The Authority File Round-Up: April 2024

Last month's series provided insights on library upskilling and incorporating emotion into academic writing

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Conversations about the lifecycle of scholarly communication

Is there a place for the personal in scholarship? Our first series made a case for incorporating emotion into one’s academic work, centering on Dale Jacob’s latest title, On Comics and Grief. Throughout the series, Dale walked through the book’s development and detailed how it combines memories of his late mother with an analysis of comics from 1976. Dale explained the benefits of taking a creative and more personal approach to scholarship and the ways grief functioned as an access point in his writing. Dale also highlighted the inclusion of reviewer comments in his title’s epilogue and topics that remain understudied in comics studies.

Turning to librarian upskilling, our second series considered findings from a Technology from Sage and Skilltype white paper on career advancement for academic librarians. Identifying challenges facing librarianship including a global talent shortage and lack of confidence in navigating career changes, our speakers stressed the importance of building community and strengthening leadership development. Our guests also contemplated the impact AI will have (and is currently having) on library work and takeaways from the paper on student success.

Here’s a quick round-up of the episodes, in case you missed them. We hope you find the conversations beneficial, engaging, and informative. Thanks for listening!


April’s Series

The Authority File graphic with On Comics and Grief book cover and Dale Jacobs headshot

First up, comics studies scholar and author Dale Jacobs joined TAF to discuss his latest book, On Comics and Grief. Dale described how the title delves into his grief over his mother’s death while also offering an in-depth look at the comic book landscape during the 1970s. Underscoring the multidisciplinary nature of comic book studies, Dale explained how he drew on book history to examine how comics function both as texts and sites of transaction. Dale also shared the thought process behind his selection of comics from a wide range of publishers and the value of looking at everyday, “throwaway” comics. Dale closes with a reminder of the unique perspectives that including the personal can provide. Brought to you by Wilfrid Laurier University Press.

Listen to episode one: Outlining the “Big, Big Tent” of Comics Studies
Listen to episode two: Discussing the Themes and Formats in the Book On Comics and Grief

Listen to episode three: Connecting Personal Experience with Scholarship
Listen to episode four: The Epilogue, Cats, and the Future of Comics Studies


Authority File podcast Sage series graphic with headshots of guests.

Next, we chatted with Tony Zanders, Founder & CEO of Skilltype, Matthew Weldon, Library Patron Consultant at Technology from Sage, David Erlandson, Head of Cataloguing and Metadata Services at Rice University Fondren Library, and Marcy Simons, Director of Hesburgh Libraries Organizational and Personnel Development at the University of Notre Dame. Focusing on a white paper from Technology and Sage and Skilltype, our speakers divulged how librarians are approaching skill development and new technology. Our guests underlined the value of soft and transferable skills, along with the opportunity AI presents to reevaluate librarians’ workloads. The speakers further pondered if library schools are meeting the pace of change and how findings from the paper correspond with David and Marcy’s experiences at their institutions. Brought to you by Sage.

Listen to episode one: Librarian Skills Landscape Report and Overview
Listen to episode two: Current Challenges and Developments in Librarian Skill-Building

Listen to episode three: On the Ground Realities of Librarian Skill Development
Listen to episode four: How AI Will (and Won’t) Impact Library Work


What’s Coming Up in May

Authority File podcast Cabells series graphic with headshots of guests.

Experts from scholarly analytics service Cabells chat about predatory publishing in our first series. Our guests provide an overview of what predatory journals are, their motives, and who’s at risk. The speakers also share how they develop Cabells’ Predatory Reports and ways academics can avoid these potentially problematic journals and publishers. Listen to the first episode.

Authority File podcast Springer Nature series graphic with headshot of guest Ritu Dhand.

Our second series features Ritu Dhand, Chief Scientific Officer at Springer Nature, on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Ritu outlines Springer’s contributions to the SDGs, underscoring how the publisher supports the initiative both internally and externally. Ritu also discusses the aims of the SDG Publishers Compact and how the publishing industry is approaching the SDGs. Lastly, she covers inclusive science and ways to make research more accessible for those in the Global South. Tune in to the first episode.


Camille Dungy headshot

Hungry for more episodes?

Listen to the latest episode of the Toward Inclusive Excellence Podcast: Camille Dungy on Environmental Justice and the Making of Soil

The TIE Podcast is available on our websiteApple PodcastsYouTube Music, and Soundcloud.


You can find more episodes on our websiteApple PodcastsSpotifyYouTube Music, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Thanks for listening! See you next month.


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