Personal update: New job, same library

I’ve been terribly slow in updating here recently (Blogs are dead! Long live Twitter!), but I wanted to announce that I started a new job at the University of Michigan Library in May, and am no longer the Library’s copyright specialist. My new title is Special Assistant to the Dean of Libraries. It’s a fancy title, eh? I’m still figuring it out what it means, but so far it includes a whole range of things: I work directly with Dean Paul Courant on assorted projects, especially research and writing relating to scholarly publishing; I attend administrative meetings; I serve as a liaison between the Library’s administration and the rest of the Library; I manage the annual budget writing process; I write first drafts of all kinds of documents; I attend more meetings. The easiest way I can explain it is that this job is like being an administrator-in-training. I get to observe library administrators in action, I take on responsibility for assorted projects related to administration, and over time I’ll learn how to do what administrators do. I feel very lucky to be doing this job at this library, and it’s been pretty exciting so far.

So what does this mean for this blog? I hope to get back to it and post a bit more regularly. I still plan to focus on copyright and scholarly publishing because those topics remain important and interesting to me, but I may also write about other issues in academic libraries as my new role develops and I start branching out into other areas. Outside of the U-M Library my work in the area of scholarly communications continues: I’m still a member of ALA’s Copyright Advisory Network, and this summer I’m also an instructor for ACRL’s Scholarly Communications 101 Roadshow. Occasionally people who find me through this blog send me questions or invite me to speak about Creative Commons or copyright instruction, and I still welcome those questions and invitations and will do my best to answer them promptly and accept as often as I can.

Thank you to everyone who has been reading this over the last year and a half for your insightful comments and questions. I hope this new era in my professional life provides fodder for more interesting discussions here and elsewhere.

Taking the Attribution-only plunge

It was only a matter of time before I switched the Creative Commons license on this blog from Attribution-Noncommercial to simple Attribution. And now that time has come.

I mulled over most of the reasons for doing so several months ago, but the final push came when my colleague Ivan Chew changed the license on his blog partly as a result of our conversations about Creative Commons. I realized I’d reached a point where I was convincing other people to give everything away, but I wasn’t practicing what I preached.

So here it goes. I’m still sticking with Attribution-Noncommercial for my photographs, but for what I’m trying to do with this blog, maximising potential uses seems like the right thing to do.