OCOPE (the administrative assistants’ union) is coordinating a Non-perishable goods drive for Oberlin Community Services. We have a Holiday of Hope box located near the front door of the Terrell Main library as well as boxes in the Science Center and Conservatory lounge.  Please consider participating by donating canned meats, vegetables, cereals, pasta, rice, toiletries, diapers size 4, 5, 6 and baby wipes. Just put them in the box. OCOPE is collecting for Oberlin Community Services through Monday Dec. 11.  Thanks.

AI and ART

Arcadia Library Lecture: Generative AI & Black Creativity

Wednesday, Nov 29 | Noon–1:00 p.m. | Virtual (Drew University)

Dr. Nettrice R. Gaskins presents this year’s Arcadia Library Lecture, which explores generative artificial intelligence in the arts, how it can be used as part of an artist’s creative practice, and how it can be used to address historical blind spots in digital art based on race and gender. There will be a Q&A at the end of the program.

 Dr. Nettrice R. Gaskins is an African American digital artist, educator, academic, and cultural critic. In her work, she explores “techno-vernacular creativity” and Afrofuturism. Dr. Gaskins teaches, writes, “fabs,” and makes art using algorithms and machine learning. She earned a BFA in Computer Graphics from Pratt Institute in 1992, and an MFA in Art and Technology from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1994. She received a doctorate in Digital Media from Georgia Institute of Technology in 2014. Currently, Dr. Gaskins is a 2021 Ford Global Fellow and the assistant director of the Lesley STEAM Learning Lab at Lesley University.

A link will be sent to registrants prior to the program from The program will be recorded. A link to the recording will be sent to everyone who registers for the program.




Charleston Conference Observations of Note

I found these observations from the Charleston very insightful. Lisa Hinchliffe is an old colleague from UIUC and part of the Scholarly Kitchen group.  Link to full post at bottom.

AI Everywhere – Or, Is It? 

Unsurprisingly, AI was the predominant theme. If something wasn’t “our new AI product,” it was AI-powered, AI-enhanced, AI-enabled, AI-driven, AI-supported, etc., etc., etc.! We are high on the hype cycle curve right now, particularly with respect to taglines, marketing, and positioning. What’s unclear though, is what all this AI actually is. Attempts to engage sales staff about what the AI does, how it operates, and why the particular approach was chosen over others got me answers like “it’s an algorithm” and “I’m not really sure but I can have someone follow up with you later.” Now, I appreciate the honesty. But, I also think this was a failure to take advantage of the opportunity to demonstrate that there is real added value from AI and educate customers about how the different approaches to AI will impact research and library collections and services.

Fully OA Publishers Turn to Pure Publish Agreements 

Though Pure Publish Agreements have been available for a while now, the fully open access (OA) publishers are increasingly pitching institutional agreements to libraries. Framed as mechanisms for decreasing institutional costs (e.g., discounting list APC prices), increasing equity (e.g., all of an institution’s authors are covered not just those who can pay APCs), aligning spending with values (e.g., investing in full open access), and ensuring compliance (e.g., with OSTP and Plan S), the offerings are attempting to capture library spend and even the playing field with subscription publishers who have been able to use transformative agreements to maintain their market share in the transition from paywalled to open access publishing.

Subscribe to Open Transcendency

Subscribe to Open is on the rise. Learned societies and university presses in particular are leaning in to Subscribe to Open with the recently announced support for the model by Project MUSE, which already has 50 titles committed. There seems to be a sense that this is a no-fail model, which at some level it is, in the sense of preserving the paywall-publishing pathway. But, more than one person was surprised when I observed that this was also the year we saw S2O offerings fail to meet the sustainability thresholds. I think we are going to learn a lot about the application and sustainability of the S2O model in the coming two years, particularly as libraries face continued financial pressures of paying for open access publishing through transformative and pure publish agreements in times of declining budgets.

What Role for the Library with Research Integrity?

After attending the SSP conference earlier this year, where the topic of research integrity dominated the program, I was a bit surprised to see very little in the vendor showcase on research integrity. Are libraries not seen as campus players in ensuring research integrity infrastructure or are there just not many offerings in the market yet?

The danger of this sort of essay is that my experience of the Vendor Showcase is, of course, shaped by my own interests and may be idiosyncratic. I’d love to hear what others took away and the trends they are watching. I invite you to share your thoughts in the comments.

Observations from the Charleston Vendor Showcase

Chess for Climate Action

Hi all,

My partner, John Sabin, has organized a fundraiser for Citizens’ Climate Lobby (Chess for Climate Action) that I thought you might want to join as a chess player or donate to. Each of the player-fundraisers will play 10 “blitz” chess games online at a time they choose between now and December 16. A blitz chess game allows 3-5 minutes for each player to make all of their moves. If your time runs out before your opponent, you lose. The rapid pace leads to lots of mistakes! Some of us will be broadcasting our games live on Zoom or Twitch.  You pledge a donation for every one of the ten games your player is able to win. Small donations or a flat sum are fine!

Let’s checkmate climate change!


Bye and Hello to Ashley…

Ashley Maiville will be officially transferring to CIT as an IT support person on December 4, 2023. This is an exciting opportunity for her to advance to a new position directly working with Oberlin users, and sad for us to lose her expertise in handling cataloging serials, checkins, bindery, trouble-shooting broken links and many more. After her 13-year devotion to the Oberlin College & Conservatory Libraries, she will be greatly missed. Fortunately, she will be close at hand in the same building with us on the first floor. Please join me in congratulating her on this new opportunity and wish her all the best.

Ohio5 AI Lunchtime Discussion, Nov. 29

Are you curious about how Ohio Five students are harnessing the power of ChatGPT and generative AI in their academic pursuits? Join us for an engaging virtual lunch and learn session to hear directly from students!

OH5 Virtual Lunchtime Series: What’s Up With ChatGPT?

Session 2: Student Insights on Generative AI and the Future of Learning

Date & Time: November 29, 2023 from 12-1 PM

Register for Session 2 | Five Colleges of Ohio


This session highlights a panel of students who have been deeply engaged in generative AI studies this fall, offering attendees the opportunity to ask questions and gain insights into:

  • How students are creatively using AI in their studies;

  • The integration of AI into academic projects; and

  • The ethical aspects of AI that are capturing the attention of the student community.

Moderated by Oberlin College’s Albert Borroni, Josh Kesterson, and Abe Reshad, this session welcomes all OH5 colleagues. Please share the announcement with interested campus members and register to receive the Zoom link.