20 December 2013

PEW report: How Americans Value Public Libraries in Their Communities

From the North Carolina State Library blog, 20 Dec 2013

In December the PEW Research Center released a new report on How Americans Value  Public Libraries in Their Communities. You can download the full report here, read PEW’s summary below, or read the full report online (begin with section one here).
From the PEW Center:

Summary of Findings

Americans strongly value the role of public libraries in their communities, both for providing access to materials and resources and for promoting literacy and improving the overall quality of life. Most Americans say they have only had positive experiences at public libraries, and value a range of library resources and services.

The importance of public libraries to their communities

If your library closed, what impact would that have?Some 90% of Americans ages 16 and older said that the closing of their local public library would have an impact on their community, with 63% saying it would have a “major” impact. Asked about the personal impact of a public library closing, two-thirds (67%) of Americans said it would affect them and their families, including 29% who said it would have a major impact.
Moreover, the vast majority of Americans ages 16 and older say that public libraries play an important role in their communities:
  • 95% of Americans ages 16 and older agree that the materials and resources available at public libraries play an important role in giving everyone a chance to succeed;
  • 95% say that public libraries are important because they promote literacy and a love of reading;
  • 94% say that having a public library improves the quality of life in a community;
  • 81% say that public libraries provide many services people would have a hard time finding elsewhere.
Meanwhile, while most Americans feel that libraries have done a good job embracing new technology, they are split on whether public libraries are as essential as they were in the past for finding information:
  • Just 34% of Americans ages 16 and older of say that public libraries have not done a good job keeping up with new technologies, while 55% disagree.
  • 52% of Americans say that people do not need public libraries as much as they used to because they can find most information on their own, while 46% disagreed.

Though many library services are seen as important, there are varying levels of enthusiasm for different services

Some 91% of Americans say they have had some exposure to libraries in the past, and we asked these  respondents  a series of questions about the importance of various library services to them and their families. 1
How important are these library services to you and your family?Americans strongly value library services such as access to books and media; having a quiet, safe place to spend time, read, or study; and having librarians to help people find information. Other services, such as assistance finding and applying for jobs, are more important to particular groups, including those with lower levels of education or household income.
Women, African-Americans and Hispanics, adults who live in lower-income households, and adults with lower levels of educational attainment are more likely than other groups to declare all the library services we asked about “very important.”  Adults ages 30-64 are also more likely than younger or older respondents to say many of the services are “very important,” as are parents with minor children.
Libraries are also particularly valued by those who are unemployed, retired, or searching for a job, as well as those living with a disability and internet users who lack home internet access:
  • 56% of internet users without home access say public libraries’ basic technological resources (such as computers, internet, and printers) are “very important” to them and their family, compared with 33% of all respondents.
  • 49% of unemployed and retired respondents say they librarian assistance in finding information to be “very important,” compared with 41% of employed respondents.
  • 47% of job seekers say help finding or applying for a job is “very important” to them and their families.
  • 40% of those living with a disability say help applying for government services is “very important,” compared with 27% of those without a disability.

Most Americans know where their local library is, but many are unfamiliar with all the services they offer.

How well informed do you feel about the different services your public library offers?Libraries are well known in their communities and they are usually easy to get to and relatively easy to navigate. Asked about their ability to access public libraries and public library websites:
  • 91% of Americans say they know where the closest public library is to where they currently live; among these respondents, most said the closest public library is five miles or less away from their home.
  • 93% of Americans say that it would be easy to visit a public library in person if they wanted to, with 62% saying it would be “very easy.”
  • Similarly, 82% of Americans overall say it would be easy to use their local public library’s website, with 47% saying it would be “very easy.”
  • 91% of Americans who have ever used a public library say it is not difficult to find what they’re looking for, including 35% who say it is “very easy.”
Despite the fact that libraries are easily available to most, there are large numbers of Americans who say they are not sure about all the services libraries offer. Echoing the findings of our 2012 survey, 23% of those who have ever used a public library said they feel like they know all or most of the service and programs their library offers, while a plurality (47%) said that they know some of what it offers. About one in five (20%) say they don’t know very much about what is offered, and 10% say they know “nothing at all.”

