Why Americans love their public libraries

Kind of ironic that in this e-publishing class, I came across this article for this assignment that proves that the printed book — and more so the physical library — is still going strong and is as popular as ever. And while sales of e-books continue to climb and some libraries contemplate closures due to budget cuts (http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-birmingham-34603484, etc.), the public still loves going to the library!

Evidence to support this statement abounds. A 2013 report by the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project noted that in the previous decade “every other major institution (government, churches, banks, corporations) has fallen in public esteem except libraries, the military, and first responders.” The study also found that 91 percent of those surveyed over sixteen years old said libraries are “very” or “somewhat” important to their communities, and 98 percent identified their public library experience as “very” or “mostly positive.” Another Pew study found 94 percent of parents believe libraries are important for their children; 84 percent said because libraries develop a love of reading and books.

Along with the print product, libraries have been predicted to go the way of the dinosaurs, but numbers don’t lie —  in 2012, the U.S had more public libraries than ever — 17,219, including branches and bookmobiles. Time to make a new prediction: books and the libraries aren’t going anywhere.


Tom Lawson


Self-publishing is the focus of seminar

digital v print

With all the conversations in our classes about how important publishers still may or may not be (Clay Shirky vs. Tim O’Reilly “Are Publishers Necessary”), I found this article interesting. It is a local workshop teaching authors how to self-publish with the help of Amazon. Here is a link: http://www.northjersey.com/news/business/self-publishing-is-the-focus-of-score-seminar-1.1406894.

I find it interesting because, being in the business, I recognize and value all the elements that publishers bring to the entire publishing process. Some have the perception that publishers simply put words on paper (or virtual paper), when there is so much more involved such as editing, production, layout, marketing, and more. I understand why seminars such as this one exist (and the desire from authors to easily be published), but I also think seminars like this minimize the role and importance of publishers in producing top-shelf publications.