Millions of people know that 2004 is the Chinese “Year of the Monkey,” but how many are aware that this is also the “Year of the University Press”?
In 1950, Herman B Wells founded Indiana University Press saying, “The Press will be an ultimate expression of the influence of the university in scientific and intellectual publishing; while thoroughly aware of its primary function—that of publishing the results of scholarly research—the Press will make every effort to balance its program with books in all fields of learning which will appeal to the general reader.”
In its 54 years, IU Press has published more than 5,000 books; it annually publishes 170 books and 18 journals.
The Association of American University Presses (AAUP) and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) joined forces to put the spotlight on university presses throughout the year to celebrate the role presses play in the intellectual life and economic development of American universities. The two groups plan to raise the visibility of presses on campuses by showcasing press books in exhibits, inviting press authors and publishing professionals as speakers and disseminating information on innovative library–press partnerships in electronic and print media.
“As a key market for university press works, research libraries are delighted to help promote the value of presses to the academic community,” said Duane Webster, executive director of the ARL.
Peter Givler, executive director of the AAUP, added, “The understandings reached and discussions begun in 2004 should serve as a solid foundation for helping libraries and publishers achieve their mutual goal of helping to advance knowledge.”
IU Press, one of the nation’s leading academic publishers specializing in the humanities and social sciences, wants to heighten IU faculty and student awareness of its value as a resource as well as a publisher.
“We’re currently running spot announcements about the ‘Year of the University Press’ on WFIU and will distribute a leaflet describing ‘What University Presses Do,’ prepared by the AAUP, to IU faculty. We’re in discussions with the library about offering a workshop on copyright issues for faculty and students sometime in the fall. IU Press editors will be available for presentations in academic departments, particularly on turning dissertations into book manuscripts,” said Janet Rabinowitch, acting director of IU Press. “During the year, we plan to offer a variety of programs at IUB and, if possible, the regional campuses to raise awareness of the role of the press in the academic enterprise.”
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