From "Mystery of the Million-Dollar Briefcase", author and source unknown, United States, 1960s. Panels 5-6. Via Nick Page (16 February 2011).
From “Mystery of the Million-Dollar Briefcase”, author and source unknown, United States, 1960s. Panels 5-6. Via Nick Page (16 February 2011). Click on image to go to source.

This term I will be leading the Libraries and Publishing in an Information Society (LAPIS) module at City University London.  The first session is tomorrow.

The purpose of this module is to facilitate an understanding of the ways in which the publication of recorded information is changing, and the impact that this will have on libraries and other information providers, and their users.

The module framework relates these issues to forces for change which are technical, economic, social and political.

Some of the topics we will discuss will be the “Information Society”, the “Knowledge Economy” and the “Sharing Economy”, we will attempt a a brief history of publishing, trade publishing and scholarly publishing, and will see how academic libraries and national libraries are facing challenges that are very much specific to the 21st century. We will look at scholarly journal and monograph publishing, trade publishing, comic books, reference books, social media, blogging and journalism, forms of measuring online attention, open linked data, disruptive publishing, repositories, open access, etc. 

This module considers that publishing, as an element of “the information communication chain” (Robinson 2009) can refer to the synthesis of two previously separated processes, creation and dissemination. LAPIS considers how changes in publication and dissemination of information (documents) impact on organizations and services – thus this module focuses on the corresponding parts of the chain; “publication/dissemination” and “organization”.

We will have a series of guest talks by professionals in the field, including Jean Liu (Altmetric); Casey Brienza (City University London); Katharine Schopflin (the MDU); James Baker (British Library); Geoff Browell (King’s College London); Suzanne Kavanagh (ALPSP); Neil Stewart (City University London); Nick Canty (University College london); Brian Hole (Ubiquity Press) and Alastair Horne (Pressfuturist).

The module will invite students to consider how users and their behaviour are changing, which clearly can be related to “usage” but also “creation”, the user as created. Do we need publishers in an age being defined by social media? Can the library be a publisher? What is publishing in the age of user generated content, and do publishers need libraries when every publisher and every user could potentially develop their own library systems?

I will be using #LibPub (for Libraries and Publishing, not Libraries and Public Houses!) on Twitter to share some resources related to the topics covered within the module, and I will aim to make regular updates here as a way of extending our activities beyond the four walls of the lecture theatre and the student Intranet. Hope you find it interesting.