June 27, 2013 § Leave a comment

I was quite impressed by this years annual meeting of the Association of American University Presses in Boston last week. 787 attendees from 300 companies participated in a 2+ day long forum that covered everything from advocacy and international expansion to the technical production details related to ebooks.

If I had to choose  single word to describe the overall “vibe” of this event, it would be resilience.  Pummeled by challenges like no other sector in book publishing, University Presses have weathered the storm, and seem determined and optimistic about embarking on a new chapter in their history.

Everyone at the conference seemed interested in learning from the experience of others and taking stock in what was really important in their work.  University Presses collectively know that their scholarly publications are important to the legacy of this generation. They understand that they need to regain relevance with their parent institutions, and need to partner with academic libraries in order to give their work the best exposure.

It seems as though in the time between this years event and last years event, the entire group of 132 publishers has come to consensus on what their collective mission is, and they are prepared to take on that mission.

Peter Berkery, the new Executive Director of AAUP, could not have asked for a better moment to come on board. Given this new shot of leadership energy and the sense of strength and resilience I felt from the publishers at the meeting, I’m very bullish on this future of this group, and look forward to a strong future.

My kudos go to the program committee, and the AAUP leadership for putting on such an invigorating event.


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