Brain food in just an hour

Rachel Frick

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My work with the OCLC Research Library Partnership is rewarding in so many ways. One of them is the continual opportunity to meet fascinating people who do really important work. It creates new learning opportunities for me, and it’s fun to see where some of our pathways intersect.

Like most library professionals, I like to share. Fortunately, I can connect the experts I meet to the OCLC community through our Distinguished Seminar Series. Since 1978, OCLC has hosted dozens of guest speakers who have shared their knowledge and experience on a vast range of topics, initiatives, and movements.

If you can spare an hour once or twice a year, I’d like to invite you to meet with us here in the auditorium at OCLC’s headquarters. You can come in person or join us online for a livestream of an event. I promise that our guests will inform, inspire, and probably even entertain you.

Watch for the first time, or see it again

During the past two years, the seminar series topics have ranged from diversity to fair access to copyright. Four speakers have visited OCLC’s headquarters in Dublin, Ohio, to speak to audiences in-person and via livestreaming video. If you missed any of them—or if you want to watch again—you can connect to their presentations from this post.

  • November 2016: In his presentation, “Welcome to the Library: Success of Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives,” Trevor A. Dawes, Vice Provost for Libraries and Museums and May Morris University Librarian at the University of Delaware, reviewed the work of the ALA Task Force for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, which he co-chaired, and also examined the diversity and inclusion efforts at several libraries.
  • July 2017: Kimberly Christen, Director of the Digital Technology and Culture Program, the Director of Digital Projects for Native American Programs, and the co-Director of the Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation at Washington State University, addressed the concept that library and archive practices are neutral and nonbiased in her presentation, “We Have Never Been Neutral: Search, Discovery and the Politics of Access.” She traced the often violent histories of collecting and the construction of the public domain, unpacked their connections to the foundations of libraries and archives, and opened a space to provide a framework for ethical engagements and reciprocal practices through culturally responsive tools and engagements.
  • November 2017: In “For the Greater (Not) Good (Enough): Open Access and Information Privilege,” Char Booth, Associate Dean of the University Library at California State University San Marcos, addressed the concept that open access has had a huge impact on publishing and scholarly communication, yet who you are, what you earn, and how you research still create serious barriers to information availability.
  • May 2018: Melissa Levine, Lead Copyright Officer at the University of Michigan Library, spoke on “But What about Copyright?” about how copyright touches almost all aspects of the work of libraries, museums, and archives. She also discussed current efforts to address copyright-related concerns at scale.

Stay tuned for a presentation on Wikipedia’s gender gap

Your next opportunity to tune in is coming soon: on November 14, Rosie Stephenson-Goodknight will visit OCLC, and she will bring a fresh perspective to the issue of gender equality. Her topic: “Wikipedia’s gender gap, and what would Hari Seldon do about it?” Registration for in-person and livestream participation is open.

Give yourself a small professional development gift—keep OCLC’s Distinguished Seminar Series on your radar. The wisdom just might be priceless.