Iowa Chapter ACRL Conference 2012

June 13, 2012

On Friday May 25th I attended the annual conference of the Iowa Chapter of ACRL (For those non-librarians among you, ACRL is a professional association for academic librarians), so I thought this would be a good opportunity to share some librarian news on the OER front. While there were disappointingly no presentations related to openness, the keynote speaker, Michael Porter of Library Renewal, touched on many of the reasons why libraries are a natural fit as campus leaders or supporters of OER: we are dedicated to freedom of access to information to all people, we are often de facto campus experts on copyright issues, and we also typically march to our own drummer, creating services for our users when we see the need. So when I spread the word to my co-attendees, there was much interest in hearing more from me about CCCOER and OCW.

ACRL has been very supportive of Open Access in terms of scholarly publishing for many years. Their own journal, College & Research Libraries is open access as of April 2011, and before that their Scholarly Communications Initiative began in 2002 “with goals of creating increased access to scholarly information; fostering cost-effective alternative means of publishing, especially those that take advantage of electronic information technologies; and encouraging scholars to assert greater control over scholarly communications.” And here’s an Iowa connection: The University of Iowa Libraries has one of the best, up-to-date sites on Scholarly Publication that I’ve ever seen. It’s a wonderful place to keep up with this important issue.

So if you’re a fellow-librarian, keep spreading the word. And if you’re not, be sure to include your campus librarians in the dialogue about openness. You might be surprised how much they can add to the discussion!

– Kate Hess, Kirkwood Community College, Iowa City, Iowa

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