v28 #5 And They Were There

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Reports of Meetings — 35th Annual Charleston Conference

Issues in Book and Serial Acquisition, “Where Do We Go From Here?” — Charleston Gaillard Center, Francis Marion Hotel, Embassy Suites Historic Downtown, and Courtyard Marriott Historic District — Charleston, SC, November 4-7, 2015

Charleston Conference Reports compiled by:  Ramune K. Kubilius  (Northwestern University, Galter Health Sciences Library)

Column Editor’s Note:  Thank you to all of the Charleston Conference attendees who agreed to write short reports that highlight sessions they attended at the 2015 Charleston Conference.  All attempts were made to provide a broad coverage of sessions, and notes are included in the reports to reflect known changes in the session titles or presenters, highlighting those that were not printed in the conference’s final program (though some may have been reflected in the online program).  Please visit the Conference Website at www.charlestonlibraryconference.com, and https://2015charlestonconference.sched.org/, for the online conference schedule from which there are links to many presentations’ PowerPoint slides and handouts, plenary session videos, and conference reports by the 2015 Charleston Conference blogger, Don Hawkins.  The conference blog is available at https://www.charleston-hub.com/category/chsconfblog/.  The 2015 Charleston Conference Proceedings will be published in partnership with Purdue University Press in 2016.

In this issue of ATG you will find the final installment of 2015 conference reports.  The first four installments can be found in ATG v.28#1, February 2016, v.28#2, April 2016, v.28#3, June 2016 and v.28#4, September 2016.  Watch for reports from the 2016 Charleston Conference to begin publishing in the February 2017 issue of ATG. — RKK


Charleston Premiers — Moderated by David Myers
(DMedia Associates)

Participating Companies:  Access Innovations, Inc., ACI Information Group, LLC, ArtStor, ATLA, Bentham Science Publishers, bepress, Bloomsbury Publishing, Cairn.info, Firebrand Technologies, Inera Incorporated, Kudos, McGraw-Hill Education, ProQuest, Sciencescape, Wolters Kluwer.

NOTE:  ArtStor was not represented in this session and
Institutional Investor Journals (IIJ) was added.

Reported by:  Ramune K. Kubilius  (Northwestern University, Galter Health Sciences Library)


The publishers and vendors who were selected to present bright and early the concluding conference morning came prepared to give “lightning round” presentations with a challenge.  Their aim was to familiarize the audience with or provide reminders about their products or companies, but to also highlight pilot projects, recent product developments and launches or innovations.  This all needed to be accomplished in five minutes.  Products and services spread across the library and scholarly publishing ecosystem, ranging from those that help with curation of external assets and preservation of internal data (e.g., Access Innovations, Inc.) and subject or niche-specific information products such as ATLA Products (theology), Bentham (STM), Cairn.info (multilingualism in social science and the humanities), ACI Information Group, LLC (scientific blogs), IIJ and its Practical Applications (PA) product (investments).  Some focus on wide-ranging subjects and audiences (e.g., Wolters Kluwer and ProQuest).  Some target students (Bloomsbury and McGraw-Hill Education).  Some help libraries curate scholarship (BePress), help institutions and researchers get the word out about publications and research in alternative ways (Kudos), help with editing solutions (Inera), and others help various clients across the spectrum, from libraries to retailers (Firebrand Technologies).  Intrigued potential customers who may not have noticed these products or services in the Vendor Showcase had to catch the presenters for a few minutes of discussion after this session, or follow-up after the conference.


New Platforms and Discover Tools: Towards 21st Century University Presses and Libraries — Presented by Charles Watkinson, Moderator (University of Michigan Press/University of Michigan);  Leila Salisbury (University Press of Mississippi);  Ellen Faran (Director Emerita of the MIT Press, now Project Manager, UPScope);  Helen Cullyer (Mellon Foundation);  Susan Doerr (University of Minnesota Press);  Angela Carreno (New York University);  Tyler Walters (Virginia Tech)

Reported by:  Ramune K. Kubilius  (Northwestern University, Galter Health Sciences Library)


The very robust panel in this session covered a lot of ground.  Highlights were presented on two new Mellon Foundation-funded projects, UPScope and University of Minnesota Press/CUNY’s GC Digital Scholarship Lab’s Manifold Scholarship project.  This was followed by comments on visions and innovations these would potentially bring.  The projects experiment with new monograph formats (and formats that co-exist with monographs), publishing tools, as well as new and improved ways to help with discovery (inference engines, search functions, visualizations).  Insights were provided on Mellon Foundation’s funding priorities, and a peek into the landscape: “institutional appetites” (at a senior level) to pay Open Access fees for authors, peer review infrastructures, the mega journal for humanities (Open Library of Humanities) that is funded by contributions from libraries, the evolving eBook, interactive scholarly works…  The session, highlighting two new projects and other initiatives of the university press publishing sector, illustrated that, with funding and support, this sector can be no less innovative or forward-looking than the commercial sector.  31 university presses report to libraries, so the publisher-library (administrative) ties are there, though, interestingly, it was stated that in the case of the two new projects presented in this session, libraries were not involved in their development.


