v32#2 And They Were There

by | May 11, 2020 | 0 comments

Reports of Meetings — 39th Annual Charleston Conference

Column Editors:  Ramune K. Kubilius  (Galter Health Sciences Library & Learning Center, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine) 

and Sever Bordeianu  (Head, Print Resources Section, University Libraries, MSC05 3020, 1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM  87131-0001;  Phone: 505-277-2645;  Fax: 505-277-9813) 

Issues in Book and Serial Acquisition, “The Time has Come … to Talk of Many Things!” Charleston Gaillard Center, Francis Marion Hotel, Embassy Suites Historic Downtown, and Courtyard Marriott Historic District — Charleston, SC, November 4-8, 2019

Charleston Conference Reports compiled by:  Ramune K. Kubilius  (Galter Health Sciences Library & Learning Center, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine) 

Column Editor’s Note:  Thanks to all of the Charleston Conference attendees who agreed to write short reports highlighting sessions they attended at the 2019 Charleston Conference.  Attempts were made to provide a broad coverage of sessions, but there are always more sessions than there are reporters.  Some presenters posted their slides and handouts in the online conference schedule.  Please visit the conference site, http://www.charlestonlibraryconference.com/, and link to selected videos, interviews, as well as to blog reports written by Charleston Conference blogger, Donald Hawkins.  The 2019 Charleston Conference Proceedings will be published in 2020, in partnership with Purdue University Presshttp://www.thepress.purdue.edu/series/charleston.

Even if not noted with the reports, videos of most sessions as well as other video offerings like the “Views from the Penthouse Suite” interviews are being posted to the Charleston Conference YouTube Channel as they are completed and are sorted into playlists by date for ease of navigation.

In this issue of ATG you will find the second installment of 2019 conference reports.  The first installment can be found in ATG v.32#1, February 2020We will continue to publish all of the reports received in upcoming print issues throughout the year. — RKK


Opening Keynote: Building Trust When Truth Fractures — Presented by Courtney McAllister (moderator, Yale University), Brewster Kale (Internet Archive) — https://sched.co/UXpk

Reported by Ramune K. Kubilius  (Northwestern University, Galter Health Sciences Library & Learning Center) 

MacAllister introduced Kahle who not for the first time addressed Charleston Conference attendees.  He shared a rallying statement that this can and should be and has to be our day.  People are looking for solid information and when filtered by others, the web is betraying us.  Since web pages last an average of about 100 days, are we building a culture on sand?  Students in schools (as Kahle was informed by his young neighbor) are not permitted to list Wikipedia as a source in their papers.  That is complicated by the fact that there are upwards of 10,000 broken links in Wikipedia that don’t lead to the necessary primary sources — text in books and journal articles.  Concentrating on books, Open Libraries has now created a wish list of books desired for digitization, not only for Wikipedia, where only the relevant pages would be linked, but also for the new Universal School Library program (a subset of the Internet Archive collection), whereby digital books would be available under controlled digital lending.  The new alignment with Better World Books, per its President & CEO, Dustin Holland, who came on stage, has created a “nested mission” and working together will maximize knowledge and for the full life cycle of books.  “Digital learners need us now.”  

The Charleston Conference blog report about this session by Donald Hawkins can be found at:  https://against-the-grain.com/2019/11/opening-keynote-building-trust-when-truth-fractures/.

The video of the keynote can be viewed at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bA67X9y-ozc.


