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Saving Small Press Periodicals April 30, 2007

Posted by heyheypaula in Library Stuff.

Here is a post from the ALA LITA discussion list, posted with permission from the author, Karen Coyle:

> You may have seen news about new postal rates due to go 
into effect in 
> May. These are designed to make the USPS more "efficient" 
- probably 
> because "less efficient" would be hard to achieve. (OK, 
I'm bitter). 
> The effect of these new rates will be devastating for 
> periodicals -- even though small in some cases means a 
> of tens of thousands. The way the USPS describes the new 
> rate seems innocent enough:
> "In general, mailers who sort their mail to the 5-digit 
and carrier 
> route levels on destination-entered pallets will pay the 
lowest rates. 
> Mailers should note that the piece, pound, bundle, and 
container rates 
> are designed to work together to more accurately reflect 
handling and 
> delivery costs. We suggest that mailers test different 
> scenarios to see the interplay between variables and how 
their own 
> mail will be affected." 
> (http://www.usps.com/ratecase/_txt/Per_Proposed_FR.txt)
> It takes a very large mailing to take advantage of the 
> option. One of my favorite journals, The Nation, 
estimates that it 
> will cost them an additional $500,000 per year to mail 
their journal 
> to subscribers. Basically, this is a death knell.
> What does this have to do with us? Libraries already got 
caught when 
> the book rate was dropped. Now we'll have to pay much 
more for those 
> small press periodicals, at least until they go out of 
business. Then 
> we'll have less variety to offer our users, especially 
those looking 
> for minority view points.
> You can write to your legislators. There's also an online 
campaign to 
> join: http://action.freepress.net/campaign/postal . I 
don't see 
> anything about this on the ALA Washington site, but I do 
hope our 
> organization is paying attention to this one.



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