Post-election Statement to AU Students from AU Librarians

This was sent out over email before Thanksgiving, but we wanted to make sure it would reach everyone.

Dear Students,

In the wake of a campaign season that has exposed deep divisions in our country, the Alfred University Librarians reaffirm our role in serving and supporting every member of our community.

We strongly endorse the following statement issued by the American Libraries Association:

“During times like these, our nation’s 120,000 public, academic, school, and special libraries are invaluable allies inspiring understanding and community healing. Libraries provide a safe place for individuals of all ages and backgrounds and for difficult discussions on social issues. Our nation’s libraries serve all community members, including people of color, immigrants, people with disabilities, and the most vulnerable in our communities, offering services and educational resources that transform communities, open minds, and promote inclusion and diversity.

As an association representing these libraries, librarians, and library workers, the American Library Association believes that the struggle against racism, prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination is central to our mission. As we have throughout our 140-year-long history, we will continue to support efforts to abolish intolerance and cultural invisibility, stand up for all the members of the communities we serve, and promote understanding and inclusion through our work.”

[Full statement: https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/blogs/the-scoop/statement-libraries-association-diversity-inclusion/]

It is the goal of the libraries to support all of our patrons including those who may feel vulnerable at this time. We invite you to contact either of the libraries’ directors to let us know how we might best meet your needs.

Mark Smith, Scholes Library, msmith@alfred.edu, 607-871-2494
Steve Crandall, Herrick Library, fcrandall@alfred.edu, 607-871-2987

— The Alfred University Librarians

AU Libraries mark Open Access week

During the week of October 24-28, the Alfred University Libraries celebrated Open Access Week with a series of SUNY-sponsored webinars. The webinars highlighted the potential of this movement to benefit libraries and researchers.

What is Open Access?
Open Access is the free, immediate, online availability of research articles, combined with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment. This contrasts with the dominant scholarly communication system that puts research behind publisher “pay walls” and asks authors to relinquish rights to their own writing.

Why does Open Access matter?
The current system of scholarly publishing puts large financial burdens on libraries and severely restricts access to scholarly research. Faculty contribute research articles to scholarly journals for free, signing away their copyright in the process, and libraries must then buy back this content through annual subscription fees that have grown by as much as 400% in recent years.

As illustrated in the chart below, some major scientific publishers are realizing profits that exceed the returns of successful companies like Google and Apple:

publisher-profits

What can you do to support the Open Access movement?
Authors can take steps to preserve their rights. To learn more, watch this very informative webinar on “Understanding and Protecting Your Rights” by Jill Cirasella of the City University of New York.

How do the AU Libraries plan to improve access to faculty and student research?
You may have heard of AURA, Alfred University’s institutional repository. AURA is designed to provide access and to ensure the long-term preservation of documents produced at Alfred University, including faculty and student research.

The Open Access movement is an important piece of the puzzle, because many publishers place restrictions on what faculty can do with their own work, making it more difficult for libraries to archive copies locally.

The more faculty and students learn about their own rights, and take concrete steps to retain those rights, the easier it will be for libraries like ours to ensure long-term access to the intellectual output of our campus.

-Ellen Bahr, Information Systems Librarian, Herrick Library