New to the SCN: Copyright, Disability, and Accessibility

We’re excited to be developing the Scholarly Communication Notebook (SCN), a hub of open teaching and learning content on scholcomm topics that is both a complement to an open book-level introduction to scholarly communication librarianship (coming along) and a disciplinary and course community for inclusively sharing models and practices. We’re currently working with ISKME to establish the SCN as an OER Commons Hub, coming soon. With generous support from IMLS, we’re pleased to be able to financially support the development of model resources for the SCN. Last fall we issued a CFP (the first of three) for projects to support the initial population of the SCN, and we’re starting to see those projects come to fruition. Last week, we shared the first of a series of posts about those projects. Here, we’re excited to share the next one, by Associate Professor and the Head of Research & Instructional Services at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Carli Spina. Carli has created a rich set of resources to support instruction at the intersection of copyright, disability, and accessibility (currently in a Google folder while the SCN itself is in development). This is an important topic that’s seeing increased visibility, and that we’re proud to  support. Look for additional posts over the coming months, along with the second of three calls for proposals soon. Here’s Carli introducing her project:

Understanding how to make materials accessible to patrons is a vital topic for libraries, given that approximately 15% of the world’s population, or an estimated one billion people, is disabled. Beyond that, it is vital as we work to make access to information more equitable. While an important aspect of this work is understanding the technological aspect of making content accessible, I believe copyright is also central to this work. For that reason, it is important that librarians and others in the education field understand the copyright provisions in both U.S. and international law that apply to making copyrighted materials accessible for disabled individuals. With this knowledge, libraries can help to expand access to information to those who have been blocked from these resources in the past.

Because of this, I am grateful for Scholarly Communication Notebook’s support in creating open educational resources on the intersection of disability, accessibility, and copyright with a particular focus on U.S. law. I designed the materials to be used both in graduate courses related to copyright or accessibility and by practitioners interested in learning more on the topic. Topics covered include the Chafee Amendment and how it has changed post-Marrakesh Treaty, the role of accessibility in the Authors Guild, Inc. v. HathiTrust decision, the importance of the Marrakesh Treaty for international efforts to make materials accessible across borders, and how licensing provisions can impact these various rights. The resources include videos explaining the key points of each topic, along with editable slide decks for those who wish to build on the existing materials, activities and options for assignments, recommended pre-class readings, discussion prompts, and related resources for those who want to learn more on the topics introduced in this OER module. There are also teaching notes for those interested in using the module in a class they are teaching.

It is my hope that these materials will help to introduce these topics at the intersection of disability, accessibility, and copyright to interested learners in a variety of settings. I hope that they are of use and that interested instructors will be able to adapt and even expand these materials to fit their courses. And, I hope that they might even spark an interest in accessibility for those who do not have much familiarity with the topic.

About the Author

Carli Spina is an Associate Professor and the Head of Research & Instructional Services at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Formerly, Carli was the Head Librarian for Assessment & Outreach at the Boston College Libraries. She’s on Twitter at @CarliSpina.

New to the SCN: Bibliodiversity and OER, A Student Perspective

We’re excited to be developing the  Scholarly Communication Notebook (SCN), a hub of open teaching and learning content on scholcomm topics that is both a complement to an open book-level introduction to scholarly communication librarianship (coming along) and a disciplinary and course community for inclusively sharing models and practices. We’re currently working with ISKME to establish the SCN as an OER Commons Hub, coming soon. With generous support from IMLS, we’re pleased to be able to financially support the development of model resources for the SCN. Last fall we issued a CFP (the first of three) for projects to support the initial population of the SCN, and we’re starting to see those projects come to fruition. Here, we’re excited to share the first of a series of posts about those projects. This one, by MLIS student Allison Kittinger, is about a great bibliodiversity project that she and Jennifer Solomon (UNC Chapel Hill) created in Pressbooks: Introduction to Bibliodiversity in Scholarly Communications. It’s fantastic to see a collaborative project like this between a student with an interest in SC and an instructor/practitioner like Jennifer; it’s a great example of the sort of thing we’re hoping to see more of in the future! Kudos to both of them! Look for additional posts over the coming months, along with the second of three calls for proposals soon. Here’s Allison introducing their project:

Although I worked in academic publishing for two years, I first learned about the concept of bibliodiversity in Jennifer Solomon’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Open Access class as a library science master’s student at UNC-Chapel Hill. One of our assigned readings was Shearer et al.’s “Fostering Bibliodiversity in Scholarly Communications: A Call for Action!” (2020), which describes bibliodiversity as “Diversity in services and platforms, funding mechanisms, and evaluation measures” allowing “the  scholarly communication system to accommodate the  different workflows, languages, publication outputs, and research topics that support the needs and epistemic pluralism of different research communities.” The course opened my eyes to the importance of critical perspectives on open access, and I started seeing the concept of bibliodiversity crop up more and more, both explicitly and implicitly, in conversations around open access and scholarly communications. I decided I wanted to be a part of that conversation, to lend a student voice and advance bibliodiversity in my own work.

I began this work at North Carolina State University’s Copyright and Digital Scholarship Center, where I have worked as a graduate student assistant. I co-researched and -wrote a sort of white paper entitled “A Response to the Call for Bibliodiversity: Language, Translation, and Communicated Scholarship” (2020) with my supervisor, Micah Vandegrift. After finishing the paper, I knew I wanted to continue down this path. I feel as though not enough library science students – even students interested in scholarly communications – know the foundations of this important concept. As an early-career scholarly communications professional myself, I want to effect positive change towards more inclusive scholarly publishing systems, and I think bibliodiversity is a crucial part of that work.

I was looking for the next opportunity when I came across the Scholarly Communication Notebook call for proposals for open educational resources. Creating an open educational resource about bibliodiversity for library students like me and early-career librarians appealed to me because I feel strongly that bibliodiversity should be a topic in all scholarly communications classes, and I want to facilitate that. In addition, I had some experience creating an OER already, so I felt prepared to take on this level of work and commitment.

Of course, I immediately thought of Jennifer as a potential collaborator when I read the Scholarly Communication Notebook application. She agreed to work with me, and we drafted the application and the resource together. Having her perspective and experience to inform the resource was invaluable.

Going through this OER development process taught me quite a bit. In incorporating material into the OER, I learned about various bibliodiversity strategies that I hadn’t before considered. I also thought a lot about OER development and the types of conversations I wanted the OER to spark, as well as the perspective of people learning about this concept for the first time. I thought about my own learning journey and wove that perspective into the OER alongside Jennifer’s pedagogical and professional expertise.

Overall, Jennifer and I had a blast creating this OER. Working together on something we are both passionate about was enjoyable and even felt hopeful. My own hope is that this resource can provide an accessible entry point into conversations around bibliodiversity and multilingualism in scholarly communications for students and early-career scholarly communications professionals like me.

About the Author

Allison Kittinger is a Master of Science in Library Science student at UNC-Chapel Hill. She co-developed the OER Introduction to Bibliodiversity in Scholarly Communications with Jennifer Solomon for the Scholarly Communication Notebook.