Powering Libraries and Empowering Communities

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Kelvin Watson, director, Broward County Library

Baker & Taylor and Kirkus Reviews proudly continues to support diversity and inclusion in libraries. Our partnership with Kirkus has made a great impact as we further promote our leadership campaign, Powering Libraries. Empowering CommunitiesKirkus recently interviewed Kelvin Watson, director at Broward County Library, (Broward County, Florida) who is making great strides in launching creative initiatives to better connect with his patrons and the community.

With the help of Baker & Taylor’s Community Sharing Program and new Pop Up Library, Broward County is bringing awareness of the library and extending their reach in the community. Their strong partnership with B&T has given the library the opportunity to better engage and evolve while adapting to the changing  needs of the communities they serve.

Preview of article by Meghan Labrise, originally published on KirkusReviews.com :

After Kelvin Watson’s family finished watching the 1984 miniseries Master of the Game, the St. Louis, Missouri, native marched right to the nearest library, checked out the Sydney Sheldon novel it was based on, and read that 400-page book cover to cover. He was 8 years old.

“I felt very accomplished. That thing was bigger than me!” says Watson, who vividly remembers the experience 42 years later. “Reading that book made me recognize that what you check out from the library can transport you to the places you read about—I was transported to the diamond mines of Africa—and it didn’t deter me from checking out other books after that.”

Watson remained a voracious reader through middle school, college, and officer training. He served as a commissioned officer in the Army and worked in leadership roles in sales and marketing, for Ingram Book Group and Borders Group, Inc., before pivoting to a decorated career in public library service. Eighteen months ago, he transitioned from director of e-content services and strategy at Queens Library in New York City to the highest administrative position at the 11th-largest public library in the nation: director of Broward County Libraries in southern Florida.

“The theme we’ve embraced over the past year and a half is ‘inviting the uninvited,’ ” says Watson, who is one of two recently named directors at large of the Public Library Association. “The greatest value we can give the community is continuing to launch initiatives for everybody, even those who can’t, for whatever reason, make it to our physical locations.

Read full article on Kirkus Reviews’ website here.

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Visit Us at ALA Annual! Booth # 2333

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No rest for the bookish during trade show season. ALA Annual is on the horizon and being hosted this year in our nation’s capitol, Washington D.C. starting June 21, – June 24. Visit our ALA Campaign Headquarters at Booth #2333 to explore and experience all of our Baker & Taylor campaign fun. We are proud to be Believers in Books and Leaders in Literacy as we have remained dedicated to supporting librarians to lead the future of literacy and learning since 1828.  

We have a jam-packed exciting schedule lined up with several author signings and booth activities including a coffee bar, popcorn station, photo booth and cat mascot photos with our beloved Baker and Taylor. And if that isn’t enough to get you in the spirit, you must stop by and pick up your special edition commemorative giveaways to celebrate this occasion. For further details and our complete ALA schedule, we are happy to have a dedicated website to keep you up to date with all our happenings during the show. We can’t wait too see you there!

Don’t miss out, visit the ALA site now!

 

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ESP by Baker & Taylor- Future-Proofing Libraries With Data

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Consumers these days can do almost anything with a click of a mouse or a tap on a screen. Goods can be bought and delivered within hours. New products can be easily browsed. And online advertising seems to magically target its ideal audience, connecting customers with items matching their needs and wants.

This easy and instant access to goods and information is changing consumer expectations and could threaten our more established institutions, notably libraries. With budget constraints and limited resources, libraries can’t be expected to invest millions in research and development, experiment with unproven gadgets, or compete with the tech giants driving these changes. While technology presents a threat, however, it also offers solutions for ensuring libraries remain relevant and essential parts of our communities. One tool that can help ensure a library’s longevity is what’s known as big data.

Continue reading “ESP by Baker & Taylor- Future-Proofing Libraries With Data”

Case Study – Adding Life to Collections With collectionHQ and ESP

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BACKGROUND

Evidence-based Selection Planning (ESP) offers a decision support system to
help libraries select current and pre-published titles in the right quantities to
the right locations.

Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System, GA is a 34 branch system serving
a population of more than 1,000,000. Shortly after he was appointed as
Executive Director at the library, Dr Gabriel Morley made the decision to
introduce Evidence-based Selection Planning (ESP) to support more informed
selection decisions.

THE CHALLENGE

Introduction of the collectionHQ Dashboard in 2014 offered new insight into the library’s
collection that shocked Gabriel and the team. Gabriel explained: “We had been looking at our circulation statistics over a long period of time in order to better understand the needs of our patrons. What we found was disturbing. Almost 53% of our collection was Dead on Arrival, which meant it rarely circulated.” Dead on Arrival (DOA) is a metric that reveals new items added to a library’s collection within the last 6-18 months that have either never circulated or had been checked out only once. This revelation therefore prompted the team to take action.

Continue reading “Case Study – Adding Life to Collections With collectionHQ and ESP”

Baker & Taylor Offers Libraries Career Skill-Building Courses

PF LogoNew career skills training courses within the Axis 360 digital platform provides library patrons access to invaluable career training. Baker & Taylor’s online courses, powered by Penn Foster, prepare online learners for in-demand jobs and ensure industry advancement and career mobility.

The career field has changed in America—digital skills are in high demand and computer literacy is necessary. For more than 128 years, Penn Foster, an accredited online school, has empowered millions of students with the skills and confidence they need to succeed in the workplace of today. These courses are an extension of that mission, and a way for libraries to offer patrons more.

Mid-Continent Public Library is one of the first customers to launch the program within their library system, which reaches more than 800,000 citizens in the Greater Kansas City area. “Library customers are increasingly turning to the library as a resource to ‘upskill’ and gain the tools to compete in the ever-changing economy,” said Steven V. Potter, executive director of Mid-Continent.

Libraries play a critical role in fostering a community of lifelong learners, and Baker & Taylor helps libraries achieve greater engagement through programs like this. “As our customers increasingly pursue self-driven employment opportunities, including gig economy work and even traditional skilled labor expertise,” Potter added, “this new partnership will provide unprecedented access to mobile-friendly, self-paced learning opportunities designed for working learners and focused on today’s most in-demand skills.”

These courses, provided on the Axis 360 digital platform (also home to ebooks and audiobooks), are self-paced and designed for nontraditional learners; they include digital literacy, career-oriented math, and adult literacy, and offer more than 700 full-time proctors, teaching assistants and academic coaches.

“By helping public libraries provide seamless access to skills training for the most in-demand jobs, we are creating new opportunities for career mobility that can be accessed by the individuals who need it most,” said Amandeep Kochar, executive vice president of Public Library Sales and Technology at Baker & Taylor. “One of the primary goals of our library partners is to help patrons succeed in their careers by fostering an environment of lifelong learning.”

We’re excited to work with you! For more information contact your sales consultant, email btinfo@baker-taylor.com or call 800-775-1800.

 

Pop Up Libraries Create Easy Access and Deliver Digital Reading Anywhere

bandt-0354 pop up library logo cmykOne book has the power to positively change someone’s life. Now imagine hundreds of books, delivered to readers anywhere with no barriers. That’s the power of Pop Up Library, Baker & Taylor’s newest tools for getting more books to more readers.

Pop Up Library is a small network device with one dedicated purpose—to instantly deliver ebooks to readers wherever libraries choose. Libraries that use Pop Up Library are able to extend the reach of their digital collection across the community so material is accessible to all. By working with community partners, businesses, government offices, and more, Pop Up Library creates a space for readers anywhere.

“This is brand new technology in the library market space,” says Michael Bills, director of sales and marketing for Baker & Taylor’s digital products. “Every library wants to engage with more of their community, but libraries don’t have limitless funding. Pop Up Library is a low cost way to achieve greater engagement and create a larger presence in a library’s community.”

