Session Proposal: Professional Cultures

[Note:  I’m proposing this session with Monica McCormick]

The organizers planned this event with the hope that we could attract both library-types and publisher-types to the meeting. We weren’t sure whether that was likely, and among the impediments we worried about were basic issues of professional culture. The library community has become familiar with the unconference approach, but not the publishing community. Would the approach be off-putting? Did librarians and publishers travel professionally for the same reasons?

Some of us have had the opportunity to take part in publisher/library collaborations, or work in both sectors. Differences in professional and work cultures are frequently apparent in those collaborations, but are often reduced down to a basic opposition: publishers have to generate revenue and librarians generally don’t. But does that adequately explain us? Is that enough information to navigate collaborations?

We propose a discussion session to reflect more critically on the organizational and professional cultures of academic libraries and academic publishers. Can we move beyond the revenue issue to explore how we do our work, how we conceive of our professional identities, how we define career trajectories and professional development? Can we identify areas of commonality, or identify approaches, concepts, values in our professional cultures that are potentially valuable to the other?

This is a soft-sounding topic, but the proposers are not touchy-feely types. Both hugging and throwing things are out of bounds for this session.

Categories: General |

About Mike Furlough

I work at Penn State University Libraries, where officially I’m the Associate Dean for Research and Scholarly Communications. At Penn State I oversee Digitization & Preservation, Special Collections, Scholarly Communications Services, and a developing set of Digital Curation Services. I’ve worked very closely with Penn State Press over the past five years to explore how the Libraries and the Press can develop cooperative publishing services. This is interesting work, but challenging to execute in practice.

Before I worked at Penn State I spent a very long time at the University of Virginia. I was first a graduate student in English Literature, then I took a hiatus and started working at the Library. That hiatus never ended, and I eventually ended up developing geospatial data services for students and faculty, and overseeing the integration of these with digitization services and electronic text encoding into a brew that became the Scholars Lab.

Unofficially, I am surlyF.

2 Responses to Session Proposal: Professional Cultures

  1. Barbara says:

    No hugging – fine. But … no throwing? Sigh.

  2. Pingback: Session Proposal: What can the DLF do? | THATCamp Publishing 2011

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