From the Director

Library news and happenings.

Networking With Others

Several KPL staff members attended the last week’s annual state conference of the Michigan Library Association. Much of the conference was programs, many led by library staff sharing their experiences and successes with each other. Two KPL library staff presented programs: “Re-Imagining the Circulation Experience” about the redesign of the first floor circulation area at Central Library and “Not Everything Requires a PowerPoint!” with advice on instruction within the library setting. Both were well attended with good feedback from participants.

In addition to the more formal programs, there were many opportunities for informal networking. I talked with directors from other libraries similar to KPL and heard about their budget challenges, an increasing emphasis on early childhood literacy, heavy use of AV materials most everywhere, concern over state funding, and uncertainty about the role of ebooks within libraries and their impact on print.

The theme of the conference was “Yes we can!,” an attitude shared by everyone I happened to talk to. We all acknowledge the challenges facing our state and libraries of all types, but we remain determined to listen to our communities and response with the services most needed and wanted. Many libraries, including KPL, have undertaken strategic planning to set priorities that response to community needs.

I’m glad I’m in a profession in which folks share freely and learn from each other. We aren’t in competition with each other.


Michigan Library Association

Numbers and More Numbers

Our society likes numbers and we seem to accept that numbers can be used in various ways to tell a story from any perspective. Certainly we saw a lot of numbers in the results of last week’s election: number of votes cast, percentage among the candidates, percentage of citizens who voted, and on and on.

Some recent library related statistics that came to my attention are interesting:

  • 764,448 - book titles self published or by micro-niche publishers in 2009, double the output in 2008
  • 288,355 – book titles from traditional publishers in 2009, 1,374 fewer than 2008
  • 234,000,000 – websites at the end of 2009, up 47 million from 2008
  • 1,967,000,000 – internet users worldwide

These numbers show trends that are good for us to have in mind as we implement our strategic plan and set specific goals for the next year. Fewer books are being published by traditional publishers, more people are using the internet. With this in mind, we are expanding our digital offerings, putting more and more information on our website, posting to Facebook and Twitter, sending email newsletters to patrons.

Come visit us in one of our five buildings or online through our website.


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