Monday, February 18, 2008

Checking Out the Library

The Library Journal recently reported results of their annual book-buying survey. It’s an interesting look at trends, services, and how libraries are changing.

One part of the report that I thought you might find especially interesting involved budgets. Okay, everybody groan now. But, listen to this:
After a rough patch in the early 2000s, LJ has watched materials budgets rise gently, with a 2.18% increase on average reported in this survey. Spending on AV and electronic products keeps burgeoning, even as the book budget shifts firmly in favor of fiction over nonfiction, a transition first noted in 2005. This year, fiction claimed an average 55% of the budget—the biggest chunk yet—and about one in four respondents claimed that fiction expenditures were growing …

Now, if you write fiction, that’s good news. Spending by libraries is up and more than half the budget was for fiction. Yea!

If you write nonfiction, you might be interested in what library patrons are reading:
As also noted as early as 2005, how-to and crafts titles have upped their public library profile, rising with cooking to a place of honor on the charts—right behind perennially top-ranked medicine/health in terms of circulation and expenditures … True, current events titles keep surging, but the fun factor motivates a large share of library borrowing.

If you’re wondering what libraries are doing to promote books, you’ll want to go read the entire article.

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