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Against the Grain is your key to the latest news about libraries, publishers, book jobbers, and subscription agents. Our goal is to link publishers, vendors, and librarians by reporting on the issues, literature, and people that impact the world of books and journals.

Against The Grain Journal

Charleston Library Conference 

Jul 10, 2017

Welcome to episode 29 of ATG: The Podcast.

This week, we’re continuing our previews of upcoming preconferences at the 2017 Charleston Conference. We have a great set of sessions on a wide range of topics that are designed for several different segments of the Charleston audience. Registration for all preconference sessions is included on the main conference registration page at the link in the show notes. Session details, including descriptions, speaker lists, and bios are available on the conference schedule, also linked in the show notes.


Preconference schedule with session details  

Registration for the Charleston Conference, including preconferences:

Product Development Forums:

Charleston Premiers: 

Charleston Fast Pitch Competition: 

The applications for Juried Product Development Forums and the Charleston Premiers are now open on the conference website. These are both opportunities for publishers and vendors to connect with the Charleston community. The Juried Product Development Forums are designed to allow publishers and vendors to get feedback from librarian about new products in development, or improvements to existing products. The Premiers are designed to showcase new products and innovations already in the marketplace but that may not be widely known yet.

The call for proposals is also open for the Charleston Fast Pitch Competition. This contest is designed to recognize and reward new innovation in academic library and information management. We’re looking for proposals that pitch a winning idea to improve service at an academic or research library. The proposal should describe a project or venture that is innovative, useful and better or different than what has been done in the past or done currently.

The Goodall Family Charitable Foundation will sponsor two $2,500 awards for the finalists. Last year's winners were Syracuse University for their Blackstone LaunchPad for student entrepreneurship, and St. John Fisher College, for their Coordinated Collection Development API Project. A write up of the session is available on the conference blog, and an ATG Special Report on all the winners, runners up, and honorable mentions is available on the Against the Grain website.

A big welcome first to Jackie Ricords and John Lavender, two of the session organizers and presenters for “Publishers are Not the Enemy: A practical workshop showing how publishers and libraries are cooperating with eBooks for the benefit of both.” This preconference is scheduled for Tuesday, November 7, from 1:00 – 4:00 pm.

Lavender-Consulting is run by John Lavender, a publisher with almost 40 years' experience in academic and scientific publishing. John has worked with books, databases and journals, and in editorial, sales, marketing, electronic content and delivery, business development and in negotiating. John is also a Senior Associate with Maverick Publishing Specialists who provide strategic consulting and operational outsource services for the publishing industry.

Jackie Ricords leads IGI Global’s e-resources and consortia outreach efforts. Prior to joining the STM publisher, she worked in higher education for more than a decade teaching and directing professional development programs for educators. Jackie has expertise in digital resources, with special interest in e-publishing and online learning. In collaboration with industry leaders, she facilitated the development of a series of information and digital literacy products and award-winning learning experiences for the academic and school markets.

Next up, we talk with Jeff Bailey, Linda Creibaum, and Star Holloway about their session titled “Developing a Weighted Collection Development Allocation Formula.” This preconference will be held on Tuesday, November 7, from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.

A native of Dayton, Ohio, Jeff Bailey was appointed Director of the Dean B. Ellis Library of Arkansas State University in 2012 after leading the library for three years in an interim capacity. In his academic library career, Jeff has held positions in both public and technical services, including several years leading collection development at Arkansas State. Jeff received his MSLS from Clarion University of Pennsylvania when online searching was essentially just Dialog and BRS. He has presented at Charleston Conference since 2008.

Linda Creibaum is Acquisitions and Serials Librarian at Arkansas State University, where for the last 15 years she has been fascinated at the change in library resource formats and the nature of the “problems” she solves in her work day. Linda has worked in a variety of library positions, including Solo Librarian and Instructional Services Librarian.

Star Holloway is the Serials Access Librarian at the Dean B. Ellis Library. She also does collection development for the Media and Theatre departments and spends some time at the information desk. She received her M.S. in Information Science from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and her Bachelor’s Degree in Finance with an emphasis in banking at Arkansas State University.

And, saving the best for last, we have Buzzy Basch to tell us about the preconference sessions that he’s organizing.

Buzzy Basch heads Basch Associates. He previously had a career as President of Basch Subscriptions, and Turner Subscriptions, and Vice President of EBSCO and F W Faxon. Buzzy is an active member of ALA, SLA, NASIG, and MLA. He has been an association treasurer, award recipient, and member of publishing and finance committees. Buzzy has been attending and presenting at Charleston for years. He's an institution! This year, he is putting together a whopping three preconferences, all on important topics.

The first one we talk about is Understanding the Library Market, which will held on Monday, November 6, from 1:00 – 4:00 pm. It’ll also be co-presented by Michael Gruenberg, with Gruenberg Consulting, and Erin Gallagher, from Reed College.

The second preconference on the schedule is Electronic Resources Management, on Tuesday, November 7, from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm. They've got an impressive roster of co-presenters here! They have a knack for putting together a great team to talk about the different aspects of the issue, and present their experiences.

