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ALA Press Release

For Immediate Release
June 22, 2012

Contact: Macey Morales

 ALA president responds to new Pew report on ‘Libraries, Patrons and E-books’

 Washington, D.C.— Molly Raphael, president of the American Library Association (ALA), released the following statement regarding today’s release of the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project report “Libraries, Patrons, and E-books.” The report examines the roles that libraries play in the shifting digital terrain as e-reading, tablet computers and e-book readers become more popular.

 “The American Library Association believes that the rise of e-books — and, in fact, the overall growth in digital content of all kinds — constitutes both great opportunity and profound challenge for our nation’s libraries and communities,” Raphael said. “We appreciate the Pew Internet Project’s study and focus on libraries and their continued transformation in the Digital Age.

 “The new report underscores that libraries continue to be a vital part of people’s lives in the digital age. Close to 70 percent of people say their local library is important to them and their family, and a majority of adults 16 years and older (58 percent) are library cardholders.

 “Library patrons are:

  • big readers (they read double the number of books as non-library users)
  • book buyers (are twice as likely to buy as to borrow), and
  • technology users (are more likely than non-library users to be Internet users and to own cell phones, desktop and laptop computers)

 “The research also confirms that many people look to librarians to support digital literacy and learn new skills that lead to wider adoption of technology. The double- and triple-digit growth libraries have reported in demand for e-books, desire for access to e-book readers, and requests for e-book reader assistance and classes clearly express a hunger for these services.

 “The report also flags issues that demand attention. While more than three-quarters of U.S. public libraries now offer e-books (76 percent, compared with 38 percent only five years ago), many people are not yet aware of this service. Clearly there is an opportunity here for us to step up our outreach and increase public awareness of all the 21st century services our libraries have to offer readers, thinkers, entrepreneurs and dreamers. ALA and libraries welcome this challenge.”

 “Of course, awareness is not enough. When people go to their public libraries to borrow e-books, they should be able to find titles from all of our publishers. As Pew points out, there are difficulties with respect to e-book availability in our nation’s libraries.

 “Libraries cannot lend what they cannot obtain. ALA and others continue to call on publishers to make their e-books available to libraries at fair prices and terms. Libraries seek partners and collaborators to continue building a culture of reading and learning that embraces all formats, for all ages and all backgrounds.”

 The ALA welcomes Pew Internet Project Director Lee Rainie to the ALA Annual Conference, June 21–26, in Anaheim, Calif. Rainie will share findings from the new report on Sunday, June 24, at 10:30 a.m. at “The Rise of E-reading” program; then will join a panel on “Access to Digital Content: Diverse Approaches” at 1:30 p.m.

 Visit to learn more about the Pew study and the American Libraries magazine’s E-Content blog for up-to-date news on libraries and digital content.



ALA: NM Public Library Service Data

2011-12 New Mexico Public Library Service Data

Computer/Internet Service Data Service Detail
EXPENDITURES (system data)  
Total operating expenditures per capita*  
ACCESS (library outlet/branch data)  
Hours decreased since last fiscal year  
CONNECTIVITY (library outlet/branch data)  
Library offer only free access to computers/Internet in their communities  
Average number of computers  
Always sufficient computers available  
Use of public Internet workstations increased since last year  
Maximum Internet connection speed Less than 1.5Mbps
  Greater than 30Mbps
Always adequate connection speed  
Wireless availability  
INTERNET SERVICES (library outlet/branch data) Licensed databases
  Homework resources
  Digital/virtual reference
  Audio content
  Library social networking
Library offers IT training to patrons  
E-government: Staff provide assistance to patrons to understand how to access and use e-government Web sites
Jobs services: Library  Provides access to jobs databases and other job opportunity resources 
  Helps patrons complete online job applications 

*Institute of Museum and Library Services. Public Libraries Survey: Fiscal Year 2009. Washington, DC: IMLS, 2011.

Source: 2012 Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study. Other state data are available.

