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Against the Grain Penthouse Interviews

Against the Grain, the premier journal linking publishers, vendors, and librarians, is pleased to release a series of video interviews titled Views from the Penthouse Suite.” These interviews are an annual occurrence at the the Charleston Library Conference; one that we look forward to every year.  Select speakers and attendees are invited to the Mark Clark Penthouse Suite on the 12th floor of the Francis Marion Hotel in historic downtown Charleston, SC, to discuss wide-ranging topics and issues of importance to the publishing and library world. Special thanks to Jared Seay, our video engineer!


2016: Roll with the Times, or the Times Roll Over You

The 2016 interviews were conducted by:

  • Tom Gilson, Associate Editor, Against the Grain
  • Erin Gallagher, Rollins College
  • Nancy Herther, University of Minnesota
  • Matthew Ismail, Director of Collection Development, Central Michigan University
  • Albert Joy, Library Associate,  Professor Emeritus, University of Vermont
  • Jack Montgomery, Coordinator of Acquisitions and Collection Services, Western Kentucky University

These interviews are available to watch in their entirety at the links in the list below, and have also been split into several parts so as to be more digestible and easy to watch in segments in the embedded video players lower on the page.

  • R. David Lankes, Director and Associate Dean, College of Information and Communications, University of South Carolina
  • Michael Levine-Clark, Dean and Director, University of Denver Libraries
  • Jayne Marks, Vice President, Global Publishing, Wolters Kluwer
  • James G. Neal, University Librarian Emeritus, Columbia University
  • Judith C. Russell, Dean of University Libraries, University of Florida
  • Anja Smit, University Librarian, Utrect University

R. David Lankes, Director, School of Library & Information Science; Associate Dean, College of Information and Communications, University of South Carolina, is interviewed by Tom Gilson and Erin Gallagher in November 2016 in an “Against the Grain” Penthouse interview at the 2016 Charleston Conference in Charleston, South Carolina. This video produced by Jared A. Seay.

Part 1 of 3: Part 1 starts with Dave discussing his early impressions of his new position at the University of South Carolina.  The conversation then moves on to his concept of the “knowledge school” and its potential impacts on the information community. Observations about changing demographics and expectations lead to a discussion of the potential curriculum.

Part 2 of 3: Part 2 continues with a question about where collection development and acquisitions fits into that curriculum.  Dave notes that the meaning of collections has expanded dramatically and that their real value today is in how they are used by the community. Libraries don’t have to own everything. Access and use are what counts. The implications of this on the future of librarians is then discussed with an emphasis on advocacy and activism.

Part 3 of 3: Part 3 begins with the observation that those entering the profession want to make a difference.  The conversation then shifts to how libraries can add value to their stakeholders with librarians and their expertise seen as key.  The interview ends with Dave asking himself an important question missed by the interviewers.

 


Michael Levine-Clark, Dean & Director, University of Denver Libraries, is interviewed by Tom Gilson and Jack Montgomery in November 2016 in an “Against the Grain” Penthouse interview at the 2016 Charleston Conference in Charleston, South Carolina. This video produced by Jared A. Seay.

Part 1 of 2: Part 1 begins with a conversation about a panel Michael participated in at the Charleston Conference which focused on alternative ways of expanding the “discovery ecosystem” and how librarians and publishers can enhance library discovery tools. The interview continues as Michael talks about a recent study that he and two colleagues reported on dealing with freely available content including open access, “rogue” content, and pirated content. The role librarians can play is also discussed.

Part 2 of 2: In part 2 Michael discusses the possible threat open access might pose to the library’s role in funding collection development and how libraries might best react. The conversation continues as Michael talks about the position he took as one of the two featured debaters in the Conference’s annual Hyde Park debate. The interview ends with his observation that although it was not planned, his various presentations melded and complimented each other by dealing with related issues.

 


Jayne Marks, Vice President, Global Publishing, Wolters Kluwer Health is interviewed by Tom Gilson and Albert Joy in November 2016 in an “Against the Grain” Penthouse interview at the 2016 Charleston Conference in Charleston, South Carolina. This video produced by Jared A. Seay.

Part 1 of 2: Part 1 begins with Jayne offering several suggestions of how publishers might assist authors, editors, and reviewers in navigating the publishing process. How librarians can assist is also discussed. The conversation moves on to the essential importance of archiving and then to a discussion of publishing standards with a focus on how publishers and librarians might collaborate in both these areas.

