University Presses Cope with Digital Students

By Jason Boog 

americanup.jpgOver the weekend, the Association of American University Presses had a sobering annual meeting–confronting both a radically-shifted publishing model and a struggling economy.

Inside Higher Ed reported two alarming trends for university presses: college students’ book-buying habits now lean dramatically towards digital offerings and university budgets have restricted many publishers. One of the featured speakers, Beth Jacoby, collection development librarian at York College of Pennsylvania, added more context from the field.

Here’s more from Jacoby: “She opened by talking about formats of communication that are dead (the 8-track), ‘on life support’ (print newspapers and journals), and those that are thriving (e-journals, e-reference books, databases, etc.) ‘Students will use heavily anything that can be accessed by a computer,’ she said … students are so committed to digital resources that they generally don’t use print resources unless forced to do so by a faculty member.”