Open to Opportunity

If you’re reading this, then you’re doing so without hitting a paywall or login prompt, which is truly exciting for us, as we can now officially declare Library Resources & Technical Services (LRTS) to be open access (OA). While every issue of LRTS can be classified as “long in the making,” this issue is particularly so. The pathway to open has been a long one and has involved a good deal of hard work behind the scenes at ALA/Core, with much of that work ongoing. The decision to make LRTS open pre-dates our tenure as editors and much of the efforts of the past year have been in planning for the sustainability of an OA model. Along the way we’ve encountered a lot of the nuts and bolts of OA, including platform considerations, marketing and outreach, budgeting, and fundraising. Oh, and on top of all that, we have a journal to edit! While the work has been interesting and gratifying, we are also happy to focus on our primary editorial duties knowing that the excellent leadership at ALA/Core is supporting the ongoing efforts to keep LRTS open.

Openness is integral not only to the values of libraries, but to the work of librarians as well. This is increasingly seen in all of the functional areas that are the topical focus of the journal: collections, scholarly communication, preservation, acquisitions, continuing resources, and cataloging. Collections of OA journals and books continue to proliferate, offering opportunities to diversify and enrich library collections. OA models also proliferate, requiring that the implications for scholarly communication are thoughtfully considered. In the area of technical services, open resources pose unique issues for access and discoverability, and in the area of acquisitions, developing models such as subscribe to open are funded through library collection budgets. We feel that LRTS is an ideal venue for discussing issues surrounding openness in technical services, collection development, and scholarly communication. Last issue’s editorial featured a call for article contributions to a special themed issue of LRTS dedicated to open access topics. The plan is to publish that issue at this time next year to commemorate our first year of being fully open. For authors who are looking to publish on OA topics in library operations, or those who want to present their technical services article in an OA venue to reach as wide an audience as possible, we hope you will consider writing for LRTS.

We’d like to also use this space to acknowledge the massive amount of work that has gone into making this publication open. The previous editorial team at LRTS laid the groundwork for this transition, providing us with a solid foundation to build on when we took the reins. Our editor colleagues at Information Technology and Libraries and Library Leadership & Management, both of which have long been OA, have been insightful and valuable collaborators in ongoing discussions of unifying practice across the three Core journals and investigating a shared hosting platform. The leadership at Core has been instrumental in the move to open, and we also want to acknowledge their contributions of an overall vision and continued guidance. Finally, we’d like to individually recognize Brooke Morris-Chott, Core’s former Advocacy EDI Program Officer, who did much of the behind-the-scenes work of coordinating communication among various groups and has been instrumental in this process. Sadly (for us), Brooke recently left ALA/Core to pursue exciting new opportunities, but this publication is very much one of the fruits of her tireless efforts.

Now that LRTS is fully open, we’re excited about continuing to publish high-quality, thought-provoking articles, as we hope you are equally excited to read them. We know that as practitioners in library work, you also value making knowledge open to everyone. We also want you to know you can take an active role in ensuring that this and other Core publications remain open by making a donation to Core’s Open Access Campaign. Any and all contributions are appreciated, and we truly hope you’ll consider giving to help us continue to make our content freely available to everyone, everywhere.

In this issue:

  • Rachel K. Fischer offers a case study describing implementing The Homosaurus: An International LGBTQ+ Linked Data Vocabulary in a public library consortium. Fischer provides an overview of how the consortium made the case for using Homosaurus, gained approval from member libraries, and crafted a cataloging manual. This article makes a strong case for using alternative controlled vocabularies and provides a detailed guide for librarians looking to do so.
  • Christopher Straughn shares the documentation created for an implementation of a system for describing publications of the State of Illinois. The article has implications for technical services documentation more broadly. By creating documentation that is flexible, accessible, and user-oriented, Straughn argues, librarians are poised to take advantage of a variety of unexpected benefits. For example, creating documentation allowed librarians at Northeastern Illinois University to produce a near complete listing of Illinois publications and provided the basis for a structural history of Illinois government.
  • kalan Knudson Davis, Jessica Grzegorski, Elizabeth Hobart, and A. Tims describe the work of the Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials (RDA Edition) (DCRMR) Editorial Group and their community- and sustainability- driven methods for developing an open-source cataloging standard for rare materials. The authors discuss earlier standards, the principles and constraints in which they worked, the methods and technical tools employed, and future directions.
  • Book reviews


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