Every week until MLA ‘22 in New Orleans, we'll profile the experts leading each of the six Symposium sessions. This week, Marlene M. Bishop (MB), Vida Damijonaitis (VD), Linné Girouard (LG), David Nygren (DN), and Christian Patrick (CP) answer questions about themselves and their session, Riding the Waves Together: A Librarian and Publisher Conversation. To learn about all six Symposium sessions, please explore the Symposium booklet.
What are you most looking forward to in New Orleans?
MB: I'm most looking forward to seeing real people in person and enjoying my hometown of New Orleans. It's truly a unique city, and the hype about our food is no joke.
VD: I’m excited to be back there and able to see and talk to my publishing and librarian friends in person. A couple of beignets won’t hurt!
LG: I love New Orleans, and the food is divine! I can’t wait to visit old haunts and try a few new ones! I’ve never had a bad meal in the city.
DN: Eating and experiencing New Orleans with librarians.
CP: I’m excited to get back to connecting with the library community. Everyone I’ve talked with is going, and I’m eager for those hallway conversations where you reconnect with someone you haven’t seen in a while.
For publishers: What’s an interesting fact about publishing that librarians would be surprised by?
VD: I think few people realize how different a published manuscript is from the original, submitted version. The amount of work that happens on every paper from the time of submission to issue date is still mind-boggling to me after 22 years.
DN: A very high proportion of publishing people considered becoming librarians (or actually did) at some point in their lives. Approximately zero percent considered working on Wall Street.
For librarians: What’s an interesting fact about libraries that publishers would be surprised by?
MB: Our patrons still love the library as a physical place and the library’s physical resources. While online resources are essential and revolutionary, there’s something magical about being in a quiet, safe space. It doesn’t matter how many resources we get online, there’s still a demand for print resources, especially in subjects like anatomy.
LG: Librarians have a great deal of influence on the resources patrons love and use. Education is key, and learning to use and be comfortable with electronic resources makes all the difference.
How did you get started in libraries/publishing?
MB: After college, I was lucky to land a job at the local public library, and I just fell in love with the "back-of-house" action in technical services. My next position was as an acquisitions associate at LSUHSC-NO Library. I was encouraged by the administration to earn my MLIS, and the rest is history.
VD: My first job in high school was working in the local public library as a library page, shelving books. I knew the Dewey Decimal System inside and out. I eventually got promoted to helping staff the magazine room. After this, while I was not actually focused on the publishing industry, the majority of my jobs started leaning in that direction.
LG: I started working in a library in junior high and high school. I kept a library job all through college and grad school and managed a bookstore along the way.
DN: I got started in publishing because I had a vague sense, proven true by my experience, that it’s one of the more humane and beneficial (to society) industries that one might join.
CP: I started working with libraries at Ovid over 20 years ago. Everyone was so welcoming and knowledgeable. It was a great introduction to a great set of people.
For publishers: What’s the most rewarding part of working with librarians?
DN: Getting to spend time with highly intelligent people with very diverse interests from various regions around the world.
CP: I love working with medical librarians because we’re both connected to the patient care process. Everything we do is in service helping people get better.
For librarians: What’s the most rewarding part of working with publishers?
MB: Working with publishers and vendors provides a golden opportunity for librarians to advocate for our patrons and demonstrate that our mission is one of service and stewardship. On the flip side, it is equally important to understand publishers, vendors, and their representatives so that we can be good partners. Putting our philosophies together and finding the path to success is the best!
LG: Building trust and lifelong relationships with our vendors and publishers.
What’s the main thing you hope participants will take away from your contribution to the session?
MB: Keeping your users and their unique needs in focus will help guide your future acquisitions and cancellations. By establishing respectful relationships and setting boundaries with publishers and vendors, we can help each other achieve our goals. Honest relationships encourage cooperation and keep negotiations moving forward and can result in long-lasting friendships.
LG: Having a good relationship with your vendors/publishers goes a long way toward building a strong and robust collection.
DN: That, ultimately, librarians and publishers are working toward the same goal: connecting researchers around the globe and accelerating the development of scientific knowledge.
CP: I’m hoping to help facilitate an honest, thoughtful dialogue, and I hope people will come away reflecting on the interconnectivity of our ecosystem.