The NEA has a new study which shows that people are starting to read literature again. For me this is an incredibly positive sign. It means that we will have more people learning again which will help start the economic recovery.
A social networking package for libraries, Librarything now has a module for library catalog to enhance the interactiveness. This looks quite interesting.
I walked up to my local library and looked around for a bit. I was looking for a high quality book on Microsoft Publisher, but they did not have it. I was not satisfied with the book I had gotten sent from another library previously. We have a couple new books on Microsoft Publisher 2007 at my job, but we are waiting for the cataloging information before they can be processed and I can use them.
I also took a look at accounting titles at my local public library. None of them are at the CPA level. We have had patrons coming in and asking for fairly advanced accounting. The problem is that many of these books are over $120 each and are very academic, for the brand new titles, they can run over $200 each for an accounting textbook. Most public libraries don't buy academic titles. The cost is very high and the cost for theft or loss is much higher than popular titles. There were a few titles which I wrote down to purchase.
Many professional nonacademic titles are approaching the price of academic college textbooks. This makes it quite difficult in some cases to support the public libraries mission of buying generalist nonacademic material. I have often thought that the more money you stand to gain from the knowledge in a technical book, the more a publisher will attempt to charge you for it.
Right now, I am reading The Devil's Eye by Jack McDevitt. It is an Alex Benedict novel. She is an archaeologist of both human and alien artifacts. The story is a mystery set in the far future. One of the good things about the novel and Jack McDevitt's writing is that it shows humans keep the same motivations even in a science fiction setting. Jack McDevitt won the nebula award for his novel Cauldron.