2023 Charleston Preconferences and Seminars 

The Charleston Conference traditionally hosts preconference workshops and seminars on the days immediately preceding the main conference. We also have two virtual preconferences that will be held during the virtual conference week. Each session is jam-packed with hands-on activity and breakout discussions for the attendees, and will include several breaks. These are intended to be active learning sessions, not just another lecture to sit through. We have sessions on a wide range of topics – see the links below for more details! 

Registration for our preconference sessions is included on the main conference registration page, but attendance of the full conference is not required to attend preconference sessions.

In-Person Preconferences: Tuesday, November 7, 2023

9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Equitable, Feasible, Sustainable: Everything you wanted to know about Subscribe to Open but were afraid to ask
Cost: Free, sponsored by Subscribe to Open Community of Practice

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  • Antonia Pop, Vice President, Publishing, University of Toronto Press
  • Wendy Queen, Director, Project MUSE
  • Raym Crow, Managing Partner, Chain Bridge Group
  • Richard Gallagher, President and Editor-in-Chief, Annual Reviews
  • Gaynor Redvers-Mutton, Associate Director Business Development & Sales, Biochemical Society
  • Melissa Junior, Executive Publisher, American Society for Microbiology
  • Stacey Burke, Publications Director Digital, Marketing and Library Relations, American Physiological Society
  • Sandra Shaw, Director, Editorial, Design and Production, University of Toronto Press
  • Lauren Kane, CEO, BioOne
  • Curtis Brundy, Associate University Librarian, Iowa State University
  • John Felts, Head of Information Technology and Collections, Coastal Carolina University
  • Moriana Garcia, Scholarly Communication Librarian, University of Rochester
  • Kate McCready, Visiting Program Officer, Big Ten Academic Alliance
  • Jason Price, Research and Scholarly Communication Director, SCELC
  • Barbara Kline Pope, Executive Director, Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Young Lee, Marketing and Library Relations Manager, Berghahn Books
  • Sophi Tranchell, Marketing Director, Pluto Journals
  • Katherine Brooks, Collection Analysis Librarian, Columbia University
  • Andrea Lopez, Director of Sales, Partnerships & Initiatives, Annual Reviews
  • Cason Lynley, Director of Marketing, Sales & Finance, Duke University Press
  • Kevin Steiner, Head of Global Sales and Advertising, AIP Publishing
  • Keith Layson, Senior Manager: Sales, Partnerships, and Initiatives, Annual Reviews
  • Kelley Squazzo, Director of Library & Publisher Partnerships, Project MUSE
  • Ghais Najjar, RO North America – Lead, Karger
  • Amy Harris, Senior Manager, Library Relations and Sales, MIT Press
  • Emily Poznanski, Director, Central European University Press

Session Description: Subscribe to Open (S2O) is an equitable and innovative approach for achieving open access—free and immediate online availability of research—without reliance on article processing charges (APCs). S2O provides a pragmatic route to opening a vast body of research output that would otherwise remain gated by working within existing library subscription procurement processes.

S2O was first developed and piloted in 2018. Since the initial pilot, various stakeholders across the scholarly communications ecosystem support the model in a variety of ways. A multitude of publishers adopted and adapted the model to support open access for diverse publishing portfolios, including across a variety of subject areas (sciences, social sciences, humanities), single journal titles as well as journal collections, and established journals as well as journal launches. Libraries of varying sizes with a diverse set of goals and needs support the model as part of their collection strategies. Content aggregators are developing multi-publisher S2O offers. Also notable is the continuous evolution of the Subscribe to Open Community of Practice, which includes representation from these diverse perspectives and is rapidly growing in scale.

The proposed conference on Subscribe to Open brings together these diverse perspectives with the following goals:

  • Share knowledge among all stakeholders with an interest in open access of opportunities and challenges presented by the S2O model
  • Generate discussion among participants (audience + speakers alike) of opportunities for cross-collaboration in the further evolution and uptake of the S2O model
  • Seek and share practical advice on the implementation of the model
  • Take away concrete action items that participants could action in their home institution, especially flowing from breakout discussions

9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

  1. OA as a Catalyst: Shifting Budgets and Emerging Publisher/Library Collaboration
    Organized by the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP)

Cost: $125


  • Kelly Denzer, Collections Strategist and Discovery Librarian, Davidson College
  • Jill Emery, Professor, Collection Development & Management Librarian Portland State University
  • Elizabeth Lorbeer, Chair, Department of Medical Library – Western Michigan University School of Medicine 

The transition to open-access publishing, accelerated even more by the onset of COVID, Plan S and the Nelson Memo from the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), has impacted how librarians allocate their declining budgets. These and other funding mandates have created challenges for both libraries and publishers. Both entities have much in common, yet how do they sort out how to effectively collaborate to serve common consumers– authors, readers, and the general public?

