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Reshaping Sharing

Reshaping Sharing

Given for the 2016 IDS Project Conference.

Dorothea Salo

July 28, 2016

More Decks by Dorothea Salo

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  1. Reshaping sharing Dorothea Salo UW-Madison iSchool IDS Project Annual Conference

    2016 Elena Penkova, “Hands at work” CC-BY https://www.flickr.com/photos/126710094@N04/17147767102/ Hi, I’m Dorothea Salo, I teach at the iSchool at the University of Wisconsin Madison, and I’m very glad to be here today among people who share the mission that drew me to librarianship. I have always been in this game—even before I was formally in this game!—to get more knowledge to more people. Okay, so I have to start this party by telling my own personal I-L-L story. As an undergraduate at Indiana University mumblety-mumble years ago, I was doing a giant translation from Spanish as my undergrad honors project, a translation of an old and obscure work of literature that trust me, NONE of you will have ever heard of, and in an old and obscure book that talked about this old and obscure work I found a single reference to ANOTHER old and obscure book that I couldn’t find anywhere. So I asked about it at the ref desk, as ya do, and the reference librarian did some searches and then said “wow, this is incredibly old and obscure, let’s go to I-L-L,” and the I-L-L librarian on duty said “wow, this is incredibly old and obscure and are you sure it even exists?” and I was like “I dunno, here’s the citation of it that I found,” and so they called in… … the I-L-L-inator. I mean. To my twenty-one-year-old eyes this man was older than Methuselah, and he wasn’t a big man but he kinda had a presence, you know? Like I just better not be wasting his time. But he took a copy of my citation and said he’d see what he could do. And a few weeks later, I got a message from the library to come in and see the I-L-L-inator, and what do you know, he HAD THAT BOOK, that old and obscure book, he had it right there in his two hands, and just, the gleam in that man’s eye as he handed that book to me with this utterly triumphant smile on his face! I will never as long as I live forget how happy he was that I had given him his favorite thing in the world—a CHALLENGE. The work you all do is attached to a vital and honorable mission, and I owe it to the I-L-L-inator and to you to acknowledge that. So thank you. Thank you for what you do. That said, the OTHER thing that drew me to librarianship, and through librarianship to teaching about information, was my restless, peripatetic personality. I absolutely CANNOT do or learn about or teach about anything without being intensely curious about how it’s changing, and most of the time, intensely desirous of changing it in directions that seem good to me. This is just how I am, it’s ironically one of the few constants in my very restless and peripatetic professional life, and so yes, I came here today to talk about reshaping sharing.
  2. Clinton Steeds, “Threats” CC-BY, cropped, https://www.flickr.com/photos/cwsteeds/47121729/ But before I dive

    in I want to say, I’m not one of those annoying and sometimes horrible pundits who uses change as an excuse to threaten and browbeat people, or act all superior to them. I’m not going to do that clickbaity pundit thing where you’ve been doing it wrong all along and shame on you—who am I to say such a thing? I’m also not here to tell you that the library will be dead in five years if you don’t do this new thing, that is NOT my style. Frankly I don’t think it ought to be anybody’s style.
  3. Scott Robinson, “Eye of the Beholder” CC-BY, https://www.flickr.com/photos/clearlyambiguous/21785174/ I don’t

    have all the answers as I look at all of you today; the answers are in you, not in me. I’m not sure what I’d even do with all the answers if I did have them. But I do think these are interesting times, not that they’re ever not, and I see a lot of good questions for sharing work, worthwhile opportunities—and yes, potential and actual threats—that I want us all to consider how to deal with.
  4. mk30, “clay” CC-BY https://www.flickr.com/photos/mk30/10095301463/ Because nothing is set in stone!

    Look, the other thing that irks me about many library pundits is that they see things in the world as happening to us, where all we can do is react, usually defensively. And that’s just—it’s not a true or useful way to look at things. Everything happening around library sharing is clay, malleable and shapeable.
  5. Bhavesh Khothari, “Potter” CC-BY, cropped https://www.flickr.com/photos/bhaveshkothari/3851242075/ And I want YOUR

    hands to be hands that are shaping it. Not the only hands, to be sure. But still. Your hands.
  6. So here’s a sharing-related thing that happened just this month.

    See, the British Library had an international document-delivery I-L-L thing going for libraries and hospitals and similar non- profit outfits that was working pretty great, users loved it, libraries loved it. Who didn’t love it? You tell me, who didn’t love it? *pause* Right. Content owners and vendors hungry for more licensing revenue.
  7. Toshiyuki IMAI, “Coffee” CC-BY-SA, https://www.flickr.com/photos/matsuyuki/2161126917/ So they said, okay, British

