Scholarly Communications Librarian
Florida State University, Tallahassee
MLIS, Florida State University, Tallahassee, 2011
Photo by Stuart Rochford, Technology Center Coordinator
Micah Vandegrift’s first job after getting his MLIS from Florida State University (FSU) in 2011 was as a part-time project manager for the school’s Scholarly Communications Task Force, charged with advising FSU on the shifting academic publishing landscape. “I spent about three months reading and researching everything I could get my hands on about open access, academic publishing, institutional repositories,” says Vandegrift.
The task force’s recommendations, ratified by FSU’s Faculty Senate, endorsed the principle of open access. It also created a new library job: scholarly communications librarian, and Vandegrift was appointed to it. His focus is on outreach to the FSU community, raising awareness about the evolving scholarly research environment, including open access, institutional repositories, author rights (he established an in-house copyright committee), and fair use. He’s also helped launch a number of open access journals, including Journal of Art for Life and The Owl (for undergrads).
The former Mr. Tattooed Tallahassee grew up with a punk rock, DIY-type mind-set that values free thought, individualism, and the power of community—a perspective that informs all his work. While in library school, he developed Hack Library School, a blog for library school students to “challenge LIS education to be better…to embrace learning across disciplinary divides (archives, public librarianship, academic, etc.), and to encourage productive self-/professional development,” he says. He’s passed along the reins of the blog (which won the 2011 Salem Press Library Award for best Newcomer Library Blog), but his current work still reflects those ideals.