Friday, August 21, 2015

People Get their News Online by a Wide Margin


When it comes to getting your daily news fix, most people are reading online instead of watching TV or picking up a newspaper.

A recent Reuters Institute Digital News Report found that 43% of Americans tapped online sources as their “main source of news” compared to 40%  for TV, which for decades was the top news source in the nation. It also found that “printed newspapers” are at their lowest point for being a news source, even below social media websites.

Magazines are also declining as circulation has decreased 11.4% this year following a 14.2% drop in the last six months of 2014. The biannual Alliance for Audited Media found that “total paid circulation” for 86 of the 125 top magazines, reported a staggering 71% circulation drop, according to a report in Media Life Magazine.

I think when it comes down to it, people don’t want to pay for news anymore and growth for the print industry is either falling or flat lining.

When public libraries and community schools work together everybody wins

I'm lucky. I grew up in a household that believed in the importance of reading every day. Our mother, a teacher for nearly four decades, instilled in us how books can enrich our lives. We went to the library often, participating in reading programs like "Book It" and "Accelerated Reader". We got lost in the seemingly endless aisles and stacks of books.

FindtheRightBookNot only was reading an institution in our home but it was also stressed at our elementary school. The local public library partnered with our school to help sign up kids for library cards and get students engaged with reading. Having the library work side by side with our school created a feeling of familiarity. It made the library a part of our everyday life. Borrowing books wasn't a unique experience but rather something that was a part of our routine.

Many libraries and schools still partner this way but if you aren't doing so, now is the perfect time to start. Back to school time is a great "excuse" to introduce students to the library and with access to your digital collection it's never been easier for them to access titles for required reading, source materials for papers or, of course, for enjoyment!

Many students aren't as lucky as I was. They may not have a strong influence in their household guiding them to the library. By joining forces with local schools you can help be that driving force. Working with your community schools provides the students greater access to vital resources and it also creates a brand new group of users for you. It's a win-win. September is Library Card Sign Up Month and a free library card is the most important back-to-school supply. What better time to introduce young readers to everything you have to offer. You never know, you might be the one thing that makes today a young student's lucky day.


Adam Sockel is a Social Media Specialist with OverDrive

Skycademy Update

The last month here at Pi Towers has been a busy one, as we’ve been preparing for our first ever Skycademy event. Since announcing it a couple of months ago we’ve had a great response from educators and youth leaders looking to run their own high-altitude project.

Having only ever done one launch myself, the team and I decided that a practice run was necessary. So back in July we invited Dave Akerman up to Cambridge and launched, chased and recovered our own payload. The whole experience was shared via Twitter.

From launch…

…throughout the flight…

…to recovery.

We even got to traipse through a ditch (an obligatory part of any HAB recovery surely?)


The day was great and now were really excited to be repeating the experience with our 24 Skycademy attendees, who will join us next week from the 24th – 26th. Some of them have been quite excited too…

The plan for the three days is loosely as follows:

  • Day 1 – Orientation, training and preparation
  • Day 2 – A series of flights launched by the teams (from approximately 10:30 onwards)
  • Day 3 – Review, evaluation and planning future launches.

If you would like to follow what’s going on over the three days you can do so by keeping an eye on the #skycademy hashtag on Twitter, where you’ll find out how to track the payloads using links that we will share on the day.

Also keep an eye on the hourly predictions for landing sites. Let’s hope conditions improve a little, or we’ll all need boats!




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