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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Classic Pink Floyd Albums Possibly Going Out of Print

A few weeks ago we discussed artists who—for one reason or another—have elected not to make their music available via digital outlets such as iTunes. One of the artists mentioned in that blog post, Bob Seger, has stated that he feels that his songs should only be downloadable as complete albums.

Seger is not alone. Recently, psychedelic rock icons Pink Floyd won a major lawsuit against their record label, EMI. In the suit, Pink Floyd (much like Seger) argued that their music was never intended to be distributed as individual tracks. Their songs, they contended, are part of a greater work of art—the album.

According to (and our friends at Sno-Isle’s Collection Development Blog), while this lawsuit was in progress, EMI’s distribution rights to several of Pink Floyd’s post-Dark Side of the Moon albums unceremoniously expired.¹ Because of this, several of the band’s biggest releases (including The Wall and Wish You Were Here) are no longer available for digital download and the physical versions could go out of print in the near future. Their earlier works, including Piper at the Gates of Dawn, will continue to be distributed by EMI.

Fortunately, the evergreen popularity of Pink Floyd will probably ensure that these titles will not be homeless for long. However, libraries interested in purchasing endangered titles may want to do so sooner rather than later as EMI will only be able to sell copies that they currently have in their possession. The following titles and their corresponding stock numbers are available on our website:

  • Wish You Were Here (EMM975021C)
  • Animals (EMM974826C)
  • The Wall (EMM124329C)
  • The Final Cut (EMM767342C)

Do you agree with the band that their music should be kept in album format? Or do you think that the band should open up to individual song downloads?


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Studies Show Reading YA Fiction and Listening to Audiobooks May Boost School Performance

Recent studies have shown significant improvements in reading test scores of children who continue reading books of their choice during the summer.

During a three-year study from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, researcher, Richard Allington found that, “children who do not read in the summer lose two to three months of reading development while kids who do read tend to gain a month of reading proficiency.”1

The study also found that, “children improved their reading scores even though they typically weren’t selecting the curriculum books or classics that teachers normally assigned for summer reading.”2 Most students favored pop-culture books featuring musicians, athletes, and television and movie characters.

Boys and Reading
Additional studies have found that boys do not read as much as their female counterparts. For the past 30 years, girls have outperformed boys on reading tests in every age group, according to the U.S. Department of Education reading tests.3 However, similar to the conclusions of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville study, author and former National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Jon Scieszka agrees that guys are more likely to read when the topic is of their interest.

As a result, Scieszka created, a web-based literacy program that offers reading suggestions that appeal to the interests of boys. Recently, he has expanded his venture to include Guys Listen, which encourages boys to embrace both the written and spoken word.

Benefits of Listening to Audiobooks
However, listening to an audiobook provides more than just an escape to a fantasyland. According to Rose Brock, an avid audiobook advocate and Library Media Specialist at Coppell Middle School West, “Audiobooks are an ideal medium for all boys, whether they are reluctant readers or voracious ones, especially the 30% of guys who are auditory learners.”4 Additionally, School Library Journal notes that audiobooks help students improve listening, writing, and vocabulary competencies and build literacy skills.5

Midwest Tape Can Help
Taking the contemporary interests of young readers into consideration, Midwest Tape has compiled a collection of Must-Have Youth Audiobooks, recommended by School Library Journal. To find this collection and other collections of audiobooks tailored to fit the interests of young listeners, click the browse tab on the Midwest Tape website.

Then, select Audiobook and browse by collection in the Browse Controls.

Some of our other collections featuring notable audiobooks for kids and young adults are named 2010 ALSC Notable Audiobooks, Booklist Best Audio for Kids, New & Notable Children’s/YA, and Critic’s Picks: Children’s Collection.

After browsing our lists, are there any other audiobooks you would recommend for young readers?






Monday, August 23, 2010

The SmartBrowse Series: Mastering Filters

In this final installment of the SmartBrowse Series, you’ll learn how to use filters to quickly narrow your SmartBrowse search results. Here are five ways using filters can help you find exactly what you are looking for:

1. Filtering by date
I only want to see titles in my search that have street dates between July 2010 and October 2010.

1.Search by a keyword in the SmartBrowse search box.

