Tag: libraries

Public Library Responds to Macmillan’s E-Book Controversy

In a draft of a memo sent to Macmillan authors, CEO of the publishing giant, John Sargent, wrote of a new plan to increase revenue made through e-book lending at libraries. “To balance the great importance of libraries with the value of [authors’] work,” Macmillan plans to sell only one copy of any newly-released e-book at $30 to any library. Libraries will then have to wait two months after the title’s release to purchase additional copies at $60.

For those of you who aren’t fluent in corporate-speak, this means Macmillan is essentially trying to squeeze more money out of libraries that already face overly-complicated licensing policies for e-books.

 

Seattle Public Library

Seattle Public LIbrary, Image via Thestranger.com

 

In some sense, this new arrangement should come as no surprise. E-books represent a dramatic challenge to the library lending model, and Sargent notes that digital lending is inherently more seamless and involves less friction than its physical counterpart. After all, what’s easier for the reader: traveling to a physical location to check out and return a physical copy or merely downloading an e-book from a library’s database? Still, these proposed changes which are scheduled to come in to effect November 1st have angered quite a few public libraries.

 

 

Marcellus Turner, chief librarian of the Seattle Public Library, chose to  respond to these changes in a statement on the library’s website.

 

Marcellus Turner

Marcellus Turner, Image via the Seattle Public LIbrary

 

The gist of his response:

 

  1. Macmillan’s new policy will severely affect the ability of library’s in dense, urban areas to meet their visitors’ needs.
  2. The policy will disproportionately affect readers with limited resources.
  3. Major publishers already charge an increased rate for library copies of e-books, and licensing agreements for e-book lending are already complicated. This change from Macmillan represents an even more restrictive shift in the publishing industry.

 

Turner ends his message by explaining that public libraries are highly committed to providing access for those that most need it, but Macmillan’s new policy makes that commitment much harder to maintain.

 

Andrew Harbison, assistant director of collections at access at the Seattle Public Library

Image Via Library as Incubator Project

 

In an interview with TheStranger.com, Andrew Harbison, assistant director of collections at access at SPL, took issue with Sargent’s claim that e-book lending cannibalizes e-book sales. Though the lending model may need to be re-examined, Harbison contended e-book lending may actually boost sales by “retaining, maintaining, and advocating for a robust reading culture.” Harbison also argued this change will reduce the quality of the collection a library can build, ultimately harming readers who depend on library services.

What do you think? Are Macmillan Publishers in the right for prioritizing their bottom line? Or should libraries be thought of as a public good rather than a money-making tool? Let us know on Facebook and Instagram!

 

 

Featured images via TheStranger.com and Seattle Public Library

Check Out the Designer Behind Gwyneth Paltrow’s Home Library

To complete the bookshelves in her newly renovated L.A. home, Gwyneth Paltrow hired Thatcher Wine to curate and beautify her library.

 

Image Via Time Magazine

 

Wine is well-known in the design world for having founded Juniper Books. Since 2001, Juniper Books has focused on sourcing rare and out-of-print books to complete book lovers’ libraries. A few years after founding Juniper Books, Wine started creating stylized book sets that look as good on the shelf as they feel in your hands.

 

 

In an interview with Town & Country magazine, Wine spoke about how his idea to create custom book jackets has been setting a new wave in interior design:

My invention for the book jacket means that someone can have the complete works of Jane Austen, but in a certain Pantone chip color that matches the rest of the room or with a custom image. People have invested in how their home looks: They chose the cabinets, the carpets, the paint, and the window coverings. Why settle for books that a publisher designed? Books can have as much style as anything else in the room.

Image Via Juniper Books

 

When asked about what exactly he chose to complete Paltrow’s bookshelf, Wine said:

I looked at books she already owned, which focused on fashion, art, culture, photography, and architecture, as well as books that her kids liked. We expanded on those topics, and for the kids, we included a selection of classics that we thought they might like as they got older.

 

Image via Juniper Books

 

Would you ever consider doing something like this for your library? We can’t all be Gwyneth Paltrow, but everyone can find new ways to express themselves through their bookshelves. Check out some more of Thatcher Wine’s beautiful bookish designs from Juniper Books!

 

 

Featured Image via Juniper Books

The New Library of Alexandria

The Library of Alexandria was maybe the greatest repository of knowledge in the ancient world. Located in Alexandria, Egypt, right on the Mediterranean, the library was burned by Julius Caesar in 48AD, and centuries worth of written wisdom were lost.

If you’re as upset about this fact as the rest of the internet, it’s probably too soon, but I come bearing good news: though we’ll probably never know exactly the magnitude of what we lost, there is now another library on the site of the burned one.

