About This Course (Publishing and Libraries)

About This Course (Publishing and Libraries)

Intro slides for "Publishing, Knowledge Institutions, and Society: E-Revolutions?"

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Dorothea Salo

May 21, 2014
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Transcript

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    COURSE NUMBER •We’re working on getting this course its own

    number. •Don’t even ask me about when. I don’t know. The red tape is choking me as it is. •So you may see: •LIS 855 (old topics number) •LIS 640 (new topics number) •LIS 658 (the permanent number... we hope) •Mmmmmmaybe LIS 590 (this course before it was this course; taught once at Illinois back in 2008) •It’s all the same course. Except 590. That was a bit different. Yeah, confusing, sorry.
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    THE “ABOUT ME” SLIDE •I came to library school because

    I once worked in publishing. •Not as exciting as it sounds; I was a markup grunt (SGML/XML) and typesetter. But I learned a lot by osmosis about how various publishing industries and processes work. •Also involved in ebook standards (The Standard That Is Now .EPUB) during the dot-com boom. •My librarian career centered around open access and research-data management. •With occasional forays into electronic theses and dissertations, and library-as-publisher.
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    WHAT THIS COURSE IS ABOUT •Publishing and libraries, mostly •We’ll

    talk about things relevant to K-12, public, and academic libraries, as well as the broader reading public. •Much of what we’re doing here is getting you sensitized to current events, a sort of “where we’re at.” •“What’s going on here? What are we doing about it? What else can we do about it? What SHOULD we do about it?” •Yes, I will often take an explicitly activist position. You are not required to agree with it! •But...
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    THIS COURSE IS ABOUT  HOW TO COPE WITH CHANGE.

    (... and, um, sometimes how NOT to)
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    HANDLING RAPID CHANGE •Established organization types with long histories tend

    to be rather bad at coping with rapid change. •Not that any human organization is necessarily good at it! •Sometimes this means they die. Quite suddenly. •Dinosaurs vs. mammals! •Clayton Christensen, “disruptive innovation.” Christensen isn’t as smart as he thinks he is, but there’s something here. •We can do better. And we need to. •So the enduring content of this course, what will last when the current events are a memory, is about heeding what’s going on in the world, reacting well to it, even getting in front of it! •We don’t always have to wait for change and then react to it. We can try to make the changes we want!
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    ANIL DASH ON CHANGE “When a company or industry is

    facing changes to its business due to technology, it will argue against the need for change based on the moral importance of its work, rather than trying to understand the social underpinnings.”
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    SO I WANT YOU TO BE ABLE TO WORK OUT

     THE SOCIAL UNDERPINNINGS OF CHANGE,  AS BEST ANYONE CAN.
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    I SPENT MY ENTIRE @#$$@# CAREER MIRED IN STEP 2

    AND FLAILING REGARDING SCHOLARLY COMMUNICATION AND RESEARCH-DATA MANAGEMENT. CENSORED
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    THEORY OF CHANGE •A way to bring Big Change back

    to earth, to the smaller changes we can feasibly make in our own contexts •A way to make a map of Terra Incognita that you and your organization can and will follow •A way to get people on board with you when you don’t (yet) have much political capital •A way to get past the Underpants Gnomes!
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    USEFUL QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF AS YOU DEVELOP YOUR THEORY

    •(don’t forget to look at my Persuasion deck, okay? I tried to make it funny as well as helpful so you’ll like it.) •If this is such a great goal, why hasn’t it happened yet? •Can lead you to unexamined assumptions, stakeholders you haven’t considered, blockages you’ll have to deal with •Who’s going to hate this? Why? What damage can they do? How can they be neutralized? •Who’s not going to care about this? Do you need them to? How can you persuade them to?
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    THE FINAL ASSIGNMENT IN THIS COURSE IS DESIGNED TO HELP

    YOU THINK THROUGH CHANGE, SO YOU CAN MAKE GOOD CHANGE HAPPEN.
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    N.B. THIS ABSOLUTELY REQUIRES LEAVING YOUR PROFESSIONAL ECHO CHAMBER. If

    you only listen to librarians about publishing, you are being silly. Stop that. Ditto if you only listen to publishers. Or readers. Or authors. Or scholars. Or lawyers.
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    TO THAT END, A WORD ABOUT KEEPING UP •You should

    have a keeping-up strategy firmly in place by the time you leave library school. Build it NOW. •The alternative is becoming deadwood. Nobody wants that. •Title search on “personal learning networks” in LISTA is a good idea. •My own PLN is a combination of: •Weblogs, tracked via a newsreader (I use NewsBlur; there are others) •News sites, tracked via newsreader •Journals, tracked via newsreader when possible •Twitter, to follow conference hashtags and people who tweet useful links •Conference attendance •A bookmarking service (mine is Pinboard), to remember things for later
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    N.B. UNDERSTANDING CHANGE ABSOLUTELY REQUIRES EMPATHY. I’m so tired of