E-Books, Publisher's View

A Publisher’s View

By Lisa Long Hickman

To strengthen the library-publisher relationship, we must begin with dialogue

Posted Tue, 05/29/2012 - 14:00

Librarians and publishers are not effectively communicating with each other. There, I said it. Many of us already know this to be true, but as someone who comes from the publishing side, I came to this realization during my yearlong process of selling ebooks across the country and through my many conversations with library directors, state librarians, and heads of consortia.

This disconnect didn’t really crystallize in my mind until I went to a session at ALA’s 2012 Public Library Association (PLA) national conference. While there, panelist Alan Inouye, director of ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy, stressed the need for librarians to improve their communications skills, increase their investment in relationships, and—most importantly—upgrade their negotiating skills. And that’s when the light bulb went off: It’s not that we don’t want to talk with one another. It’s just that we don’t know how.

Working together

Also at the PLA conference was Rolf Hapel, director of Aarhus (Denmark) Public Libraries, who spoke about the community-based decisions made while the new Aarhus library was being built. What stood out most during his talk was his challenging message to “think relational rather than transactional.” In other words, libraries must create partnerships within their community.

As publishers, we can offer a bevy of features to a library once we develop a relationship with its staff. For instance, we can identify a specific author or genre that is special to your library. What’s more, we may even know an author who lives down the street from your building and help organize an author signing/reading or a writer’s workshop, with little or no effort on your part.

The company where I work, Dzanc Books, has donated books to libraries in Wisconsin and New Jersey based on area bookstore promotions. We can also offer significant bulk discounts of up to 30%.

Many of our authors enjoy connecting with their readers. David Galef, for example, gave a reading at the Montclair (N.J.) Public Library May 9. Jonathan Baumbach did the same at several Massachusetts libraries in late 2011. Eugene Cross read his recently published collection of short stories May 4 at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois.

Fair play

A new element—ebooks—has been a recent disruption to the relationship between publishers and librarians. But the ability for us to rebound lies in the new paradigm that ebooks present and the resiliency of our original mission: Dzanc Books and other publishers bring authors to readers to encourage people to read, and libraries serve communities by advancing literacy.

What this all means is libraries help publishers sell books by bringing authors and readers together. We have research that suggests this is true. In Library Journal’s “Library Patrons and Ebook Usage” survey from October 2011, 50% of all respondents said they go on to purchase books by an author whose works were previously borrowed from the library. In 2011, Douglas County (Colo.) Libraries (DCL) instituted a “buy now” link in case a patron wants to purchase an ebook he or she was reading or interested in reading. Monique Sendze, associate director of information technology at DCL, said the fact that 10,000 people clicked the “buy now” link indicates libraries are helping complement the business of publishers.

At the Tools of Change for Publishing Conference in New York this past February, keynote speaker Brian O’Leary, founder of Magellan Media, a management consulting firm, said, “New technologies don’t just lower transaction costs; they eliminate transactions entirely.” Information passed back and forth between us is invaluable to our business practices today.

Sure, if you buy from Dzanc Books, we’re happy. If you don’t, or can’t, having met you and getting to know your libraries’ needs is as valuable to us as if you purchased our entire catalog. The knowledge you and I gain from efficient communication further sustains the library-publisher ecosystem and narrows the gap between us.

Let’s face it, we need each other. I have direct access on a daily basis to authors. You are a direct channel to readers. Let’s go back to the nuts and bolts of negotiation by opening lines of communication to give us information that enables fair play.

If we talk, there is no limit to what we, as partners, can do as we continue to bring authors and readers together.

LISA LONG HICKMAN is sales and marketing manager at Dzanc Books.

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Careers in Focus Ebook Collection Available Through El Portal

The New Mexico State Library is pleased to announce the acquisition of Ferguson’s Careers in Focus, an eBook collection provided by Gale/Cengage.   Careers in Focus is collection of 69 ebooks each of which concentrates on a particular career or group of related careers  and provides an over view of it, what education is required, what salary to expect and so on. 

