Friday, December 21, 2012

Pew Report: Reading Habits in Different Communities

Summary of Findings

Reading is foundational to learning and the information acquisition upon which people make decisions. For centuries, the capacity to read has been a benchmark of literacy and involvement in community life. In the 21st Century, across all types of U.S. communities, reading is a common activity that is pursued in myriad ways.

As technology and the digital world expand and offer new types of reading opportunities, residents of urban, suburban, and rural communities at times experience reading and e-reading differently. In the most meaningful ways, these differences are associated with the demographic composition of different kinds of communities — the age of the population, their overall level of educational attainment, and the general level of household income.1

Several surveys by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project reveal interesting variations among communities in the way their residents read and use reading-related technology and institutions:

Book readers: Some 78% of Americans ages 16 and older say they read a book in the past 12 months. Urban (80%) and suburban (80%) residents are especially likely to have read at least one book in the past year. While rural residents are somewhat less likely to have read a book in the past year (71%), the book readers in rural areas read as many books as their counterparts in cities and suburbs.

Purposes for reading: Most of those ages 16 and older read books for pleasure, and that is especially true of suburban readers: 82% of suburbanites read for pleasure, compared with 79% of urban residents and 76% of rural residents. Urban residents (80%) and suburban dwellers (79%) are also especially likely to read to keep up with current events. Some 73% of rural residents do that. More than three-quarters of suburban residents (77%) read to research topics that interest them, compared with 74% of urban residents and 70% of rural residents. Finally, 57% of suburbanites and 58% of city dwellersread for school or work, compared with 47% of rural residents who do that.

Americans and libraries: The majority of Americans ages 16 and older (58%) have a library card and even more (69%) say the library is important to them and their families. Some 71% of city dwellers say the library is important to them and 59% have library cards — and 69% of suburban residents say the library is important and 61% have library cards. At the same time, 62% of rural residents say the library is important and 48% have library cards.

Book recommendations: Family and friends are the primary source of book discovery for Americans 16 and older, especially so for suburban (66%) and urban residents (66%). Some 60% of rural residents say they get book recommendations from family and friends. Similarly, city dwellers (25%) and suburbanites (24%) are more likely than rural residents (18%) to have gotten recommendations from book stores they visit. Residents of all three kinds of communities are equally likely to say librarians and library websites are sources of book recommendations.

Newspaper and journal readers: Some 58% of those ages 16 and older say they regularly read newspapers. There are not noteworthy differences across communities in the numbers of people who regularly read newspapers. But suburban residents (57%) and urban dwellers (56%) are more likely to say they at times read their newspapers on handheld devices than rural residents (45%). When it comes to magazines and journals, 52% of the suburbanites ages 16 and older say they read them regularly, compared with 47% of urban dwellers and 44% of rural residents. Among those who read magazines and journals, 36% of urban readers and 33% of suburban readers read their magazines and journals at times on handheld devices. That compares with 24% of rural readers who read magazines and journals that way.

Preferences for e-books vs. print books: Some 14% of readers read an e-book and a printed book in the past year. Those book readers in dual platforms were asked which type of book is better for different reading activities such as sharing books with others, reading in bed, reading with a child, or reading while traveling. Generally, urban readers in both formats are more likely to prefer e-books for many reading activities, while rural readers who have read in both formats tend to prefer print.

Click HERE to Read Full Report

Monday, November 26, 2012

World Digital Library

Developed to expand the volume and variety of cultural content on the Internet, the World Digital Library makes it possible to discover, study, and enjoy cultural treasures from around the world on one site, in a variety of ways. These cultural treasures include, but are not limited to, manuscripts, maps, rare books, musical scores, recordings, films, prints, photographs, and architectural drawings.

Items on the WDL may easily be browsed by place, time, topic, type of item, and contributing institution, or can be located by an open-ended search, in several languages. Special features include interactive geographic clusters, a timeline, advanced image-viewing and interpretive capabilities. Item-level descriptions and interviews with curators about featured items provide additional information.

Navigation tools and content descriptions are provided in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. Many more languages are represented in the actual books, manuscripts, maps, photographs, and other primary materials, which are provided in their original languages.

