Tag Archives | libraries

Library Tech Review and Forecast for 2013

As another year draws to a close, it’s time to reflect on the trends in play related to library technologies and attempt to anticipate their trajectory going forward. We are in an incredibly interesting period in the realm of library technologies.

Library Tech Forecast 2013Rather than just refining and rebuilding products on models of functionality that have been in place since the early decades of library automation, many efforts are under way to break free from well-established historical approaches and create new products better aligned with the multifaceted realities of libraries in their collections and services and that embrace current technology architectures. Other threads of activity include the ongoing enhancement and redevelopment of existing products. The library tech scene has historically been one of evolution, but the current cycle includes some uncharacteristically revolutionary tracks.

Read Marshall Breeding’s report at THE SYSTEMS LIBRARIAN – Tech Review and Forecast for 2013.

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OverDrive and ALA Prove Library Borrowers Are Also Buyers

An extensive online poll of library ebook readers (PDF) finds that library patrons purchase an average of 3.2 books (both print and ebooks) each month, and a majority would consider purchasing books discovered on a library website.

Library Borrowers Are Also BuyersEbook borrowers, who are at OverDrive-powered public library websites in the U.S., also report that their digital content purchases have increased in the past 6 months. Sponsored by OverDrive with the American Library Association’s Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP), the survey constitutes the largest study of library ebook usage to date, with more than 75,000 people responding.

Confirming earlier studies, such as the Pew Internet Project’s “Libraries, Patrons, and E-books,” the survey found that a significant percentage of library users regularly purchase books they first discover at the library. In fact, 57% of those surveyed said that the public library is their primary source of book discovery.

Read on at  New Findings Reaffirm Library Borrowers Are Also Buyers.

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More on Reading and Young Americans

Boy ReadingLast month we published information about Pew Research’s Younger Americans’ Reading and Library Habits study. The folks over at BrainTrack have taken the time to break it down further to provide some additional context and ideas.

The State of Young Readers in America

Oh, those punk kids today! With their iPhones and hippity-hop music and My Little G.I. Joe the Explorers! In our day, we read books all the time, every time! But they don’t, and they’re stupid! Stupid, I tells ya!

Except not really.

Look, if this country is headed downhill at the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow, it isn’t entirely the result of children failing to engage with literature. Could parents and schools do a better job of encouraging them to read? Absolutely. And we’ll get to that. But that doesn’t necessarily chime the death knell for America, either. Especially considering how the literacy rate continues hovering around 99%. That last 1% needs closing, of course. All United States residents deserve opportunities to learn how to read. However, to tout it as indicative that the country suffers from an incoming collapse of stability and morality epitomizes the concept of hyperbole. Truth be told, the reality involves some negative trends that need some addressing, but plenty of driven organizations and individuals devote themselves to overturning them. We can’t dismiss concerns. We also can’t declare them signifiers of an incoming societal apocalypse, either.

Continue Reading →

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Pew Releases Study on Younger Americans’ Reading and Library Habits

EbooksMore than eight in ten Americans between the ages of 16 and 29 read a book in the past year, and six in ten used their local public library. At the youngest end of the spectrum, high schoolers in their late teens (ages 16-17) and college-aged young adults (ages 18-24) are especially likely to have read a book or used the library in the past 12 months. And although their library usage patterns may often be influenced by the requirements of school assignments, their interest in the possibilities of mobile technology may also point the way toward opportunities of further engagement with libraries later in life. Continue Reading →

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Project Gutenberg Opens Self-Published Works Respository

The generous souls at Project Gutenberg opened a new venue supplementing their traditional collection of public domain classics. (And, by the way, that collection of usually all the works, even minor ones, of major authors and the major works of minor authors now runs more than 40,000.) But what about contemporary works, particularly by people who have not found or perhaps do not want to go with traditional publishers?

Now Project Gutenberg has opened a separate collection and discovery area for such works referred to as a Self-Publishing Portal. Anyone can access and search the site to view and/or download documents. If the reader chooses to register with Project Gutenberg, as all the authors have, they can participate in the Authors Community Cloud Library and post comments, feedback, ratings, and reviews. A book details page and Wall will attach this social network style input for other readers to see.

