Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Mapping America's Libraries and Museums

"There’s always that joke that there’s a Starbucks on every corner," says Justin Grimes, a statistician with the Institute of Museum and Library Services in Washington. "But when you really think about it, there’s a public library wherever you go, whether it’s in New York City or some place in rural Montana. Very few communities are not touched by a public library.”

In fact, libraries serve 96.4 percent of the U.S. population, a reach any fast-food franchise can only dream of.

Grimes built the map during the National Day of Civic Hacking, using the agency's database of public libraries. Each of those dots refers to an individual branch library (and a few bookmobiles), out of a total of 9,000 public library systems.

More HERE.

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Survey of Library & Museum Digitization Projects, 2013 Edition

Primary Research Group, ISBN 978-157440-230-8.

This report, based on detailed data from approximately 80 libraries and museums in the USA, Canada, the UK, Australia, continental Europe and other countries and regions, looks closely at the collection digitization efforts, covering budgets, costs, fundraising, staffing and manpower, use of consultants, outsourcing, revenue generation, productivity, software, marketing, licensing, cataloging, rights management, content selection, and many other issues in collection-related digitization. Data is broken out separately by many variables including but not limited to size of institution, by type of material digitized (ie text, photographs, audio-video) and separately for libraries and museums and by type of library, ie, public, special and academic.

Just a few of the study’s many findings are that:
• Digitization projects or departments in the sample have a mean annual budget of $105,907 for digitization.
• 37.97% of survey participants have an unfavorable outlook for raising money for digitization from sources outside the main institutional budget.
• Digitization spending will increase somewhat to substantially among 45.45% of institutions focusing their digitization efforts on film, video and audio recordings.
• Special libraries in the sample have a mean of 6.87 employees doing digitization work of some kind and devote nearly 7,300 hours in staff time to this work annually.
• A mean of 19.23% of the physical exhibits staged by survey participants are accompanied by a substantial online exhibit that reproduces a significant portion of or adds to the exhibit in a significant way.
• Organizations or divisions that focus their digitization efforts on text documents have outsourced a mean of 30.7% of their digitization, nearly twice as much as those focusing their efforts on photographs.
• 11.11% of survey participants share an asset management system with other departments or divisions of their institution.

The 165 page study is available directly from Primary Research Group or from major book distributors such as Baker & Taylor, Midwest Library Services and Amazon, and through eBook distributors such as MyiLibrary and Overdrive. A PDF version of the study is currently available from Primary Research Group and a print version can be ordered as well. For a table of contents and sample pages, or to place an order, view our website at or call us at 212-736-2316.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Survey of the Use of Tablet Computers by Academic & Special Libraries

Primary Research Group , ISBN 978-157440-232-2

This special 80+page report is based on data from 78 academic and special libraries and looks closely at how they are using tablet computers. It helps librarians and information technology personnel to answer such questions as: what type of libraries are using tablets? What are they using them for? Which library departments are benefiting most from tablet use? Which brands of tablet are most popular? What are buying plans for the future? What stock of tablets do libraries have and how fast do they plan to expand this stock? How have tablet affected their ebook acquisition plans? What kind of apps do they use or develop for their tablets? Do they loan out tablets to patrons? On what terms? How long can patrons borrow them? Have they had losses due to theft? What is their overall budget for tablets and app development?

Just a few of the report’s many findings are that:
• 34% of the academic libraries in the sample loan out tablets to library patrons.
• Academic libraries in the sample plan to spend a mean of $2,210 on tablet computers in the next year.
• The number of tablets owned by the libraries in the sample ranged from 0 to 34.
• A majority of the libraries preferred the iPad over other brands for its availability of apps, readability and high level of demand from patrons. However, several libraries disliked the iPad because of lack of durability and high price.
• 12% of academic libraries have had a tablet computer stolen or lost by a patron.

