January 27, 2022Melanie Schlosser
As much as we love the searchable online interface for the Library Publishing Directory, it doesn’t include the introduction found in the print, PDF, and EPUB versions. Each year, the Directory‘s introduction includes a ‘state of the field’ based on that year’s data that highlights trends and new developments in library publishing as reported by the programs that contribute their information. To make it easier to find, we are republishing that portion of the introduction here. This year’s introduction was written by Perry Collins, Ian Harmon, Karen Stoll Farrell, and Nicholas Wojcik with an assist from me. Enjoy!
THE 2022 LIBRARY PUBLISHING LANDSCAPE
The yearly Library Publishing Directory provides insights into library publishing activities, allowing us to consider how the field has evolved, prevalent current practice, and possible future directions. While we discuss trends below – often in comparison to prior years – please note that the number and composition of the data set of Directory listings changes yearly, thus a strict comparison year to year is not possible. Further complicating any analysis of the data are changes to the survey itself. We do try to update the survey as changes in technology and publishing platforms emerge. The Directory Committee routinely evaluates the data model to ensure that it best reflects the library publishing field. Many of the survey questions remain the same year to year and new questions are periodically added.
Over 60% (87) of library publishers are organized as a centralized library publishing unit or department, while approximately 22% are organized across multiple units or departments within the library.
Library publishers continue to report programs that have made substantial progress moving beyond initial efforts. Only two survey respondents considered their publishing programs to be in the “pilot” phase of development, while over 68% of the library publishers in the 2022 Directory consider their publishing efforts to be “established.” Of the 138 respondents that stated when their publishing operations were established, half were operational prior to 2010, and a strong majority (68%) have been operational for at least a decade. In 2021, 28 library publishers reported that they worked with an established editorial board or advisory group for their work; in 2022, this number climbed to 34 publishers.