    Library, we’re going to replace YOUR REGULAR COFFEE with our dark, sparkling Folger’s crystals— —just making sure everybody’s awake— —so, what they said was, we’re going to replace YOUR regular document-delivery service with OUR dark, sparkling licensing deal. Basically, cut it out with the document delivery, licensing will be better for your users, we promise!
  8. From Teresa Hackett, “Licensed to Fail,” http://eifl.net/blogs/licensed-fail, CC-BY Well, it

    wasn’t. The headline here, which is from EIFL’s blog post about this, pretty much tells the story: titles available way, way DOWN, satisfied requests—and satisfied users—way, way DOWN, refusals way, way up. So, raise your hands, who’s surprised by this outcome? Anyone? Anyone at all? Yeah, okay, so we pretty much could have seen this coming. Content owners who make money from selling licenses don’t have a whole lot of incentive to share when they can avoid it. And I mean, this seems obvious to us, right? I’m guessing every single person in this room can name at least one vendor who would really, really prefer that the IDS Project not even exist. (Maybe a lot more than one.) So this isn’t just a UK thing, not just a Europe thing, it’s a thing right here and right now: library sharing is endangered by content licensing and content licensors. Obvious. Incredibly, incredibly obvious, and something that we need to contest, or sharing will be reshaped in a way nobody wants. But it’s not obvious to everyone, is it? It’s not obvious to everyone inside our libraries, even, never mind the faculty, staff, and students that our libraries serve. So that raises a question.
  9. Yarik.OK, “Pottery” CC-BY https://www.flickr.com/photos/yarik-ok/7937200432/ How do we teach other people

    to have the same instincts we do, when they don’t have our training and experience? How do we hold their hands as they try to deal with a landscape full of lies and maybe-legit maybe-not legal threats and all that kind of scary uncertainty? Because that’s shaping the world, isn’t it? Shaping people’s ability to predict outcomes and work toward the best ones? Yeah. That’s shaping the world.
  10. Tell them: what you’re about to tell them what you’re

    telling them what you just told them So, you can’t read advice on public speaking very long before you run into this truism about structuring a talk. As a speaker, I’m supposed to tell you what I’m about to tell you, *CLICK* tell you what I’m actually telling you, and then *CLICK* tell you what I just told you. I actually think this is terrible advice! I never structure a talk this way, at least not intentionally… but. You don’t have to modify this much to turn it into a workable way to hone other people’s predictive powers.
  11. Tell them: what’s about to happen what’s happening what just

    happened Here’s how it goes with stuff where you totally see the bad outcome coming but nobody else does. First, you tell them what’s about to happen. *CLICK* Then you tell them what’s going on WHILE it’s going on. *CLICK* Then when they storm into your office yelling “WHAT IN THE WORLD JUST HAPPENED?” because they weren’t paying attention, you tell them again… and if you’re really expert at this kind of communication you ALSO tell them that you already told them it was coming. Eventually they start to listen to your predictions.
  12. Tell them: what’s about to happen So taking that a

    piece at a time: Telling people in advance what’s about to happen, especially when it’s something BAD, is something I haven’t often seen academic libraries be good at. Mostly I see academic libraries not even trying! It’s not that we can’t or don’t see things coming—often we do! We just don’t communicate them out. I have some ideas about why that is, though I’m not swearing they’re the whole story.
  13. Michael Coghlan, “Just Ignore Him” CC-BY-SA, cropped https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikecogh/8280946214/in/faves-8511458@N02/ One reason

    is that nobody listens… or at least we’ve convinced ourselves that nobody’s gonna listen to us, which, what is that, come on, it’s like conceding defeat before even getting in the game. Now, faculty are busy, faculty are self-important, I get that—I just think that’s actually okay. The strategic thing to do when nobody’s listening is to communicate such that you can prove later on that you communicated. Send the email newsletter. Put the news on your blog. Publish a report on your website. Whatever you need to do so that you can say with a clear conscience “hey, um, we kinda warned you this would happen… you did read it, didn’t you?” And what happens then is, instead of you being the villain because you didn’t warn them, THEY become the villain because THEY weren’t paying attention. And I’ve found that faculty will totally internalize that, you don’t have to be nasty about it, because they’re smart people who think they know everything important that’s happening—I’m telling you, it’s like magic.
  14. My favorite example of this is Simon Fraser University, where

    they just lay it all out there. No panicmongering, no propaganda, just “hey, here’s the situation and here are the numbers, and if this keeps going, y’all tell US what it’s gonna look like.” Nobody at Simon Fraser, NOBODY, gets to blame ANY access-related problem on poor communication from the library. I think that’s worth something.
  15. Ray Bouknight, “44/365 ~ Bad News” CC-BY https://www.flickr.com/photos/raybouk/8005045965 The other

    reason libraries don’t always warn everybody—and this reason seems obvious to me, maybe to you too—is that nobody likes to be the bearer of bad news. In some circumstances it can be downright scary! I have two suggestions on this point. First, bad news is a lot easier to communicate in advance, when you’re not panicked and you’re not threatened. I’ve been to several serials conferences in the last couple years, big and small, and they have ALL featured very well-attended talks about massive Big Deal cancellations; that’s totally a thing, as I’m sure you all know. And if somebody’s willing to get up in front of a roomful of people and even TALK about that, it can’t have gone THAT badly, right? So I think it’s significant that every single librarian I’ve seen speak about this has talked about BOTH an advance communication strategy AND an input-gathering phase. Whereas when I’ve seen what I think is pretty poor communication about a big cancellation—and I have, though I don’t want to call anybody out for it—it’s because the cancellation is sudden and out-of-the-blue. So library folks are rushed and panicking, because faculty are yelling at them and local media are buzzing around asking lots of awkward questions, and nobody’s had time to think through what to say and how to say it. So getting your story straight in advance is a pretty big deal, I think. My second suggestion when you’re predicting a poor outcome is to try to offer options, some kind of decision point, SOMETHING people can do to have SOME kind of impact on the ultimate outcome. Even if it’s something completely wacky that nobody is actually going to do, though obviously that’s not ideal. People cope better with bad news if they feel they have some kind of control over the situation, even if they never exercise that control.
  16. Tell them: what’s about to happen A couple other things