    facile “they’re evil/useless/lazy!” explanations, not least because I’ve had them leveled at me. Look deeper. Understand context. Understand constraints. (Though sometimes “they” are evil, useless, and/or lazy. So are we.)
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    “TAKE A MOMENT” MOMENTS •Throughout the course lectures, I will

    ask you to stop and “take a moment” to put yourself in a stakeholder’s position and work out what your options are. •Please do it. Every single time. You need the practice. •Okay to do some information-gathering before you answer! •Look in the syllabus for Pinboard tag links. •If I miss an option (quite likely! I am not omniscient!), bring it up on the discussion forums and we’ll discuss it.
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    ALL THAT SAID, WE HAVE  A POINT OF VIEW

    TOO. And that’s okay! Though other players will do their LEVEL BEST to convince you it’s not. Step aside, Game of Thrones. This is the Game of Libraries.
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    TAKE A MOMENT •Why do librarians care about what goes

    on in the publishing world? •What do librarians want, and for whom do we want it? Why? Who else is with us? •Who doesn’t want what we want? Why not? What do they want instead?
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    OUR POINT OF VIEW (in my head, at least) •We

    speak with and sometimes for those without access to some kinds of knowledge and culture save through us. •This informs how we think about copyright. Also preservation, for obvious reasons. •It also informs our position in many disputes over publishing modalities and business models. •It also informs how we think about The Digital. We never forget digital divides! We work to narrow, even close them. •Ranganathan’s Second Law: Every reader their book. Third Law: Every book its reader. •These are both threatened! Often!
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    THIS POSITION PUTS US IN CONFLICT WITH OTHERS. Sometimes others

    we feel sympathy for! Sometimes others who loudly proclaim their sympathy for us! Hold your ground. OUR GROUND.
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    BOOK REVIEWS •Good bread-and-butter skill for almost any information professional.

    •Public librarians often review for Choice, Library Journal, etc. •Many academic and professional journals review books. •Bookblogs! Book talks! •If you are required to publish professionally, reviews are a decent way to learn the ropes. •They won’t get you tenure by themselves (you have to publish research), but they’ll get you used to journals and their editors. •Also, it can get you free books! FREE BOOKS, PEOPLE.
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    ISSUE BRIEFS •My way of saving you from crushing amounts

    of reading, sussing out myriad weird situations. •Writing them is good practice for figuring out sudden weird situations! WHICH ALWAYS HAPPEN. •“What the heck just happened?! What does it mean?” •For all my talk about getting in front of change, I’ve been surprised by developments. Often. Life is weird! •You’ll be less-often surprised over time, as you build up experience, as you learn to watch your environment, and as “weird” things start fitting into patterns. •But surprise never reduces to zero, and at the beginning of your career, it’s inevitable. Better learn to deal.
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    PRODUCTION •Library-as-publisher is a genuine thing now. •Academic libraries: journals,

    university presses, proceedings… •Public libraries: helping people self-publish •Archives: in-house presses, some of them •I think it’s a stayer, not a fad. (I could be wrong.) •Having a bit of experience with print and electronic production processes will not hurt you on the job market. It might well help. •It’s rarer expertise in librarianship than it should be, in my opinion.
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    LECTURES AND READINGS •If issue briefs are bricks, the lectures

    and readings are intended to be mortar. •Context and history without which nothing makes sense. •Fitting the issues together into a messy kind of whole. •I should not need to say this in graduate school, but I’ve been shown that I do need to: DO THEM. •In face-to-face teaching, I can at least guarantee that I reach you a certain amount of time per week. •The online analogue to this is “how much time did you spend in the course-management system?” •If you’re not watching the lectures, I know about it, okay? And yes, I’ll lower your final grade because of it. •My side of the bargain: I am truly trying not to waste your time.
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    QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS •I hope you have questions! I myself

    have many. •This class ALWAYS has people with experience and knowledge I don’t. That’s part of its charm! •Ask. Share. Read. Answer. We all benefit. •Discussion of current events relevant to class always welcome! Questions, no matter how small, always welcome! •If you’re not bothering to read the discussions, I will know. It will not bias me favorably toward your final grade. •You are REQUIRED to read issue briefs and discussion of them. •(Do me a favor, though. Keep your comments substantive. “Me too!” or “ARGH!” just give everybody semantically-empty stuff to read.)
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    IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT...

    AND I FEEL FINE. •This presentation is available under a Creative Commons Attribution United States 4.0 license.