Bepress is proud to congratulate the outstanding staff of the Macalester College DeWitt Wallace Library on winning the 2016 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award! ACRL rewarded the library for successfully furthering the educational mission of the college, which focuses on wide dissemination of faculty and student scholarship, through publication opportunities in their repository Digital Commons @ Macalester. Terri Fishel, Library Director, emphasized that their vision of making Macalester scholarship discoverable came to life through the IR’s ability to support the “Library as Publisher.” In fact, in Macalester’s application for the ACRL Award they specifically detailed the depth of the library publishing services available through their repository including Honors Projects, student-led journals, campus publications, image galleries, society publications, oral histories, and a popular multimedia book.
What does the ACRL-commended model of the “Library as Publisher” look like at Macalester? Support for journal publication is central to the library’s services. When the prestigious journal Himalaya started publishing through the IR, the library helped the journal’s editors see the benefits of transitioning from subscription to open access. Himalaya now enjoys global accessibility and a wider readership. Macalester currently supports 14 open access journals covering a wide range of disciplines. Another example is the popular multimedia collection “Captive Audiences/Captive Performers: Music and Theatre as Strategies for Survival on the Thailand-Burma Railway 1942-1945,” Professor Sears Eldredge’s life’s work that includes chapters, interviews, images, and videos. When Terri presented Professor Eldredge’s high download numbers to a small group of faculty, they got excited about publishing their own manuscripts and related research through the IR for greater discoverability.
The library is able to show global dissemination both through the live readership map as well as the telling download numbers and readership stats available through the Author Dashboard—all used in the ACRL application to demonstrate success using the IR initiative. As Terri says, “We are thrilled to see global interest in our students’ scholarship, allowing them, through open access and the repository, to truly contribute to the ongoing scholarly conversation in a wide range of disciplines and interdisciplinary areas of study.”
As Terri put it, their download numbers show “over 1 million served!” They are also celebrating the tenth anniversary of the IR and she is “absolutely thrilled” with the ACRL Excellence Award. Let the celebration continue!