Category Archives: Articles and Information

Evaluating Your Library’s Programming

By Shauna Swantek, Head of Public Services, Marshall District Library
From the Library of Michigan Dispatch Newsletter

Children’s program at Alpine Branch Library

The new year brings with it a natural time for reflection. Why not apply this to programming at the library as well?  Consider answering the following on your own or with your team. You may need to break the questions down for various demographics you serve.  These are not meant to be yes or no questions; when possible, follow your response with a why explanation.  Be curious as you reflect on the work your library programming staff does.


  • What was the best attended program last year?
  • What program created the most buzz online?  Around town?
  • What program was really unique?  Why?
  • How did we evaluate a “successful” program in the last year:  attendance, feedback, other?
  • What do we do solidly for a core group of people but never seem to see new faces there?
  • Is there a program that needs to be discontinued?  Re-imagined?  Re-scheduled for a different time?  Re-staffed?
  • When was the last time we surveyed our patrons/community to help inform our programming?

New or expanding programming

  • What do we sometimes/often forget about when creating a program?
  • Have we invited local people/organizations in to program with us lately?
  • How are we taking library programming out of our building?
  • Did some programs help us serve people we do not usually see? 
  • What programs did we offer that were multi-generational?
  • What are we/should we be intentional about when creating a program?
  • How might a new program create a community of learners/makers/doers?

Making the most of staff, resources, & programs

  • Who is gifted with a particular program/audience?  Why does this work so well?
  • What programs am I personally most enjoying preparing for/leading? 
  • Are there programs I need to let go or pass on to someone else?
  • How do we tell the story of successful programs to those who aren’t able to attend?

You probably ended up creating some of your own reflection questions and/or notes along the way. The real work is considering how you can apply the answers/information to planning efforts. Look for opportunities and low hanging fruit; start there. Most of all, be honest. If it doesn’t light you up, you may not the right person to lead that program. Try to work with other staff as part of a team so everyone is working from a place of true investment and shining their light on your community.

New Ways to Engage With Your Community

By Randy Riley, State Librarian, Library of Michigan (LM)
From the Library of Michigan
Dispatch Newsletter

With the new year comes the opportunity to look at our personal and professional lives and assess how we are doing. We are surrounded by advice and tips on how to lose weight, get organized or how to become the best “you” possible. Each January presents us with an opportunity to make positive changes, try new things and hit the restart button looking at the future. The new year is a great time to look at what your library is doing and consider how it can be strengthened.

Through programs like the Harwood Institute the LM is committed to helping create more community centered libraries and librarians across the state. Consider these library resolutions focused on helping to make sure that your library remains an essential and irreplaceable community institution.

1. Worry more about the needs of your community and less about trends.

It is important to be aware of current trends impacting libraries, but not every new trend is the best fit for your library or unique community. We should not feel compelled to chase every new trend discussed in library journals and at conferences. Every community will benefit from librarians who take the time to get to know their community and find creative ways to serve patrons.

2. Get out into the community more in 2019.

Surveys are a great tool for gathering feedback, but they do not replace community conversations. Responses to surveys are often limited and questions do not allow patrons to provide broader answers to complicated questions. Combine surveys with an increased level of visibility in the community. Join organizations, serve on committees, host town meetings and talk to people wherever and whenever possible. Librarians embedded in their communities almost always have a better understanding of the needs of their patrons.

3. Make programming a job requirement for all staff.

Community centered libraries offer opportunities for people to learn together. Making one person responsible for this duty will not work.

4. Learn something new.

Learn something new that will help make your library a better place.

5. Claim your seat at the table.

Advocate for your library at every opportunity. Request to be on the agenda of local meetings of the city council, chamber of commerce, etc. and strive to keep the community more aware of who you are and what you do. Make sure that you have something to say and be willing to say it.

6. Send library “believers” out into community.

Librarians already love libraries. Create opportunities to send your supporters into the community to spread the “good word” about libraries. Their positive message often has a greater impact on community members and funders.

All the best in 2019.

Women Inventors in the U.S. and Wyoming

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has released Progress and Potential: A profile of women inventors on U.S. patents, a report on the trends and characteristics of U.S. women inventors named on U.S. patents granted from 1976 through 2016. The report issued by the USPTO’s Office of the Chief Economist shows that women still comprise a small minority of patented inventors and highlights an untapped potential of women to spur innovation in the United States.

