Larry Bonura's Blog

Random thoughts filling my brain

Posts Tagged ‘public libraries

Digital Public Library of America

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Digital Public Library of America Logo

One of our most cherished public entities is the library.  The current economic situation has taken the toll on our public libraries: reducing collection building, cutting hours of operation, and providing materials electronically.  Our libraries are places anyone can visit and use.  They offer learning for all.  They provide for personal and national growth.  They enable a diverse and better functioning society.  They are all for one, and one for all.

The Digital Public Library of America is not a place to visit in person; it lives on the web.  And it’s purpose is to maximize public access to our shared history, culture, and knowledge.

I recently became a Community Representative for the DPLA.  My duties include publicizing and reaching out to my local community to expound on the collection and help them build this national digital library.

The DPLA connects people to the riches held within America’s libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural heritage institutions. All of the materials found through DPLA—photographs, books, maps, news footage, oral histories, personal letters, museum objects, artwork, government documents, and so much more—are free and immediately available in digital format.

The cultural institutions participating in DPLA represent the richness and diversity of America itself, from the smallest local history museum to our nation’s largest cultural institutions. Our core work includes bringing new collections and partners into DPLA, building our technology, and managing projects that further our mission through curation, education, and community building.

The Digital Public Library of America is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Boston. It is a registered library in the state of Massachusetts. DPLA launched in April 2013 as the result of a multiyear grassroots planning initiative involving thousands of volunteers dedicated to the vision of building a national digital library for all.

Check it out today and join us on our journey!


Written by Larry S. Bonura

24 May 2017 at 21:57

eBook growth in libraries: It’s been geometric!

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At the World Library and Information Congress: 75th IFLA General Conference and Council held in Milan, Italy, in August 2009, Barbara A. Genco presented a paper titled “It’s been Geometric! Documenting the Growth and Acceptance of eBooks in America’s Urban Public Libraries.” The report featured the results of an online survey revealing information on current and best practices of collection development librarians concerning eBooks.  The 41 responding libraries show a geometric increase in collection content, vendor services, titles, and eFormats offered.

Here’s a summary of her findings:

  • The first foray of many American public libraries into the eBook format began with the launch of netLibrary in 1998.
  • All but one of the 41 public libraries offered eBooks.
  • The libraries collected the following content formats: Adobe Reader (82.9%), MobiPocket (51.2%), and ePUB (22.0%).
  • When asked when they began collecting ebooks: 4.9% responded in 1997-1999, 31.7% started in 2000-2002, 14.6% in 2003-2005, with the majority (46.3%) starting in 2006-2008. Only 2.4% started in 2009.
  • In March-April 2009 (the survey date), 33 responding libraries had a total of 438,513 downloadable eFormat items, an average of 13,288.
  • Most libraries (58.5%) had non-circulating reference eBooks.
  • eFormats were available for adults (100%), young adults (92.7%), and children (82.9%).
  • Most libraries (46.3%) did not allow library patrons to download eBooks with on-site “download stations,” while 34.1% did, and 19.5% were considering it.
  • Since a library first added downloadable content, the library circulation had increased in 87.8% of the libraries. Only 2.4% reported a decline, while 9.8% saw no change.
  • What had been the actual growth?  One library reported a 1200% growth.  Ten libraries reported a growth of 100%-300%. Eight libraries saw a 31-99% growth. And seven libraries saw a 5-30% growth.
  • The growth in eBook circulation far outstripped the circulation of most library content.

Genco’s summary is that her research shows the “swift and wide acceptance of the eBook” by US public libraries.  There are but two industry leaders in providing eBooks to libraries: OverDrive and NetLibrary.  Public libraries have experienced:

  • growth in circulation
  • growth in demand
  • eBooks supplanting other formats
  • eBooks being popular with all ages
  • attracting from digital natives as well as digital immigrants
  • eBooks as a cost-effective choice

Written by Larry S. Bonura

11 November 2009 at 07:21