21 May 2021

A Review of IFLA Library Publishing Special Interest Group Virtual Open Programme: Library Publishing: A Catalyst for Change, October 15th 2020.

Guest post by Dr Johannah Duffy, Head of Library Services, Marino Institute of Education. Johannah has a strong interest in Library Publishing, Open Access, Research. Scholarly Communications, History, Cultural Studies & Learning

Attending the event was an insightful experience in seeing what so many information professionals and librarians are working towards in their own regions, countries, and libraries.  The expansion and increased access to information will inevitably create greater opportunities for the library community around the globe.  Organisers of this event, The IFLA Library Publishing Special Interest Group, advocate for the expansion of library services to include a library publishing service. A significant element of library publishing is the desire to advance open access as well as to meet local needs related to the creation and dissemination of scholarship. This webinar comprised of seven short presentations on library publishing case studies and collaborations. The diversity of the presentations, in terms of geography and diverse experiences made for an informative webinar with presentations from the Philippines, Russia, Nigeria, Germany, Turkey, Canada and the United States.

The case studies and collaborations included Jason Coleman, Karen E Dowling and William Lopez of the University of Michigan, who gave a powerful talk 'Collaboration & Commitment: Publishing Diverse Academic Scholarship for the Public Good'.  With a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, their goal is to help faculty share their expertise and research capacity with the public, through purposeful efforts focused outside the academy.  To facilitate this initiative, Michigan Publishing Services provide a suite of publishing-related services to help increase the visibility, reach, and impact of scholarship.

Dr Agnieszka Wenninger and Kathrin Ganz’s fascinating talk on 'Library Publishing & Editors – A Promising Partnership Based on OA', highlighted the invaluable role that librarians play in supporting editors and the overall publishing process. It powerfully captured open access literacy, advice on impact, typesetting, dissemination and more.  While, Selin Can Cemgil’s insightful presentation entitled 'Yilmaz Akkilic City Research Awards and Publications: A Library Publishing Example from Turkey', showcased the power of collaboration. This impressive presentation on how the Yilmaz Akkilic City Research Awards and Publications in Turkey has stimulated an extensive amount of high quality library publishing output provided an impressive example to us all. 

Library Publishing as an essential function in today’s information world: Models and Sustainability Plan by Academic Libraries in Nigeria’ by Dr Ngozi Blessing and Dr Aishat Egbunu, portrayed a robust example of models and sustainability of library publishing in Nigeria. This inspiring presentation articulated the possibilities but also the challenges that must be surmounted in relation to library publishing. It gives an excellent recommendation that library publishing should be taught to students. 

Gianina Cabanilla’s stimulating presentation on ‘An analysis of a publishing business plan for the UP College of Law, Information and Publication’, stressed sustainability, scalability and visibility. Ekaterina V. Nikonorova and Ekaterina A. Shibaeva of the Russian State Library, provided an excellent overview of their extensive and impactful Library Publishing Program.  I particularly enjoyed the focus on open access and transparency in Dr Ursula Arning’s presentation on ‘PUBLISSO Publishing and Advice Services’. This appears to be a primary and critically important imperative across library publishing programmes. 

This Library Publishing: A Catalyst for Change webinar highlighted that Libraries need to move beyond traditional roles of purchasing and distributing scholarly literature, librarians need to strategically position themselves and take ownership of improving access. As a direct result of Covid-19, there is a new level of urgency to transform the communication scholarly communication process and there are enormous opportunities for an expanded and inclusive library publishing service which addresses access to knowledge and literature.  The rich discussions of this event will stimulate the drive to make library publishing a mainstream service within libraries.   The clear message from this open programme is that libraries need to include publishing in their services, advocate for open access and serve our communities and societies.  If you have the chance, consider attending future IFLA Library Publishing Special Interest Group’s events to see the true scope of libraries and librarians.

The recording is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIo_Ckq6ZHI

For more information, see: 

IFLA Library Publishing Special Interest Group


Library Association of Ireland Library Publishing Group


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