With major bookstore chains struggling to draw foot traffic and ebooks proliferating online, publishers are finding it increasingly difficult to help potential customers discover new authors or explore their midlist titles. In this environment, libraries could be powerful partners, noted a group of panelists during the “Libraries: More Important Than Ever for Discovery” session at the Digital Book World 2013 Conference in New York last week. “Nobody loves debut novelist like a librarian. We love finding books,” said Stephanie Anderson, head of readers’ advisory for Darien Library.
As part of the preparation for the upcoming LJ Virtual Tech Summit on December 8, The Digital Shift is featuring interviews with some of the panelists. LJ talked to Gretchen Caserotti, assistant director for public services at Darien Library, CT, and a 2010 LJ Mover & Shaker, about self-service at Darien Library.
Darien Library, CT, launched a new Espresso Book Machine (EBM), which can print and create a bound book in a matter of minutes, during its annual meeting on October 30. The Sacramento Public Library, CA, will soon launch its own EBM. They’re two of only three public libraries in the country currently providing the fee-based print-on-demand service to patrons—but if the service catches on, it could be the first step in establishing public libraries as a center for on-demand book printing and self-publishing.