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A Darker Shade of Grey How non-mainstream published books find their way into libraries Presentation at EURASLIC Conference, Lyon, May 2011 Anneli Meeder,

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Presentation on theme: "A Darker Shade of Grey How non-mainstream published books find their way into libraries Presentation at EURASLIC Conference, Lyon, May 2011 Anneli Meeder,"— Presentation transcript:

1 A Darker Shade of Grey How non-mainstream published books find their way into libraries Presentation at EURASLIC Conference, Lyon, May 2011 Anneli Meeder, Dipl.-Bibl. NHBS | Everything for Wildlife, Science & Environment

2 Introduction Special libraries and specialist booksellers use the same methods and processes for the identification of new titles for inclusion in their catalogues. At NHBS: We identify more than 300 titles for inclusion in our catalogue each month We evaluate all titles, and reject inappropriate titles Subject areas covered: Natural History (Botany, Zoology), Biology, Ecology, Conservation, Sustainable Development All languages, all countries of publication

3 Title Selection The Challenge The objective for libraries and for NHBS: To have the most complete collection / catalogue of relevant titles on the subject The challenge: “How do you find out about all these titles?” More than half of all publishers in the NHBS catalogue have only one title in our subject range In 2010, 1300 publishers and suppliers sent books to NHBS, over 850 of them sent only one title

4 Title Selection Sources of Information “Pushed” (automatic): – Publishers' catalogues, fliers, s – Booksellers' catalogues, s – User/buyer requests – Mailing lists (i.e. IAMSLIC, Algae-l) – Acquisitions lists of other libraries “Pulled” (research required): Book reviews Subject searches on booksellers' websites Monitoring publishers' websites Contacting publishers to request information on new titles Title selection for catalogue/collection development relies on information from:

5 Title Selection What makes titles difficult to find? Typical reasons why titles are overlooked: Established publisher with only one title in the subject area New publisher, “niche” publisher with few publications Society or Association with few publications Self-published author (Vanity publishing)

6 Not Grey Literature Books are overlooked, but they are published with the intention to sell: They have an ISBN They have a set retail price Books are not available electronically There is some availability through booksellers Books receive limited marketing This is a challenge for both libraries and publishers!

7 Example 1: one-off title by established publisher Publisher usually specialises in other subjects, but publishes a one-off title in marine biology Publisher doesn't know how to reach the target audience for this title Librarians don't know the publisher Availability: Usually available through booksellers

8 Coastal Plankton Photo Guide for European Seas Otto Larink and Wilfried Westheide Publisher: Verlag Dr Friedrich Pfeil, Germany nd edition, 1 st edition was published 2006 Publisher specialises in German and English titles on Archaeology and Paleontology

9 The Borneo Suckers Revision of the Torrent Loaches of Borneo Tan Heok Hui Publisher: Natural History Publications, Borneo 2006 Publisher specialises in botanical field guides

10 Example 2: New Niche Publisher New publishers trying to establish a publishing profile Limited marketing know-how Often print-on-demand or inferior printing quality Availability: usually available from booksellers

11 Phytoplankton of Norwegian Coastal Waters Jahn Throndsen, Grethe Rytter Hasle and Karl Tangen Publisher: Almater Forlag, Norway Publisher specialises in children's books Publication year: 2007 Translation of a Norwegian title, originally published in 2003

12 Coelacanth Portrait of a Living Fossil Peter L Forey Publisher: Forrest Text, United Kingdom 2009 Limited availability through booksellers Publisher specialises in natural history titles by established authors

13 Example 3: Society or Association with small publishing arm Many specialist titles in Natural History are published by societies and associations. Publications are usually of a high quality: Well edited Printed to high standards Advertising of new titles is generally limited to members of the society or association Sensibly priced Often not available from booksellers

14 Building a Future for Wildlife Zoos and Aquariums Committed to Biodiversity Conservation G Dick and M Gusset Publisher: World Zoo and Aquarium Association (WAZA), Switzerland 2010 Available from many booksellers

15 Subterranean Fishes of the World Graham S Proudlove Publisher: International Society for Subterranean Biology SIBIOS-ISSB, Italy The only book ever published by the society 2006 Not available through most booksellers

16 Example 4: Self-published author Authors publish their own books without established publisher Self-publishing is relatively easy Editing can be low quality Limited marketing abilities Difficult to buy from regular booksellers

17 Handbook of European Freshwater Fishes Maurice Kottelat and J Freyhof Publisher: Maurice Kottelat, Switzerland 2007 Self-published by established author Very limited availability through booksellers

18 Fishes of Tehran Province and Adjacent Areas Brian Coad Publisher: Shabpareh Publications, Iran 2008 Very limited availability through booksellers

19 Conclusion Some publications that cannot be classified as “grey” are nevertheless hard to identify. Some titles of relevance may take years to find their way into libraries. Marine Biology libraries need to rely on information-sharing to stay up-to-date on new relevant titles. Information can come from a variety of sources (publishers, library users, other libraries and booksellers). Specialist booksellers offer new title catalogues and subject catalogues that have many overlooked titles.

20 Thank you Anneli Meeder, Dipl.-Bibl. Subscribe to our Monthly Catalogue!


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