From the Director
Library news and happenings.
…… the county Law Library is located on the lower level of Central Library?
……all KPL locations have paper and reproducible tax forms and information about free tax preparation clinics?
……eBooks and eaudiobooks are available through our website?
……our librarians will be glad to suggest books based on what you have read and enjoyed?
……KPL staff share their favorite books, music, and movies on our blogs?
……if you missed a concert you enjoy it on YouTube?
……there is a printable calendar of all the library activities for kids on our website?
……there are some amazing teen filmmakers in Kalamazoo?
……many photos of historic Kalamazoo are posted on our website?
……Luis Urrea, this year’s Reading Together author will be here on March 6?
……there are used books for sale at Central Library?
……you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter?
The “best of” lists are out in full force. Along with these lists, nominations for awards for 2011 books, music, and movies are also being announced.
Many KPL staff are sharing their favorite books, movies, and music from the year to support our priority of “reading, viewing, and listening for pleasure.” Our lists, along with ones from previous years, are on our website.
I freely admit I am not current on music or movies, but I think I am current on books until I see these lists. I realize how many titles I haven’t even heard of that are staff favorites. I’ve also learned whose reading interests are similar to mine – I’ve likely to enjoy the book if it is on their list.
What was your favorite from the year?….a new book, an older one you had missed….doesn’t matter. Please share!
I hope the new year provides time and opportunity for reading, viewing, and listening for pleasure for you. Best wishes.
Best of 2011
Summer has gone fast, too fast as usual. We’ve had a great summer of reading games. Registration for the games has been strong AND we’ve had record-breaking circulation on several Mondays, our busiest day of the week.
Programs have been fun – Bubbleman and Chemical Kim entertained kids; tweens and teens watched the Harry Potter movies, adults celebrated the world premiere of local author Bonnie Jo Campbell’s new book, music fans enjoyed Joe Reilly at the Oshtemo Township Park and Steppin’ In It at our 50th free concert.
It’s been a good summer of reading for all ages and now we are ready to celebrate! I hope you can join us at the end-of-summer concert on Sunday afternoon, August 28 at 4:00 in Bronson Park. The Verve Pipe will entertain with catchy songs and melodies from A Family Album, their critically-acclaimed collection of music for the entire family. One reviewer says it is full of “insanely fun, playful and memorable songs that will turn your smile upward.”
I hope to see you in the park for the concert!
The Verve Pipe, A Family Album
It has long been the rule of thumb within the publishing industry that the hardcover edition of a book was released first, followed by a large print edition and audio version, then a paperback edition about a year or so later, depending upon the pace of sales for the hardcover. That’s changing.
The first change I noticed was the release of the large print and audio versions soon after the hardcover. Now the ebook version is in the mix too. The ebook is released with the hardcover and sometimes before the hardcover OR sometimes just an ebook and no hardcover.
There is now an urgency to release the paperback sooner, following the model of Hollywood which has shortened the time between the theatrical release of a film and the DVD release. Publishers now watch each title’s sales quite closely to determine the best time to release the paperback and continue the momentum of the title. That could be just a few months to more than a year.
The entire publishing cycle is faster. Hardcovers have less time to prove themselves; ebooks sales are strongest at initial publication and do not spike again with the paperback release.
We purchase popular titles in all of these formats, some simultaneously, some staggered as they are released. In addition to various formats, we also purchase for special collections such as Hot Picks and Book Club in a Bag.
Come visit soon – I hope we have the title you want in the format you prefer.
Summer is often the time of year for trips near and far. We have many materials to help with trip planning but a case can be made for staying home too.
I recently read an article that made the case that Picasso was particularly prolific because “he never went anywhere.” The author wrote that Picasso only left France twice and got up every morning, including during the Nazi occupation of France, and worked. He didn’t hold with the idea that to understand life it was vital to travel. His inspiration came from museums in his area, reading books and magazines, and watching films. The author concluded that “the greatest artist of the 20th century was basically a shut-in.”
Everyone has a different travel philosophy. ...some want to travel widely, some hardly at all, some want to return to favorite travel destinations and not venture elsewhere.
Our summer reading games this year have a travel theme as participants read for at least 20 minutes each day. I hope you have signed up and are “traveling” though your summer reading. We have materials to help plan a trip, find inspiration for a new destination, or “travel” from your armchair by reading, viewing, and listening with items from our collections.
Novel Destinations: KPL Summer Reading Games
….. if you miss a library program, or just want to enjoy it again, you can often see all or part of it on the library’s YouTube channel?