    to think about, as you’re thinking about advance communication: You have to be pretty specific about what’s going to happen, and you have to tie it to something that THEY, whoever “they” are that you’re talking to, actually care about. In the British Library case, you can’t just say “titles available will go down and refusals will go up,” because nobody’s gonna realize what that means and they won’t care. You can say something like “we believe that within the next year, we will be able to put in people’s hands LESS THAN HALF of what they ask for.” Oh. Whoa. Suddenly that looks serious. Even more serious if you can put numbers and faces on it, EIFL goes into some detail about hospitals getting turndowns on medical information and what that means for patients. And you have to be careful about timeframe, too. The serials crisis, right? Everybody warned about that, and then everybody else got bored of the warnings because the sky didn’t fall. So, you have to think short-to-medium term on this. If the Bad Thing looks to be any more than three years out, don’t bother talking about it. You just look like Chicken Little.
  17. Who’s done advance communication well? Harvard, actually… mostly. I know

    they’ve been struggling with reorganization the last few years, but this I think was smart. The Faculty Advisory Council to the libraries said pretty bluntly back in twenty-twelve that yeah, Harvard can’t afford serials. And because they’re Harvard, this got picked up pretty widely in academic weblogs and the education trade press, which is great when it happens because then you have even MORE reasons that faculty who haven’t heard about it should have. Funny thing, I haven’t heard of any faculty yelling about serials cancellations at Harvard. How about you? Huh. Maybe this helped. The only thing BAD that Harvard did was putting this notice somewhere it wasn’t archived. I had to grab the text of the notification from a weblog totally unaffiliated with Harvard. Like I said, you really need to be able to PROVE you communicated—don’t let stuff four-oh-four, okay?
  18. Tell them: what’s about to happen what’s happening Then you

    wait until the sky really is starting to fall, and you make sure to tell people it’s falling and get their input on what to do about it. Of course you refer back to what you already told them. Of course you update what you recommend people do to accord with current reality, and to make sure nobody’s coming at you with stuff that’s completely impossible—or that you’ve already actually done. I love faculty who suddenly find out about the serials crisis or I-L-L problems and are all “heeeeeey, how about a bunch of libraries band together to buy stuff and share the cost! I bet that would help!”
  19. Starmama, “Sarcasm” CC-BY-SA, cropped https://www.flickr.com/photos/thestarmama/2746074234/ Are you kidding me?! I

    know they’re genuinely trying to be helpful as they get to grips with stuff they’ve never thought about before, but how do you not roll your eyes at that? How do you not be sarcastic? “Wow. What an amazing idea that absolutely nobody has ever thought of before, especially not librarians whose whole careers revolve around this stuff. That has totally never been tried anywhere in the history of ever.” I don’t know. Maybe you’re all more patient than I am. I hope so, because this drives me right around the bend.
  20. Anyway, who’s managed an immediate crisis well? SUNY-Potsdam, of course.

    I don’t need to tell this story to this audience, do I? I’m guessing I don’t. If you missed it, it’s totally on Jenica Rogers’s blog Attempting Elegance, including how she led up to the crisis point, all the options she presented her faculty actually AT the crisis point, and a later follow-up on how it all went, so you can check it out when you have time. All I really want to say about this is that good communication makes bad stuff survivable, yeah? Jenica survived, despite catching some flak from librarians who apparently aren’t going to cancel anything ever and what color is the sky in their world exactly? The library survived. The chemistry department survived. Everybody survived! You can survive bad stuff! We all can! But you have to shape it. You HAVE to shape it.
  21. Tell them: what’s about to happen what’s happening what just

    happened So the reality is, there’s always gonna be some jerks who haven’t been paying attention and thinks that’s everybody’s problem but their own. Them you gotta tell what just happened, with particular reference to how you communicated out but they ignored it. I mean, you can be nice about it, sure. “Golly gosh, we issued a public report two years ago and held meetings in your department last year—how should we keep you in the loop in future?” But the subtext is pretty clear: they weren’t listening and they shoulda been, and here’s how they can keep up-to-date from here on out.
  22. From Teresa Hackett, “Licensed to Fail,” http://eifl.net/blogs/licensed-fail, CC-BY And I

