Reports of Meetings — VRA, ALA Annual, and the 36th Annual Charleston Conference
Column Editor: 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)
Visual Resources Association Annual Conference — Unbridled Opportunities — March 28-April 1, 2017 — Louisville, KY
Reported by: Claire-Lise Benaud (University of New Mexico)
The Visual Resources Association (VRA) Annual Conference took place in Louisville, KY March 28-April 1, 2017. The Opening Convocation was superb. Brent Seales, professor of Computer Science at the University of Kentucky discussed his EDUCE project (Enhanced Digital Unwrapping for Conservation and Exploration) which makes the unreadable readable. This project creates readable text images from highly damaged scrolls such as papyrus scrolls, without opening them. The text exists only as a digital object. This technique involves the computer determining where is the ink on the papyrus, doing a digital flattening of the scroll, and then digitally unwrapping it. This is really magic! He passed around the audience replicas of a Herculaneum scroll and the Ein Gedi burned scroll (which looked like large pieces of coal) to have a sense of the scrolls his team works with. This revolutionary work is allowing scholars to unlock history.
No conference on visual resources would be complete without a discussion on copyright — and indeed it was true at this conference with a panel entitled “This is How We Do It: Helping Our User Communities to Navigate Copyright, Fair Use, and Codes of Best Practice.” In libraries, the visual resources person is usually the point person for copyright questions. Bridget Madden from the University of Chicago discussed how her library created a spreadsheet documenting fair use for graduate students working on their dissertations. What constitutes a transformative work of a copyrighted work, a perennial issue, was also discussed by Allan Kohl, from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. He reminded the audience that nothing comes from nothing. All works of art come from something. He gave several examples of derivative art works. Stephanie Beene, Fine Arts and Architecture Librarian at the University of New Mexico, presented on Teaching in Art, as it relates to her work with the School of Architecture at UNM, specifically in applying the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy, “Frame on Authority: Authority is Constructed and Contextual.” In her embedded librarianship with the School of Architecture, she partnered with Associate Dean and Professor Mark Childs, to teach a graduate-level workshop utilizing these concepts. Marie Elia, archivist at the University of Buffalo responsible for the Poetry Collection, reminded the audience that U.S. copyright law affords more protection to unpublished materials and that it is usually a problem when the creator of an archive (she was referring to James Joyce) never intended for his materials to be deposited, looked at, digitized, and made available online. The fact that copyright laws vary according to their country of issuance add to the complexity. Finally, speakers reflected that donation agreements should be easy and transparent and that patrons complained about the cost of scanning fees.
The Cross-Campus Collaboration Case-Studies panel brought interesting insights. Krystal Boehlert discussed practices at the Getty Museum to share the work culture using the Fika model, “the Swedish Coffee Break,” i.e., having a break with your colleagues and get to know who they are and what they are working on. Ryan Brubacher, from the Library of Congress, discussed the “Celebrating Cervantes” project while she was working at Occidental College. The library sponsored the project. It involved placing students’ essays online, the making of a book by the book art program on campus, various contests, entertainment for Occidental’s Children’s Theater and Musical Theater. Overall, it involved great student involvement. Jeff Steward, from the Harvard Art Museums, discussed how to improve digital image sharing using IIIF, the International Image Interoperability Framework. However, the main point from the speakers was that cross-campus collaboration is more about people than technology. Speaking to colleagues about what your projects and your ideas are is central to collaboration. They also stressed that collaboration should be nurtured, that all parties should get something out of it, and that there is “no secret sauce” for successful collaboration. The “Similar but Different” panel highlighted digital humanities projects at Vanderbilt where Madeleine Casad discussed how to make virtual installations available to users. Theresa Quill, of Indiana University, discussed spatial literacy in the modern age and how maps shape world views and influence our daily life. Stephanie Schmidt, archivist for the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, KY, discussed the history of the distillery and how she organized the archive from scratch. All were fascinating in their own way.
VRA also encouraged its attendees to visit archives in the area. Attendees had opportunities to take a tour of the Filson Historical Society located in the Old Louisville neighborhood, which is undergoing an expansion with new reading rooms, event halls and exhibit spaces. They also could have a behind-the-scenes visit of the Kentucky Derby Museum and Churchill Downs, tour the Louisville Slugger Museum and its archives, and visit several bourbon and whiskey distilleries in the area. The next VRA Annual Conference will be held in Philadelphia in 2018.
