May 19th, 2016 by Michael Sauers

Still my most popular photo on Flickr with almost 13,000 views.

Posted in Fun, Photos Tagged with: ,

December 17th, 2014 by Michael Sauers

Copyright! Complicated, confusing, and not clear-cut. What does a librarian need to know? Michael and Laura will present scenarios to discuss, as we all shine a light on the subject and try to figure out what a librarian needs to do.

Presented by Michael Sauers and Laura Johnson, Nebraska Library Commission
Nebraska Library Association Annual Conference
South Sioux City, NE
10 October 2014

Posted in Politics & Law, video Tagged with: , ,

June 10th, 2013 by Michael Sauers

If you have ever felt overwhelmed by the ubiquity of McDonald’s, this stat may make your day: There are more public libraries (about 17,000) in America than outposts of the burger mega-chain (about 14,000). The same is true of Starbucks (about 11,000 coffee shops nationally).

“There’s always that joke that there’s a Starbucks on every corner,” says Justin Grimes, a statistician with the Institute of Museum and Library Services in Washington. “But when you really think about it, there’s a public library wherever you go, whether it’s in New York City or some place in rural Montana. Very few communities are not touched by a public library.”

In fact, libraries serve 96.4 percent of the U.S. population, a reach any fast-food franchise can only dream of. On a map, that vast geography looks like this:

Library Map

Grimes built that map this past weekend during the National Day of Civic Hacking, using the agency’s database of public libraries. Each of those dots refers to an individual branch library (and a few bookmobiles), out of a total of 9,000 public library systems.

Read the full article and view the interactive maps @ (Thanks dad!)

Posted in Libraries Tagged with: , , , ,

May 21st, 2013 by Michael Sauers

DSC_9275While most small presses sell all their books freely and happily to libraries, the “Big Five” publishers continue to be terrified by the idea of letting public libraries have their e-books, and to punish libraries for even trying to get their e-books to customers.

The corporations’ confused and panic-driven search for an “acceptable business model” for the library e-book has led to some truly grotesque solutions:

So, dear reader, if your library doesn’t have the e-book you’d like to read, please don’t complain to your librarian. Complain to your publisher. Tell him to wake up and get real.

Read the full article @

Posted in ebooks Tagged with: , ,

May 8th, 2013 by Michael Sauers


Woot! The Nebraska Library Commission has been ranked 6th out of the 50 state libraries regarding their social media presence. Generally I take such lists with a grain of salt, and I can definitely say, this isn’t a competition, but I’m quite happy being in the top 10.

Read the full report and see all the stats @

6 out of 50


Posted in Internet Tagged with: , , , , ,

May 2nd, 2013 by Michael Sauers

eBook…Bookish is a great example of this. Bookish took two years to launch and was started by Penguin Publishing as a portal to share books. The problem with this site is the restrictions. While it’s a great idea in principle, the reason it will never hit the success of a Goodreads or a Library Thing is one element: control. Everything about Bookish is controlled by the publishing industry, there is limited freedom like you’d see on any other site that is reader-driven. When Amazon bought Goodreads and the collective question in the industry was, “Why didn’t a publisher step in and do this?” the answer was simple: control. You can create guidelines and rules, but you can’t control a site like Goodreads nor would you want to. Readers made this site what it is. They get to choose the books they want to add (gasp, even if they are self-published), while Bookish offers restrictive book listings that are subject to change/modification only by Penguin. Imagine if Goodreads had only been limited to focusing on traditionally published authors. I can hear the crickets now.

This is what I call Permission Based Publishing and it simply doesn’t work anymore, yet publishers continue to hang onto it like the life-preserver it no longer is. Why do they do this? Do they want to fail? No, they don’t. Like any industry they want to succeed, the problem is, it’s all they know. Often we’ll do eBook campaigns with authors and I find that when we do these, it’s great to give away copies of the book for either one day or five days. When I push this idea to publishers you can’t imagine how much they struggle with this idea. How can you control something if you give it away? Guess what? You can’t and that’s a good thing.

Here are some things, right off the bat that publishers need to work on:

Read the full article on

Posted in ebooks Tagged with: , ,

May 1st, 2013 by Michael Sauers

eBookHachette Book Group, which publishes Stephenie Meyer and Malcolm Gladwell among others, announced Wednesday that after two years of pilot programs it will offer its entire e-catalog to libraries. New books will be available simultaneously in paper and e-editions, a policy also recently adapted by Penguin Group (USA).

Read the full article @

Posted in ebooks Tagged with: ,

April 29th, 2013 by Michael Sauers


See all the photos @

Posted in Libraries Tagged with: , , ,

April 26th, 2013 by Michael Sauers

Save our booksI’m not really sure how I feel about his idea (shown right) but he does make some good points about the speed of change and whether it’s going so fast that some people aren’t really thinking it through.

Tell me about the decision to place the ad.

I do a lot of things to try to raise level of awareness of what’s going on in country right now. This is an unusual and different time for books, the most unusual in the history of this country. E-books are fine and dandy, but it’s all happening so quickly, and I don’t think anyone thought through the consequences of having many fewer bookstores, of libraries being shut down or limited, of publishers going out of business — possibly in the future, many publishers going out of business.

A lot of it had to do with getting kids reading. I have a site for school librarians, teachers, and kids to go to — It’s a fairly big site: it does a fair amount of good. And I will have 400 scholarships for teachers at 21 universities this year. I’m giving 300,000 books.

So do you think a bailout of books is actually realistic? Or was it a kind of purposefully outlandish “Modest Proposal“?

I don’t think it’s a question of bailing out, necessarily. In Germany, Italy, and France, they protect bookstores and publishers. It is widely practiced in parts of Europe. I don’t think that’s outlandish. But people have mixed feelings about the government doing anything right now.

I haven’t thought about it but I’m sure there are things that can be done. There might be tax breaks, there might be limitations on the monopolies in the book business. We haven’t gotten into laws that should or shouldn’t be done in terms of the internet. I’m not sure what needs to happen, but right now, nothing’s happening.

The press doesn’t deal with the effects of e-books as a story. Borders closing down is treated as a business story. Where we are in Westchester during the summer, you’d think that’d be a bookstore haven, and there’s nothing. And that’s not unusual. I don’t think we can be the country we’d like to be without literature.

Read the full interview @

Posted in ebooks Tagged with: , , ,

April 21st, 2013 by Michael Sauers logoHelp fund ebooks and electronic databases for Nebraska residents!

There are three requests that need to be funded:

1. NEW direct state funding for ebook and eaudio for public libraries. The request is for $925,000 or $.50 per person. This means more ebooks to check out for free!

2. NebraskAccess. Help Nebraska residents find the information they need. $25,461 for database subscriptions. $141,085 for access to eLibrary or similar database for public and private schools. The internet does not always give reliable information but these databases do!

3. Regional Library Systems. $90,000 to fund these valuable institutions that help unite libraries across the state. The six systems were established to provide access to improved library services through the cooperation of all types of libraries and media centers within the counties included in each System area.

Sign the petition @

Posted in Libraries, Politics & Law Tagged with: , ,