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If Rumors Were Horses

by | Feb 1, 2024 | 0 comments

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Against the Grain V35#6

Another Charleston Conference has come and gone.  It was great to see everyone who attended, either in Charleston or online, but it seems like it was over in a flash!  This year was our first conference as part of the Annual Reviews team, and it was an emotional moment for us all as Katina received a standing ovation from the entire audience at the opening keynote session during the announcement about the acquisition.  Her contributions, ideas, and innovative spirit have made an incalculable impact on the world of libraries and information science over the span of her career, and she’s still going strong and will continue to be involved with the conference and Against the Grain for the foreseeable future. 

Career Moves and Retirements

After 40 years of contribution to the library information services industry, EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) CEO Tim Collins has announced that he will retire on June 30, 2024.  EBSCO is working with a global leadership advisory firm to identify the company’s next CEO, with the goal to have a successor in the role by July 1, 2024.  Tim says, “I will depart with much gratitude for the hard work and commitment of so many individuals, over so many years, that resulted in the company becoming what it is today.  I am deeply thankful for the customers who have supported us over the years with their patronage.  Having been in the role for 40 years, and with EBSCO well-positioned for the future, the timing is right for my retirement.  I look forward to engaging in interests and activities I have not been able to pursue, and I will forever be grateful for the experiences that I have had while I was in this seat.” 

Big news!!!  The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is pleased to welcome Andrew K. Pace as its next executive director, effective February 1, 2024.  Wow!!  Congratulations, Andrew!  Andrew joins ARL from the University System of Maryland and Affiliated Institutions (USMAI) Library Consortium, where he has served as executive director since 2022.  At USMAI, Andrew leads the consortium of 17 academic libraries across the state of Maryland, centrally hosting management, discovery, and resource-sharing applications for millions of print, licensed, and open-access resources.  His team also leads new digital initiatives in digital asset management, open educational resources (OER), and new service development.  Andrew held previous executive director positions from 2008 to 2022 at OCLC, where he managed cloud-based application development and later led teams focused on data science and applied research.  Prior to OCLC, he was head of Information Technology at North Carolina State University Libraries.  “I’m thrilled to be joining ARL in its commitment to advocacy, analysis, and leadership in research libraries,” said Andrew K. Pace, incoming ARL executive director.  “In the face of the numerous challenges in libraries, I am impressed by a sense of optimism and opportunity displayed by the Board and ARL’s staff, and I’m grateful and humbled to be part of an organization with such a deep commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

Food, Drinks, and Celebrations

A note from one of Katina’s recent “Tea Time” posts:  Christmas is one of my favorite times of year!  It could be because my birthday is Christmas Eve but the older I get the less thrilled I am to remember my birthday!  Still, I love all the festivities, especially the egg nog!  This article in the Smithsonian Magazine (December 2023) is about the egg nog traditions!  https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/american-history-eggnog-least-favorite-drink-180983236/

The Charleston Food + Wine Festival is coming up March 6-10.  All foodies should try to attend at least once if you’re in the area!  Of course, us locals mostly try to hide out until the tourists clear out a bit, but it’s a lot of fun and full (of course) of delicious things to sample and feast on.

If you’re a publisher or vendor, did you attend the Charleston Exhibitor Networking Event on Monday night, November 5?  This was the brainchild of Heather Staines, of DeltaThink and one of our Conference Directors.  Thank you Heather for organizing and hosting the event!  There was a great turn out and people enjoyed meeting and chatting with one another in a relaxed atmosphere before the intensity of the Vendor Showcase the next day.  It was hosted at the Share House, a place with a fun and beachy vibe just a short walk away located on Ann Street between King and Meeting.  We’ll be hosting this again this year since it was so popular!