….. some magazines are available online AND that back issues of magazines can be checked out at our branches?
….. our staff has a wide range of reading interests and they share them on our book blog and in “staff picks” displays?
….. the world premiere of award winning, local author Bonnie Jo Campbell’s new book, Once Upon a River, will be at the Central Library on July 6?
….. all library-sponsored programs are listed on the calendar on our website?
….. you can renew library materials online?
….. you can download an ebook through our website?
….. about the local history photo gallery?
….. summer reading games for all ages are underway?
….. “Steppin’ In It” will perform on July 20 - our 50th free monthly concert?
Come visit soon…..Central Library, any branch, our website.
If you frequently browse the KPL website, you know we add new sections often. There are several new ones I want to call to your attention to:
• We have revamped the Job and Career Support section with links to Michigan Works and Goodwill Industries as well as to some library databases and resources of particular interest to job seekers.
• Summer Reading Games for all ages will begin June 15. We now have the information on our website with fun graphics for each game.
• There is some new information about eBooks on that section of our website. We are pleased that later this year, OverDrive will be available for the Kindle. We’ll share information as it becomes available.
Our Blogs aren’t new but they are updated frequently. The varied reading, viewing, and listening tastes of our staff mirror those of our patrons. I’ve discovered several recent favorite books from our staff blogs... books that wouldn’t have come to my attention otherwise.
Several staff have a particular interest in Local History and add to the growing list of essays about Kalamazoo and Southwest Michigan places and people.
And it’s a big weekend for the Friends of KPL – the Super Saturday Sale on Saturday, June 4, 9 am – 3:30 pm in front of Central Library. Books are 10¢ each or a bag full for $2!
Browse our site. We hope you will find information of interest; we always welcome your feedback.
“Connecting to the online world” is one of our five strategic priorities. As a major step in meeting that priority, we installed over 100 new PCs earlier this month at Central Library and all branches.
New features include, among others
- A wide screen
- Microphone and headphone jacks
- Microsoft Office 2010 Suite
- Browser choices of Internet Explorer and Firefox
- Assistive Technology – Windows Eyes and ZoomText
At central, all public PCs have been relocated to the second floor rotunda. We often have a tech aide on duty to help. At branches, staff can assist patrons. Patrons with a valid KPL library card are eligible for up to two hours of computer time per day; guest passes are available for one hour of computer time per day for those without a KPL card who might be visiting our area.
Come visit to use this new equipment; watch for changes in the former Tech Center at central.
A recently released national study, How Libraries Stack Up: 2010, details how public libraries are delivering millions of dollars in resources and support to meet community needs. A few interesting conclusions:
- Nearly 12,000 public libraries provide free wireless internet access, more than Starbucks, Barnes & Nobel or Borders. KPL provides free wifi at all locations.
- 10,800 public libraries offer meeting rooms; every day 225,000 people use them. We have meeting rooms available for public use.
- There were 1.4 billion library visits last year as compared to 1.3 billion movie attendance and 218 million U.S sporting event attendance. KPL counted 866,268 visitors last year.
- Every day, Americans borrow 2.1 million DVDs from libraries. Netflix has us beat there, but many libraries, including KPL do not charge for DVD use. What a bargain!
- U.S public libraries circulate as many materials each day as FedEx ships package worldwide.
- And finally, 2/3’s of Americans have a library card; for many young people, it is the first card in their wallet.
Statistics like these are fun, but they don’t tell the whole story, of course. Come visit soon – use our wifi, attend a program or event in our meeting rooms, check out a DVD or a book or just sit and relax with a popular magazine in our reading areas.
How Libraries Stack Up: 2010
A study released in the fall found that one in ten Americans use an ereader of some type and one in ten would likely get one in the next six months. If that study is accurate, that means many of us received or bought ourselves an ereader recently, perhaps over the holidays.
Reading used to be simple. Check out a book from the library, buy a new or used one at your favorite bookstore, borrow one from a friend, and just read it! Although those are still options, there are now many more with a variety of ereaders and devices with multiple uses.
We have just revised the ebooks section of our website. Thousands of ebook titles are available through the digital download center. We also have links to resources about various reading devices, and if you don’t have an ereader, you can borrow one at the Central Library.
Some studies have found that those who use ereaders read more. Personally, I’m not there yet – I still prefer the traditional book, but we offer both.
Come visit soon, either through our website or at any branch or the Central Library.
eBooks and Sony Readers®