Academic Libraries

Purdue University Libraries Publishing Division

Service Area(s): Education & Instruction; Design & Production; Marketing & Dissemination

The Division provides support and publishing services to the faculty, staff, and students of Purdue University for both print and electronic products. They integrate the services of the University Copyright Office, Purdue University Press, and Scholarly Publishing Services.

UScholarWorks Journals

Service Area(s): Marketing & Dissemination

Indiana University Libraries provide server space and support to a variety of open access journals that publish scholarship by faculty and students across a range of disciplines. It also hosts data sets, thesis, dissertations, conference proceedings, and other scholarly works for the IU community using a four step deposit process.

MSU Espresso Book Machine

Service Area(s): Education and Instruction; Design and Production

Michigan State University faculty, staff, and students, and the public are able to quickly print library-quality paperbacks from an on-demand catalog or their own materials. Assistance with formatting and other publishing elements (such as cover art) is available for a fee. Online instructions include an extensive library guide called “Publishing and Book Design Basics.”

University of North Texas Scholarly Publishing Services

Service Area(s): Education and Instruction; Content Development and Editorial; Design and Production; Marketing and Dissemination
The UNT Libraries provide a variety of publishing services. Eagle Editions, an in-house imprint, provides fee-based editorial services including developmental and substantive editing, fact-checking, mechanical editing, and design work. The libraries also host a semi-annual Editor’s Roundtable to foster discussion of scholarly editing issues.  Curated online resources provide access to useful materials for content editors.

Public Libraries

Children’s Books in Karen

Service Area(s): Content Development and Editorial; Product Design and Production; Marketing and Dissemination

The Saint Paul Public Library commissioned and published two books in English and Karen, the language of a persecuted ethnic group from Burma and Thailand. Minnesota is home to a growing Karen refugee community, and the library produced the books to support early literacy efforts despite the lack of children’s books in the Karen language.

Advice From the Program: An Interview with Pang Yang, Community Services Coordinator, Saint Paul Public Library

How did you build relationships with the authors and illustrators who created the books?

The library posted a press release on our website and shared the release with local community organizations including those whom are cultural and art related. People submitted from all over the nation and from there, we met as a group to discuss, select and narrow down our decisions for the author. When the author was selected, we included them in the process to select the illustrator. We were clear with the authors and illustrators of our goal to provide these books at no cost, or at minimal cost to the community we were serving. We were lucky that the authors and artists agreed with our vision.

The website mentions a “team of librarians” and others. Can you give us a sense of who the library employees that worked on this project were? Are duties similar to this already part of their jobs or was this stepping into new territory for them?

The Saint Paul Public Library staff positions instrumental in pulling this project together were:

  • Community Services Coordinator, a project manager for the library

  • Cultural Liaison, paraprofessional library staff who works in the community we were targeting

  • Librarian I, selector of our youth collection

  • Communication and Design Specialist, graphic designer and public relations

  • Digital Services Director

All of the duties to put the books together, were generally outside of their position description although the Communication and Design Specialist worked for us as a graphic designer (among her many other talents) and has worked on several un-library related art books before.

Does the library have plans to do anything else to support local writers, books, etc. or was this a response to a specific need?

Our primary goal was to support the needs of a community which did not have many materials for young children in their home language. We hope to pursue similar efforts for other language needs in our community, such has developing materials in Oromo, Amharic and/or Somali. We will most likely solicit from our rich local community.

Any advice for other public libraries planning a similar project?

JUST DO IT. If you are even considering publishing, then there is a conscious identified need. You will learn along the way. You will find other community organizations working towards a similar goal, and are more than willing to assist. Make sure to sit down, write up expectations and plan. We did not realize how ambitious our timeline was considering the amount of work it took to edit, and do the artwork – which was our biggest hiccup.

Edmonton Public Library Book Printing

Service Area(s): Design & Production

The Edmonton Public Library in Canada incorporated an Espresso Book Machine into their Makerspace, allowing patrons to print books for a small fee.

Sacramento Public Library I Street Press

Service Area(s): Education & Instruction; Design & Production

Patrons can create print-on-demand books using an Espresso Book Machine. The library also hosts educational events for authors.

VPL Writing & Book Camp

Service Area(s): Education & Instruction; Marketing and Dissemination

Vancouver Public Library in Canada hosts a writing camp for youth ages 11 to 16, which includes classes, lectures, and workshops with adult authors. Content produced during the camp is published in an anthology that is added to the library collection and available for purchase.  There is a substantial fee to participate in the camp.

NYPL/Sandy Storyline collaboration

Service Area(s): Content Development and Editorial; Design and Production; Marketing and Dissemination
Two years after Hurricane Sandy, NYPL joined forces with Sandy Storyline to help patrons contribute to a “participatory documentary” of community-generated narrative about the storm and it’s aftermath. Members of the public may contribute audio, video, photo, and/or text to the project; an interactive display rotates among branch libraries. The collaboration includes a writing workshop.


Public Knowledge Project

Library Type: Multi-University Initiative

Service Area(s): Education & Instruction; Design & Production; Marketing & Dissemination

The Public Knowledge Project supports scholarly digital publishing by providing a range of services to Canadian universities. Services include the development and support of open access management software, preservation technologies, and systems to gather Article-Level Metrics. This nationally funded project also conducts research and education to  improve the level of scholarly publishing at participating institutions.

British Library

Library Type: Government

Service Area(s): Content Development and Editorial; Design and Production; Marketing and Dissemination

The British Library publishes up to 40 non-fiction books a year in subjects broadly relating to the collections of the British Library, including the history of the book, medieval manuscripts, literary history, bibliography, cartography and history. Publications are sold around the world and make a significant contribution to the Library’s international reputation, as well as garnering positive reviews and generating revenue that supports the Library’s work.