The WDL was developed by a team at the U.S. Library of Congress, with contributions by partner institutions in many countries; the support of the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); and the financial support of a number of companies and private foundations.

Visit WDL by clicking here

Friday, November 23, 2012

New Findings Reaffirm Library Borrowers Are Also Buyers

An extensive online poll of library ebook readers finds that these patrons purchase an average of 3.2 books (both print and ebooks) each month, and a majority would consider purchasing books discovered on a library website. These ebook borrowers, who are at OverDrive-powered public library websites in the U.S., also report that their digital content purchases have increased in the past 6 months. Sponsored by OverDrive with the American Library Association’s Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP), the survey constitutes the largest study of library ebook usage to date, with more than 75,000 people responding.

Confirming earlier studies, such as the Pew Internet Project’s “Libraries, Patrons, and E-books,” the survey found that a significant percentage of library users regularly purchase books they first discover at the library. In fact, 57% of those surveyed said that the public library is their primary source of book discovery.

Library ebook borrower: Highlights
Public library is primary source of book discovery (57%)
Purchase average of 3.2 books per month (including print and ebooks)
Would consider purchasing books discovered on library website (53%)
Visit both the physical library and download ebooks (53%)
Digital book purchases have increased in past 6 months (44%)
Purchased book (print or ebook) after borrowing that title (35%)

Library ebook borrower: Demographics
Female (78%)
Adults aged 40-64 (55%)
Household income $75,000+ (48%)
College degree or higher (74%)

The survey also found that dedicated ebook reading devices—including Kindle, Sony Reader, and NOOK—were the devices most used to read ebooks from the library (8%). Desktop or laptop PCs (20%), smartphones (19%) and tablets (18%) rounded out the top four types, which reflects the rapidly escalating trend of borrowing on mobile devices recently reported by OverDrive. (In August, mobile devices accounted for 30% of checkouts and 34% of web traffic at OverDrive-powered library websites. Both statistics are up nearly 100% year-over-year.)

The survey took place between June 13 and July 31, 2012, at thousands of OverDrive-powered public library websites in the U.S., with 75,384 respondents completing all or part of the survey. The intent of the survey was to gain insight into the borrowing and buying behaviors of library ebook readers and is not representative of the U.S. population as a whole. To see the full survey data, visit OverDrive’s Digital Library Blog.

Source: Information Today Inc. Newsletter NewsBreaks

Monday, November 19, 2012

Libraries in the U.S.: A Snapshot of Priorities & Perspectives

These reports detail findings from a study OCLC conducted with libraries in mid-2011 to learn about their priorities, initiatives, thoughts on the future of their service points and the sources they use to keep up with developments in the library field. Full reports can be downloaded by clicking here:

Select Key Findings for Academic Libraries

Most academic library staff:

•Consider licensed e-collections to be a top priority

•Are focusing on e-books, other e-resources and discovery tools as top current initiatives

•Believe their current library location structure will be the same in five years

•Rely mostly on listservs and email to stay current—a few use social media

Select Key Findings for Public Libraries

Most public library staff:

•Are focusing their priorities on Internet access, demonstrating value to funders and delivering e-content

•Are concentrating on e-books as their top current initiative

•Rely mostly on listservs and email to stay current—while just a few use social media

•Opinions are split on the make-up of service points in the future

•The top priority for public library directors is demonstrating the library's value to funders

Select Key Findings for Community College Libraries

Most community college library staff:

•Consider licensed e-collections and e-books to be their top priority and current initiative

•Believe their current library location structure will be the same in five years

•Rely mostly on listservs and email to stay current—a few use social media.

•Community college library staff are less likely than other academic library and public library staff to expect that a national digital library will exist in the next five years.

•Community college libraries are distinctively putting more focus on outreach and library instruction and their back-end office technology compared to other academic libraries.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Get your library in Goodreads

Goodreads (one of the leading social book-review websites)  has pledged to help libraries receive greater visibility with their more than 12 million site members. How? Now libraries can create their own "Group" pages, and a library group page will be listed first in a reader's group listings. In the future, they'll also highlight libraries that are geographically close to a reader's IP range, encouraging them to find their next read at their local library.

