Against The Grain - The Podcast

The audio supplement to "Against The Grain - Linking Publishers, Vendors and Librarians"
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Feb 27, 2017

Views from the Penthouse Suite Interview with Anja Smit

Anja Smit, Library Director, Ultrecht University, The Netherlands is interviewed by Erin Gallagher Director of Collection Services for the Eric V. Hauser Memorial Library at Reed College and Matthew Ismail, Director of Collection Development, Central Michigan University in November 2016 in an "Against the Grain" Penthouse interview at the 2016 Charleston Conference in Charleston, South Carolina.

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.

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. They discuss impacts of open access on preservation and the library’s role in data management.

The conversation then switches 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.

Links to news articles mentioned:

AAAS and Gates Foundation Partnership

Tate Publishing Closes It’s Doors

Jisc National Monograph Strategy

21st Century Library



Feb 20, 2017

Views from the Penthouse Suite Interview with Michael Levine-Clark

Against the Grain, the premier journal linking publishers, vendors, and librarians, is pleased to release a series of interviews titled "Views from the Penthouse Suite." These interviews are an annual occurrence at 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.

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.

We start 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.

Next 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.

The interview video on YouTube

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Feb 13, 2017

Views from the Penthouse Suite Interview with Jayne Marks

Against the Grain, the premier journal linking publishers, vendors, and librarians, is pleased to release a series of interviews titled "Views from the Penthouse Suite." These interviews are an annual occurrence at 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.

Jayne Marks, Vice President, Global Publishing, Wolters Kluwer Health is interviewed by Tom Gilson and Albert Joy in November 2016 at the 2016 Charleston Conference in Charleston, South Carolina.

Jayne offers 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.

Jayne continues the interview talking 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.

The interview video on YouTube

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Feb 6, 2017

ATG Views from the Penthouse Suite Interview with Judith Russell

Against the Grain, the premier journal linking publishers, vendors, and librarians, is pleased to release a series of interviews titled "Views from the Penthouse Suite." These interviews are an annual occurrence at 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. This episode contains the audio from the video recorded by Jared Seay.

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.

Judith discusses 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 interoperable 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.

Judith then 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.

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.

The interview video on YouTube

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Jan 29, 2017

The Evolution of E-Books

As we all know, the advent of the ebook have had a profound impact on libraries. What started as very tentative steps with NetLibrary at the turn of the millennium – this seems like a lifetime ago! - has rapidly evolved with the integration of digital content and services in libraries. The evolution from print to online has been a rocky and complicated journey, unlike the relatively smooth transition from print to online format for journals. Much has been written and said about the challenges and opportunities resulting from the ebook. Major challenges include ownership, preservation, discovery, accessibility, licensing and acquisition models, and usability. It’s time to take a step back and look at the remarkable evolution of the ebook – where have we come from, where are we today, and most importantly, where do we want the adoption or integration of ebooks to lead us? What does this mean for the iconic role of the monograph in libraries and in particular for the success of our students and faculty? Looking back can help us better understand the odyssey of the road ahead. What are the main drivers, challenges, and opportunities? Our panelists have significant and varying experiences with ebooks in libraries and they will bring us their insights and analyses. They will address various issues and challenges, guided by the questions below.

Historical Perspective of eBooks: How have eBooks changed over time? What is your perspective on the evolution of the eBook? What do you like and/or don’t like?

The Future of eBooks: What new developments are on the horizon? What are the latest models emerging? Will these changes meet the needs of students in higher education? What are the implications for academic libraries/students/educators?

Impact: How will eBook reading impact literacy, reading, and learning in today’s world? Will this affect academic collection development? What philosophical challenges are posed as academic libraries embrace eBook collection development?

Tony Horava (Moderator)- University of Ottawa, AUL Collections, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

I've been involved in Collections work for many years, and have seen remarkable transformations over the years. The challenges around ebooks, licensing, budgets, consortial strategies, new forms of knowledge and scholarly communications spring to mind. Reading in the digital age fascinates me - it is such a sea-change. The Charleston Conference is always energizing. I look forward to connecting with many people and hearing new ideas and innovative strategies on the various challenges we face.

James O'Donnell - Arizona State University Libraries, University Librarian & Professor

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. In 1990, he co-founded Bryn Mawr Classical Review, the second on-line scholarly journal in the humanities ever created. In 1994, he taught an Internet-based seminar on the work of Augustine of Hippo that reached 500 students which deserves to be called the first MOOC. He has served as a Director, as Vice President for Publications, and as President of the American Philological Association; he has also served as a Councillor of the Medieval Academy of America and has been elected a Fellow of the Medieval Academy. He serves as Chair of the Board of the American Council of Learned Societies. His edition of Augustine's *Confessions* is a standard, while his most recent books, Augustine: A New Biography, The Ruin of the Roman Empire, and Pagans bring cutting-edge scholarship to a wide audience. His work of most relevance to issues of libraries today and tomorrow may be found in his 1998 book, Avatars of the Word: From Papyrus to Cyberspace.

