LPC Blog

The Library Publishing Coalition Blog is used to share news and updates about the LPC and the Library Publishing Forum, to draw attention to items of interest to the community, and to publish informal commentaries by LPC members and friends.

April 25, 2018

University of Pittsburgh: Making progress toward community-owned infrastructure

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Multi-colored umbrellas on blue sky background

As we gear up for the Library Publishing Forum and the start of a new membership year in July, we are publishing a series of member profiles. These profiles will showcase the wide variety of publishing work happening at member institutions, and celebrate our community’s contributions to the wider publishing landscape. Many thanks to the members who agreed to answer our questions! See all of the published profiles, and look for a new one each week until the Forum. 

To learn more about their program, check out Pitt’s latest Library Publishing Directory entry.

Tell us a bit about your publishing program.

Our journal publishing program was a natural outgrowth of our work with subject-based open access repositories going back to 2001.  We were among the first libraries to offer publishing services to partners outside our home institution.  Today, we publish 40 peer reviewed journals with about half of our partners external to Pitt, as well as four subject-based archives and an institutional repository.  Our portfolio includes titles in the humanities, social sciences, technology, law, and health sciences.  Our partners are diverse and range from Pitt student groups, scholarly societies, and teams of independent scholars around the world.  We are committed to making open access a reality for publication and realize that libraries can do more than advocate – we can take action in this space to lower the costs of publishing and make tangible progress towards making scholarship available to all to read and use. Whenever we can, we use open source software for our publishing and our repositories because we believe that the best future is one where the community owns the infrastructure.

Five staff members holding books in front of a bookcase

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April 24, 2018

Welcome to our seven new members!

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Our Newest Members: PALNI, Penn State, ATLA, Guelph, UNCG, Binghamton U, and Columbia

Remember when we announced a last quarter membership special? The response to it was beyond our wildest dreams, and we are very excited to announce our new members: American Theological Library Association (ATLA), Binghamton University, Columbia University, Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI), Penn State, University of Guelph, and University of North Carolina Greensboro.

All seven are full LPC members as of April 1st, and we are excited to see many of them at the upcoming Library Publishing Forum. Welcome, colleagues!


April 19, 2018

Check out LPC’s new Vision, Mission, and Values statements

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Wheat field scene with blue sky with mission, vision, values text overlaid

As part of a strategic planning process this year, LPC’s Board has revised the organization’s Vision and Mission, and has articulated a set of Values. We love these new statements, and we feel that they encapsulate the work that LPC is doing as well as the big picture goals of our community:

Vision

A scholarly publishing landscape that is open, inclusive, and sustainable.


Mission

The Library Publishing Coalition (LPC) extends the impact and sustainability of library publishing and open scholarship by providing a professional forum for developing best practices and shared expertise.


Values

  • Professionalism: We seek to improve the quality and sustainability of library publishing through advocacy, professional development, and shared best practices.
  • Openness: We believe that the products and processes of scholarly communication should be as open as possible, thereby increasing the reach and impact of scholarship worldwide.
  • Diversity: Recognizing that library publishing has a unique opportunity to amplify underrepresented voices in scholarly communication, we strive to promote inclusivity in all our professional activities.
  • Collaboration: We leverage our collective knowledge and resources to enhance our own publishing efforts and to support other libraries in developing scholarly publishing programs.
  • Innovation: As research and scholarly communication continue to evolve, we explore and engage with new technologies and new models of publishing to better support the needs of the scholarly community.

These new statements have been added to our About Us page. We welcome feedback on them from LPC members and the wider community!


April 18, 2018

Minitex: Where academic and public library publishing meet

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Multi-colored umbrellas on blue sky background

As we gear up for the Library Publishing Forum and the start of a new membership year in July, we are publishing a series of member profiles. These profiles will showcase the wide variety of publishing work happening at member institutions, and celebrate our community’s contributions to the wider publishing landscape. Many thanks to the members who agreed to answer our questions! See all of the published profiles, and look for a new one each week until the Forum. 

Tell us a bit about your publishing program.

Minitex is a multi-type consortium serving libraries primarily in Minnesota (MN), but also the Dakotas. We launched our publishing efforts in the summer of 2017 as a two-part system: 1) Minnesota Libraries Publishing Project (academic) and 2) MN Writes MN Reads (public). We designed the project to meet the specific needs of academic and public libraries, and then take advantage of the areas of overlap between the two.

