Award-winning librarian, author and NPR commentator Nancy Pearl will begin writing a new monthly library-themed column for Publishers Weekly called “Check It Out” with Nancy Pearl later this month. The first column will run in the May 30 issue of PW, which is the magazine's pre-ALA issue, as well as online at www.publishersweekly.com.
“We’re delighted to welcome Nancy Pearl to the pages of PW,” said Cevin Bryerman, v-p and publisher of PW. “With the ‘Check It Out’ column, we’re excited to offer a space where librarians, publishers, authors and library supporters can have their voices heard and their issues addressed. Libraries are an essential part of the literary world, as well as a multibillion-dollar partner in the publishing business. We look forward to hosting a robust dialogue in our pages, and we are committed to increasing our coverage of libraries and the great the work they do.”
PW readers are to be an essential part of the “Check It Out” column—the format will be more or less “Ask Nancy Pearl.” Each month Pearl will respond to selected questions, comments, ideas and observations from librarians, publishers, authors, library patrons and general readers as well as other stakeholders, including vendors. Topics will be freewheeling—from books and e-books, to authors, services, literacy, children’s and teen issues, to matters of funding and management—and can range from the technical to the more philosophical.
“I'm very excited to be working with PW, and greatly looking forward to hearing from readers across the street and around the world on book- and library-related topics large and small,” Pearl said. “In my radio work and public presentations, my favorite part is always taking questions from the audience. With my ‘Check It Out’ column there are two things you can count on: I have lots of opinions, and I will always be honest in my responses.”
Publishers and libraries share a common goal, added PW writer and features editor Andrew Richard Albanese: “To serve readers.” Albanese, who covered libraries from 1999-2009 as an editor and reporter at Library Journal, will edit Pearl’s column at PW. “Healthy libraries are essential to a healthy culture, to healthy communities, and whether you’re an author or a publisher, they can be the key to a healthy bottom line,” he says. “There are challenges, whether strained budgets or the digital transition, but there is also opportunity, not only to reach more readers, but to create new readers. At PW, we think it is important to discuss how we can support libraries in that mission—and Nancy Pearl is the ideal voice to lead this conversation.”
Pearl, a former Seattle, WA, librarian, is a frequent and popular author and speaker at bookstores and libraries across the country. She talks and writes about books regularly on her official Nancy Pearl Web site; on her television program, Book Lust with Nancy Pearl; on National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition”; and on local public radio stations in Seattle, Tulsa and Milwaukee. The New York Times has called her “the talk of librarian circles.” She is the winner of numerous awards, including the 2004 Women’s National Book Association Award for her “extraordinary contribution to the world of books,” and in January, she was named Library Journal’s 2011 Librarian of the Year.
PW is now actively soliciting questions and comments for the “Check It Out” with Nancy Pearl column. “If you care about libraries, if you care about books,” Albanese says, “we want to hear to hear from you.” Questions, comments and ideas are welcome and may be sent via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by regular mail to “Check It Out” with Nancy Pearl, Publishers Weekly, 71 West 23rd Street, Suite 1608, New York, NY 10010.