ALA Annual 2017 — Transforming Our Libraries, Ourselves — June 22-27, 2017 — Chicago, IL
Reported by: Lynda Kellam (Librarian for Data Services & Government Information, Library Liaison to History, Political Science, and Peace & Conflict Studies, Assistant Director of International and Global Studies, University Libraries, University of North Carolina, Greensboro) <email@example.com>
We headed back to the Windy City for the Annual ALA Conference this year. Chicago is lovely and has delicious food, but the sessions were even more enticing. This year’s highlights included sessions on digital scholarship and the preservation of government information.
The first session, co-sponsored by LITA, ACRL Digital Humanities Interest Group, and ALCTS CaMMS, was a great conference kickoff. “Creating the Future of Digital Scholarship Together: Collaboration from Within Your Library” (https://www.eventscribe.com/2017/ALA-Annual/fsPopup.asp?Mode=presInfo&PresentationID=257851) featured a variety of collaborative projects in support of digital scholarship.
Matthew Carruthers from the University of Michigan presented “Connecting the Dots: Using Digital Scholarship Methods to Facilitate New Modes of Discovery in Special Collections.” The UM Special Collections Digital Scholarship Team had been tasked with exploring the use of various tools to enhance researcher access to special collections. Carruthers noted that discovery interfaces are not always good at representing the connections and relationships of individuals across archival records. To assist with relationship visualization, the team created a customized service importing extracted EAD data into Cytoscape (http://cytoscape.org/), an open source software platform for network visualization. After several tests, the team discovered that this could be a viable on-demand service, requiring minimal investment of money or infrastructure.
Next, Laurie Allen from the University of Pennsylvania discussed the DataRefuge project in her presentation “New Kinds of Collections: New Kinds of Collaborations.” DataRefuge (https://www.datarefuge.org/) is a collaborative initiative to identify and secure federal environmental and climate data. The project helped to initiate an explosion of DataRescue events around the country in the past year in which participants worked to identify, harvest, and describe federal data sets. While the initial DataRescue workflow has been retired, their website provides guidance for additional helpful activities related to data and information rescue (http://www.ppehlab.org/datarescueworkflow). As an offshoot of DataRefuge, the Libraries+ Network (https://libraries.network/) brings together federal data stakeholders from a variety of institutions. Against the Grain will have a special issue in December 2016-January 2017 in which this project and others will be discussed in more detail.
Finally, in “Once Upon a Name in the West: Name Authority Work as a Collaborative Experiment,” Amy Hunsaker and Dana Miller discussed the efforts of the Digital Initiatives Team at the University of Nevada, Reno to develop access to their digital collections, especially their Nevada collections. The focus of their collaboration was on building workflows for name authority control across several teams and departments, including Digital Initiatives, Special Collections, and the Metadata and Cataloging.
The next session “Government Information Preservation: Collections and Collaboration” served as a complement to the discussion of digital scholarship (https://www.eventscribe.com//2017/ALA-Annual/fsPopup.asp?Mode=presInfo&PresentationID=257835). This GODORT sponsored session brought together librarians and federal agency representatives to talk about major preservation issues for government information.
First, Roberta Sittel from the University of North Texas talked about the variety of government information preservation initiatives at UNT. The CyberCemetery was launched in 1996 as an archive of the websites of government agencies that had ceased operation. Since then UNT’s librarians have worked on a variety of projects, from the Technical Report Archive and Image Library (TRAIL, https://digital.library.unt.edu/explore/collections/TRAIL/) to End of Term Publications (https://digital.library.unt.edu/explore/collections/EOT/).
Next, James R. Jacobs from Stanford University talked more about the 2016 End of Term web harvest, a collaborative project involving UNT and many other stakeholders. In addition, he briefly touched on a new initiative called Preservation of Electronic Government Information (PEGI, https://www.crl.edu/preservation-electronic-government-information-pegi). A two-year multi-institutional project, PEGI will address “national concerns regarding the preservation of government information by cultural memory organizations.”
