My appointment as the Chair of the Forum for Classics, Libraries, and Scholarly Communication (FCLSC) began at the 2013 conference. At that time, Camilla MacKay was also elected Secretary. We have worked as a team over the last two years along with many of our FCLSC members. Our charge in 2013 was to update some of the practices of this long-standing SCS (APA) affiliate organization and create a source of visibility for Classics librarians and their issues. We took that to include creation of a digital presence for the FCLSC, streamlining of archival access, fostering of partnerships with colleagues and institutions, and hosting an online space to discuss issues affecting the discipline and the profession.
Our most visible success was the creation of The Classics Librarians Forum website (http://www.classicslibrarians.org/) hosted by the Center for Hellenic Studies. Much of the work in creating the website is credited to our partners and colleagues at CHS, including Lanah Koelle, Allie Marbry, and Temple Wright who helped us populate the website. We are now able to reference our own work and advertise the possibilities for Classics librarians in a larger arena. We also streamlined the access to FCLSC documents and archived the material available to us. This will be an ongoing project to archive the past work of classics librarians as well as provide an archive space for future projects.
The 2014 meeting in Chicago “snowed in” most of us, but also allowed us to formulate a new digital project supported by the FCLSC. Gregory Crane proposed that the FCLSC be a partner in the Open Greek and Latin initiative to create a billion-word Open Access archive of all Greek and Latin words published (http://www.dh.uni-leipzig.de/wo/projects/open-greek-and-latin-project/). A day-long session was held subsequently at the Center for Hellenic Studies to update librarians on the progress of the initiative and to plan collaborative efforts. Several institutions have offered resources to the startup of this collaboration to date and our work with digitization as well as the Hathi Trust files continues.
The 2014 meeting also produced a lively discussion of the need for Open Access alternatives for Classics scholarship as well as more affordable and flexible resources. The discussion continued on the FCLSC listserve and was increasingly dominated by the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae (TLG) issue. Institutions found themselves struggling with contracts and librarians found themselves caught in the middle. This discussion is still the main topic for Classics librarians and remains unresolved. Indeed, the rising costs of classics and archaeology resources and the dwindling budgets dedicated to Classics programs are major issues emerging for the 2015-2017 tenure. We hope that new trends in Linked Open Data and Open Access will spur more successful ventures like AWOL (http://ancientworldonline.blogspot.com/), Pleiades (http://pleiades.stoa.org/), and other information providers featured on our web presence. FCLSC members look forward to being a part of more and more digital endeavors.