Libraries, Leadership, and Scholarly Communication: Essays by Rick Anderson

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A creative thinker on topics related to library collections and scholarly publishing, Rick Anderson does not back away from controversy. "Whenever we, as members of an organization like a library, are forced to choose between good things, we may start by trying to figure out some way to have both things," he writes in the preface. "But in many cases, that will turn out to be impossible and we'll have to decide which good thing is going to take priority over the other. We can't make that decision without invoking values, and the moment we start invoking values is when the conversation can take a really difficult and interesting turn." When it's time for your organization to make choices and set priorities, this collection of essays, articles, white papers, and blog posts will provide conversation starters for your strategic discussions. Anderson offers engaging, persuasive arguments on a range of timely topics, such as:

  • the decline of print;
  • patron-driven acquisitions;
  • Open Access (OA);
  • blacklisting publishers and relations with publishers' sales reps;
  • patron privacy;
  • symptoms of zealotry;
  • unintended consequences of the print-on-demand model; and
  • how to define library value.

Ideal for browsing, the ideas in this collection will kickstart your brainstorming sessions and spur your organization to confront choices head on.




Section I    Libraries and Their Collections, Now and in the Future

1    Being Essential Is Not Enough
2    My Name Is Ozymandias, King of Kings
3    The Crisis in Research Librarianship
4    The Portal Problem: The Twin Plights of the Encyclopaedia Britannica and the Library Collection
5    On Necessity, Virtue, and Digging Holes with Hammers
6    Can, Should, and Will
7    How Sacred Are Our Patrons' Privacy Rights? Answer Carefully
8    Crazy Idea #274: Just Stop Collecting
9    Local and Global, Now and Forever: A Matrix Model of "Depth Perception" in Library Work
10    A Quiet Culture War in Research Libraries—and What It Means for Librarians, Researchers, and Publishers
11    Interrogating the American Library Association's "Core Values" Statement
12    Asserting Rights We Don't Have: Libraries and "Permission to Publish"
13    Frenemies: The Perfect and the Good, the Noisy and the Important
14    What Patron-Driven Acquisition Does and Doesn't Mean: An FAQ
15    Reference Services, Scalability, and the Starfish Problem
16    Kitten in a Beer Mug: The Myth of the Free Gift
17    You Might Be a Zealot If . . .
18    It's Not about the Workflow: Patron-Centered Practices for Twenty-First-Century Serialists
19    Can't Buy Us Love: The Declining Importance of Library Books and the Rising Importance of Special Collections
20    On Knowing the Value of Everything and the Price of Nothing
21    Preservation, Yes—but What Shall We Preserve?
22    The Struggle for Library Space





Section II    Scholarly Communication and Library-Publisher Relations

23    On Advocacy, Analysis, and the Vital Importance of Knowing the Difference
24    Signal Distortion: Why the Scholarly Communication Economy Is So Weird
25    Six Mistakes Your Sales Reps Are Making—and Six That Librarians Are Making
26    Prices, Models, and Fairness: A (Partly) Imaginary Phone Conversation
27    Print-on-Demand and the Law of Unintended Consequences
28    Quality and Relevance: A Matrix Model for Thinking about Scholarly Books and Libraries
29    No Such Thing as a Bad Book? Rethinking "Quality" in the Research Library
30    No, You May Not Come Train My Staff
31    On the Likelihood of Academia "Taking Back" Scholarly Publishing
32    Is a Rational Discussion of Open Access Possible?
33    CC BY, Copyright, and Stolen Advocacy
34    Open-Access Rhetoric, Economics, and the Definition of "Research"
35    CC BY and Its Discontents: A Growing Problem for Open Access
36    Deceptive Publishing: Why We Need a Blacklist, and Some Suggestions on How to Do It Right
37    The NPR Model and the Financing of Scholarly Communication




Rick Anderson

Rick Anderson is associate dean for collections and scholarly communication in the J. Willard Marriott Library at the University of Utah. He has worked previously as a bibliographer for YBP, Inc.; as head acquisitions librarian for the University of North Carolina, Greensboro; and as director of resource acquisition at the University of Nevada, Reno. He serves on numerous editorial and advisory boards, is a regular contributor to The Scholarly Kitchen, and has been a regular contributor to Library Journal's Academic Newswire. His book Buying and Contracting for Resources and Services: A How-to-Do-It Manual for Librarians was published in 2004 by Neal-Schuman. In 2005, he was identified by Library Journal as a “Mover &Shaker”—one of the “50 people shaping the future of libraries.” In 2008, he was elected president of the North American Serials Interest Group, and he was named an ARL Research Library Leadership Fellow for 2009–2010. In 2013, he was the recipient of the HARRASSOWITZ Leadership in Library Acquisitions Award and was invited to give the Gould Distinguished Lecture on Technology and the Quality of Life at the University of Utah. In 2015, he was elected president of the Society for Scholarly Publishing. He is a popular speaker on subjects related to the future of scholarly communication and research libraries.

”Offers a thought-provoking tour of local and global, practical and theoretical, short-term and long-term issues facing libraries today."
— Library Journal

”Anderson’s thoughtful essays are enjoyable and provocative."
— Catholic Library World

”Anderson combines a direct, conversational style with crisp, analytic arguments that make for enjoyable and informative reading on topics both large and small ... I highly recommend this book."
— Against the Grain

”Thought-provoking and easily readable—perfect to share with colleagues or with a library study group. Anderson shows a clear understanding of the issues in academic libraries."
— Information Today