Announcement: Vernon Press 2019 Academic Library Survey

Over Fall 2019, we launched an Academic Library Survey to further our understanding of library preferences and help us improve the relevance and impact of our titles. We are pleased to announce a summary of the key findings that will help shape our publishing plan:

  • The vast majority of respondents said faculty was the most important external advisor for acquisitions, with students and colleagues also considered significant. Also widely mentioned were publications offering academic reviews.
  • The majority of respondents reported that they find subject or series-level advertising to be the most useful in discovering new titles.
  • Along with the quality of content and the relevance of titles to their institutional programs and faculty members, respondents also listed the originality and breadth of topics available as points of consideration in their acquisition decisions. Another key factor informing their purchasing choices is the evaluation of titles by discipline-specific publications and major reviewing sources.
  • Furthermore, the availability of and ease of access to electronic copies of texts has also been stated as an advantage for academic titles, allowing simultaneous access to popular print titles.
  • The subject areas of History and English Literature were deemed to account for the bulk of library purchases, with Nursing, Education, and Religious Studies making up the rest of a competitive top five.
  • Libraries mainly base their decision on where to source titles from in relation to the cost of the text and the discount offered; dispatch speed was listed as the next most important factor affecting their choice of bookseller.
  • In terms of communication between publishers and library staff, contact by email was generally reported as most convenient. Respondents also said they appreciated the presence of publishing house staff at conferences attended by librarians, as it helped establish a good working relationship.
  • While the majority of respondents did not offer any advertising or engagement opportunities for publishers, some said they organized events and sponsorship. A small number of respondents mentioned that they send out monthly newsletters, which remain more popular than social media posts.

Vernon Press would like to thank all Library Survey respondents for their time and insightful comments. We are excited to announce the three lucky winners of our Library Survey Prize Draw as:

Cathy Chapman

Anne-Elizabeth Powell

Patricia McGarry

For every completed survey response received, we made a small donation to Scholarship America, a non-profit organization that helps students fulfill their educational and career aspirations.


Page last updated on February 25th 2020. All information correct at the time, but subject to change.