FSU MLIS Alumnus Josh Bolick Cocreates Open Access Book Scholarly Communication Librarianship and Open Knowledge

Recently, the open access book Scholarly Communication Librarianship and Open Knowledge co-created by Florida State alumnus Josh Bolick was published by the Association of College and Research Libraries. After graduating from FSU with a Master of Library & Information Science (MLIS), Bolick worked as a scholarly communication assistant at FSU Libraries before joining University of Kansas Libraries where he currently works as Head of the David Shulenburger Office of Scholarly Communication & Copyright.

Maria Bonn, Josh Bolick, and Will Cross (left to right)

The idea for the book came to Bolick when he was attending the Open Education Network’s annual summit in 2017. He shared, “In a plenary session, we were discussing the role of librarians in advocating for and supporting open education initiatives, and it struck me that open education could be a vehicle for teaching and learning about scholarly communication and any other LIS topic, just as we advocate for their creation and use in other disciplines. Librarians are front and center in the open education movement, but we’re only just starting to be trained with open content.”

This thought sparked the idea of creating an open book about scholarly communication librarianship centered on open knowledge movements and Bolick soon after connected with his co-lead editors Maria Bonn at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign and Will Cross at North Carolina State University. Bolick explained that they see two primary uses for the book. The first lies in MLIS instruction where the book could be used as course materials. The second is as a resource for professionals in the field to build their knowledge.

“The impact of either of these uses is more of our colleagues, current and future, having literacy in these topics that touch on so many other areas of librarianship,” Bolick shared, “That’s the end goal: supporting the growth of knowledge that’s relevant to how our profession is changing. We’re also excited to see the growth of open educational resources for LIS…That’s something we’re proud to be a part of and hope to see continue to grow.”

This unique project highlighting the intersection of scholarly communication librarianship and open education has expanded greatly since it first began and now has nearly 80 contributors including other iSchool alumni Micah Vandegrift, Camille Thomas, and Laura Miller.