Diversity in the Stacks: The Open Access Pilot for Latin American Monographs | Penn Libraries

“This project provides universal free access to over 300 scholarly monographs published by the Latin American Council of Social Sciences….

In 2022, the Penn Libraries made a commitment to support open access publishing initiatives in Latin America by becoming a funding partner of the Latin American Research Resources Project Open Access Pilot for Latin American Monographs, already in its third year. This project provides universal free access to over 300 scholarly monographs published by the Latin American Council of Social Sciences (Consejo Latinoamericano de Ciencias Sociales or CLACSO), a research institution with headquarters in Argentina. Contributing to this initiative represents Penn Libraries’ values in supporting the development of open access, global, and sustainable collections….”

Book Publishers Are Trying to Destroy Public E-Book Access in Order to Increase Profits ? Current Affairs

“The publishers argued that the Internet Archive practices a form of “willful digital piracy on an industrial scale.” Judge Koeltl agreed, saying that although IA does not actually increase the number of books in circulation, “the Publishers hold exclusive publishing rights” and the IA “infringed the plaintiffs’ copyrights in 127 books (the “Works in Suit”) by scanning print copies … and lending the digital copies to users of the defendant’s website without the plaintiffs’ permission.” He says that they can only legally digitize books that are considered to be in the public domain,1 which would force them to remove more than 3.6  million copyrighted works currently on the site.  

Koeltl dismissed the Archive’s argument that their practices constitute “fair use,” which allows copying for criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research. To determine if a piece of content falls under fair use, judges consider nonprofit or educational purposes, transformation, and market effect. In his opinion, Koeltl gave lengthy explanations for why he believes IA is not fair use. Mike Masnick, the founder of Techdirt and one of the most prolific writers on fair use in the Internet age, gives Koeltl’s tortured logic the verbal flogging it deserves, arguing that the Archive’s lending is transformative, not for profit, and no more impactful to the market than the average library. But even setting aside the legal question of copyright infringement, we should still consider the destruction of the IA to be a bad thing for society. At bottom, this is a case of a cabal of powerful commercial interests using the legal system to bully a public organization that offers a superior service, completely for free, without stealing anything….”

Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) Releases the National Advocacy Framework for Open Educational Resources (OER) – Canadian Association of Research Libraries

“The Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) is proud to announce the release of a comprehensive document, A National Advocacy Framework for Open Educational Resources in Canada, aimed at advancing the adoption and support of open educational resources (OER) across the country. 

This framework is the result of collaborative efforts involving diverse stakeholders, including national student groups, provincial open education organizations, scholars, advocates in open education, and representatives from higher education institutions.  Its purpose is to help advance and inform advocacy efforts directed at the Federal government. The ultimate goal is to provide guidance to stakeholders in advocating for federal involvement in OER. 

An outcome of the work of the Open Educational Resources (OER) National Strategy – Stratégie nationale en matière de ressources éducatives libres (REL) group, a dedicated consortium of stakeholders facilitated by CARL, the Framework was written and reviewed by practitioners and experts from various backgrounds within Canada’s post-secondary system. Divided into six sections and accompanied by five appendices, the document provides a detailed examination of OER in Canadian higher education and its connection with already existing federal programs. It proposes principles to underpin federal involvement and priorities for a national approach to open education….”

Research Libraries Advance Open Scholarship and Community Engagement – Association of Research Libraries

“The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has published brief profiles of the eight institutions that participated in the 2021–2022 pilot program Accelerating the Social Impact of Research (ASIR). The pilot engaged small teams from eight ARL member libraries who wanted to share strategies to accelerate the adoption and implementation of open-science principles for social-impact and community-engaged research and scholarship.

The eight institutional profiles complement the report released by the project in 2022, Accelerating Social Impact Research: Libraries at the Intersection of Openness and Community-Engaged Scholarship. The report set the context, drew examples from the eight participating libraries, and identified opportunities available for research library leaders. The profiles highlight specific projects in each of the eight libraries and illustrate how they are advancing open scholarship and community engagement.

