Microfilm as the most reliable way to store archives

Microfilm shelf life 500 years. Hard drives, 3-5 years.


Is literacy a right?

A group of students from Detroit want to learn to read, they go to court for their right.


E-Reading: How has it changed in recent years?

When Out of Print was released, 20% of American adults own an e-reader and 20% own a tablet. Since then, the use of tablets and cellphones to read books has increased substantially:

  • In 2011, 4% read on a tablet, 7% on an e-reader, 7% on a desktop or laptop, and 5% on a cellphone.
  • In 2016, 15% read on a tablet, 8% on an e-reader, 11% on a desktop or laptop, and 13% on a cellphone.

Millennials in Public Libraries?

IMG_1604More than half of adults between ages 18-35 visited a public library in the course of a year, according to a 2016 Pew study, compared to 45% between the ages of 36-51 and 43% between 52 and 70. This may be in part because libraries are changing and offering new services, like courses in practical subjects, and providing social space.


Who’s reading now?

When Out of Print was released, one out of four Americans did not read a single print book in an entire year. In 2016, this number had not changed (recent Pew study).
What else is new? Among those who did read, 65% had read a print book, 28% had read an e-book, and 14% had “read” (listened to) an audio book.

Short Books

Best-selling author James Patterson has decided to try to reach people who have given up on reading by bringing out a series of short books — 150 pages or less — that will sell for under $5 and can be read in a single sitting. Patterson will write some of the planned two-titles-per-month series, which will be published by Little, Brown, co-author some, and select the authors of the others.

Authors Guild v. Google


Three authors, joined by the Authors Guild, have asked the Supreme court to overall a decision permitting Google Books to copy books under copyright and to provide access to “snippets.”  The authors claim that the project adds nothing new to the originals and therefore does nothing to reshape their character in a “transformative” use. The case is,  docket 15-849


Miss the smell of a book while reading your ebook? It is now possible to purchase an aerosol that replicates the smell of a new book or the “classic musty smell” of an old book. The new book smell comes from adhesives and chemicals in the paper, while the old book smell is the result of the breakdown of cellulose and lignin in the paper compounds over time.


The Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) has published a major multi-author report entitled The Library in the Life of the User: Engaging People Where They Live and Learn. Highlights reported by compiler and co-author Lynn Silpigni Connaway

People associate the library with books and do not consider the library in relation to online resources or reference services.
People may not think of using libraries to get their information because they do not know that the services exist and some of the existing services are not familiar or do not fit into their workflows.
The context and situation of the information need often dictates how people behave and engage with technology.
Engagement and relationship building in both the online and physical environments is important for the development of successful and effective services.
The abstract and a link to the full report is at

No Off-Site for New York Public Library

The New York Public Library is building a new underground storage facility in which the 2.5 million items in the research collection will be barcoded and shelved according to size, not subject, with an automated retrieval system designed to fulfill user requests within 40 minutes. The system is expected to be operational by the end of spring, 2016. The library’s originall proposed to move the collection to a  storage site in New Jersey was met with strong protests from users.

Tom Mashberg, New York Times, November 15