54% of Americans have used a public library in the past 12 months, and 72% live in a “library household”

Over half (54%) of Americans  ages 16 and older have used a public library in some way in the past 12 months, whether by visiting in person or using a public library website:
  • 81% of Americans ages 16 and older have visited a public library or bookmobile at one point or another in their lives; 48% of Americans have done so in the past 12 months, down from 53% in 2012.
  • 44% of those ages 16 and older have visited a public library website; 30% of Americans have done so in the past 12 months, up from 25% in 2012.
Additionally, among parents with minor children living at home, 70% say that a child in the house has visited a public library or bookmobile in the past 12 months.
Taken together, this means that 72% of all Americans ages 16 and older have either used a public library in the past 12 months or live in a household where another family member or a child is an active recent user of the library.

Most Americans who have ever used a public library have had positive experiences

Among all Americans who have ever used a public library:
  • 94% said that based on their own experiences, they would say that “public libraries are welcoming, friendly place.”
  • 91% said that they personally have never had a negative experience using a public library, either in person or online.
  • 67% said that the public library nearest to where they live could be described as a “nice, pleasant space to be”; another 22% say it’s an “okay space, but could use some improvements.”
  1. This includes the 86% of Americans ages 16 and older who have ever visited a library or used a library website, and the 54% of Americans who say other members of their household are library users. 

17 December 2013

For The First Time, a Library in Mariners Harbor, Staten Island

Monday, December 16, 2013
By Annmarie Fertoli : Associate Producer, WNYC News

Staten Island's Mariners Harbor branch is the New York Public Library's 88th. (Courtesy New York Public Library)
The New York Public Library is opening its 88th branch Monday, in the Staten Island neighborhood of Mariners Harbor.
NYPL President Tony Marx said it'll be stocked with 17,000 books, and offer community programs like English as a Second Language and computer skills classes to a neighborhood that's never had its own branch library.
"The library is the sort of center of neighborhood civic life as well as community learning centers, especially in neighborhoods where not everyone can afford their own books or afford their own computers or broadband," he said.
The branch cost about $12.5 million, and was funded by the borough, city and state.
"We're eager to make sure that every neighborhood in New York has a great library," Marx said. "That was Andrew Carnegie's vision, originally, and we are working hard to live up to it."
The libraries founded by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie still form the nucleus of the New York Public Library.

26 October 2013

Turning A Page Inside A Rural One-Room Library

by JENNIFER DAVIDSON on NPR, October 21, 2013 3:06 AM

Rachel Reynolds Luster became the Myrtle, Mo., librarian four months ago. The town rests in the rural Ozarks, about 5 miles north of the Arkansas state line. The nearest major bookstore is two hours away.
Rachel Reynolds Luster became the Myrtle, Mo., librarian four months ago. The town rests in the rural Ozarks, about 5 miles north of the Arkansas state line. The nearest major bookstore is two hours away.
There's one state highway running through Myrtle, Mo. It's a sleepy town in the Ozarks, population about 300. There's no bank or restaurant here, but enormous oak and persimmon trees loom over a small stone building right next to the road. Half of it is a post office; the other half, a one-room public library.

Rachel Reynolds Luster took over this branch four months ago with the goal of creating a learning hub. She calls herself a curator, not just a librarian.

Her first task? Filtering out some of the favorites of the previous librarian.

"It's been interesting working this transition with her," Luster says. "She was quite upset that the cooking magazines were gone. But we recycled them all, and we kept some holiday cookie editions."

Luster checks out books for frequent library visitor Phyllis Smith. Luster says she thinks of herself as a book curator.Enlarge image Luster checks out books for frequent library visitor Phyllis Smith. Luster says she thinks of herself as a book curator.

Jennifer Davidson/KSMU Luster scanned her shelves for the one book she felt every library must have: the Greek epic The Odyssey. "I looked, and we didn't have one — no library in our system had one," she says.

Luster checks out books for frequent library visitor Phyllis Smith. Luster says she thinks of herself as a book curator.
Luster checks out books for frequent library visitor Phyllis Smith. Luster says she thinks of herself as a book curator.

Connecting Rural Communities


While the Myrtle library receives taxpayer money, it gets only $200 a month for books and supplies. So Luster has used social media to garner donations from people around the state. She's already secured about 1,000 new books.

