Chapter 6: Publications

Goal of ASCLA publications

Publications of the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies will be issued in support of the ASCLA objective:

to strengthen the usefulness, efficiency, and services of the state library agencies and specialized library agencies and library cooperatives and to provide a locus for addressing the needs and interests of individual members as they relate to the Association's areas of responsibility (Article II, Section l, ASCLA Bylaws)

As a multi-interest division of the American Library Association, ASCLA recognizes its obligation to maintain a publications program that is as varied as the concerns of its membership. The interests of ASCLA are embodied in the work of its units, which include committees, sections, discussion groups and forums. Each of these units may contribute to the publication process. Publications are issued as services to the ASCLA membership or to generate funds for the division. Source: ASCLA Board, January, 1992

Types of ASCLA publications

Within the context of the division budget, ASCLA will publish in any method suitable to meeting the needs of its membership. Selection of appropriate format for publications, e.g., print, video, electronic, etc., is determined on the basis of cost-effectiveness.

Support of ASCLA publications

The Board of Directors annually budgets an amount sufficient to support Interface, the official serial publication of ASCLA, and to provide this to the divisional membership. In addition, it budgets for other appropriate publications.

ASCLA monographs are intended to be self-supporting.

On occasion ASCLA units initiate, and the Board of Directors approves, standards, guidelines and similarly named documents to assist those providing service to specific patron groups.

With ASCLA Board approval, outside donations may be accepted to support a publication. However, the ASCLA publications policy still applies and the Board should clearly state conditions and policies in the letter of acceptance.

Author's royalties

It is understood that ASCLA does not pay author's royalties but will provide authors with a complimentary copy of the publication.

Interface policies

Interface, the official serial publication of ASCLA, has as its goals:

  • presenting the latest developments in the field of specialized and cooperative library activities through substantive articles and special focus issues
  • effective communications among the diverse elements of the division
  • and reporting official acts and activities of the various units of the division.

Interface serves as a primary communication channel between ASCLA and the broader library and user community.

Interface seeks to include, but is not necessarily limited to:

  • in-depth, substantive articles and special focus issues that represent the diverse interests of the division
  • news items of the activities of the division, especially a summary of Annual Conference and Midwinter activities, Board actions, etc. General library news reported in other library publications (e.g., American Libraries) is not included unless of specific interest to ASCLA members
  • editorials on issues of topical interest to the members, statements or comments from the president of ASCLA, and reports by the executive director
  • news and reports provided by units of the division. Each unit will be invited by the editor to submit copy for issues as appropriate. Guest editors will also be recruited from the units of the division to edit special feature issues on a single topic. Features such as: " ASCLA People in the News," "ASCLA Publications," "From Headquarters," "News," "Research Reports," and "Reviews & Resources" may appear as space allows.

Interface will be published quarterly. The total number of pages per year is based on the budget allowance and is determined at the beginning of each volume year. A portion of ASCLA membership dues are for a one-year subscription to Interface. Single copies and back issues may be sold.

Interface submission deadlines

The deadlines for submitting articles and news are the following: for the Spring issue, February 15; for the Summer issue, March 15; for the Fall issue, July 1; for the Winter issue, September 15.

Interface editorial responsibilities

Guided by the editorial policy, the editor is responsible for the content of Interface. The editor will prepare an annual plan indicating areas expected to be addressed in substantive articles. The editor will solicit articles and information for the newsletter and has the final authority for determining what is included in each issue. The editor will provide the ASCLA executive director with copy for each issue to review. The copy as submitted will not be altered without approval of the editor.

The Publications Committee will serve in an advisory capacity to the editor in all matters relating to the content of Interface. The Committee will develop guidelines to assist the editor. It will review periodically overall editorial policy and, when needed, recommend changes to the ASCLA Board of Directors. The Committee will recommend to the ASCLA Board a candidate for appointment as editor-elect/editor.

Appointment of the Interface editor

The ASCLA Board, with the input and advice of the executive director and the Publications Committee, will appoint an editor-elect/editor to serve a one year term as editor-elect and a two-year term as editor with the potential for a one-term re-appointment. The editor assumes responsibility for Interface immediately after the Annual Conference. A new editor who will serve as editor-elect will be appointed for the last year of the editor's term.

Remuneration for the Interface editor

The Interface editor will receive a maximum of $1,000 in reimbursements for travel expenses and the assistant editor a maximum of $500. If the budget can not provide for these maximums, the figures may be adjusted downward at the discretion of the ASCLA president. Source: ASCLA Board, June 1993

Policy on other serials

Units of ASCLA are encouraged to establish columns or submit articles to Interface instead of producing separate serial publications. However, serials other than Interface which are produced under the auspices of any ASCLA unit must have approval of the ASCLA Board and must each have a policy statement which includes the following items. A Statement of Purpose should set forth the goal(s) of the publication. The purpose of the serial must in some way benefit the membership of ASCLA or one of its sections.

  • A statement of content and scope should outline the type of articles and items to be included in the publication.
  • The serial must have a named editor, and the policy statement should include a statement of editorial responsibilities. It should specifically clarify the relationship between the unit leadership and the editor in regard to content of the publication.
  • The unit board, with the input and advice of the executive director, will appoint an editor for any publication it sponsors.
  • The serial must have a set of written guidelines outlining for the publication: audience, frequency, number of pages, method of production and distribution, budget, subscriptions and sales plans, and, if appropriate, advertising plans and goals.

Types of monographs published

ASCLA will publish books, pamphlets, resource lists, occasional papers, surveys, studies, proceedings, manuals, or any other type of monograph which the Publications Committee, operating under these policies, deems to be in the interest of the division. All monograph publications are expected to be self-supporting.

