by Katina Strauch, Editor
Yesterday was July 14, Bastille Day, a holiday commemorating the storming of the Bastille in 1789, signaling the start of the French Revolution, when most of the royal family, including King Louis XVI and his wife Marie-Antoinette, were executed.
And speaking of France — An interesting post on The Paris Review website about reading the world over: Who are the biggest bookworms in the world. There are world maps showing reading per week in various countries. From this survey, it appears that Americans aren’t reading as much as those in other countries, but I have to agree with the comments that the methodology is flawed. We don’t know how many people responded in each country and the methodology isn’t explained. Still, some interesting comments and links!
Another more complete and focused survey of “Younger Americans’ Library Habits and Expectations” by Kathryn Zickuhr, Lee Rainie and Kristen Purcell from the Pew Internet & American Life Project is worth a detailed read.
A few highlights:
- Younger Americans “are also still closely bound to print, as three-quarters (75%) of younger Americans say they have read at least one book in print in the past year, compared with 64% of adults ages 30 and older.”
- “Large majorities of those under age 30 say it is ‘very important’ for libraries to have librarians as well as books for borrowing, and relatively few think that libraries should automate most library services, move most services online, or move print books out of public areas.”
- “And younger patrons are also significantly more likely than those ages 30 and older to use the library as a study or ‘hang out’ space.”
There is much much more! Check it out!
We welcome Don Hawkins, Paula Hane and Nancy Herther reporting to the online Against the Grain! They bring a new perspective to our world! The latest post by Nancy is about Cengage Learning Using Bankruptcy to Restructure for Future Growth. Reading Nancy’s article got me wondering about libraries and collecting textbooks! I remember when my daughter was in College, her concern in paying for textbooks that she needed for class out of her budget! That was ten years ago. It seems that a lot has happened since then with the textbook market. We have etextbooks, professors producing custom textbooks, bookstores renting rather than selling textbooks and publishers coming up with new formats of needed materials. I found myself wondering if libraries were changing their collecting approach to include textbooks. A quick search of the Internet told me that North Carolina State University Library is collecting textbooks for course reserves every year, that the President of the University of Oklahoma has allocated $200,000 to make selected textbooks available on reserve, and that the University of BuffaloLibraries has a “pilot program” providing “select students” access to etextbooks. Most libraries, however, are not collecting textbooks except in some cases for Reserve. I am including a rather dated interchange from LISnews: Librarian News about “textbooks in the library.”