A PDF version is available from Primary Research Group for $75.00, and a print version of the report is ready to ship; site licenses are also available. The report is also available through major book distributors and report sellers. To place an order to for a table of contents, list of survey participants and a free excerpt, view our website at or call us at 212-736-2316.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Survey of Library Use of Open Source Software

Primary Research Group Inc., ISBN 978-157440-239-1

This 125+ page report looks closely at how public, academic and special libraries are using open source solutions for email, integrated library systems, word processing and spreadsheets, the library website, server management, and content management and digital preservation software, among other applications. The study looks at which libraries use open source and which use commercial software and why. The study helps librarians and library information technology staff to answer questions such as: what are the most popular open source applications? How much of an IT or software support staff must a library have to succeed with open source alternatives? How much do libraries spend in supporting open source solutions in both funding and staff time? How much does the use of open source software save them? What areas of library operations have been most impacted by open source? How many open source solutions are libraries of different size staffs and different types using? How many have started with an open source solutions in a given area and then abandoned it? How do libraries evaluate their own success or failure with open source? What are the open source solutions they are most anxious to try in the future? Which outside services do they recommend to support open source alternatives? Which information sources about open source do they find most useful?

Just a few of the study’s major findings include:
• Nearly 91% of respondents said that they had never experienced any downtime using open source email alternatives.
• More than two thirds of the libraries sampled have ever replaced a commercial software system with an open source alternative.
• Nearly 43% of the academic libraries in the sample use an open source alternative for content management software.
• Public libraries in the sample spent a mean of 960 staff hours per year in adjusting or maintaining open source software systems.

The study is available from Primary Research Group for $95.00. A pdf version of the report is currently available and a print version will be ready to ship on May 12, 2013 and can be ordered now. Site licenses are also available. Our reports can also be ordered through major book and Ebook distributors, as well as through major research report distributors. For a table of contents, list of participants, questionnaire and free excerpt, or to place an order, visit our website at

The questionnaire for the report was largely designed by Frederick Zarndt, consultant to Digital Divide Data, Content Conversion Specialists, DL Consulting and Chair, Newspaper Section, International Federation of Libraries and Associations.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Library Use of the Mega Internet Sites, 2013 Edition

Primary Research Group, ISBN 978-157440-241-4

The study looks closely at how libraries are using Google, Pinterest, Yahoo, Facebook, YouTube, Wikipedia, Amazon, Bing, Instagram, Vimeo, Twitter, Ebay and many other major internet sites. Just a few of the findings from the study are that:

• 4.17% of the libraries have workshops which teach patrons to use Craigslist
• 25% of the libraries sampled give workshops on how to use Wikipedia
• 90% of college libraries sampled give workshops on how to use Google Scholar.
• A third of legal and corporate libraries sampled considered Google Translate to be “highly useful”.
• Nearly 43% of libraries with an annual budget of more than $1 million considered Bing to be “highly useful”.
• The mean number of subscribers to the Twitter accounts of the libraries in the sample was 323.
• Non-USA libraries were much more likely than US-libraries to consider MySpace useful.
• About 23% of the libraries sampled had a YouTube account.
• Public libraries in the sample spent a mean of $8,000 ordering books from Amazon in the past year.
• 12.5% of libraries sampled use FlickR in their professional work.

The 160+ page study is available from Primary Research Group for $72.00. A pdf version of the report is currently available and a print version will be ready to ship on June 5, 2013 and can be ordered now. Site licenses are also available. Our reports can also be ordered through major book and Ebook distributors, as well as through major research report distributors. For a table of contents, list of participants, and free excerpt, or to place an order, visit our website at

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Survey of Public Library Plans for Workstations, Personal Computers, Laptops and other Computing Devices

ISBN 978-157440-243-8.

The study looks at the purchasing plans and computer use policies of public libraries in the United States and Canada.

The report helps librarians, information technology professionals and vendors answer questions such as: which brands of personal computers are favored by public librarians? What are their purchasing plans for laptops, eBook readers, fixed computer workstations and tablet computers? How much do they plan to spend? What are their plans for “information commons” and computer centers? How many such centers do they maintain and how much do they now and in the future plan to spend on them?

Just a few of the study’s many findings are that:
• The public library systems in the sample spent a mean of $47,357 for personal computers and workstations in the past year.
• Public libraries with more than 10 employees purchased a mean of 3.71 laptop computers in the past year.
• Libraries with a budget of less than $100,000 had an average stock of only 1.31 laptops.
• The libraries in the sample spent a mean of $824 to pay for laptops lost to theft or misplacement in the past year.
• The libraries in the sample spent a mean of $483 on eBook reading devices in 2012.
• 44.9% of the libraries currently own or lease an Amazon Kindle.
• 18.37% of the libraries plan on purchasing a Barnes & Noble Nook over the next two years.
• Main public libraries had an average of 3.29 “computer centers” or “information commons” in their main library.
• 23.08% of libraries with a budget higher than $1 million and 37.5% of public library systems have invested between $500 and $5,000 in iPhone technology.
• 94.44% of libraries with 1 to 10 FTE employees have made no investment in Android-based phone technology.

