report management, and data management.  Russell described her university’s landscape with 16 departments and an Office of Research.  Levine-Clark discussed the use of tools and dashboards such as CHORUS (chorusaccess.org) and the DMP tool (DMPTool) to help manage and meet requirements.  Lorbeer shared some challenges for her small health sciences campus that doesn’t have many large grants (eg. from NIH), but the university has entered into some modest read and publish agreements.  Breaking even is a goal, as is targeting early career researchers. 

Is Collaboration the New Normal?

Reported by Natalie Henri-Bennett  (Auburn University) 

Presented by Matthew Ismail (Charleston Briefings) and Ijad Madisch (ResearchGate) — https://2021charlestonconference.pathable.co/meetings/virtual/KN8aeChiQadaBw4vJ

ResearchGate https://www.researchgate.net/ is a collaborative scholarly tool created by three scientists in 2008 to “change the way we communicate science.”  The founders (Madisch is a co-founder) sought to share scientific research and offer a forum where scientists could ask questions, communicate insights, and post findings in real time.  Madisch stated that in the peer reviewed publishing world, the focus is on research that works.  He further argued that knowledge of failed studies is just as valuable for discussion and scientific advancement.  This site was conceived with an eye towards these discussions and the vetting of data.  While site access is limited to researchers, ResearchGate’s scientific data can be accessed by anyone via search.

Navigating the Road Ahead (the 21st Health Sciences Lively Lunchtime Discussion)

Reported by Ramune K. Kubilius  (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine)

Presented by Lindsay Barnett (Yale University), Tim Butzen-Cahill (Doody Enterprises, Inc.), Karen Gau (Virginia Commonwealth University) and Elizabeth Lorbeer (Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine) — 2021 Charleston Library Conference: Virtual Meeting Details (pathable.co)

Note:  Irene Lubker (Medical University of South Carolina) and Ramune Kubilius provided brief spotlights;  Andrea McLellan (McMaster University), co-author of Lindsay Barnett, was available to field questions.

The sponsored but no holds barred session moved at a fast clip, featuring both on-site and virtual presenters.  Lorbeer spotlighted recent examples of how health sciences libraries partnered and pivoted in the health sciences education informational landscape.  Butzen-Cahill highlighted findings from September 2021 ATG article that he co-authored on the health sciences eBooks landscape, showing some progress in availability and continuing challenges for libraries.  Kubilius shared the link (doi:10.18131/g3-txxe-ky26) to a handout in which she spotlighted the past year’s trends (big deals moved to little deals, transformative agreements, growth of OA, etc.).  Lubker highlighted two 2021 Medical Library Association (MLA) conference posters of Education Caucus collaborative initiatives – design of an open repository of education resources for health information professionals, and development of a health sciences disciplines information literacy mapping directory.  A repository (perhaps external to MLA) is still being sought so the projects can be easily accessed.  Barnett recapped findings from a MLA poster presentation, providing updates that showed some progress since May 2021 in the publisher diversity (DEI) policies landscape.  Gau spotlighted a small pilot she and colleagues undertook to inform their liaisons of diversity content in newly acquired online books and textbooks.  On-site and remote audience questions (fielded by Nicole Gallo of Rittenhouse) showed that interest continues in keeping current on developments in the health sciences scholarly publishing, educational resource, and textbooks landscape, ever evolving as it is.  (Presentation slides contain references, links, and more information).

Print & Ebooks: How are Strategies – For Academic Libraries, University Presses, and Vendors – Driven by the Current Necessity of Online Access? Notes from the field 12 months on

Reported by Selena Chau  (University of California Santa Barbara) 

Presented by Arielle Lomness (University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus), Dean Smith (Duke University Press), Robert Thiessen (University of Calgary) and Michael Zeoli (De Gruyter Publishing) — https://2021charlestonconference.pathable.co/meetings/virtual/SbJLS8aQAQXAa59Eu

This presentation engaged audience members who commented on the need for controlled digital lending of eBooks, continued eBook funding, and automation in the book selection process.  Smith attributed Duke University Press’s increased FY21 eBook sales to their ability to meet the demand for single titles in new channels such as JSTOR and Project Muse.  At the University of British Columbia, OA and new library eBook purchasing models supported new, diverse research and teaching needs but textbook publishers were still unwilling to work with the library to supply eTextbooks at a moderate price-point.  Tiessen noted that the University of Calgary Library’s ePreferred policy was more successful in Fall 2021: staff waited longer to see if a title came out in print, invested more in eBook packages, and discouraged print reserves.  Zeoli of De Gruyter closed out the session with a 30-year overview of the book marketplace.  His timeline of mergers, bankruptcies, and new entities in the publishing field highlighted where we are now: academic libraries acquire books in an interconnected ecosystem with multiple supplier integration, cataloging systems, invoice management, and discovery services that developed to support automated selection and delivery in collection management.