    want to return to the British Library licensing fiasco for a moment, actually, because the post-fiasco communication is really interesting. See, I don’t know why the British Library went for that licensing deal. There are a few possibilities. One, they just didn’t see the fiasco coming—which, come ON, I don’t believe that! I mean, do you? Two, they were under a lot of pressure from content owners, which I completely believe, we’ve all been there. Three, somebody high up who didn’t really understand what was going on fell for a vendor pitch and forced the library into this bad deal. Which I can believe, it sounds to me a lot like what Access Copyright did to some Canadian universities before pretty much everybody wised up. Don’t raise your hands, I don’t want to get anybody in trouble, but—anybody felt a whole lot of pressure to take a licensing deal? Anybody been next door to threatened, with lawsuits or whatever? Yeah, I can believe it. GEORGIA STATE, boogida boogida boogida. So, however the licensing deal happened, it flopped. And what’s interesting about the communication here is that the British Library didn’t try to hide the flop, or spin it positively, or anything like that. They said, quite calmly, “this flopped, here’s how it flopped, here’s the impact the flop has had.” Whoa. The f-word. They said the F-WORD. Ffffffffffffailure. We’re not supposed to talk publicly about failure, are we? Especially if it might be partly our fault? Actually we are. And we have to. We have to shape this kind of conversation actively. Because look, the content owners sure are talking about it, and THEY are blaming this kind of nonsense on US. If we don’t talk, we are letting faculty believe that story. We’re tacitly ENDORSING that story. That’s really not good for us, folks. So no matter how embarrassed you feel, get out there and talk. I mean, I’m not beyond imagining that some folks at the British Library knew they couldn’t prevent this, so they deliberately let it fail and planned to communicate out about its failure so that they’d have clear and obvious reasons to say no to licensing deals getting shoved at them. And if that’s what you have to do, that’s what you have to do. So there you have it. Tell ‘em what’s gonna happen real soon now. Tell ‘em what’s happening. And tell ‘em what just happened. Go home to your libraries, find the three immediate things you’re most worried about, and start working out how to communicate about ‘em.
  23. Véronique Debord-Lazaro, “What?” CC-BY-SA, cropped https://www.flickr.com/photos/debord/4932655275/ So now that we

    have a communication strategy to work with, what are some things happening in the world of sharing that we might want to be communicating ABOUT? I really think you can take that question home with you too. I mean, it’s contextual, right? None of us has exactly the same things happening at our shop that the other shops represented here have. So, just for the heck of it, anybody got something urgent on their mind that they want to throw out? Go ahead, just yell it, I’ll repeat it so everybody hears. *pause for discussion* So, I’m mostly an outsider to this part of librarianship, so I’m not surprised that my list is different from yours. How could it be otherwise, right? What I’ll do, then, is run through a few things I thought of, but what I hope is that at breaks and meals today, you all keep talking. Keep talking! What conversations about sharing should we be shaping right now? How do we best do that?
  24. Roland DG Mid Europe Italia, “Braille” CC-BY, cropped, shape added

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/rolanddme/4944962234/ Here’s another thing about sharing we can shape. As a few of you may already happen to know, I came to librarianship through publishing and ebooks. And the main reason I was a huge ebook booster back during the dot-com boom was the number of people I heard talking with immense optimism about how ebooks would open worlds for them, worlds they were shut out of because they couldn’t use print books. So yeah, when I say “sharing,” I mean let’s share with really truly everybody. Accessibility is just absolutely vital. And access services folks, e-reserves folks, y’all know that already, I know you do! You are the hands that O-C-R the page scans. That’s one reason I want you out there reshaping sharing, because despite the immense potential for increased accessibility that digital text brings, that potential isn’t actually realized as often as it should be—which is always, of course. Thing One on this, the Marrakesh Treaty, which creates a copyright exception that applies to making accessible copies. All of us, together, we gotta get the United States to sign this thing! It’s horrible, embarrassing, shameful that this country hasn’t. So if the IDS Project is looking for an advocacy position to take, I really recommend this one. Thing Two comes back to licensing. Y’all, some of the ebooks and databases and journal platforms we license, the accessibility there is just plain broken. There’s nobody to call these vendors to account but us! It’s funny, I briefly got in jumbo-size trouble with our campus C-I-O a few years ago because I predicted publicly in Library Journal that electronic-textbook platforms, which were being sold to big universities like candy bars, would fail big and fail hard. I was right, but in part I was right for a reason I didn’t expect: textbook publishers and vendors saw so many dollar signs that they cut major corners on production, and the result was a whole lot of completely inaccessible so-called textbooks. Could we have seen that coming? Sure. I absolutely should have, coming out of publishing as I did, and I am ashamed I didn’t. Could we have made noise about it? Yeah, I think so, and given what I know about the impact of my Library Journal piece, I think it would have made a difference. So with any new thing you’re seeing, reshape it to be accessible. To me, that goes right to the heart of sharing.
  25. -l.i.l.l.i.a.n-, “juicy apple” CC-BY-SA, brightened https://www.flickr.com/photos/gracelikeriver/2222537470/ Another set of sharing

    practices that I hope you will all help shape is classroom-related sharing. Apples for all the teachers! And there’s lots of pieces of this particular apple to think about, of course.
  26. Here’s one piece: why is Harvard Business Review still in

    business? Who subscribes to these jokers, and would they please stop? It’s not the content, the content is fine and often useful. It’s this nonsense about how a subscription isn’t REALLY a subscription if what you want to do is share anything from H-B-R with students in a class. And this has been going on for YEARS. Licensing, again. Licensing can be a menace, if we don’t reshape it pretty actively. So, you know, I think we have to tell business faculty, “they forbid us from using H-B-R in classrooms, so what’s the point of subscribing exactly?” I’m not sure why we haven’t been saying this all along, honestly.
  27. Steven Damron, “open sign” CC-BY https://www.flickr.com/photos/sadsnaps/3676812382/ Of course you guessed

