From the Director
Library news and happenings.
I recently read that Keith Richards has confessed to a secret longing to be a librarian. Yes, THAT Keith Richards, he of the Rolling Stones, the greatest rock and roll band of all times in the opinion of many! Isn’t that an interesting visual??
He has said he has been “quietly nurturing his inner bookworm” and considered some type of training (that would be librarianship!) to manage the 1000’s of books at his various homes. He says he started to arrange his books in categories but gave up, instead opting to keep his favorites close at hand. He also loans books to friends with little hope of getting them back and leaves books by the bedside for guests in his homes.
Richards’ autobiography, Life, will be released in the fall. According to advance publicity, he will reveal how he found comfort in books before he discovered music.
I expect we’ll be ordering his book for our collection; how could we not when he writes that the public library is one of two institutions that affect one most powerfully! By the way, the other is the church, he says.
Keith Richards’ Library
The e-reader choices are expanding – the Kindle, the Sony E-Reader, the recently announced Nook, and the Apple Tablet expected later this month. With each new device, there is more news coverage in the popular press.
Amazon announced that on Christmas Day, for the first time ever, it sold more e-books than regular paper books. It sounds as if lots of folks received Kindles for Christmas.
If you, like me, did not receive an e-reader but would like to try one, visit Central Library, AV department. We have Sony E-Readers to loan. We chose that model as a better fit for library use than the others.
I still don’t think paper books will go away, at least not in my library career, but e-readers certainly have a place and it good to keep up with the latest “gadget.”
Come visit soon for an e-reader or a book….we have both!
Audiobooks & eBooks
Over thirty teens participated in our celebration of “National Gaming Day @ Your Library” on November 14. Overall, participating libraries had 31,296 players nationwide, double the number from 2008.
KPL teens played online against Ann Arbor, Detroit, and Darien, MA. We had video gamers as well as an enthusiastic group of card gamers.
The American Library Association sponsors this event to showcase that libraries are about much more than books. Video games complement our other services and expand our reach into the community. The games give kids a chance to practice reading, writing, and computing in a safe environment surrounded by their friends, library staff, books, and knowledge. What’s not to like about that?!
The comments from KPL teens and teens across the country are very positive. We like to be called “awesome”!
Enjoy some photos of our National Gaming Day and come visit soon.
ALA National Gaming Day 2009
WWMT recently ran a story on their website and on the local newscast about KPL. They were following up on the many stories in the national print and broadcast media about the surge in library business in these tough economic times.
I told the reporter what I have written on this blog and in Link, the library newsletter, that our circulation is up almost 10%, with a 25% increase in AV materials. Program attendance, registration for computer classes, computer usage, use of our meeting rooms… all up.
One patron in the WWMT news report commented that our AV shelves are sometimes empty. Some days the shelves of new AV materials are rather bare. It’s a high priority to get returned items, especially new, popular ones, back on the shelves ASAP. However, we have a strong collection of older titles too….ones you may have missed or ones worth watching or listening to again.
We’ve pleased our local TV station followed-up the national stories with the local experience. It is still another opportunity to remind viewers of our resources and that there is no charge to borrow any materials, including AV items.
Come visit soon.
KPL on WWMT
If you are reading this blog entry, you have obviously found our website, but have you really explored it yet?
We launched this website in June, 2008. Since then we’ve added many more features, further developed the original sections, and added videos of many of our events. It’s a site to browse for reading, viewing, and listening suggestions; a doorway into our catalog to search our holdings, reserve materials, and check your own account; a source of information through our topic guides; a calendar to our many events and programs at all locations for all ages.
Some website features are basic and will always be there, others are seasonal…..we currently have a link to tax forms and information. Others are constantly being expanded…..look at the local history section.
Library websites are frequently called online branches. We hope it is becoming that for you with logical, easy navigation and information you needed. We hope, however, that it is also a site you just want to browse even when you aren’t looking for anything in particular. I’d welcome your comments about our website.
Do explore our online branch soon.
Kalamazoo Public Library Website
In early January, the focus of The Diane Rehm show on NPR was the role of libraries in economic hard times, an increasingly timely discussion. Her guests were the directors of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore and the D.C. Public Library, and the president of the American Library Association, an academic librarian.
They all described increases in visits, registrations, computer use, program attendance, and circulation at the same time their revenues are decreasing. Listeners who phoned or emailed in shared similar stories from their local library; folks are turning to their public library for services and materials they might have looked for elsewhere previously.
Our experience is similar. AV materials…DVDs, CDs, audiobooks, digital media…have experienced the highest increase. Circulation is up almost 40% at the central library; close to 30% across all KPL locations for the nonprint materials.
We purchase the films shown by the Kalamazoo Film Society and have established a Hot Picks on DVD collection with current, often just-released titles. As always, there is no charge to borrow an AV item, including new titles. You just need a library card. Those not on the shelf when you visit can be reserved. Just ask any staff member.
And come visit soon to browse our AV items….at any location or on our website.
Library staff talk about “power users,” those patrons who visit several times a week, use many services, and check out lots of books and AV materials.
I recently saw the results of a study done at an Ohio library that found that 8.3% of their patrons accounted for 61% of their circulation. Wow….they have some real power users there!
We don’t have corresponding statistics but I would guess our power users don’t account for that large a percentage of our total circulation. Of course it begs the question of “what defines a power user?” Library staff might say, we can’t define them, but we know them when we see them!
Come visit and check out as many or as few materials as you want. You can be a power user….or just a regular user!
Research your favorite topic at the library