From the Director
Library news and happenings.
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.
Cookbook awards were recently announced by the International Association of Culinary Professionals. More than 500 titles were entered in seventeen categories.
I’m pleased we already have many of the winners in our collection. To name a few you might want to put on hold or look for next time you are here:
• In the “American” category: The Lee Bros. Simple Fresh Southern
• “Baking: Savory or Sweet” category: Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies
• “Children, Youth and Family” category: Sara Moulton’s Everyday Family Dinners
• “Compilations” category: The Essential New York Times Cookbook
Cookbooks are popular. We are restocking our current display of “grilling” books daily. Although the many food and cooking sites on the internet make it easy to find a particular recipe, it’s not the same as leafing through a new cookbook with mouthwatering photos as you get inspired to try some new recipes and make the grocery list.
Browse our cookbooks on line or on the shelf.
Simple fresh southern : knockout dishes with down-home flavor
There are a few times during the year when it seems logical to pause and consider the role of public libraries – National Library Week and Banned Books Week come immediately to mind but the 4th of July is another one as we think about our country’s history. The public library is an American invention. Early European libraries were subscription based. Supposedly it was the citizens of Peterborough, NH, who introduced the radial concept of a truly public library in 1833. By the 1870’s, eleven states had 188 public libraries, including Michigan and Kalamazoo with the establishment of KPL in 1872.
Fast forward to today. Nationally 2/3’s of the population carry library cards, about half visit a public library at least once a year.
Business is strong for public libraries, including KPL. During economic hard times people turn to the public library to borrow books, DVDs, attend programs, and use computers for job searching. Library use is increasing as funding decreases. KPL has had record breaking use this past year; as we begin our new year on July 1, our primary source of revenue, local property tax, is reduced.
Come visit soon. We continue to offer a wide range of materials and array of programs and have a staff ready to help you.
The History of the Library
This is our week to celebrate – its National Library Week!
NLW, as it is known in the library world, was first observed in 1958. It is sponsored by the American Library Association as a celebration of the contributions of our country’s libraries and librarians, and to promote library use and support.
The first year’s theme was “Wake Up and Read!”….still a good message, 53 years later.
This year’s is “Create Your Own Story @ Your Library.”
We’ve been collecting “your stories” for several years and we’d like to add yours to our collection. There are about 50 on our website and room for yours too. Think about your best library memory, how a library book changed your life, what you’ve learned at the library, how library staff have helped you, then share it with us. It can be from any library that has been important to you, not just KPL.
Your story might introduce someone else to a library service, inspire them to read a particular book, remind them of the importance of reading to children.
We’ve love to hear your story and happy National Library Week to you!
National Library Week
Poetry is in the news – April is National Poetry Month.
This celebration was first introduced in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets to increase awareness and appreciation of poetry in the US. Over the years, free books of poetry have been distributed, a postage stamp of Langston Hughes was issued, a gala honoring Poets Laureate was held at the White House, and poetry readings have been held across the country.
National Poetry Writing Month, also celebrated in April, encourages writing a poem a day in celebration of this literary form! Many teachers focus on poetry with their students this month, both reading and writing.
Whichever is your preference – reading or writing poetry – this is the month and we have many resources.
Come visit soon for materials on poetry or most any other topic.
National Poetry Month
March has several designations that relate to libraries – March into Literacy Month and Women’s History Month in particular. We promote and celebrate literacy year round of course; our support for Women’s History Month is not quite as obvious.
National Women’s History Month traces its origins to March 1857 when a group of female New York City factory workers staged a protest over their working conditions. It wasn’t until 1981 that Congress designated the second week in March as National Women’s History Week. In 1987 it was expanded to the entire month.
Each year a Presidential Proclamation is issued in recognition of the month. This year it also commemorates the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, a global celebration of the “economic, political, and social achievements of women past, present, and future.” It is to remind us that although progress has been made, there is still much work to be done before women achieve true parity with men.
In keeping with this 100th anniversary and as an emphasis of the current administration, the first federal report since 1963 on the welfare of women in America has recently been issued.
We have many materials in our collection that provide historical background and perspective. Most are in the subject headings of Women history and Women’s rights – history.
Come visit soon for materials on this topic or most any other!
Caroline Bartlett Crane, a KPL Women’s History essay
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
Generally the national “Librarian of the Year” is not well known outside of the library community and their home state, but this year’s winner, Nancy Pearl, is the exception.
Nancy is often referred to as the “rock star of librarians”! While at Seattle Public Library, she wondered what would happen if everyone read and talked about the same book. The program was so successful that it has been offered at libraries across the country with local variations. KPL’s Reading Together is our version, still going strong as we begin our 9th year.
Nancy can be heard on NPR, Weekday, where she reviews books. She also teaches library school students, does workshops for library staff around the country, presents public programs on the joys of books and reading, has written a series of Book Lust books and, most importantly, is a strong, national advocate for libraries and reading. And this is all from a woman who is “retired”!
I am especially proud that Nancy is a good friend of KPL’s. She visited several years ago and did a workshop on services to readers for KPL staff and a public program, still talked about among those avid readers who attended. Her visit here prompted her to add a “warning” to her workshop for librarians – be aware – patrons may think they’re read the most recent one in a mystery series but they may not have, so don’t give away any secrets! Whenever I see her at conferences, we reminisce about the conversation that led to this warning!
Congratulations, Nancy, on this well deserved recognition and thanks for your efforts on behalf of all libraries and booklovers.
Nancy Pearl at Kalamazoo Public Library, January 2006
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®
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.
About the Library