Last Monday, April 1, found me experiencing something new! I attended the NC Serials Conference in Chapel Hill, where I gave the closing keynote. When invited last fall, my initial reaction was, “who me?!”, but with Chris Burris’s and Steve Kelley’s welcome encouragement, I accepted. It was fun, and challenging, to prep a talk that was for a non-scholarly communication audience, that could be broader than the essentials of copyright or fair use or open access, that could be more philosophical in tone and approach. This was my first keynote, so there was an added hurdle of not having a personal experience to fall back on when planning. But I set out for Chapel Hill bright and early last Monday morning feeling relatively confident about what I was off to do.

Happily, I found several common threads between my planned talk and the opening keynote, “More Than Things,” by Angela Scarlet Galvan, Brown University. Although the focus of her keynote was on serials work, we overlapped in our discussions of big deals – notably the UC-Elsevier negotiation stalemate – and problems with MARC records (albeit different problems). I also heard common challenges noted at the sessions I attended on using project management for materials review and on matching researcher needs to library services. Short summary:

  • good project management includes a post-mortem
  • faculty [at any institution] don’t know that the library provides IP services/support

I closed out the conference by sharing my thoughts on “The Conversation of Scholarship,” discussing how scholarship is a long, threaded, multi-participant conversation, with lots of side conversations happening between and among the various participants, which include scholars, publishers, librarians, and students. I specifically talked about how librarians’ side conversations influence the larger conversation, but that we don’t always openly acknowledge that influence and impact. A forthcoming article in Serials Review will share my remarks in full, but if anyone has a burning desire to know more, let’s chat!

Huge thanks to Chris and Steve for being my champions along the way, and calming my nerves day of. Thanks also to Carol for prompt provision of requested data for my talk prep.