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OpenAthens’ Own Published Author

AvatarBy Michelle Silvestre
Category - Blog

Tuesday 22nd May 2018

Kristina Botyriute, who works at OpenAthens as a lead technical pre-sales consultant has used her extensive expertise to write and publish a book aimed at librarians worldwide.

Entitled Access to Online Resources A Guide for the Modern Librarian the book is designed to offer advice to today’s librarians on issues relating to technology and accessing premium online content.

OpenAthens’ marketing team caught up with Kristina recently to learn more about her motivations to write the book and how she feels to see it published.

What made you write the book?

I work with librarians every day based all over the world and I speak to them about the many issues they face. Over a period of time I realised that for many of them tackling the technology-based elements of the modern librarian’s role is the area that is the most challenging.

Considering how to address this, I decided that a straightforward and accessible resource was called for which explained clearly, in plain English, how digital advances support their work.

We are in the true information age and librarians are in a pivotal position in enabling end users and audiences to gain access to genuine, reliable and useful published material. They are the gatekeepers and the curators and I wanted to offer a resource which could assist them in their role.

What issues do you explore in the book?

It’s an exciting time to be working in an information management role so I thought about the common areas which I regularly discuss and get asked questions about with our own users at OpenAthens. The book looks at topics such as authentication, single sign-on (SSO), OpenID Connect and SAML and clearly explains what they are and why they are relevant.

How did you go about getting it published? 

It was a challenge to decide how to get the finished product to my target audience! I considered self-publishing, but not having published a book before I decided a well-known platform may reach a wider audience than my own efforts. It also helped being in an organization which works with publishers in that I know the process for selection.

To keep it personal, I have included some of my own images and photography to illustrate the text, others were kindly donated by my colleagues at Eduserv as well as the Unsplash community. The decision to publish Open Access was made to remove any barriers to reading the book – this means it’s free to download for anyone, from anywhere in the world!

What has the response been from readers? 

I’ve seen a great response so far. We haven’t done too much promotion of it yet and have over 1,000 downloads from places as far and wide as New Zealand, Chile, The Congo and of course the US and the UK.

I have had some fantastic feedback from librarians saying they think it’s informative and interesting and will help them in their roles. This is brilliant as that’s just what I wanted to achieve.

In your opinion what are the biggest challenges faced by information managers?

Privacy and security are without doubt very hot topics and areas where librarians are looking for support and information on how to manage.

Data handling and protection is also, predictably, very much on everyone’s minds – partly stimulated by the impending GDPR and also the recent news stories about social media and digital firms and how they have handled users’ data.

What’s next? Can we expect a sequel?

I am considering another book so who knows! Watch this space – at the moment I am keen to get the message out about this book.

Access to Online Resources A Guide for the Modern Librarian by Kristina Botyriute is published by Springer Open and is available to download as an ebook.

Advice for modern Librarian

Image credit: Header photo by Drew Coffman on Unsplash

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