Libraries have a lot of uses for big data. It can reveal useful information for librarians, archivists, researchers, publishers, and authors. What does this set of mobile analytics data tell us about users and their behavior?
Troy Lambert Author Archive
Thanks to a partnership between the Chicago Public Library and the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA), mixed income housing developments will house small libraries.
The same things that make libraries a good place to study also make them a place where individuals feel they can get away with drug use.
Kindle Reading Fund: Amazon Donating E-books and KindlesOne of America’s top business leaders, Jeff Bezos developed the concept of predictive analytics and has centered Amazon around the customer. When offering insights to today’s business leaders, Bezos says the Kindle and the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud were invented because of his obsession to give his customers what they want. And one thing customers want is to feel like at least some of the profits from their purchases go to good causes, and Amazon is making some clear efforts to find its feet as a prominent corporate benefactor. On August 24th, 2016 they announced the Kindle Reading Fund, The Seattle Times reported that the program will initially donate thousands of devices to developing countries through the non-profit Worldreader.
Much has been said about the battle between publishers and libraries. Libraries objected to high prices, especially for e-books, and publishers moaned about decreasing profits. Discussions center around ownership models and digital preservation, but one variable is missing in all of these equations: the author.
It’s not just the number of patrons who walk through the doors or the number of books borrowed that matters. The library is about cultivating a love for reading, encouraging new readers, and converting nonreaders into readers. How is that done?
The Pokémon GO sensation has skyrocketed in a short period of time, going from a much anticipated game release to a global sensation. It illustrates a couple of things: first, that augmented reality is the future of gaming, and second, that people are ready for that future.
Change has become the norm for libraries as it has with many other businesses who wish to remain competitive. The rise in popularity of the e-book and digital libraries, the transformation to digital centers featuring computer and Wi-Fi access, and libraries as community meeting centers has challenged what used to be the norm, and replaced it with an ever evolving one instead. Here are five emerging technology trends that will benefit both staff and patrons.
“Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem. Translated: More things should not be used than are necessary.”
In the near future, a man who has an overdue book will walk into a library. A librarian behind a desk will get an alert on her mobile phone, tablet, or computer screen. After waiting a moment for him to approach the counter or place the book in a drop, she follows him to the stacks when he doesn’t. “Excuse me, Mr. Smith?” she says. “Our system shows you have a book overdue. Did you happen to bring it with you today?”
I recently read an article here on Public Libraries online referencing a report from the Association of American Publishers (AAP) talking about the plateau of e-book sales, a sure sign that paper books are making a comeback. In my role as an author and editor, I have experienced quite the opposite. So what’s really going on here?
Times have changed. E-books, something many of us never thought were possible, are now commonplace, and many checkouts from the library never even involve a visit to the stacks. Not everyone has access to them though, especially families who are poor and cannot afford to pay for content, even if they have a smartphone or computer. Checking out e-books from libraries is one option, but at the end of February, the White House released a new app: Open eBooks.
At Bibliotheque et Archives Nationales du Quebec, in Montreal, Canada, the Alberto Manguel/ Robert Lepage collaboration “La bibliotheque, la nuit,” a virtual reality exhibition of the interiors of libraries, is on display. “The experience felt so real it was disconcerting to look down and not see my own body in the virtual space,” says Jeff Peachey, a recent visitor, in his blog. “Overall, it was an oddly reflective and poetic.” But what, if any, is the future of virtual reality (VR) in the library? What kind of role does this technology play? Libraries have become much more community centers centered around education and experience as much as they are books. Patrons visit for free Wi-Fi and computer access, 3D printing labs, and other programs not directly related to the hundreds of volumes housed in the stacks.
With a little searching, maybe someone can find a needle online in the haystack of information. At least, if they have some idea of where it might have been in the first place…
Libraries, despite some strides toward a reasonable solution, still struggle with the cost of e-books. Regardless of the clear data showing the benefit of libraries lending an author’s work in print, publishers still hesitate to budge on e-book pricing. It’s different, they say. And in some ways they are right. But with issues of preservation, shrinking budgets, and rising costs, libraries have to be extremely careful about what books they stock both in print and in digital form.