Milne Library’s digital publishing manager helps students reach career goals

If you’re a student interested in editing and publishing, take some time to get to know Allison Brown, the digital publishing manager at Milne Library. A Rochester native, Brown has been a member of the Geneseo faculty since 2012. She was originally hired as the evening and weekend circulation supervisor for Milne, but within a year she was brought on to develop the library publishing tool kit.

“The college was starting publishing programs, and I had a background in InDesign and book production, so I was brought on board to do a research project on library publishing,” she said. “Then, I was kept on as the editor and production manager for the Open SUNY textbooks. I coordinated the publishing process for all of our Open textbooks.”

With technology rapidly advancing, Brown ensures that Milne’s services and books remain up-to-date and accessible for faculty and students.

“We’ve created Open SUNY textbooks, but we also want to provide services for the faculty and students who want to use other educational resources,” she said. “So we’re trying to work with other SUNY schools to band together to solve problems with textbook affordability and making all of those resources user-friendly for faculty.”

Beyond focusing on Open SUNY, Brown is also involved with other publications on campus.

“I support the publication and public access publications here on campus, including student publications like Gandy Dancer,” she said. “I also work for the proceedings of G.R.E.A.T. Day, supporting the training of students, interns and managing editors to learn the technology and walk them through the publication process.”

Brown enjoys working on collaborative projects like Gandy Dancer; she has been a wonderful resource for student editors to gain field experience here on campus.

“I paired up a student editor with a faculty author and gave that student some really good hands-on experience with editing and gave that faculty member some more editorial support where they may not have had access to that,” she said.

Brown has been fond of editing and publishing for a while, but grad school is what solidified this interest. While obtaining her master’s degree in fine arts at Emerson College, Brown took a handful of elective courses in electronic publishing and book design. Working as Milne’s digital publishing manager has helped Brown to hone her publishing and design skills further, becoming a master in her craft.

“I really like the graphic design book production part of it,” she said. “When I began working here, I started to really understand how electronic publications and websites and e-books are structured and how to design for both print and electronic formats.”

But Brown isn’t just tech savvy—she’s also a poet. She has had multiple poems published in various literary journals, including White Whale Review.

Every book lover has their own guilty pleasure books, and Brown is no exception. She prefers to read fiction, and shamelessly indulges in young adult fiction every now and then.

Even if editing and publishing don’t interest you, Brown is a delightful source with a wealth of knowledge to offer students of any major. As students, whether it’s textbooks or novels, we are all responsible for reading, and who better to consult than Geneseo’s own digital publishing manager?