David Durant - East Carolina University, Federal Documents and Social Sciences Librarian

My professional interests focus on the importance of preserving and ensuring access to legacy print collections in the digital library environment. This is an especially pressing issue in federal documents, where my institution is a member of the ASERL Collaborative Federal Documents Program, but also for broader monographic collections as well. I'm also interested in the ways in which technology is altering the ways in which we read and think, and the broader societal implications of these changes.

Mitchell Davis - Bibliolabs CFO

Mitchell Davis is a publishing and media entrepreneur. He was the founder in 2000 of BookSurge the world’s first integrated global print-on-demand and publishing services company (sold to in 2005 and re-branded as CreateSpace). Since 2008 he has been founder & chief business officer of BiblioLabs -- the creators of BiblioBoard.
BiblioBoard is an award-winning App and web content delivery system that makes community engagement tools and simultaneous use content available to public, school and academic libraries. Today they work with thousands of libraries and publishers around the world in pursuit of a new vision for the future of libraries.

He is also an indie producer and publisher who has created several award winning indie books and documentary films over the past decade through Organic Process Productions, a small philanthropic media company he founded with his wife Farrah Hoffmire in 2005.

Mentioned in the presentation:


Jan 16, 2017

Building the Knowledge School

The rise of the information school movement has been seen as both a positive and negative reality in the preparation of librarians. Have undergraduate programs taken away resources and attention from the masters in library science? Has the growth of faculty with little or no understanding of libraries diluted the field? Dr. David Lankes lays out his thoughts for moving past the arguments to defining a knowledge school. A school focused on impact in communities and built upon the values of librarians, but serving the needs of a broader information infrastructure.

Dr David Lankes
University of South Carolina
Director, School of Library & Information Science

R. David Lankes is the director of the University of South Carolina’s School of Library & Information Science and the 2016-2017 Follett Chair at Dominican University’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science. David has always been interested in combining theory and practice to create active research projects that make a difference. His work has been funded by organizations such as The MacArthur Foundation, The Institute for Library and Museum Services, NASA, The U.S. Department of Education, The U.S. Department of Defense, The National Science Foundation, The U.S. State Department, and The American Library Association. David is a passionate advocate for libraries and their essential role in today’s society earning him the American Library Association’s Ken Haycock Award for Promoting Librarianship in 2016. He also seeks to understand how information approaches and technologies can be used to transform industries. In this capacity he has served on advisory boards and study teams in the fields of libraries, telecommunications, education, and transportation including at the National Academies. He has been a visiting fellow at the National Library of Canada, The Harvard School of Education, and was the first fellow of ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy. His book,The Atlas of New Librarianship won the 2012 ABC-CLIO/Greenwood Award for the Best Book in Library Literature.


Jan 8, 2017

Preservation of Digital Collections and Dark Archives

Long-term preservation of digital collections is a clear charter for libraries, but the path forward is often murky and daunting. Solutions vary due to collection composition, collection file structure, the technical expertise of the teams involved, and budget. Further, there are issues of stewardship, ownership and release of data in a usable form from dark archives. CLOCKSS, Portico and the Digital Preservation Network came together at Charleston in a panel presentation to share insights into what it takes for libraries to tackle the issue of long-term preservation. They discussed case studies and solutions that you can put to work. Come join us as we explore the dark side.

Greg Suprock
 - Head of Solutions Architecture, Apex CoVantage

Craig Van Dyck
 - Executive Director of the CLOCKSS Archive, since November 2015.

Previously with Wiley for 18 years as VP of Content Management; and with Springer New York for 10 years, most recently as Senior VP and COO. Craig served as Chairman of the Association of American Publishers Enabling Technologies Committee from 1995-1998, and was instrumental in the development of the Digital Object Identifier (DOI) system and of CrossRef. He represented Wiley on the Boards of Directors of the International DOI Foundation, CLOCKSS, ORCID, CrossRef, and the Society for Scholarly Publishing, and was a member of the Portico Advisory Committee. 

Jabin White
 - Vice President, Portico (Ithaka/JSTOR)

Jabin is the Vice President of Content Management at ITHAKA, with responsibility for the production groups of JSTOR and Portico. He enjoys content management, markup languages and all of their related technologies, publishing workflows, and change management. You know, fun stuff like that.

