Or, Molly’s spring travels across 4 months, 4 gatherings, 4 states, 3 time zones, 6 airports, 10 flights, and 9 nights in hotels.
March – UIPO Annual Meeting
Each year, members of a select group of copyright and intellectual property librarians gather to spend 2-3 days geeking out over all things copyright. Unofficially known as Copyright Fight Club, the first rule of Copyright Fight Club is: You do not talk about Copyright Flight Club. So, while I cannot, per group rules, share details, I can say that we had wide-ranging discussions that went deep into the weeds of recent copyright legal cases (chevrons on cheerleading uniforms!) to the future of Mickey Mouse and the public domain (stay tuned…), all while enjoying sunny Los Angeles, from the UCLA campus. This group comprises an awesome array of copyright all-stars, and I am privileged to be a sponge among them, soaking up all their lawyerly-knowledge and expertise. Helps that they’re really fun, too!
April – N.C. Digital Summit
Hosted by the State Library of North Carolina, the day-long N.C. Digital Summit in Raleigh gathered invited representatives from institutions across North Carolina to learn about our various digital initiatives priorities in the coming 5 years, and to identify common needs and goals. Public and private colleges, universities, and community colleges were represented, as well as large public library systems, and the State Library, Archives, and Digital Heritage Center. It was interesting to hear what other libraries are working on, what challenges they face, and to realize that ZSR is on par with where most other libraries are in terms of digital initiatives. It was definitely reassuring to learn that our struggles are not ours alone! (I knew this, but still, it’s good to have it confirmed.) During lunch, the State Librarian, Cal Shepherd, joined us, and during her remarks, she reminded us that:
“We’re one of the original 13 colonies; we just have more to digitize!”
May – Cambridge University Press North American Library Advisory Board Meeting
Last November, I joined the CUP NALAB for their inaugural meeting in Charleston in test-drive mode, to see if I felt comfortable enough with the meeting to officially join the advisory board of one of the publishers involved in the (seemingly-never-ending) Georgia State lawsuit. Fortunately, I did, so I was in New York in late May for their second meeting at CUP’s North American headquarters. After taking an obnoxiously early flight to treat myself to a visit to The Met and a Broadway show (thanks, Mary Reeves, for the “War Paint” recommendation!!), I had two full days of engaging board meetings. The membership on this board is fairly diverse, representing most areas of academic librarianship. Wake Forest is among the smallest institutions represented, but there is a healthy mix of public and private on the board. It seems that CUP is truly trying to position itself to be adaptive and open to innovations in publishing, and to stay true to its university press roots. It was useful for me to hear senior managements’ perspectives on the impacts of ResearchGate and Academia.edu, and to discuss how the sheer size of the U.S. market makes it difficult to achieve some of the more creative, open publishing agreements that are starting to come out of Europe. This promises to be a worthwhile board membership.
June – Kraemer Copyright Conference
Early June found me back with my copyright nerd herd, this time enjoying the snow-capped peaks of the Rockies—dominated by Pikes Peak—towering over us in Colorado Springs. Celebrating its 5th year, the Kraemer Copyright Conference is a small (attendance capped at 200) copyright conference that attracts librarians of all stripes. The first day included a series of keynotes from Kyle Courtney, Harvard; Kenneth Crews, formerly at Columbia; and a panel with a mix of librarians and lawyer-librarians debating the merits of copyright librarians going to law school, or not. There was also a conference reception and poster session, where I met Gesina Phillips, Digital Scholarship Librarian, Duquesne University, who had cited one of my papers on her poster! She thanked me for writing about copyright outreach to students, and we chatted about how that is an area of scholarship that is scant. On the second day of the conference, Kevin Smith, Kansas, kicked us off with a keynote about effective advocacy efforts, then the bulk of the day was spent in breakout sessions. One of those found me and Will Cross, NCSU, presenting a workshop: Mapping the Copyright Constellation. We led participants through exercises to help them identify areas where students are engaging in campus life beyond academics and the library, and discussed our experiences with copyright outreach specifically targeted to undergraduate students. We both felt that the workshop was a success, and it was fun presenting with Will again, as we play well off one another. The conference wrapped up with a Washington, D.C., update from Carrie Russell, ALA Washington Office, which was grim, as seems to be the case for all news coming out of Washington these days. But, there are some good signs coming out of Dr. Carla Hayden’s new direction for the Library of Congress, and as Carrie reminded us:
“Fair use is the cornerstone of free speech, creativity, and our economy. Let it flourish!”