Image via Ancient World Magazine

 

The Maktabat El-Iskandarīyah (or… Library of Alexandria, in English) opened in 2002, and can hold up to eight million books, though it holds only about 100,000 now. This is equivalent to what scholars believe the Great Library, held in its day. Experts estimate the library won’t be full for another eighty years. The new Library of Alexandria is also home to seven specialized libraries, four museums, two extensive permanent collections, and access to the Internet Archive, a massive digital library.

Image via Pinterest

 

The ancient library was important not only in itself, as one of the most prestigious libraries of its age, but in that it was a model for other libraries which proliferated throughout the area in major cities and even in smaller ones. The new library, though modern, is both a memorial to the one that burned, and proof that knowledge is still valued as it was then. The library houses books in Classical Arabic, English, and French.

Featured image via Travel and Leisure 

The Library Made of Books

Libraries are some of the best places on earth. The quiet, the smell of old books, the nap corners. Maybe that’s just me. But regardless of why you love them, libraries are great for everybody. I love any branch, but some libraries take it a step further (or like a hundred steps). Take the central branch of the Kansas City Library in Kansas City Missouri, which is, in fact, made of giant books.

Image via Flickr

 

Okay, so it’s not really made of books, they probably don’t open, but the library is open seven days a week. But the library’s beauty doesn’t stop there. Books are featured on the inside too, as they should be. I like a dark, labyrinthine space as much as anyone, but this library goes another direction entirely, as it does on the outside.

Image via Kansas City Public Library

 

Aesthetics on point, books on point, and a lot of services to help the local community. Obviously the decor is enough to lure in any book lover, but not only is this an excellent building and an excellent library, it also offers a long list of additional resources for visitors. Dozens of computers, wifi, video conferencing, study rooms, event spaces, and more.

Image via Architecture Magazine

 

When someone broke this news on Tumblr (this might be generous – the central part of the building is historic), someone actually in Kansas City did us all a solid and went by, taking photos and investigating services. You can read the entire saga here. If you’re in Kansas City, stop by. The rest of us are jealous.

 

 

Featured image via Reader’s Digest

Five Loveable Cat Librarians

Of course, readers love cats. They’re just about the only animal who appreciates the long stretches of stillness and dead silence that reading involves. Book lovers don’t just love cats, though—cats love books. Here are five cats who’ve taken their love of books to the next level—as resident librarians at various libraries.

 

Elsie – St. Helena Public Library

 

Image may contain: indoor
Image via Facebook

 

No, she’s not winking—she just has one green eye and one amber. Aside from her dazzling good looks, Elsie does a lot of hard work sleeping and making friends. Dogs and cats both come to visit her, as well as the patrons who come for books but stay for her fluff. She’s named one of the library’s patrons, but sometimes they pronounce it L. C.—for library cat. She’s also there to cheer-lead for the staff and give them updates.

 

 

Trixie – Independence Public Library

 

Image may contain: cat
Image via Facebook

 

Trixie was left outside the library one autumn, so she was taken in and made some friends. She’s smol (cannon), and enjoys books, pets, and sleeping through important meetings. The library also has a rabbit called Grace. She isn’t a stray though—she’s a therapy rabbit. She doesn’t have her own page yet, but we can always hold out hope.

 

Image via Facebook

 

Library Cat – Edinburgh University Library

 

Image may contain: cat and text
Photo via Facebook

 

‘Library Cat’ is more of a title than a name, bestowed first to this tuxedo, who actually wrote a book (I BELIEVE). Unfortunately the OG Library Cat is no longer with us. He was replaced by this probable cryptid.

 

Image may contain: cat and outdoor

Image via Facebook

 

They’re on Library Cat 3.0 now, seen here putting in overtime. What a dedicated public servant.

 

Image via Facebook

 

 

Nyx – Chesterfield County Library

 

No photo description available.
Image via Facebook

 

Nyx, or Goddess of the Night, if you like epithets, is seen here wearing a flower crown and looking absolutely iconic. Nyx is a service cat who now telecommutes, and she proves you don’t need eyes to love books. Her favorite form of transportation is a library cart, and she likes to both help and hinder computer work.

 

Stacks – Litchfield Public Library

 

Image source: LitchfieldPublicLIbrary.org
Image via IHeartCats

 

Stacks works hard. She might not be the best typist, but she tries her very best, and she’s been known to put in long hours manning (catting?) the circulation desk. She also likes to help with computer work and reshelving, and modeling for her own line of mugs and shirts (the profits go to the library and to pet adoption). This isn’t enough for her, though. In her spare time, she takes donations to support herself. What a proactive soot sprite.

 

 

 

Featured image via Front Page Meews