“Ferguson's Careers in Focus books are a great value for libraries and career centers. Written in an easy-to-understand yet informative style, this comprehensive series surveys a wide array of commonly held jobs and is arranged into volumes organized by specific industries and interests. Each of these informative books is loaded with up-to-date career information presented in 16 to 25 job articles.

This new Career collection is ideal for high school and undergraduate students trying to decide on a career focus!

Each article includes:

·        Quick Facts: summarizes important facts

·        Overview: briefly introduces duties and responsibilities

·        History: describes the history of the job in relation to the industry or field

·        The Job: describes primary and secondary duties

·        Requirements: discusses high school and post-secondary education and training as well as any necessary certification or licensing and personal requirements for success

·        Exploring: offers suggestions on how to gain experience and knowledge in a field before making firm educational and financial commitments

·        Employers: gives an overview of typical places of employment

·        Starting Out: suggests the best ways to land a first job

·        Advancement: presents an expected career path and how to get on it

·        Earnings: lists salary ranges and typical fringe benefits

·        Work Environment: looks at the work conditions and surroundings associated with a certain job

·        Outlook: summarizes the job's potential growth or decline in terms of the general economy and industry projections

·        For More Information: lists organizations that provide career information.

Find access to Careers in Focus on the front page of El Portal.

Please contact Mark Adams ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) with any questions or comments.

ALA Press Release

For Immediate Release
May 23, 2012

Contact: Jazzy Wright

New ALA report explores challenges of equitable access to digital content

Washington, D.C.—The American Library Association (ALA) today released a new report examining critical issues underlying equitable access to digital content through our nation’s libraries. In the report, titled “E-content: The Digital Dialogue,” authors explore an unprecedented and splintered landscape in which several major publishers refuse to sell e-books to libraries; proprietary platforms fragment our cultural record; and reader privacy is endangered.

Broad information access is essential for communities to compete in the global knowledge economy,” said ALA President Molly Raphael. “As more and more content is delivered digitally, we simply cannot afford to lock down books and lock out readers. This timely supplement addresses the need to protect fair and reasonable library access to digital information.”

The report, published as a supplement to American Libraries magazine, explores various licensing models and the state of librarian-publisher relations. Additionally, the report provides an update on the ALA-wide effort to promote access to digital content (co-chaired by Robert Wolven, associate university librarian at Columbia University, and Sari Feldman, executive director of the Cuyahoga County Public Library). The effort includes meeting with publishers, distributors and other important stakeholders; championing public advocacy, and writing position papers that advance practical business models without compromising library values.

E-content: The Digital Dialogue” identifies a number of ways libraries and publishers can collaborate to lessen the digital content divide.

Publishers, distributors and libraries must accept that new models of lending will not look like the old print model,” writes Robert C. Maier, director of the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, and Carrie Russell, director of the ALA Program on Public Access to Information. “We are not just trying to solve a library lending problem, although that is the current emergency.”

After detailing his conversations with a reader, writer, publisher and bookseller, Douglas County Public Library Director James LaRue also asks librarians to “rethink,” and lays out directions to pursue, including an updated legal framework, new content management models and partnership opportunities with other stakeholders in the reading ecosystem.

Libraries will have to transform into places that help citizens become full-fledged creative members of their communities, both producing and archiving personal stories,” writes Peter Brantley, director of the BookServer Project at the Internet Archive.

Lisa Long Hickman, sales and marketing manager of Dzanc Books, argues for open lines of communication to enable fair play, and Deborah Caldwell-Stone deputy director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom, urges proactive steps to protect library users’ privacy rights.

This report reflects both the here and now, and what is to come down the digital road,” said Alan Inouye, director of the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy, and editor of the publication.

E-content: The Digital Dialogue” is also available as a download in PDF format. For more information about ALA’s efforts on digital content and libraries, visit the American Libraries e-content blog.

More information: