Charleston Redux

Okay, here's a summary of what I learned in Charleston.
  1. Investigate Massive Scale Librarianship.
  2. Ask more questions about Open Acess: Why? How? What cost? Who's paying? It's easy to get all excited and involved in a movement that has a great purpose, but it's important to be practical. A good session said that if libraries save money on open access, that money should go towards helping with author's fees, etc.
  3. Demand better service from our vendors: not just the ILS, but all vendors. We're an important customer, and they need to give us what we want. Not just on the front end (meaning the OPAC and what our users see), but also what we need in technical services - populate our ERM, work with course management systems, streamline our acquisitions and cataloging functions. I hear a lot of noise about our store front, so to speak, but very little from the tech services population about how our vendors still make us jump through hoops to get the tiniest improvements. We need to speak up!
  4. The University is focused on the student - student retention, student success: we need to be focused on the student as well.
  5. For Collection Development: be more open and communicative - this is one real case where a wiki can do some good. Be more quantitative about analysis and evaluation. Involve the selectors/subject specialists more in decision making: not just for acquisition, but for deselection, evaluation, assessment, and communication with faculty.
  6. Streamlining the ordering process (one of my pet projects) is something that takes time. There aren't good tools yet, and the tools we need are slow to develop. Be patient with the process and with selectors, it takes time to change. (This is an important thing for me to remember!)
Some great quotes that made me think:
"Librarians need to say - you have an information problem - we are the solution." - David Lankes, Massive Scale Librarianship Presentation (slides here, one of my favorite presentations).

"Inherited Knowledge is like inherited wealth, it is not fully appreciated by the heirs because they didn't work for it." (actually a paraphrase from my scattered notes) - Michael Pelikan: After the Dinosaur Killer: Adaptation and Survival.

" 'Open Access is not a business model' is not a reasonable position." - Peter Banks. He also said "If you want innovation, someone has to make money."

"Disagreement does not equal ignorance" - T. Scott Plutchark (I'm pretty sure). He was talking about faculty regarding open access, stating that many faculty are VERY aware of publishing issues. However, this statement is something that applies to so many situations, I'm taking it to heart.

So there's my overarching redux of the conference. There are a lot of really specific things that I intend to attempt to apply to my job/department/library, but I'm not going to go into that at this point. We'll see what happens in the future.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. I am really jealous, but in a good way. I am enjoying reading your adventures here, Anali!!

  3. You make me want to become a librarian when I grow up!


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