A Collaborative Imperative? Libraries and the Emerging Scholarly Communication Future — Presented by Beth Bernhardt (moderator, Oxford), Lorcan Dempsey (OCLC), Jason Price (SCELC Library Consortium), Alicia Wise (Information Power Ltd.) — https://sched.co/UXpq

Reported by Lindsay Barnett  (Cushing/Whitney Medical Library, Yale University School of Medicine)   

Bernhardt, Charleston Conference Principal Program Director, introduced the three panelists and the session topic.  Dempsey presented 3 contextual areas:  colleges, consortia, and collections.  Libraries are moving to engagement-oriented models where excellence is determined by the strategic fit to institutional goals.  There are “three poles” in higher education: research, liberal education, and career.  Dempsey used data from multiple consortia to analyze trends in which member institutions fell on the three poles.  Consortia in which members have aligned goals may move together on a common vision, those with very different profiles may be looking for opportunities for intersection.  Library collections have moved from “owned” to “facilitated.”  Facilitated collections are driven by “network logic,” meeting research and learning needs in the best way possible, whether internal or external to the library.  

The key to our open future is a diverse group of people working together to pool creativity and tackle challenges, stated Wise.  Her presentation centered on the Society Publishers Accelerating Open access and Plan S (SPA-OPS) project, which brought together learned societies, librarians, and funders to address open access challenges faced by non-profit and small publishers.  The project resulted in a transformative agreement toolkit focusing on cost-neutral open access agreements in the short-term and a commitment to developing alternative pricing and funding models in the future.  A number of pilots of this model have and continue to take place.  

Price discussed the “read to publish funding gap,” identifying a major challenge to open access in the fact that “read” institutions are paying significantly more toward big deals currently than they would if pricing reflected publishing output.  In a read and publish model, “publish” institutions cannot cover the funding gap while also maintaining cost neutrality.  Our collaborative imperative is to work together to address this gap and transition the system in a way that allows libraries and consortia to maintain their position in and influence on the scholarly communication funding system.  

(The session’s slides can be found in Sched.)


Accessibility for Digital Materials: The Current Landscape — Presented by Heidi Schroder (Michigan State University), Jill Grogg (LYRASIS) — https://sched.co/UZPv

 Hannah Rosen  (Scholarly Communication Specialist and Digitization Program Coordinator, Michigan State University) joined the panel.

Reported by Jennifer Fairall  (Siena College, Standish Library) 

The panelists defined and contextualized accessibility and discussed the “depressing” results of the LYRASIS accessibility survey.  The survey respondents were from a mix of different types of libraries and reported a lack of formal accessibility policies and very little formal accessibility training for staff.  Libraries are the most progressive in terms of accessibility when they maintain control over their content, e.g., Institutional Repositories.  The panelists recommend using the LYRASIS survey results as a tool to advocate for accessibility training for staff.  Institutions must start somewhere with accessibility for digital materials since it is federally mandated and a core value of librarianship.  Librarians should learn more about disabilities in general and about specific types of disabilities (invisible, temporary, etc.).  Accessibility may also be addressed in diversity, equity, and inclusion conversations on campus.  The Big Ten libraries have funded a pilot to provide selected vendors with third-party accessibility evaluations.  The Big Ten Academic Alliance has adopted model accessibility license language https://www.btaa.org/library/accessibility/reports.  Vendors are taking the evaluations seriously since major accessibility concerns can delay or prevent a library from purchasing content from non-compliant vendors.  The panelists wrapped up by recommending attendees try downloading and using a screen reader themselves in order to empathize with users with disabilities.

(The LYRIASIS survey report can be found at:  https://www.lyrasis.org/technology/Pages/Accessibility-Survey-Report.aspx.)

Developing a Framework for Measuring Reuse of Digital Library Collections: Discovery, Assessment, and Sharing — Presented by Caroline Muglia (University of Southern California) — https://sched.co/UZQ7

Reported by John Banionis (Villanova University) 

While measuring use of digital library objects can be rather straightforward, measuring their reuse often proves far more challenging.  Muglia presented the history of a digital reuse project team funded by two IMLS grants, the second of which is focused on developing a Digital Content Reuse Assessment Framework Toolkit (D-CRAFT), which arose from a previously identified need for standardization of reuse metrics.  D-CRAFT is currently under development with a scheduled completion in December 2021 and will offer assessment tools, best practices, and a code of ethics for measuring impact of digital libraries.  The initial challenge encountered by the current project team and its advisory board was agreeing on a common definition of reuse, which involves more complex engagement beyond simple use.  Upon completion, D-CRAFT will provide a much-needed set of standards to augment the assessment activities of digital libraries.

