Libraries as Publishers: Turning the Page?

By Canty, Nick | Alexandria, April 1, 2012 | Go to article overview

Libraries as Publishers: Turning the Page?


Canty, Nick, Alexandria


ABSTRACT

This article seeks to provide a general review of the publishing activities of some major libraries across the world. At a time when the publishing industry is experiencing profound challenges to its established business models and traditional routes to market through bookshops are under threat from online retailers such as Amazon, it is timely to see how libraries are faring during this period and whether these developments are changing libraries' publishing outputs. The publishing activities are considered in relation to the format of the titles available, how the titles are sold, the range of subjects covered in the programme and whether there are digital versions available. The numerous digital catalogues, learning materials and other online resources are considered out of scope for the purpose of this article and the focus is therefore on what we might consider 'traditional' publishing outputs. The article considers the publishing programmes of the British Library, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, the Bodleian Library, the Biblioteca Nacional do Brasil, the State Library of Victoria and the National Library of Australia.

INTRODUCTION

This article seeks to provide an overview of the publishing activities of some national and major libraries from across the world. At a time when the publishing industry is experiencing profound challenges to its established business models and the traditional divisions between libraries, publishers and booksellers are becoming more fluid, it is timely to see how libraries are faring and to what extent - if at all - these seismic developments are changing libraries' publishing outputs.

Although the published output of major libraries is multifarious, this article will focus on what we might consider conventional publishing outputs: principally the book in print or electronic format, audio products and exhibition catalogues. The production of current bibliographies and financial accounts, annual reports and so on are therefore excluded as are other digital products and services, such as online galleries, educational resources and digital collections. These resources might arguably be considered publishing outputs but for the purpose of this article they are out of scope.

Through a content analysis of library websites the article reviews the publishing programmes of the British Library, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, the Bodleian Library, the Biblioteca Nacional do Brasil, the State Library of Victoria and the National Library of Australia. The libraries selected are discussed in the context of the following issues:

* whether there is an 'active' publishing programme in the library

* the subject range of books published including exhibition catalogues

* the sales channels available to obtain these books (the library store, availability through online retailers and conventional book retailers)

* digital access to published content

LIBRARIES AS PUBLISHERS

It is not surprising that libraries as repositories of content have sought to promote their collections through the publication of various specialist catalogues, illustrated books, monographs and exhibition guides and there is a fine tradition of publishing taking place by libraries, be they national, university or special. Indeed national libraries have, often by law, a requirement to produce bibliographies of publications in print or electronic format. Many libraries have a long and proud tradition of producing books, for example the Library of Congress started a publishing programme shortly after it was founded (Kniffel, 1989) and the British Museum Library (one of the forerunners to the British Library) has been active since its earliest days.

In 1983 the International Group of Publishing Libraries (IGPL) was founded as a home for major libraries that had active publishing programmes and the membership included the British Library, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, the Library of Congress and Harvard University Library amongst others. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Libraries as Publishers: Turning the Page?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.