She's one of thousands of rural librarians trying to bring a sense of community, learning and connectedness to their isolated areas. The Institute of Museum and Library Services estimates that nearly half of America's public libraries are rural, and many of those are staffed by only one or two people.

"Often, the library is the only place in a small community that people can go to access technology, to fill out job applications, to continue their learning," says Tena Hanson of the Association for Rural and Small Libraries.

She says libraries in remote places are lifelines for rural communities because the Internet doesn't always reach towns with rugged terrain.

The Myrtle branch is open only three days a week. So far, Luster has hosted bake sales, book fairs and weekly story time for kids. That's in addition to her duties as a mom, the parent-teacher organization president, the fiddle player in a band and a Ph.D. candidate.

One of Luster's patrons is 10-year-old Blake Brooks. His dad is a truck driver, and his mom stays at home with their five kids.

Before discovering this library, Blake's favorite pastime was digging up worms and beetles. Now, he steps off the school bus, finishes his chores and homework, and just ... reads. He says he likes to imagine he's in the books he reads.

On this day, Luster has a thick green book waiting for him. It's The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. Blake has never heard of it before. He checks out the book, tucks it under his arm and heads off to start his next adventure.

12 August 2013

For Disaster Preparedness: Pack A Library Card?

by JOEL ROSE on NPR August 12, 2013 2:58 AM

Volunteers at the Queens Library in the Far Rockaway section of Queens hand out coats to people affected by Hurricane Sandy.
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, libraries in New York helped the storm's victims turn a new page. Librarians helped thousands of people fill out relief forms, connect to the Internet and make plans to rebuild.

The New Dorp branch of the New York Public Library in Staten Island wasn't damaged during Sandy. But just a few blocks away, houses were inundated with as much as 16 feet of water. And days after the storm, many of the library's patrons still lacked the most basic services.

"We even had people asking if they could use the restrooms to clean up a little bit," says Barbara Byrne-Goldie, a librarian at New Dorp. "They still didn't have running water, or hot water. So we came in very handy as community centers, that's for sure."

“They still didn't have running water, or hot water. So we came in very handy as community centers, that's for sure. Byrne-Goldie, who has been at the New Dorp branch for nearly 20 years, says she and the other librarians knew many of those patrons personally and went out of their way to help. "People registering for FEMA — we showed them after we learned how to help them to register online for FEMA. That was a big request. And then just being an ear to listen compassionately. And maybe hug someone if you've known them from working with them for years here."

Later, the library hosted free financial-planning seminars for Sandy victims. And it wasn't just local residents who used the New Dorp library in the days after the storm. "We had groups of FEMA workers," Byrne-Goldie says. "We had groups of Red Cross workers using our facility as a gathering place, and also to print out information about streets and what house had they knocked on the door of yet."

Across the city, libraries were packed in the days after the storm as New Yorkers struggled to get back on their feet. New York Public Library President Anthony Marx says he'd never seen anything like it.

Like hundreds of New Yorkers, Marx spent the week after the storm at the library's mid-Manhattan branch because the flagship Fifth Avenue building — the one with the lions in front — still didn't have power. "We had twice as many people as we would usually have, despite the fact that the subway wasn't working — it was hard to get here. You could just see that New Yorkers love their library," he says.

And it's not just New Yorkers. Across the country, in places like Louisiana and Oklahoma, libraries have served as crucial hubs for information and help in the aftermath of hurricanes and tornadoes. And federal emergency planners have noticed. "The Federal Emergency Management Agency classified libraries as an essential service — like one of the things that would get early funding so that communities could recover," says Jessamyn West, a librarian in Vermont and a moderator of the popular blog MetaFilter.

"People are finding in the wake of the natural disasters that we've seen — lots and lots of flooding and hurricanes and storms and tornadoes — that getting the library up and running with Internet connectivity or air conditioning or clean bathrooms or a place that you can plug in your phone really has benefit to a community that's in a recovery situation," she adds.

At the tiny South Beach library branch in Staten Island, staff members like Kathleen McKenzie found themselves working as de facto therapists for patrons who were hard-hit by Sandy. "They'd stop and speak for hours to us. Just pour their hearts out," she says. "So what we did was offer what the library offered and that was to not charge any fees or fines and excuse anything that was lost in Hurricane Sandy. But we also asked if we could do anything on a personal level."

