MAY 14, 2021
BY BAKER & TAYLOR
An update to the Public Library Market from Baker & Taylor
CHARLOTTE, N.C., May 14, 2021
Baker & Taylor begins the new year with a renewed sense of optimism, which we hope you feel as well. The last year has been the most challenging business environment for the library and book distribution industry. Much work remains to be done before we can claim a full recovery, but we are confident that time will come soon.
A recent study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the COVID-19 pandemic caused a 45% increase in employee absenteeism in 2020 versus previous years across the U.S. economy. The impact of this pervasive workforce interruption on the economy cannot yet be fully calculated. The entire chain has been greatly affected in numerous ways by the complex and ever-changing elements of the global pandemic and all are pivoting quickly to accommodate the ever-changing conditions.
During this time of change and challenge, I have repeatedly asked our team at Baker & Taylor to strive for patience while exhibiting two key traits - grit and kindness. While Baker & Taylor has experienced challenges within our supply chain, logistics channels and daily operations, we continue to exhibit grit as we address these obstacles and resolve any delays. We've greatly increased cross-training in our facilities to balance absences and have leveraged remote working arrangements, wellness screenings, social distancing practices and the use of personal protective equipment for our employees' health and safety. We continue to address our challenges in relentless fashion and with kindness for our customers and colleagues.
Despite the many challenges we've faced during this year, Baker & Taylor has successfully launched creative new products and services that support the diverse needs of your library and patrons. Digital partnerships with brands such as Highlights and PressReader and the launch of BTCat, B&T's own cataloging utility, all promote content enhancement and impactful workflow assistance. Our new Sustainable Shelves Program helps libraries realize revenue and provides environmentally friendly disposal of unwanted materials. Additionally, we continue to add exciting enhancements and workflow benefits to Title Source 360, the tool our library partners utilize daily.
I encourage you to contact your Baker & Taylor Sales Consultant to talk about your goals for today and your vision for tomorrow. Our customers have accepted that we may not be able to control the challenges within the book distribution chain and we are thankful for your partnership and loyalty. Together we as an industry will weather this storm and come out ahead.