Between January 2013 and December 2014, 61 academic libraries, in collaboration with the Educopia Institute, founded the Library Publishing Coalition (LPC). The project emerged from conversations between Purdue University, the University of North Texas, and Virginia Tech regarding the need for a community dedicated to advancing the field of library publishing.
Academic libraries and the researchers and organizations they support are facing a new paradigm in scholarly publishing. The web, information and social media technologies, and the open source and open access movements are changing the framework in which scholarship is created, collected, organized, and disseminated. Yet, as shown by the highly regarded Strategies for Success project (funded by IMLS and led by Purdue University, the University of Utah, and Georgia Tech), library-based publishing groups lacked a central space where they could meet, work together, share information, and confront common issues.
The Strategies for Success project laid a strong foundation for further action. Prompted by the results of this project, Educopia hosted a conversation in May 2012 among three library deans who shared an interest in advancing the emerging field of library publishing: James Mullins (Purdue University), Martin Halbert (University of North Texas), and Tyler Walters (Virginia Tech). As an outcome of that conversation, in June 2012, Charles Watkinson (Purdue University), Katherine Skinner (Educopia Institute), and Julie Speer (Virginia Tech), drafted a proposal for a new, community-driven organization dedicated to library publishing. The vision outlined in that proposal was vetted by representatives from 18 major libraries and consortia in July 2012 before being released to prospective participants in August 2012. More than 50 academic libraries formally joined the project team before the project kicked off in January 2013.
Over the next eighteen months, participants worked to produce the LPC’s first deliverables, including the Library Publishing Directory and the inaugural Library Publishing Forum. At the request of the community, on July 1, 2014 the LPC formally launched as an ongoing membership organization, six months ahead of schedule.