The Minnesota Libraries Publishing Project (MLPP) provides a statewide instance of Pressbooks, an online publishing tool, as well as information sharing, training, and jointly-developed promotional materials for library staff. Our statewide version of Pressbooks is geo-authenticated, easy-to-access (e.g., does not require library ID), and is free of watermarks or any hidden costs. Our MLPP version of Pressbooks is being used by public, school, and academic libraries, and has seen a meteoric rise in use with 350 active authors in the nine months since we launched. We use Bibliolabs as our hosting vendor, and costs are shared by 20 academic libraries and Minitex.

MLPP also hosts a robust Community of Interest with over 30 academic libraries participating. Activities include frequent phone calls, workshop and conference programming, sharing of promotion and training materials, and peer advising to solve problems and help inform each library’s publishing practices. Academic librarians tell us that the ability to find and network with nearby peers has been one of the major advantages of MLPP.

Photo grig with staff photos and quote from text

The second linked project, MN Writes MN Reads, is funded by Minnesota’s 12 regional public library systems. This project uses Library Journal/Bibliolabs’ SELF-e system to onboard, build metadata, and circulate ebooks written by Minnesota authors.  Bibliolabs created a direct link so that any book created in Pressbooks can be automatically uploaded into the Minnesota SELF-e author collection, called Indie Minnesota. Minnesota’s public libraries are making Indie Minnesota available on their websites and through their catalogs. The public library community has just launched a statewide self-published author contest to promote the system.

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April 5, 2018

Attending the Library Publishing Forum? Volunteer to livestream!

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Image of conference attendees, information about how to volunteer in post

If you’ll be at this year’s Library Publishing Forum, consider helping us make the program more accessible to those who cannot attend in person.

We’re seeking interested volunteers to join us in a coordinated effort to capture and stream conference sessions live to Twitter. 

Here’s how this will work:

  • If you have a smartphone that you can use to capture and stream sessions to Twitter, and if you are interested in joining us in this effort, please let us know your name and contact information via this form by Friday, May 4. (Please note that we will have access to campus wifi, so you will not be required to use your wireless data connection for this.)
  • A program committee representative will host a virtual training session on Tuesday, May 8 to go over account access, Periscope livestreaming instructions, and logistics. Volunteers will then meet in person as a group on Tuesday, May 22 during breakfast to go over guidelines, details, software/hardware, and assignments.
  • Educopia will provide tripods and microphones in each room to improve the quality of the streaming.
  • Each volunteer will receive their livestreaming assignments (including session, room number and location, and presenters) via email the week before the conference. We will only stream presentations where the presenter has granted permission to do so.

We very much hope that you’ll help us make this year’s Forum the most accessible and inclusive one yet!  Please do sign up if you’re interested, or feel free to email Hannah Ballard (hannah@educopia.org) if you have any questions or concerns.

Curious about how to watch the livestreamed sessions? Follow us on Twitter (where the livestream will be shared) and keep an eye on our blog for more information.


April 2, 2018

And the winner is…

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Image of a sparkler in a forest, information about winner in post

As participation in library publishing grows, the development of a strong evidence base to inform best practices and demonstrate impact is essential. To encourage research and theoretical work about library publishing services, the Library Publishing Coalition (LPC) gives an annual Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Library Publishing. The award recognizes significant and timely contributions to library publishing theory and practice.

The LPC Research Committee is delighted to announce that this year’s award recipient is Daniel G. Tracy for his article, “Libraries as Content Producers: How Library Publishing Services Address the Reading Experience.” The work is an excellent discussion of an important and timely issue.  With the growing interest in nascent open source publishing platforms, this research on how library publishers can design for and respond to readers’ experiences is important. Daniel’s article provides a snapshot of current practices and a baseline for future activities for library publishers to assess and improve the experience for readers of their publications.  A statement from Daniel on the award:

I am honored to be selected for the Library Publishing Coalition Award for Outstanding Research. LPC is playing an important role in fostering conversation and forward momentum among library publishing programs, and I have admired its efforts in this area. The research that led to this article was motivated by a desire to see more public conversations of users of library publications and publishing platforms feed back into design. Libraries have a strong tradition of studying users of information systems, and events like the Library Publishing Forum are great opportunities to move that work forward in relation to new and evolving publishing programs.

Daniel’s work will be formally recognized at the 2018 Library Publishing Forum in Minneapolis, MN. He  will receive a cash award of $250, travel support to attend the Forum, and an opportunity to share his work with the community.

Laurie Taylor, Brian Keith, Chelsea Dinsmore, and Meredith Morris-Babb received an honorable mention for their work on the ARL SPEC kit, Libraries, Presses, and Publishing. (SPEC Kit 357). Association of Research Libraries. November 2017. https://doi.org/10.29242/spec.357