As library acquisition budgets transition away from subscription fees, how do librarians reconsider the allocation of their budgets? As pricing models become author-driven, will this cause unintended consequences of disenfranchising smaller- and medium-sized schools of higher education? Can multiple subscription models coexist, as one-size pricing does not fit all library types? How do libraries report on and evaluate the impact of their Open Access (OA) agreements? What projects, initiatives, and infrastructures are being developed to sustain these models?

Historically, publishers and librarians worked well together to comply with funder mandates while helping authors navigate the increasing complexities of publishing. As we jointly work to create a more equitable world, how do we sort out sticky issues, such as publishing inequities between those who have funding and those who do not? Our discussion will address the push and pull in our respective worlds, as article processing charges (APCs) are now the commercial norm. Will preprints become the primary vehicle for unfunded, early career researchers and student researchers to disseminate discoveries?

Finally, how do external forces such as climate migration, political upheaval, and natural disasters affect and disrupt scholarly communications? Are global voices going unheard, or are scholars finding an alternative method to disseminate new knowledge? Are we ready for disruption in scholarly publishing in a new AI-driven natural language processing world?

We will share examples and lead small-group discussions to obtain input from across the community.

2. Growing Collection Development & Acquisition Skills for Commercial Datasets

Cost: $125


  • Courtney Crummett, Collection Strategist for Science & Engineering and Research Data MIT Libraries
  • Julia Gelfand Applied Sciences & Engineering Librarian at University of California, Irvine Libraries

Session Description: This session is designed to bring together acquisitions librarians and collection strategists who are responsible for identifying, acquiring and licensing commercial data in all subjects. Commercial datasets often don’t fit into traditional processes such as selection, acquisition, licensing, discoverability, storage and archiving, and are often very expensive and therefore come with unique challenges and obstacles. This session will provide examples of workflows libraries use to purchase datasets, obstacles and challenges they experience with discussion time to explore solutions and share ideas. Attendants will leave with a greater understanding of how libraries can respond to data requests and acquire in an efficient, expedient way so that users can find, analyze and use this data in their academic work.

1:00 – 4:00 pm

  1. Exploring Sustainability for Global OA Book Usage Data Trust Infrastructure

Cost: FREE (Sponsored by OA Book Usage Data Trust)


  • Christina Drummond, Executive Director, OA Book Usage Data Trust (hosted at the UNT Libraries)
  • Ursula Rabar, Community Manager for the OA Book Usage Data Trust, employed by OPERAS
  • OA Book Usage Data Trust Sustainability Committee Members (TBD)

Session Description: Library publishing stakeholders are invited to inform how an open infrastructure is sustained by and for the communities it serves. The OA Book Usage Data Trust (OAEBUDT) effort is working to facilitate the ethical data exchange of open and proprietary usage data about OA books. A community-based Board of Trustees guides this effort as it aims to achieve the vision of “Community Governed Sharing of Quality, Interoperable, Open Access (OA) Book Usage Data” by exchanging reliable usage data in a trusted, equitable, and community-governed way.

In 2022 The Mellon Foundation awarded a project team led by The University of North Texas, OpenAIRE, and OPERAS to develop “governance building blocks” for the OA Book Usage Data Trust in line with the Design Principles for International Data Spaces (IDS)[1] and emerging IDS certification specifications. This workshop invites OA usage stakeholders to learn what the Data Trust IDS service will provide, to then explore and evaluate ways to sustain such a trusted, neutral data intermediary infrastructure within the scholarly publishing ecosystem.

Specifically participants will:

  1. Learn about the OAEBUDT effort and the IDS infrastructure
  2. Consider the strengths and weaknesses of various cost-recovery oriented revenue generation options for non-profit open scholarly infrastructure, leveraging exercises from the Open Data Institute’s Sustainable Data Access Workbook and a preliminary business model canvas prepared for the effort by MoreBrains Consulting.
  3. Reflect on how sustainability models might impact trust, neutrality, and global participation, to explore mitigation strategies that address concerns.

Without high-quality, reliable and granular data, organizations cannot be fully aware of the context-specific impacts related to a given author, collection, institution or platform. Sustaining shared infrastructure will help address the challenges faced by institutions who send or collect OA book usage data for strategic decision-making about OA programs and impact.