The report delivers several important findings, including:

  • The share of patents that include at least one woman as an inventor increased from about 7 percent in the 1980s to 21 percent by 2016.
  • Even with this increase in patent counts, women inventors made up only 12 percent of all inventors on patents granted in 2016.
  • Gains in female participation in science and engineering occupations and entrepreneurship are not leading to broad increases in female inventors earning a patent.
  • Technology-intensive states, as well as those where women comprise a large percentage of the state’s overall workforce, show higher rates of women inventors.
  • Women inventors are increasingly concentrated in specific technologies, suggesting that women are specializing in areas where female predecessors have traditionally patented rather than entering into male-dominated fields.
  • Women are increasingly likely to patent on large, gender-mixed inventor teams, and are less likely than men to be an individual inventor on a granted patent.

Wyoming’s women inventors have contributed greatly to progress and economic development through their innovations. Here are tidbits on two of them from our Wyoming Inventors Database. For a more complete list from the Equality State, download Wyoming Women Inventors 1890-2018 (MS Word document).

  • The first Wyoming woman to receive a patent was Myrtle M. Wallin of Rock Springs. She received patent number 664,597 for a Work-Holder on December 25, 1900.
  • According to a U. S. Patent and Trademark Office report Buttons to Biotech: U.S. Patenting by Women, 1977 to 1996, Joan D. Sheridan of Cheyenne was the 19th most prolific woman inventor during 1992-1996. She received 20 patents.

The Wyoming State Library offers helpful information for inventors. Visit our Patent & Trademark Resource Center to learn more.

Award-Winning Children’s and YA Books for Black History Month

The Coretta Scott King Book Awards are given annually to outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values. The award commemorates the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and honors his wife, Mrs. Coretta Scott King, for her courage and determination to continue the work for peace and world brotherhood.

Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award

Recognizing an African-American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults:

A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919, written by Claire Hartfield, is the King Author Book winner. The book is published by Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Three King Author Honor Books were selected: Finding Langston, written by Lesa Cline-Ransome and published by Holiday House; The Parker Inheritance, written by Varian Johnson and published by Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.; and The Season of Styx Malone, written by Kekla Magoon and published by Wendy Lamb Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.

Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award:

The Stuff of Stars, illustrated by Ekua Holmes, is the King Illustrator Book winner. The book is written by Marion Dane Bauer and published by Candlewick Press.

Three King Illustrator Honor Book were selected: Hidden Figures, illustrated by Laura Freeman, written by Margot Lee Shetterly and published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, a division of HarperCollins Publishers; Let the Children March, illustrated by Frank Morrison, written by Monica Clark-Robinson and published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company; and Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, written by Alice Faye Duncan and published by Calkins Creek, an imprint of Highlights.

Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award:

Monday’s Not Coming, written by Tiffany D. Jackson, is the Steptoe author award winner. The book is published by Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award:

Thank You, Omu!, illustrated and written by Oge Mora and published by Little, Brown Young Readers.

Black History Month in Federal Documents

Reposted from govinfo

February is Black History Month, a time to observe the achievements of African Americans – from civil rights to science to politics to music and beyond – in U.S. History. Check out the below facts found in excerpts in Presidential remarks, Congressional Records, and Resolutions on govinfo to help us remember some of the African Americans who helped shape our country. Click on the links to learn even more about the adversity these heroes overcame and their incredible contributions.

1. December 1 wasn’t the first time Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat 

According to the Congressional Record on October 26, 2005, in a previous incident, Parks refused to give up her seat, but was ordered off the bus and never arrested. December 1, 1955, was the second time Parks refused to move from her seat, resulting in her arrest and sparking a 381-day boycott of the Montgomery bus system. Read more about the life of Rosa Parks in these documents from govinfo.

  • PDF 151 Cong. Rec. H9259 – REMEMBERING ROSA PARKS 
  • PDF   157 Cong. Rec. H7591 – ROSA PARKS DAY 
  • PDF   151 Cong. Rec. H9366 – HONORING ROSA PARKS

2. Pitchers on opposing teams regularly threw fastballs near Jackie Robinson’s head 

According to the Congressional Record on April 15, 1997, opposing baseball players tried to spike Robinson on the head and pitchers regularly threw balls near his head. Even some of his own teammates asked to be traded when they learned he was being called up from the minors. Read more about the life of Jackie Robinson on govinfo.