    I’d talk about open educational resources, right? You knew I would. And yes, I’m a fan. I have no love for many textbook companies—Pearson frankly repels and terrifies me—and the price of textbooks really distresses me. If that’s not enough, I LOVE the way O-E-R helps instructors take back control and direction of curricula. (Admittedly, this may be because my own instructional style has a lot in common with a seven-year-old’s Legos: I’ve always put courses together myself out of whatever materials seemed good at the time. I’m just not a textbook kinda gal.) What O-E-R lack at this point is dedicated infrastructure. Not so much funding, I see a lot of work on funding O-E-R creation and that makes me happy—but seriously, the kind of reaching-into-classrooms infrastructure that many of you have already built, in the form of electronic reserves programs and licensing review and copyright expertise and guide-on-the-side enrichment material and so on. Discovery is also a major, major problem, because faculty are used to textbooks being pushed on them, but O-E-R at this point mostly expect faculty to go hunt them down. Which most faculty won’t! There’s a report out just this week that says this loudly and clearly; faculty WILL NOT go hunting for O-E-R. So I ask you, what does it mean to “acquire” O-E-R, and what services does that imply? What does the rest of its lifecycle look like? What can the library do to push O-E-R at appropriate faculty the way textbook publishers currently push textbooks? I don’t know entirely, but I’d like y’all to think about it. More sharing means better student outcomes at less cost—the research so far is pretty clear on that.
  28. Paul Joseph, “open sign… as seen through beer goggles” CC-BY

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/sashafatcat/3007623878/ Much as I’m a fan of O-E-R, too, there’s pieces of it where we don’t know how it works yet, and early signs are murky and discouraging. The obvious issue is that yeah, most faculty don’t know jack diddly squat about copyright and are liable to get themselves and everyone else in trouble over it. But there’s a more subtle problem lurking, and maybe I’m paranoid about this—but maybe I’m not. Where I am we’re going full-tilt into the Unizin learning-management-system project. I’m not completely thrilled about this for many reasons not germane to this talk, but I can mostly live with it. And Unizin is working on building in O-E-R authoring and sharing tools, and hey, I think that’s great… … but. But I’m hearing rumbles that sound a lot to me like forcing people to make their teaching materials open—“coercive” O-E-R if you will—and that bothers me. Now, before someone calls me a hypocrite, I don’t mind institutional open- access mandates, because faculty impose those on themselves over materials which they rather than their employing institutions customarily control. But intellectual property in instructional materials has a much more exploitative history. It’s not been uncommon for higher-ed institutions to pull copyright grabs on instructional material via work-for-hire or contract law. Worse still, it’s not their tenured faculty they mess with in this way, it’s adjuncts and grad-student T-As, people who are already being treated pretty shabbily. There’s a good book on this, by the way, it’s one I’ve assigned to students before, Corynne McSherry’s Who Owns Academic Work? If you need the background, it’s all there. So I ask myself, where is there a group of people who know their way around copyright and contracts, who believe in open but want it to be fair to everybody, who have sympathy with adjuncts and T-As as well as students, who have enough institutional safety to speak up on their behalf and try to get everybody a fair deal? And my answer is, I see you. I see you! So let’s see what we can do to shape curriculum sharing together.
  29. Elizabeth Swift, “Clay Public Library” CC-BY, cropped/brightened https://www.flickr.com/photos/eswift/3982041122/ I mentioned

    open access briefly, I’m going to come back around to it now… because it, too, is a tremendous opportunity to reshape sharing. The scholarly literature is a clay library! It is malleable and we can reshape it! And there are pretty good reasons to reshape it. Look at the hours on this slide. I’m not criticizing this library, they have only the resources they have, but can you even imagine the reactions on our campuses if access to the scholarly literature was only available a fixed twenty hours per week? But given how much we can’t afford, it sort of feels like that sometimes. Doesn’t it. And that’s what we can help reshape.
  30. Paul Sableman, “Private Property - No Trespassing” CC-BY, cropped/brightened https://www.flickr.com/photos/pasa/6778814349/

    How do we reshape it? By reshaping what we think of as “sharing,” for starters. We tend to have a very library-internal, consortium-internal sense of what sharing is. Sharing means sharing only within defined organizational boundaries. Outside the boundaries? No sharing for YOU! The literature is private property, so no trespassing! Which, how horrible is that? Teaching is trespassing? Learning is trespassing? Research is trespassing?! Wow, no. Just no. I did not get into librarianship to put up “no trespassing” signs around knowledge. “My library is your library, your library is my library,” OUR libraries are EVERYBODY’S libraries. How about that?
  31. If we reshape sharing in our own minds so that

    it’s even PARTLY about real openness, new possibilities open up for us to select the publishing efforts and even the publications we fund. Everybody says hey, open access ain’t free, and you know what, that’s totally right! So let’s decide who deserves our money, okay? Forty-percent profit margins in recessions fueled by “no trespassing” signs? Or non-profit, basically cost- recovery outfits that share knowledge with as many as can download it? Already we’re pretty spoiled for choice here. On the open-access journals side there’s the usual suspects, Public Library of Science and BioMedCentral and the Open Library of the Humanities and Collabra and their various imitators, BUT—and I love this, it makes me happy—we’re seeing real development on the open-access monograph side of the house too, and I can’t urge you strongly enough to consider supporting this, it’s really the only way that I see out of the monograph crisis that the serials crisis helped create. Knowledge Unlatched, Lever Press, Luminos from the University of California Press. So there’s this horror scenario circulating where, like, if libraries don’t have to pay to get past paywalls we’ll have our whole materials and access budgets taken away from us, and I just don’t think that makes any sense! We’ll be paying into different kinds of buckets for different reasons than before, but we’ll still get to tell faculty we’re paying for the venues they read and publish in!
  32. Andy, “Insert coin” CC-BY-SA, cropped https://www.flickr.com/photos/dumptruck/1603512747/ That said, we ARE

