Research Libraries and University Presses Designate 2004 "The Year of the University Press"

January 22, 2004: The Association of American University Presses (AAUP) and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) are pleased to announce the designation of 2004 as the "Year of the University Press." This yearlong focus on university presses is intended to celebrate the important role presses play in the scholarly communications process. The campaign is an outgrowth of a recent formal recognition by the two organizations of their complementary roles in the scholarly communications system and the need to work together in this time of economic and technological turbulence to ensure a strong system for the future.

Throughout 2004, libraries will seek to raise the visibility of presses on campus by featuring university press works in exhibits, inviting university press authors and publishing professionals as speakers, publishing articles about innovative library-press partnerships in library and campus newsletters, and fostering local and national discussions on scholarly publishing with press and library participation.

Through these activities, the AAUP and ARL hope to:
* build an appreciation of the depth and breadth of works published by university presses;
* increase understanding among faculty, students, administrators, and librarians of the mission and function of university presses;
* stimulate serious discussion of the future of university presses within their institutions and in scholarly communication; and
* encourage innovative projects in scholarly communication among libraries and presses.

"This focus on university presses is a generous first step in what we hope will be a long-standing collaboration between the AAUP and ARL," states Peter Givler, Executive Director of the AAUP. "The understandings reached and discussions begun in 2004 should serve as a solid foundation for helping libraries and publishers achieve their mutual goal of helping to advance knowledge."

Duane Webster, Executive Director of ARL, notes, "As a key market for university press works, research libraries are delighted to help promote the value of presses to the academic community. Understanding the unique contributions presses make to scholarly communications is critical to ensuring effective partnerships in creating future systems."

The two organizations have created a campaign Web site to promote events, exhibits, and discussions of scholarly communications throughout 2004. The site, www.aaupnet.org/arlaaup, currently offers information about many existing library and press collaborative projects, and also makes available materials to assist ARL and AAUP members in hosting Year of the University Press activities. News of such activities will be featured on the site regularly.

The Association of American University Presses (AAUP), an organization of non-profit scholarly publishers, is dedicated to the support of creative and effective scholarly communications. Through professional development opportunities, cooperative programs, and information resources AAUP helps its 125 members fulfill their common commitments to scholarship, the academy and society. To learn more about AAUP's members and programs, please visit www.aaupnet.org.

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a not-for-profit association of over 120 research libraries in North America. Its mission is to shape and influence forces affecting the future of research libraries in the process of scholarly communication. ARL programs and services promote equitable access to and effective use of recorded knowledge in support of teaching, research, scholarship, and community service. For more information on ARL, its members, and programs, see the ARL web site www.arl.org.

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Regan Colestock
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