  • PDF 149 Cong. Rec. S2334 – JACKIE ROBINSON 
  • PDF   143 Cong. Rec. H1460 – TRIBUTE TO JACKIE ROBINSON 
  • PDF   154 Cong. Rec. S2986 – JACKIE ROBINSON 
  • PDF   143 Cong. Rec. S3230 – JACKIE ROBINSON

3. Shirley Anita Chisholm was the first Black woman to be elected to Congress

According to a Resolution from 2001, Chisholm was never afraid to speak out on any issue she felt adverse to. An inspiration to all women, she was the first Black woman to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives as a Democrat in 1968 and was the first Black woman to seek the bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1972. Read more about Shirley Anita Chisholm on govinfo.


4. Dr. George Washington Carver was born to a slave mother and didn’t obtain a high school education until his late twenties

In his remarks for Dr. George Washington Carver National Recognition Day, President Clinton noted that Carver applied the almost magical possibilities of chemistry to the fields and farms of the South. He created 300 useful products from peanuts and more than 100 from sweet potatoes, spawning numerous industries. He helped save the South’s depleted soils. And he liberated the South from its reliance on cotton.

  • PDF WEEKLY COMPILATION OF PRESIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS VOLUME 36, ISSUE 1(JANUARY 10, 2000) (Videotape Remarks for Dr. George Washington Carver National Recognition Day)

5. Dr. Maya Angelou worked at a hamburger joint before becoming a writer, director, playwright, and poet 

A 2014 Congressional Record states that Dr. Maya Angelou rose from the bottom of society, working at a hamburger joint as well as a mechanic’s shop where she took paint off cars with her hands. Read more about the life of Dr. Maya Angelou below.

  • PDF 160 Cong. Rec. H5060 – MAYA ANGELOU 
  • PDF   160 Cong. Rec. E1016 – HONORING DR. MAYA ANGELOU 
  • PDF   142 Cong. Rec. E184 – TRIBUTE TO MAYA ANGELOU

6. As a 16-year old orphan, Ray Charles used what little money he had to move to Seattle, WA, and form a jazz group 

A 2004 Congressional Record states “A young Charles began losing his sight at infancy and was clinically blind by the age of 7. Two years prior his brother had accidentally drowned, and by age 15, Charles lost both parents and had no immediate family. Alone, sad, and orphaned, Ray Charles went to live with friends of his mother, nearly 200 miles away from home, in Jacksonville, FL. Charles lived in Jacksonville for a year developing his talent as a musician before moving to Orlando, supporting himself, a 16-year-old orphan, with only his seemingly dauntless optimism to help him along.” Learn more about Ray Charles below.

  • PDF 150 Cong. Rec. S7164 – IN MEMORY OF RAY CHARLES 

7. Dr. Mae Jemison, the first Black woman in space, conducted research from space

A 2017 Congressional Record states that she was accepted into NASA’s astronaut program in 1987, providing launch support and assistance until her space mission aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor in September 1992. During her mission, Dr. Jemison conducted scientific experiments on bone cell research and the effects of weightlessness on the human body, which contributed to advancements in our understanding of life sciences. See the link below for more on this remarkable woman.


8. Dr. Carter G. Woodson, known as the “Father of Black History” often read to his fellow coal miners who were illiterate

Dr. Woodson and his older brother Robert Henry Woodson took jobs working in the West Virginia coalfields of Fayette County. Here, Dr. Woodson, who had not yet attended high school, often read to his fellow coal miners who were illiterate, as he also did for his illiterate father. The collection of books and newspapers he accumulated for this task broadened his horizons about the world. Read more about Dr. Woodson below.


9. Madam C.J. Walker built a factory on land she purchased to manufacture her line of cosmetic products

A 2010 Resolution states that in 1910, Madam C.J. Walker built a factory on land she bought in Indianapolis, Indiana, to manufacture her line of cosmetic products, a historic achievement for a Black businessperson of that time. Walker was committed to employing women in all aspects of her business, training well over 1,000 agents across the Nation and fostering the entry of Black women into the business world.


10. During his lifetime, Percy Julian received more than 100 chemical patents 

According to a 2007 Congressional Record, Percy Julian proved himself to be a brilliant chemist. Among his many patents, the most notable are—a foam fire retardant, a treatment for glaucoma and a low-cost process to produce cortisone. His innovative approach to chemistry helped to make essential medicines more accessible to millions. Read more about Percy Julian and his influential son, who helped to make the civil rights laws passed in the Martin Luther King, Jr. era tools for justice, on govinfo.

