Tuesday, March 18, 2014


I want to remind you of the undertow, of the specific gravity. American society has a remarkable ability to resist change, or to take whatever change has taken place and attempt to make it go away.

Nora Ephron (1941-2012)

Author of WHEN HARRY MET SALLY—and much else besides

That Nora Ephron quote is worth thinking about. Since I have been here I have been very struck by the fact that U.S. society seems wedded to a mythic image of the American Way of Life—set roughly in 1970, when the Middle Class was prosperous and a family could be supported well on one income—and has been in virtual denial ever since despite the most profound changes having taken place—many not for the better. The lady called it right. She frequently did.

Back to women, books, and libraries. An article in www.digitalbookworld.com (based on Pew Research) says as follows:

Library Lovers make up about 10% of all Americans, or a third of “high engagement” library patrons

On a demographic level, nearly two thirds of Library Lovers are women, some 40% are parents and, overall, they tend to skew younger than the general population. They tend to have achieved a higher level of education and make more money than other groups even though nearly a quarter of this group have either recently lost their jobs or have seen their income decrease significantly. A quarter are looking for a job and about one in six are students. They also skew liberal and Democratic when it comes to politics.

The good news for publishers and authors is that this heavy library use group are readers. Two thirds read books every day. While they borrow lots of books, they are also heavy bookstore visitors, compared with the general population. Nearly three quarters of them go online using mobile devices. They are more involved with their communities than other groups and are more likely to try to learn new things.

Nearly 90% visited a library in the past 12 months with most visiting weekly

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