    still going to have some communication work to do with faculty and administrators on our campuses. And I mean, it’s not that this is news, we’ve always had to have heart-to-hearts about what we can and can’t afford and why our money goes where it does. But I do think there’s a significant qualitative difference in the conversations we’ll have to have that we’ll need to be aware of, and it’s this: the easy-to-explain quid-pro-quo, insert coin get past paywall, doesn’t always work in an all-open-access world. Now, sometimes it does. Some of us have open-access funds for author-side journal fees, and the quid-pro-quo exchange there is pretty clear. The conversation about subventions for humanities monographs is still going on, too; there isn’t as much library involvement in that as I’d like, but there is some. That conversation absolutely transfers to an open-access monograph world, and again, it’s easy to understand and value what the library is paying for.
  33. Nick Hubbard “Orrery” CC-BY, cropped https://www.flickr.com/photos/nickhubbard/5609510871/ But the bulk of

    the money, I think, has to be paid into organizations that aren’t specifically local. System-level investment, is what I’m saying here, without an obvious give-this-get-that sales exchange. And that’s why I’m glad to be here today talking to you, because the IDS Project is incredibly well-placed to lead this kind of conversation! These days, as you already know, system-level investment without an obvious quid pro quo or a local tie can be a really hard sell to the powers that be. We don’t need to look any further than university presses for that; the local-campus disinvestment that has hurt them horribly. It’s really tempting to free-ride in tough budget times, I get that. And frankly, a lot of librarians are doing exactly that, and it can be hard for the rest of us to swim against that current. But we NEED to be better than that. If we just free-ride—I really believe this, and I hope you do too—we lose our shot at shaping a better, fairer, less convoluted and expensive scholarly-communication system. I don’t have a pat answer to this prisoner’s dilemma. I wish I did. I mean, we do have some system-level collaboration success stories in academic librarianship, I’m looking at one right now! There’s also things like LOCKSS and CLOCKSS, Portico and the Hathi Trust, state and regional consortia, collaborative collection development and last-copy policies… But flipping the switch to investing most of our money on the system level, instead of just bits and pieces of money around the edges—no lie, that’s going to be hard. I want us to start working on it, and how we’re going to communicate it, like, NOW.
  34. Photo: Remi Rossi, “Elephant” https://www.flickr.com/photos/rossiremy/6242222085/ CC-BY, cropped Now, then. I’ve

    been skating around the elephant in the room, haven’t I? We all pretty much know there’s an elephant in this room, something REALLY REALLY BIG that’s come up in the world of sharing that we in libraries are kind of reticent to charge head-on. Because it’s, you know, big and an elephant and all. And what’s this elephant’s name?
  35. Sci-Hub Photo: Remi Rossi, “Elephant” https://www.flickr.com/photos/rossiremy/6242222085/ CC-BY, cropped Sci-Hub, of

    course. Sci-Hub, that gloriously illegal, security-dubious literature hack. I have kind of a lot to say about this, so let’s see how far I can get before y’all call time on me.
  36. =Sci-Hub The Sci-Hub comparison everybody is making is to music,

    right? We started out with physical things like compact discs, and then there was ripping, *CLICK* and then there was Napster, which is everybody’s analogue to Sci-Hub because users loved it but courts killed it, *CLICK* and then there was cheap mp3 purchasing on Amazon and iTunes, *CLICK* and then there was streaming, Spotify and like that. And if you talk to music industry insiders about this progression, they pull long faces because their profits are not looking so great. So… that’s an interesting analogy. Will it play out the same this time, maybe give us some relief from forty- percent profit margins while we redirect our money toward open sharing? Dunno, but I can definitely imagine worse outcomes. But I left something out of this tidy chronology. Anybody catch it? *CLICK* Yeah, post-Napster peer-to-peer sharing like Gnutella and torrenting. Because it’s on that, I think, that Sci-Hub’s survival depends, or at least its importance in the grand scheme of things. Elsevier can whack-a-mole Sci-Hub’s domain names in court until the cows come home—and I’m from Wisconsin, I know when that is—but it won’t matter IF Sci-Hub can keep growing its Tor-based peer-to-peer userbase. If. It’s a big if. Because, see, that DID NOT HAPPEN with Napster. Torrenting was weird and scary and technical—still is—so most Napster users never made the leap to peer-to-peer; they chose Amazon and iTunes and streaming instead. And, you know, I cannot tell you which way Sci-Hub’s actual and potential userbase will go here! I don’t know! We’re talking about an academe more or less evenly split between people who build whole new slide-presentation systems in their sleep and people who can’t change the default theme in PowerPoint. So I got nothin’ here, I can’t predict. But I do think the parallel is worth considering, and the crossroads we’re looking at right now—peer-to-peer sharing, Sci-Hub and icanhazpdf and all that, is this eating the world or not? It’s worth thinking hard about. And I think another thing is worth saying, too: something doesn’t have to be LEGAL to change things in a really big way. So none of us in this room gets to hide behind “well, Sci-Hub ain’t legal.” It doesn’t have to be to end up upending a lot of what we do, just as Napster did for the music industry.
  37. Tell them: what’s about to happen what’s happening what just

