March 24, 2017
Library Journal posted a report from their annual materials survey: Under the Surface: Materials Survey 2017. LJ tracks budgets and circulation at public libraries.
Last year, public library materials budgets barely budged, growing by 0.7 percent on average and moving up significantly only at libraries serving populations of 500,000-plus. Print book budgets saw no growth at all for the third year in a row. Circulation, too, was static, growing only 0.6 percent overall and passing one percent only at libraries serving populations of 10,000–24,999. But beneath this flat surface, materials budgets and circulation showed a surprising amount of movement.
The article also looked at what is circulated.
The top five adult fiction genres checked out in print and eBook are:
- General Fiction
- Christian Fiction
The top five subjects for adult nonfiction checked out in print and eBook are:
The final thought of the article was:
Surging downloadables, wavering physical audios, tumbling print, ebook assertiveness, and ever-changing reading tastes—librarians find themselves in a landscape that’s hardly placid. Attentiveness to readers’ needs is more crucial than ever. For the more things seem the same, the more they’re always changing.
Post by Lorraine
February 21, 2013
This week, Library Journal’s Barbara Hoffert analyzes trends in circulation and budgets of public libraries. This is a survey of 175 libraries who responded to questions sent out to Library Journal subscribers. Here is the link:
Among those reporting, 65% of circulation was fiction vs non-ficion. The top fiction genres were mystery, general, romance, and thriller; while non-fiction’s most popular subject areas were cooking, health, how-to, and arts/crafts. No big surprises there.
More revealing, perhaps, are the discussions of eBooks, self-publishing, apps, and social media marketing opportunities. One particularly interesting fact: eBook circulation was still only 3% of the total but grew close to 70% among libraries serving over 250,000 residents.
This information paints a panoramic backdrop against which we can highlight our own data from Collection HQ and other sources.
January 5, 2012
It’s a new year and we in Collection Development are making a few changes.
Darren Nelson will now be selecting International materials. He previously selected Spanish at other libraries.
Becky Buckingham is taking over selection of Best Bets.
Posted by Becky and Darren
December 28, 2011
Today, I responded to a customer question about how e-books are selected here at the library, and why we don’t allow RINCs for this material. Since many of you may be asked similar questions by customers I’m copying the essence of the text of my response below (with just a wee bit ‘o editing).
We select e-books throughout the year working from lists provided by OverDrive. The collection is a mix of bestsellers and backlist titles from popular authors. Publishers consider the library market to be entirely separate from the consumer market and so they require that libraries have measures in place to prevent illegal copying of their material. OverDrive negotiates these contracts with publishers and provides mechanisms to ensure that material cannot be pirated. Amazon, though they have recently begun to partner with OverDrive so that Kindle users can access public library ebooks on their devices does not sell ebooks to public libraries. Amazon’s primary goal is to sell goods to consumers. They are not interested in selling materials to public libraries.
As I mentioned above, publishers see the library market as very different from the consumer market and this has an impact on what is available for us to purchase. Some publishers won’t sell e-books to libraries at all; others will sell but won’t release their most recent titles to libraries until some time has passed. Titles with a delayed release date are said to have been embargoed. Two of the largest publishers Simon & Schuster, and Macmillan don’t sell to libraries at all. This can cause confusion about how the library purchases e-books, because a customer can see that Stephen King’s latest bestseller 11/22/’63 is available for sale as an e-book on either Amazon, or Barnes & Noble but not available at the library as an e-book. Other bestselling titles are available immediately, or they have an embargo and later get added to the collection, so as a customer from the outside looking in it may appear that the library e-book collection isn’t as responsive to customer demand as it is with the physical collection.
Things become even messier when we talk about backlist titles for authors. When a publisher releases a new title by an author they typically will release some but not all of an author’s backlist. So when a mystery author releases volume 6 in their detective series, the publishing house might release volumes 1, 2, 3, and 5 but not volume 4 in the series. Why this happens and how they make decisions about what volumes to release is something that constantly puzzles librarians.
We currently do not accept RINCs for digital materials such as e-books, because of this separation of consumer and library markets by publishers, and the unpredictability that this creates in how our collections are created. The audiobook, music, and film publishing markets are all equally unpredictable when it comes to what consumer and libraries can purchase.
For those not in the know, a RINC is short for Request for an Item Not in the Catalog. Library customers can submit RINCs for books and media, and if the title is purchased, a hold is placed for the customer. If a RINC is rejected the customer gets an email notifying them.
posted by jim
September 17, 2010
Library Journal’s collection development feature for September is relaxation and meditation. My hazy memory of the last time I helped a customer try to locate materials on this subject, was that this stuff can be hard to find.
I select media so I was happy to see a small segment devoted to media both CD and DVD. I’ve submitted a cart for both music for meditation as well as DVD on the topic. These should be in the catalog sometime later this month.
