Our open meeting at ALA Midwinter in Seattle drew quite a crowd—75 people joined us for an update on the project and a preview of our 2019 research plans. The session began with Steve Potash (Founder & CEO, Rakuten OverDrive) speaking about the ongoing need for objective data that can help educate the publishing community on the valuable work libraries do to connect readers with books and authors. Cliff Guren (Panorama Project lead) then recapped the project’s accomplishments over the past 10 months and gave an update (posted here) on the 2018 sales of Flat Broke with Two Goats, the title highlighted in the project‘s recently published Community Reading Event Impact Report.
Cliff then introduced a new initiative called Panorama Picks. This project uses aggregated, anonymized library ebook demand data to surface titles beyond the current bestseller list in high demand at public libraries. The project will compile lists of in demand adult and young-adult fiction and non-fiction titles on a quarterly basis. The lists will be shared with booksellers at no cost to help raise the visibility of the titles and promote sales. More information on Panorama Picks will be posted closer to the target launch date in late March.
The focus then turned to Readers’ Advisory. Magan Szwarek (Director of Reference Services at the Schaumburg, Illinois Township District Library and Readers‘ Advisory Impact Committee co-chair) introduced the committee’s first work product. The Directory of Readers’ Advisory Activities catalogs the many services, programs, and marketing campaigns that public libraries and librarians, use to connect readers with books and authors. This first of its kind publication is the work of a committee of over 40 librarians and industry professional convened in fall 2018 by the Panorama Project. The full directory and a quick guide to Readers’ Advisory are available for download. You can also browse an online version of the full directory. The committee invites readers to share their feedback and submit additional activities, examples and useful links.
We were delighted to see that our open meeting was one of the sessions highlighted in Publishers Weekly’s show summary.