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PLAmetrics Demonstration and User Group Meeting at ALA Annual Conference

Date: Sunday, June 24
Time: 10:30am – Noon
Where: Salon 1, Hyatt Regency Orange County

At the upcoming ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, PLA will be hosting a demonstration of its new PLAmetrics tool for online access to the Public Library Data Service (PLDS) Statistical Report. More and more public libraries are arming themselves with insightful benchmarking reports. PLAmetrics is designed to meet the needs of public library administrators and others, including media outlets, for timely and relevant library-specific data that supports a wide variety of management decisions. Published annually, this tool collects information from more than 1300 public libraries across the United States and Canada on finances, library resources, programs, annual use figures, and technology. In addition, each annual PLDS report contains a special survey highlighting statistics on one service area or public library topic.

Participate and hear how this online, real time system continues to grow and can be applied to real world PL issues (e.g., budgets, operations, grants, etc.).
• View PLDS tables with searchable data exportable into Excel/CSV file formats and linked data from other report sections
• Access summary tables in interactive charts (breakdown by legal service area as well as by state and legal services within each state)
• Create customized PLDS datasets with user-defined data, calculations, charts, and other analysis that can be saved and exported into Excel/CSV file formats
• Create reusable peer-group library filters
For more information and to purchase a subscription, please go to www.plametrics.org.
PLAmetrics is managed by Counting Opinions.

Last weekend my copy of American Libraries for May/June arrived in my mailbox. Wetter than usual due to all of the rain we have been having lately, I let it dry out for a few days and then took it to work early this week to read when my eyes can’t handle looking at the computer screen any longer. Recently I have been a bit overwhelmed by all of the talk about eBooks and this issue of American Libraries was no exception, with no fewer than 15 mentions of eBooks in the issue I am pretty sure the topic has been oversaturated. A few months back, word had come around that Sue Polanka, eBooks guru from Wright State University, was going to be in my county for the Association of Christian Librarians Conference (ACL) in June. Being an active participant of the Palm Beach County library scene and also thoroughly interested in continuing education – especially when it comes to a topic as trendy as eBooks – I signed myself up for single day attendance for the day she would be in town. Little did I know that by the time she had arrived I would have heard so much about eBooks that it bordered on overload. But knowing that there is always something new and essential to learn I re-psyched myself up for her presentation.

Sue had already presented at one Florida event this year, as she was host of two presentations at the Florida Library Association Annual Meeting in April. I managed to catch her once there to see her talk about libraries that had initiated lending out their eReaders. Being a public services librarian at a busy urban library the concept of lending out an expensive devise seemed wild and foreign to me. As it turned out the majority of eReader lending was occurring at colleges and universities and most institutions were placing a hold on patrons’ credit cards – sort of like the hold placed on your credit card when you check into a hotel. Well, this would likely not go over well at my library, so I stored the information for future use.

Sue arrived to speak at ACL 2012 having just vacationed in Italy and her presentation was on 22 strategies for the promotion of E-Resources. Being a public librarian at an academic library convention I still managed to gather several important bits of information. Most important were tips on how to promote your library and your collection. Relationships are essential for marketing and it is key to remember the original form of advertising – word of mouth. Training your staff to promote your resources and to demonstrate them goes a long way to patron buy-in. Libraries should brand themselves by putting their logo on their online databases and pretty much everywhere else. There is a method of having Paid For By (insert name of organization) on the bottom of emailed online journal articles. This lets the recipient know where the article came from and where they can go in the future for similar information and a logo can be used for this too.

Other ways to demonstrate your library resources are digital displays in the lobby that are interactive and alert patrons to your programs and other offerings. Purchasing a digital video camera and having a dedicated staff member who creates two minute videos on library databases, programs, and other library activities. These videos can then be posted on the library YouTube channel, which is a great way to reach people outside of the library, and to accommodate those who might not be able to make it in. Obviously you want to use social media for promotion – and all of the usual suspects can be essential like Facebook, Twitter, etc. One of the really good ideas that I took away from Sue’s presentation is to create a Wikipedia page about your library. I know we librarians have been told over and over to be wary of Wikipedia, but this is a free way to demonstrate your library’s history and mission to anyone with access to the World Wide Web.

Overall the presentation was very useful and I was relieved that the entire dialogue did not concern eBooks and eResources. I truly believe that libraries need to build their brand and cannot let outside organizations like the media dictate their mission and purpose. There are too many reasons for people to come to libraries besides electronic resources and it is essential that libraries promote these types of things. Just as libraries before the internet were not simply about books, libraries after the advent of eBooks are not only about eBooks. We have a lot to accomplish to help people educate themselves, look for work, ask questions they don’t know where else to ask, and yes even be entertained!


Last Day to Register for PLA Copyright Webinar

Copyright: What you REALLY Need to Know

It’s easy to feel intimidated by the complexity of copyright issues, but copyright can be fun—and there are actually a few easy answers! Learning just a few basics can help you gain confidence to tackle some copyright issues head-on, and build a solid foundation for expanding your knowledge in the future.

At the conclusion of this 75-minute webinar, participants will:

*Have honed their ability to recognize copyright issues in both patron and library activities
*Have developed a basic understanding of copyright exceptions and exemptions, like fair use and section 108
* Have learned how contracts and licensing can alter copyright issues

Nancy Sims is the copyright program librarian at the University of Minnesota Libraries. She has an M.L.S. from Rutgers and a J.D. from the University of Michigan. She previously worked at the University of Michigan Libraries, and with the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Silicon Valley law firm Fenwick & West, LLP. She is fascinated by the pervasiveness of copyright issues in modern life, and enjoys helping individuals and groups understand how copyright may affect their work, research, art, and everyday communications.

Date & Time
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
2:00–3:15 PM Eastern
1:00–2:15 PM Central
12:00–1:15 PM Mountain
11:00 AM–12:15 PM Pacific

For registration and more information visit http://www.ala.org/pla/onlinelearning/webinars/copyright.

Musical and Literary Icons Wrap Up a Robust Book Expo

It is the last day of Book Expo and I am already nearly finished with one of the galleys I picked up on Monday. “Brain on Fire” is the story of New York Post Reporter Susan Cahalan’s slow descent into madness as a mysterious and undiagnosed illness attacked her brain. It is a mesmerizing tale – be sure to check it out when it is launched in November, 2012. This year’s show featured tons of galleys and lots of programming choices, some of which you can see, even if you didn’t attend the show. This year’s Book Expo featured live streaming of many big events. Programs filmed and streamed live included the Book and Author Breakfast, moderated by Stephen Colbert; the Children’s Book and Author Breakfast which featured Walter Dean Myers, Chris Colfer (Glee), John Green, Lois Lowry, and Kadir Nelson; and the Book and Author Breakfast featuring Kirstie Alley, Michael Chabon, Zadie Smith, and J.R. Moehringer. In addition, many of the Buzz Panels (editors and others dishing about new books) also are available via streaming as are appearances from the author stage in the exhibits hall. Visit www.bookexpoamerica.com for more information and instructions on how to access the streams.

A hugely popular event this year was the Neil Young interview (with Patti Smith interviewing). The day after both had released new albums, the two artists seemed very at ease as they discussed the creative process and their shared early musical histories. Regarding his method of song-writing, Young said that he often procrastinates about it and feels like his worst songs come when he forces himself to write something. Young mentioned that he was reading Smith’s “Just Kids” and how much he liked it which Smith clearly appreciated, laughing and enjoying the praise. The conversation ranged from trains (a passion of Young’s – a part-owner of Lionel Train, to inspiration for various songs, and to Young’s upcoming book, “Waging Heavy Peace” due out in the fall.

Other programming of note included a review of how people are reading in “Paper, Tablet, E-Reader: or Other: How People Really Read or Don’t” which looked at the results of Simba Information’s studies of the subject. The presenter, Michael Norris, revealed some tidbits from the study, though you have to purchase the report to see more. First, regarding e-reading devices, The research reveals that there is still ‘no ipod of e-readers,’ no one device that is clearly the best, most coveted by consumers, though the Amazon Kindle is the number one preferred device. Norris reasoned that as you don’t actually ‘need’ a computer interface to read, print will likely be with the industry forever. His research also shows that a whole lot of people are updating their devices, but not necessarily that new people are coming into the market. He stated that how we see the future of reading depends on whose lens we are looking through. His look at growth in the ebook market showed that the number of buyers didn’t really move a whole lot, and that gains in digital book buying are not making up for losses in print. This seems to point to a decline or stagnation in reading, nationwide. Other points he made during his presentation:

The e-book market is expanding, but the gap between ‘users’ and ‘buyers’ grew more than expected in 2011.

Some of the usual book consumption habits still remain. The report finds that about four times as many adults bought a paperback book compared to an e-book.

One in 10 Kindle owners have updated their Kindles in the past three months.

53% of iPad owners—up from 40% in last year’s report—do not use e-books at all.

Yesterday’s events also included a children’s book cover art auction. The Children’s Art Auction and Reception featured original artwork from children’s books – everything from sketches and studies to finished paintings and limited edition prints. Proceeds benefited the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression.

Next year’s event will take place in New York City, Tuesday, June 4 – Thursday, June 6.

The Lollapalooza of Quietly Reading to Yourself – Book Expo Day Two

The day got off to a rollicking start, with hundreds of attendees heading over to the convention center bright and early to catch Stephen Colbert, hosting the BEA Adult Book and Author Breakfast. Colbert, drawing plenty of laughs along the way, welcomed attendees to BEA, ‘the lollapalooza of quietly reading to yourself’ and served as moderator of the event which featured writers Junot Diaz, Barbara Kingsolver, and Jo Nesbo. Diaz spoke of the importance of reading in a democracy, stating that the space reading opens in individuals is absolutely essential to the functioning of a democratic society. He also spoke about his latest work, “This Is How You Lose Her” stories of love and heartbreak that examine how young boys and men struggle with the vulnerability needed to understand what love means. Barbara Kingsolver, who clearly enjoyed repartee with Stephen Colbert, spoke about how the book delivery system has changed radically, but the book will endure because it is the ideas that endure. Her new novel, “Flight Behavior” has climate change at its heart and examines how people can look at the same facts and draw different conclusions. Jo Nesbo, who mentioned that his mother is a librarian(!), talked about how he became a writer, after lots of jobs that did not work out and also talked about the development of his character “Harry Hole.” The Norwegian writer mentioned that he usually delivers his talks in English (even outside of the U.S.) and how listening to his fellow panelists today, he learned new words. Colbert was delighted that they’d been able to teach Nesbo new words. Attendees received a galley proof of Kingsolver’s book and samples of Colbert’s (in 3D complete with glasses), Nesbo’s, and Diaz’s books.

This year one of the concurrent events taking place alongside Book Expo is Blog World and New Media Expo.Billed as the world’s largest conference and tradeshow for bloggers, podcasters, webtv content creators, and social media innovators, the conference offers lots of programming that would be appealing to those in the information business.
“The Social Habit: How Americans Use Social Media” provided lots of fascinating information from The Social Habit 2012 Study including:
*Over half of Americans have a profile on a social networking site.
*Slightly more females use social networking.
*Over half of those using social networking sites are 12 to 34.
*Over 93% of Americans have heard of Facebook, while only 85% of Americans have Internet access.
*22% of those who use social networking sites check them 12+ times per day.
*That makes 58 million Americans who have the ‘social habit.’
*26 million Americans are using Twitter.
*1/3 of those do not post updates; only read status updates. However the number of those who post content is increasing.
*69% of social networkers update using their mobile phones.
*One in ten social networkers follows a brand on Facebook.
*The number one reason for following a brand is sales, discounts, coupons.
Visit The Social Habit to read more about this report and see more of these types of statistics.

In other news, the American Booksellers Association (ABA) has launched a new video campaign,” Why Indies Matter” that captures short, unscripted testimonials about independent bookstores from authors, customers, and indie supporters around the country. The plenary session of the 10th annual ABA Day of Education featured journalist Lynn Sherr, who interviewed author Richard Russo, a vocal supporter of indie bookstores, about his New York Times piece, Amazon’s Jungle Logic. Russo said “The Amazon threat is real – it now has 75% of the market for books and electronics.” You can get more information about the Why Indies Matter campaign and see the videos at here.

The Fantastic Flying Books

Of Mr. Morris Lessmore is now a lovelyWilliam Joyce signing copies of The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore at BEA 2012 picture book. William Joyce signed copies for hundred of fans at Book Expo today.

Book Expo 2012 – Talking About Books

Book Expo 2012 got off to a busy start this morning in rainy Manhattan. For librarians attending the show, Library Journal hosted a Day of Dialog that featured loads of book talks, author panels, and more library-related programming. The first panel of the morning ‘Editor’s Picks’ was moderated by Barbara Hoffert and featured editors from Scribner; Soho Press; William Morrow; Little, Brown; and Crown/Hogarth discussing their forthcoming titles. You can see the list here.

The next panel looked at Genre Fiction with ‘Buzz’ and featured authors in a panel discussion with Hoffert again moderating. The panel consisted of writers who’ve just released or are soon releasing debut novels across a variety of genres. They included Karen Engelmann, The Stockholm Octavo (Ecco: HarperCollins); Max Gladstone, Three Parts Dead (Tor); Eleanor Kuhns, A Simple Murder (Minotaur); Beatriz Williams, Overseas (Putnam); and Ariel S. Winter, The Twenty-Year Death (Hard Case Crime). Each author answered a question directly about his/her work and then they answered general questions and also took questions from the audience.

Following lunch, attendees were treated to a light-hearted conversation with New York Times columnist Gail Collins who answered questions from moderator, Margaret Heilbrun, LJ Senior Editor, talked about her new book, “As Texas Goes,” and took questions from the audience.

The afternoon consisted of two more panel presentations – the first, “Best Digital Practices’ gathered a group of librarians to discuss and provide tips for ebook selection (gather info on what patrons need, accept patron recommendations for purchases); readers’ advisory (make sure everything is searchable, help patrons find books analogous to those they are searching for, get everything into your catalog); and ebook weeding (get rid of stuff that doesn’t circulate, treat ebooks the way you treat your physical collection).

