How does one combine a commitment to social justice, technological innovation, and a publishing ethos whose origins go back to the 1950s? At Rosen Publishing we have set out to answer that very question. With more than sixty years of independent publishing in the school and library space, we consider ourselves particularly well-positioned to impact the lives of one of our constituencies—at-risk youth—with new information and new solutions.
We have a number of guiding principles that help us in this process. The first is that there is no taboo information; there is only information. Within our nonfiction guidance program, we have published on date rape and acquaintance rape, teen suicide, dating violence, body-piercing and tattooing, crystal-meth abuse, STDs, and countless other vital issues that can affect teens. One title in our Confronting Violence Against Women series, Female Genital Cutting, directly addresses young women who are the most vulnerable to this barbaric practice that has no medical benefit and no scriptural mandate. It is a tradition that even tribal elders, prominent imams, and immigrant community leaders are now rallying against, tacitly agreeing with what Alice Walker has written about the practice: "Culture is not torture." Recent studies indicate that the number of women and girls at risk for FGC in North America has doubled over the past ten years. More than half a million women and girls living in the US are at risk for being forced to undergo the procedure at home or abroad. More than one-fifth of those at risk are under the age of 18.
Rosen Publishing has an enduring tradition of addressing topics such as this and ensuring dissemination of information through library-bound editions of our books, which have made their way into the circulating reference collections of libraries across North America and many other English-speaking countries around the world. A technological expansion of our publishing methods has added to our reach, which allows our material to live in numerous formats: as print books, as eBooks, as Interactive eBooks, and as entries in extensive subscription databases. Our databases are continually updated and periodically reformatted, as with our newly relaunched flagship resource www.teenhealthandwellness.com. Our digital material is created in responsive HTML, which allows it to be accessed on all devices. Our proprietary epointplus platform provides the capability for unlimited simultaneous access, as well as offline viewing and individual user-level annotations, thus ensuring equity of access for those who do not have the desired connectivity. Rosen's commitment to social justice exists not only in the content we choose to publish but also within the technology that hosts and disseminates our content: a happy nexus of our intentions and goals.
Whether our titles are read in paperback or a library-bound edition, whether accessed on a tablet or a smart phone, if the information provided can help one young man or woman effectively negotiate an issue in their life, then we at Rosen will have done our job to fulfill in the 21st century one of our mandates established in the 20th.