March 28, 2017

Rick Bass Wins The Story Prize

2017 Story Prize finalists (l-r): Rick Bass, Helen Maryles Shankman, Anna Noyes

It may have been International Women’s Day, but on the evening of March 8 The Story Prize went to Rick Bass, the sole male author among the three finalists. Bass’s collection, For a Little While, took the $20,000 prize (and an engraved silver bowl), awarded to the outstanding short story collection of the year.

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Aging in the 21st Century

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As the vocal baby boom generation gets older, aging itself has become a growing topic of conversation. Libraries—and their raisons d’être—are not immune from this fundamental shift.

The Future of Reading | Designing the Future

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While reading is often thought of as a solitary activity, some of our best book experiences can be social. That shared story­telling experience, says Bob Stein, creator of the Institute for the Future of the Book, is coming to traditional books in a transformative way.

Write Here | Programming

THE WRITE STUFF (Clockwise from top l.): Denver PL’s Hard Times Writing Workshop; SpeakEasy Book Authors Signing for the Community Novel Project at Topeka & Shawnee County PL, KS; Corvallis–Benton County PL, OR, National Novel Writing Month plot planning party; 
White Plains PL, NY, Families of Veterans Writing Workshop (FVWW) participants (l.–r.) Ekaterina Quinones, Julie Geisler, Amanda Cerreto, 
and Kareem Brown; (inset) FVWW book cover

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

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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

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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

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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

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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!

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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

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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.