From the Director
Library news and happenings.
….. 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®
Almost every magazine or newspaper I pick up seems to have an article about e-readers, often combined with the author’s viewpoint that books are going away, print will be obsolete.
Some studies show that reading overall is on the rise, be it on e-readers or traditional books. Some believe that the ease of sharing reviews about books is contributing to the increase.
Technology is allowing the casual reader to share the joy of reading, the discovery of a new author or an overlooked author. Previously major newspapers had separate book review sections; few of those still exist. Instead readers, rather than professional book reviewers, post their reviews on Amazon, bookstore websites, Twitter, Facebook, LibraryThing and Goodreads websites, and within library catalogs. Some sites provide for a rating system, usually a number of stars.
Then the dialogue begins! Other readers chime in, some, of course in agreement, others in strong disagreement. Some readers wonder if such comments are really reviews, but others say “who cares”. I’m in the group of “who cares”. I like to know the opinion of other readers; it often helps me decide to read or not read a particular book.
Book reviews may be added online to our catalog. Click on the “add a review” icon and share your opinion with others. As more readers contribute through public libraries with the same library catalog system, the number of titles with patron comments will grow.
Come visit, get a book, share your opinion.
Write a Review
Several times recently, I’ve said or written my prediction that traditional printed books will continue to be our focus for the remainder of my library career. If that prediction is going to be true, it’s a good thing I’m nearer the end of my career than the beginning!
It seems almost every publication I read lately, has an article about e-books. Amazon has announced sales of digital books increased 207% in the first five months of the year and it sells more books for its Kindle e-reader than it does traditional hardcover volumes. Last month they sold nearly twice as many Kindle books as hardcover ones.
Barnes & Noble reports physical books, as opposed to digital ones, will be the majority of its sales for the next five years but their future is bright with the Nook, their e-reader. Publishers still depend on bookstores to display their books and promote authors and they are a destination to test new products. They see a market for both.
Other publications report that authors are now bypassing publishers and posting older works or unpublished works directly on Amazon in exchange for 70% of the sales price. Many authors are reportedly earning more from such e-book sales than from hardcover sales, consistent with Amazon’s overall sales direction.
Of course this all has implications for libraries. Some are proposing inviting authors to share their works directly with libraries in digital format with libraries paying for each transaction. Some suggest a central depository for libraries to draw on and pay per download. All agree such an approach would require a coordinated effort – no individual library could accomplish this to any significant degree on its own.
I still stand by my prediction that traditional printed books will dominate during the remainder of my library career but I certainly see the shift to digital books and their advantages. That shift to a major focus on digital with printed books as almost an aside, could well happen during the career of our younger librarians.
Although we do have e-readers and e-books to check out, traditional printed books are still our mainstay and will be for some time.
Come visit soon; check out a traditional printed book OR an e-book!
My handy desk dictionary defines “transliterate” as “to represent letter or words in the corresponding characters of another alphabet.”
I’m beginning to see this word more and more in the library literature, usually as “transliteracy” meaning “the ability to read, write, or otherwise communicate across different technological platforms.”
Libraries are increasing acknowledging that our role includes supporting transliteracy as well as the traditional literacy. We provide books for various reading levels in the traditional print format but we also provide them on e-readers and as a digital download to your computer or device. We offer computer classes for the public, we have over 100 computers for public use, and we have informational databases available in the library and remotely.
Through our staff Tech Team we examine new technologies as they gain popularity and determine if there are library applications that are logical. Technology rapidly changes and it is often hard to keep up, but it is important for us to keep pace with technological needs of our patrons. Right now we are looking at music downloads, apps for iPhones/iPads, and user friendly advancements to our online catalog.
Come visit soon. Try these services to increase your transliteracy or just find a good book for the beach!
A ‘Transliterate’ design at Bedminster Library, Bristol. UK. Collaborative artwork by Annie Lovejoy and Mac Dunlop, © 2005
Earlier this spring, I read my first complete book, actually two, on one of our Sony eReaders. I’d only read excerpts previously to try it out.
My husband and I took a driving vacation. Usually I’d take five or six books along; this time I took 30+, all on the eReader and it wasn’t full.
I admit it took me a little while to get used to it – the screen, the page turning, the side light when needed, BUT it sure was convenient.
I read Little Bee, such a compelling novel that I would have kept reading no matter what the format, and a short story collection, Where the God of Love Hangs Out.
I’m not a total convert to eReaders; I still like the traditional printed book but it’s a format that has its place and it sure was easy to take an eReader rather than a stack of books on vacation.
We have several to loan; come visit and give on a try.
Audiobooks & eBooks
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