Summon, EBSCO Discovery Service, and Google Scholar: Comparing Search Performance Using User Queries — Presented by Anthony Watkinson, (Moderator, CIBER);  John Vickery (North Carolina State University)

Reported by:  Gail Julian  (Clemson University)


North Carolina State University implemented ProQuest’s Summon Discovery Service in 2009.  At that time, Summon was the only discovery service with APIs which allowed NC State to populate their quick search application with article data as well as catalog and webpage data.  During a periodic review of their discovery options, NC State decided to evaluate EBSCO’s EDS since APIs were also now available from that service.  During the summer of 2014, an EBSCO EDS trial database was set up similarly to the Summon installation so results could be compared fairly.  From actual student search logs, a simple random sample of 183 searches ended up being used for the test.  The majority of the searches were topical searches with 25% being known-item searches.  These student searches were replicated in both Summon and EDS to see which discovery service yielded the best results.  NC State also performed these same searches in Google Scholar.  For the topical searches, relevant results were to display within the first ten results.  For the known-item searches, the title was to be located and displayed within the top three results.  For known-item queries, all three products performed relatively the same. The topical searches resulted in a tie between Summon and EDS with the presenter recommending that other factors be used in discovery service purchase decisions such as cost, interface, backend, and customer support.  Google Scholar outperformed both Summon and EDS statistically for topical searches although Google results could not be displayed as part of the quick search application while Summon and EDS results could.  Ex Libris’ Primo was not part of the test.  For additional information, see detailed article at http://go.ncsu.edu/nwyan6.


2 PDA: Collection Development Hybrid  — Presented by Keven Petsche (IUPUI University Library)

Reported by:  Lisa Hopkins  (Texas A&M University-Central Texas)


The speaker gave a very data-driven presentation about the different acquisitions models IUPUI implemented, their successes, failures, and overall costs.  The IUPUI University Library is engaged in several novel patron-driven and professional-driven experiments, such as EBL/ebrary DDA through YBP using short term loans, a core approval plan for print through YBP, and a pilot print DDA through YBP that gives users the choice of print or electronic.  In addition, his library is engaged in a streaming video PDA through Kanopy and a Journal PDA using the Copyright Clearance Center’s “Get it Now” Article on Demand program.  He addressed many logistic questions, such as how to balance the need for librarians to mediate the purchase requests in the print DDA and the need to deliver the material in a seamless manner to the patron.  He acknowledged the constantly changing environment, and the interesting ways his library is approaching solutions to the collection development conundrum.


Changing the Conversation: Using Agile Approaches to Develop and Assess Collections Holistically — Presented by Cheri Duncan (James Madison University);  Genya O’Gara (VIVA)

Reported by:  Jennifer C. L. Smathers  (The College at Brockport, SUNY)


With the room mostly full, the enthusiastic audience was treated to an engaging vision of holistic collection development.  Duncan and O’Gara described moving away from single subject and single format evaluation of collections to visual snapshots of groupings of both.  These snapshots, almost exclusively mined from existing data, allowed the reader to take the temperature of the collection, rather than getting bogged down in minutia.  Content and detail of a snapshot would vary based on audience, a successful approach given that their provost was able to obtain a budget increase for collections.  For future iterations, JMU will change the survey of faculty, regarding journals, to acknowledge the futility of individual title evaluation in the world of big packages.  Reading of their forthcoming article is highly recommended for anyone who thinks, “I want this!”

(The session was exactly as advertised, though it should be noted that O’Gara reported on work done at JMU, but is now the Associate Director of VIVA, the Virtual Library of Virginia.)


Flip this House: “Back of the House” Library Staff Engaging the Wider Campus Community — Presented by Patrick Roth (Grand Valley State University);  Jeffrey Daniels (Grand Valley State University

Reported by:  Ramune K. Kubilius  (Northwestern University, Galter Health Sciences Library)


The speakers’ institution has experimenting with converting positions (or portions of them) to support new and emerging areas.  This has allowed the library to move into metadata and digital curation, gaming and outreach, information literacy, a technology showcase, 3D printing and so much more.  Staff who don’t often work with the public (technical services and technology) became involved in staffing the front desk, helping with outreach, institutional marketing.  This provides an exciting growth opportunity, but needs to be balanced (staff need to perform their standing responsibilities).  These experiments permit a library to discover and showcase skill sets and build relationships.  Questions abounded, including one on unions (which should not necessarily be an impediment, according to the speakers).


A New Kind of Social Media Strategy: Collecting Zines at the Vassar College Library — Presented by Heidy Berthoud (Vassar College Library)

Reported by:  Alexis Linoski  (Texas A&M System Libraries)


This session presented the Zine collection development strategy at Vassar College.  The presenter manages the entire process, from selection to cataloging, along with a dedicated student worker.  While they have a collection policy, it is loose and not all of it is written down.  They collect personal and political (non-fiction) zines, no literature or art, with a focus on race, gender, and sexuality.  The Zines are generally cataloged as monographs or serials and will eventually be added to OCLC.  They are placed in the stacks and do circulate.

