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Library News

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I recently read an article in Footnotes, the newsletter put out by the State Library, that I found interesting. The title is "Have Book Sales Hit the Skids?" I am going to recap it as it is an issue we have been wondering about at the Cherokee Public Library.

The article was written by Tom Keyser of the State Library in response to a question posed by an Iowa librarian who wanted to know if it were true that sales for print books had declined as a result on on-line services. His answer was that results are mixed. Digital sales have definitely increased but on the flip side print book sales have not decreased as much as expected or predicted. They are still holding strong at this point.

Based on figures from U.S. publishers, print title output in 2010 actually increased 5% despite the popularity of e-books. Projection is that by 2014 e-books will represent 13% of total U.S. book publishing revenue which still leaves 87% to print format. Good news for those of us who prefer to hold a book rather than an electronic device.

Scott McDermont from the State Library said in the article that there is another indicator that print isn't dead yet. In FY10 statewide circulation of printed books increased nearly 3% and accounted for 63.5% of checkouts from public libraries in the state. Of course, all librarians are aware that times are changing and e-books will become more and more popular as the technology goes down in price and people become familiar with it.

There are definite advantages to personal electronic reading devices when it comes to travel and education and I am certainly not opposed to using one at times. However, I am not ready to rely on an e-reader and down loads as my only option so I'm happy to know that print books are still a viable commodity.

The library will be closed Saturday, Sept. 3 -- Monday, Sept. 5 for Labor Day weekend. Winter hours will begin on Tuesday, Sept. 6 when Wednesday evenings and Saturday afternoons are added back into the schedule. Pick up a bookmark or newsletter for a schedule of open hours.

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Mary Jo Ruppert
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