LJ’s exclusive July 2013 report, “Engaging the Occasional Patron,” the fourth and final report in Volume 2 of our Patron Profiles series, takes a detailed look at these infrequent library users. Produced in conjunction with ProQuest/Bowker and the PubTrack Business Intelligence team, the report features data drawn from an online survey of more than 2,000 library patrons, conducted in February 2013. According to this sample, these infrequent users could account for more than half of all library patrons.
At first, I was offended when Gretchen Whitney recently posted to the JESSE list, which she moderates, a simplistic estimation of the differences between the teaching of part-time faculty and adjuncts and that of tenured and full-time faculty in LIS programs. I took her comments personally, I suppose, because I have been a part-time and adjunct faculty member at more than a half dozen LIS programs for more than 50 years.
Letters to the editor from the September 1, 2013, issue of Library Journal, on ALA investment and Cuyahoga County Public Library’s Telling Mansion.
Hires, promotions, retirements, and obituaries news from the September 1 issue of Library Journal.
“The library in 2020 will offer a culture of generosity supported by fiscal oversight that reflects rigorous controls and realistic projections,” writes Josie Barnes Parker, director of the Ann Arbor District Library, in Library 2020: Today’s Leading Describe Tomorrow’s Library (Scarecrow). In comparison to many of the predictions in the book of essays, this statement seems very conservative in its pragmatic approach. Nonetheless, it has resonated with me as I think about what drives effective decision making in a time of change.
In 2020, the public library will be a concept more than a place. The library will be more about what it does for people rather than what it has for people. As society evolves and more content becomes digital, people will access information in different ways. Physical items will be less important than they have been up to now. Library buildings and spaces will be used in different ways, and services will be provided beyond the building and virtually. The library as a catalyst for civic engagement will facilitate learning and growth for people of all ages.
Three years ago, I wrote in LJ that “libraries are so valuable that they attract voracious new competition with every technological advance.” At the time, I was thinking about Google, Apple, Amazon, and Wikipedia as the gluttonous innovators aiming to be hired for the jobs that libraries had been doing. I imagined Facebook and Twitter to be the sort of competitors most likely to be attracted by the flame of library value. But it’s the new guys that surprise you. To review the last three years of change in the library world, I’d like to focus on some of the start-ups that have newly occupied digital niches in the reading ecosystem. It’s these competitors that libraries will need to understand and integrate with to remain relevant.
With the completion of the Penguin Random House merger on July 1, the company is now the world’s largest consumer book publisher. The newly formed company will have $3.9 billion in revenue, 10,000 employees, nearly 250 imprints, and a global reach, combining Random House’s strength in Latin America with Penguin’s hold in India and China. Penguin Random House will publish 15,000 new titles a year, about one-quarter of the world’s English-language books. What will this mean for the publishing landscape?
My favorite comment on the merger of Penguin and Random House was in an Op Ed in the New York Times. “[M]aybe Random Penguin, as a few wags have suggested, would have been a more apt name.” (The name was widely tweeted and depicted as well.) I can see the image in my own mind, an even more eccentric-looking penguin than Penguin’s own, looking around with a slightly drunken gaze. It is so much more satisfying than the temporary logo.