The report ($59.00) is available from Primary Research Group and also from major book vendors such as Amazon, Baker & Taylor, Yankee Book Peddler, Midwest Library Services, Overdrive and other distributors of content. For a free excerpt, table of contents and list of survey participants, or to place an order, visit our website at

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Computer and Internet Use in the United States: 2011

In 2011, more Americans connected to the Internet than ever before, although differences continued to exist between those with use and those without. Just as with differences in use, variation in the ways that people were connecting online and the frequency of their use remained prevalent as well. This report provides household and individual level
analysis of computer usage and Internet use. The findings are based on data collected in a July 2011 supplement to the Current Population Survey (CPS), which includes questions about computer ownership, Internet use both inside and outside the home, and the additional devices that people use to go online. The U.S. Census Bureau has asked questions in the CPS about computer use since 1984 and Internet use since 1997.

In 2011, 75.6 percent of households reported having a computer, compared with only 8.2 percent in 1984 (the first year that the Census Bureau asked about computer ownership), and 61.8 percent in 2003 (the last time the Census Bureau asked about computers prior to 2010).

Monday, June 17, 2013

Find Your Local Farmers' Markets

The products vary from market to market--based on what's locally grown or raised--but many farmers' markets sell fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meats, and other items.

Using USDA's directory of farmers' markets, enter your ZIP code to find a market in your area. If you'd like to narrow down the options, specify the items you're seeking and your payment and location preferences.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Inside Guantanamo's library

Charlie Savage writes in the New York Times of the books on offer to prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, which include a set of Indiana Jones novelizations, some Star Trek: TNG novels, Ender's Game, Arabic editions of Danielle Steele, and some Captain America graphic novels. Some of the prisoners arrived in Gitmo able to read English, other have learned during their 10-year incarceration. One lawyer brought in copies of Nineteen Eighty-Four for his client, Shaker Aamer, who said, "it perfectly captured the psychological reality of being at Gitmo."

More HERE.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Garage Bands in the Garage @ Albany Public Library

From Nippertown.

You might not realize.. that the Albany Public Library is... a pretty damn fine music venue.

Back again for a another summer season is the Garage Bands in the Garage free concert series, held in the garage at the rear of the Washington Avenue main branch of the Albany Public Library.

The monthly concerts take place at 6pm on the third Friday of the month between now and September, and they’ve got some mighty fine bands lined up to play for you this year.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Note current hours of Albany (NY) Public Library main branch

From the crowd waiting just after 9 a.m. Thursday, and subsequent potential patrons coming to the door, not to mention the painted hours partially scratched off the window, it appears the hours at the main branch of the APL have recently changed. They are now:

Monday-Wednesday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Thursday & Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Closed Sundays in July and August

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Seattle library sets off world’s largest book domino chain

The books were literally falling off the shelves at the Seattle Library during a spectacular stunt.

In an effort to promote its 2013 Summer Reading Program, the library assembled 2,131 books in a winding fashion on its third floor. After a seven-hour setup and four failed tries, the volunteers finally got the books to fall properly.

As you'll see, the chain winds around several "models" who are reading in different environments. At one point, the books even spell out "Read."

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Reading Literature Makes Us Smarter and Nicer

From TIME magazine:

Raymond Mar, a psychologist at York University in Canada, and Keith Oatley, a professor emeritus of cognitive psychology at the University of Toronto, reported in studies published in 2006 and 2009 that individuals who often read fiction appear to be better able to understand other people, empathize with them and view the world from their perspective. This link persisted even after the researchers factored in the possibility that more empathetic individuals might choose to read more novels. A 2010 study by Mar found a similar result in young children: the more stories they had read to them, the keener their “theory of mind,” or mental model of other people’s intentions.

"Deep reading" — as opposed to the often superficial reading we do on the Web — is an endangered practice, one we ought to take steps to preserve as we would a historic building or a significant work of art. Its disappearance would imperil the intellectual and emotional development of generations growing up online, as well as the perpetuation of a critical part of our culture: the novels, poems and other kinds of literature that can be appreciated only by readers whose brains, quite literally, have been trained to apprehend them.