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Library Publishing Forum

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At Utah State University Libraries, the Digital Initiatives Unit employs up to 15, primarily undergraduate, students who contribute approximately 190 hours of labor on a weekly basis. Students work on a variety of projects related to digital exhibits, digital history collections, open educational resources (OER), and the institutional repository. Their responsibilities range from scanning and metadata creation to OER research and copyediting to occasional outreach and engagement at events. This presentation explores the benefits and challenges of student labor in library publishing efforts. Topics covered include: the quality and quantity of work that is given to students; evaluating students’ work and providing opportunities for professional development; efforts to tie students’ work in the library to their studies; and balancing everything with the demands of other stakeholders and partners. The speakers discuss how they navigate the conflict that sometimes exists between the desire to provide students with opportunities for meaningful engagement with their work and partners’ demands for quick turn-around on projects. Performance evaluations, regular training, and public recognition of student labor will also be discussed. The presentation offers concrete examples of processes and tools that were tried and tested.



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