Guest Column: Why Does ALCTS Publish?

The ALCTS publishing program serves the information needs of ALCTS members and the broader library community in areas of expertise related to selecting, obtaining, preserving, and providing access to materials and establishes ALCTS as the leading voice in these functional areas.

M. Dina Giambi
M. Dina Giambi

Through the publishing program, ALCTS educates and informs library practitioners, educators, students, managers, decision-makers, and providers of services and content to libraries. It stimulates research and critical thinking that help shape the future of our field. The publishing program produces content that is timely and reliable and it generates revenue for the Association.

The revenue from publications is a key component of the revenue stream for the association. ALCTS President Carolynne Myall stated ALCTS’ fiscal strategy in her March 2013 “From the President” column in the ALCTS Newsletter Online, “ALCTS and Money—and All of Us.” The association’s source of revenue comes from three main areas:

  • membership dues
  • registration fees from various types of education offerings, and
  • sales of our publications.

Currently, the revenue from publications and advertising is approximately 16 percent, which is a fairly significant amount.

A goal for ALCTS’ peer-reviewed journal, Library Resources and Technical Services, is to be self-sustaining. Therefore, it is the revenue generated from monograph publications that not only covers the editorial and production costs for each title, but, hopefully, also brings in additional money that can be used to pay other expenses for which the declining number of memberships is no longer sufficient to cover.

The ALCTS Publications Committee program, “Publish with ALCTS!” presented at Annual Conference in Chicago on June 29, 2013 is one of several initiatives undertaken by the committee over the past year to publicize and raise awareness of ALCTS as a publisher. Other initiatives included an ALCTS e-Forum held for two days in September 2012, and a face-to-face forum held at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Seattle in January 2013. The main focus of each ALCTS’ section publications committees, as well as of the division Publications Committee, is to encourage and solicit authors for the publishing program.

Anyone can submit a publication proposal, as membership in ALCTS is not a requirement. Therefore, as you write a presentation for a local event, or a paper for a library science course, consider submitting the efforts of your research and creativity to ALCTS. A list of publication topics for which authors are wanted is available at and the list of publications and resources is available at

Two new ALCTS publications are available in fall 2013. Institutional Repositories: Benefits and Challenges is edited by Pamela Bluh and Cindy Hepfer. The latest volume in the popular Sudden Selector’s Guide Series is Sudden Selector’s Guide to Physics by Michael Fosmire.

M. Dina Giambi, University of Delaware Library; Chair, ALCTS Publications Committee