Waiting For You

Traverwood parkingTraverwood parking

Did you know the Traverwood Branch has two wonderful features not offered at our other branches? Parking is available underneath the branch. This includes handicapped parking and bike racks. The entrance for the underground lot is on Huron Parkway. An elevator as well as stairs are available to take you from the parking area to the Library’s lobby. Not only does the underground parking give you easy access to the Library, but it also provides shelter for you in inclement weather. Come to the Traverwood Branch and check out these new features waiting for you.

Print is dead. Long live print!

With all of the latest news about electronic books, one can be forgiven for thinking that print books are in their death throes. Free ebooks and Kindles and digital libraries, oh my! Nonetheless, the good money is that print books are not going extinct anytime soon. In fact, general skepticism of the ebook reading experience aside, good money is actually on ebooks boosting sales of "pbooks."

Allow me to offer some examples. Take Amazon's Search Inside the Book feature (an awesome tool, if you haven't tried it). According to Amazon, sales of books that could be searched increased by 9% when the feature was launched. And despite suing Google for scanning books from the great libraries of the world, publishers are jumping at the chance to make digital previews of their books available via Google Book Search. Now why, pray tell, would publishers partner with Google on scanning if they didn't experience some benefit like, oh, increased print sales?

All of this is to say that the printed word isn't going the way of the dinosaurs in the near future. Of course, we shouldn't be surprised given books' long and storied history.

Books Aren't Dead: Steven Levy of Newsweek at the Grad Library

Next monday, 2/4, at 5:30 PM at the Hatcher Graduate Library, The UM University Library presents The Future of the Book: A Conversation with Newsweek's Steven Levy. Steven Levy is the author of The Perfect Thing: How the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture, and Coolness and wrote the recent Newsweek cover storyThe Future of Reading that accompanied the launch of Amazon's Kindle reading device. He was also the guest editor of The Best of Technology Writing 2007. This event is free and open to the public, so show up to join the conversation!

Good reading on history of knowledge

If you’re up nights worrying about the future of books and/or libraries, you might want to keep a copy of the November 5 issue of The New Yorker magazine nearby, tabbed to the lively article Future Reading: Digitization and its Discontents by Anthony Grafton. From the concluding paragraph: “. . .Sit in your local coffee shop, and your laptop can tell you a lot. If you want deeper, more local knowledge, you will have to take the narrower path that leads between the lions and up the stairs . . .” to the library, of course, where you also can find this magazine.

"You can have my book when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers"

Mudflap GirlMudflap Girl

Nothing like a little controversy to start the day. The statewide organization of Wyoming libraries has launched a glossy new ad campaign designed to spark interest in their services. What could possibly be controversial about library advertising? The ads feature a character affectionately referred to as “mudflap girl,” a slinky silhouette of a reclining nude engrossed in a book, adapted from the image frequently seen on the backs of large trucks. Mudflap girl aside, there are some great bumper stickers associated with the campaign (“If you can read this, you might enjoy the library”), and I suppose it does support a good cause...

…what do you think?

What if public libraries didn't already exist?

As he did in Levitt and his 2005 book Freakonomics, Stephen Dubner poses yet another interesting question on the Freakonomics blog: "If public libraries didn’t exist, could you start one today?" The post actually produced so much interest that it crashed their site.

Dubner's basic contention is that book publishers would vehemently oppose creating public libraries today, if they didn't already exist. Their response would probably mirror the music recording industry's reaction to Napster and other such peer-to-peer filesharing sites. After all, libraries, with their booksharing tendencies, may very well contribute to lower sales for book publishers. According to NCES, libraries circulated over 2 billion items in 2004. Even if only a fraction of the people who check out books bought them, that's a big chunk of change.

So what do you think? In this age of copyright disputes, could we create public libraries if they weren't already around?

Unlock the Mysteries of Your Family History

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Join fellow family historians at the CSI Meets Roots seminar, July 20-21, at the Library of Michigan and learn new tips, new resources and the new methods of forensic genealogy. Check out the complete schedule of programs and register soon ~ this will be a popular event.

Happy Rebuild Day, Library of Congress!

The Library of Congress is marking 192 years since Congress accepted Thomas Jefferson's offer to rebuild the collection after the library was destroyed by the British. TJ offered books from his famously large personal collection, including, apparently, a copy of the Quran recently used in the swearing-in ceremony for Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim in Congress. Writers' Almanac has more.

Kid Bits - Reading-ish Levels

If your child goes to Elementary School in Ann Arbor Public Schools, the Teachers and Media Specialists guide reading levels by "Alphabet Level". The Ann Arbor District Library has the guides at all Branches in the Reference Collections. It leads Librarians and Parents to identify books at reading levels the schools use. There are 2 titles that cover the elementary school grades, Matching books to readers : using leveled books in guided reading, K-3 and Leveled books for readers, grades 3-6 : a companion volume to Guiding Readers and Writers. These titles are also referred to as "Fountas & Pinnell", the authors' names.

Take a Fall Library Tour

You can request a library tour for your group this fall simply by calling 327-8327 at least two weeks before a requested date. With school back in session, it's a good time to visit and learn about new items, services, events, and exhibits. We offer five types of tours, including a Class Research Tour and the The Malletts Creek Green Tour. For complete information, click here.

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