A federal representative, Anne Harrison from the Library of Congress’s FEDLINK (https://www.loc.gov/flicc/), also joined the session. FEDLINK is a purchasing and resource-sharing consortium for federal libraries and information centers. Regarding preservation, FEDLINK helps libraries develop requirements for preservation services, such as binding, digitization requirements, and more. Anne works with the Preservation Working Group within FEDLINK to develop strategies for long term preservation.
Finally, I closed out the conference by attending “Re-Skilling for a Digital Future: Developing Capabilities and Capacities in Digital Scholarship for Academic Librarians” (https://www.eventscribe.com/2017/ALA-Annual/fsPopup.asp?Mode=presInfo&PresentationID=260696). This ACRL session featured three speakers who had developed training in digital scholarship tools and methods for their librarians.
Nora S. Dimmock, University of Rochester Libraries, discussed her work to develop a Digital Humanities Institute for Mid-Career Librarians (http://humanities.lib.rochester.edu/institute/). The UR River Campus Libraries received an Officer’s Grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in 2015 to create an institute for developing digital humanities skills. The curriculum included tracks in text encoding, digital mapping, digital media literacy, and more. While the institute is over, they will use the lessons learned from the 2015 cohort to develop additional training.
Next, Angela Courtney, Director of the Scholars’ Commons at the Indiana University Libraries, discussed an effort to create digital scholarship cross-training for librarians in a variety of DS methods. You can read more about the project on the blog (https://blogs.libraries.indiana.edu/iulrn/).
Finally, Harriett Green, Head of Scholarly Communication and Publishing at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, discussed a project connected with the HathiTrust Research Center. Entitled Digging Deeper, Reaching Further (http://teach.htrc.illinois.edu/), the project members are developing curricula for training librarians on text mining techniques using HathiTrust resources. The training materials will be available in 2016-2018 through workshops and online resources.
Several morsels of wisdom at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. Looking forward to the mid-winter in Denver. Prep your skis!
Issues in Book and Serial Acquisition, “Roll With the Times or the Times Roll Over You,” Charleston Gaillard Center, Francis Marion Hotel, Embassy Suites Historic Downtown, and Courtyard Marriott Historic District — Charleston, SC, November 1-5, 2016
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 2016 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 the online conference schedule at https://2016charlestonconference.sched.org/ from which there are links to many presentations’ PowerPoint slides and handouts, as well as links to video for select sessions. The conference blog by Don Hawkins is available at https://www.against-the-grain.com/category/chsconfblog/. The 2016 Charleston Conference Proceedings will be published in partnership with Purdue University Press in 2017.
In this issue of ATG you will find the fourth installment of 2016 conference reports. The first three installments can be found in ATG v.29#1, February 2017, v.29#2, April 2017, and v.29#3, June 2017. We will continue to publish all of the reports received in upcoming print issues throughout the year. — RKK
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2016
Reimagining our World at Planetary Scale: the Big Data Future of the Libraries — Presented by James O’Donnell (Moderator, Arizona State University); Kalev Leetaru (Georgetown University)
Reported by: Anthony Watkinson (University College London)
Leetaru described what it was like to be able to conduct data analytics using the resources of massive computer power at a truly planetary scale. Using some awesome visuals, he demonstrated some of the insights one can gain. Some of his material came from the Gdelt project which is supported by Google Jigsaw (gdeltproject.org) which monitors the world’s broadcast, print, and web news from nearly every corner of every country in over 100 languages. In spite of this, most of the world is still cut out because communication in social media though worldwide is private enabled by ubiquitous smart phones external to the web. The world is actually shrinking in terms of the width of knowledge. Libraries can help as a bridge and have lots of data themselves and can also help users understand the data that is becoming available. An earlier project has been written up at: http://dlib.org/dlib/september14/leetaru/09leetaru.print.html.