In addition to the eight ASIR profiles, today ARL published a blog post about community-engaged research undertaken by the University of Georgia in collaboration with Putnam County Schools and the Georgia Virtual History Project. The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) named the University of Georgia the winner of the 2022 C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Scholarship Award….”

Principles of Community-Engaged Research: Conversations with Toby Graham, Christopher Lawton, Christian Lopez, and Winnie Smith

Last Updated on May 19, 2023, 9:34 am ET

Alice Walker’s childhood home in Putnam County, Georgia  Photo by Wayne Bellamy, courtesy of Willson Center for Humanities & Arts, University of Georgia


The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Scholarship and Policy team builds capacity for scholar-focused research services, with a focus on community-based scholarship. As part of its Accelerating the Social Impact of Research (ASIR) initiative, ARL released a report and profiles of how eight participant libraries are working at the intersection of openness and community-engaged scholarship for social impact research.

The Russell Library story below supplements the ASIR work. This story was informed by conversations with Toby Graham, university librarian and associate provost, University Libraries, University of Georgia (UGA), and ARL member representative; Christopher Lawton, director of Experiential Learning for Putnam County Schools and director of the Georgia Virtual History Project; Christian Lopez, head of Oral History and Media at UGA’s Russell Library; and Winnie Smith, associate director, Willson Center for Humanities & Arts at UGA.

Since this article was drafted, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) named the University of Georgia as the winner of the 2022 C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Scholarship Award.

Students in Putnam County Connect History with Place

Students in Putnam County, Georgia, are deepening their understanding of the community they call home as part of an oral history project, An American Literary Landscape: Life, History, and Memory in Putnam County, Georgia.* I learned about this project from Winnie Smith when we partnered to advocate for humanities funding as part of the National Humanities Alliance (NHA) Humanities Advocacy Day. At UGA, the Willson Center is housed in the university’s Office of Research, giving it the flexibility to facilitate public humanities and arts projects throughout the university by funding projects, speaker series, student travel, fellowships, author visits, and more.  In a follow-up conversation, Smith shared that public humanities research projects like these can show students that local stories can help them better understand who they are and where they come from.

Christopher Lawton elaborated on this point, describing how teaching and learning can connect students with the community outside of their classroom. Through activities like recording oral histories and scanning and identifying photographs, students in Putnam get to know the rich literary traditions of the place they are from, and draw from the county’s history of enslavement to give context to current economic conditions. When we spoke, Lawton described how teaching students to collect and record stories allows them to realize what is missing or wrong in the textbook version of American history, and empowers them to “untell” that history, and to create new spaces for the voices that got left out. Lawton is leading a new initiative to create a pipeline from Putnam County Public Schools to Albany State University, which has committed to keeping the students in college for four years; the initiative is meant to support students in not just understanding, but also chipping away at, the socioeconomic weights that may have held them back.

Principles of Community-Engaged Research

Christian Lopez and Toby Graham see the library’s oral history program as one way to ensure that the library’s collections reflect the local community of Athens, Georgia. The Athens African American Oral History Initiative emphasizes shared agency and shared authority, which are key to understanding how oral histories at UGA have evolved. This evolution began when library leadership recognized the need to broaden the scope of its oral histories from reflections on Georgia politics to include representation of the intersection of politics and policy, government and culture. Lopez began to expand this scope by partnering with faculty from UGA’s history department—who also had a background in oral history—on a research project on the intersection of civics and music, art, and theater in the Athens music community. In planning for what became the Athens Music Project Oral History Collection, it took more than a year to train students to conduct outreach, record the interviews, and describe them using archival indexing.

