Professional Development

Author Archive

Molly in Cambridge for Copyright

Tuesday, June 21, 2016 4:36 pm

Last week I escaped the extreme heat of NC for the gorgeous weather of Cambridge, Massachusetts, to attend a two-day meeting about all things copyright. This was my second year attending this small, intimate gathering of copyright experts from across the U.S., and I loved it. Our group operates under the Chatham House Rule, so details of our discussions are confidential. But I can tell you that we touched upon everything from recent court rulings to legislative updates to rights statements to model publishing contracts to ereserves to take-down notices to career paths to activist scholarship. Discussions were lively, thoughtful, and well-informed, and I was privileged to spend two days geeking out on copyright.

A few key takeaways:

  • Yoga poses, recipe compilations, and chicken sandwiches are NOT copyrightable – but cheerleading uniforms may be (awaiting SCOTUS ruling)
  • Attribution of CC-licensed materials is no different than scholarly citation
  • The Batmobile is a copyrightable character
  • Madonna, Led Zeppelin, and Disney (now there’s a combo!) are all – individually, not jointly – involved in some manner of copyright litigation
  • Half of all pre-1950 films and approximately 90% of all nitrate films are gone, as the Library of Congress has no “body of record” on file (sad!)
  • When collecting activist scholarship (e.g., tweets, photographs, record, etc.), libraries are not neutral, so if we can’t protect, maybe we shouldn’t collect; also, preservation trumps access

This year’s meeting was jointly hosted by the Harvard Library Office for Scholarly Communication and MIT Libraries, and we met at the Harvard Law School Library. In addition to being a lovely library (hello, it’s HARVARD!), we got a chance to see their spiffy high-speed scanner in action. And when I say high-speed, I mean high-speed: averages 230 pieces of paper, or 460 pages, per MINUTE, and 2.5 MILLION pages per MONTH. It was a marvel!

Harvard Law School Library, Langdell Hall

Harvard Law School Library, Langdell Hall

Reading Room, Harvard Law School Library

Reading Room, Harvard Law School Library

Super spiffy scanner!

Super spiffy scanner!

 

41 hours, 6 hugs, and 1 hotel; or, Molly at Midwinter (sorta)

Tuesday, January 12, 2016 4:39 pm

Last week, I made what might be the shortest ALA Midwinter trip in ZSR’s history; it certainly was in mine! I was away from home a total of 41 hours, and in Boston for only 32. But I packed a lot into my up-and-back trip, including several meet-ups with librarian friends (hence the hugs count), and strategic hotel selection so I could skip an early-morning walk in the cold!

To be clear, I did not technically attend Midwinter, as I was on my way to back to the airport when the conference officially began Friday evening. But as Midwinters–and, seemingly, all conferences–are blurring at the edges with tag-along meetings, I guess I was, sorta, at Midwinter. Maybe. My technical attendance matters far less than why I was there: to serve as an adviser to the group founding the new ACRL Data Management Roadshow.

As many of you know, I co-founded the first ACRL Roadshow, for Scholarly Communication, in 2008. Before “retiring” from the Scholarly Communication Roadshow presenter team, I co-led 10 Roadshow workshops. Given my experience in the logistics of both creating a day-long workshop, and in working with a variety of host institutions, I was invited to join the Friday planning meeting for the new Roadshow. A day spent with cool librarians planning a new Roadshow workshop, for which I merely get to answer questions and give advice but have no additional responsibility, in a neat city, with flights that worked out to allow a bit of sightseeing, too? HECK YES!

I am really excited about this new Roadshow, and selfishly hope to attend one someday, as I could always learn more about data management support. The librarians selected as the inaugural presenters are sharp, funny, intelligent leaders in data librarianship, and I am impressed by their workshop development so far. I am also excited that the ACRL Board sees value in the Roadshow model, and green-lighted the creation of a second Roadshow to offer librarians.

And although I wasn’t technically at Midwinter, it was nice to be back in the thick of ALA conference going, as I haven’t been to an ALA since Annual in 2014. Made me miss the big, unwieldy conferences a bit. It also made me excited that I will be returning to Boston in June for a copyright symposium (well, at least that’s my hope!), as there are many Boston to-dos that I didn’t have time, or ideal weather, to actually do!

