Ten Years of Books at JSTOR: An Interview with ITHAKA’s John Lenahan

Recorded on 03/30/2022
Posted in The Authority File

Episode 244

It’s no surprise that ebook usage has surged since the pandemic. While adapting to remote learning, many diehard print fans began to favor the accessibility and flexibility of e-content. However, this shift to digital resources in academia started far earlier than 2020. How have publishers encouraged this digital trend in the past decade? How does the move to e-resources coincide with the open access movement? What about monographs—a piece of the scholarly puzzle infamously slow to digitize and become open?

This month, ITHAKA celebrated the 10th anniversary of offering ebooks on JSTOR, a move that no doubt exposed researchers to the benefits of e-content. Since 2012, ITHAKA has worked to open its materials, developed a tiered model for smaller stakeholders to participate, and collaborated with librarians to enhance user experience. In this special episode, John Lenahan, ITHAKA Associate Vice President of Published Content, reflects on the launch and progress of the Books at JSTOR program. Through collaboration with library and publisher partners, Books at JSTOR worked to accommodate researcher needs by introducing DRM-free access for ebooks, creating chapter-level metadata, and increasing the discoverability of individual chapters. In addition to these topics, John also looks ahead, discussing the future of the program and how to maintain the sustainability of existing access models.

About the guest:

John Lenahan headshot

John Lenahan
Associate Vice President of Published Content

As associate vice president of published content, John collaborates with publishers and libraries to develop products and programs that support their organizational needs and missions. He works with the more than 2,000 publishers partnered with ITHAKA to make their content available on the JSTOR platform. He also works closely with libraries to develop growth strategies for the journals and books programs to ensure we meet their research, teaching, and preservation needs.

Prior to this role, John led our global Outreach team working with libraries and consortia in 170 countries. He also played a pivotal role in launching and growing both library and publisher participation in the Books at JSTOR program. John has over 20 years of experience in the library community. He worked with SoftLine Information to bring ethnic newspapers online and spent ten years at ProQuest in a variety of roles collaborating with publishers and the library communities.

John was an instructor at Moorpark College for over 12 years and established the first online course at the college, introducing electronic resources into the classroom to expand student learning. He holds a master’s degree in academic research from Humboldt State University and a master of business administration from the Merrick School of Business at the University of Baltimore.

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