In one case, the librarians went beyond NYPL policy and reached into their own pockets to help longtime patron Rosalind Gutierrez. "They really felt bad for me," she says. "And I didn't want to take anything, 'cause I'm not like that. But I had to take."

Gutierrez is something of a legend inside the New York Public Library. Over the years, she's gathered tens of thousands of signatures to protest cuts to the NYPL's budget. During Sandy, her home in Staten Island was flooded. She ended up having to sell the ruined structure for just $50,000. Gutierrez — and her family of five people and two dogs — had nowhere to stay, so the library staff pooled their resources to give her some money to sleep in a hotel.

Gutierrez is returning the favor. "I already lost everything," she says. "I didn't want to lose this place either. I just didn't want to lose something that I've been working for." After the storm, she redoubled her advocacy for the library — with some extra inspiration from a famous underdog.

"Before I go out, I prepare myself. I listen to the Rocky theme song. And it works me up. I do my warm-up, you know, mentally, physically. And then I go out and do it. ... No matter how hard you get hit, it's how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward," she says. Gutierrez estimates she has gathered more than 4,000 signatures since Hurricane Sandy. It's her way of paying the South Beach library back for everything it's done for her — and her community — since the storm. And this year, there were no cuts to the NYPL's budget.

08 August 2013

Libraries' Leading Roles: On Stage, On Screen And In Song

by BOB MONDELLO, on NPR, August 07, 2013 4:31 PM

When I was 9, I spent a lot of time at a public library just down the street; I was already a theater nerd, and it had a well-stocked theater section. Not just books, but original cast albums for Broadway shows old and new. One day, an addition: The Music Man, about a salesman who was crazy about a girl named, as one song put it, "Marrrrrrrion, madam librarian."

I just assumed our librarian, who was maybe 23, was that most regrettable of midcentury things, a "spinster." (She was so much older than my baby-sitters.) Later I learned that The Music Man was spoofing that idea, by making Marian young — maybe 23 — and sexy once she let down her hair and utterly irresistible to the traveling salesman, who'd presumably had many a fling.

But then of course the Spinster Librarian is a durable literary construct and hardly the only one I picked up from pop culture. Others include librarians as detectives, libraries as fortresses protecting us from ignorance, whole science-fiction worlds devoted to the storage of ideas and history. Like, say, the deserted planet in an early episode of Star Trek that seems the only remaining trace of an entire civilization.

It's hardly surprising that writers, who deal all the time with words, would find fascination in great repositories of them — Jorge Luis Borges, imagining the universe as a "Library of Babel" containing all possible books; Neil Gaiman stocking Lucien's Library, in The Sandman, with every volume anyone has ever dreamed of writing but never written; George Lucas imagining holobooks and datasticks for his Jedi Temple library; a whole universe's worth of knowledge stored in Doctor Who on a planet-sized library that contains whole continents of biographies.

On Earth As It Is In The Heavens


These are all otherworldly libraries, not much resembling the Terran ones where you can actually check out a book. But pop culture is littered with those, too. Sometimes they're pictured as dreadful dead ends, as in It's a Wonderful Life, when Clarence reveals to George Bailey that without him around, his wife Mary Hatch would never have married; instead she'd've spent lonely evenings closing up the library after everyone had gone home. (That spinster librarian thing again — fate worse than death, right?) Happily, that was the same year an eager young bibliophile was haunting her local bibliotheque in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, trying to read every book on the shelves in alphabetical order, so she would know "everything in the world."

Knowing everything in the world would make her — well, a librarian, more or less. They know so much, in fact, that they can even beat computers, or at least Katharine Hepburn could in 1957's Desk Set. Admittedly, while she could quote Longfellow from memory, she was also a little high-strung. Happily, Spencer Tracy was around to calm her down.

The notion of librarians as obsessive and almost devout about books leads naturally to connections between religion and libraries. In literature, that's reflected in, say, the illiterate monks of A Canticle for Leibowitz, who archive what's left of civilization after an atomic war. Or the friars in The Name of the Rose, a medieval mystery in which a Franciscan realizes that a series of priestly suicides may be related to what cannot be found in the monastery's library.

"Where are the books?" he wonders, as the author turns the abbey's library into a maze, in both a literal and a literary sense, providing fun for readers and lending the stacks an air of excitement they don't always possess.

