The University of Michigan, in collaboration with more than 50 other academic libraries and the Educopia Institute, has joined a two-year project (2013-2014) to create the Library Publishing Coalition (LPC). The project emerged from conversations between Purdue University, the University of North Texas, and Virginia Tech regarding the need for a community dedicated to advancing the field of library publishing. The University of Michigan will play an integral role in the design and implementation of the LPC as a contributing institution.
Academic libraries and the researchers and organizations they support are facing a new paradigm in scholarly publishing. The web, information and social media technologies, and the Open Source and Open Access movements are changing the framework in which scholarship is created, collected, organized, and disseminated. Yet, as shown by the highly regarded, IMLS-funded Strategies for Success project (http://wp.sparc.arl.org/lps/), library-based publishing groups lack a central space where they can meet, work together, share information, and confront common issues.
Through seed support from Educopia and participating institutions, the LPC project will engage practitioners to design a collaborative network that intentionally addresses and supports an evolving, distributed, and diverse range of library production and publishing practices.
During the first stage of the project, the LPC’s project team will document and evaluate how best to structure this initiative in order to promote collaboration and knowledge sharing for this field. The project team will produce several concrete deliverables, including:
- Targeted research, building on existing broader surveys, that will focus on topics of particular interest to the community, including costs, staffing, and how libraries are financing these ventures.
- Compilation of a directory of existing library publishing services, providing details including staff contacts, types of products produced, and software platforms utilized.
- A forum for networking and sharing communications about library publishing services, including an annual event and ongoing virtual training and community-building activities.
- The design and implementation of the Library Publishing Coalition as an ongoing, institutionally owned organization that serves the needs of this community.
Tyler Walters, Dean of University Libraries at Virginia Tech and one of the project’s initiators, called the formation of the LPC “a significant occasion in the development of library services and community building in our profession.” He added, “One day, through the community that is the LPC, new business and service models for library-based publishing will be formed, shared technologies brought about, and best practices documented, communicated, and learned. The LPC promises to advance new forms of information services in the Digital Age and I’m looking forward to realizing the promise of what can be… together.”
More information and a full list of participating institutions are available on the project website, http://www.educopia.org/programs/lpc.
The Educopia Institute serves and advances the well-being of libraries, information/research centers, and their parent institutions by fostering the advancement of shared information systems and infrastructures. Educopia acts as a catalyst to assist and advise libraries and other closely affiliated cultural memory institutions in the creation of new digital means of preserving and providing access to scholarly communication and the cultural record in socially responsible ways.