Next, Lopez partnered with music faculty to examine the intersection of politics and economics from the perspective of different local musical communities in Athens. Through a grant from the Georgia Music Foundation, the library trained and compensated community interviewers, who conducted outreach and recorded 20 oral history interviews documenting music history in Athens; half of the interviews were with the hip-hop community. Today, the Athens Music Project Oral History Collection includes dozens of interviews documenting the diversity and depth of Georgia music and culture, and the Athens music culture and community.

As it has shifted toward collecting a more diverse set of voices, UGA’s oral history program is informed by the following values and principles of community-engaged research and archiving:

  • Community-engaged research is not possible until you have already done meaningful community engagement. This involves multiple conversations, and can take lots of time to build trust. These conversations may not necessarily result in action items. Lopez advises, “Start with a conversation, not an ask.” Throughout our discussion, Lopez emphasized the distinction between community engagement and community-engaged research. In a follow-up email, Lopez reiterated, “It takes a very long time.”
  • Understand that the needs of the institution and academy may not necessarily be the same as the needs of nonacademic communities. A community’s needs may not align with grant deliverables or timelines, or even with the academic calendar. Communities may have historic distrust of academic institutions, particularly when they parachute in to purportedly “help” communities without actually taking the time to build the necessary relationships.
  • Research libraries can support a culture change on campus by supporting faculty and students in understanding best practices in community-engaged research, and helping them understand what it means to strengthen relationships with community organizations. This includes understanding what it means to share agency, to co-curate, compensate, and follow up. These practices must be sustained before and after the community-engaged research. Working outside of academia may mean being adaptable, for instance, conducting interviews off campus, and outside of the school calendar.

Humanities in Place

Graham pointed out that UGA is a flagship land-grant research university, and that it’s important to correct the disconnect between the institution located in Athens and the community of Athens and around the state through UGA’s mission of research, instruction, and service. For instance, changing the culture of academia to ensure that oral history collections, special collections, and archives include materials created by Black people and organizations will support more inclusive teaching and research by faculty and students. Culture change is a long-term investment, and may involve discomfort, but it is critical to change the way we think about and engage with communities before we do the research. Graham said:

We have a great deal of work to do to correct the historical omissions in our collections. If we fail to build, steward, and share the diverse collection needed by our faculty and students, then we simply are falling short in serving our core teaching and research missions. We take very seriously our obligation to serve the people of Georgia and beyond, as well. Representing the stories, realities, and voices of all of types of communities should be a natural extension of our service mission. Going back to the principles, respectful and inclusive community engagement is key.

Oral history programs are among the most impactful tools we have in this work. There are all kinds of inequities associated with the ability to provide an enduring paper trail of one’s experience—the traditional bedrock of archives. But most people are able to tell their stories. What I most appreciate about Christian Lopez’s approach to community-based oral history is that he prioritizes the empowerment of our partners in engaging with one another to collect their own stories largely on their own terms. Oral history isn’t an extractive industry for him. It’s about listening and building relationships.

The Willson Center is currently partnering with UGA’s Russell Library on a Mellon Foundation–funded expansion of the Global Georgia Initiative, a public humanities program that began in 2013. The expanded Global Georgia Initiative includes Humanities in Place, a program to bolster off-campus public humanities collaborations. As part of its Humanities in Place program, Lopez successfully submitted a proposal for the Athens African American Oral History Initiative, which will build on the community-engaged work of the Athens Oral History Project and Athens Music Project Oral History Collection.

Stay engaged with the Athens African American Oral History Initiative on social media.


* The Putnam County project is supported by a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Challenge Grant, with matching funds from the UGA Willson Center for Humanities & Arts.

The post Principles of Community-Engaged Research: Conversations with Toby Graham, Christopher Lawton, Christian Lopez, and Winnie Smith appeared first on Association of Research Libraries.