2. Make your selection in the search summary.

3. Click Filter Criteria box.

4. Click the Released Between radio button and select the month and year restrictions from the drop down menus.

5. Click filter in the bottom left hand corner to find your results.

    2. Filtering by New Releases
    I want to make a display about animals featuring the newest best selling titles.

    1. Select Top 100 Best Selling from the search summary. This will pull up Audiobooks, Blu-rays, CDs, DVDs, and Playaways in your search results.

    2. In the filter criteria box, select new releases in the last six months and future releases.

    3. Click filter in the bottom left hand corner to find your results.

    3. Filtering by Multiple Restrictions
    I want my search to contain only full-screen DVDs that street between July 2010 and October 2010 with a rating of PG-13 or lower.

    1. Search by keyword in the SmartBrowse search box and make your selection in the search summary.

    2. Click the Filter Criteria box.

    3. Set the released between restrictions to suit your requirements.

    4. Select exclude videos rated beyond. Choose the PG-13 rating from the drop-down menu.

    5. Select include only full screen video products.

    6. Click filter in the bottom left hand corner to find your results.

    4. Filtering by Explicit Lyrics
    I want to update my rap/hip-hop CD collection with the newest titles, but I don’t want any CDs with parental advisories.

    1. Select Most Recent 100 from the search summary.

    2. In the filter criteria box, select exclude music with explicit lyrics.

    3. Click filter in the bottom left hand corner to find your results.

    4. Change your mind? Selecting the filter off button will quickly revert your search.

    5. Filtering by Format
    I want to update my collection of romance audiobooks, but I am only interested in the unabridged versions.

    1. Search by keyword in the SmartBrowse search box and make your selection in the search summary.

    2. In the filter criteria box, select exclude abridged audiobooks.

    3. Click filter in the bottom left hand corner to find your results.

    4. Remember, you can sort your results further by clicking the column headings. For example, click Released to sort your results in chronological order according to release date.

    Once you are satisfied with your search results you can easily add all the titles to SmartCart where you can add branch distribution, adjust quantities, and apply funds.

    1. Click Add to Cart.

    2. Click the (+) to expand the instructions options. Here you can customize your order.

    3. Select use these choices to add every product in the list and then click Add.

    These are just a few examples of how to use filters to narrow your SmartBrowse search. This concludes our SmartBrowse Series, but look for our upcoming series about using SmartCart. You can also look forward to our Collection Development tools series, which will feature posts on our Calendar, New Release Panel, Cat2Cart, and QuickLinks.

    In the meantime, play around with the SmartBrowse filters and share your thoughts and experiences here as comments.

    Thursday, August 19, 2010

    Midwest Tape Presents a Free Webinar on Audiobooks

    Curious as to how Midwest Tape can be your one-stop audiobook shop?

    Join presenter Elaine Schlagheck for a free webinar focused on audiobooks. In this 60-minute seminar, you’lll learn about our durable SoundSafe case, designed exclusively for libraries; our flexible, obligation-free Customer Standing Order Plans; our expanded replacement program; and our wide selection of bestselling titles from over 175 publishers priced at an average of $39. 

    Audiobooks: The Real Advantage
    Aug 25, 2010
    2:00–3:00 p.m. EDT

    Monday, August 16, 2010

    The SmartBrowse Series: Sorting and Exporting

    In the series’ first installment, you learned five ways to search specific in SmartBrowse. Here, I’ll show you how to easily organize your SmartBrowse findings by sorting and exporting.

    After you make your selection on the Search Summary page, SmartBrowse will direct you to a sortable list of search results.

    Here you can arrange the information alphabetically or numerically in ascending or descending order by clicking on the column names.

    For example, clicking on price will sort the titles from lowest to highest. Clicking again will reorganize the information in reverse order.

     The price sorts titles from lowest to highest price, then highest to lowest price

    Similarly, this action works for stock number, title media, misc, genre, release date, and sales rank.

    The released date sorts titles from newest to oldest, then oldest to newest.

    Once you are satisfied with your search, you can transfer your results to an Excel spreadsheet.