  • PDF   154 Cong. Rec. E288 – IN TRIBUTE TO PERCY JULIAN, JR.

These are just a handful of the many African Americans who have made a difference. For more information about the achievements of African Americans in history, explore the many documents on govinfo.

News in Brief

With the NASA Selfies app, you can share selfies in front of gorgeous cosmic landscapes, like Messier 78, imaged by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. Each image contains information about the object shown.Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech 

‘NASA Selfies’ and TRAPPIST-1 VR Apps Now Available
The universe is at your fingertips with two new digital products from NASA. The NASA Selfies app and NASA’s Exoplanet Excursions virtual reality app were created to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the launch of NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. The new NASA Selfies app lets you generate snapshots of yourself in a virtual spacesuit, posing in front of gorgeous cosmic locations, like the Orion Nebula or the center of the Milky Way galaxy. In NASA’s Exoplanet Excursions virtual reality app, VR users are taken on a guided tour of the TRAPPIST-1 planetary system.

Digital Learning Day 2019 is February 28
Each year, states, districts, schools, and classrooms across the United States and around the world hold thousands of events to celebrate Digital Learning Day. If you’re planning to participate in Digital Learning Day 2019, you can add your event to the map and access promotional graphics.

Open Education Week is March 4-8
Founded in 2013 by the Open Education Consortium, the goal of Open Education Week is to raise awareness and showcase the impact of open education on teaching and learning worldwide. Open Education Week has become one of the foremost global events recognizing high achievement and excellence in open education.

ALA Launches New Advocacy Resources
Library advocates have new tools to make their case for support, thanks to the American Library Association. ALA launched a new and growing set of advocacy tools at in January as part of the campaign “Libraries = Strong Communities” by ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo. American Libraries notes that “The concrete examples of storytelling, relationship building, and year-round advocacy are designed to encourage ALA members and library advocates to positively impact how community influencers and decision makers at all levels engage with libraries.”

Melinda Gates to Serve as 2019 National Library Week Honorary Chair
Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will be honorary chair of National Library Week, April 7 – 13, 2019. Over the last 20 years, Gates has invested more than $1 billion through her foundation’s Global Libraries initiative to enhance the power of libraries to improve lives. “Libraries = Strong Communities” is the theme for this year’s celebration of National Library Week, reminding the public that libraries of all types serve as change agents that strengthen communities by supporting community engagement and providing services that connect closely with patrons’ needs.

AASL Celebrates 2019 School Library Month with Dav Pilkey
Dav Pilkey, New York Times bestselling author of the Captain Underpants and Dog Man series, will serve as the national spokesperson for the 2019 celebration of School Library Month (SLM). Observed in April and sponsored by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), School Library Month celebrates school libraries as open, equitable, and personalized learning environments necessary for every student’s well-rounded education.

American Library Association Announces 2019 Youth Media Award Winners
The American Library Association (ALA) announced the top books, video and audio books for children and young adults at its Midwinter Meeting in January in Seattle, Washington. The John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature was Merci Suárez Changes Gears by Meg Medina. The Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children went to Hello Lighthouse, illustrated and written by Sophie Blackall. See the rest.

Find Free Resources from the STAR Library Network 
Explore fantastic ways to bring science, technology, and fun into your programs and services. STAR Net focuses on helping library professionals facilitate STEM learning for their patrons by providing “science-technology activities and resources” (STAR) and training to use those resources. Be sure to check out the Summer of Space resources that align with this year’s summer reading theme.

Policy Brief: Public Libraries Engage Families in STEM
Although emerging research points to the strong influence of families on children’s growth and development, a focus on joint parent and child STEM learning is still nascent. This new policy brief from the Global Family Research Project examines how public libraries, with federal and state support, are creating STEM learning that brings together children and families across the K–12 years.

Take the Teaching with the Library of Congress Podcast Survey
School librarians — do you enjoy podcasts? Do you ever share ideas inspired by podcasts, or use tips you learn from podcasts, with students or colleagues? The Library of Congress’s Learning and Innovation Office is interested in learning from educators who work with learners of all ages (children and adults), in both formal and informal learning environments. Your input and perspectives will help shape content that is engaging, informative, thought-provoking, and useful, whether by podcast or other media.

