Appendix B: Process for Developing this White Paper

The concept of a white paper to articulate the impact of the intersections of scholarly communication and information literacy on the work of academic librarians emerged after discussions in ACRL meetings, within committees, and across committees. More than four years ago, members of the ACRL Scholarly Communications Committee identified a need to “mainstream” scholarly communication – that is, to declare these issues as central to the profession and fully own them –and developed education programs for all academic librarians to better prepare them to engage with appropriate activities on their campuses. Much of the “mainstreaming” conversation centered on liaison work in particular, and many liaison librarians are also teaching librarians.

Shortly after those conversations began, ACRL formed the Information Literacy Coordinating Committee. The Information Literacy Immersion programs continued to evolve as models of professional development to keep librarians current with changing expectations in higher education. At the same time the ACRL scholarly communication workshop provided professional development on these topics. Members of these committees realized that there were areas where collaboration would enhance their respective work. Early conversations centered on these four guiding suppositions:

1.) To be information literate in the digital age, students need to know the whole cycle of scholarly communication, and issues such as copyright, author rights, use and reuse of digital information objects, etc., need to be more fully integrated into undergraduate and graduate student information literacy program curriculum. This supports students as creators of content.

2.) To support this integration of scholarly communication issues into information literacy programs, librarians who focus their work on scholarly communication issues should partner to provide materials and assistance in curriculum development.

3.) Librarians involved in teaching about scholarly communication issues coming from collection development areas may not have had a background in teaching techniques and could benefit from the knowledge and experience gained by librarians for whom teaching is a key responsibility.

4.) There are useful parallels in the incorporation of information literacy as a recognized professional competency in the minds of the library community and the similar widespread adoption of scholarly communication outreach and program development as core to the profession.

As a next step to move these conversations ahead, and in response to a request made during an ACRL Scholarly Communications Discussion Group, the ACRL Scholarly Communications Committee, with co-sponsorship of the ACRL Information Literacy Coordinating Committee, presented a session called “Global trends and local actions for liaison and teaching librarians to support changes in scholarly communication” at ALA Annual Conference 2011. During this well attended and high-energy session, we discussed the changing demands on librarians and examined how scholarly communication issues, such as open access, copyright, media literacy, and data management, are becoming important for liaison and teaching librarians.

Building on the momentum, Joyce Ogburn, then vice-president of ACRL, suggested we convene a working group to discuss the concepts and determine if a “white paper” would be the right vehicle to communicate more broadly. Meanwhile, others were writing and speaking on excellent examples of intersections, and outlining parallels in the development of scholarly communication programs in libraries to the development of information literacy programs in libraries. Ogburn’s column in ACRL’s C&RL NewsLifelong Learning Requires Lifelong Access” (Ogburn, 2011) provided us with the focus and support needed, as our concerns were also major strategic areas for ACRL. So with support from ACRL, then-chair of ACRL’s Scholarly Communication Committee, Barbara DeFelice, carefully assembled a group of thought leaders within ACRL who are drawn to this way of conceptualizing a significant frontier of academic librarianship. We shared our ideas and developed plans for taking action. One of those action items is this white paper.

Each member of the working group contributed to the writing of this white paper. As part of the process for reviewing and vetting drafts, we asked member volunteers in a few key ACRL groups to provide their reactions and feedback, which we integrated into the final paper as appropriate. Those groups were the Student Learning and Information Literacy Committee, the Research and Scholarly Environment Committee, and the Instruction Section Executive Committee.


Comments are closed.