3-Part Series on Open Access: Unlock Free Quality Reference Content for Public Libraries


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While Open Access (OA) has been a frequent topic of discussion in academic library circles for more than a decade, very little attention has been paid to the important role Open Access materials can play in public libraries. These vetted scholarly materials are paid for by academic institutions when they are published, making them free for readers—and libraries. The challenge is to curate the ones patrons need and make them findable through the library. Through panel discussions with public library staff who are developing OA collections, this series will provide an overview of the current OA landscape and offer practical advice for implementing an OA strategy at your library that can bring down costs and improve usage of your digital reference collections. 


Session 1 |  Why Open Access is Perfect for Public Libraries and Creating Room in Budgets

Wednesday, May 25, 2022 | 11:00 AM-12:00 PM ET, 8:00-9:00 AM PT

This webinar will provide an overview of Open Access for public library administrators, digital resources and collection development librarians interested in expanding collections with freely available, Open Access content. Learn more about how Open Access works and how public libraries are using it to support their users and partners today.

Session 1 Presenters:

  • Kim Mashek, Technical Services Librarian, Waterloo Public Library

  • Jocelyn Bates, Electronic Resources Manager, Las Vegas Clark County Library District

  • Hilary Prisbylla, Director of Content Solutions, CloudSource OA

  • Carolyn Morris, Director of Content Solutions, CloudSource OA (Session Moderator)


Session 2 | OA trends in Public Libraries

Wednesday, June 29, 2022 | 11:00 AM-12:00 PM ET, 8:00-9:00 AM PT

Library Journal will launch the second session of this series by presenting the results of its 2022 Database Survey, providing a snapshot of digital reference services in public libraries today and calling out trends indicated by the data. Then, panelists will share insights from their experiences using Open Access materials to meet the demands of researchers in a public library setting. Join to assess whether your library is on trend, ahead of the curve or playing catch up.

Session 2 Presenters:

  • Missy Williams, Virtual Reference Librarian for Delaware Libraries

  • Kate Turner, Service Manager: LibrariesWest & Bibliographic Services at Somerset County Council: Library Service

  • Matt Enis, Senior Editor of Technology, Library Journal (Session Moderator)


Session 3 | Open Access and Social Justice: Upgrading Collections with Free Resources

Tuesday, July 26, 2022 | 11:00 AM-12:00 PM ET, 8:00-9:00 AM PT

The final session in the series will focus on the important role public libraries play in our communities by providing a conduit to high-quality information resources for users who otherwise would not have access to them. Historically, the library purchased physical items to fulfill this mission, but in the digital age, providing a safe and efficient discovery mechanism is of equal if not more importance. Panelists from public libraries will share how they are taking advantage of OA content not only to expand the quality and breadth of their digital collections but also to bring down barriers to access. Join this discussion to learn why they believe this work is of the utmost importance.

Session 3 Presenters:

  • Kimberly Babcock Mashek, MLIS, Adjunct Faculty, University of Northern Iowa

  • Kelvin Watson, Executive Director, Las Vegas-Clark County Library District

  • Rick Branham, VP of Pre-Sales – Academic & Content Solutions, CloudSource OA (Session Moderator)



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