Lecture: The Publisher Playbook Tickets, Thu, May 25, 2023 at 10:00 AM | Eventbrite

“Libraries have continuously evolved their ability to provide access to collections in innovative ways. Many of these advancements in access, however, were not achieved without overcoming serious resistance and obstruction from the rightsholder and publishing industry. The struggle to maintain the library’s access-based mission and serve the public interest began as early as the late 1800s and continues through today. We call these tactics the “publishers’ playbook.” Libraries and their readers have routinely engaged in lengthy battles to defend the ability for libraries to fulfill their mission and serve the public good. The following is a brief review of the times and methods that publishers and rightsholder interests have attempted to hinder the library mission. This pattern of conduct, as reflected in ongoing controlled digital lending litigation, is not unexpected and belies a historical playbook on the part of publishers and rightsholders to maximize their own profits and control over the public’s informational needs. Thankfully, as outlined in this paper, Congress and the courts have historically upheld libraries’ attempts to expand access to information for the public’s benefit.”

Library associations across Europe joint call for action on eBooks – Knowledge Rights 21

“National and other library associations from across Europe have signed a letter underlining the urgency to find ways to ensure that library users continue to be able to benefit from services in a digital world.

The letter highlights the traditional and essential support that libraries play in supporting education, research and access to culture while highlighting that current eBook models and licensing are undermining this….

It is essential to ensure that eBook markets work in ways that allow libraries to do their job and to fulfil their public interest responsibilities, within a clear legal framework. Working alternatives that currently exist rely on voluntary action by publishers, and do not provide full access.Government action is therefore necessary on all three of the following fronts:

Guarantees in law that libraries shall be able to acquire, preserve and electronically lend digitised analogue and born-digital works, such as eBooks, on the same basis as they lend physical works. This will enable more constructive negotiations between libraries and rightholders.

Work to ensure that eLending platforms operate in ways that work best for libraries, their users and authors. 

Aside from copyright reform and market regulation, support further investigation into the dynamics of eBook markets and their impacts on the achievement of public interest goals. This will also serve to inform wider cultural, education and research policies….”

Publishing industry announces record profits as European library associations call for action on ebooks – Campaign to investigate the Library ebook market

“The Publishers Association has reported another year of record breaking profits for the publishing industry in 2022, in spite of the cost of living crisis….

Meanwhile, frustrated by policymakers’ and competition authorities’ failure to address the ongoing library ebook crisis, library associations from across Europe signed a letter requesting parallel action on eBooks to enable libraries to continue to support education, research, and cultural access in a digital world. The letter can found in full at https://www.knowledgerights21.org/news-story/library-associations-across-europe-joint-call-for-action-on-ebooks/ ….

Snyder & Fathallah (2023) Sustainable Futures for OA Books: The Open Book Collective | The Journal of Electronic Publishing

Snyder, L. O. & Fathallah, J., (2023) “Sustainable Futures for OA Books: The Open Book Collective”, The Journal of Electronic Publishing 26(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.3998/jep.3372


This article describes and explains the need for the work of the Open Book Collective (OBC). The OBC is a major output of the COPIM project (Community-Led Infrastructures for Open Access Monographs). The collective will bring together diverse small-to-medium open access (OA) publishers, open publishing service providers, libraries, and other research institutions to create a new, mutually supportive, and interdependent community space and platform designed to sustainthe future of OA book publishing. The OBC is founded upon equitable, community-led governance and helping publishers move beyond Book Processing Charges (BPCs). Central to the functioning of the Open Book Collective is an online platform that will make it far quicker and easier for libraries and other potential subscribers to compare, evaluate, and subscribe to different OA publishers and open service providers via membership packages. The OBC supports small-to-medium OA publishers by way of the COPIM (Community-Led Publication Infrastructures for Open Access Books) philosophy of “scaling small.” This allows publishers and other members to operate sustainably and collaboratively whilst retaining their diverse and singular editorial missions, rather than operating from philosophies centered on economic growth, competition, and monopoly.