Lightsabers, soap operas, and Ol’ Blue Eyes; Or, Molly at the Charleston Conference

Thursday, December 3, 2015 2:19 pm

Although last month was my third time attending the Charleston Conference, this was my first time attending the conference from start to finish: last year, Chelcie and I attended the two-day preconference seminar, then dropped by the Vendor Showcase before heading home; and in 2008, I attended for a single day to co-present a Lively Lunch on library support for the then-new NIH Public Access Policy. So it was a treat to be able to experience the Charleston Conference in full–and what a full conference it was!

In recent years, Charleston has offered more sessions tailored to scholarly communication interests, from copyright to open access to changes in publishing. I attended sessions on how and why faculty share articles (key takeaway: they share because it’s natural behavior, it’s easy to do, and they aren’t too worried about violating copyright or licensing agreements), on Creative Commons licenses and open access (there’s some unease around CC-BY because it allows commercial reuse), on open access publishing (innovative approaches I’m excited about, especially those from UC Press and Ubiquity Press), and on open access workflows (must acknowledge that the research life cycle is separate from the publication life cycle, but faculty are in both simultaneously).

The plenary sessions I attended were interesting, with Jim O’Donnell’s Star Wars-themed plenary giving me much to think about regarding the future of academic libraries. And the privacy plenary the next day provided one of my favorite moments: a lawyer’s a cappella performance of his derivative version of a Frank Sinatra song about Google and online privacy!

One panel made me feel good about our mentoring practices at ZSR, as everyone on “The Young and the Restless” panel acknowledged that having a mentor is critical to professional growth, but that finding a mentor is not always easy. While I know our mentoring program is internally focused, emphasizing the importance of mentoring reminds all of us of its value. Whether we officially mentor someone at ZSR, or in our various areas of librarianship, or unofficially mentor someone, I believe that the spirit of mentoring is infusing our library faculty beneficially.

Finally, as with all conferences, networking with librarians and vendors was of prime importance. I strengthened several key connections with other scholcomm librarians, and had fruitful conversations with several vendors and publishing reps.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Charleston Conference, and anticipate that it will now be one of my annual go-to conferences.

Molly at SHARE Community Meeting

Tuesday, July 7, 2015 3:15 pm

June 22nd & 23rd found me in blazing-hot Washington, D.C., for the SHARE Community Meeting, Summer 2015. SHARE is an initiative of the Association of Research Libraries and the Center for Open Science, and is:

“…a higher education initiative whose mission is to maximize research impact by making a comprehensive inventory of research widely accessible, discoverable, and reuseable. To fulfill this mission SHARE is creating an openly available data set about research activities across their lifecycle.”

The initial vision for SHARE came from discussions in response to the February 2013 White House Office of Science & Technology Policy memorandums that stipulate that all Federal agencies with $100+ million R&D annually must make funded research articles and data publicly available. SHARE Notify, a feed of research events, launched in public beta in April. Although I’ve been following SHARE from it’s beginning, this was my first direct involvement with SHARE, as I attended the meeting representing ACRL on behalf of Mary Ellen Davis, Executive Director of ACRL.

The two-day meeting primarily focused on assessing where SHARE is to date, and giving the four task groups time to meet, during which they each identified next steps. I joined the Manual Curation Task Group, which is focusing on the metadata that SHARE ingests from various sources: publishers, agencies, subject repositories, and institutional repositories (but not yet WakeSpace). It was fascinating to be in attendance, as I made great connections and learned much more about the aims for SHARE. I don’t know if I’ll continue to represent ACRL, or if this was a one-time gig, but it was worthwhile.

Molly at ASERL SCUNC

Wednesday, May 27, 2015 9:07 am

Last Thursday, I found myself down in hot, humid Orlando for the first-ever ASERL Scholarly Communication Unconference, aka the ASERL SCUNC (pronounced “skunk”). The day brought together scholcomm folks from across the ASERL region at the John C. Hitt Library at the University of Central Florida. This event had been several years in the making, as it was first proposed by Christine Fruin, Scholarly Communications Librarian at the University of Florida, when she was the Visiting Program Officer for Scholarly Communications for ASERL in 2012-13.

