Follett Features

Baker & Taylor Celebrates University Press Week


Nov 14, 2016
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Baker & Taylor, a Follett company and proud member of the American Association of University Presses (AAUP), is excited to join the AAUP in celebrating University Press Week November 14 - 19. U.S. President Jimmy Carter first established University Press Week back in 1978 to recognize "the impact, both here and abroad, of American university presses on culture and scholarship" (AAUP).

The theme for the 2016 University Press Week celebration is Community, and Baker & Taylor can certainly attest to the important role each University Press (UP) plays as a member of its community.

“A University Press not only supports the university by promoting scholarship, it also provides broader community support by publishing titles from local authors and titles about the local geographic region,” said Sally Neher, Vice President of Academic Library and Higher Education Merchandising at Baker & Taylor. “Baker & Taylor has long enjoyed strong partnerships with the University Press community, and we’re proud to promote their scholarly, general trade, regional and specialty works to our many retail and library customers.”

Baker & Taylor is also happy to help AAUP spread the message of Community through a variety of initiatives, such as displaying regional titles at trade show booths and promoting University Press titles with the company’s UPTake and UpClose publications.

AAUP Executive Director Peter Berkery is thrilled with the overall excitement he is seeing from his UP members. The Baker & Taylor team recently had the pleasure of speaking with Berkery about University Press Week and the 2016 theme. Check out the Q&A below.

[Baker & Taylor:] Do you see UP Week getting bigger each year, and if so, why?

[Peter Berkery:] I do think it is. It hasn’t expanded as exponentially as we wanted it to yet. But if I look back over the evolution of UP week, the number of individual events has increased, as has awareness within not just the community but the ecosystem of both scholarly communication and publishing. There’s more interest in having more events. We’re very fortunate to see over the years increased support from independent booksellers. Last year we started running spots on NPR in select markets, and we have anecdotal evidence that people are hearing them.

[B&T:] How did AAUP choose “Community” as this year’s theme?

[PB:] There are a couple of elements that came together for that. It builds on the themes from prior years, such as Collaboration and Contributing to an Informed Society. And there was just a feeling among the members of the task force (that chose the theme) that the notion of community really captures where the association finds itself in 2016. There’s an extraordinary amount of collaboration and cooperation across member presses.

[B&T:] What does the theme of “Community” mean to you?

[PB:] I worked happily in commercial publishing for 16 years, and the market is a useful discipline for all publishers. But I think university presses are mission-driven publishers. As a friend likes to say, commercial publishers publish books to make money, and university presses make money to publish books. I think that shared sense of common purpose creates a unique community.

To learn more about AAUP and University Press Week, go to http://www.aaupnet.org/.

Image source: http://www.aaupnet.org/