Publishers & Librarians: Different cultures, same goal

The other day, a friend on Twitter brought my attention to a very good article from Library Journal on libraries and publishers. This article peaked my interest because  I know both sides very well. Before I entered library land, I worked in children’s publishing.  My decision to leave publishing to pursue librarianship was largely influenced by the relationships I formed with the librarians I had been marketing to. I completely concur with Fister who who writes,
“Libraries are far more than a market…Libraries create readers. They are the test bed, the petri dish for books, a place where people can discover a passion for reading as children and indulge it as adults and where passionate readers can sample new authors. Librarians are the ultimate handsellers of books (though they call it readers’ advisory)…”

It makes me happy to see a piece like this. I think there’s a lot of misunderstanding between libraries and publishers.  I know many of my peers in library school haven’t the foggiest idea how publishers work.  And there’s plenty that publishers could do to improve relations with libraries and librarians.

Though publishing and librarianship may have different cultures, we have a common goal.  Both aim to put books and readers together.  As Fister notes,

“In an era when publishing opportunities have proliferated and the number of titles being published has skyrocketed, libraries rely on professionals who can do the painstaking work of developing quality books. In turn, publishers need librarians, who help spark a love of reading among children, sustain it through the stages of life, and know what’s important to readers.”

Good stuff.


Posted on April 8, 2010, in by Erin and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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