Scholarly Communication Services: From an Island, You Can Build Bridges

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In 2012, my library reorganized to align with a new strategic plan. As a result, my position changed and I needed a new job title. My dean suggested scholarly communication librarian, to which I had a strong reaction. “What on earth does scholarly communication even mean?” After some discussion, we settled on faculty research support librarian, agreeing that it more clearly communicated my role to campus. I was tasked with developing services for assisting faculty throughout the research life cycle. I didn’t have a department or even a group of other librarians who also embraced this work. It was just me on my island, and it wasn’t a sunny tropical island but a medium-sized Midwest public university library with not enough librarians (thirteen) to serve the growing student population (now 20,000), let alone over 500 faculty. My acquired competencies for this position at this point included some basic expertise in copyright, I had recently served as open access track lead for a regional teaching conference where I also presented on institutional repositories, and I was the author of two peer-reviewed articles. I thought back to four years earlier when I was assigned to support the School of Nursing and the School of Health Sciences with no corresponding experience beyond having been a patient. To alleviate my sense of impostor syndrome, I completed every continuing education course I could find on evidence-based medicine, PubMed, and systematic reviews. Fortunately, many courses were free and my administration financed the cost when there was a fee. With my new title in hand, I set forth, sometimes deliberately and sometimes fortuitously, to develop my skills and knowledge. Reflecting on this eight-year journey, the following themes emerge.



Scholarly Communication, library


Rodriguez, J. (2023). Scholarly Communication Services: From an Island, You Can Build Bridges, in M. Boon, J. Bolick, W. Cross (Eds.) Scholarly Communication Librarianship and Open Knowledge (pp.391-394). Association of Colleges and Research Libraries.