Booklist Announces July 2019 as Graphic Novels in Libraries Month
July 2019 will be Booklist’s Graphic Novels in Libraries Month, an innovative, first-of-its-kind program through which the American Library Association’s review journal for public libraries will forge key partnerships between libraries and publishers while providing librarians with the tools they need to select, curate, and promote graphic titles for patrons of all ages. The program kicks off at the ALA’s annual conference in Washington, D.C. (June 20–25).

The Magic of Finding New Donors
What’s the best way to find new donors and grow your library fundraising? According to CauseVox, “Community-driven fundraising leverages your current supporters’ social networks and connections for your organization. It transforms community members into supporters and supporters into advocates for your cause. It’s based on relationships instead of transactions.” Read the full article to learn how.

Registration Opens for AASL National Conference
Registration is now open for the 2019 American Association of School Librarians (AASL) National Conference & Exhibition. The conference, taking place Nov. 14-16, 2019, in Louisville, Kentucky, will bring together school librarians, administrators, authors, and exhibitors for in-depth learning and networking. AASL is also accepting proposals for the best practice showcase to be held on the Saturday of the conference.

Jump Start Kindergarten Resources from the ICFL
Sharing early literacy practices, such as Every Child Ready to Read’s five early literacy practices (“Sing, Talk, Read, Write, Play”), the Jump Start Kindergarten program from the Idaho Commission for Libraries is an outreach activity that connects library staff with parents/caregivers of young children and emphasizes daily activities that will help children learn to read. While the program itself is specific to Idaho, they’ve compiled many resources to support early literacy and learning and give kids a ‘Jump Start.’

Hateful Conduct in Libraries: Supporting Library Workers and Patrons
From the ALA OIF: According to the American Library Association, “hate speech stops being just speech and becomes conduct when it targets a particular individual and includes behavior that interferes with a patron’s ability to use the library.” Recently the ALA’s Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services and the Office of Intellectual Freedom collaborated on the development of a resource for library workers who have experienced hateful conduct and speech in their workspaces. Applicable for all library types, their guide can be used to help initiate conversations among staff and within local communities.

New Tutorial Webcasts in FDLP Academy
Six new govinfo webcasts are now available through the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) Academy. These webcasts are part of a new series of tutorials that offer users introductory guidance in navigating GPO’s govinfo, performing various types of searches, narrowing search results, browsing, and using Help features. Recordings are brief—from two to seven minutes in length. No prerequisite knowledge is required, and more webcasts will be posted and announced throughout 2019.

U.S. Ratifies the Marrakesh Treaty
President Donald J. Trump signed the documents for the U.S. to ratify the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled on January 28, 2019. The treaty allows limited copyright exceptions for the reproduction of published works in formats accessible to the blind and visually impaired. It is intended to reduce the global shortage of print materials in accessible formats for the many millions of persons who are blind, visually impaired, or have other print disabilities

Presidents Day Publications

From the U.S. GPO Government Book Talk blog

Presidents Day is an American holiday celebrated on the third Monday in February. This year it will take place on February 18. The holiday was initially established in 1885 to recognize President George Washington. Now, it serves as a day to remember and celebrate all U.S. presidents, both past and present. Some states require that schools teach children about the U.S. presidents in the days leading up to President’s Day.

For those of us who no longer go to school, it’s up to us to take the time this Presidents Day to learn about the presidents and remember all their great achievements. The Public Papers of the Presidents seriesproduced by the Office of the Federal Register within National Archives and Records Administration, are a great way to do this. The Public Papers historical collection of primary source documents include public messages, statements, and speeches of the Presidents. They can be purchased online here.

Appreciate the “Father of our Country,” George Washington, with Washington’s Farewell Address to the People of the United States. His Farewell address to Congress and the American people began:

Friends, and Fellow-Citizens: The period for a new election of a Citizen, to Administer the Executive government of the United States, being not far distant, and the time actually arrived, when your thoughts must be employed in designating the person, who is to be cloathed with that important trust, it appears to me proper, especially as it may conduce to a more distinct expression of the public voice, that I should now apprise you of the resolution I have formed, to decline being considered among the number of those, out of whom a choice is to be made.

As one of the founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson made significant achievements for our country, including almost doubling our nation’s territory through the Louisiana Purchase. Learn more about Jefferson in Jefferson Memorial: Interpretive Guide to Thomas Jefferson MemorialThis handbook from the National Park Service describes the Jefferson Memorial and includes a biography of Thomas Jefferson.

