Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library (TSCPL) in Kansas has been named the 2016 Library of the Year by Gale, a part of Cengage Learning, and Library Journal. The press release (below) and other news stories about the award point to the library’s exemplary engagement with its community. The library is to receive $10,000 at an ALA reception in Orlando, FL, on June 26th.
Glancing at the library homepage makes it clear that TSCPL engages in all sorts of activities, including filling prescriptions for patrons.
Relevant to NSR readers and advocates for digital literacy: the library offers ebooks and digital content, too, including a large collection of audiobooks. According to its web site, TSCPL provides access to thousands of ebooks and audiobooks through OverDrive, Hoopla Digital, BookFlix, and TumbleBooks for Kids. Its econtent offerings also include videos, music, and magazines.
An interesting new electronic resource has just been released by Gale: American Fiction, 1774-1920. This “new digital archive” in Gale Primary Sources program comprises over 17,500 works of literature, including novels, short stories, travel accounts, and sketches (“many of which have never before been available online”), all brought together to support research in U.S. history and literature.
Gale is no stranger to literature resources. Its other products include Literature Criticism Online, Literature Resource Center, and the well-known Dictionary of Literary Biography. Given the interdisciplinary nature of today’s research as well as the capabilities of today’s technologies, one can’t help but wish that at some point, in the-not-so-distant future all this wealth (and breadth) of literary content will eventually blend into one mega resource on all things American literature.
Boopsie, Inc. has released a case study that explores its collaboration with the District of Columbia Public Library (DCPL). The two worked together to develop a customized app that provides access to the library’s services for the system’s users.
From the study: “Since its launch in June 2015, the Library’s customized app has been downloaded over 10,000 times with an average of over 1,000 unique users each month. Feedback provided to librarians indicates that DC Public’s patrons have a preference for leveraging the user-friendly mobile app to connect with their Library.”
OverDrive has just announced its plans to support public libraries in their efforts to cultivate more reading (and take advantage of the flexibility of the digital format) through Digital Book Clubs. Participating institutions include public libraries in cities like New York and London, among others.
According to recent numbers (from BookBrowse), 22 percent of readers belong to at least one digital Book Club with friends and family. Efforts by libraries and companies that support libraries to cultivate reading by taking advantage of all that the digital format has to offer are commendable on every level. They are, of course, especially impressive when they involve places and institutions other than the world’s most affluent cities and countries. If the below press release is any indication, our industry is well on its way to reaching (and creating) more readers regardless of their zip code. Continue reading Digital Book Clubs — the next chapter in the evolution of Book Clubs→
April 5, 2016 — Total Boox, a revolutionary ebook service seeking to break all barriers between readers and ebooks, and the Tocker Foundation (TF), a non-profit supporting public libraries in rural Texas, are pleased to announce a groundbreaking partnership, which will make Total Boox’s collection of nearly 100,000 quality ebooks initially available to 20 rural public libraries in the state.
“We are honored that in its first effort to fund an ebook initiative, the TF chose our service over all other available services,” said Yoav Lorch, CEO of Total Boox. “A small selection of books has always been the main impediment for the ability of small libraries to serve their patrons. With Total Boox, any small library can have the exact same selection as a large urban library. This immediately increases the library’s ability to effectively serve its community, and the TF was quick to recognize this.” Continue reading Total Boox and the Tocker Foundation Bring Ebooks to Rural Communities in Texas→
Library Journal/School Library Journal conducted the 6th annual survey of public libraries regarding ebooks.Â The 2015 report is available for download here.Â The report is made available courtesy of Freading.Â Registration is required.
From the executive summary:Â ” If Â it Â appears Â from Â the Â current Â surveyÂ (based Â on Â 317 Â U.S.Â public Â libraries Â responding)Â that Â much Â of Â the Â enthusiasm Â for Â ebooks Â hasÂ cooled, Â it Â is Â only Â because Â they Â have Â become Â less Â of Â a Â novelty Â and Â moreÂ mainstream.”
“Ebook pricing is too high” is the most common complaint from public librarians about ebooks.
Here’s a page snip showing the number of public libraries offering ebooks over the last 6 reports:
OverDrive conducted an end user survey from June 26-July 15, 2015. Administered via library websites, the survey collected input from 16,756 respondents.Â Their full report examines the positive effect the shift to digital content has had on the role of libraries in their communities by helping attract new readers, serve existing patrons better and reach beyond their physical walls.
Farmington Hills, Mich., April 23, 2015 â€” Supporting public librariesâ€™ life-long learning initiatives, Gale, a part of Cengage Learning, is pleased to announce Miss Humblebee’s Academy, a new early literacy product that will assist the libraryâ€™s youngest learners in building foundational literacy skills. Partnering with Miss Humblebee LLC., Gale has co-developed a robust product tailored specifically to the public library user, which includes the assessment tools libraries need to measure their impact on early literacy development in their communities. Studies show that participating in quality early learning can boost childrenâ€™s educational attainment and earnings later in life, underscoring the importance for public libraries to provide resources that serve this young audience.
Sunnyvale, CA â€“ February 26, 2015 – Boopsie, the leading mobile platform-as-a-service provider for libraries worldwide, and Baker & Taylor, the premier worldwide distributor of digital and print books and entertainment products, have integrated the Boopsie Mobile App with Baker & Taylorâ€™s Axis 360 digital media library. The partnership will drive circulation and usage of Axis 360 and meet patronsâ€™ expectations for easy access to the libraryâ€™s digital information and entertainment materials.
IPSWICH, Mass. â€” January 30, 2015 â€”EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) is introducing Exploraâ„¢, an appealing new EBSCOhostÂ® interface for K12 schools and public libraries. EBSCO designed Explora following a series of user research studies with the goal of better assisting students in completing research and classroom assignments and providing a more intuitive search experience for public library patrons.
Portal on all things ebooks and econtent and for all reading, writing, publishing, curating, and distributing books and other content in digital format, including publishers, librarians, content developers, distributors, retailers, and educators. Managed and edited by Mirela Roncevic, with contributions from professionals and thought leaders in the United States and around the world.