Thursday 28 June 2018

“Librarians - we need to talk”

A talk on Open Access by Dr Danny Kingsley

Post contributed by - Katherine Burchell (@katherinehelen)

I always love learning about other areas of libraries that I know nothing about and June’s Cambridge Library Group’s event was a great opportunity to do just that. In this month’s talk we were honoured to hear from Dr Danny Kingsley, Head of Scholarly Communication at Cambridge University Library.

In her presentation titled “Librarians – we need to talk” Danny took us on a journey through journals and Open Access, which was accompanied by Danny reading from Tadpoles Promise by Jeanne Willis to accompany us on this journey. This was an absolutely great touch which made learning about what is a very broad topic, a lot of fun.

It is hard to imagine that paper journals have been around since 1665, and to hear that publishers needed libraries, was something that I was not aware of before. She talked us through the history of journals and publishing, highlighting that in 1995 this was the last period of print publishing. It was interesting to find out that researchers had started to freely publish their work online in 1993 on sites such as which is still going today. This led to Danny’s own PhD research into online journals in 1995.

Danny said that “research has the opportunity to be openly available” and described libraries as a rainbow and publishers as the black pearl and in 2002 the term Open Access was coined. She then went on to explain how the role of the librarian, with the rise of Open Access and publishing is being questioned, and at RLUK2017 it was considered “are librarians support staff / research partners” and do we need to start collaborating with each other. Danny certainly left us with a lot of things to think about afterwards.

Danny finished the talk by posing the question “what can you do?” and she gave the following recommendations of what librarians can do to support open access.

* Be global and local in services
* Skill the generation in how to assess information
* Provide comprehensive digital access to collections
* Preservation and stewardship

It was absolutely great to gain all this knowledge in a fun way and I am sure I speak for everyone when I say we loved being read to and it was a great way to engage everyone. Danny would be more than happy to answer any questions following the talk and can be contact via Twitter @dannykay68

Katherine Burchell  - Collection Logistics Assistant in Cambridge