Part 2 of 2: In part 2 Jayne talks about the value of discovery services and how they might be enhanced and then suggests ways publishers and librarians might work together in guiding patrons to quality resources. Open access is next on the agenda. Jayne thinks of OA as a different route for publishers to get their content to the reader. She says that the real concern is the quality of that content. The interview ends with Jayne wondering how we are going to cope with the “enormous portfolio” of information available and get readers the high-quality content they need.

 


James G. Neal, University Librarian Emeritus at Columbia University and is interviewed by Tom Gilson and Nancy Herther at the Charleston Conference in November, 2016. This video produced by Jared A. Seay.

Part 1 of 3: Part 1 begins with Jim offering a definition of today’s knowledge economy. He thinks it will be increasingly characterized by self-publishing and self-distribution. For libraries, it means declining investment in content and more resources dedicated to things like space and staffing. Libraries should adjust by being collaborative and cooperative; i.e. co-ownership of collections.

Part 2 of 3: Part 2 continues as Jim focuses on the future of libraries/librarians and library education. Jim then discusses his goals as incoming ALA president to increase the diversity of the profession, enhance the relationship between ALA and the Library of Congress, promote K-12 library services, etc.)

Part 3 of 3: Part 3 starts with an interchange about the impacts of open access and open resources on both scholarly communication and the individual scholar. This is followed by a discussion of what Jim calls the “information policy wars.” Digital preservation and its current inadequacies are then addressed. Despite these concerns, the interview ends with agreement on the rich opportunities available to libraries with Jim noting the success of efforts like the Hathi Trust and DPLA.

 


Judith C. Russell, Dean of University Libraries, University of Florida is interviewed by Tom Gilson and Jack Montgomery in November 2016 in an “Against the Grain” Penthouse interview at the 2016 Charleston Conference in Charleston, South Carolina. This video produced by Jared A. Seay.

Part 1 of 3: Part 1 begins with Judith discussing her experience as the first female Superintendent of Documents and how it helped prepare her for her position as Dean of University Libraries, University of Florida. The conversation moves on to a unique pilot project in which UF Libraries and Elsevier are making their platforms inoperable to help showcase UF faculty research. Additional project benefits, including a fuller awareness of the faculty’s open access publishing and increased visibility of UF research, are also highlighted.

Part 2 of 3: Part 2 continues with a discussion of a similar arrangement that UF Libraries are developing with CHORUS and its member publishers. Judith also notes that this arrangement is serving as a model for other libraries that are interested in working with CHORUS publishers. The interview then switches to a discussion of collaborative collection development and several successful projects in which UF Libraries are participating.

Part 3 of 3: In Part 3 Judith continues the focus on collaborative collection development by describing ASERL’s Collaborative Federal Depository Library program. The LLMC Digital Law library and the Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC) are also offered as examples. Judith then moves on to discuss future possibilities for national collaborative collection development. The conversation ends with Judith noting the difficulty in choosing which projects to pursue among all the possible opportunities and stressing the need to be realistic.

 


Anja Smit, Library Director, Ultrecht University, The Netherlands is interviewed by Erin Gallagher and Matthew Ismail in November 2016 in an “Against the Grain” Penthouse interview at the 2016 Charleston Conference in Charleston, South Carolina. This video produced by Jared A. Seay.

Part 1 of 3: Part 1 begins as Anja discusses her career and international work experience. The interview moves on to Anja’s concepts of “a library without a collection” and “a library without a catalog.” She notes that future libraries will add value by offering consulting services, not serving as a gateway to content. The library role in assessing information and in teaching information literacy is also highlighted.

Part 2 of 3: In Part 2 the conversation turns to the disconnect between how researchers work and how librarians view research. Anja notes the need for librarians to be more familiar with researcher workflows and stresses the need for discipline knowledge. Librarians acting as consultants and their role as emissaries for content providers are then discussed. Part 2 ends focused on the impacts of the open access on preservation and the library’s role in data management.

Part 3 of 3: Part 3 switches the conversation to how librarians can learn the new skills & competencies needed to add relevant value. This moves the discussion to library education with Anja noting there are no library schools in the Netherlands. There libraries are recruiting people with the new skills and competencies. The conversation continues exploring several topics including the European and US approaches to OA, global collaboration, standards & standardizing, and discovery. The interview ends on a light note as Anja is asked what she reads for fun.


theme-logo2015: Where Do We Go From Here?

