The “State of the ebook union” –or maybe disunion

For a concise summary of  the world (or ocean) of “e”, read this blog post about the Ebook tipping point  by Tracey Thompson in Library 020—Musing about public libraries and library technologies where yes, there are still librarians!

Tracey summarizes a Pew Internet report from April 4 on the rise of e-reading, followed by various publishing houses and their current positions relating to ebooks. She blogs about ALA’s talks with publishers, Amazon and self-publishing through their site, OverDrive’s relationship with Amazon and Kindle, and Apple and the Department of Justice lawsuit against them and  five of the big publishers.

Tracy concludes with libraries and the tipping point of new business models for publishers. She predicts that the next few years will be exciting in the world of ebooks.

How do you feel? Would “excited” be your description? Maybe cautiously optimistic?



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Book Reviews – NOT NoveList

NoveList is one of our favorite databases to turn to when we need book reviews and author bios, but there are two other resources we have at our disposal for such information: the Literature Resource Center and Biography in Context.

Did you know the Literature Resource Center offers non-fiction book reviews and links to recorded interviews and reviews from NPR?  Perform an author or title search and try!  Check under the Multimedia tab to find audiofiles.

A name of work search for the new One Book, One Community selection (a non-fiction book that wouldn’t be found in NoveList), This I believe: the personal philosophies of remarkable men and women, will provide results your patrons and book groups will appreciate!

The Biography in Context database also provides a variety of useful information.

A keyword search for the popular non-fiction title Wild: from lost to found on the Pacific Crest Trail will find reviews and commentaries.   A name search for author Cheryl Strayed will also yield results.


NoveList is a wonderful resource, but don’t forget to try other databases for reviews, criticisms, and much more!

rob (Bethel Park)

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Top Takeaways from the Job and Career Resources Training

On Wednesday, April 25, Cooper-Siegel Community Library hosted EREC’s training on job and career resources.  The two presenters, Betsy Neidle from CareerLink, and Wes Roberts, Senior Librarian at CLP’s Job and Career Education Center/PC Center, both provided a plethora of useful information.  The EREC committee members have culled together our top takeaways for those of you who weren’t able to attend.

Top Tips from CareerLink:

PA CareerLink is a one-stop shop that seeks to connect employers and job seekers.  They offer a range of services to help job seekers find available jobs, assess and improve their skills, and complete the required Commonwealth Workforce Development System (CWDS) profile, which is related to collecting unemployment.  Many people have not completed their profile, which is essential in order to receive job matches.  She was kind enough to provide a printable CWDS Enrollment Guide. This document offers detailed instructions for completing a CWDS profile. 

Betsy herself had two great recommendations.  We should all take some time to go through the process of creating our own profile in the CWDS, as well as visit a CareerLink location. As she said, our patrons are using these services, and the more familiar we are with them, the more helpful we can be.

Betsy had a lot of interesting statistics to share, including the fact that of the 61,809 people CareerLink Pittsburgh served in 2011, a high percentage (48%)  had completed college, demonstrating that …  For more interesting statistics and details about what CareerLink can offer your patrons, check out Betsy’s PowerPoint

Top Tips from the Job and Career Education Center:

Wes highlighted a lot of great resources for job seekers as well.  In addition to a variety of useful databases available through CLP and, in some cases, a handful of other county libraries, there were a number of helpful free sites. Some of our favorites are:

  • GCFLearnFree: This site offers free online lessons to help people improve their technology, literacy, and math skills. 
  • This Pittsburgh-based company offers a resume wizard, but also a unique “Auto Focus” feature that helps customize a resume to a specific job description.  Users get three free focuses before they have to select a subscription plan. 
  • This job aggregator captures about 70% of local job openings, making it one of the more useful places to find potential local employment.   

For more great recommendations from Wes, check out his Prezi.

Were you at the training?  If so, share your favorite takeaways in the comments below.  If you weren’t there but have a favorite job and career resource, we want to know about that too!


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