LSU Libraries Announces New Government Publications and Open Scholarship Department | LSU Libraries News & Notes

“In the latter half of 2022, the Government Documents and Open Scholarship & Affordable Learning departments combined into a new LSU Libraries department named Open Scholarship & Government Publications. This new department aims to combine the uncopyrighted materials in Government Publications with openly licensed resources available via Open Scholarship to provide students and faculty with free access to research materials….”

San Francisco Board of Supervisors Unanimously Passes Resolution in Support of Digital Rights For Libraries | Internet Archive Blogs

“In a stunning show of support for libraries, late yesterday afternoon the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to support a resolution backing the Internet Archive and the digital rights of all libraries.

Supervisor Connie Chan, whose district includes the Internet Archive, authored the legislation and brought the resolution before the Board. “At a time when we are seeing an increase in censorship and book bans across the country, we must move to preserve free access to information,” said Supervisor Chan. “I am proud to stand with the Internet Archive, our Richmond District neighbor, and digital libraries throughout the United States.” …”

Path to Open: Exploring a Sustainable Model in Publishing New Open Access Books

“The quest for a sustainable model to support open access (OA) academic books continues, especially for literature in the humanities and qualitative social sciences. While there is a proliferation of initiatives, they tend to be publisher-specific or small scale. Achieving sustainability is challenging, particularly for small and medium university presses, but the demand and interest in the content is high. When publishers converted licensed ebooks to open access, they saw usage surge by 5,500% on JSTOR.

How can we meet the scholarly community’s shared goal of increasing equity and access to knowledge while ensuring value for funding libraries, reducing the financial risk for scholarly publishers, and expanding authors’ impact? In this webinar, you will learn how partners spanning the entire community collaborated to develop Path to Open, an innovative model for OA monograph publishing.

Representatives from two university presses, University of Tennessee library, The Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA), and the nonprofit JSTOR, will explore their new initiative to meet these challenges and address opportunities. You will learn how this program supports bibliodiversity in publishing, provides infrastructure and scale for the publishing and library community, and selects titles that will have high impact for its readers. You will also find out why libraries are participating in this pilot and the factors considered in the decision-making process. And you will hear how you, too, can join us on this promising path to open.”

In the Internet Archive Lawsuit, a Win for Publishers May Come at a Cost for Readers Everywhere | The Walrus

“Ostensibly, publishers and libraries ought to be on the same side: libraries aim to advance learning by providing free and open access to information; publishing literally means to disseminate to the public. Big publishers suing a digital library for furthering this common mission—during an unprecedented assault on libraries’ purpose and function—is a weird look. It’s also unclear what it actually does for writers. Most authors—some estimates say up to 70 percent—don’t earn royalties beyond their book advances and will never have the luxury of worrying about income from the sale of their works in digital formats. The funds under dispute, by and large, go straight back to the publishers.

This situation leaves writers awkwardly caught in the middle. Supporting libraries isn’t just an abstract feel-good principle: it can also have a material effect on a book’s fate. Libraries feature titles, offer programming, and choose how many copies to order. At the same time, writing is a financially precarious enterprise. The prospect of a library buying one copy of your book, scanning it, and lending it out ad infinitum is, admittedly, horrifying. But the Internet Archive decision doesn’t just prevent that outcome—it may also affect libraries’ rights to lend single scanned copies of books that they have already purchased….”

“Fostering Epistemic Equality with Library-Based Publishing in the Glo” by Monica Berger

Abstract:  This talk will consider the marginalization of scholars and other stakeholders in the Global South and how local publishing infrastructure is critical to recalibrating imbalances. The Latin American ethos and practice of bibliodiversity, or scholarly self-determination, is a precondition for the decolonialization of knowledge. Accordingly, predatory publishing is minimal in Latin America which has its own publishing infrastructures. Library publishing, which supports bibliodiversity, represents an important path towards much needed free to authors or diamond open access. Librarians play a critical role in educating editors and fostering publishing best practices.