October 13, 2015

The Mountain Shadow by Gregory David Roberts | LJ Review

Gregory David Roberts’s long-awaited sequel to his best-selling Shantaram is bound to be as big a hit as its predecessor.

A Well Connected Lineup at The Digital Shift


On October 14, Library Journal and School Library Journal will present The Digital Shift, their sixth annual virtual conference examining the challenges and opportunities that the ever-changing digital landscape presents for libraries and their communities. This year’s theme, “Libraries Connecting Communities,” will bring together a variety of speakers and panelists to discuss the tools, services, and strategies today’s libraries need to stay connected—to users, students, stakeholders, and each other.

Jim Schmidt on Analytics, Widgets, Digital Magazines, and Other Aspects of the Digital Shift

Jim Schmidt

On October 14, Library Journal and School Library Journal will host their sixth annual virtual conference, “The Digital Shift: Libraries Connecting Communities.” Recorded Books is a Gold Sponsor of the conference, and LJ reached out to Jim Schmidt, Sr. Vice President of Sales & Marketing, to participate in this series of interviews addressing libraries’ evolving role in using the latest technology to connect patrons to the information, tools, and services that they need—and to one another.

The Personal Touch | Readers’ Advisory


The goal of the My Librarian program at Multnomah County Library (MCL), Portland, OR, launched in April 2014, is to create a virtual space that ignites that same spark of connection and delight that patrons experience when they engage in person with library staff about books, thus building relationships and community and providing service at the patron’s point of need.

South Carolina Libraries Respond to Flooding


Over the weekend of October 3–4, Hurricane Joaquin brought record-setting rainfall and catastrophic flooding to the Southeast, leaving South Carolina in a state of disaster. In the central and eastern part of the state, rivers overran their banks, washing out roads, and bridges, breaching dams, and destroying property. To the south, high tides pushed water inland over sea walls. President Barack Obama declared the state a disaster zone, and ordered federal aid to supplement state, tribal, and local efforts. The storm was what meteorologists call a “1,000-year rainfall event.” As of press time, the death toll for the state stood at 17, and Sen. Lindsey Graham said the cost of flooding could top $1 billion. Public libraries across the state began reopening Tuesday, and immediately began stepping in to help wherever possible—posting emergency information on their websites, helping people contact loved ones and insurance companies, distributing supplies, and serving as a place of shelter and connection.

Penguin Random House Forms New Adult Library Marketing Group

In a not unexpected move following the July 2013 merger of Random House and the Penguin Group, Penguin Random House has announced the creation of a unified, cross-company Penguin Random House Adult Library Marketing Group. Company officials said that this move is aimed at further strengthening its presence in the adult library market.

Activate Partners To Grow Circ | Brand Insider


The aim of merchandising is to make each library’s collection as effective as possible. Great merchandising forms the bridge between the library and the patron—it helps readers discover books beyond the best sellers on the holds shelf. The challenge for libraries is that merchandising is a specialty in its own right.

Karen Estrovich on Curated Collections, “See Book, Read Book,” and Other Aspects of the Digital Shift


On October 14, Library Journal and School Library Journal will host their sixth annual virtual conference, “The Digital Shift: Libraries Connecting Communities.” OverDrive is a Platinum Sponsor of the conference, and LJ reached out to Karen Estrovich, Director of Collection Development OverDrive, to participate in this series of interviews addressing libraries’ evolving role in using the latest technology to connect patrons to the information, tools, and services that they need—and to one another.

“Libraries Are Essential to a City” | SLJ Talks to Former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean

Karl Dean remembers his childhood public library as a place where “you could go to dream.” Recreating that experience resulted in Limitless Libraries, which brought public library resources into Nashville schools to enable every student to pursue their dreams.

Harvard Launches User Research Center

Harvard User Research Close Up

In August, Harvard Library opened its User Research Center (URC), where library staff can discuss, design, and implement in-person and device-based user experience research. According to Susan Fliss, Associate University Librarian for Research, Teaching, and Learning and Director and Librarian of Monroe C. Gutman Library, this is the next step in a change in focus for Harvard’s library system. “Over the past several years, Harvard librarians and staff have been investing time in developing skills in anthropological survey design and user testing. While we had many people who were undertaking user design projects, the projects were dispersed across libraries and schools.” By creating a centralized Research Center, Fliss hopes that Amy Deschenes, Library User Experience Specialist, and Kris Markman, Online Learning Librarian, can coordinate usability efforts across all of Harvard’s libraries.

Life, Library, and the Pursuit of Happiness

Bell image_ThinkStock_4_LPeet_square

What is happiness? What makes us happy? Do libraries have the capacity to deliver a happy experience to those who use them? All good questions. The answers are elusive, but thanks to a body of research on happiness accumulated over the past quarter century we are better able to answer those questions. Librarians are increasingly expressing an interest in the design of experiences that improve how community members interact with the full range of service, resources, and staff. Think of it as the “totality” of all that the library has to offer as an experience, not just the usability of the catalog, the cleanliness of the restrooms, or the smiles on staff faces at service points. Each, no doubt, is important to the overall experience. Great library experiences are delivered at every touch point where community members connect with the library.

Editors’ Picks: Your Next Big Reads from HarperCollins and Penguin Random House


Wednesday, October 28, 2015, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM ET / 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM PT
Hot debut novels. Juicy historical fiction. Diverse books for adult readers. These are only some of the titles you will learn about when you tune into Library Journal’s newest Editors’ Picks webcast. After all, what better way to discover your next big reads than by hearing from the editors who actually bought them? Join us on Wednesday, October 28, at 3:00 p.m. for a conversation between six editors from HarperCollins and Penguin Random House and Prepub Alert editor Barbara Hoffert.
Register Now!

Bibliotheca Acquires 3M Library Systems

Bibliotheca-3M logo

Global library solutions provider Bibliotheca announced October 6 that its shareholder company, One Equity Partners (OEP), has acquired 3M Library Systems’ North American business. In addition, OEP—the private equity arm of JP Morgan Chase & Co.—has entered into agreements to purchase the assets of 3M’s remaining global Library Systems business. The new Bibliotheca Group will incorporate 3M Library Systems—including its security, productivity, and cloud solutions divisions—into a single Bibliotheca brand. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

ProQuest Acquires Ex Libris, CEO Sanford Discusses

ProQuest Ex Libris logos

In a move that will combine two of the world’s largest academic library solutions providers, on October 6 ProQuest signed an agreement to acquire Ex Libris Group from private equity firm Golden Gate Capital. Officials stated that ProQuest’s information resources and expertise in electronic resources management will pair well with Ex Libris’s library automation tools, combining to span “print, electronic, and digital content, as well as solutions for library management, discovery, and research workflows,” according to a joint announcement.

UX Means You | The User Experience


At the end of our 2014 book, Useful, Usable, Desirable: Applying User Experience Design to Your Library, Amanda Etches and I left readers with what we consider to be an important and inspiring ­message: “Every decision we make affects how people experience the library. Let’s make sure we’re creating improvements.”