I had never attended an unconference before, so I had little idea of what to expect. The group was small enough that we had time to go around the room and introduce ourselves before determining the schedule for the day and breaking out into sessions. Fortunately for me, there was only one time block when two sessions of interest were competing, and because we were fairly informal, I felt comfortable splitting my time between both sessions.

My first session of the day was on library publishing. As Bill Kane has been representing Wake Forest at most library publishing-specific events, this was an area that I did not know as much about, hence my interest in hearing what other libraries are doing. As was to be expected, the level of engagement ran the gamut, with our Digital Publishing Program—which, admittedly, is not officially under the wing of ZSR, but for all intents and purposes might as well be!—being one of the most robust monograph publishing programs represented. Many ASERL libraries are hosting journals for their faculty and students, but services beyond hosting, e.g. copy-editing and peer review, are generally not being offered. One interesting point of discussion during this session was on whether or not items made available via institutional repositories are considered published or not. I am of the opinion that they are not, although if you look at the OED definition for publish, it means to make public, which is what we do with IRs. But in scholarly terms, publishing usually connotes peer review, editing, and typesetting, which we do not do for items posted in the IR. My hunch is that future expansion in library publishing will need to tackle “IR=publishing?” head on. We also discussed the possibility of libraries publishing items that need to be published, but aren’t of appeal to traditional publishers, e.g. textbooks and datasets. Additionally, library publishing programs typically address preservation, whereas traditional publishers do not; this might be a selling point we can harness to our benefit.

During the second morning time block, I split my time between two sessions. I started with the OER session, to see what other libraries are doing with OERs. Some libraries are supporting OER adoption among faculty through mini-grant programs, an idea Kyle and I have been kicking around since last October’s OA Week presentation by Nicole Allen of SPARC. One challenge with OER mini-grants is distinguishing between adoption/replacement versus creation. An idea that struck a cord was to target new course creation for OER adoption. Here at Wake Forest, I immediately thought about FYS being potential targets. Switching gears, I scooted upstairs to join the session on faculty concerns about copyright. Reassuringly(?!), it sounds like most folks get the same type of questions and concerns about copyright from their faculty that I receive here.

After a fun lunchtime conversation with ASERL colleagues from UVa, Vanderbilt, and Florida, the final session I attended was on faculty concerns about open access. The bulk of this session focused on institutional OA policies, and the challenges around initiating and implementing such policies. There was much discussion about whether or not institutional policies were even appropriate for all institutions, with the consensus being that much depends on institutional culture and high-level administrative support. We also discussed how framing such policies as author rights policies—which is what they are—is more palatable to faculty than calling them OA policies; there is still enough misconception of OA among faculty to cause concern. Another part of our conversation ventured into faculty concerns about OA publishing, and the struggles to get faculty to understand that OA publishing is not unlike traditional publishing, both in terms of prestige and frustrations. No publishing process is without its woes.

The ASERL SCUNC (look below for the awesome logo designed by Ellen Ramsey, UVa!) wrapped up with a session debrief and group discussion. The day was a worthwhile experience, in large part because I was able to put many names and faces together for the first time. Certainly I ran into people I’d met before, but there were several folks with whom I’d traded emails yet had not met in person—it was nice to have an opportunity to do so. I also left with several camping spot recommendations for my family, and an offer to return to Florida to help decorate someone’s house, so I benefited both personally and professionally!

Molly at ARCS

Friday, May 15, 2015 1:21 pm

In late April, I attended the inaugural Advancing Research Communication & Scholarship (ARCS) conference in Philadelphia. Modeled on the early days of the Charleston Conference, ARCS aimed to be the first conference dedicated to scholarly communication that brought together the key stakeholders in the system: librarians, publishers, authors, and researchers. For two days, the 170 or so attendees gathered for keynotes, concurrent sessions, 24×7 talks, and a reception and poster session to exchange ideas on what works and what does not work in current scholarly communication practices, and to offer suggestions for where we might go in the future.