And the third and final preconference is Negotiating with Vendors, on Tuesday, November 7, from 1:00 – 4:00 pm. This was one of the largest preconferences last year – we ended up having to move them to a different room at the last minute because there were so many people! Just shows what an important topic this is – everyone has to negotiate at some point!


Katina Strauch has some additions to her “If Rumors Were Horses” column from Against the Grain.

Just over the July 4 holiday. Great food and fun and no rain which made it even better! Even had a great golf cart parade!

Got a message the other day from one of my favorite people, the amazing Scott Plutchak! Scott says that he is retiring from UAB, but not from the rest of his life. He and Lynn moved into Lynn's dream house 17 years ago; it's stuffed with artwork and books, perched up above a pretty little lake with swans and great blue herons. Scott is still on the editorial boards of several journals. He will be able to spend more time on the Open Scholarship Initiative (OSI), a global collaborative effort between all major stakeholders in scholarly publishing to improve the future of how research information gets published, shared and accessed. There's also the steering committee for Metadata 2020, a group effort to advocate for richer shared metadata. Scott says he will keep pushing for open data and a more open, affordable and transparent scholarly communication ecosystem. He’s not going to go looking for consulting gigs, but if some interesting projects came up, who knows? Scott plans to do some professional and personal writing, he is doing a lot of exercising and even cooking several dinner several nights a week. It’s also great that Scott will have more time for guitar and harmonica. Last but not least, Scott will be in Charleston in November!

Guess all good things must transition! The innovative Derk Haank will retire from his role as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Springer Nature by the end of 2017. Derk will be succeeded by Daniel Ropers, currently CEO of, who will join Springer Nature on October 1 and work with Derk until December to ensure a smooth transition. Derk has thirty years of experience in the academic publishing industry, almost half of which have been with Springer. He joined Springer Science+Business Media in 2004 as its CEO and drove the migration of content from print to digital, re-inventing the academic book market in the process.

Throughout his career, Derk championed new business models and in 2008, led the acquisition of BioMed Central which together with Springer’s own open products led Springer Science+Business Media to become the leading open access publisher in the world. The culmination of his career was the merger of Springer Science+Business Media with the majority of Macmillan Science and Education in 2015. He became CEO of the newly created Springer Nature and for the past two years led the integration of the businesses.

Derk Haank, CEO, Springer Nature, commented: “I’m at the stage in my career when I’d like to step back from a CEO role and try something a little different and a little less all consuming. The fact that we have found a great successor in Daniel makes this now possible. I am very proud of all that we’ve achieved together at Springer Nature over the past two years. Whilst I will certainly miss the company and the people that I’ve worked with, this feels like a good time to hand over the reins to someone new. The critical merger related activities are behind us and our growth strategy is bearing fruit. I will be leaving Springer Nature in the capable hands of a strong and highly experienced Management Board and in Daniel, a new CEO who will no doubt bring fresh insight and passion to a business that will remain close to my heart”.

Daniel Ropers is an experienced CEO with a proven track record of building successful B2C businesses that led the market. He joins Springer Nature from the digital sector where he co-founded online retailer in 1999, becoming CEO in 2000. During his 17 years as CEO, Daniel created the leading retail brand in Benelux with a reputation for excellent personalized shopping, reliability and customer service. After two consecutive periods under Private Equity ownership, he steered the sale of to Benelux based retail group Ahold Delhaize in 2012 and remained its CEO.

Outstanding Charleston Conference Director Jack Montgomery sends this news! Western Kentucky University Provost David Lee has announced the appointment of Susann deVries as Dean of University Libraries. Currently the Interim University Librarian at Eastern Michigan University, deVries has extensive experience in library services designed to enhance and support teaching, scholarship, and community engagement. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Calvin College, a master’s degree in Library and Information Science from Wayne State University, and a master’s degree in Historic Preservation from Eastern Michigan University. During her 13 years at Eastern Michigan, deVries has served in a variety of roles including Education Librarian and Department Head prior to becoming Interim University Librarian in 2015. deVries was chosen through a national search process chaired by Potter College Dean Larry Snyder. “It is such an honor and privilege to have been appointed as Dean of University Libraries,” deVries said. “I am thrilled to be joining WKU at this exciting time and look forward to partnering with the excellent library faculty, staff and students to continue developing outstanding library services, collections, and facilities for the WKU community.” deVries will start July 1. She is succeeding Dean Connie Foster who is retiring after 41 years of service to WKU and University Libraries.

Peter Froehlich (Purdue University Press) (where does he get his energy?) tells us that the studious Leah Pennywark is now Dr. Pennywark and has successfully landed an assistant acquiring editor position with colleague at Stanford University Press. Earlier in the spring the folks at Purdue University Press landed a new talent in the acquisitions department, Susan Wegener.

Have a great day and see you next time!

If you have comments or questions, you can click the “Contact” button on the upper right side of the podcast website, or you can email me directly at Hope to hear from you soon!