February 17, 2018

Charleston Conference Preview 2016


Charleston Townscape Photo by Sean Pavone

This year’s Charleston Conference, with its on-the-nose subtitle of “Roll with the Times or the Times Roll Over You,” will return as always to the Francis Marion Hotel (and surrounding venues) October 31–November 5. This year’s schedule (still tentative at press time) naturally hits many of the topics of perennial interest to librarians, particularly academic ones: discovery, the Big Journal Deal and its frequently forecast demise, working with vendors, and ebook acquisition models. Newer returnees such as MOOCs, open educational resources, assessment, the role of the subject specialist and/or department liaison, and research data management also make appearances.

But this year’s offerings rolled in some innovations and surprise twists on the core questions of librarianship.

You Can’t Preserve What You Don’t Have—Or Can You? Libraries as Infrastructure for Perpetual Access to Intellectual Output, held Thursday, November 3, 8:35–9:15 a.m., addresses how to tackle preservation in an age of access as a service on the one hand and open access on the other.

The inaugural Cynthia Graham Hurd Memorial Scholarship, honoring the librarian killed in the shooting at Charleston’s Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church last year, will be presented by Springer Nature on Thursday, November 3, 10–10:10 a.m. Hurd worked at both the city’s public library and the College of Charleston.

On Thursday, November, 10:30–11:15 a.m., R. David Lankes, author of The New Librarianship Field Guide (MIT) and director of the University of South Carolina’s School of Library & Information Science, will speak on Building the Knowledge School, going beyond the iSchool debates to something “focused on impact in communities and built upon the values of librarians, but serving the needs of a broader information infrastructure.”

In A Running Start: A Crowd-Sourced Database of Due Diligence to Invoke Section 108, on Friday, November 4, 11:35 a.m.–12:15 p.m., deg farelly will outline efforts to help libraries avoid duplication of effort in their legally mandated search for replacement of deteriorating VHS tapes before copying them. Aside from addressing a major problem in its own right, the approach could potentially have application to the vexed orphan works problem.

And on Thursday, November 3, 2:30–3:10 p.m., Mapping the Free Ebook Supply Chain will address the issue that the small but growing number of open access monographs “present challenges to an information supply chain that relies on commercial intermediaries.”

Beyond library typecasting

In addition to the wealth of scholarly content, several programs are aimed explicitly at public librarians, including How in Sync Are We? What Academic and Public Libraries Can Learn from Each Other, held Thursday, November 3, 12:45–2 p.m., and Why Don’t Public Librarians Brag More About Providing Pleasure Reading?, scheduled for Friday, November 4, 12:45–2 p.m. There’s even a session about high school libraries—Improving Student Success: Arkansas State’s Partnership with Credo and Regional High Schools, taking place Thursday, November 3, 3:35–4:10 p.m.

Personal growth

Also notable are sessions aimed at individual librarians and their career trajectories rather than just their current institutions. For example, Change It Up: Growing Your Career in a Wildly Different Organization, taking place Thursday, November 3, 3:35–4:10 p.m., and Gender and Negotiation: Practices and Strategies, also on Thursday, November 3, 12:45–2 p.m.

Finally, in light of LJ’s recent Designing the Future issue, we’re excited by Library Science Fiction: Finding Inspiration in the Implausible. Convening on Thursday, November 3, 12:45–2 p.m., a short presentation will be followed by a roundtable discussion on “wild” ideas on the future of libraries, unshackled by the limitations of money, space, personnel, and time.—Meredith Schwartz

This article was published in Library Journal's October 1, 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Meredith Schwartz About Meredith Schwartz

Meredith Schwartz (mschwartz@mediasourceinc.com) is Executive Editor of Library Journal.

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