The opening keynote on Monday morning was extraordinarily fascinating. Will Noel, Penn Libraries Special Collections Center and Director of the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies, discussed how humanists do have data, they just don’t recognize that they do. To illustrate his point—literally and figuratively—he shared the work that he and others did at The Walter Art Museum in Baltimore on an Archimedes Palimpsest held by the Museum’s special collections. The palimpsest was first identified in 1906 and provided 78 previously unknown Archimedes treatises. He discussed how work on transcribing and saving the Archimedes works has progressed throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, from human eye translation to x-rays to ultraviolet and infrared scans to highlight the Archimedes text for study. The museum has released all of the images throughout the project openly online, and others have built viewers for scholars to be able to study these texts. The images themselves are data, and by making the data openly available, the opportunities for scholars and interested people to engage with this fragile artifact have expanded beyond what would otherwise have been possible had the images been restricted. The entire time he was speaking, I kept wishing that Chelcie, Tanya, Rebecca, Megan, Beth, Craig, and Stephanie could have been in the room with me!

The concurrent sessions I attended throughout the two days were on a variety of scholarly communication topics, many addressing openness and the future of digital scholarship. Points I’m still pondering:

  • Do we really know what scholarship is? (One panelist’s answer is that “it’s an event, it’s embodied, it’s materiality”)
  • How do we ask where scholarship begins and where does it end?
  • How do new forms of scholarship allow us to understand scholarly questions differently?

An insight that struck a chord is that scholarship no longer has to be a fixed form, i.e. a journal article or a monograph, but we haven’t yet developed systems to handle dynamic scholarship, either technically or in our mental framework of scholarship.

One of the best panels I’ve ever heard was at ARCS, bringing together a for-profit publisher, a non-profit library-based publisher, a current PhD student, and a librarian turned consultant. These four individuals, although bringing a variety of perspectives, came to some points of consensus that the model of open access that we have now—particularly looking to publishing—is likely not sustainable in it’s current iteration. Pressure points were identified by all, and while we certainly did not solve the problems of open access publishing, it was encouraging to hear representatives from across the system be able to agree on the challenges and opportunities. It was also refreshing to hear a for-profit publisher publicly acknowledge that publishers are in it for the business, not for advancing scholarship or supporting tenure, and therefore need profit. While this is known to be true, it isn’t always stated quite as bluntly.

The highlight of attending ARCS was the opportunity to connect with many scholarly communication colleagues, and also with several vendors. I shared meals or drinks with colleagues I’ve met through the ACRL Scholarly Communication Roadshow, the ACRL Research & Scholarly Environment Committee, ASERL, the University Intellectual Property Officers group, the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Advisory Board, and beyond. Because ARCS was a small conference, opportunities for conversations were plentiful, as we weren’t all dashing in different directions to catch shuttles to here, there, and everywhere as is the case at larger conferences (*cough, ALA, cough*).

This current fiscal year, I changed up the conferences I elected to attend, passing on ALA Midwinter and Annual, as well as ACRL, in favor of attending smaller, more focused conferences: Charleston, UIPO, ARCS, and next week, the ASERL Scholarly Communication Unconference. While I may yet return to the larger conferences, given the niche focus of my field, the conferences I’ve attended this year have proven to be a good match for my professional interests and needs, and I anticipate keeping to the smaller conferences for the foreseeable future.

Lawyers, and librarians, and copyright! Oh, my! – Or, Molly at the UIPO symposium

Thursday, March 26, 2015 4:37 pm

I don’t doubt that many of you would be riffing Dorothy, too, if you had been with me in Chapel Hill on March 16 and 17 for the annual University Intellectual Property Officers (UIPO) symposium. For two days, approximately 30 lawyer-librarians, lawyers, and librarians gathered in beautiful Wilson Library on UNC-Chapel Hill’s campus to discuss all things copyright and higher ed. While I was in copyright nerd heaven (in Blue Heaven, no less!), had you gone, you may have been a bit lost, as we were a lawyer-heavy group: if you think librarian lingo can be hard to follow, I promise that legal lingo and logic–from lawyer-librarians, no less–is harder. Nevertheless, we are a jovial bunch, and had two days of stimulating, engaging conversation around fair use for orphan works, working with university counsel, accessibility issues, digitization and digital collections, film and media archives, open access, open education, and legal updates from the U.S. and international fronts.