The 2015 interviews were conducted by:

  • Tom Gilson, Associate Editor, Against the Grain
  • Matthew Ismail, Director of Collection Development, Central Michigan University
  • Albert Joy, Library Associate,  Professor Emeritus, University of Vermont
  • Stacey Marien, Acquisitions Librarian, American University
  • Jack Montgomery, Coordinator of Acquisitions and Collection Services, Western Kentucky University
  • Audrey Powers, Associate Librarian and Librarian for College of the Arts, University of South Florida

These interviews are available to watch in their entirety, and have also been split into several parts so as to be more digestible and easy to watch in segments, as shown in the links below.

  • Erin Gallagher, Serials and E-Resources Librarian, Rollins College
  • Jim O’Donnell, University Librarian, Arizona State University
  • Gary Price, Founder/Editor, Librarian, infoDOCKET
  • Mark Sandler, Director, CIC Center for Library Initiatives, Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC)
  • Katherine Skinner, Executive Director, Educopia Institute
  • Carol Tenopir, Chancellor’s Professor, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • Alicia Wise, Director of Access & Policy, Elsevier
  • Courtney Young, Head Librarian and Professor of Women’s Studies at Pennsylvania State University and past president of ALA (2014-2015)

 

Erin Gallagher, Serials and E-Resources Librarian, Rollins College

Part 1 of 2: Erin Gallagher is the E-Resources and Serials Librarian at Rollins College. She is interviewed by Tom Gilson, Associate Editor of “Against the Grain,” and Jack Montgomery,Coordinator of Acquisitions and Collection Services, Western Kentucky University.

Erin starts the interview by explaining her responsibilities as E-Resources and Serials Librarian at Rollins College and then moves on to talk about her research interests in use-driven acquisitions and library/vendor relations. Next, Erin’s high energy and fun “Poll-a-palloza” that sums up the Charleston Conference gets its due, as does her “Hot Topics” column on the ATG NewsChannel website.

Part 2 of 2: Erin continues by talking about how she transitioned from the private sector to her current position at Rollins and how her experience in the private sector has helped her. The interview ends as Erin discusses what drew her to librarianship and then gives her prescription for how the profession can remain vibrant and attractive to a new generation of librarians.

 

Jim O’Donnell, University Librarian, Arizona State University

Part 1 of 3: James J. O’Donnell is the University Librarian at ASU Libraries. He has published widely on the history and culture of the late antique Mediterranean world and is a recognized innovator in the application of networked information technology in higher education. He is interviewed here by Tom Gilson, associate editor of “Against the Grain” and Albert Joy, Library Associate, Professor Emeritus at the University of Vermont.

The interview kicks off with Jim being asked about the differing skill sets required for his careers as a scholar, a provost, and as a library dean. The conversation continues as Jim discusses his Charleston Conference plenary and its focus on key strategic priorities for libraries that include how we buy eBooks and incorporate them in to our collections, and more broadly, how we built the best, most accessible collections for our communities. Jim also discusses library’s return on investment and explains his contention that “all our students are online” and what that means for libraries.

Part 2 of 3: Jim addresses his somewhat contradictory contention that “the printed book has a glorious future.” The discussion then moves on to whether libraries need core collection or should focus their limited space on new and heavily used titles. He goes on to talk about his plans for the upcoming space renovation at ASU along with the possible new staffing options.

Part 3 of 3: Part 3 starts with a focus on the role that libraries can play in addressing concerns like student retention and graduate success. Jim also talks about his conviction that libraries have a responsibility to be available to everyone and elaborates on his concern about “the library size hole in the internet.” Jim continues with some suggestions of how libraries can help promote quality and scholarly integrity and ensure good discovery engines. Ending the interview, Jim is asked what was the biggest surprise he got when he became dean of libraries.

 

Gary Price, Founder/Editor, Librarian, infoDOCKET (Part 1, Part 2)

Part 1 of 2: Gary Price is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He is currently the Resource and Reference Center Director for GIJN and editor of infoDOCKET.com, a daily update of news and new research tools. He is interviewed here by Tom Gilson, associate editor of “Against the Grain” and Albert Joy, Library Associate, Professor Emeritus at the University of Vermont.

Gary begins by talking about how and why he got into library journalism and how infoDOCKET, his highly thought of information industry news blog, was created and developed. He goes on to discuss his role with the Global Investigative Journalism Network and then begins discussing privacy and libraries, the topic of his Charleston Conference plenary panel.

