Friday, April 5, 2013

Circulation of Print Travel Books: Still the Same, Going Down Slowly, or Tumbling

Well, in some reported cases, it's going up.

Fond du Lac Public Library.  (Statistics shared by Jon Mark Bolthouse, Director)
Still going by the book in Fond du Lac!

Middleton Public Library  (Statistics provided by Jason Boak, Acquisitions & Serials)

Jason notes that the circulation of books in the 910-919 range comprised 11% of total nonfiction book circulation at Middleton in March 2013.

No surprise here, as travel books have always been a popular item.

Edgerton Public Library (shared by Sherry Machones, Director)
Our statistics have gone down since 2008, but for [year to date] we have 12% higher circulation of them compared to [last year to date].. We also mostly carry Fodor's guides which is what the patrons prefer here.

Durand Public Library  (shared by Patti Blount, Director)
We are still the same when people want to plan a trip and see where they want to go. We have people that check them out all of the time. We just did an overhaul of the collection a couple of years ago because a memorial donation was given with specific instructions to focus on this area. We bought new updated books for all the areas that we have and ones we always wanted to get. 

Prescott Public Library  (shared by Becky Arenivar, Programming Specialist)
Our travel books seem to be holding their own. As a small library, we don't have up-to-date copies for most travel destinations, but the MORE system does and people often request multiple books, including Frommer's when they are going to be traveling. No stats, but anecdotal evidence of travel book popularity: 

Patrons like to sit and look at travel books when they are in the early stages of planning, to get ideas and get excited about a trip. Websites are great for up-to-the-minute info, but it's not like curling up on a comfy couch with a book about the Bahamas during a snowstorm.

New Glarus Public Library  (shared by Maggie Waggoner, Director)
Going down slowly but still surprisingly robust.

Beaver Dam Public Library (shared by Sue Mevis, Director)
In Beaver Dam they have been going down slowly each year until last year when it really tumbled.

And then there's this comment, which I will share anonymously.

Travelers that come into our library looking for information on a travel destination generally ask to see DVDs first, then other material. They would be interested in the travel guides as well, but across the library system most of the guides are several years old so they aren't as usable. It seems that libraries aren't keeping their guides current. 

Frommer seems to think the interest is there.

Arthur Frommer Gets Frommer Brand Back From Google. (The New York Times, 4/3/2013)

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