Collection development starts with the budget. In Cuyahoga County, OH, that means the library’s executive team, led by Director Sari Feldman, and administrative team, led by Deputy Director Tracy Strobel, sit down and crunch the numbers. Once Wendy Bartlett, collection development manager, gets the resulting figure—some $8.5 million this year—she must divvy it up into all the various subjects, genres, and formats necessary to serve best the library system’s 28 branches and 884,035 cardholders—and maximize circulation of its materials, which reached 20,613,810 in 2012.
Among the hottest trends in collection development are tools that help libraries more efficiently crunch their numbers to make data-driven decisions. But while the tools are new, using data to make selections is not. Data-driven decisions have been on the rise in libraries for years. Anna Mickelsen, Springfield City Library, MA, explains why she uses data for collection development: “I use stats to get a look at the bigger picture of the whole library’s collection and how the different parts compare to one another. Collection decisions shouldn’t be made in a vacuum, and statistics are sometimes the only solid information I have to work with.”
Unlike the movies, where it feels like all of the star-studded casts, A-list directors, and epic films are held until awards season, spring publishing is a present for the patient reader. At just about the time the best lists and book prizes are announced, preview copies from authors new and familiar start to appear like […]
Evidence suggests that the downturn in the market for magazines caused by rising popularity of online media and the great recession has bottomed out and may soon begin to turn around. Growth in subscriptions is slow and newsstand sales continue to suffer, but nevertheless there are signs of stability in the market. As of March 1, Mediafinder.com had identified 198 launches for 2013. This compares to 227 magazines launched in 2012 and 239 launched in 2011. The shrinking rate of growth, however, is somewhat offset by the number of cessations. Mediafinder identified 87 magazines that ceased publication in 2013. That compares to 82 closures in 2012 and 152 in 2011. So the 2013 statistics are better on balance than 2011’s and only slightly worse than the figures for 2012.
Year after year, mystery remains the number one circulating genre in libraries, as LJ’s annual materials buying survey reveals. While fans have their favorite cozy, police procedural, or historical thriller, the increasing number of releases that allow readers to cross the boundaries from one genre to another in the same book proves that today there is no one true way of presenting this beloved genre.
Put on your best Sunday going-to-church hat but be sure to pack some heat with that Bible. Four solid African American inspirational titles populate this month’s column, but also included is a major urban fiction author’s latest work. Wahida Clark’s writing is loaded with thrills, but her characters’ faith relies on a .38 Special pistol.