Los Gatos Library, CA
MLIS, San José State University, 2003; MFA Painting, San Francisco Art Institute, 1993
ARTIST IN RESIDENCE
A trained painter, he’s trying his hand at digital paintbrushes with the iPad
Photo ©2014 Michael Pilla
Ebook Self-Pub Advocate
Henry Bankhead believes electronic books are essential to the future of libraries, which includes helping aspiring writers to self-publish. The Los Gatos Library, CA, is on the leading edge of incorporating digital publishing into libraries, thanks to him.
This second-generation librarian likens the advent of digital self-publishing to the Protestant reformation. “Self-publishing is bringing authorship directly to people, with a different, more flexible set of relationships than traditional publishing,” says Bankhead. He partnered with the Smashwords self-publishing platform to help local authors publish and make their work available through library distributors such as OverDrive, Baker & Taylor, and 3M.
Bankhead’s other mission is to remove the stigma from self-published ebooks. “Unlike the self-publishing of the past, when an author would pay to have an unsuccessful book printed,” Bankhead says, “ebook self-publishing offers a new way for authors to get their books out to a worldwide audience that is thirsty for the content.” To that end, he and Smashwords’ founder Mark Coker (whose hometown is Los Gatos) developed workshops to educate readers, staff, and authors about self-publishing.
Bankhead recently received a $14,632 Pacific Library Partnership grant to fund two mobile self-publishing labs. And he has even bigger plans: a national ebook month to encourage libraries to promote digital works by community authors.