Getting Librarians to Buy Your Books

January 2006
by Jenny McCune

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Librarians have less time,
fewer staff members, and smaller budgets these days for evaluating and buying
books. That makes it harder for independent publishers to get their books
noticed among the hundreds of new titles launched every day. As reported in
last month’s PMA
Independent, participation in the Library of Congress’s
Cataloguing in Publication (CIP) program usually doesn’t factor into
librarians’ buying decisions. So what can a publisher do to get their
attention?

 

To start with, it’s important to
remember the pressures that librarians face. “Our buying power has been
reduced,” explains Christopher Albertson, city librarian at the Tyler (TX)
Public Library. “Say we have a clientele interested in books on raising
rabbits. In the olden days we would have bought one of everything on that
topic. These days, we’ll choose one or two.”

 

Ned Kraft, acquisitions librarian
at the Bunche Library in the U.S. Department of State, puts it this way:
“Because of our ever-shrinking ability to buy books, I’ve made a decision to
buy only from reviews or patron requests. In other words, someone has to
specifically ask for a book, or a reputable reviewer has to recommend it.”

 

The Reviews Route

 

Who are those reputable reviewers?
They’re the ones who edit and write for book-trade periodicals…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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