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Monday, November 28, 2011

Libraries Help Grow the Publishing Industry

My recent posts RE e-lending libraries and some of the intrigue generated due to the still-developing posturing of the peripherals of this new media business ... has brought to life the role that libraries have always played in the publishing industry and will continue to play in the digital lending era.

Here is a librarian's point of view (and a good one it is :)) written by Greg Hill, director of Fairbanks North Star Borough libraries, in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner:

Libraries are active partners with the publishing industry

Read more: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner - Libraries are active partners with the publishing industry
FAIRBANKS — Samuel Pepys, the great English diarist who chronicled London life in the 1660s, was a sucker for an interesting book. In Pepys’ day, book buyers purchased the loose pages of manuscripts and had them bound themselves. For example, on July 8, 1664, Pepys wrote that he’d gone “to the binder’s and directed the doing of my Chaucer … and thence to the clasp-maker’s to have it clasped and bossed.”

Librarians love bookstores, of course, and that affection’s largely returned by booksellers, who’ve long known that thriving libraries inspire readers to buy books.

Last month Publisher’s Weekly had an article about a Library Journal survey showing more than “50 percent of all library users report purchasing books by an author they were introduced to in the library. This debunks the myth that when a library buys a book the publisher loses future sales. Instead, it confirms the public library not only incubates and supports literacy, as is well understood in our culture, but it is an active partner with the publishing industry in building the book market, not to mention the burgeoning e-book market.”

Librarians certainly buy a lot of books for themselves. I spend a little extra to buy new books locally and support our local booksellers. When used books are hard to locate, I turn to BookFinder.com. For example, my friend Leon showed me how engaging his 1938 copy of Judge James Wickersham’s “Old Yukon: Tales, Trails, and Trials” was recently, and I craved my own copy. BookFinder.com revealed a bookstore in Massachusetts would part with theirs for $6.99, after I threw in another $3.99 for shipping. Now, it’s mine.

The Judge’s book has the entire May 1903 issue of the Fairbanks Miner, with an exclusive with Felix Pedro and a tall “Tanana Tale,” about a miner who claims to survive falling in the Tanana River at 70 below, getting lost, and staving off starvation by eating the tail of his lead dog.

“I gave Doughnuts the bone out of his tail,” he explained, “and after gnawing it a while he came on into the Fortymile with me.”

Few events are so pleasing as books in the mail. The pleasure’s heightened when they arrive wrapped in tissue paper. My new “Old Yukon” measured up, and was further wrapped in pages from a New York Times several weeks old. Several eye-catching articles popped out, including one by Jess Bidgood about the Occupy Wall Street Library, also known as the “People’s Library.”

Read and learn more

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