June 25, 2017

The Empathy Builders: A More Compassionate World Through Stories | Editorial

When was the last time you read beyond your comfort zone—whether in point of view, genre, or format? Graphic novelist Gene Luen Yang has focused on doing just that from his platform as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, a position to which he was named in early 2016. It’s a cause that’s natural for libraries to promote to patrons but also for each of us to consider in our own approach to our personal and professional reading.

Back in the Big Apple | BEA Preview 2017

After zipping over to the windy city last year, Book Expo returns to New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and will run from Wednesday, May 31, through Friday, June 2, with the fourth annual Book Con, a consumer-facing, pop culture–­focused gathering for fans, happening Saturday, June 3, and Sunday, June 4. One of the big changes this year is the branding shift—from BookExpo America (BEA) to the truncated Book Expo—in recognition of the global reach of the show.

New World, Same Model | Periodicals Price Survey 2017

The shift to digital delivery of serials content has had a profound effect on the information ecosystem. Powerful discovery and social networking tools expose users to an incredibly rich world of commercially produced and open access (OA) content. Most publishers have explored new ways of pricing their content—such as population served, FTE (full-time equivalent), tiered pricing based upon Carnegie classification, or other defining criteria—or the database model, which treats all content within an e-journal package as a database, eliminating the need for title by title reconciliation. However, in the end, the pricing conversation always seems to circle back to the revenue generated by the annual subscription model.

Jamillah Gabriel, Thinking Outside (and Inside) the Box

When Jamillah Gabriel, African American studies information specialist and the manager of the Black Cultural Center Library at Purdue University, IN, realized that there weren’t many book box subscription services that focused on African American literature—and those that did were targeted to children and young adults—she decided to start her own. In summer 2016 Gabriel launched Call Number, a monthly literature subscription box for adults featuring works by non-bestselling black authors.

Rick Bass Wins The Story Prize

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

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

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

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.