From the Director
Library news and happenings.
I have often written here about opportunities as well as limitations for ebook use through public libraries. Now I want to call your attention to two ebook features on our website.
First is a short video (1 minute 14 seconds) explaining publisher limitations on ebook availability through public libraries. Along with the video is an online petition to make your voice heard. I urge you to watch the video and sign the petition. You’ll find links on our home page and on our eBooks page.
Second is a Pew research study about ebook use. The results of this study will help libraries and publishers better understand the use of ebooks through libraries and, I am hoping, strengthen the library argument for ebook availability. I urge you to complete this brief survey. There’s a link on our eBooks page.
Ebooks lending through public libraries is an evolving service for us, an evolving market for publishers. Let your voice be heard, your opinion counted through this petition and research study.
Ebooks for Libraries
Last week I wrote here about the evolving ebook market.
I shared that libraries were bracing for a price increase for ebooks from Random House publishers. Indeed the recent increases are double and triple the prices we had been paying. As an example, one recently released title had been $40 for the ebook version; it increased to $120 as of March 1. The print version, with the library discount, is a little over $20.
Basically, the new Random House prices for ebooks to ebook distributors, not directly to libraries are
- Titles in print as new hardcovers: $65 - $85
- Titles available for several months or timed to paperback release: $25 - $50
- New children’s titles in print as hardcovers: $35 - $85
- Older children’s titles and children’s paperbacks: $25 - $45
In spite of these hefty price increases, libraries welcome that Random House continues to offer titles in ebook format to libraries.
Again, as I wrote previously, Penguin Books are not available in ebook format to public libraries. They publish many bestsellers and we, like all libraries, regret we cannot provide them to our users.
Bottom line: please know we will continue to provide ebooks as they are available and affordable for public libraries. Some titles we cannot provide at all, due to publisher restrictions, others we may not be able to provide until several months after their initial release.
The market continues to evolve.
Most libraries, including KPL, experienced a strong increase in the circulation of ebooks after the holidays. Obviously readers were a popular holiday gift. Ebook users have learned how to download books from OverDrive through our website and many have attended our training or Q & A sessions.
In addition to titles available through the OverDrive consortium, we purchase additional copies of popular titles available to KPL resident cardholders. However patrons often ask why a particular popular title isn’t available in ebook format.
All publishers will sell us print copies, but not necessarily ebook copies. Their policies and approach vary considerably:
- Random House titles are available; they recently announced a price increase.
- HarperCollins titles are available to public libraries but each title is limited to 26 uses. The library must then renew its license for that title.
- Macmillan does not make its popular titles available; some scholarly titles are available to public libraries.
- Penguin terminated its agreement to provide to public libraries in February. Those titles already in a library’s catalog are still available.
- Simon & Schuster titles are not available.
- Hachette backlist is available, not the frontlist of new, popular titles.
- Scholastic titles are not available.
- Houghton Mifflin Harcourt titles are available.
Bottom line: the availability of a popular title in ebook format through a public library depends upon the publisher. Ebook lending through public libraries is still evolving and the specifics change frequently. Be assured, however, that we continue to follow the market closely and purchase popular titles available to us. Even if we don’t have the title in ebook format, we will have it in print.
This is the week of the 9th annual Teen Filmmaker Festival; Sunday, February 26, 2:30 pm at Rave Motion Pictures in downtown Kalamazoo.
As in years past, we put out the call for teen-produced and directed films by Michigan teens from 13—18 years old. Films from the finalists will be shown at this special event, open to movie fans of all ages.
Prizes will be awarded for best film, best animation, best experimental film, best documentary, best short film, best technical merit, best music video, and judges’ choice; the people’s choice award will be chosen by the audience.
If past years are any indication, there will be a wide variety of creative films with interesting technical effects, some funny, some serious. I expect to once again be amazed by what these teens have produced.
Although the festival is free, tickets are needed. The Rave will be distributing tickets on a first-come, first served basis on Sunday, the day of the festival, beginning at 11 am when they open.
See you there.
Teen Filmmaker Festival
The availability of e-books through public libraries is ever changing.
Libraries, including KPL, offer downloadable e-books through a vendor–OverDrive. Publishers offer their titles to OverDrive, libraries purchase titles in e-book format through OverDrive, patrons download e-books to their device through their home library using the OverDrive technology.
Three of the major publishers have not allowed their titles to be purchased by public libraries through OverDrive: Macmillian, Simon & Schuster, and Hachette. Just this week, Penguin announced they too will no longer offer their titles in downloadable format for public libraries to purchase. (Read more)
With this move, Random House is the only big-six publisher allowing unrestricted access to its e-books through libraries. HarperCollins does work with libraries, but has implemented a limit of 26 uses or checkouts of the title before it must be “repurchased.”
If you don’t find a particular e-book title available for download though our catalog, quite likely it is from a publisher who will not sell to public libraries.
The American Library Association is continuing to talk with publishers about the future of e-book availability for lending through libraries. We, along with the entire library community, share your frustrations with this ever changing e-book situation, both the availability of titles and the process of downloading to various devices. Stay tuned.