Using Data to Drive Decisions: Libraries, Publishers and the New Open

Reported by Angela Strait  (Marshall University, Huntington, WV) 

Presented by Adam Der (Max Plack Digital Library), Melissa Junior (ASM), Heather Staines (Delta Think), Meg White (Delta Think, Moderator) and Matthew Wilmott (California Digital Library) — https://2021charlestonconference.pathable.co/meetings/virtual/bBoj48w3qeJzqfa3b

This panel discussion provides viewpoints from several different areas including vendors and digital libraries.  Topics are covered from different aspects of the Open Access realm, including current trends and costs for the publisher, vendor, and libraries who may provide support.

It was truly interesting to hear different perspectives on current issues, and what improvements can be made.  Data analysis techniques are shared, breaking down different publisher models and what agreements are, in their case, the most popular with users.  The panel also discussed the financial impact of open access titles.  Since the COVID-19 pandemic started in 2019, open access titles are in much greater demand, and this presentation provides detailed information on how to strategically think through the process of open access acquisitions and usage data.  Several files and slide presentations can be found at the presentation link.  The chat also contains several helpful links.

Conference blogger Donald Hawkins reported on this session:  Using Data to Drive Decisions: Libraries, Publishers and the New Open – Charleston Hub (charleston-hub.com)

Diversity in Collections: Challenges for STEM

Reported by Jocelyn Boice  (Colorado State University) 

Presented by Joel Claypool (Morgan & Claypool), Julia Gelfand (University of California, Irvine) and Sarah Lester (Cal Poly San Luis Obispo) — https://2021charlestonconference.pathable.co/meetings/virtual/T2pNpnCjq4pKhP9WW 

Featuring the views of two librarians and a publisher, this session provided an entry into current conversations about diversity in STEM publishing and library collections.  The presenters included content relevant to those selecting library materials as well as those working with library users in an instruction or reference capacity.  Beginning with a description of diversity in relation to scientific literature and a list of criteria to consider for collection building, the discussion moved on to examples of projects that incorporated author demographics and equity information into engineering library webpages.  The importance of nurturing a diverse author base for STEM fields was also emphasized.  Audience members asked insightful questions during the Q & A portion of the presentation, prompting further exploration of topics touched on earlier.  The audience inquiries also suggested a keen interest in the role of publishers and librarians alike in diversifying STEM literature collections, as well as a need for practical guidance to accomplish this aim.

Centering Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Collections Assessment

Reported by Angela Strait  (Marshall University, Huntington, WV) 

Presented by Summer Durrant (University of Mary Washington), Christopher Lowder (George Mason University), Helen McManus (George Mason University) and Genya O’Gara (VIVA) — https://2021charlestonconference.pathable.co/meetings/virtual/gA63wLEFcbtyYuBfE

Note:  This panel discussion was not recorded at the request of the presenters, but presentation slides are available.

Panelists discussed a new tool being utilized by the Virginia Academic Library Consortium (VIVA), the Value Metric Tool.  While the project of building the tool actually began in 2016, this particular presentation focused on the DEI collection and related areas.  The panel outlines the steps taken to develop their plan, speak to stakeholders, and begin the process of analyzing their collection based on the identified values uncovered by the working group.  The data obtained was shared and explained, and it was followed up by the pitfalls they discovered along the way as well the identified strategies for next time.  This presentation will definitely get your statistical mind working and planning ways to utilize the shared information in your own collection.  (Note: The chat provides links to articles mentioned in the presentation that may not be in the slides.)

Funding Open Access: Models, Experiments, and the Future

Reported by Linnea Shieh  (Stanford University) 

Presented by Angela Carreño (New York University), Peggy Glahn (Reveal Digital), Sharla Lair (LYRIASIS) and John Lenahan (ITHAKA) — https://2021charlestonconference.pathable.co/meetings/virtual/3hgdNdjRTiPAfSSNh

Note:  There was not enough time to get to the Reveal Digital talk.

