Germanists Discussion Group Minutes – 2008 Annual

ALA Annual Meeting, Anaheim

Sunday, June 29, 2008
10:30am – 12:30pm
Anaheim Convention Center, 206A


  • Claudia Alcala
  • Gordon Anderson
  • Laura D. Bischof
  • Marie-Helene Bugnion,
  • John Cullars
  • Brigitte Doellgas
  • Claudia Dorn
  • Knut Dorn
  • Ulrike Engel
  • Richard Hacken
  • Heidi Hutchinson
  • Regina Lichti
  • Thea Lindquist
  • Heidi Madden
  • Rebecca Malek-Wiley
  • Jon Marner
  • Jim Niessen
  • Louis Reith
  • Michael Seadl
  • Timothy Shipe
  • Kathleen Smith
  • Sheila Smyth
  • Ann Snoeyenbos
  • Anna Bjartmarsdottir Sveinbjornsson
  • Cason Snow
  • Emily Stambaugh
  • Brian Vetruba
  • Kizer Walker
  • Graham Walden
  • Sarah G. Wenzel
  • Lisa Wettleson
  • Jutta Wunder


I. Introductions and Announcements

II. Discussion Group Business

  • WESS Germanists Discussion Group needs to choose a new Secretary/Chair-elect for 2009-2010. The person elected to this position will serve as Secretary for the 2009 Midwinter and Annual meetings, and as Chair for the Midwinter and Annual meetings in 2010/11.
    • As 2009/10 Chair, Heidi Madden will be taking nominations and conducting the election via email. If you would like to nominate a colleague or personally volunteer to serve, please send an email to
    • Please note that anyone who wishes to run must be a member of ACRL and its Western European Studies Section (WESS) and must be available to attend the ALA Midwinter and Annual meetings in 2008 and 2009, if elected.

III. Presentations

  • Presentation 1: “University Presses in Germany – Publishing Services in an Open Access Environment” – Margo Bargheer, Head of the Department of Electronic Publishing and Dr. Birgit Schmidt, Göttingen University Press, Göttingen State and University Library
    • Kizer Walker (Cornell University Library) presented the PowerPoint prepared by Bargheer and Schmidt, who could not attend ALA in person. The presentation highlighted publishing efforts at SUB Göttingen in the context of the emergence, mostly in the past decade, of a number of university presses at German institutions, most of them hosted by the respective university library. The presses differ in the mission and scope from North American university presses; most focus primarily on the output of scholars at their respective institutions. Most of the presses belong to the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Universitätsverlage and are committed to Open Access publishing.
  • Presentation 2: “Electronic Publishing at Humboldt Universität zu Berlin” – Michael Seadle, Director, Berlin School of Library and Information Science, Humboldt University in Berlin
    • Seadle gave a historical and technical overview of electronic publishing activities at Berlin’s Humboldt University, which take place outside the framework of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Universitätsverlage. Edoc (, a service of Humboldt’s Computer and Media Center and the University Library, is the University’s platform for publishing the scholarly output of the institution. Edoc began in 1998 with the posting of 50 Humboldt dissertations. As of June 2008, Edoc contains 5,218 publications (1,464 dissertations, 272 Habilitationen, 140 masters’ theses, 14 series, 7 conference volumes, 6 journals, and 293 post- and preprint articles, as well as digitized historical holdings of the Humboldt University Library and Humboldt University’s Museum für Naturkunde (Berlin Museum of Natural History).
  • Presentation 3: “Latest Trends in German Publishing: Observations from the Approval Plan Selectors” – Knut Dorn, Director and Managing Partner, and Regina Lichti, Book Approval Plans, Harrassowitz Booksellers & Subscription Agents
    • Our partners at Harrassowitz described the challenge of keeping up with the changing profiles of German publishing houses in an era of mergers and acquisitions. It is no longer as straightforward as in the past to characterize a publisher by way of a stable niche, although presses that have been bought up will frequently continue to publish in their established niches. Alongside consolidation and efficiency measures at many established presses, several new “one-man” and “one-woman” presses and other small publishers with ambitious agendas have emerged over the past few years. Internet searches for the following publishers might be interesting and, in some cases, amusing:
      • Cornelia von Goethe Verlag
      • Franken-Zimmer
      • Das fröhliche Wohnzimmer
      • Velbrück Wissenschaften
      • Verbrecher Verlag
      • Verlag der Weltreligionen
      • Weimarer Schiller Presse
    • Former East German publishing houses and their transformation in the wake of the Wende represent a significant feature of the German landscape. Christoph Link (head of Ch. Links Verlag) has followed these developments closely. See: Christoph Links (2008). Die Umgestaltung der ostdeutschen Verlagslandschaft im Prozess der deutschen Einheit. Dissertation. Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Institut für Bibliotheks- und Informationswissenschaft (available in the near future from the Humboldt University edoc-server). Also, Links, “Armutszeugnis für die Profis. Das Aufbau-Drama als Exempel für eine gescheiterte Politik,” Börsenblatt Online (19 June 2008)(background: “Der Fall Aufbau”).

Minutes submitted by Heidi Madden, Duke University.