From the Director

Library news and happenings.

E-Reading vs. Print Reading

A recently released Pew Research Center study reports 23% of Americans, ages 16 and older, have read an e-book in the past year, up from 16% the year before. Those who read a print book dropped from 72% to 67%. Overall book readers, no matter the format, remained about the same at about 75% of the population.

Not surprisingly, there has also been an increase in ownership of e-book reading devices; 25% of those 16 and older own a tablet computer, 19% an e-book reading device.

Also not surprisingly, e-book borrowing from public libraries has increased too….from 3% last year to 5% this year.

Here at KPL we have had a whooping increase in e-book circulation: 3,593 in 2010 / 11 to 17,369 in 2011/12. That’s an increase of 383%!

The titles available to download through our website have increased substantially too. We purchase copies of popular titles just for KPL cardholders in addition to those available through the Midwest Collaborative for Library Services. Nevertheless, the choices are limited because many publishers do not allow libraries to purchase digital copies to loan to cardholders.

The American Library Association is challenging publishers to include libraries in their service model. So far, most publishers are not willing to do so.

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AnnR

Q: What's a Bag-of-Books Sale?

Q: What's a Bag-of-Books Sale?

A: The annual Friends of KPL booksale with books at $2.00 for a bag full OR 10¢ a book.

Q: Where and when?

A: Van Deusen Room, 3rd, floor Central Library, Saturday, January 26, 9 am - 3:30 pm

Q: Why?

A: Build your home library, help clean out the Friends storage area, raise money for the Friends generous support of the library

Q: What does the library do with the money from the Friends?

A: Provide summer reading games for all ages, support Reading Together and Global Reading Challenge, help fund concerts

Q: If I come to the sale, what else could I do downtown that day?

A: Shop in the Friends Bookstore on the lower level of the Central Library, check out a book or movie from the library, ask a reference question, play in the children’s room, stroll on the downtown mall

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AnnR

New Services in the New Year

We are getting ready to offer several new services in 2013.

Details are yet to be worked out, but we will add Freegal Music to our services within the next month or two. With a KPL card, library users will have access to millions of songs from 10,000+ labels, including all Sony Music labels. From an easy-to-use website, users will be able to download mp3 files that can be played on any device, including iPods. Watch for an announcement soon.

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We will also be adding Rocket Languages, an online language learning program. If your new year’s resolutions include learning a new language, this is for you! Spanish, Portuguese, Korean, Japanese, Italian, Hindi, German, French, Chinese, Arabic, and American Sign Language are here for the learning. Again, details will be announced soon.

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And we are thrilled to have been awarded a grant to become a Family Place Library, a national model and designation that builds on the knowledge that good health, early learning, parental involvement, and supportive communities play a critical role in young children’s growth and development. Several of us will attend a training institute in the spring with the expectation we will launch this new initiative later in 2013.

We’re looking forward to the new year with these new services. Details to follow over the next few months.

Best wishes for the new year.

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AnnR

It was a very good year!

Our year ended on June 30 and it was a very good one!

Circulation of print and AV materials was up 21% over the previous year. Not surprisingly, the percentage increase was greatest in ebooks – from about 3,600 to over 17,000. Our total circulation was over 1.6 million so ebook circulation is still small in comparison to print and AV.

Program attendance was strong also, especially for our programs for children and teens; attendance at youth programs was over 37,000 for the year. We have increased our emphasis on programs for these ages, both in the library and around the community, in support of our priority of “creating young readers.”

Computer use, number of cardholders, and hits to our website are all up for the year, too.

Come visit soon, in person or through our website... check out an item, attend a program, find information on our website.

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AnnR

Ebooks and More for Kids

If you have children in your life, you might know about the TumbleBook Library but if not, here is a brief overview with a link to our website for more detailed information.

Kids and tweens can listen to or read along at their own pace to animated, talking picture books, read-alongs and ebooks on a computer or ipad. In addition to books, there are videos, puzzles and games, and language learning. All are available through our website. A good starting point is the virtual tour for an overview of the various features.

The books range from picture books, easy readers, chapter books, teen fiction, and graphic novels. Suggested grade level is included.

Children learn in various ways and many of today’s kids learn best in an online environment or as a complement to print learning. We’ll have books in both print and online format for many years to come.

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TumbleBook Library
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AnnR

Moving to an E-World

A recent library publication included some statistics to show “its’s an ‘e’ world”. Some of them seemed worth sharing:

• 2,267,233,742 - Internet users worldwide

• 644,275,754 – number of websites as of March 2012

• 47,097 – magazines, newspapers, newsletters, TV/radio transcripts around the world that offer online full text, up from about 5,500 in 2000

• 112 – number of e-mails sent and received each day by the typical user

• 183% - increase in public library e-book collections in the past year

Of course KPL’s holdings reflect this shift to an ‘e’ world also. These statistics are from our annual report to the Library of Michigan submitted earlier this year:

• 1,352 – downloadable audio items

• 4,184 – e-books available

• 16 – database subscriptions

Most of our holdings are still in “physical units”: print books, DVDs, CDs, but we are increasingly moving to the ‘e’ world also.