It wouldn’t be Presidents Day without a mention of Honest Abe, one of our country’s most highly regarded presidents. Check out Abraham Lincoln’s Journey to Greatness from the National Park Service. This handbook presents a description and history of the Lincoln Memorial and a biography of the man it commemorates.

Interested in what it’s like to be in an intelligence meeting with the president? Getting To Know the President by John Helgerson describes the critical process of information sharing between the Intelligence Community (IC) and the Chief Executive, the President of the United States, starting as a presidential candidate. Since 1952, the CIA, and now the Intelligence Community as a whole, has provided presidential candidates and presidents-elect with intelligence briefings during their campaigns and transitions. These briefings have helped presidents be as well informed as possible on international developments from the day they take office.

First published in 1996 and now revised and updated to include accounts of intelligence support to candidates and presidents-elect in the three elections between then and 2004, Helgerson’s study provides unique insights into the mechanics and content of the briefings, the interaction of the participants, and the briefings’ effect on the relationships presidents have had with their intelligence services.

Our country is lucky to have had some amazing leaders. Without their vision and dedication, our nation wouldn’t be what it is today. Happy Presidents Day!

The Wyoming State Library has separate volumes from Herbert Hoover (1929) to Barack Obama (2013) of Public Papers of the Presidents in our print collection. Stop in and explore! Want some guidance on finding federal government information? Contact our reference staff at or (307) 777-6333.

February is African American History Month

The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society. These organizations have created an African American History Month web portal with online exhibits and collections, audio and video, images, and teacher resources. There’s much to explore on the site, including a history of African American History Month with links to additional resources.

February is Library Lovers’ Month

Heart that reads: "A room without books is like a body without a soul -- Bailee

Photo from Sweetwater County Library System’s Facebook page.

February is for lovers — library lovers, that is! Are you celebrating Library Lovers’ Month in your library? Maybe you could create a place for your patrons to write why they love their library. (See some great comments on that front from Wyoming Snapshot Day.) Or you could set readers up on a “blind date with a book.”

Yes, romance is in the air, and also on the fiction shelves, organized nicely so that your patrons can always find their next great read. And the people in your community can return the love by visiting, using library resources, volunteering, making donations, or advocating for library funding with local decision-makers.

How are you celebrating? We’d love to know! Please share your plans in the comments, and we may just feature them in this month’s Outrider newsletter.




Ebook Spending Rises, Print Declines, in Academic Libraries

Image credit: Ithaka S+R

From Library Research Service

Ithaka S+R recently published the results of their Library Acquisitions Patterns project, which examined purchasing trends in U.S. academic libraries. Their analysis focuses on print books, journals, and ebooks purchased at 124 participating academic institutions.

Total materials spending by the participating academic libraries rose by about 8% between 2014 and 2017 to over $313 million.  One-time resources (single books and ebooks) accounted for about 1 in 5 (16-21%) information materials purchased from 2014-2017, while ongoing materials like journals made up most of the remaining materials (70-76%). However, library spending is not rising as quickly as the prices for these materials – the average cost for an ongoing resource was well over a third (37%) higher in 2017 than in 2014.

Spending on print books declined by 12% during the four years tracked in this study, which was reflected to some extent in each disciplinary field. Spending on print books in STEM disciplines dropped by a quarter (25%), which was the most prominent reduction. Spending on print books in humanities and social sciences dropped by much less over the same period (7% and 8%, respectively).

Spending on ebooks rose by 9% from 2014-2017, although ebooks still only make up around 1% of total library materials spending. Ebook purchasing increased the most for social sciences materials (by 7%) and humanities materials (by 2%). Like with print book purchasing, ebook purchasing for STEM disciplines dropped by about 8% from 2014-2017.

GOBI Library Solutions was the largest vendor of print books and ebooks to the participating academic libraries during the time of the study, providing three-quarters (75%) of print books sales to the libraries by 2017. Amazon was the second largest vendor, hovering just below a tenth of libraries’ print book sales (8.2% in 2014 to 7.1% in 2017). GOBI was also the dominant vendor of ebooks to the libraries, providing 9 in 10 (90%) ebook sales. The next-largest ebook vendors to the participating libraries were Springer (1.8%) and ProQuest/Coutts (1.5%).

You can find the entire report here.

Note: This post is part of the series, “The LRS Number.” In this series, LRS highlighst statistics that help tell the story of the 21st-century library.