Library as Publisher

Library as Publisher is an old concept that has been reinvented for a new age. Historically many university presses have operated with some level of library involvement. While the physical making of books might be familiar with staff who are involved in the bindery process, managing the print publication of a journal is a specific skill set, and not one that librarians necessarily have. In the digital age, however, the computing skills that most librarians possess, particularly database and web design skills, lend themselves well to new publishing paradigms.

As these new platforms become established, there will be many opportunities for information professionals working both inside and outside of the traditional library setting. Much of the work will seem familiar; after all publishing, as defined as producing a catalog of work under a unified imprint, is just another form of collection development. However, the changing nature of technology, combined with shifts in how information centers are funded, will create as many entrepreneurial opportunities as it will institutional ones.

The slideshow below is a summary of the state of this new area of librarianship. The current environment is reviewed for trends and major players, followed by a SWOT analysis of the field. At the end of the slideshow there is a fun two section Q&A interactive feature that gives additional information.

Q&A #1

Q&A #2


Follow Ellen’s board Library Publishing on Pinterest.



About SHARE. (2015). Retrieved August 5, 2015, from

De Groote, S.L. & Case, M.M. (2014). What to expect when you are not expecting to be a publisher. OCLC Systems & Services: International digital library perspectives, 30(3), 167 – 177.

Evans, G.E., & Alire, C.A. (2013). Management basics for information professionals(3rd ed.).  New York: Neal-Schuman.

Huwe, T.K., 2013 Digital Publishing: The Library’s New Collaborative Frontier. 33(8), 22-23.

Lippincott, S. K. (Ed.). (2014). Library Publishing Directory 2014. Atlanta, GA: Library Publishing Coalition.

Mullins, J. L., Murray-Rust, C., Ogburn, J. L., Crow, R., Ivins, O., Mower, A.,…Watkinson, C. (2012). Library Publishing Services: Strategies for Success: Final Research Report. Washington, DC: SPARC. Retrieved from

Robertson, W.C. & Simser, C.N., (2013). Managing e-publishing: Perfect harmony for serialists. The Serials Librarian. 64,118-128.
DOI: 10.1080/0361526X.2013.760399

Steele, C. (2014). Scholarly communication, scholarly publishing and university libraries. Plus ça change? Australian Academic & Research Libraries, 45, 241-261.