Publications Committee duties

The Publications Committee shall coordinate the publication of all ASCLA monographs. Operating within these policies the Publications Committee shall:

  • coordinate publications policies and activities
  • establish and maintain publications guidelines and criteria
  • solicit, receive, review and approve proposed publications and their marketing plans
  • work with the ASCLA executive director in her/his capacity as division managing editor
  • recommend appropriate changes in these policies.

ASCLA division managing editor

The ASCLA executive director or his/her designate serves as the division managing editor for all monographs.

Following final approval of monographs by the Publications Committee or approval by the Board of Directors of publications for distribution without or at reduced charge, the executive director/ division managing editor shall:

  • manage the division publication program and budget
  • arrange the publication of approved works as he/she deems to be in the best interest of ASCLA
  • negotiate the publication process, including necessary changes in the text with authors, layout specifications, and any and all necessary details with printers, etc.
  • provide the Publications Committee and Board of Directors with notification of significant developments related to the publications process
  • return a proposed publication to the Publications Committee for consideration when changed circumstances hinder further action.

Publishing with ALA, other publishers

As a division of the American Library Association, ASCLA supports the broad-based publication program of its parent body. To this end, works approved as divisional publications may be offered to ALA for consideration as ALA publications.

On occasion ASCLA will publish jointly with other ALA divisions, COSLA, or other organizations that share one or more of ASCLA's aims. If deemed appropriate a work may be referred to another publisher.

How to publish with ASCLA

ASCLA will publish original material and will reissue its own publications or the publications of other organizations that are of interest to the ASCLA membership.

Suggestions for publication, whether solicited by the Publications Committee, by another ASCLA unit, or suggested by an individual author, will normally require approval by the Publications Committee for concept as well as for text. In addition, a publication may be developed jointly with other ALA units. If so, communication will be initiated as soon as possible to allow for review by both units. Publications already in manuscript form or proposed reprints may be reviewed on the basis of text.

At least two months prior to an Annual Conference or Midwinter, potential authors should submit their proposal to the ASCLA executive director. The proposal should include the following information:

  1. working title of publication
  2. aim and target audience of the publication
  3. additional market potential
  4. summary and outline of the proposed publication
  5. proposed format of publication, e.g. pamphlet, bibliography, book. If it is an article, contact the Interface editor.
  6. other publications that address this topic and how the proposed publication differs
  7. date manuscript can be submitted to ASCLA
  8. names, addresses and qualifications of individuals working on this project
  9. source of the publication: committee work, proceedings
  10. estimated length of the publication
  11. name, address and phone of contact person
  12. If this is a project of a section committee, include the approval of your section executive committee.

The proposal will be reviewed by the Publications Committee using the evaluation criteria listed below. If accepted, the author will receive instructions from the ASCLA office on how to submit the final manuscript in a camera-ready format.

Criteria for evaluating potential publications

The following criteria are general in nature and will guide the Publications Committee in its assessment of manuscripts/media submitted for publication by ASCLA. Authors should keep the criteria in mind as publications are developed.


  • Is the subject or topic clearly and adequately defined?
  • Is the conclusion of the work clear?
  • Is the subject of current interest?
  • Is the subject addressed of significance to the ASCLA membership?
  • Does the manuscript provide new information or insights?
  • Does it build on previous work?
  • Does it duplicate existing works?


  • Is the manuscript clearly directed toward a specific audience? Is it identified in the work?
  • Does the purpose of the manuscript, e.g., historical, reference, fit within ASCLA publication priorities?
  • Should this work be a copublication with another division or unit?


  • What is the most appropriate format: monograph, journal article, booklet, AV format, other?
  • Do you suggest a different format for this work?


  • What are the author/editor/compiler's qualifications to write on this topic?

Scholarship and Credibility

  • If the tone of the work is scholarly, do the points made in the manuscript have supporting documentation such as footnotes, statistics, references, etc.?
  • If the work suggests a thesis or argument, does the evidence presented support it?
  • Is the methodology described clearly? Is it appropriate to the topic?

Presentation: Organization and Written Expression

  • Does the treatment of the material suit the intended audience?
  • Is the work well organized and coherent? Does it have, for example, an introduction, helpful breaks (chapters, subsections, paragraphs), and a conclusion?
  • Is it clear, logical and interesting?
  • Are tables, graphs and illustrations effectively used and adequately explained?

Presentation: Form and Mechanics

  • Is the material camera-ready copy?
  • Does the manuscript follow conventional rules for spelling, punctuation, hyphenation, and footnote style?
  • Are tables, graphs and illustrations effectively used and adequately explained?

Bibliographies as Separate Publications

  • Is the objective of the bibliography clear?
  • Is the basis of selection stated and adhered to?
  • Is the format consistent and easy to understand?

(Adapted and reprinted with permission of the Public Library Association.)

Policy on the publication of standards, guidelines

On occasion, the ASCLA Board of Directors will approve standards, guidelines and similarly named documents to assist those providing service to specific patron groups. These standards and guidelines must follow the approval process outlined in Chapter 4. The Standards Review Committee coordinates the review of standards and must approve them before they are submitted to the ASCLA Board.

All approvals by the Board of Directors of standards, guidelines and similarly named documents shall specify how the documents are to be disseminated. Methods of dissemination may include publication in Interface and/or publication as an ASCLA monograph.

The initiating ASCLA unit for standards, guidelines, etc., intended for publication as an ASCLA monograph shall submit the document to the Publications Committee. If the Publications Committee determines that publication of the standards, guidelines or similarly named document will produce a profit for the division, it will publish the work through its normal publication process. In the event that the Publication Committee envisions a net loss for the division through publication of the standards, guidelines, etc., the committee will seek special funding for such publication from the ASCLA Board of Directors.