Summary – 4th August – Librarians and Publishers

1.a. Do you have much interaction with publishers in your day-to-day job as a librarian? (and is it positive?)

1.b. If there are any publishers taking part, what are your interactions with librarians like?

  • Running a book competition: http://www.managementbookoftheyear.org.uk
  • There’s been a big strategic shift in mindsets and working practices in the last few years: Library audiences are now an integral part of publishers’ marketing & publicity strategies
  • My publishers are small trade associations – positive experience mostly. But have problems with inconsistent bibliographic records for publications
  • Publishers seek partnership with libraries to reach & build audience
  • Libraries have staggering footfall, amazing network, most popular and well-used cultural institution. Book borrowers are buyers too. Another unique asset is library data
  • Publishers have  more money to get to know users better with!! But I guess libraries have the upper hand in being able to track usage
  • I have very little direct contact with publishers – I have made requests but never had a response in terms of content
  • Large part of my library work involves publisher liaison – email contact, phone calls, review meetings, conferences
  • Host an annual eResources roadshow which allows publish reps to to meet & talk to library users & university staff. Hosted  for past 4 yrs, wanted to do something to increase publicity of resources to students & staff. Looking to widen scope of show – include publisher demos/talks etc
  • Have requested resources on topics to meet curriculum mainly via reps but no joy in the past!
  • Have good relationship with one publisher, emails facilitate when distance too great
  • Host 2 roadshows (speed-dating/networking workshops) – FUN! Allows publisher reps to meet & talk direct to reader development reps. Aims to build knowledge, direct contact & creative ideas, a process ‘often hampered by the suppliers’
  • I haven’t had much experience with publishers in my job, but for my MA I took a module on publishing, was one of most interesting.  Learnt more about publishers models, marketing etc. Got to go to Bloomsbury which I blogged about http://ow.ly/cNQsX
  • Libraries are a vital component of reading ecosystem. Publishers recognise importance of reader/literature development
  • My interactions with librarians are never enough and always interesting. Most useful & favourite part of my role.
  • Also sit on the UKSG committee which is a great source of learning and interaction with librarians and intermediaries.

2. How could the librarian-publisher relationship be improved? (and does it need to be?)

  • I remember my teachers at University saying that each librarian must know the publishing field well.I think both fields go hand in hand but libraries are, after all, the ones to decide what to buy or not
  • Practices based on the interactivity between reader & writer. Important this work continues to flourish in tough times
  • Librarians feel far removed from book selection process due to supplier selection. Publisher/librarian roadshows help build awareness
  • Exploration of supporting social sci researchers with librarians showed some needs reunderstanding users http://dx.doi.org/10.1629/24183
  • There is research which proves correlation between buying & borrowing by the Reading Agency
  • Investment of time & energy needed in libraries sharing developments that work well. Could be a role for UKSG
  • Also Uni IT depts are too siloed & could work together to share/ brainstorm solutions for understanding users to drive library value.
  • Direct contact with users is v.important for publishers – library fairs/events/workshops can make this happen

3. What are your opinions on open access publishing?

  • Pro OA especially in academic field where helps further research & knowledge; but don’t know much about it – have reservations
  • There’s been a lot of discussion about open access recently because of the Finch Report http://bit.ly/RxQzoI
  • Don’t know much about it. Surely a good thing for libraries? Is it a gamechanger?
  • SAGE just announced this partnership.http://dx.doi.org/10.1629/24183
  • SAGE work closely with University of Sussex Library via a partnership to help us both learn and support research. Exploring open access more next year
  • In my specialist industry publishers would struggle with open access due to limited funds for research

4. Do subscription agents help or hinder the relationship between librarians and publishers?

  •  Publishers unable to navigate hugely complex library network; hence the brokering role of the Reading Agency. It’s different.
  • Agents – my sense is that thy are busy diversifying to stay alive e.g. : getting into OA payment management; PPV token sales; offering customer insight tools

5. How do we overcome problems with multiple e-formats causing difficulties ?

  • As a school librarian I can’t have multiple formats gotta to pick one and kinda hope it’s the right one and not a Betamax choice!
  • Do people think there will ever be one format to rule them all? This problem isn’t going to be quickly solved
  • Just encountered a document with DRM requiring software & licence to view, very problematic and not sure of solution
  • May be a bit off the question but we do at least have things like Athens authentication to help with multiple different sign ins

6. What would be an effective forum so that publishers know about problems you have that they may be able to help with?

  • We set up a unique consortium: 40 publishers, entire UK public library network, led by charity – The Reading Agency. IT’s called Reading Partners. It’s all about building audience & creating rich reading, cultural and learning experiences
  • Definitely some kind of partnership, workshops, conference to get together and share with each other
  • Dedicated events – maybe online, around a certain theme?
  • Library advocacy very important. Publishers backing a number of initiatives with authors and media
  • UKSG conference & others like it important for sharing between publishers & librarians. Sage has annual library Advisory Board meeting

7. What do you think will be the biggest development in publishing in the next 5 years?

8. How can we demonstrate the value of public libraries in e-reading?

  • Need resources, e.g. e-readers, could run sessions showing people how to use them, what’s available. Library e-reading apps too?
  •  Librarian In Black’s response: here

9 ( How) has the relationship between library and publisher improved over the last 5 years?

  • Publishers woken slowly up to importance of understanding challenges & solving problems. Not just flogging
  • Services like journal usage statistics portal (JISC) can provide better & valued connections between pub & library. Staff time saved

10. Do you think partners such as The Reading Agency made a difference? If so, in what way? What more could they do to help?

  • Anyone promoting reading is making a difference, and promoting reading promotes both libraries and publishers

11. What one thing can you share from your own experience that has effectively demonstrated the value of your library?

  • Positive customer feedback when we provide publications before they knew they needed them
  • Children’s summer reading challenges are always hugely popular at local library & must encourage a new generation of readers / book purchasers
  • SAGE commissioned LISU library value report of research and survey available here: http://libraryvalue.wordpress.com/report/

Other points made:

- Some thoughts on digital preservation and citation of scholarly blogs:  http://bit.ly/PFpBoX

- Data and its potential use was discussed:

  • Another unique asset is library data - but how can libraries use and share their extraordinarily rich audience data to provide the customer insight better?
  • I guess by sharing some of their unique data: help one another
  • On knowing users, publishers may have access to different data than libraries & maybe more time. Ideally we should work together.
  • There’s a big pot of Nesta funding available…One of the areas to cover is DATA
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About sarahcchilds

Special librarian, Midlands-based

Posted on September 8, 2012, in Discussion Summaries and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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