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: Pressbooks 

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

Pressbooks is the versatile, user-friendly publishing platform educators rely on to create, adapt, and share accessible, interactive, web-first books. We partner with organizations to support open education initiatives, institutional publishing programs, curriculum development projects, and more.

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

Pressbooks works with over 500 educational institutions, including many higher education systems and consortia. As we’ve added more of these statewide and regional partners, we’ve been learning more about their unique needs so we can make sure our product fits those needs.

Over the past several months, we’ve worked closely with eCampusOntario, a consortial client, as a co-development partner helping us design new administrative features for this part of our community. We’re excited to launch the result of that work, our new Shared Network Plugin. It’s currently in beta testing, but we’ll be launching it broadly soon. This new feature set will make it easier for system and consortia clients to empower their members and manage how they use Pressbooks to create and share knowledge effectively across their member networks through streamlined administration, enhanced analytics and more.

Q: Why do you like working with library publishers?

At Pressbooks, we love the commitment that library publishers have to making knowledge more accessible (whether that’s through open educational resources or other initiatives). Empowering knowledge sharing is at the heart of Pressbooks’ mission as a company, and so we’ve always found great alignment with those who work in library publishing.

Also, libraries are at the point of the proverbial spear with regard to information and digital transformation. It’s exciting to work with library publishers because they have been eager to embrace the possibilities of digital transformation when it comes to publishing and sharing information. Lots of great ideas and experimentation come out of this community.

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

Post-pandemic it’s still a bit novel to be able to meet up with people in person, so we’re looking forward to the unique energy that comes from in-person meetings. A lot of long-time Pressbooks clients will attend this meeting, and we always love connecting with our user community and hopefully making new friends. Open education is a strong thread through this year’s conference, so it will be great to listen and learn about what others are seeing and doing in this space. We’re also excited to host two panel sessions on Thursday morning, “From OER to Open Press and Open Impact: The Evolution of Large-Scale Open Education Initiative,” and “Growing OER Publishing Programs: Watershed Decisions that Drive Impact.”

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.)

The team at Pressbooks is made up of people who rally behind the mission of making knowledge sharing more accessible. We have a lot of publishing pros, bibliophiles, open source advocates and edtech evangelists. Our founder/CEO, Hugh McGuire, is a familiar face for many in the OER publishing space from his work with Pressbooks as well as The Rebus Foundation. Another longtime colleague, Steel Wagstaff, was an enthusiastic Pressbooks customer supporting open publishing at the University of Wisconsin Madison before he joined the team and became our product manager. Julie Curtis will be at the Forum on behalf of Pressbooks. Julie, our VP Growth & Strategy, has spent much of her career in education technology helping institutions navigate the intersection of digital learning and open educational resources. Together with several of our institutional partners, Julie created the Open Education Maturity Model as a framework to help institutions in this work, and she’ll be presenting this model during the “From OER to Open Press” panel session.

Useful resources