(The session’s slides can be found in Sched.)

Developing Open Access Partnerships and Transformative Agreements — Presented by Jennifer Mauer (Cambridge University Press), Rice Majors (UC Davis), Mathew Willmott (California Digital Library), Andrew Sykes (Cambridge University Press) — https://sched.co/UZQA

Reported by Becky Imamoto  (University of California, Irvine) 

The University of California (UC) and Cambridge University Press (CUP) have entered into a 3-year transformative open access publishing deal.  This is a “read and publish” contract based on current spending that will create open access to 80% of Cambridge journals (that percentage will increase over time).  The model is based on a sliding scale — “reading” fees will go down as UC’s open access publishing goes up, therefore the university will see no significant overall increase to the cost of the contract.  UC and CUP were well positioned to partner as they have similar missions to disseminate knowledge.  In addition, both are willing to try something new.  This is a complicated process with many challenges and the need for new infrastructure and lines of communication. UC and CUP have learned that the measure of success is different from what we have used in the past.  An interesting discussion ensued about the potential overuse of the word “transformative” and what it really means to libraries and publishers. 

(The session’s slides can be found in Sched.)

From Big Ideas to Real Talk: A Front-Line Perspective on New Collections Roles in Times of Organizational Restructuring — Presented by Sally Sax (Carleton University), Meg Ecclestone (University of Guelph), Alana Skwarok (Carleton University) — https://sched.co/UZQG

Reported by Susannah Benedetti  (University of North Carolina Wilmington) 

The University of Guelph moved from a traditional liaison model to a functional team model.  Today, their Collections team includes collections librarians plus eresources, acquisitions, and course reserves.  Liaison librarians handle information literacy and research services on their team.  The functional team model has resulted in greater accountability, a move from “tiny pots of money” to fewer but larger budgets, and greater opportunity for collections assessment.  Challenges include the loss of disciplinary expertise, decreased interaction with users, and faculty now unsure who to contact regarding requests.  Carleton University chose to embed its collections librarians into the Research Support Services team.  They handle all purchase requests and select in GOBI, as well as handling chat and desk shifts.  This model has resulted in steadier spending and a better ability to fine tune DDA/EBA programs.  Challenges include the collections librarians now being at a remove from ILL, course reserves, and scholarly communications.  Questions brought out that liaison librarians at Carleton have the option to continue making expert suggestions if they choose, and that moving to three large funds based on subject areas has allowed for interdisciplinary selecting and can be tracked by subject headings.

(The session’s slides can be found in Sched.)

Twelve Danishes for the Price of One: The Benefits of Bulk Acquisitions for Libraries — Presented by Scott Ahlberg (moderator, Reprints Desk), Sarah Tarpley (Gale, a Cengage Company), Scott Pope (Texas State University), Jon Elwell (EBSCO Books), Mark Newcomer (IGI Global) — https://sched.co/UZQe

Reported by Alexis Linoski  (Georgia Institute of Technology) 

Don’t let the term bulk acquisitions confuse or scare you — it’s basically referring to purchasing collections rather than individual titles.  This session was presented by one librarian and three vendors.  Pope, the librarian on the panel, spoke to challenges many libraries are facing — reduced budgets and staff cuts.  In light of this, how do you get the most for your budget? 

At first it seemed somewhat like a sales pitch from the vendors, however, they ultimately made their point — in many cases it’s more cost effective to purchase a collection rather than purchasing  individual titles.  Elwell (EBSCO) discussed ordering eBook collections, from various publishers, via GOBI as an alternative to individual title purchases.  Tarpley (Gale) talked about Gale eBooks, the revamped Gale Virtual Library.  They will offer the ability to do curated collections or an all access package, and all will be DRM-free with unlimited users.  Newcomer (IGI Global) discussed the value of bulk versus selective purchases with slides to show the numbers.  Examples came from a customer and aptly demonstrated the value of purchasing collections (i.e., in bulk).  Overall, a good session.  

