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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 

Aug 28, 2017

Welcome to episode 36 of ATG: The Podcast. 

We have a short episode this week, but still packed with lots of good stuff.

First off, do you know a rising star in the library and information world?  Would you like to see them recognized for their promising achievements?  Look no further!  ATG Media is thrilled to announce the first ever round of nominations for Up and Comers. 

Who exactly is an “Up and Comer”, you ask?  They are librarians, library staff, vendors, publishers, MLIS students, instructors, consultants, and researchers who are new to their field or are in the early years of the profession.  An Up and Comer can be someone you work with, someone you’ve presented with or shaken hands with at a conference, or someone whose accomplishments and potential you admire.  Up and Comers are passionate about the future of libraries.  They innovate, inspire, collaborate, and take risks.  They are future library leaders and change makers.  And they all have one thing in common: they deserve to be celebrated. 

The 2017 Up and Comers will be recognized in the December/January issue of Against the Grain, and 20 of these brilliant rising stars will be profiled in the same issue.  In addition, they will be featured in a series of scheduled podcast interviews that will be posted on the website.

Nominations for the inaugural round of Up and Comers is open through September 1.  Don’t wait!   Spread the good news, tell your friends and colleagues, and nominate your favorite Up and Comer at the link provided below.

There are several scholarships available for this year’s Charleston Conference.

Springer Nature is proud to honor the legacy of Cynthia Graham Hurd by awarding a $1,500 travel grant to a librarian that has not had an opportunity to attend the Charleston Library Conference due to lack of institutional funding. To apply, librarians are asked to submit a project or initiative developed at their library to enhance diversity and inclusion. Topics can include diversity in selection of resources, providing services to support the research and learning needs of all segments of the academic community, improving educational outcomes, addressing issues including racial disparities, racial equity, income inequality, gender inequality and more. The application deadline is October 2.

EBSCO is providing a scholarship of up to $1,000 for applicants who currently work as a librarian or para-professional. You can apply by sending one professional recommendation,, your CV, and a short essay on the following topic: A 2015 article in Entrepreneur declared that the One Certainty about the Future is the Pace of Change will Only Quicken. To be prepared for what the future holds, what are the top three juggernauts that librarians need to address to position libraries to succeed and to expand their position within their institutions? The application deadline has been extended to September 15.

In an ongoing effort to help librarians grow professionally and increase their understanding of the changing state of knowledge resources, IGI Global is proud to continue the Academic Librarian Sponsorship Program, which sponsors librarians’ attendance of the industry’s most important events. 2017 application information will be posted the first week of September.

We’d like to congratulate the scholarship winners who’ve already been announced for this year: Christian Burris from Smith Reynolds Library, Wake Forest University, won the Harrasowitz Charleston Conference Scholarship, and Molly J. Mulligan, an Electronic Resources Acquisitions Professional at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS) Kraemer Family Library is the grand prize winner for the SAGE Publishing photo contest. Links to Christian’s winning essay and Molly’s winning photo are available on the Conference website at the link below.

Taylor & Francis have put together a great series of videos titled “Why Charleston?” showing clips of attendees from the 2016 conference that have been added to our YouTube channel. There are some shorter clips, each around a certain theme of the conference, and one full length video showing all of them together. Thank you to the team at Taylor & Francis for creating and sharing them with us.

A reminder that the Charleston Fast Pitch is still accepting proposals that pitch a winning idea to improve service at an academic or research library through September 15.  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. Selected proposers will have five minutes to pitch their idea before a Charleston Conference audience on Wednesday, November 8, and a panel of judges who will determine the finalists. 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.

The program is coming together nicely, and we should have something to share with you in the next few weeks. Confirmed plenary speakers include Loretta Parham, CEO and Director of the Atlanta University Center (AUC) Robert W. Woodruff Library, Georgios Papadopoulos, Founder and CEO of Atypon, Jim O’Donnell of Arizona State University, and  Brewster Kahle, Founder and Digital Librarian of the Internet Archive. We’re also excited to welcome back the “Long Arm of the Law” panel, organized and moderated by Ann Okerson, Senior Advisor to CRL. This year’s talk includes Charleston favorite William Hannay, Partner at Schiff Hardin LLP, and Ruth L. Okediji, Jeremiah Smith, Jr. Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.

Now, Katina has some additions to her “If Rumors Were Horses” column in ATG. Thanks Katina!

Hello everyone! The ATG and Charleston Conference teams are all fine in Charleston. We have heard from several of you after the shooting at Virginia’s Restaurant on King Street on Thursday, August 24. Thanks for everyone’s concern. 

The hard-working and focused Rolf Janke has recently moved to Raleigh, NC and he says it’s great to be back East again! Rolf has already had lunch with Beth Bernhardt in Greensboro. He is planning to drive to Charleston this November for the Conference. Rolf is founder and publisher of Mission Bell Media which publishes print and digital media for the library market with a focus on leadership.Titles from thePeak Series represent contemporary topics for academic librarian career development.