Hyde Park Debate – Resolved: APC-Funded Open Access is Antithetical to the Values of Librarianship — Presented by Rick Anderson (Moderator, University of Utah); Michael Levine-Clark (University of Denver Libraries); Alison Scott (University of California, Riverside)
In Favor: Alison Scott, UC Riverside
Opposed: Michael Levine-Clark, University of Denver
Reported by: Karna Younger (University of Kansas)
Scott (UC Riverside) and Levine-Clark (University of Denver) debated if the Article Processing Charge (APC) model of open access (OA) is antithetical to the values of librarianship. Scott argued in favor of the proposition, meaning she argued against librarians endorsing APC. Levine-Clark, in support of APC, fought against the resolution. For Scott, APC was “an existential threat” to librarianship because librarians would be wedded to investing their budgets in the creation of knowledge and its authors. The current, superior model allows librarians flexibility to cancel under-utilized resources and build user-centered collections, Scott explained. Levine-Clark rebutted that APC allowed librarians to prioritize users by removing the firewalls that separate them from information. Under APC, large, research universities foot the majority of the bill to afford more institutions and individuals, regardless of financial resources or institutional affiliation, greater access to and more efficient use of information. In the long term, this would broaden the reach and impact of scholarly work, Levine-Clark concluded. Initially, the audience polled 124-54 against the proposition, but Scott convinced 27 audience members to narrow the vote to 111-81 in opposition to the resolution. According to Oxford-Union rules, moderator Rick Anderson declared Scott the winner.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2016
MORNING CONCURRENT SESSIONS
A Model for Patron Driven Acquisition of Print Music Scores: From Conception to Reality — Presented by Alan Asher (University of Florida)
Reported by: Christine Fischer (University of North Carolina at Greensboro, University Libraries)
According to Asher, this is the only PDA plan for music scores that has been put into place. Implementation was coordinated with vendor Harrassowitz. The pilot plan, which started with print scores and sheet music, was expanded to include eBooks. The explanation of how the profiles were created for selecting the content was clear and detailed. Asher then described the process from the perspective of the faculty and students accessing the catalog. The plan is unmediated unless the pricing threshold is exceeded. He presented data from the first full year of purchasing, including expenditures, average price, and percentage of purchases by selector category. The formal presentation concluded with comments on marketing. Attendees had numerous questions for Asher, and Harrassowitz representatives were on hand to provide specifics from the vendor side. A positive result of the PDA pilot was that funds were available to purchase other resources. Removing records due to the possibility that scores would be out of stock after several years does not appear to be necessary, since scores are available longer than books and may be provided through reproductions of archival copies or as print on demand.
A Running Start: A Crowd-Sourced Database of Due Diligence to Invoke Section 108 — Presented by deg farrelly (Media Librarian, Arizona State University Libraries)
Reported by: Amanda Stone (South Carolina State Library)
farrelly explained the need for libraries to engage in preservation of irreplaceable content on VHS and other obsolete formats in their collections. He presented a database of titles for which the due diligence has already been completed as required by Section 108 of U.S. Copyright (1,300 titles, 3 institutions). In a 2013 survey by the presenter, academic libraries own on average 3413 VHS tapes and between 15-28% are no longer available in the marketplace. The VHS format is not playable in most classrooms or personal homes, although not yet categorized as obsolete media. There has been no functional VHS market in over a decade. farrelly recommended acquiring a new machine now, even if it is a lower-quality machine.
Section108video.com database includes bibliographic information, institutional owner, and results of searches: Amazon, distributor search, and WorldCat search. Libraries can ask for access to add titles. Libraries are encouraged to save records of due diligence efforts in some format. Digitizing on a large scale (i.e., HathiTrust for media) would be a costly but important preservation effort.
Big Data 2.0: Critical Roles for Libraries and Librarians — Presented by Shelia Corrall (University of Pittsburgh)
Reported by: Kat Landry Mueller (Sam Houston State University)
Corrall embarked on the subject of evaluating big data and how the topic pertains and affects libraries. She initiated the discussion with the approximately 45 attendees by briefly iterating that it’s not just libraries where data is viewed as the new currency as government and business industries are also highly invested in collecting and using big data. After an initial historical review of some historical roles libraries have encompassed within the scope of big data, current and emerging roles for libraries were also discussed. Corrall highlighted several big data projects such as Global PGP Network, Precision Medicine Initiative, and oncology research information exchange network. Moreover, legal, policy, and ethical challenges such as preservation, guidelines vs requirements for publication and public access, as well as oversight and enforcement checks/balances were presented for consideration. The presentation concluded with speculating on potential roles the libraries can play in Big Data, such as serving as “the conscience of the Big Data world.”
Collection Development Environmental Scan: A Strategy for Informed Decision Making — Presented by Joel Cummings (Washington State University Libraries); Lara Cummings (Washington State University Libraries); Christy Zlatos (Washington State University Libraries)
NOTE: Lara Cummings did not present in this session.
