April 27, 2020
Broadening Energy and Opportunities in the Library Publishing CoalitionBy Melanie Schlosser, Katherine Skinner, and Hannah Ballard
The Acceleration Lifecycle Stage is punctuated by rapid increases in a community’s reach, activities, and impact. For the Library Publishing Coalition, opportunities have proliferated across committees, events, and research projects, all of which expanded in 2019 to encompass the community’s broadening energy and capacity.
If you’re curious to learn more about Educopia’s work with community organizations, see our 2019 Annual Report for additional case studies from the Software Preservation Network, BitCurator Consortium, and MetaArchive Cooperative.
In 2019, LPC’s committees launched a host of new initiatives. For example, the Professional Development Committee’s pilot Mentorship Program provided an opportunity for members to directly exchange knowledge and expertise. The program matched up early-career community members with more seasoned library publishers, and its 14 participants celebrated the program’s collaborative nature and its benefits for both the participating “mentors” and “mentees.” They also had suggestions for its improvement as it moves beyond the pilot implementation, including that peer mentor pairs—based not on career stage but on needs and interest—would best serve the membership in this moment of transformation for the library publishing field. The Professional Development Committee has adopted this change, and 2020 will mark the formal launch of LPC’s new Peer Mentorship Program.
LPC’s events continue to grow, and the Library Publishing Forum, hosted at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, visually illustrated that expansion through both its program and its attendance numbers. Nearly 200 participants engaged in more than 55 sessions on topics ranging from standards building to technical development. Many of the sessions zoomed in on the explicitly “scholar-led” and “community-governed” intent of many library publishing initiatives, interrogating how and by whom these terms are used and defined.
Similarly, the LPC’s 2019 membership meeting—titled “What’s our end game”—provided space to debate both the collective and divergent intentions embedded in terms like “community-led publishing.” These healthy and important conversations are required to support the LPC’s evolution; they enable newer and longstanding members alike to articulate what they mean by “library publishing” and what draws them into community with other “library publishers.”
Attendees at the 2019 Library Publishing Forum in Vancouver, BC
As a community in the midst of the Acceleration Lifecycle Stage, the Library Publishing Coalition is intentionally approaching new conversations and new programs with elasticity and curiosity. Rather than rigidly pursuing a specific outcome, the community is experimenting, evaluating, and refining its own offerings in the context of the increased capacity and scaling up of operations that are hallmarks of the Lifecycle Stage.
To learn more about Educopia’s approach to growing and sustaining collaborative communities, see Community Cultivation—A Field Guide for a wealth of activities, tools, and hard-won lessons for community organizer and leaders.