The Elephant Roundup (December 2021 - January 2022, Focus on Libraries Edition)

Yelena Kalinsky's picture


  • The Editorial Board, Opinion: The Golden Age of Public Libraries Dawns Again, The Washington Post, January 1, 2022.

    • “An abundance of new and newly renovated libraries have opened their doors in the past two years. In addition to being breathtakingly beautiful, many are exemplars of what great community spaces can and should be.”

  • Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Ixchel M. Faniel, Brittany Brannon, Brooke Doyle, and Brian Lavoie, Guest Post — What’s Your Vision for a New Model Library?, The Scholarly Kitchen, January 5, 2022.

    • “Twenty-nine leaders representing academic (community college, technical, baccalaureate, and research) and public libraries located in urban, suburban, and rural areas across the globe were interviewed by the OCLC Research team from April to July 2020. These leaders discussed the changes to library work, collections, and engagement experiences that they believe will continue and what their visions are for the future of libraries.”

  • Karin Wulf, Reading about Libraries and Librarians, The Scholarly Kitchen, December 16, 2021; Karin Wulf, More on Checking out Library Books, The Scholarly Kitchen, January 4, 2022.

    • “Last month I wrote about books about libraries and librarians, and asked for suggestions from readers. In the post’s comments and on social media folks responded generously and with enthusiasm for a subject that unites many of us. [...] The books that were recommended reflect these dynamics of libraries and librarians’ work and they also may reflect what some of us working in scholarly communications are reading about one of the central institutions in our business — when we’re reading for pleasure. On all counts an interesting list.”

  • New York State Governor Kathy Hochul Vetoes Library E-Book Legislation: Comments, Statements, and Media Reports, infoDOCKET, December 30, 2021.

    • “Just hours before it was set to become law, New York Governor Kathy Hochul on December 29 vetoed New York's library e-book bill. The bill is now back with the legislature, where it is tabled. The veto comes despite strong grassroots support: in June, the bill unanimously passed the New York Assembly 148-0, and passed the New York State Senate 62-1. But the Association of American Publishers’ December 9 federal lawsuit seeking to block implementation of a similar law in Maryland sparked concern in the governor’s office. And in her brief explanation of the veto, Hochul cited the AAP’s concerns.”

  • Colleen Flaherty, When Librarians Unionize, Inside Higher Ed, January 12, 2022.

    • “After furloughs, layoffs and benefit cuts during COVID-19, librarians and other library workers at Northwestern University have voted to form a union. [...] Northwestern said at the time that the furloughs targeted staff members ‘unable to substantially perform their duties remotely or who support areas with significantly reduced workloads in the wake of the pandemic.’ Yet with one in five library workers furloughed, the union says members who continued to work on campus were left with at times unmanageable workloads, all without hazard pay. [...] The National Labor Relations Board certified the new union, which is affiliated with Service Employees International Union, last month, following a majority vote in favor of unionization.”


Open Access

  • Raym Crow, MIT Press Open Monograph Model (Direct to Open), Chain Bridge Group and the MIT Press, Last modified 20 December 2021.

    • “The feasibility assessment summarized in this report describes the support fee and offer uptake assumptions necessary for the D2O open monograph model to be financially viable. The analyses suggest that D2O satisfies the design criteria established for the model and can be implemented with an acceptable amount of risk. At the same time, D2O is being introduced into a library market experiencing significant budget retrenchment that makes it difficult to add any new serial commitments and that increasingly deprioritizes monograph purchases. [...] In this context, the success of D2O and other open monograph models will largely depend on academic libraries acting with enlightened self-interest to pursue collective support approaches that provide viable alternatives to conventional market models.”


The Publishing Business

  • David Crotty, Market Consolidation and the Demise of the Independently Publishing Research Society, The Scholarly Kitchen, December 14, 2021.

    • “2021 has been a year of market consolidation. While the big mergers and acquisitions have garnered much attention (most recently Clarivate completing its deal for Proquest and Wiley’s ongoing spending spree), I wanted to bring to light a different area of rapid market consolidation, namely the demise of the independently publishing research society. 2021 has seen an acceleration of this trend which began in 2018 with the announcement of Plan S.”


Digital Humanities

  • Francesca Aton, Forrest Nash on the Importance of Documentation and Accessibility in Digital Archiving, ARTnews, December 10, 2021.

    • “We created an unfiltered, primary-source-driven way of learning. It’s not hierarchical, not based on prestige or financial support. We want users to see the different things that artists have done, collected in the exact same format and without any imposed scale of priority. We hope that the availability of this type of infrastructure will gradually shift expectations about how easy it is to get involved with contemporary art.”


Global ScholComm

  • Africa In Words, (h/t Kathleen Sheldon, editor, H-Luso-Africa)

    • “Africa in Words is a blog providing a platform for voices whose focus is on cultural production and Africa. Our name is intended to recognise that there are as many Africas and ways of talking about it as there are words to do it with. It reflects our shared understanding of the diverse networks across the continent that generate thought and action, that provoke people to produce, to curate, and to write, and that cross political, generic, and disciplinary limits.”


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