Reported by: Christine Turner (UMass Amherst)
Librarians at Washington State University (WSU) conducted a survey and interviewed colleagues at ten peer institutions to learn how they were performing collection development. Areas of foci included: acquisitions budget comparisons, spending/FTE student, changes in allocations, sources of funding, and current collection development programs. Common themes among the respondents were: “Big deals” enable great range of access but limit budget flexibility; acquisition budgets are very tight; more time and attention are going to cancelling packages and subscribing to individual titles; patron driven and evidence based selection programs are gaining traction; collection development activities are more organized to optimize decision making and enhance campus communication; and students are becoming more activist about textbooks. WSU Learned where their practices were common, or unique. Their research was helpful to build and sustain a community of practice. As a gesture of good will, they sent canned cheese to respondents.
From DDA to EBA: A Fire-year Story from a Consortium Shared E-Book Collection Program — Presented by Kristina DeShazo (Oregon Health & Science University); Kathi Fountain (Orbis Cascade Alliance); Jim Huenniger (John Wiley & Sons)
Reported by: Amy Lewontin (Northeastern University)
The well-attended session from the Orbis Cascade Alliance was introduced by Huenniger. He referred to the Orbis Cascade “story” as more of an “evolution,” from the beginning with a DDA consortial eBooks program to now, a true evidenced based project. The program discussed began in 2012, with a budget of $462k, and it rose to $1 million in 2014, and has stayed flat for the last four years. Orbis Cascade has been working with a number of publishers for their eBooks, including Wiley, Taylor and Francis, Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press and the University of California, among others. They have also made use of EBL and Ebrary, and YBP as their profiler. The Wiley pilot began quite a bit later, in 2016. Certain call numbers have represented half of the DDA program, (H,P,R,T) and (B,D,H,K,L,T) have been used by all libraries.
Some of the key challenges to consortial eBooks for the large group, mentioned by both Fountain and DeShazo have been the rise in costs of short term loans, which began for them in 2015. Also, they made mention of the fluctuation in the title lists of aggregators, such as Ebrary/EBL. DeShazo also made a point about problems with eBooks and guaranteeing long term ownership for libraries. She then mentioned that these particular issues brought her round to re-visiting the initial goals of the Orbis Cascade eBook project, which was to diversify their publisher list and build a broadly stable and useful collection. They had hoped to reduce patron’s barriers to access by offering DRM free books with an easy to use interface. They also wanted to keep titles from fluctuating and they decided on the idea of an evidenced based model, with one publisher. They knew certain things, like the need for more STEM content. Then Huenniger explained some of the decisions that were made to try out the evidenced based model. He mentioned that it would expand the access to Wiley material, while also keeping it simple and stable. It also would expand the discoverability and the long term ownership / perpetual access of selected titles. The EBA required an upfront fee, for the 12 month discovery period. There was also unlimited concurrent use and also a lot of control for libraries to make their own title selections. And there was less emphasis on automatic triggering of books. DeShazo answered the question on EBA for Orbis Cascade, “Why Wiley?” by saying that Wiley represented half of the current titles in their current DDA program and in their Academic Complete use, based on their subject collections. There was a lot of use of Wiley titles in the areas of engineering, the life sciences, chemistry and mathematics. What is next for Orbis? An assessment of their title selections from the entire body of Wiley platforms, but they will not be buying textbooks or reference titles this way.
Moving Altmetrics Mainstream; How to Bring Recommended Practice into Reality — Presented by Nettie Lagace (NISO); Todd Carpenter (NISO)
Reported by: Crystal Hampson (University of Saskatchewan)
Carpenter introduced the topic, describing how NlSO’s (National Information Standards Organization) recently released recommended practice for alternative assessment was developed. A white paper was released in 2014 to get community input for developing altmetrics standards. More than 200 ideas were received, resulting in 25 themes, five of which were the focus of three subsequent task groups, overseen by a steering committee. The groups addressed definitions and use cases, code of conduct, data metrics, output types for assessment, persistent identifiers and assessment, and data quality. Community feedback was received over the summer of 2016 and the final report published in September. Lagace noted that citation data, usage data and altmetrics are all potentially important and potentially imperfect. They should not be used uncritically as a proxy for scholarly impact. Use cases include showcasing achievement, research evaluation, and discovery. The code of conduct requires transparency, replicability, and accuracy. Metrics allow for impact of non-traditional outputs, such as software and performances. An equivalent of COUNTER for downloads of research data is necessary. A list of possible persistent identifiers is provided. Over time, and with further iterative development, the value of new ways to study impact will be seen.
