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 2020 Book, Jacket, and Journal Show selections were announced in May 2020 and are on display virtually via the AUPresses Design site. Judging had taken place in January 2020 at the AUPresses Central Office in New York City, with jurors selecting 84 entries from 38 member publishers in 7 categories from among more than 650 entries. While the pandemic halted the traveling show, the 2020 Show catalog was made available digitally for the first time in the history of the program, allowing for a wider audience to view the show selections.

In another first for the program, judging for the 2021 Book, Jacket, and Journal Show took place remotely in February 2021. Jurors selected 49 books and journals, and 52 jackets and covers as the very best examples from a large pool of excellent design. The selected entries were announced via the AUPresses Design website on the UP Commons in May 2021, and promoted on social media from both @AUPresses and @AUPressesDesign (on Twitter and Instagram). The Book, Jacket, and Journal Show Committee is still considering whether the traveling show will be able to make a return in Fall 2021.

#ReadUP and More

The use of the #ReadUP tag on social media to highlight our members’ publications and stories about the valuable work of university presses continues to spread! Over time, the tag has been adapted to #ReadUPPoetry, #ReadUPScience, and the like, as well as in the shameless punning of #EatUP, #ListenUP, and more. We encourage our members to use #ReadUP widely—well beyond its origins in University Press Week celebrations.

After using the new platform to support presses and readers through a feature of pandemic reading selections in spring of 2020, the Association leveraged our new storefront there for other programs. Member-publishers of titles nominated for the 2020 Equity, Justice, and Inclusion Community Read were asked to opt-in to a Bookshop list. While members were offered discounts or special offers via publisher sites for the selected titles, the Bookshop list allowed for wide browsing and purchase through a broad list of vital books.  When the UP Week Task Force invited featured projects from members for the annual gallery, we also asked for permission to list any featured book projects on a companion #RaiseUP Bookshop list that was featured in several book-industry media mentions.

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 between 2001 and 2014—showcasing the scholarship available on current events topics ranging from Climate Change to Elections. The program remains dormant, but we continue to evaluate existing and possible infrastructure investments for opportunities to revitalize this valuable program.

University Press Books for Public and Secondary School Libraries

Due to the unexpected impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic the 28th-30th editions of University Press Books for Public and Secondary School Libraries have been delayed; they 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. The delayed editions of the bibliography will be distributed digitally to public and secondary school librarians. The bibliography is publicized through a number of school and public librarian email lists.

University Press Week

University Press Week 2020 was held November 9-15. Its theme, Raise UP, highlighted the role that university presses play in elevating authors, subjects, and whole disciplines to bring new perspectives, ideas, and voices to readers around the globe. Eighty-two presses contributed entries to the Raise UP Gallery and Reading List. More than 60 books comprised our first UP Week page on, and the Raise UP blog tour of more than 60 posts considered the many voices amplified by university presses.

AUPresses President and President of Oxford University Press USA Niko Pfund and Regional Head of HR, Americas, at Oxford University Press Ola Ogunsanya helped kick off the week with a Publishers Weekly article entitled University Presses Are Signal Boosters of Knowledge. Book Culture bookshop in New York published interviews with staff members from Cambridge, Columbia, Fordham, NYU, and SUNY Presses on its blog, and the Seminary Co-op in Chicago dedicated its weekly Front Table e-newsletter to UP Week with staff-selected UP titles and an interview with Parneshia Jones (Northwestern). LitHub featured the entire Reading List and the New Books Network highlighted the week with a short audio spot and a feature interview with Pfund. UP Week Task Force member Jane Kelly (Toronto) and our Canadian members created Raise UP booklists and promotions with several Canadian distributors as well. For more information about the articles and activities described above see University Press Week 2020 in the News.

Virtual events embodied the Raise UP theme, starting with a Brooklyn Book Festival Bookends panel in early October, moderated by UPW Task Force member Fred Nachbaur (Fordham), and continuing during UP Week with a webinar exploring the Anti-racist Toolkit for Allies, sponsored by the Equity, Justice, and Inclusion (EJI) Committee; Raise UP and Indigenous Voices in Canada, featuring editors and authors from McGill-Queen’s, Manitoba, Toronto, and Wilfrid Laurier; and the University of Illinois Press Fall Publishing Symposium.

University Press Week 2021, celebrating the event’s tenth anniversary, is scheduled for November 8-12.

Stand UP Award

The inaugural Stand UP Award was presented posthumously to Ned Stuckey-French—an accomplished university press author and adviser as well as an associate professor of English at Florida State University at the time of his death in 2019—during the AUPresses 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting. (A video of the presentation is available.) Through this award, the Association honors people who have done extraordinary work in support of university presses, recognizing advocates who are not on staff at a member press but who stand up from within the communities that presses work with, speak to, and serve. Stuckey-French personified the very spirit of this award, having played a central, and inspiring, role in mobilizing support in 2012 to prevent the University of Missouri Press from closing.