Tuesday, May 22, 1:15-2:15pm
Room: Heritage Gallery

The Michigan Experience: A Cross-institutional, Cross-stakeholder Publishing Collaboration

Carolyn Morris, BiblioLabs

Description: This new-directions-focused presentation will discuss a multi-institutional private/public partnership between a state library, university presses, a platform creator, and a library collective. University of Michigan Press, Wayne State University Press, Michigan State University Press, BiblioLabs, and Midwest Collaborative for Library Services worked together with the Library of Michigan to create a Great Lakes Regional Ebooks Collection. This involved curating content, producing digital files, evaluating hosting platforms, establishing priorities and workflows, and gathering feedback. A vital component of this project focused on outreach and community engagement, and librarians not only curated the content but also developed sample materials, including book club questions, pinterest boards, and interactive games, for libraries to use in promoting the digital collection to residents of Michigan.

This presentation will share lessons learned along the way, from defining the vision to project launch and assesment, and will provide a valuable blueprint for any innovative partnership.

Carolyn Morris (BiblioLabs) will discuss how to apply “lessons learned” to your own organizations.

Subject Librarianship in Flux: Scholarly Communication Partnerships at Dublin City University

Alexander Kouker, Dublin City University Library

Description: Academic-led presses are well-established fixtures in the United Kingdom. They are frequently facilitated though scholarly and learned societies that have been on the publishing scene for well over 300 years. In contrast, the rise of the New University Press is a recent phenomenon with only two library-led presses in the United Kingdom explicitly committed to open access (University College London and University of Huddersfield).

In Ireland, library-led university presses do not exit … yet.

This vacuum creates an interesting challenge for subject librarians at Irish universities aspiring to transform the nature and quality of their professional relationships with faculty colleagues. Successful, engagement-centric subject librarianship requires two essential ingredients: 1) the establishment of trust between library and faculty, 2) mutual-interest projects.

My presentation offers an overview of the higher-education landscape in Ireland, followed by an introduction of Dublin City University Library and a snapshot-overview of Irish academic presses. The focus will be a case study describing how a librar(y)ian-led academic journal, Studies in Arts and Humanities (sahjournal.com), can fundamentally change the dynamics between subject librarians and faculty colleagues at Dublin City University.

Toward Justice: Reflections on A Lesson Before Dying: Community Engagement through Library Publishing

Robin A. Bedenbaugh and Holly Mercer, University of Tennessee

Description: In 2016, citizens of Knoxville, Tennessee, joined in the Big Read, a community reading program sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Knoxvillians read Ernest J. Gaines’s book A Lesson Before Dying and shared their reactions in book-discussion groups. Students from a local magnet school expressed their reactions through works of art. A public forum featuring community leaders delved into the book’s themes of racism, justice, and human dignity. The Clarence Brown Theatre on the UT campus performed Romulus Linney’s dramatic adaptation of the novel.

The University of Tennessee Libraries took this opportunity to work with the community to produce a volume through Newfound Press. Founded in 2005, Newfound Press is the open access digital imprint of the University of Tennessee Libraries. Toward Justice: Reflections on A Lesson Before Dying is the result of this endeavor. Robin Bedenbaugh, communication and marketing coordinator for the Libraries, conceived of the book project and served as editor, while Newfound Press published the volume. The Libraries put out a community-wide call for written responses to A Lesson Before Dying and was richly rewarded with thoughtful and heartfelt commentaries by faculty, UT students, and community members. It serves as a powerful example of how a press can contribute to civic discourse and engagement.

In 2015, UT received the Carnegie Community Engagement designation, the purpose of which is “the partnership of college and university knowledge and resources with those of the public and private sectors to enrich scholarship, research, and creative activity; enhance curriculum, teaching and learning; prepare educated, engaged citizens; strengthen democratic values and civic responsibility; address critical societal issues; and contribute to the public good.”

The presentation will provide details of the book project and plans for future engagement activities for Newfound Press.