That complements the cool factor that teen fiction has bestowed on libraries, which often offer a little something extra in that genre — the dragon section Harry Potter could consult at Hogwarts, for instance, and the towering bookshelves Belle fell for before she fell for the Beast who owned them. The archive where Batgirl was a librarian. And of course, the school library perched atop a hellmouth at Sunnydale High, where the point is less getting students to read than it is giving Buffy and her vampire-slaying buddies the tools to fight for their lives.

When A School Failed A Giant, A Library Offered Refuge


There are few weapons more powerful than facts and ideas, and as libraries are full of those, they naturally appeal to firebrands. Playwright August Wilson, for instance, who wrote Fences, The Piano Lesson and the eight other plays in a decalogue that's among the crowning achievements of American theater. As a 1960s teenager, Wilson practically lived at his local library, which turned out to be great for his writing, less great for his grades. He penned one paper on Napoleon that was so well researched, his history teacher rejected it.

"He didn't think I had written it," remembered the playwright many years later, adding that at 15, this so infuriated him that he threw it in a wastebasket and stomped out of school, never to return.

Where he went instead — avoiding truant officers for three years, while getting an education good enough to inspire Pulitzer Prize-winning art — was Pittsburgh's public library.

Germaine Greer wrote that "a library is a place where you can lose your innocence without losing your virginity," and songwriters have joined poets and philosophers to offer their own takes on that notion — from Jimmy Buffett, in his song "Love in the Library," to Tori Amos, who on her album Tales of a Librarian arranged the tracks according to the Dewey Decimal System.

In songs and books and movies and art, libraries are sanctuaries, places of bustling quiet, storehouses of ideas that fuel the imagination.

"When you're growing up," a wise man once said, "there are two institutional places that affect you most powerfully: the church, which belongs to God, and the public library, which belongs to you."

That wise man was Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, who ran up thousands of dollars in overdue-book fees.

Don't believe me? I know where you could look it up.

31 May 2013

New York City Public Libraries - continuing to be a third place

NYC's Public Libraries

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Pause
05:10 / 26:25
An Andrew Carnegie Library, built in 1904.Queens Library Poppenhusen Branch (Wally Gobetz/flickr)
Linda Johnson, president and CEO of The Brooklyn Public Library, Thomas Galante, president and CEO of Queens Library and Anthony Marx, president of New York Public Library, come together to talk about the common issues facing their systems and how the libraries are keeping pace with technological and demographic changes in the city.

