May 16, 2022

An Interview with CRL’s Ann Okerson

A librarian who is well known to many infoDOCKET readers, Ann Okerson, currently at the Center For Research Libraries was recently interviewed about  a number of topics (academic libraries, the ‘big deal’, SCOAP3,  and more) by Emily Gillingham, Director of Library Relations at Wiley.

The interview, 9 questions and answers, is now posted on Wiley’s “Exchanges” blog.

Here’s one question and answer set.

Emily Gillingham: What would you say are the greatest academic challenges librarians are facing today?

Ann Okerson: There are so many; overall one could say that a great challenge is in keeping libraries front and center and relevant in new ways, during an age of rapid creativity and change.  All of our libraries are asking how they will do this, particularly in a time of various societal and legislative pressures on higher education, which is where we operate.  How best can librarians become visible and productive partners in university research?  In the development of our students?  With so many options and uncertainties around us, how can we become “part of the solution?” How can we influence national and global information policy and law in favor of our users?  How do we know what success will look like?

In the subset of collections, which has been my area of focus:  How shall we manage e-collections in the face of superabundance and the drive to open access? Manage print collections to shared repositories, last copy, and careful preservation; what about perpetual access and digital preservation?  How to do all that needs to be done, in a budgetary and values environment facing unprecedented challenges?   Many of the solutions are local but increasingly more are collaborative — and we librarians are not yet good enough at efficient scaled-up collaborations.  There has been some success, but we have a long way to go to think in better ways about that aggregated aspect of our futures.

Read the Complete Interview


About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.