Reinventing the Academic Library: Publisher of the University

[The following program proposal is part of an ongoing series on Reinventing the Academic Library. It is intended as an example of the kinds of things librarians supporting a research-intensive university can do.]


Reinventing the Academic Press to be a Publisher of the Community

University presses used to be selective imprints – focused on a thin slice of the perspective of a university. Imagine a new university press that works directly with faculty across all the schools to develop new forms of publishing. The libraries will be an innovator in self-publishing, and developing new platforms to turn scholarship into action and benefit for society.

Instead of page counts and indexes, the new university press will produce apps, courseware, and podcasts in addition to monographs.

Further Talking Points

The librarians shall create a fertile field of scholarship and instruction by working to propel forward the academic units of the campus. This must include a robust platform for scholars, instructors, students, and staff to disseminate their ideas, and engage the larger domains and society in conversations. This platform is not simply moving from printing books to producing eBooks. This platform must reach deep into the academic foment. New ideas for grants need to be shared, discussed, and refined. Funded research needs a mechanism to gather, store, and share data and insights. Finished projects need to both be archived and continuously related to new efforts…building a long clear map of success and progress.

To go beyond artifacts and typical domains, the new academic press is a publisher of the community. Illustrations, lectures, books, data sets all need to be managed and maintained. This is not about simply blogging, or creating a document repository. This is about taking the most exciting part of scholarship – the debates and investigations – and making them accessible to the world. It is about publishing an academic article and marrying it to a forum, and courseware, and ongoing research.