Part 2 of 2: Gary continues the privacy thread with the focus on the privacy of library patrons, especially students. Gary offers some ideas on how individuals can guard their privacy and then discusses possible strategies libraries might consider in protecting privacy. Gary continues by noting some takeaways he got from the other speakers on his plenary panel and ends the interview by offering some tips for viewers who want to become more privacy literate.

 

Mark Sandler, Director, CIC Center for Library Initiatives, Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC)

Part 1 of 3: Mark Sandler is the Director for the CIC Center for Library Initiatives, Committee on Institutional Cooperation. He is interviewed by Tom Gilson, Associate Editor for “Against the Grain,” and Jack Montgomery, Coordinator of Acquisitions and Collection Services, Western Kentucky University.

Mark talks about a Charleston Conference panel that he participated in entitled” The Changing Academic Book Market Landscape: What’s Next?” The conversation focuses on the most disruptive changes in the market and moves on to technology and user preferences and their related challenges. The continuing viability of monographs as a form of scholarly communication then comes under discussion as does the possible impact of open access books. The likelihood of print making a comeback is then commented on as is the current state and future potential of eBooks.

Part 2 of 3: The conversation progresses to another of Mark’s panels – one that highlights what young professionals in academic libraries and scholarly publishing are thinking and saying about their professions. The discussion then evolves to consider the idea of entrepreneurship and new start-ups and what libraries can learn from the private sector in this regard – especially around the use of big data, notions of accountability, etc.

Part 3 of 3: Following up on the idea of entrepreneurship in libraries, Mark outlines what he thinks are the characteristics of a new hire in this type environment. Passion, a sense of mission, curiosity, and a willingness to sell the library are all mentioned. The interview ends with a focus the future of research libraries and the need to be addressing a transition from collections to service in which campus relationships will drive budgets.

 

Katherine Skinner, Executive Director, Educopia Institute

Part 1 of 3: Katherine Skinner, Executive Director of the Educopia Institute, is interviewed by Tom Gilson, Associate Director of “Against the Grain,” and Audrey Power, Associate Librarian and Librarian for College of the Arts, University of South Florida.

Katherine begins by explaining Educopia’s mission. The discussion then moves to the Library Publishing Coalition and its place in the overall publishing landscapes as well as Educopia’s role working with them. Katherine then talks about what libraries can, and should be doing to enable digital preservation, ranging all the way from marketing to asserting a leadership role to doing the actual work.

Part 2 of 3: Katherine discusses her plenary presentation at the Charleston Conference and explains her contention that the publishing is undergoing a system-wide transformation. She notes that we need to move from a focus on institutional concerns to a system-wide transformation and build bridges across all of the relevant players. She then comments on what strategies librarians, publishers, content providers, and other stakeholders might employ to make this happen.

Part 3 of 3: The conversation continues with its focus on this system-wide transformation and moves to what such a model might look like including the role of data analytics. Katherine then addresses a question about “Project Meerkat” which is attempting to aggregate usage data from various stakeholders about monograph publications. This discussion opens the conversation up to the ethics of data analytics, privacy, and other related issues. The interview ends with a broad discussion of the importance of moving toward making this system-wide transformation a reality.

 

Carol Tenopir, Chancellor’s Professor, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Part 1 of 2: Carol Tenopir, Chancellor’s Professor of Information Sciences at the Univ. of Tennessee, is interviewed by Tom Gilson, Associate Editor of “Against the Grain.”

In Part 1 Carol starts the interview by providing some background on the “Beyond Downloads Project” which she just discussed during a panel at the Charleston Conference. She describes the Project’s focus on download metrics and other ways of saving and sharing research, as well as the participants and research methodology employed. Carol goes on to note the major changes in scholarly behavior uncovered by the project – primarily secondary usage of articles through sharing. She also covers the specific tools and methods being employed by scholars to do this sharing, as well as their concerns about copyright and the differing sharing behaviors among disciplines.

Part 2 of 2: Carol addresses issues like the effectiveness of various usage metrics and how they fit in with ISI’s impact factor. She also answers questions about whether this research can actually provide a practical model for measuring total journal usage. The interview ends with Carol addressing the implications for libraries and the key takeaways for publishers from the Project.

 

Alicia Wise, Director of Access & Policy, Elsevier

Part 1 of 2: Part 1 – Alicia discusses her role as the Director of Access and Policy with Elsevier and then moves on to talk about a panel she took part in at the Charleston Conference called Facilitating Sharing Among Researchers and the role of publishers and librarians in improving such sharing. Alicia then continues by discussing another panel in which she participated called “Text & Data Mining Contracts – The Issues & the Needs.” She also addresses Elsevier’s new, and somewhat controversial, contract terms for Text & Data Mining and offers examples for clarification. The conversation continues with questions about issues like the Big Deal and open access and how they fit into Elsevier’s current and future plans.