The Sky’s the Limit: Scholarly Communication, Digital Initiatives, Institutional Repositories, and Subject Librarians — Presented by Barbara Tierney (University of Central Florida); Lee Dotson (University of Central Florida); Richard H. Harrison II (University of Central Florida); Sarah Norris (University of Central Florida)
Reported by: Anna R. Craft (The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, UNCG University Libraries)
This panel session centered on the University of Central Florida’s Showcase of Text, Archives, Research & Scholarship institutional repository (STARS) and the library’s collaborative efforts to create, support, and promote this project.
Dotson discussed the task force that worked to inform and build the repository and associated scholarly communication efforts at UCF. They use the Digital Commons platform, and STARS is based in their Digital Initiatives department.
Norris discussed the development of the Scholarly Communications office, which came out of the task force’s report. She noted an increased need for author rights education on campus and discussed strategies used in the education process, such as partnerships and workshops.
Tierney talked about her department’s shift from a reactive to proactive reference model. Subject librarians are now emphasizing visibility, accessibility, and outreach, especially in relation to STARS, and are heavily involved in content recruitment. For this work, subject librarians have received significant training from the scholarly communications, digital initiatives, and research and information services areas.
Harrison spoke on working to attain faculty buy-in, engaging with undergraduate research, and the types of projects they have pursued. The group also talked about future goals, which include further collaboration among departments, more training, and building in assessment metrics to gauge the success of the project.
A Tale of Two Serials Cancellations — Presented by David Killian (George Washington University); Debbie Bezanson (George Washington University); Mike Olson (Western Washington University); Robin Kinder (George Washington University).
NOTE: Robin Kinder did not present in this session.
Reported by: Elizabeth Pearson (Ball State University Libraries)
This session provided insight into the approaches used by two university libraries, when faced with the task of significantly reducing continuing obligations costs. Both institutions faced mandated budget cuts — for George Washington, a 7.5% cut, at Western Washington the cut was 13-15%. Each library developed systematic processes to meet the required goal of cutting costs without eliminating critical content.
George Washington broke down the analysis into three groups: individual subscriptions/standing orders, journal packages, and databases. Data on all groups was collected and analyzed using a metric based on cost per use for online subscriptions, and total cost for print subscriptions. All standing orders were cancelled, a group of subscriptions were cancelled, and a journal database package was cancelled in favor of individual subscriptions to the top ten individual titles from the package.
Western Washington applied a metric based on total use, cost per use over a 3-year period, access overlap, and format. It should be noted that no citation analysis, impact factors, or altmetrics data was used in the decision-making process. A university-wide task force managed the cancellation project, employing significant outreach to the faculty, such as proactive dissemination of potential changes and FAQ information posted to the library website.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2016
LIVELY LUNCH DISCUSSIONS
Rolling with a Purpose (16th Health Sciences Lively Lunch) — Presented by Deborah Blecic (Moderator, University of Illinois at Chicago); Ramune K. Kubilius (Northwestern University); David Parker (Alexander Street, a ProQuest Company); Elizabeth Hinton (University of Mississippi Medical Center); G. Randall Watts (Medical University of South Carolina Library); Susan Clark (University of Mississippi Medical Center); Taney Shondel (Alexander Street, a ProQuest Company)
NOTE: This session was open to all, but was held off-site and registration was requested.
Reported by: Ramune K. Kubilius (Northwestern University, Galter Health Sciences Library)
Blecic convened the hosted but no holds barred session that was attended by about 40 persons. Wendy Bahnsen (Executive Director, Library Services, Rittenhouse Book Distributors) greeted attendees. The annual update by Kubilius highlighted trends since the 2015 conference: big (and open) data, industry mergers, MEDLARS and PubMed anniversaries. Presentations by Clark and Hinton, as well as Watts, built on 2016 Medical Library Association conference posters. Discussion followed each presentation.