    To do this, click the Export button.

    After a brief download, Excel will open and display a spreadsheet of your SmartBrowse search results.

    Now that you know how to sort and export in SmartBrowse, look for our final installment of the SmartBrowse series about filtering. In the meantime, play around with SmartBrowse yourself and share your insights and experiences here as comments.

    Tuesday, August 10, 2010

    Library DVD Rentals Surpass Netflix

    According to a recent study released by OCLC, a nonprofit library co-operative and research organization, more people are visiting libraries to rent movies rather than receiving them through the mail, using distribution kiosks or going to traditional movie rental establishments.

    The survey, conducted in January, found that, “public libraries in the United States lend an average of 2.1 million videos every day, slightly more than the 2 million that Netflix ships.”1 On a daily basis, libraries also distribute more videos than Redbox (1.4 million) and Blockbuster (1.2 million), according to daily averages provided to OCLC by company representatives.2 And while the graph below from OCLC's study presents slightly different stats than the text cited above, one would assume the discrepancy lies in the 2 million DVDs NetFlix ships versus what they distribute overall, including the online market.

    The dominance of libraries as a source for DVDs clearly indicates that libraries are no longer a place for just printed books and reference materials. According to the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Loans of “video materials per capita more than doubled during the study period, increasing from 73.5 video materials per 1,000 people in [Fiscal Year] 1999 to 166.7 video materials per 1,000 people in [Fiscal Year] 2008, an increase of 126.6 percent.”3 The institute also confirmed that audio collections, like CDs and audiobooks, have increased nearly 50% between the fiscal years of 1999 and 2008.3

    As circulations increase so does the rate of patrons visiting libraries. According to a survey of Seattle library users, “In the past decade, visits to Seattle libraries increased nearly 57 percent, from 4.6 million in 2000 to 7.3 million last year.”4 As the country fights to emerge from a recession, it seems natural that more people are taking advantage of the free resources libraries offer. When borrowing from the library, patrons only face the occasional late fee. Comparatively, according to OCLC’s study, “Americans spend over $22 million for DVD rentals at outlets like Netflix and Redbox.”2

    According to Time Warner Inc. CEO Jeff Bewkes, movie-loving patrons may also be looking beyond DVD mail distributors and kiosks for their rentals because of delayed new releases at Netflix and Redbox.5 Certain studios like 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and Universal Home Studios Entertainment have placed a 28-day window on their distribution of new releases to rental kiosks. Libraries, on the other hand, are not subject to the delays and can offer patrons access to materials the same day they hit retail stores nationwide.

    With more patrons turning to libraries for audiovisual materials, it is important to keep relevant and robust collections. Luckily, Midwest Tape makes finding popular titles easy. The first panel on our website always features new DVD, CD, Audiobook, Blu-Ray and Playaway releases. You can also find the latest Hot New Releases, under the Quick Links tab.

    Additionally, Midwest Tape offers numerous flexible Customized Standing Order plans for audiobooks, CDs, and DVDs. Our experts are constantly researching and finding the hottest and most popular titles. Every two weeks, you will receive a cart of hand-selected titles ready for your collection. Click here for more information about specific standing order plans.

    Do you find your patrons borrowing more DVDs than other materials? How is your library preparing to keep up with the increasing demand for DVDs?






    Thursday, August 5, 2010

    Midwest Tape Adds Auto-Complete to Site Search Bar

    Unsure of a spelling? Fuzzy on a name? Term on the tip of your tongue?

    Midwest Tape has launched Auto-Complete, a new website feature that will better aid searches. Now when you use our site’s Search Bar, Auto-Complete will offer search suggestions.

    Using Auto-Complete with SmartBrowse
    Enter a term in the Search Bar. Note that fewer letters typed in the Search Bar will produce a wider array of suggestions. Likewise, more letters typed will produce more specific suggestions.

    Upon entering the search term, a dropdown list of suggestions appears. With SmartBrowse, Auto-Complete will make suggestions related to format, people, titles collections, and categories.

