Like many of you, I’ve been struggling to anticipate and react to changing landscape of reading.
Students at my school prefer to read for fun in print but prefer to research digitally. Our adult community prefers the opposite. Since we are a boarding school located in a location without a strong public library system, we have worked hard to provide access to both print and digital books. This has meant a focus on collecting eBooks and audiobooks that we know will appeal to our adult community with some student overlap, and collecting lots of YA in print.
This is all well and good for our book collection, but what does this changing landscape mean for magazines?
When I asked the rest of the staff to come up with a list of five they’d seen used, some found it difficult to get to five. I think that is very telling. Though we currently have 91 print magazines, only a handful get used on a regular basis.
Though the magazines look nice and we have purpose-built shelves for them, should we still spend a lot of our budget on them? We’ve been wrestling with this question over the past week or so and here are some steps we are taking:
- As a staff we sat down and looked at the subscriptions and their usage. We came up with quite a few to stop receiving.
- We cross-referenced our EBSCO subscription price with other vendors and found a way to save a significant amount
- We’ve developed a list of magazines that we will promote in different ways and another list of those that might be of interest in the dorms.
But all of this still feels like a stop-gap on the way to the inevitable downfall of print magazines in our community. Are you experiencing the same usage downturn? Do you have particular magazines that students love to read? How do you promote magazines in your library?