Securing access to knowledge and research in higher and further education

11.40 – Wednesday 4th July

This panel session, chaired by CILIP’s Academic and Research Libraries Group, will focus on academic partnerships and consortia, recognising the huge professional support for academics and students they provide. The session brings together representatives from a variety of regional consortia onto a panel to share and discuss their experiences. Delegates will be able to put questions to the panel which include: Kate Petherbridge of White Rose; Gaz Johnson from Mercian, and will be chaired by Clare Langham, Information Specialist, Aston University & Chair of Academic & Research Libraries Group (ARLG)

Dr Gaz J Johnson, Development Officer, Mercian Collaboration

Dr Gaz J Johnson has been the Mercian Collaboration’s Development Officer for the past three years. He facilitates their operations, governance and communications, along with providing strategic consultation and sectoral intelligence research. Prior to this he worked in various managerial and project related academic library roles. An HEA Fellow and communications scholar, he maintains research interests in the political economy of publishing and power-relationships within emergent open access scholarly praxis. He also works at the Institute of Advanced Study, University of Warwick, as Senior Editor of Exchanges: The Interdisciplinary Research Journal.

The Mercian Collaboration
A regional network based in the UK Midlands, currently comprising 23 academic libraries. Funded through a subscription model, membership is open to all SCONUL member libraries in good standing within the midlands. The Collaboration provides a space to collectively explore training and development and seek efficiencies on behalf of its institutions and the wider community. Members draw on their own and each other’s good practice and ideas, along with their awareness of relevant developments from outside the Collaboration. Activities are strategically shaped by a Steering Group and Directors Board, with practical delivery on aspirations tasked to various special interest subgroups. The Collaboration’s Development Officer oversees and coordinates overall operations, in an executive managerial capacity.

Kate Petherbridge, White Rose Libraries Executive Manager, White Rose Libraries (Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York)

As White Rose Libraries Executive Manager, Kate Petherbridge works across the University libraries of Leeds, Sheffield and York on areas of collaboration between these three partners. These include the shared online repositories for research and for theses, targeted staff development, and collaborative collection management projects. Her role also includes responsibility for White Rose University Press as Press Manager. Previously, Kate was Reader Services Librarian at the Bodleian Library in Oxford.

White Rose Libraries 

White Rose Libraries (WRL), the libraries of the universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York, have been working in collaboration for well over a decade. Though originally narrow in focus, over time the scope of this collaboration has grown. WRL first came together to collaborate on the creation of a shared institutional research repository in 2004. The original repository, White Rose Research Online (WRRO), has since been joined by White Rose Etheses Online (WREO), and these remain the only consortial university repositories operating in the UK.

Another area of ongoing focus collaborative collection management. Much work has recently been done using the GreenGlass tool to investigate the overlap between the collections of the three institutions. In the end, the overlap did not prove significant, but the ground-breaking work done in in investigating the results was published in a Jisc-funded report and has been of great interest to the wider community. Most recently, the WRL collaboration has come together to create White Rose University Press. As an open access press this puts WRL at the forefront of the changing publishing landscape. Launched in 2016, White Rose University Press has four journals, and has recently published its first monograph- Star Carr- with more due for release this year.

Session Chair: Clare Langman, Information Specialist, Aston University & Chair of Academic & Research Libraries Group (ARLG)

Clare is Information Specialist for Life and Health Sciences at Aston University where she has worked for the last 13 years. She is also the Induction Lead for Library Services and co-ordinates a team of staff to plan and deliver the annual induction programme of events.  She has been involved in ARLG at a regional level for a number of years, holding the position of Chair of West Midlands group from 2006 until 2016.