Read With Your Ears: Audiobooks on the Rise

Young woman listening to music

Reading is not just for a cozy recliner by your fireplace anymore. It’s not just for lounging on the beach. Now, you can read anywhere, without ever even turning a page. Just press play.

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Downloadable audiobooks are taking over. They’re the fastest-growing format in the book market, and circulating at an exponential pace in libraries—jumping 86 percent in circulation in the past year. More than 67 million Americans listen to audiobooks every year, and for good reason. Audiobooks are ideal for both avid readers who are always on the go and also new library patrons in search of a different way to read. Audio also promotes literacy growth within a community.

For three years, sales and circulation for downloadable audio have soared and they’re not showing any sign of slowing down. Consumer purchasing alone has grown more than 20 percent.

With audiobooks in such high demand, it’s no surprise that libraries across the country are making more and more available to their patrons through applications like Axis 360. With ebook and audiobook platforms like Axis 360, patrons can check out these popular book formats for free and listen on your phone, computer or tablet.

By offering downloadable audiobooks for your patrons, libraries foster a community of life-long readers. They may come for the audiobooks, but they’ll stay for the invaluable services libraries offer—for books and beyond.

Contact your Baker & Taylor representative for your audiobook solution today!

 

Statistics sourced from Library Journal and Audio Publishers Association.

Diversity in Literature with Kirkus Collections

Every day, libraries around the world welcome people from all walks of life. Readers are diverse, so why not have a collection that celebrates that?

Kirkus Collections gives libraries the opportunity to become more inclusive and be part of the solution. After a thorough search process, editors at Kirkus Reviews identify and categorize diverse books into thematic lists. At Baker & Taylor, we then publish these curated collections on Title Source 360 where librarians can exclusively order the titles with ease.

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Author Spotlight: Hilde Lysiak

hildeblogphotoHilde Lysiak was 7 years old when she started her own newspaper, the Orange Street News. Last year, at age 9, she attracted national attention after reporting on a murder. Now, with her dad, Matthew Lysiak, she’s written Hero Dog (Scholastic, September 2017), the first in the Hilde Cracks the Case early readers series featuring Hilde and sister Izzy. In Hero Dog, the young journalists race to crack a case of stolen baked goods, save the local baking competition, and write their story, all before deadline. Our digital catalog, Growing Minds spoke with the Hilde about her new series and her love of reporting. Read the interview below.

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Exclusive Discussion with Documentarian Ken Burns This Friday!

kenburnsThis Friday, Baker & Taylor will be hosting a live webinar with documentarian Ken Burns just days before his poignant documentary series, The Vietnam War, airs on Sunday, Sept. 17 at 8 p.m. Tune in from 12 to 12:30 p.m. to hear this exclusive discussion with Burns, in partnership with PBS.

Over 10 years in the making, this 10-part, 18-hour documentary series tells the epic story of one of the most consequential, divisive and controversial events in American history as it has never before been told on film.

Visceral and immersive, the series explores the human dimensions of the war through revelatory testimony of nearly 80 witnesses from all sides.

Burns has spent nearly 40 years making films, producing some of the most accomplished historical documentaries of our time. From the Academy Award nominated Brooklyn Bridge in 1981 to the landmark television series The Civil War, Ken’s films have won 15 Emmy Awards and received two Oscar nominations. Burns has been the recipient of almost 30 honorary degrees and in September of 2008 he was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Over the years, each film he has created has asked one deceptively simple question, “Who are we Americans as a people?” His films look at more than just individual subject matter; they drive audiences to go further into themes that are central to who we are as a nation and as individuals.

Moderated by Stephanie Prange, the editor in chief of Home Media Magazine, this webinar is a can’t miss event.

What?

Exclusive Discuss with Documentarian Ken Burns

When?

Friday, September 15, 2017 from 12:00 to 12:30 p.m.

How?

Register here for more details.

Get your first look at The Vietnam War trailer:

 

Fall State Show Preview

fallreading.jpgSo long summer! It’s time to watch the leaves change colors, drink a pumpkin spice latte, slip into a sweater and cuddle up with a good book. It’s also time to usher in a new season of fall state trade-shows.

Between now and 2018, Baker & Taylor representatives will travel to dozens of shows across the U.S. and internationally. At our booth, reps will share their expertise on B&T’s exciting products and services, and answer those pressing questions you’ve been dying to ask someone face-to-face. Products and services they’ll be chatting about include:

  • One-stop selection and shopping for all product formats, from our digital catalogs to Title Source 360
  • Robust digital capabilities and the Community Sharing initiative
  • Title Source 360 as the market-leading selection and acquisitions software
  • collectionHQ, ESP and our suite of collection development services
  • Book and DVD leasing programs
  • Axis 360 with the brand-new “Listen Now” feature for streaming audiobooks

Continue reading “Fall State Show Preview”

Making the Most of B&T’s Marketing Resources

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a librarian take a break. I walk into the library and hear the faint clacking of keyboards, librarians browsing lists of new releases for hours. Around the corner, in the young adult section, another librarian is rattling off a dozen recommendations to a teenage patron. Down the next aisle, I see another librarian filing, looking at every label and gently sliding book after book onto the shelf, spine facing out.

