Meet Adrian Ho, new Scholarly Communications Librarian

Adrian Ho joined the University of Chicago on April 18 as Scholarly Communications Librarian in the Center for Digital Scholarship. Adrian comes from the University of Kentucky where he was Coordinator of Digital Scholarship. He has a Master of Library and Information Studies from McGill University and a Master of Arts in Communication Studies from the University of Calgary. As the new Scholarly Communications Librarian, Adrian will lead the development of services and policies that support open access, preservation, and broad dissemination of University research.

Cecilia Smith, the Director of Digital Scholarship, interviewed Adrian about his role here at the University of Chicago and his past experience in libraries.

What were you doing before taking this position at the University of Chicago?

Headshot of Adrian Ho
Adrian Ho, the University of Chicago Library’s new Scholarly Communications Librarian.

A large part of my previous job was tied to the management of the University of Kentucky’s institutional repository. Specifically, I explored opportunities to collaborate with campus constituents to make a variety of scholarly outputs freely available through the repository. I also contributed to the planning, management, and policy development of repository-based projects. Additionally, I held workshops and consultation sessions about how researchers can enhance knowledge sharing by adopting certain scholarly communication practices. The topics I covered included open access, author rights, open licensing, persistent identifiers, open educational resources, and research data management and sharing.

How will you support students, faculty, and instructors in your role here?

I will work with library colleagues to develop effective ways to reach and provide services to this vibrant community. For example, I am interested in how Knowledge@UChicago can play an active role in enhancing the discoverability of and access to scholarly publications from academic departments and research centers. I can also pair up with colleagues to hold workshops about what faculty and students should take note of when selecting an open access journal to publish their research. If researchers have questions about copyright, persistent identifiers, or compliance with research funders’ public access policies, I am available to meet with them one on one to answer their questions and provide guidance. Meanwhile, I aim to find out about the University’s plans and initiatives by paying attention to campus news and events. I recently attended the Data Science Institute Summit and was excited by all the research and educational activities. The information has given me food for thought in terms of how the Library and I can support the growth of this ambitious initiative.

What’s your favorite thing about being a scholarly communications librarian?

I think scholarly communication is a relatively new area in academic librarianship, so it keeps evolving and there isn’t a set boundary for it. Its dynamic nature makes it exciting and engaging to be a scholarly communications librarian. Also, scholarly communication intersects with a number of topics in research and higher education. It presents opportunities for me to meet people with different backgrounds and perspectives. It is fascinating to learn about how their interaction generates impact in the scholarly communication ecosystem. Getting to know how things are interrelated is like putting together the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.

What are you interested in outside of libraries?

A tree fallen onto a house
A tree fell on the house where Adrian Ho lived previously.

I pay attention to climate change and the Anthropocene. I think excessive consumption has taken a serious toll on the environment and the impact of the changing climate seems more noticeable in recent years. Several years ago, a tall, beautiful tree fell during a severe thunderstorm and landed on the house I lived in. I was shocked by the damage to the house, but fortunately my neighbors and I didn’t get injured by the accident. I realized since then that climate change isn’t something that will happen in the future. It is something we are experiencing now. If we don’t do something about it asap, things will only get worse. As scientists have pointed out, it is the people least prepared for the impact who will suffer the most.

What have you been reading, listening to, or watching lately?

I like listening to podcasts about current issues. I also like podcasts that interview public figures or people who want to share their lived experiences. I find their stories eye-opening. Recently, I realized there is a TV channel called LOCALish. I enjoy watching it because it introduces me to things I have never thought of.

Adrian's office is in room 527 of the Regenstein Library. He can be reached at or 773-702-1242.