“The leader of Virginia Tech’s library is at the forefront of national conversations to make research funded by the federal government freely accessible to all.”
Quoting Chris Bourg: “I think the fundamental role of research libraries will always be to provide enduring, abundant, equitable, and meaningful access to knowledge. Certainly, the tools and platforms for doing that will continue to evolve, as the forms by which scholars express, consume, and analyze knowledge move from static, physical forms to dynamic, interactive, networked digital forms.
In today’s environment, for example, providing access to knowledge includes having a licensed drone pilot on the MIT Libraries staff, who accompanies an EAPS [Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences] class on a research trip to Death Valley to obtain 3-D images of terrain the students could not access on foot. Another change is that modern research libraries must ensure that our collections are accessible not just to human readers, but also to text- and data-mining applications, algorithms, and machine-learning tools. And at the MIT Libraries, we are responsive to our community’s desire to interact with our content in more active, innovative, and participatory ways—through annotation, mashups, and other creative uses and reuses. This is what we mean in the Future of Libraries report when we call on MIT and the world to “hack the library.” …”
“Robert Hudson, who has served in various roles in the libraries at Boston University since 1979, as Director of University Libraries from 1992, and most recently as University Librarian since 2007, has announced that he plans to step down from his administrative leadership role and retire from the University. He will continue to serve as University Librarian through the completion of the search process for his successor….Bob has been an important leader in the University’s implementation of OpenBU – aimed at strengthening our commitment to the widest possible archiving, online sharing, and dissemination of BU research and scholarship. In particular, he was instrumental in passing the 2009 Open Access Policy and the effort to move BU from an “Opt-In” to an “Opt-Out” implementation of this policy for faculty scholarly articles in 2015. Over the past several years, Bob has strategically led library-wide organizational change and the continual development of expertise within the library staff to respond to new impact areas (such as Open Access) and to shift resources from print-based processes and collections to digital and emerging areas….”
“Professional discourse concerning scholarly communication (SC) suggests a broad consensus that this is a burgeoning functional area in academic libraries. The transformed research lifecycle and the corresponding changes in copyright applications, publishing models, and open access policies have generated unprecedented opportunities for innovative library engagement with the academy and its researchers. Accordingly, the roles for librarians have shifted to accommodate new responsibilities. Previous research on SC librarianship is mainly focused on the provision of services, administrative structures, and the analysis of relevant job descriptions. Little has been written regarding the implications of SC on the preparation of new library professionals, and no research has been produced on the relative perspectives of library students.”
The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) announces that its Reference and User Services Quarterly (RUSQ) journal will move to open access beginning with the fall 2017 issue.
RUSQ disseminates information of interest to reference librarians, information specialists and other professionals involved in user-oriented library services. The decision to move RUSQ from subscription based to open access was based on many factors, most notably the open access movement strongly supported by librarians. Other factors include ensuring a continued pool of strong authors and articles, ease of access for readers as well as broader worldwide access as the cost for professional journal subscriptions is extremely prohibitive.
“In gathering entries for this list, I found it depressing to browse through decades of stories about how we need to do more in supporting open access; fighting against the erosion of Fair Use and privacy; and embracing technological advancements. Careerism and continued hand-wringing over bookless libraries, journal and textbook costs, and future trends continues, while the world around us has evolved considerably. Commercial powerhouses now exist where libraries once stood, largely because we didn’t stake our claim in new areas. We’re also the reason Sci-Hub exists, I would argue. Meanwhile, a sizable chunk of the profession continues to preach a form of paleo-librarianship, against altering what we do in any significant way….”
“In keeping with its role as a bellwether for a changing profession, the Roadshow’s latest revision points to several clear lessons in designing engagement. At a high level, engagement must recognize the diversity of scholarly communication and the variety of paths libraries are following. For many stakeholders within and beyond the library, the perception that scholarly communication is simply a conversation about open access to scholarly articles remains. This can be dispiriting for librarians who may feel that if they cannot sustain a large open access fund or drive a campus mandate then scholarly communication “isn’t for their campus.” Similarly, campus administrators and faculty may dismiss scholarly communication as little more than library complaints about funding.
Instead, scholarly communication should be presented as an opportunity to do new things that advance the core mission of the library and the institution. Scholarly communication should be understood as supporting exciting new types of scholarship, documenting the broader impact of the university’s work, reducing barriers to student success, and enabling compliance with complicated mandates from national funding agencies. The Roadshow’s use of a pre-survey and modules is one way to tailor outreach to the priorities of diverse institutions, but on-campus engagement can do this in a variety of ways from partnering with campus stakeholders to department-specific work on pressing issues.
A second major lesson learned from our revision is that engagement should be led by presenters that balance their own expertise with work that highlights the expertise of others in the community. Of course, exercises and workshops need to present new information and skills with high levels of credibility, but evaluations make it clear that expertise is valued no more highly than attributes like an engaging presentation style or opportunities to do hands-on work. A session where peers work through a concrete problem together is likely to be more impactful than a dry lecture from even the most respected expert presenter.
This is especially true in the context of scholarly communication where the issues are new and rapidly evolving so expertise is likely to be fluid and shared across the institution. The Roadshow has put a premium on group work because it accommodates diverse levels of expertise. At almost any institution, every librarian is an expert in something and a novice in something else. An exercise or series of events that lets individuals show off their own expertise and then learn from others is effective for all participants, rather than racing past those who are new or slowing down to the frustration of those with more experience.
Finally, scholarly communication engagement is most effective when it is designed to develop a community of practice, rather than impart specific skills. There is too much content to be covered in any single day. A workshop can introduce shared vocabulary, present case studies, or provide a framework, but scholarly communication is too large and fast moving to be covered in a workshop or lecture. Instead, it should be integrated into the core work of the library through targeted engagement that supports pilot projects and new models of librarianship.”
“APCs are currently the dominant model, though, because they seem to be a sustainable one. The question becomes how to ensure no research is lost because a researcher can’t pay a fee. Libraries can play a major role in this.
Firstly, an increasing number are offering OA funds. This means they hold some money that researchers who meet certain requirements can use to pay their APC. By doing this, libraries are acting as a safety net for scholars who don’t have another way to pay their charges.
Most libraries also help increase awareness and guide scholars through the OA publishing process. They help people avoid predatory publishers and even act as their agent with legitimate publishers. This means they negotiate on behalf of authors to ensure they retain the right to their own work, and other important issues.”