Music for meditation
|ALL ONE||KRISHNA DAS|
|CHAKRA HEALING||DEAN EVENSON|
|DR. ANDREW WEIL PRESENTS VIBRATIONAL SOUND HEALING||KIMBA AREM & ANDREW WEIL, M.D.|
|HEALING THE HOLY LAND||DEAN & DUDLEY EVENSON|
|INTO LIGHT||DEVA PREMAL|
|IRELAX: LEAVING THE WORKDAY BEHIND||VARIOUS ARTISTS|
|KOYASAN: REIKI SOUND HEALING||DEUTER|
|LOVE SONGS TO THE DARK LORD||BHAGAVAN DAS|
|MANTRAS FOR PRECARIOUS TIMES||DEVA PREMAL|
|MEDITATION MOMENT||DEAN & DUDLEY EVENSON|
|MUSIC FOR BABIES||STEVEN HALPERN|
|MUSIC FOR ZEN MEDITATION||RILEY LEE|
|RELAXATION SUITE||STEVEN HALPERN|
|SHAKUHACHI WATER MEDITATIONS||RILEY LEE|
|ULTIMATE MOST RELAXING NEW AGE PIANO||VARIOUS ARTISTS|
DVDs to help you unwind
|ESOVISION – AFRICA|
|ESOVISION – BIRD SONG|
|ESOVISION – CANYONS|
|ESOVISION – CARIBBEAN DREAMS|
|ESOVISION – CELTIC DREAMS|
|ESOVISION – DESERT OASIS|
|ESOVISION – ETERNAL ICE|
|ESOVISION – FLOWER MEADOW|
|ESOVISION – LIJIANG RIVER|
|ESOVISION – MOUNTAIN HIGH|
|ESOVISION – NIAGARA FALLS|
|ESOVISION – OUT OF AFRICA|
|ESOVISION – RAIN FOREST|
|ESOVISION – SAHARA|
|ESOVISION – SAND DUNES|
|ESOVISION – SAVANNA|
|ESOVISION – THE FOREST|
|ESOVISION – THE SEA|
|ESOVISION – WATER MEADOW|
|ESOVISION – WINTER WONDERLAND|
Esovision is the publisher of these videos, so I suspect that when they land in the catalog the titles will just say “winter wonderland” or “water meadow” making the subject headings important in finding this material.
posting by jim
April 14, 2010
the 2009 numbers are in for self-publishing – a whopping 764,448 titles were either self-published or originated from micro-niche publishers. titles from more traditional avenues topped out at 288,355, down from 2008’s numbers of 289,729. and what exactly are those self published titles? the keeper of said numbers, R.R. Bowker, says:
The category consists largely of reprints, including those of public domain titles, plus other titles that are produced using print-on-demand production.
so what does this mean for libraries? as selectors, more and more requests are fielded for vanity press titles that are not professionally reviewed nor generally subjected to a rigorous editing process. that’s not to say that the works of all self-published authors are inherently without merit. getting a book published by one of the big 6 publishers or an indie house is a complicated business that includes many tales of rejection. there is also the case that some well-known, published authors like Cory Doctorow are ditching the traditional publishing methods in an experiment to gain control over their works and profits. and the recent embarrassment surrounding “The Last Train From Hiroshima” which included information that was completely fabricated by an unreliable source did nothing to help the cause of editors and fact-checkers in publishing houses.
libraries depend on publishers to vet titles for accuracy and quality of content before publication. it’s a relationship built on trust. editors still play a very important role. librarians don’t have the time nor the expertise to screen titles before purchase. there is also the consideration of physical durability, typesetting, cover, and quality of paper that many self-published works do not possess.
but self-publishing is here to stay, the numbers don’t lie. what tools can we use to discern the wheat from the chaff?
posting by marin
April 13, 2010
at PLA a couple of weeks ago, several of us in the Collection Development Department attended programs on floating collections. there was a preconference session devoted entirely to the floating collection model, as well as a session presented by libraries independent of the preconference (handouts for all sessions available here). the presenters for both programs spent much of their time focused on implementation and the success of the model as applied to their library systems. all libraries involved did not float their entire collections. the main impetus behind floating was a rationale familiar to us: to reduce deliveries with the idea of getting material in the hands of the patrons quicker. all were working to balance the distribution of materials.
as a department, we discussed both sessions and discovered that it was mostly a reinforcement of what we already know. it’s not that we have it entirely figured out at Sno-Isle, but much research was done before implementation. additional research was done with the CPI Weeding is Fundamental in which team members (including myself) examined best practices of collection maintenance by libraries across the country. this research has paid off.
there were a couple of points in the session that i attended which resonated with me, especially since my start date at Sno-Isle occurred after the floating model was implemented; this is also my first experience with the floating model.
- patrons drive the collection: materials move to their audience
- selectors are able to purchase fewer copies of certain titles since a set distribution to branches is not a driving force (copies float where they’re requested reducing the scenario of sitting and gathering dust)
- with collections more of a reflection of the patrons’ reading interest, shelving space must mirror this – static shelves no longer make sense
this last point resonated with me in particular. shelving needs to be flexible especially in a floating collection model. if patrons read mysteries, is there enough shelf space dedicated to the genre? it’s definitely a fine balance given that we have a fixed number of shelves in libraries that are often too small for their communities and collections.
conference sessions might not always provide content that is new, new, new, but information that provides reinforcement and/or musings can certainly be of value.
posting by marin