Image from ‘An Introduction to the Study of Metallurgy, etc’, 000144847 via the Mechanical Curator
Image from ‘An Introduction to the Study of Metallurgy, etc’, 000144847 via the Mechanical Curator

Today we’ll have our last taught session of the term. Time flies when you are having fun…

For the past ten weeks we’ve been unveiling pieces of the complex, large jigsaw puzzle of the libraries and publishing landscape. “Libraries and publishing”, “library publishing” and “libraries as publishers” are three distinct inter-connected terms that refer to distinct issues and different levels of granularity. It can be argued that each of them create different scenarios, like neighbour countries in a larger map, often the borders blurring yet still present. We must also remember that the “landscape” we can see is possible by a series of layers we cannot always see (they might be below us… or above), and that the map is not the territory.

Through a series of lectures from different professional voices and points of view, the aim has to been to facilitate an understanding of the ways in which publishing (and this means current understandings of what the term means) and to explore the impact that this will have on libraries, other information providers, and their users.

We have discussed how the technical (this includes “technological”) economic, social and political factors defining the transformations in publishing, and consequently in librarianship. The module has had a strong emphasis on scholarly publishing, but we also covered trade publishing and the industry as a whole. As technologies diversify the forms in which information is recorded and disseminated, the quantity, quality, form and content of the recorded information that libraries acquire, collect, archive, preserve and make available has also changed, and this includes the methods for performing these functions. These discourses, technologies and methodologies have not evolved out of a vacuum, but as integral/integrated pieces of the social, cultural, economic and political landscape.

Today we’ll have a guest lecture by Alastair Horne (@pressfuturist); one of the best-known UK specialists spearheading online innovation and social media engagement  in UK publishing. He will discuss with us his vision of the role that social media currently plays in the publishing landscape. Though we have covered and discussed social media throughout the module, Alastair’s presentation will give us a chance to zoom in and grasp the key issues.

The intention of this last session is also to discuss the key issues we covered throughout the course and to brainstorm all together as a rehearsal in preparation of the coursework submission.

As usual, this #LibPub #citylis post was originally published on my City University London blog.