Promoting the Work of Member Presses

The Book, Jacket, and Journal Show

Honoring the many design and production teams within our community whose work furthers a long tradition of excellence, the AUPresses Book, Jacket, and Journal Show annually recognizes achievement in the design, production, and manufacture of books, book jackets, and journals. Through a traveling exhibit and an acclaimed annual catalog of selected entries, the competition visually teaches the tenets of good design and fulfills its mission to “honor and instruct” while providing a source of discussion and creative and resourceful ideas.

The 2019 Book, Jacket, and Journal Traveling Show was unveiled at the Annual Meeting in Detroit in June 2019. The Show was scheduled to be exhibited at 40+ university presses throughout North America and the UK between September 2019 and June 2020, but all routes were cut short due to the COVID-19 crisis. Judging had taken place in January 2019 at the AUPresses Central Office in New York City, with jurors selecting 65 books, jackets and covers from among 621 entries. In conjunction with the announcement of the selected entries, AUPresses launched a design website on UP Commons,, with some of the entries simultaneously featured on Literary Hub.

Judging for the 2020 Book, Jacket, and Journal Show took place in January 2020 at the AUPresses Central Office in New York City. Jurors selected 44 books and journals, and 40 jackets and covers as the very best examples from a large pool of excellent design. The selected entries will be announced via the AUPresses Design website on the UP Commons in early May, and promoted on social media from both @AUPresses and @AUPressesDesign (on Twitter and Instagram). The Book, Jacket, and Journal Show Committee is considering ways to further make the show virtual in place of what would’ve been its debut at the 2020 Annual Meeting in Seattle.

2020 Book, Jacket, and Journal Show jurors
review the entries in New York City, January 2020.

#ReadUP and Books for Understanding

The Books for Understanding program was launched in 2001 to connect the university press mission to current public issues that require deeply informed engagement and decision-making. More than 50 bibliographies were published—showcasing the scholarship available on current events topics ranging from Climate Change to Elections. The program has been dormant for several years, but continuing technology infrastructure investments by the Association are being undertaken with a view towards reinvigorating this program in the future. The COVID-19 reading lists took advantage of the new Commons platform to quickly publish similar resources. AUPresses has been pleased to continue advancing the use of #ReadUP as a social media tag throughout our community, and to see it grow in use and recognition.

University Press Books for Public and Secondary School Libraries

The 28th/29th edition of University Press Books for Public and Secondary School Libraries will be published in cooperation with a committee of librarians from the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) and the Collection Development and Evaluation Section of the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA/CODES) of the American Library Association (ALA) in the fall. This bibliography will be sent to 10,000 public and secondary school librarians. The bibliography is publicized through a number of school and public librarian email lists. The bibliography will be published online.

At the 2019 AASL National Conference and Exhibition in Louisville, KY, AUPresses participated in the program “Using the AUPresses Bibliography to Select Reference Materials that Your Learners Need.” At the program, librarians across the country showcased the most recent edition of the bibliography to more than 2,000 K-12 library professionals, highlighting its use as a valuable collection development tool.

University Press Week

University Press Week 2019 was held November 3-9, highlighting the ways that university presses encourage all to “Read. Think. Act.” Literary Hub announced the theme in early October with “The Best of the University Press: Recommendations for Smarter Reading,” a heavily illustrated list of 75 member publications, from the online UP Week gallery.

The popular annual blog tour comprised posts from nearly 50 member presses, exploring how university press publications help to teach and inform readers. Local events included a panel of university press authors at the Texas Book Fair in Austin and a conversation among authors and editors of Columbia, Fordham, and New York University Presses about “The Role of University Presses in American Society,” recorded at Book Culture Bookstore in New York City and subsequently broadcast on C-SPAN2. New Books Network featured university press titles all week as well as an interview with AUPresses President Kathryn Conrad. Media coverage culminated in a feature article in Vox, “75 books from university presses that will help you understand the world.” In June 2019, the task force also initiated the #WeAreUP blog tour in honor of Mark Saunders, a founding member of the University Press Week Task Force.

University Press Week 2020 is scheduled for November 9-14.

The Constituency Award

The AUPresses Constituency Award honors staff at member presses who have demonstrated active leadership and exemplary service to the Association and to the scholarly publishing community.

Established in 1991, the Award is presented each year at the Association’s Annual Meeting. Recipients can be current or retired staff from member presses; however, current and retired press directors are not eligible. Employees at any Association member press can nominate a recipient. The nominations are reviewed by a subcommittee of the Association’s Board of Directors, the selection is then approved by the entire AUPresses Board of Directors.

The 2019 Award was presented to MIT Press’s Gita Manaktala at the 2019 Annual Meeting in Detroit. Recent winners of the AUPresses Constituency Award also include Colleen Lanick, MIT Press (2018); Michael Donatelli, University of North Carolina Press (2017); and Greg Britton, Johns Hopkins University Press (2016).