(Newcomer’s session slides can be found in Sched.)


Ex Libris Central Discovery Index: Putting Data Intelligence at the Core of Discovery Sponsored Lunch — Presented by Christine Stohn (ExLibris), Jane Burke (ExLibris) — https://sched.co/UuOW

  This sponsored session, open to all, took place off-site and registration was requested.

Reported by Jennifer Fairall  (Siena College, Standish Library) 

In a presentation titled “Library Discovery: The Impact of Big Data, Open Access, and Data Intelligence,” Ex Libris introduced the unification of its discovery indexes (Summon and Primo) to create a powerful new Central Discovery Index (CDI).  Library discovery indexes are changing to accommodate rapidly evolving and varied content, including open-access materials and primary resources.  Faculty assign primary resources to build student critical thinking skills, but primary resources like newspapers can overwhelm discovery search results.  Newspapers are cited more and more frequently in scholarly communication and faculty expect students to use varied sources, so newspapers are accommodated better in CDI.  The ExLibris CDI is future-ready and uses data intelligence to make connections to curated content, similar to Amazon.com recommendations.  CDI recommendations are based on co-usage, context, citation trails, and related articles.  The presenters also highlighted ProQuest One Academic, ProQuest One: Literature Overview, History Vault (interdisciplinary resources packaged by ProQuest), ProQuest Dissertations, Early European Books, and a collaboration with the Universal Short Title Catalogue.


Keynote Plenary: Anticipating the Future of Biomedical Communications — Presented by Meg White (moderator, Rittenhouse Book Distributors), Patricia Flatley Brennan (National Library of Medicine) — https://sched.co/UXq8

Reported by Ramune K. Kubilius  (Northwestern University, Galter Health Sciences Library & Learning Center) 

White introduced NLM’s director, Brennan, a first-timer speaker at Charleston (in a new afternoon keynote plenary slot).  The talk began with a brief film clip and highlights for attendees about the size and scope of the world’s largest biomedical library, the U.S. National Library of Medicine (a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)), as well as some of its strategic initiatives.  In a nutshell, there are five sites in Bethesda, MD, with 1,700 staff:  780 are federal employees, and the rest — contract staff.  There is also the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM).  With its focus on biomedical communications, the NLM’s focus is to serve scientists, guided by a ten year plan (2017-2027) and three pillars, with emphasis on building new collections on patterns of discoveries (preserve, connect, discover, data).  Some current ventures mentioned include MEDLINE 2022 (curation at scale, expanding metadata), the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in PubMed (a database that is searched by 2.5 million worldwide users per day), as well as a preprint pilot.  All have the goal of accelerating access to science.  Brennan expertly fielded questions and queries that continued even after the formal conclusion of the session.  In response to one comment about preprint repositories containing dated, outdated, or disproven information, Brennan highlighted that the focus of NLM is to be a trusted source for health information, promoting open science and data sharing.  It does not have information producing or vetting roles — NLM provides access so science can have the conversations, and science can self-correct itself. 

The Charleston Conference blog report about this session by Donald Hawkins can be found at:  https://against-the-grain.com/2019/11/keynote-plenary-anticipating-the-future-of-biomedical-communications/.

The video can be viewed at:  https://www.youtube.com/user/CharlestonConference.  

That’s all the reports we have room for in this issue.  Watch for more reports from the 2019 Charleston Conference in upcoming issues of Against the Grain.  Presentation material (PowerPoint slides, handouts) and taped session links from many of the 2019 sessions are available online.  Visit the Conference Website at www.charlestonlibraryconference.com. — KS

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