David Pcolar
 - CTO, Digital Preservation Network

Dave is the Chief Technology Officer for the Digital Preservation Network and a Technical Manager at Internet2. He is responsible for defining technical strategy and development, and implementation of technical and operational services for DPN.

Michelle Paolillo
 - Digital Curation Services Lead, Cornell University

Michelle is Cornell University's Library's Lead for Digital Curation Services. She is invested in the practical logistics of digital preservation (harmonizing workflows, preservation storage, interoperability, systems design, etc.). She also has duties related to digital humanities, especially in support of computational analysis of text, so OCR quality and computational method are also part of her focus. 

Jan 6, 2017

The Road Ahead? Patron-Driven Acquisition Might Become...

Library patrons make use of many forms of content: journals, ebooks, videos, audio tracks, archival documents, musical scores, etc. Each of these content types is amenable to PDA and the technology certainly exists to deliver each of these content types in PDA. So what stands in the way? We consider the prospects for a future-state of PDA that is multimedia, universal in its publisher/provider inclusion and delivered in an "e-commerce," if you will, environment where the content providers and the library can engage in negotiated agreement on item subscription charges and the trigger to purchase, rather than these being set by the aggregator.

In this panel we explore three trends propelling us toward this future state and three trends hindering this future state, and will solicit feedback from participants as to other trends we may have missed.


1. Continually tightening library budgets

2. Gradual emergence of affordable, patron-driven models like ReadCube

3. Decreasing demonstrable value of "commodity collections," especially in print and especially in research libraries, moving us towards digitization of rare and unique collections for consumption on demand


1. The emergence of a standard for a platform

2. Flexible terms on triggers and prices

3. Strong culture of "institutional ownership" and collection building in libraries


Rick Anderson Associate Dean for Collections & Scholarly Communication University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT

Rick Anderson is Associate Dean for Scholarly Resources & Collections in the J. Willard Marriott Library at the University of Utah. He earned his B.S. and M.L.I.S. degrees at Brigham Young University, and has worked previously as a bibliographer for YBP, Inc., as Head Acquisitions Librarian for the University of North Carolina, Greensboro and as Director of Resource Acquisition at the University of Nevada, Reno. He serves on numerous editorial and advisory boards and is a regular contributor to the Scholarly Kitchen blog, as well as writing a regular column for Library Journal's Academic Newswire His book, Buying and Contracting for Resources and Services: A How-to-Do-It Manual for Librarians, was published in 2004 by Neal-Schuman.

In 2005, Rick was identified by Library Journal as a "Mover & Shaker" – one of the "50 people shaping the future of libraries." In 2008 he was elected president of the North American Serials Interest Group, and he was named an ARL Research Library Leadership Fellow for 2009-10. Rick was the 2013 recipient of the HARRASSOWITZ Leadership in Library Acquisitions Award. He is a popular speaker on subjects related to the future of scholarly communication and research libraries, and currently serves as president of the Society for Scholarly Publishing.


David Parker VP, Editorial & Licensing Alexander Street a ProQuest Company

New York

David Parker is VP Editorial and Licensing for Alexander Street – the leading provider of video, multi-media databases and unique, curated content to the global university library market. Prior to his role with Alexander Street, David founded Business Expert Press and served as the President of Business Expert Press and its sister company, Momentum Press. BEP and MP specialize in applied, concise ebooks for advanced business and engineering students. Before founding BEP, David was editor-in-chief for business publishing at Pearson Education and a member of Pearson’s global business publishing committee. In his role as editor-in-chief he managed a portfolio of more than 100 titles and media products with revenue in excess of $80 million annually. During his tenure with Pearson, David participated in or led teams working on a variety of digital learning initiatives including audio study guides, automated homework assessment products, gaming-as-homework initiatives and social media sites for instructor teaching material and open educational resource sharing. David holds a bachelor’s degree in international studies from George Fox University and a Master’s Degree in anthropology from the University of Arizona. He has also completed executive education at City University Seattle and the University of Chicago. David is the author of The Blurring Line column in Against the Grain and a frequent adviser to book publishers navigating the print to digital transition.



Dec 18, 2016

Hyde Park Debate

Resolved: APC-Funded Open Access is Antithetical to the Values of Librarianship

In Favor: Alison Scott, UC Riverside
Opposed: Michael Levine-Clark, University of Denver

The debate will be conducted in general accordance with Oxford Union rules. All in the audience will vote their opinion on the resolution before the debate begins using text message voting, and the vote totals will be recorded. Each speaker will offer a formal opening statement, followed by a response to each other's statements, and then we'll open the floor to discussion. At the conclusion of the debate, another vote will be taken. The winner of the debate is the one who caused the most audience members to change their votes. Members of the audience have an opportunity to make comments and pose questions as well.

