Notes from the Road: Pitts Theology Library at Candler School of Theology, Emory University

Submitted by Christine Fruin, ATLA Scholarly Communication and Open Access Publishing Manager

While attending the Academy of Preachers Annual Festival in Atlanta, Georgia, I took a side trip to Pitts Theology Library to tour their beautiful space and chat with library staff to chat about copyright, open access, and ATLA’s scholarly communication program. Entry into the Candler School of Theology is on its own inspiring. The space is bright and inviting with granite and glass. The library space is equally beautiful and a peaceful place for scholarly study and collaboration.

As ATLA’s new Scholarly Communication and Open Access Publishing Manager, I prepared a presentation to brief staff on the current state of fair use jurisprudence, with emphasis on the status of ongoing litigation filed against Georgia State University by three publishers. I also gave an update on current issues in open access publishing, including the growth of pre-print servers and issues raised by the Sci-Hub and other questionable article sharing resources. The presentation ended with information on ATLA’s current scholarly communication initiatives such as our open access publishing program. Librarians and library staff had great follow-up questions on copyright issues related to digitization and library exhibits. We had a lengthy but engaging conversation on these issues, and I look forward to continuing this conversation with other ATLA members.

After the presentation, Library Director Bo Adams treated me to a tour of the library building. The library provides many spaces for student study and collaboration with carrels and group study rooms in addition to traditional workspaces. The gem of the Pitts Theology Library is the gorgeous museum-quality exhibit space. The space highlights items from Pitts’ large collection of rare books within its nationally leading special collections and archives. Currently featured in the space is an exhibit on the legacy of John Wesley. A special touch – traditional Methodist hymns quietly piped into the exhibit space, making this a multimedia experience.

For my first member library visit, I appreciate the hospitality and the enlightening discussion offered by the Pitts Library staff. It was a great introduction to ATLA’s wonderful membership and I look forward to meeting more members and continuing to develop ATLA’s scholarly communication program.

Christine Fruin is the ATLA Scholarly Communication/Open Access Publishing Manager. As an attorney and a librarian, she has worked for over a decade promoting access to and use of diverse collections through utilization of fair use, open access, and responsible licensing.

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