Panel Moderator: Irene Kamotsky, bepress


Janelle Wertzberger, Gettysburg College
Sarah Beaubien, Grand Valley State University
Elizabeth (Eli) Windchy, bepress Digital Commons

Document Type

Conference Material

Publication Date


Department 1



Panel title: Staffing a Library Publishing Program: The Whos, Hows, and Whens

Panel abstract: This session aims to address one of the most frequently raised concerns about library-led publishing: how to plan for staffing this new endeavor? The panel will discuss two inflection points in staff planning for library publishing: what it takes to get started (for a library that is just beginning to think about publishing), and what it takes to grow (for a library that has a few years of experience and wants to do more). It will also shed light on one of the least understood, and perhaps most surprising, elements in staffing a library publishing program: the needs (and demands) of editors and authors, and how to plan ahead for the unexpected.

Speaker abstracts: Janelle Wertzberger, Gettysburg College Gettysburg College is a small liberal arts college, and the publishing program in the Gettysburg library developed to support student-edited journals. Janelle Wertzberger will describe what it took to get started, and how to make best use of existing staff resources to create something from nothing: she began Gettysburg’s library digital initiatives while still doing her full-time job as Director of Reference and Instruction. After some experimentation and creative budgeting, Gettysburg was able to add a second staff person who now works directly with the journals and student editors. The Gettysburg library today publishes four student-edited journals with different peer review workflows, and some still produced in print. Janelle will share with the audience details about their initial staffing plan, how they were able to add a second person, what they’ve discovered to be the most time-consuming tasks working with journals and editors, their plans for growth, and what staff resources it will take to get there.

Sarah Beaubien, Grand Valley State University Grand Valley State’s library publishing program has grown to be one of the largest in the country, all within the space of a few short years. Sarah Beaubien, Head of Collections and Scholarly Communications at GVSU, has seen this growth first hand, and will describe the staffing resources involved in growing to a roster of 20 journals and an active OA textbook publishing program. From their initial staffing plan, to the changes in roles over the years, and the new skills required along the way, the staffing picture at GVSU can help other libraries plan their way towards an expanded and professionalized program. Sarah will share with the audience details about how their staffing picture changed over time, how they found ways to distribute the publishing support and find efficiencies, what skills to plan for, and how to plan for the unexpected challenges that come from supporting faculty editors and authors with varying expectations and experience.

Elizabeth (Eli) Windchy, bepress Digital Commons As head of the Consulting Services team at bepress since the bepress’s early days as a professional journal publisher, Eli and her team have worked with editors of hundreds of journals using the Digital Commons platform, and with the libraries that support them. For libraries, the needs and demands of editors can seem significant and unexpected, not to mention unpredictable. Eli will offer a birds-eye view on the most demanding and time-consuming journal editor requests, spanning significant journal milestones such as: journal launches, special issues, a transition away from print, a transition away from subscriptions, changes in leadership, guest editors, and simply just forgetting how everything is supposed to work. Seen over many years and many journals, the good news is that editors’ needs can, in fact, be predicted, and the library can plan for them. Eli will share some of the best ways that libraries (and her team) manage editor requests and expectations, to keep their library publishing programs agile and responsive, and able to scale.


Presented at the 2015 Library Publishing Forum, Portland, OR, March 29-30, 2015.