Today I am reposting this excellent press release from the Panorama Project. You can use this to help readers, meet demand, make displays, promote more than the 5 titles people have been talking about, etc....
Full disclosure as I do with any Panorama Project List, I am a member of one of their advisory committees and presented for them at ALA 2019.
Click here for the original post.
CROSS-INDUSTRY INITIATIVE IDENTIFIES TITLES WITH UNMET DEMAND BEYOND THE BESTSELLERS
With bookstores and libraries closed to the public in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, library ebooks and Amazon have become critical platforms for readers. As civil unrest swept across the country alongside the pandemic, interest in New York Times Bestsellers Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility and Ibram X. Kendi’s How to Be an Antiracist spiked as they appeared on myriad anti-racist and social justice book lists. The demand for both books was so high that print editions were on backorder from bookstores, and few libraries had enough copies of the ebooks to meet local demand..
The Panorama Project, in collaboration with the Washington Post, has released a customized version of its Panorama Picks to spotlight a broader range of titles of interest to readers that are similar to the most frequently recommended titles on anti-racist reading lists. The nine regional lists include a total of 42 unique titles published between 2003–2020, all related to civil rights, and race and ethnic relations—reflecting the diverse interests and perspectives of readers in each region.
“Almost every ‘anti-racist’ reading list I’ve seen features the same five or ten books, and several of them have re-appeared on national bestseller lists as a result,” said Panorama Project lead, Guy LeCharles Gonzalez. “Usually, Panorama Picks’ primary goal is to identify recent titles that have moved past their initial marketing windows but have unmet demand in libraries—useful data for local booksellers and authors. In this case, the surge in ‘anti-racist’ book lists led to print editions of several of the most frequently recommended titles selling out and going on backorder, so there was unmet demand on the retail side, too.”
The Panorama Project was interested in learning more about that demand. “We wanted to see what that demand looked like in public libraries, how it varied by region, and what related titles readers were interested in that weren’t being featured on these lists,” continued Gonzalez. Working with reporters Brittany Mayes and Lauren Tierney from The Washington Post to identify the most relevant BISAC Subject Headings, we applied a modified version of our Picks’ methodology to create these lists, and the results are fascinating.”
Among titles with notable unmet demand at public libraries within a single American Booksellers Association (ABA) region were Radley Balko's Rise of the Warrior Cop (New England), Chris Myers Asch's Chocolate City (New Atlantic), Shelby Steele's Shame (Southeast), Tim Madigan's The Burning (Mountains & Plains), Sabrina Strings' Fearing the Black Body (Pacific Northwest), Walter Thompson-Hernandez's The Compton Cowboys (California), and Jim Wallis' America's Original Sin (Hawaii).
The Great Lakes and Midwest were the only ABA regions without a unique title on their lists, but Daniel Hill’s White Awake was notably popular in the Great Lakes, and ranked high in the Mountains & Plains and Pacific Northwest regions, too. Resmaa Menakem's My Grandmother's Hands made the list in seven different regions, topping the Midwest list; it was also one of 14 Panorama Picks (33%) on Backorder at Bookshop.org as of Monday, June 29th.
Titles that were popular in multiple regions but had limited availability in public libraries to meet reader demand include Menakem's My Grandmother's Hands, Beverly Daniel Tatum's Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? (20th Anniversary Edition), Alex S. Vitale's The End of Policing, Mikki Kendall's Hood Feminism, Richard Rothstein's The Color of Law, and Barack Obama's Dreams from My Father.
The following BISAC codes were selected by Post reporters based on the BISACs of titles appearing in best sellers lists in recent weeks that focus on anti-racism and social justice themes.
SOC001000: SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / American / African American Studies
SOC070000: SOCIAL SCIENCE / Race & Ethnic Relations
SOC031000: SOCIAL SCIENCE / Discrimination
BIO002010: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Cultural, Ethnic & Regional / African American & Black
POL004000: POLITICAL SCIENCE / Civil Rights
For this analysis, the Panorama Project tweaked its methodology to focus on the specific BISACs and ignored publication date to capture a comprehensive look at overall subject demand in libraries, rather than just recently published titles bookstores might still have in stock. The lists measure public library activity from March 1 – April 21, 2020, encompassing the days right before the video of Ahmed Arbery's murder went viral through Juneteenth weekend which is when the majority of “anti-racist” book lists were published and widely shared.
For more information on Panorama Picks, visit: panoramaproject.org/panorama-picks