November 17, 2017

Write Here | Programming

Everyone has a book in them, it’s said. While Christopher Hitchens completed that phrase with “in most cases that’s where it should stay,” it doesn’t seem the public agrees. This is dramatically demonstrated by the expansion of U.S. publishing, as measured by Bowker, the U.S. issuer of ISBNs, the numbers that help track book sales. In 2002, Bowker issued 247,777. In 2012 (the most recent figures available), demand rose to 2,352,797—an increase of 2,105,020, or a whopping 849.5 percent.

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Setting Greater Expectations

This month, Titan Books will release a new edition of Nina Allan’s complex novel of a dystopian, but not-too-distant future society, The Race. In it, award-winning science fiction author Nina Allan proves that complex social dilemmas and troubled characters are not limited to traditional novels. We spoke with the author at her U.K. home to find out more.

Reading Chicago Reading Wins Start-Up Grant

A new pilot study by DePaul University scholars in collaboration with the Chicago Public Library (CPL), has received one of 18 National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant awards. Reading Chicago Reading: Modeling Texts and Readers in a Public Library System plans to use data from One Book, One Chicago (OBOC), CPL’s robust 15-year-old community reading program—including circulation statistics, social media data, neighborhood demographics, and textual data—to analyze reading patterns for OBOC books and develop a predictive modeling tool to help drive CPL’s collection development and future OBOC choices.

BEA, Back In Chicago | BEA Preview 2016

After seven years in New York, BookExpo America (BEA) heads to Chicago’s ­McCormick Place, where it will run from Wednesday though Friday, May 11–13. With a focus on BEA’s new partnership with the American Library Association (ALA), the Library Insights track will feature sessions by Libraries Transform: ALA@BEA, which is sponsored by Libraries Transform, ALA’s national public awareness campaign, and digital provider OverDrive. Also added to the 2016 schedule are tracks on children’s publishing and self-publishing, two of the hottest segments in the industry today. And, of course, there will be plenty of books to pick up and author signings to attend.

Fracking the Ecosystem | Periodicals Price Survey 2016

What does fracking have to do with scholarly publishing and journal pricing? While the library financial landscape has improved since the depth of the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009, it still cannot be considered robust. As articles such as this one chronicle annual serials price increases, libraries, publishers, and vendors search for innovative ways to fulfill information needs within the finite, predefined budget environment. New business and access models ranging from the initial e-journal big deal packages, article pay per view, open access, mega-journals, and publisher e-journal database pricing have evolved in response to the environment; libraries, publishers, and vendors have merged, consolidated, or disappeared along the way. Just as fracking keeps the oil and gas flowing, these strategies enable the current scholarly publishing ecosystem to extract the necessary resources—intellectual and financial—to survive.

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Book Acquisition: Eliminate the Guesswork!

Librarians, regardless of the institution, all want the same thing: to make available those books that are relevant to their user’s needs. Indeed, it’s the wish of most librarians to avoid having to turn a patron away. “Librarians love to buy books and then look at the reporting to see how good of a job they did,” says Diana Peterson, […]

Harper Lee, Author of Library Mainstay To Kill a Mockingbird, Dies at 89

Harper Lee, author of the bestselling novel To Kill a Mockingbird and its recently published controversial predecessor, Go Set a Watchman, died on February 19 at the age of 89. To Kill a Mockingbird is a classic of American literature, widely taught in U.S. classrooms despite its most recent ranking as 21 of the American Library Association’s (ALA) 100 most challenged books in the last decade. In 1998, an LJ poll voted it “Best Novel of the Century.” In 2001, the Chicago Public Library launched its One Book, One Chicago program with a citywide read of Mockingbird, which was borrowed by over 6,500 library patrons, including the circulation of 350 foreign language copies. It remains the most popular title for “One Book, One City” programs, having been chosen by more than 60 cities across the country.

Terry Ballard on the Making of “Fifty Specialty Libraries of New York City: From Botany to Magic”

Terry Ballard, an academic systems librarian for more than 40 years, recently finished up an ambitious project: visiting, photographing, and writing about 50 of New York City’s special libraries. The resulting book, 50 Specialty Libraries of New York City: From Botany to Magic, from Chandos Books, publishes today. LJ caught up with him shortly before the book’s launch in order to find out a little more about the process behind his odyssey—and what it was like to visit 50 libraries in less than a year.

National Endowment for the Humanities Honors “What Middletown Read”

On the 50th anniversary of the founding of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the agency recognized 50 of the top projects it has supported over the course of its history. Included on that list was What Middletown Read, a digital humanities project focused on Muncie, IN, that brought the patron, book, and circulation records of a turn-of-the-20th century public library into the 21st.

On Demand | Academic Streaming Media

Whether the topic of discussion is electronic resources, collection development policies, or patron-driven acquisition, academic librarians have a history of giving media and video short shrift, argues deg farrelly, media librarian and streaming video administrator for Arizona State University Libraries (ASU).