November 24, 2017

It Takes a City To Create a Novel | One Cool Thing

In 2012, librarians at Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library (TSCPL), KS, conceived of an ambitious program: to help their writing group create a novel and publish it. Serialized online between May and September of that year, Capital City Capers was, says public services librarian Lissa Staley, “a seat-of-the- pants project.” The Community Novel Project was such a success, Staley told LJ in a recent phone interview, we “immediately realized we wanted to do it again.” And they did—each year since, the library has produced at least one book, with the procedures becoming more streamlined even as the formats became more ambitious.

Can Libraries Help Stop This Madness? | Peer to Peer Review

The business of university press monograph publishing has always been madness, and changing conditions have made it even less sensible than it was. Yet any suggestion that there should be fewer university presses or that they should refocus their missions is greeted with shouts of dismay that are usually reserved for heretics and anarchists. Maybe we should remember that oft-quoted definition of madness—doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results.

Crisis, Paralysis, and Progress | Peer to Peer Review

The library community has been talking about a “journal pricing crisis” for over two decades. What we have not seen so far is any kind of concerted effort to break through this cycle. But two growing movements—the push toward open access and the growth of library publishing programs—make me think that we may be reaching a tipping point. In a white paper released last month, library administrators Rebecca R. Kennison and Lisa R. Norberg describe the need for “deep structural changes” in the systems through which scholarship is created and communicated. I honestly do not know if their proposal is the one that will trigger these changes, but I know that they are pointing us in the right direction.

The Public Library as Publisher

Public libraries have been publishers before, largely of annual reports, bulletins, and printed catalogs of special collections–items that are now integrated into the catalog itself or available online. More recently, libraries have facilitated the self-publishing efforts of their communities, such as Sacramento Public Library’s iStreet Press and Temecula Public Library’s Flash Books! And academic libraries have entered the scholarly publishing business in increasing numbers. But what might a publishing imprint run by a local library look like? Over the past two years, two public libraries have begun to explore that question.

The Lever Initiative: Taking a Stand To Change the World | Peer to Peer Review

The first phase of the Lever Initiative is nearly complete, so it seems a good time to share what we’ve learned. In 2010, I sent an email to a group of liberal arts college library directors suggesting a crazy idea: what if we jointly investigated the possibility of starting an open access press? We formed a task force to explore the idea. The next step, should we decide to go forward, will be to explore what exactly we might do and how we would fund it.

DIY One Book at Sacramento PL | One Cool Thing

Lots of libraries run a One Book, One Community communitywide reading program. But we only know of one that published the book itself: ­Sacramento Public Library, CA. The library didn’t just promote One Book to its core audience of already-active patrons; it reached out with some very unconventional, award-winning marketing.

Ten Questions with the Library Publishing Coalition

More than 50 academic libraries, in collaboration with the Educopia Institute, founded the Library Publishing Coalition (LPC) this January. The project initially emerged from conversations between Purdue University, the University of North Texas, and Virginia Tech. LJ caught up with the co-authors of the LPC’s founding documents—Julie G. Speer, Associate Dean for Research and Informatics, University Libraries Virginia Tech, and Charles Watkinson, Director and Head of Purdue Libraries’ Scholarly Publishing Services and the Purdue University Press—to find out how the LPC is progressing.