Category Archives: Uncategorized

COVID-19 – LIBRARIES AFTER LOCKDOWN

Many libraries may have closed their doors, but it doesn’t mean they have shut down shop. During the crisis, libraries have been busier than ever behind the scenes, adapting their services to continue answering their communities’ needs. More than ever, they are proving themselves to be at the very center of community life. But the future is still very uncertain.

Life during lockdown – how are libraries coping?

We thought we’d take a look at just how libraries have been adapting to the current crisis, and what plans they have for reopening.

A PLA survey showed that 76% of public libraries have extended their renewal policies during the crisis. 74% have expanded online offerings such as ebooks and streaming media, and 61% have added virtual programming. Not only that, libraries have provided invaluable services for their communities such as sharing vital local information and working to help the vulnerable and homeless.

Meanwhile, an ongoing University of Illinois survey of academic libraries’ response to the pandemic shows 94% of libraries have closed their doors, with 82% limiting their lending to phone and online only. Librarians report an increased workload since the start of the pandemic, many with colleagues having been furloughed. Above all, the safety of staff and users has been paramount.

Life after lockdown – what comes next?

Many remain optimistic about the reopening of libraries. The question is how to open the library doors while public and staff safety remain top priority. One thing is for certain when lockdown ends – there will be a surge in library patronage, which means busy times ahead.

There will be a fine balance of dealing with increased user numbers, while remembering that the library is and always must remain a safe haven…

All of which means librarians have quite a task ahead of them, and the prospect of reopening can indeed be considered daunting. To help you get there, we’ve taken a look at a few of the things that librarians have been talking about in preparation for reopening:

  • Social distancing isn’t going away. Libraries will have to remove furniture or increase the space between desks and computers, maybe installing screens or closing off study rooms. Patron numbers will need to be limited, and special times dedicated to those most vulnerable.
  • Hygiene will be king. Books, computers and surfaces will have to be disinfected. Pima County Public Library in Tucson, Arizona is even considering temperature checks for those entering the building.
  • On-site programs will be cancelled. But, you can continue to offer programs virtually via social media or video conferencing.
  • The returns will flood in. Prepare for the avalanche of thousands of items taken out prior to library closure in March. To help with this, and with borrowing in general, why not allow curbside pick-up and drop-off of requested materials.
  • The library as a “place” becomes less important. With the increase in borrowing ebooks, audio and streaming set to continue after the lockdown ends, the library buildings will become less important. So, maintain your library’s position in the community by offering other local services, such as helping the (many) newly jobless find work. Brooklyn Public Library is already offering assistance with the preparation of resumes and cover letters.

Cutbacks, cutbacks

It’s no secret that there are tough economic times ahead once the crisis eases. Academic libraries – as well as public – are without doubt going to face strategic cutbacks as their parent institutions take a financial hit in the economic downturn. They’ll also likely see a further increase in requests for digital delivery as campuses remain closed. While librarians are masters of the art of doing more with less, there will most likely be challenges ahead. It’s worth pointing out that they can rely on their information partners, WT Cox, to help them through these difficult times.

Help is at hand

WT Cox has been helping the library community for over 45 years, and our customers are our number one priority.

So take a look at how we do what we do at WT Cox. We’re known for our outstanding commitment to excellence. We make your library initiatives our business.

WT Cox – Experience Choice. Where extraordinary service happens.

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Creating Collections To Serve The Community

What comes to mind when people think of their public library? A building full of books? We’d like to think it’s more than that. For a lot of people, it’s a place for peace and quiet – a haven where you can retreat to read, study, and explore the library’s resources. Which is just as it should be. But, we all know the library offers a whole lot more besides just that.

The beating heart of the community

Public libraries are alive with activity. Above all, the library’s a meeting place, a forum where people come together and talk, exchange ideas and support each other. Whether that’s seniors coming by to read the newspapers, young parents bringing their kids in for story time, teens seeking the books they need for their school projects, people seeking career resources, you name it. There are a whole host of other reasons to drop by.

And librarians are there to help everyone, connecting them with the information they need, or providing the assistance they’re after.

The library truly strengthens ties in the local community. But you can always do more.

