The University of Tennessee Libraries, in collaboration with more than 50 other academic libraries and the Educopia Institute, has joined a two-year project (2013-2014) to create the Library Publishing Coalition (LPC). As one of the founding institutions, the UT Libraries will play an integral role in the design and implementation of the LPC.
Academic libraries and the researchers and organizations they support are facing a new paradigm in scholarly publishing. The web, information and social media technologies, and the Open Source and Open Access movements are changing the framework in which scholarship is created, collected, organized, and disseminated. Yet, as shown by the highly regarded, Institute of Museum and Library Services-funded Strategies for Success project (http://wp.sparc.arl.org/lps/), library-based publishing groups lack a central space where they can meet, work together, share information, and confront common issues.
Through seed support from Educopia and participating institutions, the LPC project will engage practitioners to design a collaborative network that intentionally addresses and supports an evolving, distributed, and diverse range of library production and publishing practices.
During the first stage of the project, the LPC’s project team will document and evaluate how best to structure this initiative in order to promote collaboration and knowledge sharing for this field. The project team will produce several concrete deliverables, including:
• Targeted research, building on existing broader surveys, that will focus on topics of particular interest to the community, including costs, staffing, and how libraries are financing these ventures.
• Compilation of a directory of existing library publishing services, providing details including staff contacts, types of products produced, and software platforms utilized.
• A forum for networking and sharing communications about library publishing services, including an annual event and ongoing virtual training and community-building activities.
• The design and implementation of the Library Publishing Coalition as an ongoing, institutionally owned organization that serves the needs of this community.
Steven Escar Smith, Dean of Libraries at the University of Tennessee, notes that “the University of Tennessee is already a national leader in providing open access to our institution’s scholarship. Trace, our online archive of research and creative works, gives UT’s scholarship wider visibility and greater impact. And the UT Libraries’ digital imprint, Newfound Press, publishes works that are unlikely candidates for market-driven presses because of their narrow focus or innovative format. By joining the LPC, we will continue to work with other leading academic libraries to find new ways to lower costs and overcome other barriers to disseminating the products of scholarship.”
More information and a full list of participating institutions are available on the project website, http://www.educopia.org/programs/lpc.
The Educopia Institute serves and advances the well-being of libraries, information/research centers, and their parent institutions by fostering the advancement of shared information systems and infrastructures. Educopia acts as a catalyst to assist and advise libraries and other closely affiliated cultural memory institutions in the creation of new digital means of preserving and providing access to scholarly communication and the cultural record in socially responsible ways.
Holly Mercer, Associate Dean for Scholarly Communication and Research Services, University of Tennessee Libraries, firstname.lastname@example.org, 865-974-6600