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If Rumors Were Horses

by | May 7, 2024 | 0 comments


Against the Grain V36#2

Hi everyone, happy spring!  Lots to talk about here!  Don’t forget to send your rumors to editors@against-the-grain.com for inclusion!

Events and Travel

Leah Hinds attended the 2024 UKSG annual conference in Glasgow, Scotland, from April 8–10 along with around 800 others.  There, she had the opportunity to catch up with several friends and colleagues in addition to attending the outstanding line-up of sessions and a lovely reception in the Glasgow City Science Center.  Michael Upshall, Community and Outreach Manager for CORE at the Open University, wrote up a great report on the event.  Michael and Leah had a nice conversation there at the recommendation of Matthew Ismail, our former ATG the Podcast host and EIC for the Charleston Briefings.  Keep an eye on the podcast for an episode from Michael coming soon!  UKSG 2025 will be held in Brighton from March 31–April 2.

Vineyard Hotel

The 2024 Fiesole Retreat is coming up soon from May 6–9 in Cape Town!  This is the 24th annual meeting, and it will be focused on the theme of “Connecting Global South with Global North: African Perspectives on Scholarly Communication.”  We recently announced the travel grant program that supported attendance by 12 early career research librarians from 7 countries (Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe), which was supported by funding from The Elsevier Foundation.  The retreat will be held at the beautiful Vineyard Hotel, pictured here.  In addition to the excellent program topics and speakers, there is also a rich social program including a Gala Dinner generously sponsored by EBSCO, long-time Fiesole Retreat supporter.  The retreat is thankful for additional sponsorship support from Erasmus, Sabinet, MDPI, OCLC, Cambridge University Press, and De Gruyter.  The full program and more details are available at https://www.fiesoleretreat.org/capetown_2024

Attention!  The Charleston Conference Call for Papers proposal form is now open!  We’re thrilled to be working with the Ex Ordo conference management platform again this year for the proposal and review process.  This year’s theme of “The Sky’s the Limit” is a rallying call for innovation, exploration, and limitless possibilities.  This is your opportunity to contribute to one of the most dynamic conferences in the library and scholarly publishing industry.  The in-person conference will be held November 11–15 in beautiful, historic downtown Charleston, and the virtual conference will be held December 9–13.  We encourage submissions that offer practical insights, innovative thinking, diverse perspectives, and contribute to ongoing industry discussions, and promote active learning among attendees.  We look forward to receiving your proposals and shaping another amazing conference experience together!

Charleston Vendor Showcase and conference registration will both be opening in June.  For more dates and important information, see our website at https://www.charleston-hub.com/the-charleston-conference/welcome/2024-charleston-conference/

Did you catch our most recent Charleston In Between virtual conference last month?  Sven Fund, Managing Director of Reviewer Credits, put together an amazing roster of speakers on the topic of Publishing Integrity.  Videos are now available in a playlist on our YouTube channel!

Industry News

Russell Michalek, Trevor Dawes, and Jon Cawthorne have a new book out, published by ACRL, called Toxic Dynamics: Disrupting, Dismantling, and Transforming Academic Library CultureFrom the description:  “By understanding the root causes of toxic cultures, recognizing their impact, and implementing solutions, leaders can create a more supportive and positive work environment and improve morale, retention, and productivity.  Toxic Dynamics is an important resource for anyone interested in improving workplace culture and addressing issues related to toxicity and inequity, and for library leaders at all levels.”  Congrats on the publication and can’t wait to check it out!

Have you heard?  Bird is the word!  bird (Base Inventory of Research Databases) is a new product from Paratext that provides a comprehensive guide to 7,500+ commercial and Open Access research databases from 2,000+ information suppliers.   bird won Best Overall New Product and Best New Product Design at the 2023 Charleston Premiers! 

And speaking of birds … Mitchell Davis, who many of you know from BiblioLabs and more, was recently featured on the Down the Road podcast along with Farrah Hoffmire about their enterprise Rare Bird Farm in Madison County, NC.  “Rare Bird Farm in the mountains of Madison County is an agricultural arts center that hosts performing arts, classes, workshops, and community events, all centered around the ideas of creativity, connection, and collaboration.  While not a commercial farm, Rare Bird also raises animals, medicinal plants, and food.”

