Posted by: bluesyemre | July 18, 2013

Having Relations with the Library: A Guide for University Presses by Joseph Esposito

A granfalloon, in the fictional religion of Bokononism (created by Kurt Vonnegut in his 1963 novel Cat's Cradle), is defined as a "false karass" (imagined community). That is, it is a group of people who outwardly choose or claim to have a shared identity or purpose, but whose mutual association is actually meaningless.

  • It’s quite fashionable nowadays to talk of collaboration between university presses and libraries.  Indeed, an increasing number of presses now report into the library.  Oddly, as far as I know the situation is never reversed–that is, no library reports into a press even when the press is as large or larger than the library (Oxford, Cambridge, and perhaps Chicago and Johns Hopkins).  It’s taken for granted that publishers, at least academic ones, and libraries have a great deal in common and that putting them together organizationally will yield multiple benefits–cost savings, say, or new products and services or even an entirely new business model.  The question I have is what exactly are such collaborations supposed to accomplish and whether cooperation between a library and a press is the best way to achieve that goal.

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