The Library Publishing Curriculum
Library publishing is a growing and vibrant field within academic and scholarly publishing. Academic libraries, and sometimes public libraries as well, publish a variety of print and digital publications; often these are focused on open access publications. Some, but not all, library publishing organizations are associated with or partner with a university press at their institutions. Professional development for this field has been a priority for the Library Publishing Coalition and for the Educopia Institute, leading to the development of the Library Publishing Curriculum project, generously funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The first two modules have recently been released, on Content and Impact, and two additional modules will be released soon, on Policy and Sustainability.
The Library Publishing Curriculum offers a suite of learning materials that can be used in synchronous and asynchronous professional development settings. Each module is roughly equivalent of a 12 hour “course.” The materials are open and free under a CC-BY license for anyone to offer or adapt. This dynamic, extensible, and flexible multimedia curriculum is intended to empower librarians and scholarly presses to launch and enhance scholarly publishing activities that both meet local demands and have the potential to reach global audiences. Each module contains an introduction plus 6-7 “units” that address topics of interest. Each unit includes a narrative document, a presentation/slideshow with talking notes, activities for use in a physical or virtual classroom for workshops and courses, and an instructor's manual.
The Content Module includes six units that explore ways that library publishers attract, select, edit, manage, and disseminate content. The module provides information about how to recruit partners and select content for a program, and how to incorporate diverse voices into each part of the publication process. Lessons are also offered on common production workflows, and on identifying the resources and staff skills needed to support various editorial strategies and content types. The authors of the content module are a veritable "all star" team of Association of University Presses (AUP) staff and members, including Peter Berkery, Executive Director, AUP; Meredith Babb, Director, University Press of Florida; Jasmine Mulliken, Stanford University Press; Friederike Sundaram, Stanford University Press; Dennis Lloyd, University of Wisconsin Press; Mary Rose Muccie, Director, Temple University Press; and Brenna McLaughlin, Director of Marketing & Communications, AAUP.
The Content module includes units on Editorial/Content Strategies; the Nuts and Bolts of Scholarly Publisher; Publishing Long-Form Scholarship; Supporting a Journals Program; Developing Materials for Coursework, including textbooks and open educational resources (OERs); and Working with Multi-Modal Content.
I authored the Impact Module, which focuses on how library publishers and university presses can extend the impact of their work and on ways to measure and assess their impact. The module includes seven units that show how to identify and apply specific impact measures for publications, how to assess the performance of a publishing program and publication portfolio, how to build outreach and engagement strategies, and how to market and promote publications.
In the Impact module, I emphasize the use of various tools and methods that can be useful in a variety of publishing settings. These include a strategic prioritization tool; SWOT analysis; process mapping; and more.
The Impact module includes units on Trends Affecting Scholarly Publishing, impact, and promotion; Strategic Planning and Prioritization; Assessment Measures and Strategies; Strategies for Enhancing Discovery and Accessibility; Outreach, Engagement, and Collaboration for Impact; Purposeful Marketing, Promotion, Publicity; and Social Networking for Publishers.
Several years ago, I was invited to speak at the Textbook & Academic Authors Association (TAA), on the topic of digital textbooks. At the time, while I had authored a few academic articles, and had professional experience working to promote texts for course use, I had never authored a textbook. Authoring this Impact module was akin to authoring an Open Textbook or an open course. One lesson learned is that even though one expects that writing a textbook/course will be a lot of work, it inevitably turns out to be much more work than one expected! It's also quite a different experience than teaching an online course or in face-to-face settings. The Impact module is designed to be useful in diverse settings: in a master of library and information science program, facilitated by an instructor, for example; or by small groups or even individual students studying on their own accord.
The learning experience in authoring the Impact module was extremely valuable, and I appreciate the support provided for this project by Katherine Skinner, Melanie Schlosser, and Hannah Ballard of Educopia; Nancy Marron of BlueSky to BluePrint; the other library curriculum module authors; members of the project's advisory board, in particular Sarah Lippincott and Charles Watkinson; and several people who valiantly volunteered to peer review the module.