Anyone who has paid attention to the trends in the publishing industry is well aware that it and the book-selling industry appear to be in decline. In order to survive they need to adapt to current models which include online sales and electronic publishing and the use of social media to spread the word.
One group of readers most affected by these changes may be children. The Children’s Publishing Market Forecast 2012 has identified the fall of Border’s Book Stores as having a great impact on book sales and has the potential to decrease the number of children reading for enjoyment.
“Since the last edition of this report we’ve seen a larger number of adults buying children’s books as gifts and more categories of children’s books represented on bestseller lists, which is good news,” said Michael Norris, senior analyst of Simba Information’s Trade Books Group, commenting on the report. “The bad news is this industry is heading into its first holiday shopping season in 40 years without Borders Group as a retail partner. At this time last year, Borders had over 670 locations and about three-quarters of those were superstores. The absence of so many places to discover and buy books is going to be felt for quite a while.”-Children’s Publishing Market Forecast 2012
The report cites studies that children are more inclined to read if they themselves are able to choose what they read. It is for this reason that libraries are more relevant than ever. Children need choices in what they read and they need places to browse and discover.
It is important that we always thank our children’s teachers for the hard work they do in shaping their futures. In this light, we must also recognize the important role of librarians and library professionals and the power they have to educate, excite, and inform our children in a time where books are just as important, but may not be as readily available.