    happened So, returning to my communication scheme here, maybe think it through? Y’all can do this better than I can. What’s about to happen to you, to I-L-L and reserves and document delivery and such, in the next two-three years because of Sci-Hub? Is it problematic? If it is, better start communicating on it now, don’t you think?
  38. SaaS Here’s a Sci-Hub comparison that maybe not everybody is

    making—at least, I haven’t seen it, though it may well be that I just missed it—software provision and delivery. Folks my age or so remember installing software from floppy disk. Toward the end of the floppy’s reign as commonest digital storage medium, maybe something like twenty disks? Or even upwards of fifty, I seem to recall? And it was ridiculous. So we eventually switched to CDs, and it helped… for a while, until we needed DVDs to handle the bloat. But the software-on-DVD era didn’t last real long, because Internet bandwidth caught up to the point where it was cheaper and easier and more convenient to download software than get it on a physical carrier. … Is this starting to sound familiar? Yeah, okay, I thought maybe. Anyone who’s rolled their eyes at a content license that makes us PRINT STUFF OUT for patrons, it’s the same idea, they make us do it because it’s vastly less convenient. But looking back at software, the interesting thing is, we didn’t end up with a software monoculture because of this shift. There’s quite a few business models that turn out to more or less work even when no physical carrier is involved. *CLICK* Take software-as-a-service. Physical carrier? The buyer doesn’t get one. The way that works is, we decide that we don’t need the thing, where “thing” might mean “software disk” or it might mean “server,” we just need what the thing can do. This is a model for sharing that we’re seeing, things like DeepDyve and whatever that weird Wiley thing is that isn’t downloading actual PDFs, and we can and do argue about the pitfalls here, but best I can tell, in some situations this sharing model is working, at least for somebody. *CLICK* And then there’s open source software, and the way that works is, some of us can make the thing for all of us. We don’t actually NEED to restrict access to the thing to be able to make the thing. Does open source always work? Nope. Do not get me onto the topic of DSpace; my feelings about it are not family-friendly. Does open source work? Yep, quite often it does. One, it’s totally possible to make money without restricting the source, and two, excuse me for being idealistic here, but sometimes making money isn’t actually the point. And then there’s the app economy on mobile, and to me that is the scary warning, the outcome we DO NOT WANT. You can’t find anything you need in iTunes or the Android store. There’s a lot of skulduggery behind the scenes, fake or lookalike apps or fool-your-children in-app purchases or whatever. Everybody wants everything for free, which turns out to feed the skulduggery, and NOBODY likes the system except Apple and Google who make fat rents off it. Heck with that. If high-priced walled gardens with lousy lazy gardeners are the future of sharing, include me OUT. So, rant over, here’s where I’m going with this: We in libraries have choices about the business models we sustain. I know those choices are constrained by the patron bases we serve, but they ARE nonetheless choices. Part of the reason I’m asking you to communicate out about the choices you’re making every day—listen up, I’m telling you my evil supervillain plan here—I want you to communicate out partly because it forces YOU to confront the larger, systemic implications of your day-to-day choices. This can be an uncomfortable thing to do. I know that. But it’s important if we’re to move toward a world that competes—LEGALLY—with Sci-Hub. And that’s the world I personally want, out of all the possible worlds we could achieve at this Sci- Hub-inflected crossroads.
  39. Gaby Av, “Indeed.” CC-BY, cropped https://www.flickr.com/photos/photogaby/5090553158/ There’s a word I’ve

    been using a lot as I talk about Sci-Hub, you probably heard it, “CONVENIENT.” And it’s kind of an important word, right? Because as much as Sci-Hub is genuinely an attempt to redress access problems, patrons at institutions that already have a lot of access—like mine! like yours too!—they’re using Sci-Hub too. Why? Because compared to our processes, it’s fast and yes, convenient.
  40. The libraries at the University of Utrecht recently ran some

    numbers on their local Sci-Hub use, based on server logs that Sci-Hub released.
  41. This was the question they wanted some kind of answer

    to: {read it}. So, anybody want to venture a guess? Let’s do a show of hands: Who believes people ONLY use Sci-Hub for access to stuff their library can’t buy? Anybody? Who thinks that at least sometimes, it’s purely for convenience? Yeah, me too. So let’s take that a step further: make a guess, what percentage of the articles Utrecht downloaded from Sci- Hub were available legally, either from the Utrecht libraries or as open access? Go ahead, throw me a percentage. Y’all are GOOD. Wow. Good guesses. *CLICK* Seventy-five percent, it turns out. Now, go read the whole blog post, it’s not quite that simple—but that’s still a pretty staggering percentage of plausible convenience users.
  42. John Bohannon, Science Magazine, “Who’s using Sci-Hub? EVERYONE.” 28 April