As one of my colleagues noted at our meeting, in many respects, the UIPO group is essentially Copyright Fight Club (the first rule of Fight Club…[you know]). Our discussions, both at the symposium and online, are confidential. We are not an official designation of any organization or association (although we grew out of ARL), we do not have officers or committees (yet), and our symposiums are not overly formal. This was my first year attending, but it will not be my last. In fact, this will likely be my future primary meeting of the year. I cannot overstate how valuable it is to attend a small, copyright-focused meeting with friends and colleagues who do exactly what I do, who face many of the same inquiries and challenges that I face, and who are more than willing to disagree, debate, and dissect current issues. I realize that many of you have experienced this type of synergistic immersion before, but I had not–at least, not to the same degree. And I loved it!

I have visited some of you to discuss ideas and insights gleaned from this meeting. If anyone has specific questions about the topics I noted, I’ll be happy to chat with you.

 

Molly at ProQuest Advisory Board Meeting

Thursday, December 18, 2014 4:57 pm

In early November, I was invited to join the newly-created ProQuest International Dissertations and Theses Advisory Board, which I readily accepted. As some of you may know, Wake Forest contributes our Master’s theses and doctoral dissertations to the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Database (PQDT), and use the ProQuest/UMI ETD Administrator system to manage student submissions of electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) to both PQDT and WakeSpace. As ETDs bridge the purview of the Graduate School and the library, I am the lead administrator for our ETD program at the University, hence my invitation to join the Advisory Board.

Last Wednesday through Friday found me attending the Board’s first in-person meeting at ProQuest (PQ) headquarters in Ann Arbor, MI. (And no, December is not an optimal time to visit Michigan, but at least it was in the mid-30s and there was no snow. No offense to any native Michiganders in ZSR for knocking a visit to your home state, although I’m guessing you agree!) Those who gathered in A2 (as Lynn has taught me to call Ann Arbor in shorthand) were board members from across the US and UK; our one current member from Taiwan was unable to attend, and additional members from Southeast Asia and Europe are still being recruited. I knew one board member and one PQ representative previously, and a few others by name/reputation.

I’ve signed a non-disclosure agreement with PQ, so I am unable to share much from our time. But I can say that this board membership promises to be one of the most rewarding professional activities I’ve pursued to date, and that PQ has recruited a knowledgeable and diverse board. And I can also say that the highlight of the meeting was our Thursday afternoon tour of the PQ digitization and microfilm facility. They have digitization equipment and set-ups that would make many in ZSR weep with incredulity and envy. Our tour included the on-site vault, which houses approximately 30,000 canisters, each containing 50 or so rolls of microfilmed theses and dissertations. And the off-site vault at Iron Mountain, in Pennsylvania, is co-located with the CIA, NSA, and Disney vaults, so there is no need to worry about archival storage for microfilms of our nation’s (and Wake’s) ETDs – they are well-cared for!

Bits and Bytes – DSU in Charleston

Monday, November 17, 2014 9:44 am

[Really, our title should be Bits and Bytes (and Bites!), but y’all know we were in the culinary wonderland that is Charleston, so the bites are a given.]

Chelcie and Molly attended the inaugural Charleston Seminar, a new two-day intensive workshop preceding the Charleston Conference. This year’s topic was Introduction to Data Curation, taught by two guys from UNC: Cal Lee, faculty at the School of Information and Library Science, and Jonathan Crabtree, Associate Director at the Odum Institute. We were two of approximately 30 librarians, faculty, administrators, and vendors from across the U.S. and Canada who attended. Wake Forest was in the middle in terms of institutional research focus represented.

The seminar was a mix of lecture and hands-on activities—Molly used a hex editor for the first time!—and addressed the sociocultural concerns of data curation, as well as the how-to aspects. We were reassured to realize that the paths we have been pursuing are on target for an institution of our size and research context.

Key takeaways:

  • keep data lifecycle stages simple; move complexity into functions
  • not about data ownership, but data stewardship
  • digital curation not the end, but the means to the end of better research
  • if we really love this data, need to acknowledge that we (aka, libraries) may not be the best place for it; is it a library conversation, or a campus conversation?
  • metadata tells you how to sift through data
  • must acknowledge the “Hermeneutic Gap” of archived data: context is often not captured, and is never the same
  • ask researchers what terms they would type into Google to find this data; often their terms will be pretty good, and can be used in descriptive metadata

We came back with definite steps to pursue to further the data curation conversations at Wake Forest, but also with the reassurance that libraries’ roles with data need to be ones of advocacy and coordination, not sole responsibility.