As stated in the synopsis, this session consisted of an assortment of talks by leaders in open access publishing, with a strong focus on open books and the humanities.  Overall, the takeaway message was that OA publishing is accessible and impactful even in small-scale, community-driven ways.  First, we saw a plethora of data from JSTOR on what happened to global traffic when they opened several collections, both by converting existing material to open and direct open publishing.  One particular pilot publisher (CLACSO from Argentina) has seen 1M item requests for 300 titles just in Year 1.  Next, we learned about a COPIM program to help small- and medium-sized presses dynamically scale their volume of open publishing based on membership, different from the usual threshold-based “flip to open” approach.  The LYRASIS talk continued this discussion about enabling libraries even with small budgets to provide energy towards values-based publishing.  

Not Dead Yet:  Is Print Emerging from the Ashes of COVID?

Reported by Angela Strait  (Marshall University, Huntington, WV) 

Presented by Sara Duff (University of Central Florida), Bob Nardini (ProQuest), Pamela Smith (Ingram Library Services) and Emily Tufts (Ontario Tech University) — https://2021charlestonconference.pathable.co/meetings/virtual/DXWjW784wj6XNqGoS

This panel presentation discusses how book purchases have changed since the COVID-19 pandemic.  Perspectives are provided from book sellers and academic libraries.  While we all know and have experienced supply and demand issues, our newest global problem, book vendors and suppliers have not been immune.  From paper shortages to binding material shortages, new physical book manufacturing has also become an issue.  This problem of course snowballs down to libraries. 

What became apparent as the pandemic continued, was the resurgence of backlist title orders and ebooks.  Librarians also shared their strategies for continuing to provide content to their faculty and students through resource sharing partnerships and new publisher and vendor agreements.  It is very interesting to learn how suppliers were affected and how those issues affected libraries, as well as how a few libraries found a way to continue providing resources to those who depend on them.  (Slides and files are posted in the schedule, with the presentation.)

Conference blogger Donald Hawkins reported on this session:  Not Dead Yet: Is Print Emerging From the Ashes of COVID? – Charleston Hub (charleston-hub.com)

Embedding the Library in the Patron’s Workflow: Case Studies from Two Universities

Reported by Lillian Velez  (Dee J. Kelly Law Library) 

Presented by Becky Cottrill (EBSCO), Mathew Hayes (Lean Library), Yisrael Kuchar (Ex Libris), Derek Malone (University of North Alabama) and Emily Coolidge Toker (Harvard Library) — https://2021charlestonconference.pathable.co/meetings/virtual/qnyhE4BDNnKcSvoed

Lean Library is an exciting and potential-filled extension for the internet browser that promotes direct engagement between students and their school library at the point of internet research which for most students is Google or Google Scholar and not the library.  If the goal is to meet students where they are, this pop-up certainly succeeds!  It makes the library’s presence indelible as the student works, with its configurable school specific branding and the capacity to promote products and services not available on Google or Google Scholar such as the availability of curated collections, library consultations, and full text.  The extension offers other opportunities as well for unification, community building, and surfacing underutilized services.  According to the Librarian Futures Report, over 80% of students and librarians would invite more interaction.  The two case studies from two different schools shows how the Lean Library extension can be employed for slightly different ends and to fulfill specific goals.  The library becomes an embedded part of the existing student workflow and decreases clicks and frustration students sometimes go through trying to find full access to a paper that comes up on Google Scholar. EBSCO can also integrate allowing seamless access through the library’s preferred route.

Referenced web sites

Lean Library https://www.leanlibrary.com/

Librarian Futures Report https://www.leanlibrary.com/community/librarian-futures-report/  

This issue contains the first portion of Session Reports we received from the 2021 Charleston Conference.  Watch for the remaining Session Reports to appear in the June issue of Against the Grain.  The General Reports were published in Against the Grain’s February 2022 issue (v.34#1, pgs. 30-33) and are available at https://www.charleston-hub.com/2022/03/and-they-were-there-reports-of-meetings-2021-charleston-conference/.  Presentation materials (PowerPoint slides, handouts, etc.) and recordings of most sessions are available to Conference Attendees on the Charleston Conference event site at https://2021charlestonconference.pathable.co/.  Or visit the Charleston Hub at https://www.charleston-hub.com/the-charleston-conference/. — KS


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