Serving the local community

There’s lots a library can do to help boost its role at the heart of the community.

For a start, local topics are always of interest. That might be stewarding information on local history, or hosting exhibitions of local life in days gone by. And there are always going to be local events in aid of community causes, where the library can play host.

Classes, author readings, book sales, business groups, even farmers’ markets – the library is the ideal forum for community events to take place.

Amenities

Of course, to be able to provide all these services, it’s important to have all the right amenities. Many library patrons don’t bring their own computers, so providing some laptops, alongside with good wi-fi, will bring people in.

And, not everybody likes to take a book home with them anymore. According to a survey by the Pew Research Center, over half of Americans say libraries should definitely offer a broader selection of eBooks. And the same goes for magazines and periodicals. Going electronic frees up more space in the library, so everybody wins.

The nuts and bolts

Information is the lifeblood of your library. And encouraging reading is the library’s most crucial role – which isn’t difficult as long as you have the right resources on hand.

Creating collections which truly inspire and resonate with users is a key way libraries can serve their communities.

Creating collections

If you need advice building your collections, WT Cox is here to help. We can create collections for you to meet your community’s needs, and beyond. For over 45 years, we’ve been a trusted provider of subscription services to public libraries, nationwide. We know what it takes to put together outstanding collections which your customers will come back for time and time again.

We offer print and electronic titles which are featured in our condensed popular title lists, along with our free online subscription management software, CoxNet, which offers a database of over 300,000 title choices.

Of course, we recognize that every library is different. So, we can create a list of titles with you, tailor-made to meet your community’s needs.

Service is our specialty

At WT Cox, we pride ourselves on the highest level of service. Each and every library gets a personal customer service specialist familiar with your account. We work on the day-to-day details of your serials management, so you can focus on your patrons. Not only that, you can be sure that everything will run smoothly as our team of professionals is available for online training as well as onsite visits.

“With all that libraries do, efficiently using our resources is at the top of the list. W.T. Cox is a cost efficient, time saving company to use for managing your periodical collection. They are constantly adapting to meet our needs and the individualized attention we receive from all of our team members makes collection development stress-free.”

G. Farmer – Eastern Oklahoma Library District

See how the services we provide at WT Cox can help you serve your community better. We’re known for our outstanding commitment. We make your serials management our business.

WT Cox – Experience Choice. Where extraordinary service happens.

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Join Us at AASL Next Month

If you’re in school libraries, you know the AASL Conference is this Fall, November 14-16. It’s the professional event for leaders in education. You’ll be joining your peers from across the country to share and draw on inspiration and ideas. AASL is where relationships are built, across a community dedicated to transforming learning.

So what’s in store for attendees this year?

Well, a truly inspirational keynote for a start. Author Ellen Oh of We Need Diverse Books will be there to talk about how they promote literature representing and honoring children from all walks of life. Leadership speaker Dr Adolph Brown, III, one of America’s top ten thought leaders, will inspire you with his talk about stereotypes. And meet New York Times bestselling author Jarrett J. Krosoczka, who’ll be signing books after his session.

Sign up for some pre-conference workshops. There’s a lot to offer this year, including topics such as leadership, collection development, collaboration, and the ESLS Research Symposium. And you can take part in one of the many School Tours, seeing for yourself how dynamic libraries in the local area strive to serve their communities to the best of their ability.

Louisville highlights – Bourbon and Beyond

While you’re there, it makes sense to take in the sights of Louisville. This “fun and artsy” city is undeniably cool according to the travel experts. Home to the world-famous Kentucky Derby, Louisville offers tours and experiences where you can get a close-up look at the world of horse racing. What better place to start than a tour of the Churchill Downs Racetrack, or a Horse Farms Tour? And if that’s not your thing, get under the skin of the city with a trolley tour.

Did you know that most of the world’s bourbon is distilled within a 100-mile radius of Louisville? You can’t miss sampling at least a few in the city’s famous bars and restaurants. Or even better, sample the classic Seelbach Cocktail at the iconic Seelbach Hotel, F Scott Fitzgerald’s favorite bar.

