LPC Blog

The Library Publishing Coalition Blog is used to share news and updates about the LPC and the Library Publishing Forum, to draw attention to items of interest to the community, and to publish informal commentaries by LPC members and friends.

This year we invited our Forum Sponsors ($1k and above) to answer some questions for the blog so we can get to know them a bit better!

Sponsor name: Manifold
Website: https://manifoldapp.org/

Q: Give us your elevator pitch – the briefest possible summary of what your organization does.

Manifold works with presses and publishers to create enhanced digital publications that are linked to audio and video files, interactive maps, and other kinds of digital resources. It is an open source project, and libraries have used it most often to create Open Educational Resources, utilizing the reading group and annotation features that Manifold has built to optimize classroom uses. We’ve also seen it used in the library space to give students the chance to become publishers themselves — to assemble and annotate archival material, anthologize their own writings, or to create new editions of classic texts.

Q: What’s something you’re working on that’s new or exciting?

We recently released Version 8 of Manifold, which includes a rich text editor so that project creators can make changes to files they’ve ingested into the platform. We’ve tried to make the platform very intuitive and user friendly for everyone, but this is a big step forward in that process. Accessibility has also been an ongoing priority of our work and development of the platform, and we’ve been taking steps to make sure that the Manifold experience, whether that is simply reading, or annotating and engaging, or creating your own project, is as accessible to as many people as it possibly can be.

Q: Why do you like working with library publishers?

A number of our team members are librarians, or have experience working in libraries. We’ve found that libraries and Manifold tend to be “on the same page” in terms of expanding offerings in the open access space, and providing low or no-cost educational materials to students. It has been great to work with library publishers and digital humanities centers to think creatively about what is possible to publish in Manifold; many of these experiments have driven our development of the platform. Recently we’ve seen art exhibit catalogs, audio archives and podcasts, textbooks, all sorts of cool projects coming from this space.

Q: What are you looking forward to at the Forum?

We look forward to seeing some of our users who regularly attend our virtual Manifold Community Meetups in person! It’s also always exciting to see what other projects in the space have been up to, and to check in on the bigger picture things — the state of open infrastructure and the larger institutional questions that a lot of folks are thinking about.

Q: Tell us something about the people who make up your organization (If you have a small team, you could introduce them. If you have a bigger team, you could tell us a bit about what you’re like as a group or how you work together.)

We are a team of about a dozen working from three locations: the CUNY Graduate Center in New York; the University of Minnesota Press in Minneapolis; and the development firm Cast Iron Coding in Portland (Oregon). We’ve been meeting regularly online for about a decade now. Every once in a while we get together in person in one of our cities for a more in-depth, in-person discussion, meetings that have been known to lead into late night sessions in bars … Our official team portraitist Jojo Karlin does a lot of the artwork for our releases, and often makes scarily accurate drawings of our team which she calls “doodles.”

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