Recipes for Success: Librarian Voices
The Ins and Outs of ARCs, from ALA Annual
Guest Post: Kristi Chadwick, Library Director at Emily Williston Memorial Library and blogger at Books, Yarn, Ink and Other Pursuits
I’m happy to welcome Kristi Chadwick, Library Director and blogger, as our guest writer today for Recipes for Success: Librarian Voices. Kristi participated in a panel on the “Ins and Outs of ARCs” at ALA Annual last week and has been generous enough to write up a recap of her experience. Keep reading to find out more about what was discussed during her panel, including what publishers look for in librarians’ NetGalley profiles, and about what she’s reading and requesting via NetGalley!
Recipes for Success aims to give NetGalley members helpful information, tools, and best practices to help facilitate your growth and effectiveness as professional readers. Check back often for tips and tricks from the insiders.
The American Library Association held their 2013 Annual Conference June 27- July 7 in Chicago, IL. As Marlene mentioned last week, the ALA conference is definitely “BEA for Librarians,” and this year was no exception. While I definitely found some print galleys to bring home with me, I am a self-proclaimed “go-go gadget geek” and love having access to digital advance reading copies and galleys. I love them so much, in fact, that I was part of a panel that discussed them!
At the conference I presented about Advance Reading Copies (ARCs) and galleys as part of a panel called “All About ARCs: The Ins and Outs of Using and Abusing Advance Reading Copies.” My co-panelists Kelly Jensen (from Stacked) and Liz Burns (from School Library Journal’s A Chair, A Fireplace and a Tea Cozy) and I discussed how librarians (and other professional readers) use galleys, where they get them, and what they do with them. We were also fortunate enough to have Jennifer Childs from Random House and Victoria Stapleton from Little, Brown & Co. to represent the publishing industry. They confirmed what NetGalley has highlighted: digital galleys are here to stay, and in fact their distribution is increasing as the numbers of print ARCs decline. For publishers, it is more cost-effective in the long run to use digital review copies, although they also realize that print is important to both librarians and patrons for collection development and readers’ advisory purposes.
One question that was asked from the audience was “If I am using NetGalley for collection development, will publishers overlook me (as a librarian) if I am not writing reviews?” The answer from our publishers was a resounding “No!” Reviews are not necessary for regular access to digital galleys. However, they did stress that the completeness of your online profile weighs heavily in their decision-making process. If you are a librarian doing collection development, explain how you are using digital ARCs. Highlight what you do: do you work with children, young adults, or adults? What age levels? Are you making purchasing suggestions or decisions? NetGalley is a site for professional readers, and this information is very important so that publishers know you are doing more than leisure reading (not that that isn’t also important)!
I am a big science fiction and fantasy reader, and I love using NetGalley for upcoming titles, both for collection development and as a Library Journal reviewer. Right now I have a copy of The Faceless One by Mark Onspaugh (from Random House’s digital imprint Hydra) and am waiting for approval for Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl by David Barnett (Macmillan – Tor/Forge).