A little more history…

WT Cox has been the leading subscriptions vendor for schools for over 45 years. That’s quite a claim, but it is true!

Willard T. Cox knew a thing or two about school libraries, as far back as the 1950’s. He kicked off his career in 1956 teaching high school history – he didn’t know it then, but this would lay the foundation for the company he went on to find. Recognizing the need for subscription services for school libraries, in the early 1970’s he set about providing these himself. Willard prided himself on providing superior services, and WT Cox was on its way in no time. 

Service matters

Today, WT Cox continue this heritage of outstanding service. School libraries are still the cornerstone of our business over 45 years down the line. Whether your library is big or small, in Maine, Minnesota or Mississippi, WT Cox have the experience and commitment to support you every step of the way.

We’ll be there in Louisville this fall. Be sure to drop by and visit us at booth #534 – we’re looking forward to meeting you.

WT Cox – Experience Choice. Where extraordinary service happens.

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School Library Month – 7 Ways to Celebrate

April 2019 is School Library Month – the American Association of School Librarians’ celebration of school librarians and their programs. Every April since 1985, school librarians have been hosting activities to help their school and local community celebrate the library – in particular the major role school library programs play in transforming learning. This is the month where your school library subscriptions come into their own.

The 2019 theme for School Library Month is Everyone Belongs @ Your School Library. That means students, educators, parents, from all walks of life. The library crosses all barriers and brings communities closer together.

Fostering a love of reading…

This year’s spokesperson is the New York Times bestselling author Dav Pilkey. Dav overcame dyslexia and ADHD as a child, going on to create award-winning books for children, including the Captain Underpants and Dog Man series. Most significantly, the library played a significant role in Dav’s journey, as he discovered his love of reading through visiting the library with his mom.

You can share on your website, or screen in your library, a video from Dav on the importance of school libraries and reading.

Need some inspiration for School Library Month?

Here are some top tips for drawing in the crowds, and helping your library visitors celebrate School Library Month.

  1. Host a guest speaker. You could ask a local author to come in and talk about their books. Or, you might find someone who can bring alive a subject that students are currently studying.
  2. Use the ALA’s printable poster to promote School Library Month and your library’s events. Download here.]
  3. Hold a session on How to Spot Fake News. Ask students to evaluate websites using the IFLA’s graphic guide, and ask them to discuss their opinions, or even draw up their own guides.
  4. Use social media to share your ideas for celebrating School Library Month. You can upload pictures or videos to Twitter or Facebook showing events you’re hosting.
  5. Book clubs are a great way to get people together and share their experiences. And if you start them young, children will become used (if not addicted!) to these group activities.
  6. Host book tastings. Pick a book genre – mystery, graphic novels, memoirs, young adult fiction, you name it. It’s a great way to introduce readers to new material they might never have considered trying. Make your school library subscriptions really work for you.
  7. Connect students at your library with students at a different library, like pen pals. You can brainstorm the best ways to do this. Then, they can share their ideas about how they use their library, and create a graphic highlighting their different experiences.

You can find even more ideas on the ALA’s website.

#Ilovemylibrary

So, get pages turning, and people talking. This is your opportunity to promote your library and the wonderful work it does in your community. School library subscriptions are at the heart of our business, and we’d love for you to share with us examples of the events and initiatives you’ve hosted for School Library Month!

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Utilizing Makerspace in Your School Library

You’re more than likely familiar with the term Makerspace. This concept of a communal creative space is fast gaining in momentum, and the library is right at the heart of it.

So what’s behind the makerspace project?

Although the term’s familiar, it’s not immediately clear what it means. Makerspaces are spaces dedicated to hands-on activity, creating actual products. So makerspace activities will involve all kinds of materials and equipment, like cardboard and tape to design and make models, or computers and cameras to produce films or podcasts.

The idea behind all of this is to boost students’ creative thinking and problem solving, to become innovators. It’s a big deal in the education world, increasingly so.

So where does the school library come in?

Apart from making the physical space available for use as makerspace, the library is key to providing the resources to fuel all this creative thinking.