Part 2 of 2: Part 2 starts with Alicia discussing the recent resignation of the entire editorial board of Lingua, one of Elsevier’s journals,along with its ramifications. The conversation then continues with a general discussion of Elsevier and its society publishing partners. Alicia follows by addressing a new collaborative project between the University of Florida libraries and Elsevier to widen access to articles authored or co-authored by UF authors and published by Elsevier.  Complicated issues related Green and Gold OA, self archiving, library repositories, and user access all come up in this discussion.

 

Courtney Young, Head Librarian and Professor of Women’s Studies at Pennsylvania State University and past president of ALA 2014-2015

Part 1 of 3: Courtney Young is a past president of ALA (2014-2015). She is the Head Librarian and Professor of Women’s Studies at Pennsylvania State University. She is interviewed by Tom Gilson, Associate Editor for “Against the Grain,” and Stacey Marien, Acquisitions Librarian at American University.

In part 1 Courtney discusses her responsibilities as Head Librarian and Professor of Women’s Studies at Penn State Greater Allegheny, a branch campus of Penn State. She also talks about the organization of the branch campus system at Penn State as well as her specific library. The discussion then continues with a focus on Courtney’s tenure as the President of ALA including her main takeaways and how she balanced her job with her responsibilities as ALA President. She also elaborates on her conference keynote in which she discussed how the experience of being ALA President changed the way she approaches key concerns for libraries, as well as how libraries can demonstrate their continuing value to their communities.

Part 2 of 3: Courtney addresses how libraries can develop and employ effective strategies in proving their value and “return on investment” to the university. She also discusses how libraries can make connections with their communities. She focuses on essential campus connections and how she is making these connections at Penn State Greater Allegheny. Courtney then moves on to offer her ideas how the library can support the library’s commitment to diversity.

Part 3 of 3: Courtney continues to focus on the issue of diversity and addresses what individual librarians can do to foster diversity on campus, as well as the need for, and the role of, a library diversity committee. The interview ends as Courtney is challenged with the question: if you were doing this interview what question would you ask yourself?


2014: The Importance of Being Earnest

The 2014 interviews were conducted by:

  • Glenda Alvin, Tennessee State University
  • Tom Gilson, Against the Grain
  • Jack Montgomery, Western Kentucky University
  • Audrey Powers, University of South Florida

2014 Interviews:

  • Sheila Corrall, Chair, Library & Information Science Program, Professor at Pittsburgh University
  • Cheryl LaGuardia, Research Librarian, Widener Library, Harvard University and Editor of both Magazines for Libraries™ and Magazines For Libraries™ Update
  • Adam Murray, Dean of University Libraries at Murray State University
  • T. Scott Plutchak, Director of Digital Data Curation Strategies, University of Alabama, Birmingham
  • John Rennie, Editorial Director of Access Science McGraw-Hill
  • James West, Penn State University Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English

Sheila Corrall, Chair, Library & Information Science Program, Professor at Pittsburgh University

Part 1

Part 2

Cheryl LaGuardia, Research Librarian, Widener Library, Harvard University and Editor of both Magazines for Libraries™ and Magazines For Libraries™ Update

Adam Murray, Dean of University Libraries at Murray State University 

T. Scott Plutchak: Director of Digital Data Curation Strategies, University of Alabama, Birmingham

John Rennie, Editorial Director of Access Science, McGraw-Hill Education

James West, Edwin Earle Sparks Professor of English, Penn State University 


2013: Too Much Is Not Enough!

The 2013 interviews were conducted by:

  • Tom Gilson, Against the Grain
  • Jack Montgomery, Western Kentucky University
  • Albert Joy, University of Vermont

Conducted during the 2013 Charleston Conference, select speakers and attendees were invited to the Mark Clark Penthouse Suite on the 12th floor of the Francis Marion Hotel in historic downtown Charleston, SC, to discuss wide-ranging topics and issues of importance to the publishing and library world. Special thanks to Jared Seay, our video engineer!

Steven Bell, Temple University

Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Modern Language Association

 

Jean-Claude Guedon, University of Montreal

 

William Gunn, Mendeley

 

Jim O’Donnell, Georgetown University

 

Kari Paulson, ProQuest

 

Jenica Rogers, SUNY Potsdam