    2016. http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/04/whos-downloading-pirated-papers-everyone Fair use asserted. We have some additional support for the convenience theory via a little server-log analysis that Science Magazine did: there’s just as much Sci-Hub use, if not more, among developed nations with developed library infrastructures where at least SOMETIMES, the library could get you what you’re looking for. Now, there’s only so much you can tell from server logs, and frankly John Bohannon did a pretty lousy job analyzing them, so this analysis is disputable and has been reasonably disputed, but still. It’s kinda suggestive.
  43. Véronique Debord-Lazaro, “What?” CC-BY-SA, cropped https://www.flickr.com/photos/debord/4932655275/ Sooooo… now what? One

    thing seems pretty clear: the speed and usability of legal sharing systems is not enough for an appreciable portion of our patron base. And I’m sorry, I know how hard you have all worked on this! But I can’t wish this truth away. Another thing also seems fairly clear: sharing systems like the IDS Project do not have infinite control over the speed and usability of legal sharing. Another deeply unfortunate truth.
  44. Angela Galván “ILLIAD for Medical Libraries” Fair use asserted. http://slides.com/angelagalvan/deck#/

    I completely stole this slide from SUNY-Geneseo’s own Angela Galván, because I love the way she uses the word “kindness” here. Usability is one of those ten-dollar words that gets thrown around a lot, but what it boils down to is kindness. Are our sharing systems kind to our patrons? What could we do to make them kinder?
  45. Part of the answer is control. Y’all do have SOME

    control over patron-facing systems. There are still WAY too many sharing forms that look like this—and no, this isn’t from any of y’all, it’s actually from my home institution and yeah, it’s kind of a usability trainwreck. The preconference y’all did on customizing ILLIAD pages, I was really glad to see that! So if this is such a trainwreck that y’all have to hold entire preconferences to figure out how to fix it, what’s a kinder, more usable alternative? And THAT is where Sci-Hub is doing something reeeeeeeeally interesting that we should maybe rip off from them.
  46. The way Sci-Hub works if you want a known item

    is, you grab its Digital Object Identifier, its DOI, and you plug that into Sci-Hub’s infrastructure. It can be as simple as cutting-and-pasting into a browser bar or a web form. So Sci-Hub is training convenience-seeking researchers hunting for known items to look for DOIs. And to cut-and-paste them. I’ll say this again, louder: SCI-HUB IS TRAINING OUR FACULTY TO USE DOIs. And I think our own sharing systems can figure out how to leverage that!
  47. Kill this giant form! It needs to die! Or at

    least not be the first thing a known-item-seeking user sees.
  48. Article DOI: Replace it with the same single box Sci-Hub

    has trained these folks to use. Find the DOI, paste the DOI, bam, if we have your known item legally, you get it on the spot. No muss, no fuss. This is technically feasible, at least in my head. The DOIs are there for great whacking lots of the stuff patrons want. No reason a proxy bookmarklet or metasearch tool or whatever couldn’t be hacked to feed a DOI in before constructing those evil OpenURLs. The devil is in the details, of course. For example, I haven’t dug deep enough into link resolvers and knowledgebases to know what if anything they know about DOIs. And the system would also have to take into account that some users will cut-and-paste the entire DOI URL, and some are smart enough to grab just the DOI, but that’s relatively trivial to deal with.
  49. And it’s not like this is a new idea! It’s

    exactly how CrossRef does DOI referrals now, but what’s different NOW is that Sci-Hub has gotten at least SOME of our patrons used to this way of doing things. So why not leverage that?
  50. Article URL: Heck, let’s go completely blue-sky here: do we

    actually have to insist they find the DOI? Who’s publishing journal articles without some kind of per-article splash page any more, if only to ask for pay-per-view cash? What if our link resolvers were smart enough to work with ordinary publisher URLs as well as DOIs? Wouldn’t that be cool? Wouldn’t it work for a lot more people than just Sci-Hub users? I mean, I can explain cutting-and-pasting URLs to an undergraduate student who never heard of DOIs, I’m guessing you can too. … And wouldn’t this be something that Sci-Hub can’t currently do? Hmmmmmm.
  51. Photo: Remi Rossi, “Elephant” https://www.flickr.com/photos/rossiremy/6242222085/ CC-BY, cropped So maybe Sci-Hub,

    for all its glorious illegality, is an elephant we can learn from. It’s certainly an elephant we should do our best to measure, understanding that as the parable goes we’ll all have different partial perspectives on it. It’s an elephant we should communicate out about, and build a considered response to, because it looks to me like this elephant is TOTALLY starting to reshape sharing. It’s not wrong for patrons to want speed and convenience in their literature access. It’s not wrong! The user is not broken, as Karen G. Schneider memorably said. It’s not wrong for US to want speed and convenience for our patrons, either! So pulling everything I’ve said today together finally: I think, IF we communicate well, we can make room to reshape sharing toward increased speed and convenience, which JUST SO HAPPENS to coincide with increased openness.
  52. Doug Knuth, “Potter” CC-BY-SA https://www.flickr.com/photos/dknuth/860343818/ And I think each of

    us here, in our own way, can reshape sharing too? So as long as we’re here together, let’s pick up our potter’s wheels, let’s talk about our craft, and let’s make real workable plans to make things better—better for ourselves, and better for our patrons.
  53. Reshaping sharing This presentation is available under a Creative Commons

    Attribution 4.0 International license. Please respect CC licenses on included images. Thank you! Elena Penkova, “Hands at work” CC-BY https://www.flickr.com/photos/126710094@N04/17147767102/ So I hope that’s got you thinking. Thanks for having me here, and let’s get this party started! Have a great conference!