While we are talking about books, did you see the article in the Wall Street Journal about Sue Grafton (August 25, p. M3). Sue’s father was a novelist  himself. Both parents were alcoholics though apparently her father was a successful lawyer and wrote detective fiction at night. Her mother was  “vivacious, outgoing, pretty and friendly” when she was sober. Sue talks about being afraid of water in the basement of their huge house because of big rains and sitting at home with a butcher knife because she was afraid of “bad guys”. The stuff of fiction. Fascinating and wonderful article. Highly recommended.

While we are talking about books, we have been spending a lot of time in our new place on Sullivan’s Island and my son Raymond, the real bookman, discovered sullivans-trade-a-book-mount-pleasant. It’s a delightful bookstore with wonderful inventory (we bought many new additions for our personal libraries). Between the Edgar Allan Poe Branch of the Charleston County Library on Sullivan’s and Trade a Book in Mt.Pleasant, I think we will have plenty to keep us reading! An aside, Poe was stationed on Sullivan’s as a private in the US Army in 1827 and 1828  and he used the island setting as the background of his story “The Gold Bug.”

Was excited to learn that the great debater Alison Scott has been appointed associate university librarian for collection management and scholarly communication by the UCLA Library. She will assume her role on Oct. 2. “I am pleased to welcome Alison to the UCLA Library,” said Ginny Steel, Norman and Armena Powell University Librarian. “Her extensive, varied experience with collection development, licensing, budgetary constraints and statewide and national consortial initiatives will enable us to continue to build, preserve, and provide access to a rich, deep collection of physical and digital materials that support UCLA's fundamental mission of teaching, research and public service.” The associate university librarian has leadership, management, strategic policy and planning responsibilities for collection management functions and the library’s comprehensive scholarly communication program. The position oversees five major departments: cataloging and metadata, preservation, print acquisitions, scholarly communication and licensing and the Southern Regional Library Facility.  Alison comes to UCLA from UC Riverside, where she has been associate university librarian for collections and scholarly communication since 2014. While there she has focused in particular on enhancing the library’s approach to collection development, crafting a curation strategy that views general and special collections materials as combined into distinctive collecting areas and incorporating faculty involvement into the review process. Prior to working at Riverside, Alison served as head of collection development at George Washington University and in a number of collection development roles at Harvard University’s Widener Library. She earned her doctorate in American and New England studies at Boston University, master’s degrees in library science and in religion from theUniversity of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Whitman College.

I remember the Hyde Park Debate at the 2016 Charleston Conference  between Alison Scott and Michael Levine-Clark  on the topicResolved: APC-Funded Open Access is Antithetical to the Values of Librarianship In Favor: Alison Scott and
Opposed: Michael Levine-Clark. The debate was conducted in general accordance with Oxford Union rules. All in the audience voted their opinion on the resolution before the debate began using text message voting, and the vote totals were recorded. Each speaker offered a formal opening statement, followed by a response to each other's statements, and then the floor was open for  discussion. At the conclusion of the debate, another vote was taken. The winner of the debate was the one who caused the most audience members to change their votes. Members of the audience had an opportunity to make comments and pose questions as well. I remember voting for Alison because I thought she did a great debating job! No hard feelings please, Michael! Plus, I think I was once again against the grain of the group.

Moving right along, we decided to take the debate online as a Webinar this year and we had a huge registration (363) on the debate topic of Resolved: The Journal Impact Factor does more harm than good. Debating were Ann Beynon (Clarivate Analytics) and Sara Rouhi(Altmetric). 

I have to give big kudos to Rick Anderson. The debates are his creation. Rick acts as the moderator for each debate.  We are planning for more debates this year. Please send suggestions of possible resolutions!

Several months ago, Tom Gilson and I were able to interview Andrea Michalek, Managing Director of Plum Analytics, to discuss its acquisition by Elsevier. Recently  we learned that Elsevier is integrating PlumX Metrics into its leading products, expanding access to these tools to the wider academic community. We are updating the interview even as we speak. Watch for it on the ATG NewsChannel and in the print issues of ATG.

Speaking of which, shocking us all, Elsevier has just acquired another US-based business, bepress. WOW! Here is some of the press release. -- Elsevier, today acquired bepress, a Berkeley, California-based business that helps academic libraries showcase and share their institutions’ research for maximum impact. Founded by three University of CaliforniaBerkeley professors in 1999, bepress allows institutions to collect, organize, preserve and disseminate their intellectual output, including pre-prints, working papers, journals or specific articles, dissertations, theses, conference proceedings and a wide variety of other data. “Academic institutions want to help researchers share their work, showcase their capabilities and measure how well they’re performing,” said Jean-Gabriel Bankier, bepress CEO. “Now with Elsevier we’ll be stronger and better by applying more technologies and data and analytics capabilities to help more institutions achieve their research goals.”  The bepress model is unlimited, cloud-based, and fully hosted, and includes dedicated consulting and support. bepress offers Digital Commons, the leading hosted institutional repository software platform and a comprehensive showcase for everything produced on campus. It is also the only repository that seamlessly integrates with the Expert Gallery Suite, a solution for highlighting faculty and research expertise.

The bepress CEO and employees will continue working with the company in Berkeley, California. The acquisition is effective immediately and terms of the agreement are not being disclosed.

That’s it for this week! If you have comments or questions, you can click the “Contact” button on the podcast website, or you can email me directly at Thanks for listening, and I hope to hear from you soon!