Learn more from Barbara Quint’s full article at Project Gutenberg Launches Repository for Self-Published Works.

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Embedded Librarians in Special Libraries

Despite budget cuts and other challenges facing libraries of all types there is room to grow and reach new levels of efficiency.  As the library world comes together in Chicago next week for SLA 2012 Annual Conference & INFO Expo people will be talking about Embedded Librarianship.

This excerpt is from The Embedded Librarian: Innovative Strategies for Taking Knowledge Where It’s Needed, By David Shumaker. Continue Reading →

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He’s baaack!

It looks like everything old is new again. This just in from OCLC:

The OCLC Board of Trustees has concluded that rather than moving forward with the appointment of Jack B. Blount as its President and CEO, it is in the best interest of OCLC to have Jay Jordan continue serving in these capacities. Mr. Jordan has agreed to postpone his retirement to continue leading OCLC.

The OCLC Board of Trustees believes Mr. Jordan’s strong track record, his skills as a leader, and his ability to identify and navigate emerging trends, make him uniquely qualified to serve the nearly 72,000 institutions that use OCLC services.

The Board of Trustees has complete confidence in the global management team and the 1,250 employees, who are working diligently to serve libraries around the world and fulfill OCLC’s mission and goals.

The Board is committed to an orderly transition of leadership and will be assessing its succession planning process as it moves forward.

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U.S. Public Libraries are Weathering the Storm

Careful management along with creative and visionary leadership have helped U.S. public libraries survive the slashing of budgets during this Great Recession. They continue to act as a lifeline to the technology resources and training citizens need to fully participation in our economy.

A new report examines a study that explores the many concerns that face our libraries. Budget cuts over several years threaten access to libraries and services, the growth in demand for technology training and services, and the stubborn and lingering effects of the “digital divide” all force. Learn more at Libraries Connect Communities: Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study.
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One-fifth of American adults have read an e-book in the past year

e-book and bookAnd that number is growing rapidly.

The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project has just released a report showing that increasing availability of e-content is prompting some to read more than in the past and to prefer buying books to borrowing them. Furthermore, the people reading e-books are avid readers of books in all formats: 88% of those who read e-books in the past 12 months also read printed books.

The report documents the growing popularity of e-books and the adoption of specialized e-book reading devices. Most of the findings in this report come from a survey of 2,986 Americans ages 16 and older, conducted on November 16-December 21, 2011, that focused on e-reading and people’s habits and preferences.

Key findings include:

  • A fifth of American adults have read an e-book in the past year and the number of e-book readers grew after a major increase in ownership of e-book reading devices and tablet computers during the holiday gift-giving season.
  • The average reader of e-books says she has read 24 books (the mean number) in the past 12 months, compared with an average of 15 books by a non-e-book consumer.
  • 30% of those who read e-content say they now spend more time reading, and owners of tablets and e-book readers particularly stand out as reading more now.
  • The prevalence of e-book reading is markedly growing, but printed books still dominate the world of book readers.
  • E-book reading happens across an array of devices, including smartphones.
  • In a head-to-head competition, people prefer e-books to printed books when they want speedy access and portability, but print wins out when people are reading to children and sharing books with others.
  • The availability of e-content is an issue to some. Of the 43% of Americans who consumed e-books in the last year or have read other long-form content on digital devices, a majority say they find the e-content is available in the format they want. Yet 23% say they find the material they are seeking “only sometimes,” “hardly ever,” or never available in the format they want.
  • The majority of book readers prefer to buy rather than borrow.

The entire report is here: The rise of e-reading.

With e-content growing and e-readers becoming so prevalent, it is even more important to ensure that content is available in appropriate electronic format under terms that make it available to the consumers who want it.

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You belong at your library — National Library Week is April 8-14

National Library Week, 2012It’s less than two weeks until National Library week, to be held April 8-14, 2012. National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. It’s a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians and to promote library use.

So, let’s not take these wonderful institutions for granted. Every day, they open their doors to all kinds of people and support all kinds of activities. You belong at your library, before, during and after National Library Week.

To see ideas on how to participate, visit the National Library Week page on @your library, the campaign to save America’s libraries.

To see how you might help directly support your library, visit the American Library Association sponsored I Love Libraries.

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