Will Libraries Become Publishers?

Scott William Carter   January 23, 2014  

One library in Tennessee thinks so:

IngramSpark is a publishing, distribution, and print-on-demand platform from the Ingram Content Group, built specifically for independent publishers and authors. The platform promises ebook distribution into 70% of the world, and print distribution to 80,000 retailers and libraries globally.

The first book from the Williamson County library is a children’s book called Bucky and Bonnie’s Library Adventure, written by library staff. “The creation of our first book and the development of our publishing program has been a labor of love and illustrates how libraries of today can move forward in new and exciting ways to serve their patrons,” said Dolores Greenwald, Director of the Williamson County Public Library … [Read the rest at PublishingPerspectives.com]

I’ve been seeing more and more reports of libraries venturing into publishing.  And why not?  It’s something I’ve been predicting for a while, and it makes great sense.  With ebook and print-on-demand technology allowing writers to go direct to readers, and that process getting increasingly easier, who is better positioned to help writers reach those readers than libraries?  In fact, at the library where I work at Western Oregon University, we’re beginning to explore these possibilities ourselves — one of the reasons I was transferred to the library a few months ago.