Michael Levine Clark

University of Denver Libraries
Dean and Director

Michael Levine-Clark, the Dean and Director of the University of Denver Libraries, is the recipient of the 2015 HARRASOWITZ Leadership in Library Acquisitions Award. He writes and speaks regularly on strategies for improving academic library collection development practices, including the use of e-books in academic libraries, the development of demand-driven acquisition models, and implications of discovery tool implementation. 

Alison Scott

University of California, Riverside
Associate University Librarian for Collections & Scholarly Communication

Alison has strategic responsibility for the ways and means by which the University of California, Riverside Library’s collections grow and change. Alison joined the UCR Library in 2014, following services as Head of Collection Development for the George Washington University Libraries, Charles Warren Bibliographer for American History at Harvard University, and Head of the Popular Culture Library at Bowling Green State University. She holds a B.A. in English literature from Whitman College, an M.L.S. and M.A. in religion from the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. in American studies from Boston University.


Dec 18, 2016

Reimagining Our World at Planetary Scale: The Big Data Future of Our Libraries

What happens when massive computing power brings together an ever-growing cross-section of the world’s information in realtime, from news media to social media, books to academic literature, the world’s libraries to the web itself, machine translates all of that material as it arrives, and applies a vast array of algorithms to identify the events and emotions, actors and narratives and their myriad connections that define the planet to create a living silicon replica of global society? The GDELT Project (, supported by Google Zigsaw, is the largest open data initiative in the world focusing on cataloging and modeling global human society, offering a first glimpse at what this emerging “big data” understanding of society looks like.  Operating the world’s largest open deployments of streaming machine translation, sentiment analysis, geocoding, image analysis and event identification, coupled with perhaps the world’s largest program to catalog local media, the GDELT Project monitors worldwide news media, emphasizing small local outlets, live machine translating all coverage it monitors in 65 languages, flagging mentions of people and organizations, cataloging relevant imagery, video, and social posts, converting textual mentions of location to mappable geographic coordinates, identifying millions of themes and thousands of emotions, extracting over 300 categories of physical events, collaborating with the Internet Archive to preserve online news and making all of this available in a free open data firehose of human society.  This is coupled with a massive socio-cultural contextualization dataset codified from more than 21 billion words of academic literature spanning most unclassified US Government publications, the open web, and more than 2,200 journals representing the majority of humanities and social sciences research on Africa and the Middle East over the last half century. The world’s largest open deep learning image cataloging initiative, totaling more than 150 million images, inventories the world’s news imagery in realtime, identifying the objects, activities, locations, words and emotions defining the world’s myriad visual narratives and allowing them for the first time to be explored alongside traditional textual narratives. Used by governments, NGOs, scholars, journalists, and ordinary citizens across the world to identify breaking situations, map evolving conflicts, model the undercurrents of unrest, explore the flow of ideas and narratives across borders, and even forecast future unrest, the GDELT Project constructs a realtime global catalog of behavior and beliefs across every country, connecting the world’s information into a single massive ever-evolving realtime network capturing what's happening around the world, what its context is and who's involved, and how the world is feeling about it, every single day. Here’s what it looks like to conduct data analytics at a truly planetary scale and the incredible new insights we gain about the daily heartbeat of our global world and what we can learn about the role of libraries in our big data future.

Kalev Leetaru

Georgetown University
Senior Fellow, Center for Cyber & Homeland Security

One of Foreign Policy Magazine's Top 100 Global Thinkers of 2013, Kalev is a Senior Fellow at the George Washington University Center for Cyber & Homeland Security and a member of its Counterterrorism and Intelligence Task Force, as well as being a 2015-2016 Google Developer Expert for Google Cloud Platform. From 2013-2014 he was the Yahoo! Fellow in Residence of International Values, Communications Technology & the Global Internet at Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, where he was also an Adjunct Assistant Professor, as well as a Council Member of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on the Future of Government.  His work has been profiled in Nature, the New York Times, The Economist, BBC, Discovery Channel and the presses of more than 100 nations, while he has been an invited speaker throughout the globe, from the United Nations to the Library of Congress, Harvard to Stanford, Sydney to Singapore.  In 2011 The Economist selected his Culturomics 2.0 study as one of just five science discoveries deemed the most significant developments of 2011.  Kalev’s work focuses on how innovative applications of the world's largest datasets, computing platforms, algorithms and mind-sets can reimagine the way we understand and interact with our global world.  More on his latest projects can be found on his website at or

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