Goodreads site members can affiliate with their local library and find their next great read. Plus they're also likely to find other passionate readers in their area and be able to connect with them through social media.

Follow the simple steps to get your library going in Goodreads by clicking here

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Library 2.012 Worldwide Virtual Conference - October 3 - 5

The virtual Library 2.012 conference is a unique chance to participate in a global conversation on the current and future state of libraries. Held worldwide over the course of two days, with 150 sessions and 10 keynotes, subject strands include physical and virtual learning spaces, evolving professional roles in today's world, organizing and creating information, changing delivery methods, user-centered access, and mobile and geo-social information environments. Attendance is free; sign up HERE to attend or to be kept informed.

Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week is the national book community's annual celebration of the freedom to read. Hundreds of libraries and bookstores around the country draw attention to the problem of censorship by mounting displays of challenged books and hosting a variety of events. The 2012 celebration of Banned Books Week will be held from September 30 through October 6. Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982. ALA  has  more information on Banned Books Week. According to the American Library Association, there were 326 challenges reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom in 2011, and many more go unreported. The 10 most challenged titles of 2011 were:

1.ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle

Reasons: offensive language; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group

2.The Color of Earth (series), by Kim Dong Hwa

Reasons: nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group

3.The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins

Reasons: anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence

4.My Mom's Having A Baby! A Kid's Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy, by Dori Hillestad Butler

Reasons: nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group

5.The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie

Reasons: offensive language; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group

6.Alice (series), by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Reasons: nudity; offensive language; religious viewpoint

7.Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley

Reasons: insensitivity; nudity; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit

8.What My Mother Doesn't Know, by Sonya Sones

Reasons: nudity; offensive language; sexually explicit

9.Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily Von Ziegesar

Reasons: drugs; offensive language; sexually explicit

10.To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

Reasons: offensive language; racism



Monday, October 1, 2012

Twitter as a Tool for Professional Development

Here is a checklist of 25 ways Twitter can be used as a tool for professional development:

1.Keep your Twitter profile employer-focused:

Maximize the space that you have in your profile to share a professional description of yourself. Hobbies show personality, but accomplishments and professional interests might help you land a job. Professional Twitter names can be helpful, too. Ditch your @ohyeah420 screen name, stat, and try using your real name instead.

2.Use a photo of yourself:

An important part of your Twitter profile is your photo. Instead of leaving the default avatar or uploading an image, add a photo of yourself. It makes you look more professional, and allows others to connect with you personally.

3.Remember to give (and take):

Networking on Twitter is more about giving than getting. Experts believe that 90% of what you share on Twitter should be helpful, whether you’re sharing relevant information, retweeting followers, or connecting with others. The remaining 10% is then free for you to ask for help, sharing your latest blog post or anything else that might benefit you directly.

4.Follow for quality, not quantity:

Follow more people, and naturally, you’ll have more followers in return. But bigger isn’t always better. With too many voices in your Twitter stream, you’ll suffer from information overload, which is bad news for professional development. If you want to really learn from and connect with your followers on Twitter, keep your list to a manageable size and only follow people you genuinely want to connect with.

5.Take part in Twitter chats:

Regularly hosted chats on Twitter offer a great way to connect with and learn from others in your professional sphere. You can check out nearly 700 different Twitter chats available on the Twitter Chat Schedule. Use it to find relevant chats and hashtags for your professional and personal interests, and you can be a part of the discussion.

6.Keep things open:

Many people choose to keep their tweets private for personal reasons, but if you’re tweeting professionally, you should really stay unprotected. It makes your profile and tweets easier to find, share, and showcase to potential employers and colleagues.

7.Put some effort into branding:

Create a background that works with your personal branding. You can also work to establish a great Twitter brand by regularly sharing interesting news, articles, and tools for your industry.

8.Stay aware of professional issues:

Twitter can keep you in the loop professionally. Follow people who share lots of great news and insights that apply to your professional development, and you can use Twitter as a source for current awareness.

9.Use Twitter to break the ice:

Before heading to a meeting or conference, look up attendees on Twitter and connect with them. Conversing through social media can make it easy to break the ice and become familiar with others before heading to the event, making it easy for you to network and connect in person.