23 May 2013

Paperless public libraries switch to digital

By Bill Hicks, BBC, 22 May 2013

The phrase "bookless libraries" arrives with a dull, oxymoronic thud, enough to get the blood of any bibliophile boiling.
It's the sort of thud made in the 1980s by doomed reports promising a "paperless office". Anyone who remembers that much-mocked slogan might well shrug off this latest idea as overheated punditry.
Or perhaps they should think again, as the world's first completely paperless public library is scheduled to open this summer in Bexar County, Texas, in the United States.
Bexar County's so-called BiblioTech is a low-cost project with big ambitions. Its first branch will be in a relatively poor district on the city of San Antonio's South Side.
It will have 100 e-readers on loan, and dozens of screens where the public will be able to browse, study, and learn digital skills. However it's likely most users will access BiblioTech's initial holding of 10,000 digital titles from the comfort of their homes, way out in the Texas hinterland.
It will be a truly bookless library - although that is not a phrase much to the liking of BiblioTech's project co-ordinator, Laura Cole. She prefers the description "digital library" - after all, there will be books there, but in digital form.
'Not even a bookstore...'
"For us this was just an obvious solution to a growing problem," she says.
That problem was "explosive" population growth around San Antonio, in suburbs and satellite towns way outside the city limits.
Bookless libraryThe BiblioTech library in San Antonio, Texas, will offer 10,000 digital titles
"We've had to look to how we provide services to these unincorporated areas," she said.
"While the city does a beautiful job in providing public libraries, these can only easily be used by people living there".
San Antonio's book-rich public libraries will be unaffected by the project.
Bexar County, by contrast, never had a public library service. "I think we're at an advantage there," Ms Cole said. "They've never had a library with books - there's not even a bookstore here."
This sets it apart from earlier bookless library experiments at Newport Beach, California, and Tucson, Arizona - which both reverted to offering real as well as e-books, by public demand.
As well as offering digital books to 1.7m people, the $1.5m BiblioTech project has a big community education remit. It will partner with local schools and run digital literacy courses and will stay open late into the evenings.
The iLibrary
The project's instigator, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, sees it as a pilot for a county-wide scheme. Other sources of funding will be sought to build up the services.
But the project has also gained impetus from the success of the University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA) bookless engineering school library which opened three years ago, the first paperless academic library. UTSA's director of libraries Dr Krisellen Maloney has worked with the BiblioTech team and sits on its advisory board.
Outside Texas, bookless libraries have also made most ground in the academic sector, with the swiftest change in science, maths and engineering libraries.
The first such facility in the UK is likely to be at Imperial College, London, which last year announced that over 98% of its journal collections were digital, and that it had stopped buying print textbooks.
Even so, it was still paying around £4m per year in subscriptions to publishers, even after concerted efforts to negotiate better digital deals for universities.
Touching history
It's clear that bookless libraries are not a cheaper option for cash strapped colleges and local authorities. Producing digital versions of text books can be even more costly, given that users will expect more regular updating and interactive features.
New York Public LibraryThe New York Public Library is also increasingly lending e-books
There are some libraries which will never go bookless, because their collections contain books that are important historical artefacts in themselves.
Although many of these rare texts are being digitised under schemes such as that run by Google, these books as physical objects remain essential resources for researchers.
Christopher Platt, director of collections and circulation at the New York Public Library (NYPL), argued that accessing a digital version of a book was sometimes not enough.
"People travel from all over the world to our library, not just to access an item, but to touch it and feel it to get a sense of it that speaks to the overall importance of the work," he said. "This is not sentimentality, it's an important fact."
However the NYPL is also embracing the digital world with enthusiasm and is deeply committed to offering digital material.
Last year the library made 880,000 e-book loans - a fivefold increase over 2008, Mr Platt said. The library has 91 branches around the city, he added: "If you look at e-book loans as a virtual branch, it would regularly be number two or three in terms of monthly usage."
On the shelf
Contrary to some reports, the NYPL is not reducing its holdings of books - although some 1.5 million books in the stacks of its famous Central Library building on 42nd Street in Manhattan will be relocated in underground vaults as part of a refurbishment scheme beginning this year.
Illustrated manuscriptBooks in their physical form are also important for researchers
The space will be used to create a "spectacular" new public library , but it will not be bookless. "In fact, far more books will be visible than ever in the past," Mr Platt said.
But bookless does not mean cheap. Publishers were charging libraries up to five times the normal hardback price for an e-book of a popular title, he said. And certain types of book - illustrated children's titles, how-to manuals - simply did not work as well as e-books, especially when some library e-readers were still text-only.
This was just one of many reasons, he felt, that bookless libraries would not be sweeping the board just yet.
A major issue was to obtain guarantees of a consistently good reader experience across all platforms and technologies - something which NYPL, along with 200 other big libraries across north America, and increasingly elsewhere, is working towards in a new coalition, readersfirst.org.
Library closures
In the UK, however, the major issue was not so much bookless libraries but library-less boroughs. Authors have been particularly active in campaigns to resist funding cuts that are leading to public library closures.
British LibraryThe British Library is bringing together printed books and digital archives
Children's author Alan Gibbons is a passionate believer in the role of libraries, especially school libraries, but he's also a keen user of the panoply of "e" and "i" prefixed devices.
But he has misgivings about the notion of a bookless library. "We have to manage the change intelligently. The danger is that reading becomes utterly atomised". Otherwise there could be the "obliteration of minority and mid-list authors".
He argues that the library space and the librarian are crucial elements. Books could be replaced by e-readers, but virtual space could not replace library buildings. "The only issue for me is how new readers are made, and I don't see that happening in social networks."
Working in international schools in China and Thailand, Mr Gibbons noted that even in the most elite schools where very child was given an iPad, the school library, stocked with real books, was seen as an essential resource.
Christopher Platt at New York Public Library has another take on the bookless future: "It's still early game. We've been 100 years getting the print stuff right, so it could be a while before we get the e-stuff right."