Tumbler, Twitter and Etsy were used to identify sources.  Purchases are generally directly from the creator or a distributor.  Creators/distributors are always advised that the purchase is for a library, as not all Zine creators want their work in a library.  She started with a budget of $1,000, which was increased to $1,500 this year.

The collection has received support from students and faculty, particularly those in Women’s Studies.  Students may donate their Zines to the library, usually two copies — one for circulation and one for the archives.  They digitize student Zines, though the students can opt out.


e-Book Adoption by Students Across the World: A Diffusion of Innovation Perspective — Presented by Sarah Fesmire Schroeder (University of Chicago)

Reported by:  Ramune K. Kubilius  (Northwestern University, Galter Health Sciences Library)


Fesmire Schroeder presented on research in which she was involved while a graduate student at University of Tennessee, working with Professor Devendra Potnis and Xiaopeng Bao.

(The presentation slides can be found in the conference site, http://sched.co/4ELO, entitled: “eBook Adoption by Students Across the World: the DoI Perspective”).  The session, though data heavy, represented analysis of 25 empirical published studies, measured against five variables of DoI, and provided an interesting glimpse into the worldwide scene of eBooks.  There are a number of factors that affect innovation, including the attributes of advantage, compatibility, complexity, trialability, and observability.  Librarians recognized some concerns of students, but may not think about cultural differences (what interests dominate in what country), for example: environmental consciousness (Malaysia), study time (the U.K), cross-platform issues (America), the comfort level of an eBook resembling print (Taiwan).  In Asia, decisions are collective, while in the West-optional choices.  Academic settings shape adoption, while in other countries — publishers may provide leadership, and others — private vs public issues arise.  Discussion arose with the presenter about dissemination and availability of eBooks, and about the validity of the survey results, which, after all, are self-reported.  Future research of Professor Potnis will continue (with other graduate student help), into empirical and cross-cultural studies.


Closing Session and End of Conference Poll-a-Palooza: Part II — Presented by Derek Law (University of Strathclyde);  Erin Gallager (Rollins College)

Reported by:  Ramune K. Kubilius (Northwestern University, Galter Health Sciences Library)


For those who were able to stay to the end of the conference, this year’s finale session (that followed a tasty buffet lunch) was entertaining and offered a good 2015 conference wrap-up.  Gallagher started by re-capping predictions from the 2015 conference, then posing a series of questions about the 2016 conference, Charleston, and the library world.  Responses (and resulting trends and opinions) were collected through Poll Everywhere and visualized on a large screen for all to see, often causing ripples of laughter.  The audience, evenly split between first timers and veterans, gave their opinions on what their favorite session types were (Plenaries, Neapolitans, and Innovation Sessions each received 21% of the vote).  Opinions were positive on the conference’s new venue, the Gaillard Center (except the restriction on sustaining morning beverages).  Opinions on demand-driven acquisitions were mixed, ranging from “bad idea” to “where articles should be” and “OK” to “where our expectations went to die.”  Altmetrics were not overwhelmingly used by this audience (59% not used, 33% used).  Will audience participants implement any new programs learned at this year’s conference?  Yes: 72%, no: 26%.  2016 conference theme suggestions, serious and humorous, included: “How Do We Get There?,” “Been There, Done That,” “I Love Altmetrics,” and “No Theme.”

Law provided pertinent statistics about the conference: there were 1788 registrants, 494 first timers, 291 sessions and events, and 549 speakers.  The ratio of speakers to attendees was 1:3, a high ratio among conferences.  In response to the conference theme question, “Where do we go from here?,” he offered “chaos” (we work separately in our little boxes) and “community” (working together in a sandbox or sharing platter, we receive a survival kit) scenarios.  Law reminded the audience of Britain’s Capability Brown (1716-1783) who revolutionized garden and landscape architecture that evolved into other vistas and technology.  He likened the pleasing vistas of that era with Charleston and the conference — its sights, taste, smell, and all who made sure participants could learn, train, and share.  Law concluded with a reminder to the audience of the “real” story of the middle stanzas of the Scots poem, “Auld Lange Sine,” by Robert Burns (“We twa hae run about the braes…”).  The stanzas (and the Charleston Conference) are really the story of friendship…

This session, mixing and merging modern audience polling technology with literary and historical references, offered a satisfying way to end the 2015 Charleston Conference.


Well this completes the reports we received from the 2015 Charleston Conference.  Again we’d like to send a big thank you to all of the attendees who agreed to write short reports that highlight sessions they attended.  Presentation material (PowerPoint slides, handouts) and taped session links from many of the 2015 sessions are available online.  Visit the Conference Website at www.charlestonlibraryconference.com. — KS



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