Molly at ALA Las Vegas

Friday, July 11, 2014 11:28 am

We all know the adage, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” right? Well, there are some things from Vegas that certainly can stay: the noise, the lights, the heat, the scuzzy hotel bathroom (shudder), the overwhelming BIGNESS of it all. But other things shouldn’t stay; they should be shared, which is the whole point of conference going!

This was an unusual ALA for me, with very uneven experiences with the conference itself. My meetings were great—my sessions, less so. The first great meeting was Friday afternoon when the ACRL Scholarly Communications Roadshow faculty presenters convened. In May, we welcomed three new presenters to our group, and bid farewell to another. Two of the three new presenters were able to join us in Vegas for our meeting, and I am excited about the expertise and energy they are bringing to our group. It’s hard to believe that this is our 6th season offering the Roadshow. For this season, we issued the call for applications several months earlier, which stretched out our season from February to July (our last Roadshow this year is next Friday, down in Mississippi). This expanded timeframe was much easier to accommodate with the presenters’ schedules, so we will once again issue the call for the 2015 Roadshows in mid-fall. We are also going to revise the first module of the Roadshow, as we are finding that some of the basics we cover—defining scholarly communication, open access, etc.—are no longer new concepts for the majority of our participants. Instead, we are going to develop a handout defining common terms and issues for those who do still need some grounding. Related to the Roadshow, later this summer, I will be co-presenting an ACRL webcast, Cultivating Creators: Copyright in the Information Literacy Classroom, as an extension of our programming. Both the ACRL Board and the Research and Scholarly Environment Committee (of which I’m a member) have encouraged us to develop supplementary web content for several years now, so I am excited that I am working with a fellow Roadshow faculty member to finally launch this aspect of our program.

My second great meeting was the Research and Scholarly Environment Committee (ReSEC) meeting Sunday morning. In addition to discussing our own ongoing business, which includes programming for the SPARC/ACRL Forums, advising the Roadshow, and maintaining the ACRL Scholarly Communication Toolkit (which will be migrating platforms soon), we also heard updates from the ACRL Intersections of Scholarly Communication and Information Literacy Task Force, ARL, SPARC, and the Library Publishing Coalition. One big piece of news from SPARC is that, as of August 1, they will be an independent association. This move will allow both SPARC and it’s former parent association, ARL, to exercise greater leverage in lobbying Congress on legislation furthering open access to research and openness in education. One new work area for ReSEC this year has been our partnership with the ACRL Digital Curation Interest Group to address the need for ACRL to provide training on data management. Through discussions at Midwinter and a late winter conference call, a proposal for a data management preconference at the 2015 ACRL National Conference was developed. The Board approved the preconference, and planning is currently underway. I have joined the planning group for the preconference as a dual liaison from ReSEC and the Roadshow, and am lending expertise on how to structure daylong workshops, advising on scheduling, activities and exercises, and general planning. This new role is exciting, as I have much to learn about data management. The hope is that this preconference might itself turn into a Roadshow program.

As I mentioned above, my session attendance this conference was, on the whole, disappointing. The one good session I attended was also attended by Lynn—”Libraries in the Publishing Game”—and I concur with her assessment. The other sessions I attended did not present any information that was new to me (which, in some ways, is reassuring, in that I hadn’t missed anything big), nor did the Q&A reveal any innovative opinions or approaches. The one session that might have been excellent was too far to get to, given my previous timeslot’s meeting location, which was a frustration. However, I used that time to attend an Emerging Leaders program, where I saw Lauren P., Kyle, and several librarians from my EL cohort, so the time was not lost.

My official ALA time ended Monday morning at the ALCTS President’s Program on introverts as leaders, about which many of our colleagues have already reported. Fortunately, my Vegas sightseeing ended on a high note, as I busted out of Vegas proper with four of our colleagues for an afternoon excursion to Hoover Dam, which was impressive (and HOT at 119!!!).

Of all my ALAs, this was the one I enjoyed the least, which might have been due, in part, to my ambivalence about being in Las Vegas. But I had productive meetings, and capitalized on multiple networking opportunities over lunches and dinners, so I can say I “won” in Vegas!


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