More than 135 million adults visited American public libraries last
year, and students made 1.5 billion visits to school libraries during
the school year, according to the first-ever "State of America's Libraries"
report from the ALA, released during National Library Week.
Among other findings: Almost 90% of Americans surveyed in a poll report are satisfied with
their public libraries. Some 62% of adult Americans have library cards,
and circulation of public library materials has climbed every year
since 1990. At certain times of the day, demand for computer access in
public libraries exceeds supply.
Libraries in some sections of the country have faced budget cuts that
are having a dramatic negative impact on library service. The report
also outlines "the 65% solution" state initiative that would improve
classroom instruction at the expense of school libraries.
Because of a difficult economy, increased competition and a new
location, Dan and Kathryn Hutson have closed Newsstand International,
which sold books and some 5,000 magazines, newspapers and foreign
periodicals, according to the Charlotte Observer
The Hutsons moved the store five months ago (Shelf Awareness
, August 1), but sales dropped dramatically in its new site.
The Cambridge Chronicle
in Cambridge, Mass., chronicles the activities of Cambridge Local
First, which was founded last fall and has 80 members. One of the
group's founders, Frank Kramer of the Harvard Book Store, told the
paper, "It's not like we have to change the shopping habits of the
world." The Chronicle
explained: "In the book trade, Kramer
said, customers claim to buy four out of 10 books at independent book
stores. Bumping that figure up to six out of 10 books could ensure many
more birthday parties for the Harvard Book Store, which turns 75 next
And in a related note, the Hometown Advantage
has the full text of the Nantucket, Mass., warrant article that would
limit large chain stores, a measure that passed the Town Meeting on
Monday. (See yesterday's issue of Shelf Awareness
outlines the daily adventures of Mindventures Toys and Books, a
children's store in Tualatin, Ore., owned by Peggy James, a former
schoolteacher and school administrator.
Besides having a knowledgeable staff that provides good customer
service, a key strategy for the store is "finding the right products.
James and her staff make the selections together while asking the same
questions of each potential product: What else can the book or toy do?
How creative a device can it be? How long-lasting will its engagement
be? By the time products arrive for display in the 2,500-sq.-ft. store,
James and her staff have written and posted a synopsis of every book, a
key aid for customers."
In a well-timed story about a well-timed book given the particular
craziness of this year's college acceptance ritual (felt acutely in one
household!), today's New York Times
profiles Kaavya Viswanathan, a Harvard sophomore whose first novel is How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild and Got a Life
(Little, Brown, $21.95, 0316059889), a "chick-lit-meets-admissions-frenzy novel."
The author herself is a product of admissions frenzy: her parents paid
at least $10,000 to a college applications counseling service. But this
paid off in several ways: Viswanathan is at Harvard and, admiring the
future author's writing, the head of the service "put her in touch"
with the William Morris Agency, which sold the novel to Little, Brown.
The Publishing Triangle Awards ceremony to be held May 11 in New York
City will include the presentation of a special Leadership Award to the
Oscar Wilde Bookshop in Manhattan. The group said that "for almost 40
years, the store has served the needs of the gay and lesbian community.
It is a 'destination' location for international gay and lesbian
travelers, and under the leadership of former manager and new owner Kim
Brinster, it plans to continue to stock it shelves with the finest
lesbian and gay books for many years to come."
In addition, Karla Jay, a professor at Pace University, editor, translator and writer whose most recent book is Tales of the Lavender Menace: A Memoir of Liberation
will be presented the Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime
Achievement. For information about the other awards to be presented and
past winners, click here
Sales of electronic textbooks at the U-Store at Princeton University have lagged, according to the Daily Princetonian
. But while admitting they have not been bestsellers, store
director of marketing Virginia France told the paper, "We think that as it goes
on, the students will probably choose digital texts more often. With
digital texts, you don't have to lug a book around."
The store is encouraging reps to urge faculty members to request texts in e-book form, too.
Left Bank Books, a seven-year-old used bookstore in Hanover, N.H., is searching for a buyer, the Dartmouth
reported. Owner Corlan Johnson said that the store's poor location, competition and a lack of faculty support have hurt sales.