2. Trials Overhaul: Tangled Mess to Finely Tuned Process

Cost: $125

Speaker: Lizzie Cope, Assessment Projects Librarian, University of Tennessee at Knoxville

Session Description: Managing electronic resource trials can be an overwhelming and time-consuming process. At my institution, the task fell to me in 2018. There was no process in place and there was confusion from our Library Faculty and Staff on requesting trials and when we should conduct a trial. Plus, our vendors had to start from scratch with each conversation they had. I completely overhauled the process. In this session, I will show attendees how to transform their trial process at their institution into a well-oiled machine.

Learning Objectives:

  • First, we will do activities to help you gain clarity on why your institution conducts trials. What are your limits? What are your objectives when conducting a trial?
  • Next, I will provide you with samples and ideas about communication around trials. What details do you want from vendors? What can you work on during a trial to speed up your acquisition process? What information can you glean from patrons during a trial to help in your purchase process?
  • Last, I will help you develop a workflow that works for your institution. Who else might need to be involved at your institution? How can you make this a collaborative process between your patrons, your team, and your vendors?

I will also discuss how we conduct accessibility audits during trials, require vendors to complete a form, and begin negotiation talks around a product.

This session will be hand on and practical. Often, institutions are trialing resources several times and never even getting to the point of purchase. Or, they don’t have any data to back up their decision. With tight budgets and stricter guidance, institutions need to be able to back up their purchases with evidence based decisions.
I would attend a session like this for practical applications. Session attendees will walk away with samples, examples, handouts, and a starting point for revamping the trial process at their institution.


Monday, November 27, 1:00 – 4:00 PM
Held on Zoom

  1. Design Thinking for Transformative Agreements: Ideating and Creating Local Solutions with Collaborative Methods

Cost: $75


  • Tim Schlak, Associate Provost, Academic Alliances, Robert Morris University
  • Alexis Macklin, Director, Library Services & Center for Digital Learning & Innovation, Carlow University

Session Description: This session will provide the space and tools for participants to address some of the most pressing concerns they face on their campuses and within their organizations where Open Access and Transformative Agreements are concerned. The workshop leaders will tailor time-tested Human-Centered Design (HCD) methods that bring diverse perspectives together in new ways that produce novel perspectives on difficult, thorny problems. In the post-Big Deal era, academic libraries, consortia, and publishers are struggling to create a new scholarly ecosystem that provides the kind of agency and infrastructure we were previously accustomed to. By centering the human perspective in all steps of the problem-solving process, the group will define and frame the problem space that matters to them in order to design solutions for it that participants can take back to their local contexts. Participants will also gain an appreciation for the methods and will receive resources to take them back to try out to continue the progress they make in the workshop session.

The guiding questions of the workshop will be:

  • How can your library, consortium, or publisher succeed in pursuing Transformative Agreements and which direction should your library, consortium, or publisher head?
  • What strengths and assets do you already possess, what barriers and threats stand in your way, and how can you communicate effectively with the audiences you most need on your side?

This workshop presents many unique opportunities for its participants. First, the opportunity to share perspectives in one space with librarians, consortial leaders, and publishers will create a shared and intimate space for rich dialogue and fruitful exploration. Second, the intersection of HCD with OA as a concept is still relatively rare in library circles but participants will become more fluent in practical tools that are catching on in popularity across higher education. And last, the workshop will give participants practical steps they can take upon return to their home organizations to start making progress on their most urgent OA and TA ideas right away.

Tuesday, November 28, 12:00 – 4:00 pm
Held on Zoom

2. Acquisitions Bootcamp

Cost: $75


  • Rebecca Vargha, Head, Information and Library Science Library, UNC Chapel Hill
  • Liz Siler, Associate Dean for Collection Services, UNC Charlotte

Session Description: This seminar will offer a high-level overview of the workflows and concepts of the acquisitions process, from selecting materials to interacting with vendors, and articulating the return on investment to the parent organization (academic/special/public libraries). Attendees will gain pragmatic knowledge of strategies and best practices to manage a variety of material types including print and e-resources. The group will also discuss how emerging issues, like government mandated open publishing, are affecting core resource management workflows. This class is ideally suited for librarians new to selection and acquisitions workflows.

• Collection Management Overview
• Budgeting
• Assessing User Needs / Selecting Materials
• Acquisitions Workflows
• Negotiation Strategies & Legal Issues
• Collections Assessment
• (E)Resources Management
• Marketing / Outreach


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