The week ahead – September 12, 2022

Okay, I was unexpectedly out for a couple of weeks and I got a little behind. Whew. Back now.

What I am reading

All of the things I was reading before are still on the list. But actively, I am doing some re-reading:

Mutual Aid. I was re-reading the part of chapter 5 that is about making decisions together, but then a colleague told me they were re-reading the burnout section of this same chapter and now I am reading this too.

What I am thinking about

History. I needed to look in the Library Records collection in the archives for something and that trip back to the past has me thinking of all kinds of things about where we are now.

The OSTP memo. What it says, what it means, and what it means for OSU and OSULP. I am going to be talking to the Research Office about this in a couple of weeks and hopefully to the deans soon thereafter.

Elsevier negotiations. More on this to come.

What I am preparing for/ meetings of note

Initial budget allocations. We get an initial allocation from the university every year, of course, but then we need to figure out how to divide it between our indexes. That’s due this week.

Library faculty brown bag. The researcher services coordinator and I are going to be talking about a brown bag/ discussion for the library faculty on this issue. The interim associate dean, who is also the head of collections and resource sharing, is also going to be facilitating a conversation about transformative agreements and journal negotiations. I suspect all of these conversations are going to need to converge.

Development/ External relations work. This fits into the “stuff that has to be done that is really easy to push aside bucket” but my colleague Megan and I have solved that by taking on some big projects with possibly unrealistic deadlines.

The week ahead – August 15, 2022

What I’m reading

So, last week wasn’t much of a reading week. I got about another 10% of the way through Misconceiving Merit, but that is about it.

What I am thinking about

The Qualitative Research mess. I don’t even know how to describe it. If you want to know my thoughts, see this thread and this one too — I don’t really have anything to add.

What I am preparing for

Elsevier negotiations. We spent much of last year building consensus with our faculty and administration around a set of negotiating principles. This negotiation with Elsevier (which we do in partnership with colleagues at UO and Portland State) is the first one since those principles were endorsed by the faculty senate. We have made a number of requests based on these principles during this negotiation, but this meeting on Wednesday should be complicated. We have asked that it focus entirely on this one:

OSULP will pay a fair and sustainable price to publishers for value-added services, based on transparent and cost-based pricing models.

Vet Med planning. As I said last week, the library at the College of Vet Med is administratively and financially separate from OSULP. In the last two years, this library has been entirely de-staffed and that’s obviously creating some issues for us in the central library. I am really not sure what the path forward is to resolve those issues, but this meeting will hopefully be the first step towards finding that path.

Cascades library MOA. We had a similar situation with the library at the OSU-Cascades campus in Bend, but we have figured out our path. Because of some tangled up financial structures (yay Oregon!) we still have some logistics to hammer out. They’ve been hammered out between the campuses, but on Thursday I am meeting with our financial unit partners to make sure that everything is workable.

Meetings of note

Hamersly Library dean. I’m heading up to Monmouth later today to meet with the Dean of the Library at Western Oregon University. She stepped into her role just before the pandemic and we haven’t had a chance to sit down yet and talk.

Open and Sustainable Scholarly Communication. This is the group that worked on getting our negotiating principles articulated and adopted by our campus. It was never intended to be a forever group (and the faculty advisory group that was a part of that effort has already disbanded) but the need to continue advocacy in this area is still very pressing. So we’re going to meet to figure out how to keep these conversations and that advocacy moving forward.

The week ahead — August 8, 2022

What I’m reading

Misconceiving Merit (Blair-Loy & Cech) –> still 20% done. I left it at home and didn’t read it there.

The Promise of Access (Greene) –> 10% done

The End of Ownership (Perzanowski and Schultz) –> this is a reread, focused on refreshing the legal principles in the first few chapters. Highly recommend this book, btw.

