Institutional customers have “moved wholeheartedly to digital formats” – Association University Presses survey

From The New Publishing Standard:

A survey of the 154-member Association of University Presses (AUP) reveals the pandemic has set in train a rapid and likely unstoppable transition to digital.

As reported by the UK trade journal The Bookseller, the Cambridge University Press (CUP) saw the expected fall in sales as lockdown closed schools and universities, but while print sales are reviving, the pandemic has, according to CUP’s MD of Academic Publishing Mandy Hill,

accelerated the shift to digital for both institutional and individual customers.

Per The Bookseller’s summary, Hill expects that trend to continue.

Anthony Cond, MD of the Liverpool University Press (LUP), said the pandemic had presented uni presses with,

the unique opportunity to reset spending.

Cond said the shift online of conferences and events had delivered increased engagement and financial savings.

. . . .

David Clark,managing director of the academic division of the Oxford University Press said that institutional customers have,

moved wholeheartedly to digital formats.

Link to the rest at The New Publishing Standard

Having worked in the university library during his freshman year in college, PG has no doubt that college and university libraries find that ebooks save lots of money that would otherwise be spent on employees returning physical books to their proper place in the stacks, helping confused students find where the Armenian Anthropology books reside, etc.

As PG discovered, if the library is large enough, a book reshelved in the wrong location is as good as lost. More than one student who pulls out a physical book on one floor of the library who can’t find a study carrel on that floor or is meeting friends for joint “study” on another floor will quite often put the book on the most convenient shelf available on the way toward the closest exit.

PG once discovered a thin volume that had slid down a gap between two large metal bookcases that were placed back to back. How long the book had been hidden in that location between the bookshelves, PG could not speculate other than to say there was a great deal of dust on it.

1 thought on “Institutional customers have “moved wholeheartedly to digital formats” – Association University Presses survey”

  1. PG, you were lucky to have missed out on the most mind-numbing of all library jobs: shelf reading.

    Like PG, I worked in academic libraries when a student and did a short stint as a college library technical manager between carpentry jobs long ago. Shelf reading fixes those mis-shelved books. You stare at a row of books, checking that the books are all in correct call number order, correcting the correctable and pulling the way-off books for reshelving. I’ve done a lot of menial jobs: cleaning barns, hoeing acres of corn with a chop hoe, hand-troweling cement, but shelf-reading is at the very bottom of my list.

    When I was in college, I worked as a student gopher in the Far Eastern Library, which had a large collection of pamphlets published by the CCP during the hard years of the Long March before 1949. They were printed on crude paper in small characters. In the early 70s, they were in bad shape. The director of the library, a dedicated scholar who was definitely not in sympathy with Mao Zedong, had not put much effort into preserving the collection, but it was quite valuable because it was unique and some of the faculty was clamoring for access.

    I was caught in the summer between college and a graduate school fellowship without job, money, or much to do. The library director heard of my plight and offered me a job putting the pamphlet collection in order. At that time my Chinese was just strong enough to accurately match a pamphlet to a rough hand written holding list.

    There I was with boxes of crumbling pamphlets that I was supposed to put on the shelves in the order of the holding list. My passion at the time was entirely for pre-220 BCE China and I was not the least interested in the contents of the pamphlets.

    I did what I could. Day after day, trying to match titles to the list, I thought my eyes would drop out of my head. Chinese characters, especially for an inexperienced dabizi farm boy, are eye-straining to read and rough paper made it no easier.

    The good part of the job was the air conditioning. My cheap apartment was miserable in the punishing Chicago summer. I often stayed late at work just to avoid leaving the library. By fall, I had the job done. I still have no idea if anyone cared because I had almost no contact with modernists while in graduate school.

    Thanks PG. I hadn’t thought of that in a long time. The intervening 50 years makes it an interesting memory.

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