Friends of Seattle Public Library Blog

The goings on of the Seattle Public Library.

The Seattle Public Library: A World Class Site — in More Ways Than One! November 7, 2009

Thanks to a grant from the Friends, the Seattle Public Library expanded its web site earlier this year to include more information for its patrons who speak Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Russian, and to add information in Somali and Amharic.  To reach these new web pages, go the Library web site and see the Audiences column on the right hand side of the page.  The Library staff compared the number of Web pages that these audiences used from March 2008 – October 2008 versus March 2009 – October 2009, and were delighted to see significant increases in usage as follows:

Spanish:  2,003 to 9,761 web pages used

Chinese:  3,041 to 10,114 web pages used

Vietnamese:  1,038 to 8,168 web pages used

Russian:  1,364 to 8,632 web pages used

The Friends are able to make grants like these from donations, revenues from the FriendShop, and proceeds from the Book Sale, so we’d like to share these thanks with all of you who support the Friends and the Seattle Public Library:

Gracias a los Amigos de la Biblioteca Pública de Seattle por proporcionar los fondos para el sitio Web de la biblioteca en idioma español (Thank you to the Friends of The Seattle Public Library for providing the funds for the Library’s Spanish language Web site).

衷心感谢Friends of The Seattle Public Library为扩建图书馆中文网页提供经费。 (Thank you to the Friends of The Seattle Public Library for providing the funds for the Library’s Chinese language Web site).

 Xin cám ơn Thân Hữu của Thư Viện Công Cộng Seattle đã cung cấp ngân quỹ cho trang Web tiếng Việt của Thư Viện (Thank you to the Friends of The Seattle Public Library for providing the funds for the Library’s Vietnamese language Web site).

Благодарим Общество друзей Публичной Библиотеки Сиэтла за предоставление финансовых средств для веб-сайта Библиотеки на русском языке (Thank you to the Friends of The Seattle Public Library for providing the funds for the Library’s Russian language Web site).

Mahadsanid Saaxiibta Maktabada Dadweynaha ee Seattle bixinta kharashka lagu soo saaray horudhacan Maktabada (Thank you to the Friends of The Seattle Public Library for providing the funds for this introduction to the Library in the Somali language).

ለሲያትል የህዝብ ቤተ መጻፍት ጓደኞች ለዚህ የቤተ መጻህፍት ማስታወቂያ እርዳታ ገንዘብ ስላቀረቡ ምስጋናችንን እናቀርባለን። (Thank you to the Friends of The Seattle Public Library for providing the funds for this introduction to the Library in the Amharic language).

 

Are Americans Reading Less? June 2, 2008

Filed under: technology,Trends — friendsofspl @ 1:05 am
Tags: ,

Here’s a good Wall Street Journal article that takes a look at recent claims of declining reading rates in the US (Primarily the NEA report from last year). There’s a solid view of the math here and he points out quite a few places where changes were overstated in the report. Whew! Thank goodness -

It’s worth reading the comments – the question of how online reading compares to book reading comes up in a few places and is something to consider with respect to libraries.

I stand by my earlier challenge to Amazon - come up with a Kindle Loan Program!

 

In defense of reading March 13, 2008

iRead…therefore iAM (in defense of reading)

A fellow board member tossed over this link from Timothy Egan’s NYTimes Opinion Piece and I thought I would share it out.

excerpt

Every now and then, someone who is brilliant says something stupid — often the result of spending too much time riding a jet stream of high praise. Steve Jobs, the co-founder and chief executive of Apple Inc., did such a thing last month when he all but declared the death of reading.

Asked about Kindle, the electronic book reader from Amazon.com, Jobs was dismissive. “It doesn’t matter how good or bad the product is,” he told John Markoff of The Times, “the fact is that people don’t read anymore. Forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year.”

/excerpt

I echo the sentiment in the blog post that it’s unfortunate when someone so powerful, with the potential for such incredible impact on shaping trends, says something so unbelievably stupid. And also couldn’t state it more eloquently myself:

“People are eating fewer vegetables than they used to – or should – but that doesn’t mean carrots have no future. “

Brilliant. :-)

 

Libraries Lending Kindles? December 14, 2007

Filed under: Interesting Links,technology — friendsofspl @ 5:37 pm
Tags: ,

Hm, interesting experiment going on in Sparta, NJ.

“The new Kindle ebook reader from Amazon.com is certainly not oriented for the library borrowing model, given that books purchased are limited to the device itself. But that hasn’t stopped the Sparta Public Library, NJ, in an affluent suburb 50 miles west of New York City, from buying two $399 Kindles and preparing to loan them to patrons. “[Director Carol Boutilier] is very proactive; she wants us to be on the leading edge of any technology,” explained assistant director Diane Lapsley. Unlike many libraries, Sparta doesn’t shy away from loaning devices along with content; it previously circulated iPods loaded with audiobooks as well as an earlier generation of ebook reader.”

This arrangement is esentially setting up a “try before you buy” for Amazon. Not a bad deal for them – to promote usage, I would think they would be starting lending programs across the country….Another interesting model would be to expect the patrons to purchase the Kindle themselves. The library could work out a DRM arrangement with Amazon, enabling patrons to “borrow” the books they want, and have the books “disappear” from the device when they are due, with the option to renew.

This could be the thing that cuts down on dues, increases circulation and reduces wait times.

 

 
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