Association of Research Libraries
Research Library Issues 291 — 2017
particular often have multiple and competing priorities that make
it difficult to engage deeply on individual topics. We discuss here a
successful strategy employed for a full calendar year, and present
feedback from team members on the efficacy of this approach.
Origin of the Scholarly Communication Working Group (SCWG)
In an effort to identify, select, and advance new initiatives, the
scholarly communication librarian, Gail Steinhart, suggested the
formation of a Scholarly Communication Working Group (SCWG).
With the support of library leadership, she convened an open
meeting to solicit ideas and input on how such a group might
function and topics it might address, and issued a library-wide call
for volunteers to serve on a steering committee. All library staff,
library liaisons, and others were welcome to volunteer for the
steering committee. We strove to balance representation on the
steering committee across libraries and functional areas and asked
that volunteers commit to participating in one or more SCWG
projects. The group launched in 2016 with the following charge:
The Scholarly Communication Working Group (SCWG) leads and/
or participates in selected initiatives that support the creation,
dissemination, evaluation, and preservation of Cornell scholarship.
Focusing its work on points of friction at the intersection of
technology and scholarly practice, the SCWG raises awareness of
issues, tools, methods, and services for scholarly communication,
facilitating communication and coordination among stakeholders in
order to maximize the library’s investments in this area.
The group’s intention was to be nimble, and to accomplish its work by
selecting from one to three projects for a calendar year and recruiting
additional volunteers beyond the steering committee to work on
those projects. Once projects were launched, the
steering committee met infrequently, as the bulk of the
work was accomplished by the project teams.