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This report looks at topic of libraries as publishers, with investigations mainly in the U.S. research institution context.

Specifically, we reviewed existing literature and conducted a survey of members of the Library Publishing Coalition, seeking to learn the kinds of activities they are undertaking as publishing, the business models they are using, their definitions of success, and their attitudes toward open access or end-user pay models. Our aim was to better understand this emerging sphere of library activity and its possible future in the scholarly communication and publishing sphere. Will library publishing grow and be sustainable? Will libraries play a new and permanent role? If so, in what way and what will be required?

When we refer to libraries as publishers, we consider the range of transactions in which library leaders and staff conceive, evaluate, support, and ultimately produce what we now call content for broad public dissemination, in whatever medium. We say this in full awareness that different observers will draw in different places the line between 'publication' and something less structured, coherent, or significant. That ambiguity is an implicit theme of what follows.

We consulted the growing number of articles and other publications (Appendix A) to better understand the range of ideas that underlie library-as-publisher discourse. Distinguishing the different strains of activity and expectation that animate current conversations can help us understand not only the present moment but also the varied possibilities that loom ahead. We also look at the sub-topic of funding the library publishing enterprise, as well as the sustainability of today’s endeavours, so we present results from a small survey of about 50 libraries.

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