Some recent articles...
- ALA, Authors Guild, 3M Weigh In on Penguin-OverDrive Dispute
(February 10, 2012, Library Journal)
- ALA responds to Penguin’s decision to discontinue digital media sales to libraries via Overdrive (February 10, 2012, American Library Association)
- Penguin Severs Ties with OverDrive
(February 9, 2012, Publishers Weekly)
- Penguin Group Terminating Its Contract with OverDrive
(February 9, 2012, Library Journal)
- Simon & Schuster, Macmillan Express Concerns About Library Ebook Lending After ‘Positive’ Talks with ALA (February 8, 2012, Library Journal)
…… the county Law Library is located on the lower level of Central Library?
……all KPL locations have paper and reproducible tax forms and information about free tax preparation clinics?
……eBooks and eaudiobooks are available through our website?
……our librarians will be glad to suggest books based on what you have read and enjoyed?
……KPL staff share their favorite books, music, and movies on our blogs?
……if you missed a concert you enjoy it on YouTube?
……there is a printable calendar of all the library activities for kids on our website?
……there are some amazing teen filmmakers in Kalamazoo?
……many photos of historic Kalamazoo are posted on our website?
……Luis Urrea, this year’s Reading Together author will be here on March 6?
……there are used books for sale at Central Library?
……you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter?
The “best of” lists are out in full force. Along with these lists, nominations for awards for 2011 books, music, and movies are also being announced.
Many KPL staff are sharing their favorite books, movies, and music from the year to support our priority of “reading, viewing, and listening for pleasure.” Our lists, along with ones from previous years, are on our website.
I freely admit I am not current on music or movies, but I think I am current on books until I see these lists. I realize how many titles I haven’t even heard of that are staff favorites. I’ve also learned whose reading interests are similar to mine – I’ve likely to enjoy the book if it is on their list.
What was your favorite from the year?….a new book, an older one you had missed….doesn’t matter. Please share!
I hope the new year provides time and opportunity for reading, viewing, and listening for pleasure for you. Best wishes.
Best of 2011
Summer has gone fast, too fast as usual. We’ve had a great summer of reading games. Registration for the games has been strong AND we’ve had record-breaking circulation on several Mondays, our busiest day of the week.
Programs have been fun – Bubbleman and Chemical Kim entertained kids; tweens and teens watched the Harry Potter movies, adults celebrated the world premiere of local author Bonnie Jo Campbell’s new book, music fans enjoyed Joe Reilly at the Oshtemo Township Park and Steppin’ In It at our 50th free concert.
It’s been a good summer of reading for all ages and now we are ready to celebrate! I hope you can join us at the end-of-summer concert on Sunday afternoon, August 28 at 4:00 in Bronson Park. The Verve Pipe will entertain with catchy songs and melodies from A Family Album, their critically-acclaimed collection of music for the entire family. One reviewer says it is full of “insanely fun, playful and memorable songs that will turn your smile upward.”
I hope to see you in the park for the concert!
The Verve Pipe, A Family Album
It has long been the rule of thumb within the publishing industry that the hardcover edition of a book was released first, followed by a large print edition and audio version, then a paperback edition about a year or so later, depending upon the pace of sales for the hardcover. That’s changing.
The first change I noticed was the release of the large print and audio versions soon after the hardcover. Now the ebook version is in the mix too. The ebook is released with the hardcover and sometimes before the hardcover OR sometimes just an ebook and no hardcover.
There is now an urgency to release the paperback sooner, following the model of Hollywood which has shortened the time between the theatrical release of a film and the DVD release. Publishers now watch each title’s sales quite closely to determine the best time to release the paperback and continue the momentum of the title. That could be just a few months to more than a year.
The entire publishing cycle is faster. Hardcovers have less time to prove themselves; ebooks sales are strongest at initial publication and do not spike again with the paperback release.
We purchase popular titles in all of these formats, some simultaneously, some staggered as they are released. In addition to various formats, we also purchase for special collections such as Hot Picks and Book Club in a Bag.
Come visit soon – I hope we have the title you want in the format you prefer.
Summer is often the time of year for trips near and far. We have many materials to help with trip planning but a case can be made for staying home too.
I recently read an article that made the case that Picasso was particularly prolific because “he never went anywhere.” The author wrote that Picasso only left France twice and got up every morning, including during the Nazi occupation of France, and worked. He didn’t hold with the idea that to understand life it was vital to travel. His inspiration came from museums in his area, reading books and magazines, and watching films. The author concluded that “the greatest artist of the 20th century was basically a shut-in.”
Everyone has a different travel philosophy. ...some want to travel widely, some hardly at all, some want to return to favorite travel destinations and not venture elsewhere.
Our summer reading games this year have a travel theme as participants read for at least 20 minutes each day. I hope you have signed up and are “traveling” though your summer reading. We have materials to help plan a trip, find inspiration for a new destination, or “travel” from your armchair by reading, viewing, and listening with items from our collections.
Novel Destinations: KPL Summer Reading Games