Leading library ebook distributor OverDrive was sold to Rakuten on March 19 for $410 million cash, more than 16 times OverDrive’s annual earnings of $25 million. The purchase from private equity firm Insight Venture Partners, OverDrive’s majority owner since 2010, is scheduled to close in April. OverDrive will become a subsidiary of Rakuten USA, the U.S. arm of Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten. CEO Steve Potash will continue to lead OverDrive, and its headquarters will remain in Cleveland, OH.
What do you do with an unexpected $350,000? Scott Bonner, director of the Ferguson Municipal Public Library (FMPL), MO, had two items on his wish list: new carpeting and a children’s librarian. The carpeting is still forthcoming, but FMPL has just hired Amy Randazzo to serve as its long-awaited children’s services librarian starting March 9.
Students’ confidence radically mismatches librarians’ assessment of their skills, two reports from EasyBib conclude, particularly in website evaluation, paraphrasing and direct quotation. Also, students are using the open web less often they were two years ago, and dramatically more librarians are stressing the role of faculty in promoting information literacy. The first report, Trends in Information Literacy: A Comparative View, was published in May 2014; the second, Perspectives on Student Research Skills in K-12 and Academic Communities, came out the following October; taken together, the two reveal some thought-provoking data on information literacy across the country.
On November 24 a grand jury in Ferguson, MO, delivered its verdict on the August 9 shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, by a Ferguson police officer. The St. Louis County grand jury chose not to bring criminal charges against the officer, Darren Wilson; the decision, which was announced just after 8 p.m. CST, set off a night of protests and civil unrest, the most violent including arson, shattered windows, injuries, and, as of press time, a possible murder.
On Wednesday, November 19, the National Book Foundation hosted the 2014 National Book Awards—the 65th annual awards—at the cavernous Cipriani’s Wall Street in lower Manhattan. The evening featured a surprise win in fiction for Phil Klay’s Redeployment (Penguin Pr.), a first book of stories by a former U.S. Marine who was stationed in Iraq for 13 months as a public affairs officer. Other fiction finalists looked as if they had an edge—for instance, Marilynne Robinson, up for Lila (Farrar), has been a fiction finalist twice and a nonfiction finalist once.
Ask anyone who loves books about the most challenging aspect of being a reader, and the answer you’ll inevitably hear is: There’s never enough time to read. Fortunately for book enthusiasts everywhere, this January Penguin Random House will be teaming up with the National Book Foundation, GoodReads, and Mashable to encourage readers across the country to take four dedicated hours to read—for a good cause.
NY Times: FCC Chairman Expected to Propose 62% Increase in Funding Used to Wire Schools, Libraries with Broadband
UPDATE 4 New: Fact Sheet: FCC Chairman Wheeler’s Plan To Reboot The E-Rate Program To Meet The Needs Of 21st Century Digital Learning (5 page, PDF; via FCC.gov) UPDATE 3 ISTE Applauds FCC Chairman’s E-Rate Proposal UPDATE 2 Statement From FCC on Proposed Reboot Plan UPDATE ALA President Comments on the News From The NY […]
In a move that will help the Free Library of Philadelphia (FLP) expand Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM)-based Maker space programming to multi-generational audiences, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) on October 23 awarded a $500,000 National Leadership Grant to FLP in support of the library’s Maker Jawn initiative.
Ninety-five percent of public libraries currently offer ebooks to patrons, up from 72 percent in 2010, and 89 percent in both 2012 and 2013. However, money remains the biggest impediment for libraries looking to add ebooks or expand collections, according to Library Journal’s fifth annual Ebook Usage in U.S. Public Libraries report, sponsored by Freading.