David Worlock brought my attention to the passing of Ivan Klimes, Publishing Director at Maxwell’s Pergamon Press.  According to David, Ivan was the man “who really created, as publishing director of Maxwell’s Pergamon Press, the modern science journal.”  https://www.davidworlock.com/2024/04/ivan-klimes-a-founder-of-modern-science-journal-publishing/ 

Bits and Bytes

For those of us watching hurricanes, this tidbit caught my eye!  The Gulf Stream is a major ocean current that brings warm water from the Gulf of Mexico into the Atlantic Ocean, significantly influencing weather patterns.  Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León first observed the current in 1513, but it wasn’t until the late 18th century that Benjamin Franklin became the first to chart out the path of the Gulf Stream on a map.  While serving in London as deputy postmaster general for the American colonies, Franklin noticed a difference in sailing times between westbound and eastbound ships.  He consulted his cousin Timothy Folger, a Nantucket whaler with deep knowledge of the area, who provided his insights into the powerful current.  Together, Franklin and Folger charted the waters, and published their findings on a map in 1768, the first known physical depiction of what they termed the “Gulph Stream.”  The map was distributed to Franklin’s mail ships, and the knowledge served as the basis of future Gulf study by the United States Coast Survey.  https://historyfacts.com/famous-figures/article/benjamin-franklin-facts/

THE WONDERFUL RAMUNE KUBILIUS SENDS US THIS ASTONISHING NEWS!  Garbage collectors in Ankara, Turkey, started noticing an increasing number of books being thrown away.  Rather than let them end up in landfills, they began rescuing the books.   Initially, they shared the books with colleagues and families.  As the collection grew, they decided to create a public library in an abandoned brick factory within the Çankaya district.  https://lithub.com/turkish-garbage-collectors-have-created-a-library-from-discarded-books/ 

The library has been a huge success.  It offers a wide range of books and even has a mobile library built into a converted garbage truck to reach more people.  It’s become a community hub, a place to promote literacy and the joy of reading.

Local Charleston Updates

Congratulations to College of Charleston alumnus, Michael Bourke ’08 and his wife, Jenny Ferrara, for cleverly founding Philosophers & Fools Books and Beverages at 50 Bogard Street in Charleston.  From the website: “Philosophers & Fools is a cozy neighborhood bookstore bar in Charleston, SC.  Created by two people who love to read and sip on a glass of wine or a craft beer while they read, they crazily (or brilliantly?) said to one another, ‘Why don’t we create a space where others can enjoy this, too?’  And so, here we are.  We’ve made our dream a reality.  Everything we carry, from the books to the wine & beer, from the snacks to the decor has been thoughtfully selected by our team.  Just ask — there’s a story for just about everything in the shop!  We welcome you to come in and discover a new book or find an old one not yet on your shelf, sit down for a conversation with friends, and enjoy something to drink or snack on.  We look forward to talking about books with you.”  Both the Charleston City Paper and the Post and Courier are raving about it!  We can’t wait to stop in (it’s a 20-minute walk from the Francis Marion) and congratulate them! 

Just saw the headline:  “Have Americans lost their appetite for the basic burger?”  It is an article by one of my favorite Charleston Post and Courier columnists, Warren Peper.  Warren asks if the new cousin is the “boutique burger”?  Warren recalls a burger place that had fond memories.  The Goodie House on Calhoun Street across from the College of Charleston run by a mom and pop and their two sons.  It only had seats for ten or so people and was always packed.  Cerise Oberman and I always had the cheese omelets.  Cerise left Charleston and is now in Plattsburgh, NY, where she and her husband Laurence Soroka founded Plattsburgh Expeditionary Studies (EXP) where they plan to provide deserving EXP students financial support by establishing the EXP award.  alumni.plattsburgh.edu

That’s it for now.  Thanks for reading and catch you back here in June!  


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