31 Association of Research Libraries Research Library Issues 292 2017 tracking down possible rights holders. As someone responsible for the day-to-day supervision of these workers I did insufficient work to hold them accountable to the process and to the documentation. Furthermore, and this is a lesson I have learned well and deeply, I was too invested in my personal relationships with the people with and for whom I was working. My desire for a collegial and supportive working environment, both with those who were accountable to me and to whom I was accountable, overlapped my judgement and critical insight about how the project was starting to come apart. Fundamentally I believe that the broader failure of the OWP was a failure of communication. The work of the OWP was undertaken by library staff ranging from casual graduate students, who did the actual on-the-ground research, to the dean of libraries, who represented the OWP on the national and international stage, in addition to several layers of management and accountability between them. When the normal and necessary adjustments to the workflow and administration of a complicated process occurred, there weren’t formal and clear mechanisms to communicate those changes. All staff involved in the project were hard working, diligent, and well intentioned, but as pieces, processes, and priorities shifted, cracks began to open in the process, which became increasingly attenuated from the original planning. When the decision was made to go ahead with the process and make public the first batch of orphan works candidates, this drift became apparent. Conversations that needed to happen did not happen. Processes that needed to be evaluated at various points in the accountability chain were not evaluated. Brakes were not put on elements of the project that had become increasingly out of control. And when the lawsuit was filed and the initial shock hit the project, there weren’t sufficient communication channels between the staff on the ground and the broader leadership who were responsible for the decision to halt the project. The failure of communication was not limited to internal staff and stakeholders. In retrospect it seems obvious that we should have
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