Sharing the Kool-Aid: A Blend of Library and Grad School Philosophies
Due to the decentralization of the University of Texas at Arlington Graduate School in April of 2013 and the reorganizations of the university libraries in July of 2013, UT Arlington Libraries acquired the ETD Coordinator from the graduate school. This opportunity allowed us to examine each other’s processes, policies, and points of view. What we found were vastly different practices and philosophies. Ultimately, we needed to explore ways to blend all viewpoints in this unique situation. Among many differences, there was a need to unify our values in regards to open access and intellectual property rights. Additionally, we had to evaluate different embargo policies, how we approach educating students about open access, and how we are considering non-traditional ETD materials as part of our role housed within the Digital Creation unit: a unit that provides digitization, conversion, and born digital materials for the UTA campus. Finally, we have recently begun to contemplate the benefits of allowing individual colleges to set their own standards, and letting go of our need to control mechanical checks of the PDF. This presentation addresses our evolution over the past 9 months and the how we are refining our ETD processes with an eye towards digital publishing. We now find ourselves in a state of perpetual development, exploring opportunities from implementations of new software to how we educate our faculty, staff, and students about intellectual property rights.