10.Be authentic:

Twitter is a great professional tool, but it’s important that you don’t forget to be a real person. Share some personality and voice in your tweets, and avoid copying and pasting headlines. Letting followers connect with the real you is a much more authentic way to develop your professional network.

11.Follow leaders in your professional circle:

Just about everyone is on Twitter these days, from CEOs to celebrities. Follow leaders in your niche, and you can find nuggets of wisdom in their tweets. You may even be able to connect with them through tweeting.

12.Don’t forget your manners:

Online, it’s easy to forget that manners matter. But politeness and diplomatic behavior will go a long way to professional development and a healthy online image. If you encounter a bully or incredibly rude person, it’s easy to simply unfollow or even block a user. And of course, remember that anything you say on Twitter can be retweeted and shared with the world.

13.Participate regularly:

No one likes a sporadic tweeter. Be sure to check in regularly so that your followers know they can count on you.

14.Put Twitter to work in your job search:

If you’re looking for a job, Twitter can help you find one. Through chats, personal connections, visibility, and even job listings on Twitter, there are plenty of opportunities for career growth through the service. Show that you’re professional and knowledgeable in your niche to better boost your job search.

15.Use Twitter to strengthen your network:

Twitter is an incredible networking tool, and it can be used to connect with contacts new and old. Discover new networking connections, and find people you already know to converse with them on a regular basis using Twitter.

16.Become an expert on Twitter:

Developing and presenting yourself as an expert in your industry on Twitter is a great way to actually become an expert. Stay on top of relevant news and developments, share what you know, and build authority through the social media service. If you are able to execute your expertise professionally, you can translate to expert status offline, too.

17.Use Twitter to get access to people and ideas:

Twitter is one of the most powerful information tools we have today. Through the site, you can not only connect with contacts, but find out what they think. Share your ideas and questions, and find out what others have to say about them.

18.Don’t forget to follow back:

Following isn’t a one-way street. Pay attention to new followers. You don’t have to follow all of them back, but you should at least check out their profiles, and follow the people that are relevant and interesting to you.

19.Join the conversation with hashtags:

Become a better part of a professional conversation by using hashtags. [Especially at professional conferences and meetings] You’ll become more visible to others who are using the hashtag, and be able to better connect with the rest of the conversation. You can even create your own hashtag to spark a conversation that’s important to your professional development.

20.Connect with colleagues:

If you telecommute, or work for a company with multiple locations, Twitter offers a great opportunity to connect with your colleagues, even if you can’t do it in person. Follow coworkers on Twitter, and you’ll be able to stay on top of their professional and personal development.

21.Develop a Twitter community:

Become a community leader on Twitter, creating networks, inviting others, and fostering communication between participants in your community. Heading up a group can be hard work, but it’s a great way to get front and center and be a part of major discussions and developments in your network.

22.Use Twitter as a research tool:

Twitter is an incredible place to find information that’s relevant to your career. It can be as simple as just following the right people in your network, or you can even make use of Twitter’s search function and RSS feeds to stay on top of specific search queries you’re interested in.

23.Help others, and you can learn, too:

Reach out and help others whenever you can. Answering questions, sharing resources, or pointing out useful links isn’t just for helping other people, it’s great for you, too. You can learn something as you offer your assistance, and as you become the go-to person for help in your professional field, you can build your network and find more opportunities for growth.

24.Ask for help:

Cash in on your good karma that you’ve earned by helping others and call in a favor yourself. Let others know you’re looking for a job, or ask a question that you need help answering.

25.Manage your presence:

Once you’ve started connecting and sharing on Twitter, consider how you’ll manage your presence on the site. Remember to regularly connect with others, check your mentions, and stay consistent with your interactions on Twitter. You may consider using tools like TweetDeck to manage your brand and networking efforts.”


Tuesday, September 11, 2012


In April, leading independent academic and professional publisher SAGE convened a roundtable in association with the British Library into the role of the academic library in an open access (OA) future. Chaired by publishing consultant Simon Inger and attended by an international panel of 14 senior librarians and other industry experts, the conclusions of this discussion have been published in a report, “Moving towards an open access future: the role of academic libraries.” Among the key discussion points:

- Managing metadata will be very important for good discoverability of open access resources.

