LPC Blog

The Library Publishing Coalition Blog is used to share news and updates about the LPC and the Library Publishing Forum, to draw attention to items of interest to the community, and to publish informal commentaries by LPC members and friends.

In February 2019, we are publishing our second series of member profiles. These profiles showcase the wide variety of publishing work happening at member institutions, and celebrate our community’s contributions to the wider publishing landscape. This series will also spotlight resources the profiled institutions have contributed to the Shared Documentation library. Many thanks to the members who volunteered to answer our questions! See all of the published profiles, and look for a new one each week in February. 

To learn more about their program, check out UNC Charlotte’s latest Library Publishing Directory entry.

Tell us a bit about your publishing program.

The J. Murrey Atkins Library Digital Publishing Services was established in 2012 as part of the then Digital Scholarship Lab. The service currently resides within Technology and Digital Strategies and is staffed by two full-time employees. The two positions that report directly include the Head of Library Technology and Innovation and the Special Collections and Digital Projects Assistant. In addition, the library draws upon the expertise of the Copyright and Licensing Librarian and Graphic and UX Designer for guidance and technical assistance. The mission of Library Digital Publishing is to support the publication of scholarly works, including online journals, ebooks, digital exhibits, and conference proceedings for researchers and faculty at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The services are built on robust publishing platforms that promote open knowledge exchange, wide scholarship discoverability, and innovative dissemination of scholarly communication. We utilize Open Journal Systems, Open Monograph Press, Open Conference Systems, and Omeka to support open access publishing for the campus. Since its inception, Atkins Library Digital Publishing Services has published five open access journals, five ebook titles, one conference, and four Omeka exhibits. All of our publications are sponsored by a faculty editor and are available freely online. The library provides the mechanism to launch new OA titles and the infrastructure for long-term access and preservation. In summation, we offer technical support, platform-specific software training, graphic design assistance, and one-on-one consultations to increase awareness and adoption of open access publishing.

Photo of four staff members at University of North Carolina Charlotte library

From left to right: Christin Lampkowski (Special Collections and Digital Projects Assistant), Somaly Kim Wu (Head of Library Technology & Innovation) with Special Collections and University Archives staff, Rita Johnston (Digital Production Librarian) and Olivia Eanes (Reading Room & Archives Assistant) at the book talk for Miss Bonnie’s Nurses.

Tell us something you have accomplished with your program that you’re proud of – big or small.

This past July, 2018, Atkins Library published Miss Bonnie’s Nurses: The First Fifty Years of Nursing at UNC Charlotte. What makes this project unique and worthwhile is the significance of the title for both the University and for Digital Publishing Services. Miss Bonnie’s Nurses spans fifty years and captures the early years of the School of Nursing to the present day. The publication coincided with the School’s fifty year anniversary and launched a partnership with the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill’s Office of Scholarly Publishing Services. Through this partnership, Atkins is able to provide print-on-demand services to the UNC Charlotte community and expand our service offerings.

Looking ahead, what are you excited about, or what’s on the horizon for your program?

As we wrap up 2018, there are many projects in the queue for 2019. We have a couple of new research journals starting up as well as a conference in the spring. Two additional ebooks are also in the works. However, the most exciting initiative is our planned launch of an institutional repository next summer. We have hit many milestones in the last six years but the launch of our IR will be the penultimate project.

Tell us about an obstacle you are facing in your work or one that the field is facing as a whole.

Contingent staffing is a common challenge in our profession but felt more acutely in the area of library publishing. Funding for permanent full-time positions is an ongoing hurdle for libraries to tackle. Priority is often afforded to traditional and recognizable roles within a library while publishing endeavors are often viewed as extravagant. We have relied heavily on contingent staffing such as grant-funded positions, temporary fellows, part-time, and/or short-term positions. This puts a burden on the units supporting these services due to the uncertainty and unpredictability of staffing for projects. Reliance on contingent staffing creates a barrier for growth and long-term sustainability of publishing efforts. On the flip-side, the challenges incurred by contingent staffing have enabled us to prioritize demands and strategically leverage available resources. The LPC community provides a great forum for discussion; together we can tackle obstacles and identify opportunities for library publishing.

Tell us about your experience participating in the community of library publishers. Has that experience influenced you or your work?

Atkins Library has been a long-standing member of the Library Publishing Coalition. We appreciate the coalition’s work in building a community of practice and increasing awareness of library publishing. The Library Publishing Forum and community listserv have been a tremendous resource and have helped us shape our services and policies. We look forward to continued participation and knowledge sharing.

Tell us about a resource you have contributed to the Shared Documentation library. How has it been useful internally? What made you decide to share it?

We recently shared a Distribution Contract for Third Party Print Run with the community. This document is significant because it highlights the unique partnership between a library publisher, a university press, and the authors. The document outlines the roles and responsibilities for all parties involved and can be adapted to meet the needs of other organizations. We hope this resource will help others who are considering working with a university press, providing print options, and/or thinking about expanding their publishing services.