     If you select a format suggestion, results appear in a sortable SmartBrowse list:

    If you select a people or title suggestion, results that match the suggestion appear in SmartBrowse’s Search Summary:

    Person selection “Harry Paul” results

    Title selection “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” Results

    Using Auto-Complete with Search
    Uncheck the “Use SmartBrowse” checkbox underneath the site’s Search Bar and then begin typing your search term. Note that fewer letters typed in the Search Bar will produce a wider array of suggestions. Likewise, more letters typed will produce more specific suggestions.

    Once again a dropdown list of suggestions will appear, but suggestions will pertain to format and titles only.

     If you select a format suggestion, pertaining results will appear in a Search Results list.

    If you select a title suggestion, product details for that title will appear as the Search Results.

    What do you think of auto-complete? Share your thoughts and questions here as comments.

    Monday, August 2, 2010

    The SmartBrowse Series: Five Ways to Search Specific on SmartBrowse

    Search is a great way to find what you’re looking for when you know exactly what you’re looking for. But what happens when you just have a keyword in mind or a just a fuzzy idea of what you’re seeking? When searching in basic Search, general keywords can produce laundry lists of results with no organizational scheme—or worse, no results at all! Check out what happened when I typed “Big.”

    Fortunately, Midwest Tape designed SmartBrowse as a tool for finding specific results with general inquiries. I decided to play around with SmartBrowse myself and develop some tips for successful searching. Here are five ways to find specific results with general searches using SmartBrowse:

    1.   Shop selectively using category searches:

    “I want to enhance the action section of my library’s DVD collection.  But I want Academy Award winners only.”
    1. Search “Academy Award” in the SmartBrowse search box. 
    2. Under Categories, select DVD results in line with VIDEO::FICTION::ACADEMY AWARD WINNERS.
    3. Sort by Genre to view all Academy Award films categorized by the Action genre.
    4. Scroll through the listings; view product details, Academy Awards won, and Rotten Tomatoes ratings without leaving your search. 

      2.   Search series names to find all titles related:

      “I need to make sure I have all the audiobooks in the Anita Blake series!”
      1. Search “Anita Blake” in the SmartBrowse search field.
      2. Expand the Series results in the Search Results screen by clicking the plus symbol.
      3. Select the Audiobook results in line with Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter. Your results will appear in a sortable list.
      4. Click on column headings to sort your list and identify the titles you need to round out your series. You can even scroll through the listings and view product details without leaving your search.

      3.   Round out collections by focusing on people:

      “I want to beef up my Bruce Springsteen CD collection.”
      1. Search “Bruce Springsteen” in the SmartBrowse search box.
      2. Expand the People results, and select the CD media format. Your results will appear in a sortable list.
      3. Click on column headings to sort your list. Try sorting by Sales Rank or Release Date to quickly identify hot Springsteen titles.
      4. Scroll through the listings; view album tracks, product details, and AllMusic Guide ratings without leaving your search.

      4.   Enhance your international collection while adding to your language-learning selection by searching languages:

      “I have Korean-speaking patrons who want to learn English, and English-speaking patrons who want to learn Korean, and they’re all interested in Korean films and music!”
      1. Search “Korean” in the SmartBrowse search box.
      2. Expand the Language results.
        1. Select Audiobook results to view Korean for English Speakers and English for Korean Speakers titles.
        2. Click CD results to view Korean music.
        3. Select DVD or Blu-ray results to view Korean films.
      3. After reviewing results for your format of interest always click “Return to Original Search” to return to the SmartBrowse Search Results screen. 

      5.   Got a keyword in mind?  Look for collections that relate.

      “2010 Emmy nominations were just announced!  I want to shop those titles!”
      1. Search “Emmy” in the SmartBrowse search box.
      2. Expand the Collections results.
      3. Select the DVD format for 2010 EMMY NOMINATIONS; results will appear in a sortable list.
      4. Click on column headings to sort your list. Try sorting by Sales Rank or Release Date to quickly identify hot titles.
      5. Scroll through the listings; view product details, Emmy nominations, and Rotten Tomatoes reviews without leaving your search.

      These are just a few examples of how to best use SmartBrowse for collection development. Play around with SmartBrowse yourself; share your insights and experiences here as comments.