The role of publisher is increasingly assumed by academic and research libraries, usually inspired by campus-based demands for digital publishing platforms to support e-journals, conference proceedings, technical reports, and database-driven websites. Although publishing is compatible with librarians’ traditional strengths, there are additional skill sets that library publishers must master in order to provide robust publishing services to their academic communities.
To help library publishing services mature into a consistent field of practice, practitioners in this growing publishing subfield increasingly cite their need for specialized training and professional development opportunities. For example, the authors’ conversations with participants in the Library Publishing Coalition (LPC), a collaborative network of 60 North American academic libraries involved in publishing, have revealed that no existing graduate-level training program adequately prepares practitioners for the full range of theoretical, practical, and organizational issues involved in publishing. LPC participants have also noted the relative lack of continuing education opportunities targeted toward those who are engaging in publishing—whether in a library, university press, or commercial publishing environment.