- Functions such as metadata management and preservation are likely to be done at Webscale, rather than on an institutional level.

- Individual library value will be judged on quality of service provision rather than on breadth of collection; value will also be added by digitizing and making available unique collections.

- Libraries will increasingly need to work together and share functions and services.

- Attention will shift from the library to the librarian: ‘the information professional is the library of the future.

 - External discovery systems may be favored over the library catalog. Click here for more

Friday, August 31, 2012

Linked data for libraries - OCLC Video

Produced by OCLC this is a short introduction to the often discussed - but difficult- concepts and technology behind linked data, how it works and some benefits it brings to libraries.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Project Gutenburg Authors Community Cloud Library

Project Gutenberg, developers of the first online platform for free eBooks, has transcended to the next logical step and created a free self publishing portal for authors. The purpose of this portal referred to as the Authors Community Cloud Library is to “create a cloud service for contemporary writers to share their works with reader”. There is built in two way interaction for authors and readers as every eBook has its own Details Page, Star Ratings, and Reader Comment area. 
Users can easily search for their favorite titles by keyword or limiting by genre categories such as adventure, art, biographies, children literature, education, fantasy and technology. There is no charge for using this service. Registration is not required for reading or downloading the books. However, registration is required to upload a book or post a comment.
Libraries can promote this tool on main library portals (blogs, webpages, library guides) as a self publishing platform for contemporary authors to publish their works and as a  social network meeting place for readers and authors to share ideas.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Call for Papers Department of Library & Information Studies, UWI Jamaica 40th Anniversary Conference

Conference Theme : From Search to Discovery: Reimagining the Library and Information Landscape
Date: October 4- 6, 2012
Venue: The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Kingston Jamaica - Mona Visitors' Lodge & Conference Center

The theme asks participants to envision how the changing information environment is impacting the role and functions of libraries, librarians, as well as library and information science education and research and information users. Further, persons are asked to relate this change to the current situation in the Caribbean.

We invite persons to contribute research-based paper and poster proposals; best practices; and critical essays on aspects of the conference theme including but not limited to the following:

1. Repositioning of LIS Education for enhanced competencies and capabilities

  • Interdisciplinary and collaborative initiatives
  • Curriculum redesign
  • Online Web-based teaching
  • Research directions
2. LIS Research Landscape: Crossing Disciplinary Lines

3. Envisioning Caribbean Libraries for Today, Tomorrow and Beyond

4. Reimagining the Role of the Librarian and the User

5. Creating and Evaluating Competitive Information Products and Services

6. The “I factor”

  • Role of Libraries in Information Management
  • Cloud computing and libraries
  • Visual data
  • Libraries and knowledge management
7. Reinventing our brand in the post- modern environment
  • Institutional [school, academic, corporate libraries]
  • Personal
  • Professional
  • Synergy with Archives and Museums
Deadline for paper/poster proposal submissions (maximum 1,000 words): July 31, 2012

Notification of acceptance: August 31, 2012

For more details Click here

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Libraries, patrons, and e-books - PEW Report

Summary of findings from the latest Pew report on libraries, patrons, e-books:

  •  58% of Americans have a library card, and 69% say that their local library is important to them and their family. Library card holders use more technology, and they report that they read more books.
  • 12% of readers of e-books borrowed an e-book from the library in the past year. But a majority of Americans do not know that this service is provided by their local library.
  • E-book borrowers appreciate the selection of e-books at their local library, but they often encounter wait lists, unavailable titles or incompatible file formats.
  • Many Americans would like to learn more about borrowing e-books.
  • Library card holders are more than twice as likely to have bought their most recent book than to have borrowed it from a library. Many e-book borrowers purchase e-books, too.
  • Leading-edge librarians and patrons say that the advent of e-books has produced a major transformation in book searching and borrowing at libraries.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

New ALA report explores challenges of equitable access to digital content

ALA recently 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 e-books to libraries; proprietary platforms fragment our cultural record; and reader privacy is endangered.

