Valentine’s Day Facts & Figures

Heart-shaped boxes of chocolate, red roses, romantic dinners and poetic greeting cards are just a few of the ways millions of Americans will be celebrating Valentine’s Day this Sunday.  Here are some interesting Valentine’s Day facts from a few of the library’s databases and some other industry experts:

Sales are Looking Rosy

In 2009, a Mintel consumer survey found that the average per-person expenditure for Valentine’s Day was $102.50. 1 According to industry research firm IBISWorld, total Valentine’s Day spending (measured for seven categories – Dining Out, Romantic Getaway, Greeting Cards, Clothing & Intimate Apparel, Candy, Jewelry, Flowers) is anticipated to increase 3.3% over last year to $17.6 billion dollars this year. 2

Please Mr. Postman

Although Valentine’s Day cards date back to the 1400s in Europe, Massachusetts native Esther Howland can be credited with being the first American publisher of Valentine cards in the 1840s.  Her paper lace cards fetched from $5 to $10 (and you thought today’s greeting cards were expensive)! 3 According to the Greeting Card Association, Valentine’s Day is now the second most popular card-giving occasion (after Christmas), with an estimated 190 million Valentine’s Days cards being exchanged this year (over 1 billion if you count school-children’s classroom Valentine exchanges). 4

Love is Sweet

Candy conversation hearts galore!  According to market research firm Mintel, the National Retail Foundation reports that after cards (58%), candy is the top Valentine’s Day gift (48%).  In fact, in 2007, Valentine’s Day candy sales reached $83 million.5 The U.S. Census reports that the per capita candy consumption by Americans in 2008 was 23.8 pounds. 6 (This fact is not surprising, considering how quickly our office candy bowl gets emptied!)

Happy Valentine’s Day from the Staff of the Bentley Library!

[1] “Holiday Shopping – US – June 2009″. Mintel Oxygen database. 2009. Web. 11 Feb. 2010. <http://academic.mintel.com>
[2] “Valentine’s Day Sales Shift From Retail To Restaurants”. IBISWorld Press Release. 1 Feb. 2010. Web. 11 Feb. 2010. <http://www.ibisworld.com/pressrelease/pressrelease.aspx?prid=214>.
[3]  “A Brief History of Valentine’s Day Cards”. Greeting Card Association Press Release.  n.d.  Web. 11 Feb. 2010. <http://www.greetingcard.org/userfiles/file/V%20Day%20history10.pdf>.
[4] “Americans and Valentine’s Day”.  Greeting Card Association Press Release. n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2010. <http://www.greetingcard.org/userfiles/file/2010%20Valentines%20Day.pdf>.
[5] “Holiday Shopping – US – June 2009″. Mintel Oxygen database. 2009. Web. 11 Feb. 2010. <http://academic.mintel.com>.
[6] “Facts for Features – Valentine’s Day 2010: Feb. 14″. U.S. Census Press Release. 15 Dec. 2009. Web. 11 Feb. 2010. <http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/014493.html>.

Microfilm Goes Digital

30 Day Trial of a New Microfilm Reader/Scanner ends February 12, 2010

You may be surprised to hear that microfilm is alive and well, but anyone who has conducted historical research or obtained a dissertation via Interlibrary Loan knows that microfilm is still very much a reality. The good news is that microfilm technology has changed some, and the library is currently test-driving a digital microfilm machine. This machine allows the content of microfilm to be digitally scanned to be saved, emailed and/or printed to the library printers.

We encourage you to stop by and take it for a spin.  Our trial of the machine ends February 12…please stop by the Library Services Desk before then and let us know you’d like to be introduced to the ST200X digital microfilm machine.

Faculty Workshop: Creating ProQuest, EBSCO, JSTOR, & CSA Static Links

The Bentley Library is offering the following workshop for faculty and Ph.D. students:

Creating ProQuest, EBSCO, JSTOR, & CSA Static Links
Monday, February 1, 2010@ 2:10pm (Activity Period)
Research Instruction Center (RIC), Library Lower Level, Room 011

A number of Bentley databases offer “persistent” or static links to articles that can be accessed for several years. Vendors such as EBSCOHost, ProQuest, JSTOR, and CSA provide different levels of linking to full-text articles and bibliographic citations.  This workshop will show you how to create durable links to articles with the comfort of knowing that copyright permission and royalties have been taken care of by Bentley’s site license.

Static links to database content can be used with your Blackboard course sites, online bibliographies, or personal websites. Workshop attendees will also learn how to make links available to off-campus users by including a proxy server tag with a static URL.

Please RSVP for this workshop by sending email to library@bentley.edu.