I need to start something new to replace Beyond Accommodation, but I am not sure what yet. I usually move on to a similarly focused book, but I am feeling a desire to read some history. I know I could do both, but we’re edging up on not-really-reading-anything-well territory with five work-related books going at the same time.

What I’m thinking about

What I am preparing for

Strategic planning. Our strategic plan ends in 2023, so we really should be on developing a new one. Talking to the library about it, I am getting a lot of understandable exhaustion. From this I know that we are not interested in a full-on, consultant led process (the last one took 18 months). But at the same time, I get enough questions about the plan – current and future — that I know I have to figure something out. I think I have the outlines of a strategy in mind, but I am going to need to have some conversations. How to get that done is the problem I am working now.

Associate Dean hire. We have had an interim Associate Dean for over a year — and that’s too long. Getting this PD done and the search ready to launch is a priority.

Meetings of note

Records Manager search committee. Of note, this is the first new position my library has been funded for since like 2008, and only the second in my 18 years here. Needless to say, we are pretty excited. I worked hard on the proposal for this position and I did it collaboratively with colleagues from the general counsel’s office, the compliance office, the research office, and university relations and marketing. I’m super excited that some of those people also agreed to join the search committee. I’m not the hiring manager for this search, so I don’t technically have to be there, but I’m going to anyway.

LOTS of 1:1s. When I was trying to figure out how to reorganize the library administration department post-COVID and post-me-as-Dean I talked to lots of people and one thing I found out was that our culture here where supervisors and direct reports meet 1:1 weekly or (more commonly) biweekly is both 1) not as common as I thought and 2) very appreciated.

Admin briefing. This is a 1/2 hour to 1 hour meeting once a month that could definitely be an email. BUT, one thing I have learned in my time in big organizations is that you can’t ever find the perfect communication channel. You have to communicate things multiple ways using multiple platforms (and sometimes also multiple times). So this is a briefing on stuff different people in Admin are working on, hearing about, needing help with, etc.

College of Vet Med library prep. This is a really hard problem that all of us who are currently working on it — from university admin, the library and the college — inherited. TL;DR — this is a library that’s independently staffed, managed and funded and which is struggling. All of us from that list above are meeting next week to talk about the future, so this week I’m meeting with the librarian who has been the liaison for this situation to get our thoughts in order.

Donor/stewardship strategy. When we reorganized admin, part of the goal was for me, my executive assistant and the building and space manager to have more capacity with external and donor relations. This is one of several meetings figuring out what that looks like and how it fits with the other work already happening in admin.

The week ahead – August 1, 2022

What I’m reading:

Beyond Accommodation (Schoenberg & Highby) –> 75% done

Misconceiving Merit (Blair-Loy & Cech) –> 20% done

The Promise of Access (Greene) –> barely started

What I’m thinking about

this thread —

and this one –

and this too –

Meetings of note:

(Beyond normal 1:1s with colleagues)

Elsevier negotiation prep. Oregon’s 3 major research universities (OSU, UO and PSU) negotiate with Elsevier as a group. The group is meeting Monday to finalize a proposal about one of our major sticking points – cost transparency. Then we are either meeting with Elsevier reps on Wednesday or a week from Wednesday, depending upon how much time they need with our proposal.

Meeting with the classified staff association. We have a long-standing endowed fund set up by a library donor to support professional development and research activities for library faculty. Several years ago Faye Chadwell, University Libarian, set up a similar fund for the Classified Staff Association to manage. We’re going to meet to discuss the logistics of the fund and some new ideas for managing it.

Library management team standing meeting. We meed biweekly for two hours. In the interim weeks we have a 1 hour meeting scheduled that we sometimes use for regular business, sometimes for professional development, and sometimes we cancel. This week is a two hour meeting. On the agenda: faculty performance reviews, a couple of policy reviews, a reorganization proposal from a library unit and I am giving a short update on some reorganization I’m doing with our library advisory council.

Meeting with faculty reps to discuss and document hiring with tenure processes. This one is pretty self-explanatory.