The report, published as a supplement to American Libraries magazine, identifies a number of ways libraries and publishers can collaborate to lessen the digital content divide. Some of the topics covered:
  •  ALA´s Digital Content and Libraries Working Group cochairs, Sari Feldman and Robert Wolven,summarize recent ebook activities and suggest directions for the future.
  • Deborah Caldwell-Stone from the Office for Intellectual Freedom focuses on ebook privacy and related ethical issues.
  • James LaRue offers perspectives from a reader, librarian, publisher, writer, and bookseller on ebooks today and tomorrow.

  You can read the report in the easy-to-use Zmag web browser format, or download it as a PDF for offline reading. Click on this link to read and download the report: “E-content: The Digital Dialogue

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Unglue it - ebook publishing service launches

Using the tag line Give eBooks to the World, - a new type of e-book servicd-  launched on May 17, 2012 with active campaigns for site visitors to make monetary pledges towards books from five authors they wish to 'unglue'. The idea behind this new service is as simple, as it is innovative, and answers basic questions like the following: What if you could give a book to everyone on earth? Get an ebook and read it on any device, in any format, forever? Give an ebook to your library, for them to share? Own DRM-free ebooks, legally? Read free ebooks, and know their creators had been fairly paid? as a crowdfunding site, allows book afficinados to pay authors and publishers to make their traditionally-published books free to the world under a Creative Commons license. If supporters pledge a dollar  amount chosen by the books’ rightsholders before a given deadline, these books will be released as “unglued” or free electronic editions under the shared license

There is promise that this concept will catch on and the service will grow as who among us would not want to pledge toward creating ebooks that can be legally free ('unglued') and read worldwide.
The first five authors/publishers to grace the site:

Michael Laser, 6-321

Joseph Nassise, Riverwatch

Nancy Rawles, Love Like Gumbo

Budding Reader, Cat and Rat

Open Book Publishers, Oral Literature in Africa, by Ruth Finnegan.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

New Multimedia Tools Help Museums, Libraries Support 21st Century Skills

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) revamped the webpage for its Museums, Libraries, and 21st Century Skills initiative. Museums and libraries visiting the page will now be able to access practitioner videos, a PowerPoint presentation, an updated resource list, and a toolkit that will help them organize 21st-century skills workshops in their communities. These new resources join IMLS’s 2009 report and self-assessment tool already in wide use.

The 21st Century Skills initiative is intended to assist museums and libraries as they leverage their resources to help individuals of all ages acquire such critical skills as critical thinking and problem solving, creativity and innovation, communication, and collaboration. Combining strengths in traditional and digital learning, libraries and museums are well-positioned to build the skills Americans need today.

The Making the Learning Connection Community Workshop Toolkit is based on a series of community workshops conducted by IMLS between June 2010 and May 2011. This toolkit is designed to assist museum and library leaders in planning and executing 21st-century skills workshops in their own communities. It outlines the planning process, provides timelines, sample exercises and agendas, and brief descriptions of the 2010-11 IMLS workshops. Museum and library staff can also use a new 21st Century Skills PowerPoint and an extended bibliography in their presentations and planning.

Source: Institute of Museum and Library Services

Friday, April 13, 2012

ALA State of America's Libraries Report 2012

Libraries continue to transform lives, despite the challenges they faced in 2011. Patron demand for ebooks increased just as publishers decided to limit sales to libraries or increase the price dramatically. Budget cuts continued as the national economy struggles toward recovery from the Great Recession. The American Library Association continued to play a leading role in the battle for privacy and intellectual freedom. Read the Top Ten List of 2011's most challenged books.

These are just some of the highlights of the ALA 2012 report on the State of America's Libraries

Click here for the Zmag version

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Building Digital Communities - IMLS Resource to Help Communities Bridge the Digital Divide

There are still 100 million Americans who do not have a broadband connection to the Internet. This sobering statistic has profound implications for economic success, educational achievement, and civic life. Communities face difficult challenges in their efforts to provide digital opportunity for all their residents.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), together with the University of Washington and the International City/County Management Association, has consulted with hundreds of community members and experts over the past 18 months to identify action steps and a framework for building digital communities.

