Winthrop University’s First Annual Digital Commons Southeastern User Group (DCSEUG) Was a Great Success!

Winthrop University hosted the first Digital Commons and Southeastern User Group earlier this year and according to all involved it was a smashing success! Winthrop’s site calls the day-long event an opportunity “to share ideas, best practices, successes, workflows and much more on any type of institutional repository platform.” You can see the detailed program here which may provide further ideas on having a DC User Group in your region.

Mark Y. Herring, Dean of Libraries at Winthrop, detailed their day’s success in a blog post and in Against the Grain:

“While a small group (35-40), we made up for that in enthusiasm and innovation. I have written before about IRs/digital commons phenomena and the whole open access calculus. This was the time actually to do something, and it turned out to be nothing short of spectacular. I can say that because I had very little to do with the conference, other than to welcome our guests. We had two from bepress in California, and users from Florida, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Mississippi, and, of course, from South Carolina. We planned for the group to be about 20, so exceeded our expectations for a first venture.”

“Several things struck me about this process but one thing stands out as you look over our day-long conference—a lot of folks are doing some very wonderful things. Whether you have a digital commons or not, now is the time to get on the bandwagon. It’s a great way to create your university’s digital footprint by capturing its intellectual capital.  But it is also more than that. It’s a way to showcase your library, your faculty, your institution, and your students. In short, it’s a win-win almost no matter how you look at it.”

At bepress we love supporting these meetings, and at this one Eli Windchy, VP of Consulting Services, and Morgan Ziontz, Senior Outreach Associate at bepress, both spoke. They discussed the question “Where are repositories headed?” by looking at some predictors of repository success and several new approaches and features that can help catapult the library into the future.

In Mark’s experience, he found that “creativity abounds in Digital Commons….With minimal support, libraries can create an entirely new information access point that not only rivals what is already there, but may even surpass much that is in place, or has outlived its usefulness.”

Contact us at for more ideas in support of your own user group meeting—the benefits can be tremendous!