Clark and Hinton highlighted “Designing a Library Resource Module for an Interprofessional Curriculum.” IPE (interprofessional education), growing since the 2011 “Core Competencies for Interprofessional Education” report, prompted Rowland to participate in the “Foundations of Professional Education-Building Bridges” course. In the library’s two case (derived from Access Medicine) online module, students chose information resources (from a list) for the described case study, then commented on someone else’s selection. This was a good start, though the course is changing and the library’s role is unclear. IPE curricula provide roles for libraries and prepare students for real life. The IPE world offers publishers and vendors with publishing and product development opportunities.
Watts (who moved to University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center after the Conference) highlighted “Life After ‘The Big Deal.’” The Medical University of South Carolina chose the Wiley library-mediated token program after not renewing a Big Deal contract. Usage was measured by requests and tokens, turnaround (to users) was same day. Three journal titles (two for high usage, one by request) were added. Challenges: tokens cannot be rolled over into a new year; the Wiley experience may not be replicable across publishers. Cautions: cancelling a Big Deal can be irrevocable.
Parker and Shondell shared a case study of a video content provider addressing librarians’ concerns about superseded program content. The “Nurse Education in Video” series (content provider: MedCom Trainex), is a perpetual model purchase provided by Alexander Street. Professional editorial board decisions result in provider removal of “medically incorrect content” (may be as many as ten programs in one year). Librarian Susan Swogger (then at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill) had communicated challenges regarding superseded content (of “not completed” collections). Alexander Street’s response was to begin providing customers with an annual MARC collection title list that includes “superseded” notes. Libraries can make discovery system and new edition purchase decisions. The audience had suggestions on how to improve the publisher’s website search display order of current and superseded titles.
Beyond Usage: Measuring the Value of Library Resources — Presented by Ann Snoeyenbos (Project MUSE); Elizabeth Siler (UNC Charlotte); Elizabeth Brown (Project MUSE, Johns Hopkins University Press); Tom Humphrey (Kanopy); Alice Eng (Wake Forest University)
NOTE: Ann Snoeyenbos originally organized this session as its moderator but was not able to attend, so Alice Eng moderated.
Reported by: Nancy Hampton (Xavier University of Louisiana)
Brown spoke as a publisher and aggregator for the humanities content at Project MUSE. Vendors want to make certain that the content in their databases is being used. To this end, they make their content easily accessible, stay abreast of the budget constraints of libraries, look at cost per use statistics and create usage reports in the formats libraries need (such as COUNTER).
Siler spoke from an academic librarian’s viewpoint stating that although usage statistics are allowing us to know more about our users than we have in the past, the data is still limited. Librarians need usage data to provide to administrators and to determine which resources to promote or cancel.
Eng’s presentation addressed vendors who want to understand library data interpretation processes. A survey conducted by Eng of the librarians present established that librarians are concerned about emulating the work of others, being aware of cost savings opportunities, interpreting non-standardized data and missing red flags buried in usage data statistics.
Humphrey gave an overview of the history of assessment in libraries and described the data collected by Kanopy. Kanopy does not study its usage statistics as much as its impact analytics. These analyses will promote their ultimate goal to help individuals become better educated.
The Cost of Monographs across the Academy — Presented by Michael Zeoli (YBP Library Services); Bryn Geffert (Amherst College); Tom Helleberg (University of Washington Press)
Reported by: Crystal Hampson (University of Saskatchewan)
This session was a follow-up to a presentation at the Timberline Conference (The Acquisitions Institute at Timberline Lodge, May 2016). Zeoli discussed the decline in monographs sales and revenues in the last five to ten years. In one university press, sales had declined 40% since 2006. 2016 demonstrated a slight increase, the first in five years for many publishers. Helleberg noted that, according to the Mellon-funded Ithaka report, first copy costs for university presses’ OA monographs are $30,000 to $50,000. UW Press projected a loss of $33,500 per monograph between production costs and sales revenue. They are considering other models such as Luminos, University of Minnesota’s Iterative Scholarly Monograph, and library publishing or library-publisher partnerships. Geffert stated that libraries and presses have a common mission to bring good research and literature to readers. Using this common mission to rethink the traditional model resulted in Amherst Library redirecting resources to the press and the press no longer being expected to recover costs. In another model, Oberlin Group sought to create a consortial press for about 80 libraries. Lever Press was funded by pledges from 53 schools, based on the amount of their acquisitions budget. $1.3 million was raised, funding the press for five years, to produce 60 OA monographs.
