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.

A blog post from representatives of LPC Strategic Affiliate the Library Association of Ireland; written by

Jane Buggle
Convenor, Library Publishing Group of the Library Association of Ireland

Marie O’ Neill
Committee Member, Library Publishing Group of the Library Association of Ireland

Library Publishing initiatives are expanding rapidly in Ireland. This expansion is encouraged and supported by a dedicated Library Publishing Group (LPG), established under the auspices of the Library Association of Ireland (LAI) in 2020 with the support of the LAI leadership. The objectives of the LPG1Library Association of Ireland (2022), Library Publishing Group. Available at: https://www.libraryassociation.ie/library-publishing-group/ (Accessed 12th December 2022) include:

  • To raise awareness of the library publishing movement in Ireland
  • To disseminate information on the latest developments within the library publishing sector nationally and internationally
  • To mentor new library publishers and to showcase library publishing initiatives and successes in Ireland
  • To forge links between open access and institutional publishing presses and libraries
  • To liaise with relevant agencies such as the Library Publishing Coalition, the IFLA Library Publishing Special Interest Group (SIG), PKP, and other key organisations
  • To promote and teach the Library Publishing Curriculum to Group members and across the library sector 

In 2021, The LPG became affiliated to the Library Publishing Coalition. This blog post will discuss the benefits of this affiliation for the library publishing movement in Ireland.

Bailey (2021, n.p.) in his extensive bibliography of library publishing initiatives, states that the growth and formalisation of library publishing initiatives globally are a natural progression in the context of cultural changes in libraries derived from the open access movement. He states:

An increasing commitment to the OA movement sparked important cultural changes in libraries, which resulted in the proliferation of institutional repositories, scholarly communication units, and research data support units supported by them.2Bailey, CW Jnr (2021) Academic Library as Scholarly Publisher Bibliography, Version 2.  Digital Scholarship. August 2021. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/354006648_Academic_Library_as_Scholarly_Publisher_Bibliography_Version_2. (Accessed 14 October 2022)

Bailey’s description also mirrors the evolution of library publishing in Ireland, which has emerged as a natural progression from the development of institutional repositories and the expansion of scholarly communication and research support services in Irish academic libraries. In 2019, A National Framework for Transitioning to an Open Research Environment was published by the National Open Access Forum (NORF) in Ireland.3National Open Access Forum (2019), National Framework on the Transition to an Open Research Environment, Available at: https://enterprise.gov.ie/en/publications/publication-files/national-framework-on-the-transition-to-an-open-research-environment.pdf. (Accessed 14 October 2022) More recently NORF launched its National Action Plan for Open Research.4National Open Access Forum (2022) National Action Plan for Open Research. Available at: https://repository.dri.ie/catalog/ff36jz222 The growth of library publishing in Ireland has also been fuelled by the availability of open source and proprietary journal publishing platforms such as Open Journal Systems, Janeway and the Digital Commons platform. Library publishing in Ireland favours diamond open access publishing (free to publish and free to read) which has received added impetus by the publication of Science Europe’s Action Plan for Diamond Open Access.5Science Europe (2021) Action Plan for Diamond OA Publishing. Available at: https://www.scienceeurope.org/media/t3jgyo3u/202203-diamond-oa-action-plan.pdf. (Accessed 14 October 2022) 

Okerson and Holzman (2015 p.5) describe the growth and formalisation of library publishing initiatives globally as also evolving from a desire by librarians to free “academic publishing from the trammels of commerce and the prohibitive cost of many materials of broad interest and value.’6Okerson, A. & Holzman A. (2022) The Once and Future Publishing Library. CLIR. Available at: https://www.clir.org/pubs/reports/pub166/ (Accessed 14 October 2022) Many librarians in Ireland share this desire. The LAI has spearheaded a campaign #ebookssos as an example to address exorbitant e-book prices.7Library Association of Ireland (2022) The #ebooksos Campaign in Ireland. Available at: https://www.libraryassociation.ie/the-ebooksos-campaign-in-ireland/ (Accessed 14 October 2022)

The LPC affiliates programme provides many benefits for a professional library association wishing to expand library publishing nationally. Regular meetings are conducted with affiliates by the LPC. Other benefits include the ability to attend non-fee-based meetings when beneficial or to collaborate on projects. Current affiliates to the LPC include The Directory of Open Access Journals, OSAPA, JISC, The Association of University Presses and other key organisations.8Library Publishing Coalition (2022) Strategic Affiliates. Available at: https://librarypublishing.org/about/#affiliates (Accessed 14 October 2022) 

The strategic affiliation with the LPC provided added impetus to attracting members to the LPG, eager to connect with international community of practice as well as with national peers. Enhanced awareness of tools and resources created by the LPC and related organisations such as Educopia was another key benefit. Membership of the LPG now includes a range of Irish universities, technological universities and private higher education institutions.9Library Association of Ireland (2022), Library Publishing Group. Available at: https://www.libraryassociation.ie/library-publishing-group/ (Accessed 12th December 2022) All members of the LPG completed the Library Publishing Curriculum10Educopia Institute (2022) Library Publishing Curriculum. Available at: https://educopia.org/library-publishing-curriculum/ (Accessed 12th December 2022) in synchronous sessions via Zoom. Encouraged by the strategic affiliation with the LPC, an increased number of LPG members are now indexed in the LPC’s Annual Library Publishing Directory11Library Publishing Coalition (2022) Annual Library Publishing Directory 2022. Available at: https://librarypublishing.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Library-Publishing-Directory_2022_web.pdf (Accessed 12th December 2022) and on IFLA’s Library Publishing Map of the World12IFLA (2021) Library Publishing Map of the World. Available at: https://lib-pub.org/ (Accessed 12th December 2022). These include:

  • CCT College Dublin
  • Dublin Business School
  • Griffith College Dublin
  • Institute of Art, Design and Technology
  • Marino College
  • Maynooth University
  • Munster Technological University (formerly Cork Institute of Technology)
  • Technological University Dublin
  • Trinity College Dublin 
  • University of Limerick

A significant benefit of LPG’s strategic affiliation to the LPC is increased knowledge sharing. Brandon Locke recently spoke at in an online LPG event on Educopia’s Library Publishing Workflows.13Educopia Institute (2022) Library Publishing Workflows. Available at: https://educopia.org/library-publishing-workflows/ (Accessed 12th December 2022) In January 2023, Sarah Lippincott will speak about the Next Generation Library Publishing Project.

The IFLA Library Publishing SIG is also a strategic affiliate of the LPG. This affiliation has also proved transformative in terms of its contribution to library publishing in Ireland. Several members of the LPG are active in the SIG. Jane Buggle, Institute Librarian at the Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT) in Ireland is the Convenor of both the LPG and the IFLA SIG. Ann Okerson, former Convenor of the SIG, closed out the LPG’s inaugural event entitled ‘Getting Started in Library Publishing,’ held in 2020.14Library Publishing Group of the Library Association of Ireland (2020) Getting Started in Library Publishing. Available at: https://research.thea.ie/handle/20.500.12065/3453 (Accessed 12th December 2022) Several members of the LPG spoke on library publishing at IFLA’s World Library Congress in 2022.

Creating a library publishing group within a national library association with strategic affiliations to both the LPC and with the IFLA Library Publishing SIG is a highly effective approach to nurturing and proliferating library publishing initiatives nationally. Affiliations with expert groups such as the LPC and the IFLA SIG deepen knowledge sharing.  This approach could be emulated in other library associations to strengthen international best practice in this vibrant and inclusive form of open access publishing.