Come visit soon – through our website for e-resources or any of our buildings.

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AnnR

It’s Summer at KPL!

Just sharing some miscellaneous info...

• Our summer hours are now in effect….we close at 6 pm on Thursdays and are closed Sundays. Winter hours will resume after Labor Day.

Summer reading games for all ages – youngest to oldest – begin on June 13, last day of school for Kalamazoo Public School students.

• Our popular First Saturday @ KPL program will continue through the summer along with many programs for school age children.

• We are beginning to consider suggestions for next year’s Reading Together title and would welcome your ideas for a title, author, or theme. Just add yours as a “comment” to this blog.

• And speaking of Reading Together, did you see the heartfelt letter this year’s author, Luis Urrea, sent us?

• You can now search the Kalamazoo Telegraph, a local newspaper from 1863 – 1913, through our website. It’s interesting reading even if you aren’t a local historian or genealogist.

• If you missed “Michigan at the Exposition: The 1893 Chicago World’s Fair,” it is on our website, along with many other programs.

• There are some online audio books, always available, you can download through our website. It makes exercising more enjoyable if you can listen to a good book at the same time.

KPL staff blog about books they have recently read and particularly enjoyed. Our reading tastes vary greatly; we invite your comments and welcome an online discussion.

• We’ve added ebooks for kids to our website. Some reluctant young readers who have access to an ereader, but be enticed to read more in this format.

Come visit soon…..Central Library, branches, or through our website.

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AnnR

Attention Ebook Users

I have often written here about opportunities as well as limitations for ebook use through public libraries. Now I want to call your attention to two ebook features on our website.

First is a short video (1 minute 14 seconds) explaining publisher limitations on ebook availability through public libraries. Along with the video is an online petition to make your voice heard. I urge you to watch the video and sign the petition. You’ll find links on our home page and on our eBooks page.

Second is a Pew research study about ebook use. The results of this study will help libraries and publishers better understand the use of ebooks through libraries and, I am hoping, strengthen the library argument for ebook availability. I urge you to complete this brief survey. There’s a link on our eBooks page.

Ebooks lending through public libraries is an evolving service for us, an evolving market for publishers. Let your voice be heard, your opinion counted through this petition and research study.

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AnnR

eBook Update Continued

Last week I wrote here about the evolving ebook market.

I shared that libraries were bracing for a price increase for ebooks from Random House publishers. Indeed the recent increases are double and triple the prices we had been paying. As an example, one recently released title had been $40 for the ebook version; it increased to $120 as of March 1. The print version, with the library discount, is a little over $20.

Basically, the new Random House prices for ebooks to ebook distributors, not directly to libraries are

  • Titles in print as new hardcovers: $65 - $85
  • Titles available for several months or timed to paperback release: $25 - $50
  • New children’s titles in print as hardcovers: $35 - $85
  • Older children’s titles and children’s paperbacks: $25 - $45

In spite of these hefty price increases, libraries welcome that Random House continues to offer titles in ebook format to libraries.

Again, as I wrote previously, Penguin Books are not available in ebook format to public libraries. They publish many bestsellers and we, like all libraries, regret we cannot provide them to our users.

Bottom line: please know we will continue to provide ebooks as they are available and affordable for public libraries. Some titles we cannot provide at all, due to publisher restrictions, others we may not be able to provide until several months after their initial release.

The market continues to evolve.

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AnnR

An Evolving eBook Market

Most libraries, including KPL, experienced a strong increase in the circulation of ebooks after the holidays. Obviously readers were a popular holiday gift. Ebook users have learned how to download books from OverDrive through our website and many have attended our training or Q & A sessions.

In addition to titles available through the OverDrive consortium, we purchase additional copies of popular titles available to KPL resident cardholders. However patrons often ask why a particular popular title isn’t available in ebook format.

All publishers will sell us print copies, but not necessarily ebook copies. Their policies and approach vary considerably:

  • Random House titles are available; they recently announced a price increase.
  • HarperCollins titles are available to public libraries but each title is limited to 26 uses. The library must then renew its license for that title.
  • Macmillan does not make its popular titles available; some scholarly titles are available to public libraries.
  • Penguin terminated its agreement to provide to public libraries in February. Those titles already in a library’s catalog are still available.
  • Simon & Schuster titles are not available.
  • Hachette backlist is available, not the frontlist of new, popular titles.
  • Scholastic titles are not available.
  • Houghton Mifflin Harcourt titles are available.

Bottom line: the availability of a popular title in ebook format through a public library depends upon the publisher. Ebook lending through public libraries is still evolving and the specifics change frequently. Be assured, however, that we continue to follow the market closely and purchase popular titles available to us. Even if we don’t have the title in ebook format, we will have it in print.

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AnnR