Hip hip hooray!  The Francis Marion Hotel, long-time headquarter hotel of the Charleston Conference, is celebrating their 100th anniversary this year.  The historic hotel, named for the Revolutionary War hero Francis Marion, the “Swamp Fox,” has a long tradition of gracious service, elegant accommodations, and hosting splendid banquets and events dating back to its opening in 1924.  Built by local investors at a cost of $1.5 million from plans by noted New York architect W.L. Stoddard, the Francis Marion was the largest and grandest hotel in the Carolinas.  (https://www.francismarionhotel.com/history/)  In a nod to the nickname of their namesake, the bar and restaurant in the hotel is called The Swamp Fox, and is a favorite hangout spot for conference attendees each year.

And speaking of the Swamp Fox, here’s a picture of Darrell Gunter (Gunter Media Group) receiving the first ever “Swamp Fox Award” from Derek Law (University of Strathclyde, retired) at the 2023 Charleston Conference.  The conference app featured a leaderboard contest that was highly competitive, with the top three contestants going back and forth in a mad rush to win.  Darrell closed the event with the most points and was recognized for his achievements at the Closing Session. 

Book News from Katina

Inspired by Richard Charkin’s recent publication “My Back Pages,” I’m planning a memoir or some sort of publication (and maybe a webinar!) about the development and history of the Charleston Conference and the Hub.  I would like to reach out to all of you to send us a snippet, a paragraph, a memory, a story, a remembrance, a speaker or session you remember, or whatever appeals to you.  Here is a Google Drive form to share.  Matthew Ismail has also started conducting interviews with long-time conference attendees and friends.  If you’re interested in participating, please let us know by emailing Matthew at <matthew.ismail@icloud.com>!

At one time, Elizabeth Connor was a professor at the Citadel (Education and Leadership), and before that a librarian at MUSC and elsewhere.  I remember going to a Lively Lunch she ran at the Charleston Conference and won a woven basket (that she brought back from when she worked at Ross University, Dominica)…  Now, since 2022 she’s an emerita and an author.  Per her LinkedIn:  “When this book project first started in 2018, I gave Richard Porcher a bottle of Charleston Sercial (Madeira) to celebrate.  Just picked up another bottle today because the book goes to press in early 2024.”  Here’s more info about the book:  The Santee Canal: South Carolina’s First Commercial Highway by Elizabeth Connor, Richard Dwight Porcher, Jr., and William Robert Judd.  The Santee Canal provided the first inland navigation route from the Upcountry of the South Carolina Piedmont to the port of Charleston and the Atlantic Ocean.  This is an authoritative and richly illustrated history of one of America’s first canals.  (University of South Carolina Press, 2024.)

I was captivated by James Daunt’s keynote on Thursday November 8 during the in-person Charleston Conference as were many of you based on the number of people who selected Mr. Daunt’s speech as their favorite.  Given all the discussion of journals and OA, etc., it was very refreshing to be reminded of the importance and relevance of books in our world!  In fact, I just saw an article in the British magazine Country Life (October 11, 2023) — “Doing it by the Book.”  The author Catriona Gray selects seven of her favorite independent bookshops.  Catriona points out that unlike a chair or a picture or an item of clothing, you can’t tell whether you will like a book until you read it.  “To step inside a bookshop is to be met with a realm filled with possibilities.”  It’s truly discovery!  She talks about Shakespeare and Company in Paris, John Sandoe in London, Leakey’s Bookshop in Inverness Scotland, Topping & Company in Edinburgh, Octavia’s Bookshop in Glouchestershire, and Richard Booth’s bookshop in Herefordshire.

Save the Date!

The incredibly well-connected and busy bee Sven Fund (ask him about beekeeping!) is working with Leah Hinds to plan our next Charleston In Between on the topic of research and publishing integrity.  The dates are March 19-20, and more information will be shared on the Charleston Hub as details are confirmed.  This is shaping up to be a bam-zowie group of presentations!  Rumor has it that, in addition to hearing from the experts in the field and some new solutions to face the crisis, Sven is seeking an anonymous presentation from someone who published with a papermill.  You heard it here first!  More details to come.

That’s it for now!  Enjoy this issue and we’ll see you back here next time!  

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