Some readers crave fiction. But a growing number of readers are hungry for nonfiction. In fact, a recent analysis of circulation data from libraries around the country revealed phenomenal growth of circulating nonfiction over the last 20 years. Why? Well, here are two possible reasons:
By Kristina Massari
Public libraries across the country are finding innovative ways to deliver value to their communities, including presenting high school diplomas to adult residents through Career Online High School, an accredited high school completion and career certificate program. Career Online High School is now available at more than a dozen libraries from coast to coast, with several launching this month, and has graduated its first library students.
By Tina Creguer
Okay, so maybe the Wizard of Oz’s Dorothy has a point: there’s no place like home. But, for many people, there’s nothing more invigorating than being on the open road and exploring new places.
According to the U.S. Travel Association, Americans took 2.1 billion person-trips* in 2013 for both leisure and business. That’s a whole lot of travel! 78% of those trips were for leisure purposes; 22% for business. The association also reports that trip planning sources have shifted over the last several years, with social media and mobile devices being used more often.
With members of your community looking to electronic resources to support their travel planning, what resources do you provide to support their need for adventure and exploration?
By Kristina Massari
New Analytics On Demand Apps Improve Outreach and Provide Insights to Multi-Branch Systems
Public libraries face challenges demonstrating their value to the communities and stakeholders they serve – just 22% of Americans say they know most or all of the services provided by their public library. To help libraries overcome these barriers, Gale, part of Cengage Learning, has added three new applications to Analytics On Demand, the first affordable big data analytics solution for public libraries. The new apps, Marketing Action (for Patrons and Non-Patrons) and Branch Insights, help libraries deploy targeted direct marketing programs to current and prospective library users, as well as better understand how existing patrons are interacting with individual branches across a system.
There’s no doubt about it. Libraries and patrons have a relationship of trust and engagement. In fact, patrons so trust libraries as a source of credible health information that almost 50 percent of library computer users use their online time to search it out. That information runs the gamut from diet and exercise to how to deal with a serious medical diagnosis.
Whether your patrons are doing a quick search, downloading materials onto eReaders or checking out print editions, they look for authoritative content—content that Gale has been providing for 60 years. Here’s are eight new and upcoming health titles created specifically for public libraries and their patrons.
By Vanessa Craig
Kate Dwyer, Education Outreach Librarian at Josephine Community Libraries, is used to hearing, “I had no idea!” She works diligently to reach out to members in her community that have no clue what modern day libraries offer.
A poll conducted by the Pew Research Center found that, “…forty-six percent [of those polled] say that they know some of what their libraries offer and thirty-one percent said they know not much or nothing at all of what their libraries offer.”
Kate faces this unfamiliarity when she is presenting what their library offers to various community groups. Most attendees thought they knew exactly what the library offers, but after her presentation on all the databases, services, programs, and books their libraries offer, her participants often exclaim, “I had no idea!”
Science fiction is often called the “literature of ideas.” It tells the story of humanity with unparalleled imagination and often stimulates powerful insight into the human condition by exploring grand “what if” scenarios.
Books like 1984, Fahrenheit 451, Brave New World and Animal Farm introduced science fiction broadly to American audiences and it quickly became a popular literary genre. Since then, interest in science fiction has grown immensely, as readers of all ages are drawn to the genre that allows us to explore other worlds from the comfort of home.
Part of any librarian’s job is to provide access to information people may not immediately know they need, exists, or is accessible. Amy Calhoun, Virtual Branch Coordinator at the Sacramento Public Library, understands this challenge as well as anyone. It’s why she and her colleague Laurie Willis, an Electronic Resources Librarian at the San Jose Public Library, both set out to find a solution designed to ensure people would have access to information when and where it was needed.
“It just made sense to expand our offerings,” Calhoun said. Expanding her library’s science related content and making sure the information was current quickly became a priority.
Lauren Stokes, the Virtual Library Manager at the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District, often envisions customers in their bedtime pajamas. “I want them to be nice and comfortable,” Stokes joked. Stokes has good reason to picture users in this manner. It’s her job to ensure the 1.2 million people served by the 25 libraries in her county not only have access to but are using the district’s investment of digital resources.
To accomplish her goal, Stokes first had to convince educators and customers the library’s digital offerings were of the same quality as its print collection. “It just didn’t seem to click that it’s the same content whether you’re looking at it online or on a piece of paper,” Stokes said.
Public libraries play an important role in their communities, and they take their roles seriously. Case in point: Aurora Public Library (Aurora) in Illinois, which is dedicated to “supporting lifelong learning and access to information, knowledge, and ideas.” That’s no small task. Fortunately, GVRL eBooks are front and center in helping Aurora achieve its goals — offering patrons easy, quick access to informational resources covering the spectrum of subject areas, even when they’re not at the library.
Reference Specialist Sue Kovacs runs two reference desks at the Aurora’s main branch, where she’s responsible for buying all reference materials and keeping them updated and relevant. When Sue began working at the library in 2009, she saw that community dynamics were changing. “Most people didn’t want to have to come downtown to look at a reference collection. I evaluated our Gale products as well as the available alternatives.