The importance of summer reading programs at the library




School’s out, or soon will be. “No more classes! No more books! No more teachers’ dirty looks!” That “no more books” part is a problem, though–especially if it lasts all summer. Libraries pick up the slack. Children who don’t read over the summer return in the fall having lost some of their reading ability. That puts them behind, or farther behind, their reading classmates–as much as two years behind by the time they finish sixth grade. Some children are bookworms. They will read all summer simply for the joy of it. Others struggle with reading in school, and of course … Continue reading






Digitizing old books




Not everything is available for free on the Internet. Once upon a time, the list of material not available for free on the Internet included almost every book ever published. The problem was that unless a book or other printed format was either currently in print or available in multiple libraries, it wasn’t conveniently available to much of anyone at all. Now, many libraries and archives are digitizing their collections. Not only old books, but old pamphlets, sheet music, maps, manuscripts, etc. have become more accessible than ever before. … Continue reading






Ebooks and libraries




How can a library add ebooks, something with no physical existence, to its collection? And why would it? I can answer the first question easily. Libraries, like everyone else, have to pay for ebooks. An ebook goes through the same process as any other library material. Someone decides to acquire it. The acquisitions department orders it from the publisher and pays for it. The cataloging department describes it and puts the description in the catalog. Once it’s in the catalog, the reference department can call patrons’ attention to it and the circulation department can check it out. Of course, no … Continue reading






Ebooks and the publishing business




Amazon introduced the Kindle e-reader less than five years ago. It’s one of those devices that seemed like an enormous gamble, took off like wild fire, and now feels like it has always existed. And of course, not everyone is happy to allow Amazon to profit so much firm its revolutionary device. Amazon didn’t invent the ebook or the e-reader. Some large publishing houses, including Wiley, HarperCollins, and Random House already offered ebooks for sale. The public had pretty much ignored earlier devices for reading them, however. Ebooks seemed like an idea consumers didn’t much want. Successful ebook readers The … Continue reading






Damaged books and how libraries fix them




What have you done when you have torn the page of a book you want to keep. My guess is you have repaired it with tape. If you have used cellophane tape, you have soon been disappointed. It dried out and pulls away from the book, exposing the tear. Only now it has kind of a burn mark where the tape used to be. Or have you tried to fix a book cover with tape. If it’s a hard cover book, the tape only leaves a residue of the glue when it eventually peels off. What’s it like for a … Continue reading