I missed the final panel of the day as I was on my way to the Javits Center for the phenomenal (and hugely popular) Editor’s Buzz program, but ‘I Spy: The Return of the Espionage Thriller featured a conversation with a group of spy fiction authors. Moderated by Jeff Ayers of the Seattle Public Library, who is also a thriller author and LJ Reviewer, the panel included Ben Coes, “The Last Refuge” (St. Martin’s); Alan Furst, Mission to Paris; Mark Henshaw, Red Cell (Touchstone: S & S); Francine Matthews, “jack 1939” (Riverhead: Penguin Group USA); and Chris Pavone: “The Expats (Crown).

The BEA Adult Editor’s Buzz program features editors sharing their excitement about books they feel have the biggest breakout potential for Fall. Books included in the discussion were:
The People of Forever are Not Afraid‘ by Shani Boianjiu (Crown Publishing)
‘The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry‘ by Rachel Joyce (Random House Publishing)
Brain on Fire‘ by Susannah Cahalan (Free Press)
Panorama City‘ by Antoine Wilson (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
A Million Heavens‘ by John Brandon (McSweeney’s)

Lots of galleys to sort through tonight!

Attending BookExpo this year?

PLA is looking for roving reporters to cover BookExpo programming and events for the PLA Blog. If you are interested in participating contact Kathleen Hughes, [email protected] for more information.

New ALA Report Explores Challenges of Equitable Access to Digital Content

The American Library Association (ALA) has released a new report examining critical issues underlying equitable access to digital content through our nation’s libraries. In the report, titled “E-content: The Digital Dialogue,” authors explore an unprecedented and splintered landscape in which several major publishers refuse to sell ebooks to libraries; proprietary platforms fragment our cultural record; and reader privacy is endangered.

“Broad information access is essential for communities to compete in the global knowledge economy,” said ALA President Molly Raphael. “As more and more content is delivered digitally, we simply cannot afford to lock down books and lock out readers. This timely supplement addresses the need to protect fair and reasonable library access to digital information.”

The report, published as a supplement to American Libraries magazine, explores various licensing models and the state of librarian-publisher relations. Additionally, the report provides an update on the ALA-wide effort to promote access to digital content (co-chaired by Robert Wolven, associate university librarian at Columbia University, and Sari Feldman, executive director of the Cuyahoga County Public Library). The effort includes meeting with publishers, distributors and other important stakeholders; championing public advocacy, and writing position papers that advance practical business models without compromising library values.

“E-content: The Digital Dialogue” identifies a number of ways libraries and publishers can collaborate to lessen the digital content divide.

“Publishers, distributors and libraries must accept that new models of lending will not look like the old print model,” writes Robert C. Maier, director of the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, and Carrie Russell, director of the ALA Program on Public Access to Information. “We are not just trying to solve a library lending problem, although that is the current emergency.”

After detailing his conversations with a reader, writer, publisher and bookseller, Douglas County Public Library Director James LaRue also asks librarians to “rethink,” and lays out directions to pursue, including an updated legal framework, new content management models and partnership opportunities with other stakeholders in the reading ecosystem.

“Libraries will have to transform into places that help citizens become full-fledged creative members of their communities, both producing and archiving personal stories,” writes Peter Brantley, director of the BookServer Project at the Internet Archive.

Lisa Long Hickman, sales and marketing manager of Dzanc Books, argues for open lines of communication to enable fair play, and Deborah Caldwell-Stone deputy director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom, urges proactive steps to protect library users’ privacy rights.

“This report reflects both the here and now, and what is to come down the digital road,” said Alan Inouye, director of the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy, and editor of the publication.

View the supplement (PDF)
. For more information about the ALA’s efforts on digital content and libraries, visit the American Libraries e-content blog

Invest in your library’s future

Registration for the summer session of Turning the Page 2.0 is now open. The six-week program will run the weeks of July 9 through August 13. This free advocacy training program has been developed and presented by the Public Library Association (PLA) with generous support from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Turning the Page 2.0 will be offered only one more time in 2012. See the full schedule with registration dates.

Turning the Page 2.0 addresses core issues of advocacy in a convenient format with weekly one-hour virtual classroom sessions, development of an Advocacy Work Plan and personalized feedback from facilitators. Highly interactive units cover topics such as creating and telling your library’s story, building relationships with key decision makers, project management, and making the all-important ask.

Participants will spend three hours per week on this training. Registration for Turning the Page 2.0 is open to all public librarians, library staff, and library supporters, including board members, Friends, and local officials. Libraries are encouraged to complete Turning the Page 2.0 with an advocacy team that works through the program together. For more information about the program, please email Lynn Slawsky, [email protected]