How a New Library System Changed the Way We Think about Acquisitions and Collection Development — Presented by Thomas Karel (Franklin & Marshall College) and Bonnie Powers (Franklin & Marshall College)
Reported by: Elizabeth Pearson (Ball State University Libraries)
This session addressed changes in allocation and collection development driven by migration to a new library system (OCLC Worldshare Management System). Prior to migration, the library utilized 76 funds for monographic purchases, including specific funds and allocations for academic departments and programs, librarian selectors, and a DDA eBook program. The same fund structure did not apply to continuing obligations. The existing process was familiar to many in attendance: allocations communicated to departments at several times during the fiscal year, unspent allocations returned to the library at a certain point, and allocation formulas not revised.
The advent of a new library system coincided with the hiring of a new librarian with budget oversight responsibilities, necessitating a review of existing processes. No acquisitions data would migrate to the new library system, so the decision was made to overhaul the budget process. A task force reviewed the existing allocation system and ultimately eliminated individual funds for departments and programs, reducing the monograph fund structure to three large fund pools grouped by discipline. Ultimately, the library went from 76+ funds to 18.
Specific questions were addressed during the Q&A period. Overall, many in attendance were intrigued by the significant reduction in funds. Although overall success at Franklin & Marshall continues to be tracked, the initial reaction was positive.
How to Play a More Active Role in Digital Humanities (DH) Research — Presented by Angela Courtney (Indiana University); Caroline Muglia (University of Southern California); Bret Costain (Gale, a part of Cengage Learning); Harriet Green (University of Illinois)
NOTE: Bret Costain served as moderator.
Reported by: Robert Tiessen (University of Calgary)
The panel discussion was about best practices for DH support by libraries. DH programs are commonly spread across the university. In the best situations, there is a DH network that connects DH scholars and the library. Many libraries struggle to support DH and to follow best practices. It is common for various DH programs to be siloed from each other. Even library units that support DH can be siloed from each other. Librarians often rely on vendors rather than librarians to assist them in providing DH support. Vendors have more expertise and resources. Vendor programs are often easier to use than library developed products. Vendors could provide more digitization services to libraries that don’t have the capacity to digitize resources. New faculty are being hired that either expect DH to be the norm or who are expected to train other faculty on DH. In time DH will stop being a separate item and will become a normal part of humanities work. Libraries need to support the DH work of librarians. DH needs to be a regular part of library services, rather than an unsupported add on. Preservation and sustainability need to be built into DH at the very beginning.
Why Business Content Subscriptions Can Drive Us Crazy, and What to Do About It: A dialogue with business librarians, business vendors, and the audience on best practices and solutions — Presented by Betsy Clementson (Tulane University); Steve Cramer (UNC Greensboro); Cynthia Cronin-Kardon (University of Pennsylvania); Corey Seeman (University of Michigan)
NOTE: Vendor speakers not listed in the program were Dan Gingert (PrivCo) and John Quealy (S&P Global)
Reported by: Susan F. Kendrick (Cornell University, Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management)
The session was very much a conversation with a lot of audience participation. About 40 attendees, a quarter of which were vendors, and the rest academic librarians, had a discussion around business resources with high “street value” that are used in the corporate world and in business schools. Only about 8-20% of a vendor’s revenues come from academic clients, who get steep discounts on pricing. Having these resources in business schools is mutually beneficial as it allows students to learn the tools of the trade, produce better work, and exposes the vendor brand to potential future customers. Many vendors have specific divisions focused on academic groups so they can understand the segment better. Experiential learning, where students are working with real world companies, and tech transfer is testing the limits as to what and how academia can use these resources within license agreements. At Kresge Library (Ross), they tell students to “share what you learn, not what you find” as a way to emphasize the educational nature of the subscription. What vendors want from libraries include transparency of the needs and limitations of the academic clients as well as a good faith effort to prevent abuse. What librarians want from vendors are license agreements that are less restricted, allowing for academic research, and flexibility from the vendor for special requests.
That’s all the reports we have room for in this issue. Watch for more reports from the 2016 Charleston Conference in upcoming issues of Against the Grain. Presentation material (PowerPoint slides, handouts) and taped session links from many of the 2016 sessions are available online. Visit the Conference Website at www.charlestonlibraryconference.com. — KS