With the release of Building Digital Communities: A Framework for Action and its companion primer Building Digital Communities: Getting Started, communities have a new resource to help set a vision for the future. These resources raise awareness about the access and adoption that are essential to digital communities and identify goals related to availability, affordability, design for inclusion, public access, relevance, digital literacy, and consumer safety. They also provide strategic areas where communities may wish to focus their digital inclusion efforts, such areas as economic and workforce development, education, and civic engagement, as well as concrete sample strategies for organizations and individuals to use in achieving a community’s goals.

For more information visit the IMLS website:

Monday, April 2, 2012

South Carolina State Library Publishes Report on Social Media

The South Carolina State Library has recently published a report titled, Social Media, Libraries, and Web 2.0: How American Libraries are Using New Tools for Public Relations and to Attract New Users. The report provides quantitative and qualitative data gathered from library staff members in the U.S. to determine how libraries are employing a variety of Web 2.0 and social networking tools to promote library programs and services.

This is the fourth survey conducted November, 2011, by the South Carolina State Library, coordinated by the agency’s communications director, Dr. Curtis R. Rogers. According to Rogers, “The data gathered by this survey provides a wealth of information about how libraries of all types are using social media to promote library services and events. It was difficult to filter all of the comments because so many library staff members had so much to say about their successes with social media. It was also interesting to see that some libraries are still not employing these free tools especially in such tough economic times.”

To access the full report, visit

South Carolina State Library - State Library Publishes Fourth Annual Report on Social Media

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

ACURIL XLII HAITI: 4-8 juin-June-Junio 2012

Here are details for the 2012 annual conference of the Association of Caribbean University Research and Institutional Libraries
Date: June 4-8, 2012

Venue: Karibe Hotel & Convention Center, Petion-ville, Haiti


ECONOMIC IMPACTS (new media, e-commerce, cost of upgrades)
CULTURAL IMPACTS (cultural heritage, archives, digital libraries)
SOCIAL IMPACTS (social networks, libraries, distance learning, professional standards and training)
POLITICAL IMPACTS (e-governance, citizenship, citizen media, globalization)

Call for papers:

Friday, March 16, 2012

comScore Releases “2012 U.S. Digital Future in Focus” Report

ComScore has released the 2012 U.S. Digital Future in Focus report. This annual report examines how the prevailing trends in social media, search, online video, digital advertising, mobile and e-commerce are defining the current marketplace and what these trends mean for the year ahead.

Main Trends identified:
Facebook-Led Social Media Market is Redefining Communication in the Digital and Physical Worlds

Social Networking accounted for 16.6 percent of all online minutes at the end of 2011 and is on track to surpass Portals as the most engaging online activity in 2012. Facebook continues to lead as the driving force behind this shift in consumer behavior, accounting for the largest share of online minutes across the entire web in 2011.

Bing Gains Ground in Search
Although Google maintains a strong lead in the U.S. search market, one of the most notable stories in search in 2011 was Bing’s positive growth trajectory. Bing closed out the year by surpassing Yahoo! for the #2 position among core search engines for the first time in its history, bolstered in part by its social search partnership with Facebook implemented in early 2011.

Online Video Boom Signals Sea Change in Video Ecosystem
Online video viewing witnessed impressive gains across a variety of measures in 2011, signaling a behavioral shift in how Americans are consuming video content. More than 100 million Americans watched online video content on an average day to close out 2011, representing a 43-percent increase versus year ago.

Digital Advertising Enters Era of Increased Accountability as Brand Dollars Continue to Shift Online
A staggering 4.8 trillion display ad impressions were delivered across the U.S. web in 2011 as brand advertisers continued to shift dollars to the digital medium. This shift in ad dollars has magnified the need for greater transparency and accountability in ad delivery across the digital advertising ecosystem.

Smartphone and Tablets Fuel the Rise of the Digital Omnivore
The rise of smartphones and tablets has drastically altered consumers’ digital media consumption. In 2011, the majority of all mobile phone owners consumed mobile media on their device, marking an important milestone in the evolution of mobile from primarily a communication device to also a content consumption tool. At the end of the year, more than 8 percent of all digital traffic was consumed beyond the ‘classic web’ via devices such as smartphones and tablets.

