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Friday, May 21 • 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Documenting an Open Future in a Post-Policy World

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Collection development policies have historically outlined precisely what content would be added to academic library collections, in what formats, and with which limitations. A 2019 survey investigated academic librarians’ attitudes, practices, and policies regarding open access (OA), and asked if they write policies to ensure that they approach OA intentionally and systematically. The results indicated that although librarians report favorable beliefs about OA and integrate OA into technical and public services, they seldom create OA policies, or articulate informal understandings of how OA content should be integrated into collections. The lack of OA collection policies may be related to the complexities of OA, but may also be related to a decline of policy writing in academic libraries. This session continues the work of that survey to consider why OA is not documented in collection policies and the implications of this practice for the future integration of OA into library collections.
In order to address the previously mentioned survey’s limitations, including self-selection of survey respondents, and to ensure the diversity of institution types represented, the authors randomly selected 25 institutions from each of the following groups of Carnegie Basic Classifications: Doctoral Universities, Master’s Colleges and Universities, Baccalaureate Colleges and Baccalaureate/Associate’s Colleges, and Associate’s Colleges. The authors emailed a librarian at each of the 100 total institutions a request to complete an enclosed survey, or to forward the survey to the most appropriate person at their institution. The survey collected demographic information related to collections budget, enrollment, and personnel, and asked participants to respond to questions regarding their existing collection development policies, or lack thereof, and whether their policies explicitly address OA content.
The collected responses were analyzed for differences in approaches towards OA collection development practices and policies, with a particular focus on how budget and personnel affected institutional behaviors. The findings surface disparities in the documentation of OA collection practices among institution classifications; how will differences in documentation and practices equip libraries of different kinds to ascend into an open future? After summarizing their findings, the speakers will facilitate a group discussion focusing on the perceived value of policies in participants’ institutional settings, how and why they are documenting OA practices, and what obstacles they have encountered to writing policies for OA. This presentation will frame the OA discussion in such a way that academic librarians from any institution size will find an issue or question to reflect on or engage with. Unlike OA discussions around APCs or institutional repositories, which tend to exclude attendees from smaller libraries, this presentation is inclusive of all.

avatar for Caitlin Harrington

Caitlin Harrington

Head of Information Access Services,Electronic Resources Librarian, University of Memphis
avatar for Rachel Scott

Rachel Scott

Associate Dean for Information Assets, Illinois State University

Friday May 21, 2021 7:00pm - 8:00pm EDT
On Demand (pre-recorded)