I’m behind on my blog posts! I attended two of my favorite meetings in the last few weeks. First I was in Atlanta for the fall meeting of the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries. We started with an ASERL Board meeting on November 28th (I am ASERL’s Secretary/Treasurer) with the regular meeting on the 29th and 30th. We had a packed agenda (linked here) with me leading the most exciting parts of the meeting — a financial update as well as an update on the bylaws revision. No one seemed to go to sleep during my presentations, so I count that as a success!

I did come away with major offsite storage envy as I also took a tour of the EmTech Library Service Center, which is a joint Emory and Georgia Tech facility. Calling it offsite storage doesn’t reflect the wide range of activities that happen there — from document delivery to blast freezing contaminated collections. Nearly 95% of Georgia Tech’s collections are at this facility.

EmTech Processing Room

A major focus of the meeting was planning for our future. Over half of the ASERL deans and directors have changed over the last five years. New deans bring new ideas and expectations. We first focused on what we valued about ASERL:

  • Deans and Directors meetings
  • Webinars
  • Our size

Some priorities for ASERL going forward include:

  • Expanding diversity and inclusion work
  • Professional development
  • Cross institutional collaboration

CNI

The fall meeting of the Coalition of Networked Information was held in Washington, DC, Dec. 10-11. Our record snowfall on the 9th nearly cancelled the trip for me, but I was able to get out of GSO late on the 10th, missing the first day of meetings. The full agenda is linked here.  As usual there was an overwhelming amount of rich concurrent sessions  — some highlights for me were:

Future of Libraries and Academic Research

This session was based on a 2015 study founded by the Mellon foundation and discussed the shift to digital services and collaborative spaces. Elements were very relevant to our new strategic plan as the focus was ‘reimagining the library.” Principal elements of this reimagination are:

  • Move from disciplinary to functional models
  • Digital media and analytical tools
  • Research resources to research experiences
  • Partnerships rather than transactions
  • Permanence to permeability
  • Collections — move from “just in case” to “just in time”

This is a moment — a professional-wide redefinition is underway that is essential to our continuing relevance.

The other session I will highlight is:

Academy Led Publishing

This session mostly focused on Mellon funded library publishing platforms.

Vega — academic publishing system for mostly web texts; supports authors, editors, and reviewers — in alpha testing at Wayne State

Editoria — a Mellon and CA Digital Library project that focuses on monographs

  • Digital first workflows
  • Moves away from desktop software (better for editing and review)

Fulcrum — a UMich Press and Mellon project that is not an authoring or production platform but focuses preservation. It is built on top of the repository and integrates with authoring and editorial tools.

Sustainability for these platforms still a challenge as is platform proliferation. Building links between systems is key. Business models for these services are also a challenge — lots of “failures” — service providers who know the marketplace needed.

After CNI I flew from DC to Boston for several development events hosted by ZSR Board of Visitors members. I returned to GSO the afternoon of Friday the 14th after a very full week!