Let’s take some simple examples. Students are set the task of finding 10 things to make with a cardboard box – maybe simple, but a really fun and creative project. Or, building and racing magnetic cars. Producing a short animated film using Lego. Apart from some really productive collaborative efforts, what students also need here is resources to consult and help them expand their thinking. And that’s where school library subscriptions come in.

Looking through your favorite titles in your school library, you might find 3D World, How it Works, Popular Mechanics, or Woodsmith Magazine, and many more. There are a huge number of magazines available, all of which would provide no end of useful ideas in carrying out and fine tuning these projects.

How do I find out what resources are available?

WT Cox has created a list of Makerspace titles available. Not only that, we’re also able to offer RB Digital magazines amongst your school library subscriptions.

For younger children too, there’s all sorts of inspiration in subscriptions including Arts & Activities, Brainspace Magazine, Science & Children, and many others.

Click here to view a full list of top titles and resources available from WT Cox to help you build your collections.  

If you want to learn more about makerspaces and how your library fits in, there are many websites out there dedicated to makerspace resources. They’ll also help you figure out what you might need including school library subscriptions. You can find out more at

makerspaces.com or the OEDb’s Librarian’s Guide to Makerspaces, to name but a few.

Last but not least

Right at the core of the makerspace movement is the importance of students learning how to draw on information in order to get creative and solve problems. And to do that, they need plenty of resources.

There are so many useful titles available for your library. It makes sense to incorporate these makerspace titles in your personalized pricing when building your school library subscriptions quote from us. Just contact us at sales@wtcox.com and we’ll be happy to help.

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10 Ways to Celebrate Dr Seuss Day

Read Across America Day, March 2, marks the birthday of Dr Seuss. Created by the National Education Association in 1998, this exciting event brings together young people and books, right across the United States. 

Read on to see how you can get involved:

It’s also an opportunity for the library to show off the range of resources it offers, and use these to bring young people in. The library plays a unique and central role in fostering a love of reading and learning. Its place is right at the very heart of the local community, for all the family.

So it’s time to celebrate the value of reading – and have some fun too. If you haven’t already got some ideas up your sleeve, here are a few suggestions on how to make the most of March 2. Follow these tips and use your school library subscriptions and resources to make it a truly memorable day for everyone involved.

1. Hold a story time – it may seem obvious but it’s always popular. Children love it, and you could encourage them to go to the shelves and choose a book for everyone to share in.

2. Host a book club or reading group. Put up posters announcing it, asking young people to send in their suggestions. Then, take a vote on the most popular choice. You could hold several sessions, for different age groups.

3. Use books and magazines to teach new skills. Choose a cookbook together, read some recipes and plan some meals or some cookie decorating. You could do the same thing for gardening or crafts.

4. Foster a love of nature. Find books and children’s magazines on wildlife, or on flowers and trees. Use these to build an exciting day out to go discover the real thing.

5. Research a subject. Whether it’s science, history or art, you name it, there’s something there to catch the imagination. Once you’ve sown a seed of interest, a lifetime’s passion could grow out of this.

6. Host a crafts session. Amongst your school library subscriptions you’re sure to find some useful resources to help this along its way. The library is about doing, as well as about reading and listening.

7. Is there a children’s author local to you? Ask them to come along to the library and read from one of their books. It’ll bring in the crowds.

8. Explore a new culture. There are a huge range of books and magazines on travel and foreign cultures. Losing yourselves in this imaginary world is the next best thing to getting on a plane to the real place.

9. Get creative with some drawing tables, or some music sessions. Involving children in activities together helps them learn to share, and to enjoy playing and learning together.

10. Make use of your library’s computers. Offer some early computer literacy classes, and give your local children a head start.

Need more ideas?

Take a look at the NEA’s Dr Seuss Day activity booklet. There’s also a handy classroom activity guide.

If you get it right, you’ll find young people of all ages return to the library year round, not just on Dr Seuss Day. And hopefully for life. That’s what Dr Seuss Day is all about – showing young people how reading opens exciting new doors to a wealth of interesting and fun activities.

Put your library subscriptions, books and resources to good use on Dr Seuss Day. Maybe you’ve got some great experiences from your library to share – if so, we’d love to hear from you! [insert link to email?]

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