For years, libraries have come up with inventive ideas to reach more individuals within their communities. Bookmobiles, temporary branch locations, and book vending machines have all been employed with great success, but each requires significant capital investment. No other remote library program is as affordable and spotlights a library’s digital collection quite like Pop Up Library.

A group of libraries around the world worked with Baker & Taylor as early adopters of the Pop Up Library program, including Atlanta-Fulton County, Broward County, and Evanston Public Library. Baker & Taylor officially launched the Pop Up Library program at the ALA’s Midwinter Conference in Seattle this January, and demand from libraries everywhere was immediate.

“One of the reasons we’re a 200-year-old company is that we listen to the customers we serve, and we provide products and services that will help them be successful,” adds Bills. “The central role that libraries play in boosting literacy is one of the greatest accomplishments of the institution. We’re proud to be helping libraries achieve this calling.”

Here are five questions (and answers) about this unique and innovative program:

  1. How does it work? A library partners with a local business or government organization in its community (like a coffee shop or a hospital waiting room) and sets up an easy-to-use Wi-Fi hotspot in that location. When individuals join the free Wi-Fi network branded with the library’s logo, they’ll be given instant access to the library’s digital collection through Axis 360.
  2. What’s required for users? Absolutely nothing. No no app downloading is required to access eBooks from a Pop Up Library location. Use a smart phone device or computer to connect for free and begin reading directly within the browser; readers can even save the book for later within the browser’s cache during the duration of the library’s check out period.
  3. How does Pop Up Library foster awareness for the library? When browsing the Pop Up Library system, a message will appear for readers encouraging them to sign up for a library card and check out the other resources their local library has to offer. Baker & Taylor will also provide marketing materials to help inform the public about Pop Up Libraries.
  4. What is the benefit for libraries? For years, libraries have tried introducing new ways of engagement, even with limited funding resources. With Pop Up Library, more patrons are introduced to the library thus increasing circulation and membership numbers. And of course, fostering a community full of lifelong readers is the ultimate goal of any library. Pop Up Library helps push that mission forward.
  5. Where do I sign up? For libraries interested in getting more information, contact your sales representative through Baker & Taylor.

 

We’re excited to work with you! For more information contact your sales consultant, email btinfo@baker-taylor.com or call 800-775-1800.

 

Spanish Materials in B&T’s Children’s and Teen Services (CATS)

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As the leader in youth services support in public libraries, Children’s and Teen Services (CATS) of Baker & Taylor, provides a robust program designed to support Librarians and the readers they serve.  The CATS team provides collection development services designed with the young and teen reader in mind, including selection lists for Spanish and bilingual language titles.

Many youth services librarians have noted the ease of selection in utilizing the CATS Spanish Selection Lists.  For years librarians have been providing positive and constructive feedback on these Selection Lists, which are available in the Baker & Taylor ordering database TS 360.  There are several lists which will meet the needs for popular materials, bilingual editions and multiple formats including board books and audio.

Further, TS 360 offers many selection lists supporting the Latinx diversity category.  The titles have been categorized by Latinx groups identifying as Puerto Rican, Cuban and Mexican.   These have been curated by Kirkus and are updated monthly.

Customized selection lists, lease and automatic shipment plans are also available to support ongoing collection development needs.  Select from authors, series, publishers and more in curating your own notification lists.  For support with your Spanish language needs visit TS 360 or contact CATS.baker-taylor.com.

All of the collection development offered is inclusive of digital materials as well.  Featuring state of the art technology and integration with Baker & Taylor’s Title Source 360 ordering platform, librarians can order digital Spanish language content with ease. With the Axis 360 app, readers can enjoy their favorite titles on the go. Users can enjoy titles across devices: computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones.

In addition, Baker & Taylor can deliver all Spanish materials cataloged and processed.  This can ease staff workloads and get materials into patron’s hands quickly and efficiently.

View the CATS website here!