The Charleston Acquisitions Conference and the publication “Against the Grain” / Leslie Abrams

As a former colleague of founder Katina Strauch, I have closely watched the evolution of the Charleston Acquisitions Conference for the past 36 years as it has become the premiere venue to learn and connect with library professionals about all things related to acquisitions, collection development, and collection management. Held annually since 1980, the conference was conceptualized to allow a free and open exchange of information and ideas by fostering a healthy dialog between publishers, vendors, and librarians. As the rapid cascade of technological changes impacted libraries and our commercial partners, the conference embraced the challenge to provide an active forum for the discussion of emerging and transformational issues.  The conference invites provocative keynote speakers and features timely topical sessions with opportunities available for participants to present new ideas, findings, and analysis on an ever increasing array of issues. As our collection worlds have become increasing complex, new approaches and strategies to acquire, provide access to, and manage both traditional analog information resources and expanding digital and data content have emerged. Licensing, copyright, open access, budgeting, shared repositories, DDA/PDA, e-books and e-resources, streaming media, and digital preservation are but a few areas covered at the Charleston Acquisitions Conference over the years.

Hot off the press, this year the following plenary sessions will be available open access as a live video feed during the 2016 conference:

Thursday, November 3    8:30 – 9:15 am EST

Welcome and Opening Remarks

You Can’t Preserve What You Don’t Have – Or Can You? Libraries as Infrastructure for Perpetual Access to Intellectual Output. (Anja Smit, University Librarian, Utrecht University)

9:15 – 10:00 am

Libraries as Convener, Enabler, Distributor, Advocate, and Archive in the Future Knowledge Economy (Jim Neal, University Librarian Emeritus, Columbia University)

10:00 – 10:10 am

Cynthia Graham Hurd Memorial Scholarship Award Presentation

Friday, November 4    8:30 – 9:10 am EST

Announcements and Opening Remarks

Reimagining Our World At Planetary Scale: The Big Data Future Of Our Libraries (Kalev Leetaru, Senior Fellow, Center for Cyber & Homeland Security, Georgetown University)

9:10 – 9:55 am

Hyde Park Debate – Resolved: APC-Funded Open Access is Antithetical to the Values of Librarianship (Rick Anderson, Associate Dean for Collections & Scholarly Communication, University of Utah; Michael Levine-Clark, Dean and Director, University of Denver Libraries; Alison Scott, Associate University Librarian for Collections & Scholarly Communication, University of California, Riverside)

10:20 – 11:20 am

Charleston Fast Pitch Competition – See four finalists compete for two $2,500 prizes to further support the development and implementation of compelling library innovations.

Watch the broadcast on the Conference Website at


Against the Grain is a publication edited by Katina Strauch that provides the latest news about libraries, publishers, and vendors. The goal is to link these parties by reporting on the issues, literature, and people that impact the world of collections, information, publishing, and libraries. Each issue has a main Feature, a series of articles on a specific topic. The September 2016 topic is “Emerging from the Dark (room): Tales of Adversity and Triumph in Collection Development”. A Special Report on “Industry Consolidation in the Information Services and Library Environment: Perspectives from Thought Leaders” is also included. Each issue includes product reviews, interviews, and regular columns on publishing, bookselling and vending. Against the Grain is published six times a year, and the complementary ATG NewsChannel website, is updated daily with news and announcements. You can follow the ATG NewsChannel on Twitter (@ATG_NewsChannel), like ATG on Facebook, or sign up for RRS feeds.

The Charleston Acquisition Conference and associated publications may be of significant value to art, architecture, design, and media librarians with collection responsibilities. Check it out.

One thought on “The Charleston Acquisitions Conference and the publication “Against the Grain” / Leslie Abrams

  1. Hi all,
    I attend Charleston annually and second Leslie’s enthusiasm for this conference. If there are other art librarians / ARLIS members attending on a regular basis, I’d love to arrange a meet-up. Email me if interested:
    Emily Luken
    Bibliographer for Art, Classics, Philosophy & Religion
    Collection Development Department
    University of Georgia Main Library
    Athens, GA 30602 | (706) 542-0688

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