At Baker & Taylor, we know how hard librarians work. As a frequent librarian patron, I see your hard work day after day. As a marketing specialist here at B&T, I give librarians major props and want to help lighten your load. And our marketing resources do just that. —Emma Way, eMarketing Specialist
Continue reading “Making the Most of B&T’s Marketing Resources”

Q+A with Amandeep Kochar, Executive VP of Digital Content and Software

Aman Kochar BT_20MEET AMAN—Baker & Taylor’s Executive Vice President of Digital Content, Software Products Services & Sales. He’s passionate about all things digital circulation, from Title Source 360 to Axis 360. Learn a little more about the people behind the scenes at Baker & Taylor with this Q+A with Aman.

 

 

What is your role at Baker & Taylor? 

I am responsible for the Sales of our Digital Circulation Platform Axis360 and all software products like CollectionHQ, ESP, Collect & Connect and Content Café. In addition to my sales responsibilities, I am also responsible for the Product Management, Engineering and Technical  Services for all of Baker & Taylor. Lastly, after our acquisition by Follett, I’m giving guidance for some inter-company projects across B&T, Follett Higher Ed and Follett School Solutions.

Why did you choose this industry? 

Well, I’m an engineer by education and a business professional by accident. I’ve never chosen industries but let them choose me. I started out in computer sciences and then gravitated towards media and entertainment. Finally the plunge into publishing then education technology at McGraw Hill and finally here at Baker & Taylor. There were a few entrepreneurial stints in there too.

What do you love about your job?

Everyone dreams of finding a job that keeps them challenged and has a “feel good factor” to it. I get to jump from a product development meeting thinking of new features for our platforms into an engineering meeting trying to figure out complex issues and then into inter-company projects at Follett to learn about new businesses—this keeps me busy, excited and enthused. However it’s the feeling of enabling a library to provide equal access to all individuals in a community that makes me truly happy. I believe “we can’t control where we come from but can definitely control where we end up,” and so no matter your situation if you have resources like the library that you can depend on, you can be whoever you want to be. And we play a small role in helping libraries achieve that.

What makes our software great?

For Axis 360: We were late to the ebook/e-audiobook party for public libraries, so we had to catch up. It’s easy to have a “me-too” attitude when you are trying to catch up but we kept our own identity. We have always focused on equal access regardless of a user’s situation. From this year on, we have started an Innovation lab within this group to integrate newer technologies and content in Axis 360.

For Title Source360: We call this a library’s ERP (enterprise resource planning) system for acquisition of materials. This truly is the crème da le crème of acquisition systems of books, with millions of books, audiobooks and audio visual material to search, acquire and integrate with a library’s workflow. In all my years of dealing with complex systems, this one would be on top shelf hands down – from the number of sources of data we ingest to the differentiated experience a librarian or retail user can have based on their profiles is special. It is also open in the sense that it integrates with all the ILS partners for a seamless experience to the library staff.

And now with the integration with ESP (Evidence based Selection Planning)—a predictive algorithm from collectionHQ—TS 360 is able to predict the right books and right quantities at a branch level for all the libraries assisting them  in improving efficiency to serve their communities better.

Favorite past-times?

I’m very close to my family and I’m lucky to have my wife as my best friend so most of my time is spent with them. I also enjoy various physical pursuits whenever I get time. Travel would have to be top of the list.

Favorite book? Movie? Music?

Books: Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Fountainhead, Kite Runner, Exit West (most recent), Train to Pakistan

Movies: The Bird Cage, Patch Adams, The Graduate, Godfather, Oceans 11 and 12, Monsoon Wedding, The House of Flying Daggers, Enter the Dragon, Die Hard, Terminator 2, Shrek 2 and many more.

Music: I’m old school so Led Zeppelin, Linkin Park, Aerosmith, Beatles, Bryan Adams

Cat or dog person?

A self confessed dog nut!

Favorite travel spot in the world?

A tie between the Turks and Caicos Islands and Las Vegas. If I could settle down anywhere, it’d be Barcelona, Spain though.

Where do you see Baker & Taylor’s software products 10 years from now?

A deeply intuitive set of products driven by AI and machine learning to prescribe the best course of action for librarians to achieve their community engagement goals. Think voice activated commands asking TS 360 “Hey B&T, can you pick books for my African American history month for the branch on the upper west side” and Title Source 360 provides an instant list based on the demographics, past buying patterns and other data like age, education level of that community.

I also see these products being completely open to be able to integrate with newer forms of content and more immersive experiences

I’m extremely passionate about building a culture of constant transformation and positive energy. One of my recent favorite quotes from Peter Drucker “Culture eats strategy for breakfast!”

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