Library Publishing Programs at Capacity: Addressing Issues of Sustainability and Scalability
infodocketGARY's bookmarks 2022-01-14
Introduction: This article discusses the changes to overall goals, direction, and services that were made to two library publishing programs at Pacific University and the University of South Florida when they were no longer able to grow their programs due to an inability to hire additional staff and COVID-19-instigated staff reassignments. Description of Programs: Pacific University’s publishing program grew out of its institutional repository and, at its peak, published seven open access journals. In addition, Pacific University Libraries founded a University Press in 2016, which has published six books as of 2021. The University of South Florida’s publishing program began publishing open access journals in 2008, and it has grown to include over 20 journals. Lessons Learned: Both the Pacific University and the University of South Florida publishing programs have faced scalability and sustainability issues, which were further exacerbated by COVID-19. The focus of our library publishing programs, as well as many others, has been on continual growth, which is not sustainable without the ability to hire additional staff or allocate staff time differently. We argue that standardizing services as well as creating a business plan can help ensure that publishing programs are sustainable and scalable. Next Steps: We hope to begin a conversation among library publishers about acknowledging limits and creating achievable definitions of success outside of continual growth.