E-Commerce is Back and Better Than Ever
Despite the backdrop of continued economic uncertainty, 2011 was a strong year for retail e-commerce. Throughout the year, growth rates versus the prior year remained in double-digits to significantly outpace growth at brick-and-mortar retail. Total U.S. retail and travel-related e-commerce reached $256 billion in 2011, up 12 percent from 2010.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Little free libraries...take a book...return a book

Todd Bowl from Wisconsin Little Free Libraries catches on in the US and around the world. The concept is simple, spread the love of reading the old fashion way by building a small library (similar to a post box or as Todd describes it a  one-room schoolhouse that sits on a post) outside your home, stocking this with your favorite titles  and placing the sign take a book...return a book 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Introducing Google Play

Google recently introduced Google Play, a new one-stop shop for all digital content and available on mobile devices and on the web. With Google Play, users can buy and experience books, music, movies and Android apps, available across their devices. As part of this launch, Google eBooks and Android Market will become part of Google Play, and users will now get their ebooks from Google Play.

Here is a list of helpful resources:
Google Play overview
Google Play brand assets

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wikipedia Blackout - Protest against SOPA & PIPA Laws

Wikipedia, the popular collaborative free encyclopedia and other popular social media websites are  protesting against the Stop Internet Privacy  Act SOPA and Protect Internet Privacy Act PIPA  Laws by blacking out access to their websites for 24 hours, beginning at midnight January 18, Eastern Time. For example, readers who visit Wikipedia during the blackout will not be able to read the encyclopedia. Instead, they will be able to read  messages intended to raise awareness about SOPA and PIPA, thus encouraging readers to share their views with their political representatives, and hold open discussions with others on the role of social media.

Wikipedia provides information on SOPA and PIPA:
SOPA and PIPA represent two bills in the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate respectively. SOPA is short for the "Stop Online Piracy Act," and PIPA is an acronym for the "Protect IP Act." ("IP" stands for "intellectual property.") In short, these bills are efforts to stop copyright infringement committed by foreign web sites, but, in our opinion, they do so in a way that actually infringes free expression while harming the Internet. Detailed information about these bills can be found in the Stop Online Piracy Act and PROTECT IP Act articles on Wikipedia, which are available during the blackout. GovTrack lets you follow both bills through the legislative process: SOPA on this page, and PIPA on this one. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to advocating for the public interest in the digital realm, has summarized why these bills are simply unacceptable in a world that values an open, secure, and free Internet.

Wikipedia also explains its role in the blackout:
Wikipedians have chosen to black out the English Wikipedia for the first time ever, because we are concerned that SOPA and PIPA will severely inhibit people's access to online information. This is not a problem that will solely affect people in the United States: it will affect everyone around the world.

Why? SOPA and PIPA are badly drafted legislation that won't be effective at their stated goal (to stop copyright infringement), and will cause serious damage to the free and open Internet. They put the burden on website owners to police user-contributed material and call for the unnecessary blocking of entire sites. Small sites won't have sufficient resources to defend themselves. Big media companies may seek to cut off funding sources for their foreign competitors, even if copyright isn't being infringed. Foreign sites will be blacklisted, which means they won't show up in major search engines. And, SOPA and PIPA build a framework for future restrictions and suppression.

Monday, January 9, 2012

OCLC 2010/2011 Annual Report

OCLC recently published its annual 2011 report to its membership. In the report, Jay Jordan, OCLC President and Chief Executive Officer commented that the economic downturn notwithstanding, libraries maintained their strong use of OCLC systems and services in fiscal 2011.

Here are some highlights of the report:

Members of the OCLC cooperative used OCLC to:

• catalog 449.9 million items online and via batchload

• add 38.9 million records to the WorldCat database

• arrange 9.6 million interlibrary loans

• perform 58 million end-user reference searches on the OCLC FirstSearch service

• perform 160.7 million click-throughs from partner sites on the Web to the landing page

• add 12.4 million records to WorldCat for digital objects via the WorldCat Digital Collection Gateway.

Jordan also noted that the cooperative’s strategic initiative to build new Webscale management services with libraries continued to grow. Thirty-seven libraries acquired these services in fiscal 2011, and 24 of them went live.

Link to the report