Thursday Threads: HarperCollins, Google Book Search Settlement, DPLA, Juggling Robots

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It is another e-books issue of DLTJ Thursday Threads with updates on three significant efforts: HarperCollins, Google Book Search Settlement, Digital Public Library of America. And, just for fun and to keep this from turning into purely a legal and blue-sky policy blog, we have a video of juggling robots.

Code4Lib Virtual Lightning Talks — First round, April 4th 2011

One of the highlights of the Code4Lib annual meeting is the “lightning talk” rounds. A lightning talk is a fast-paced 5 minute talk on a topic of the presenter’s choosing. They are usually scheduled on an ad-hoc, first-come-first-served basis on the day of the event. They are an opportunity to provide a platform for someone who is just getting started with public speaking, who wants to ask a question or invite people to help with a project, or for someone to boast about something he or she did or tell a short cautionary story. These things are all interesting and worth talking about, but there might not be enough to say about them to fill up a full session timeslot.

Thursday Threads: Google Books Settlement, Cornell on NDAs, Hans Rosling on Literacy

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This week’s big news is hard to miss — we have a decision by the judge evaluating the settlement agreement in the Google Book Search lawsuit. This is probably the first of many follow-ups in DLTJ as this case keeps taking interesting twists and turns. Also of note this week is Cornell Library’s statement that it will no longer sign contracts that include non-disclosure agreements. Lastly is a pointer to a 10 minute video of Hans Rosling’s TED talk on machines leading to increased literacy.

Real Life Example of Creative Commons License Applied to MARC Records

Eric Morgan posted a message to the Next Generation Catalog for Libraries mailing list this morning that points to a announcement by the University of Florida library that they are now applying a Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication statement to MARC records they create. Their announcement says:

Beginning March 2011, the University of Florida Smathers Libraries implemented a policy to include a Creative Commons license in all of its original cataloging records. The records are considered public domain with unrestricted downstream use for any purpose.

Thursday Threads: Open Source in Health Care, The Big Deal, Archives of Web Pages

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We’re taking a break this week from the HarperCollins e-book story; although the commentary continues from librarians (and a few authors), there hasn’t been anything new (that I’ve seen) from HarperCollins itself. There is still plenty more to look at, though. First up is a report from the health care sector on the applicability of open source and open systems. Next is an interview with a financial analyst that sees the end of the “big deal” for library journal subscriptions. And lastly is a list of web archive services that you could use to find old copies of web pages.

Thursday Threads: HarperCollins (again), Digital Public Library of America, Kindle Millionaires

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Last week’s DLTJ Thursday Threads theme of ebooks continues again this week, and the top story from last week is the top story again this week: the debate over the limited checkout ebooks terms set by HarperCollins. While there seems to be nothing new from either HarperCollins or OverDrive (except for the new license terms coming into effect on Monday the 7th), there is still a lot of discussion on the biblio-blogosphere about what should be done. Another entry this week focuses on the Digital Public Library of America effort that is now getting underway. The last entry is about a young fiction writer who is making a fortune by selling ebooks through Amazon/Kindle and keeping most of the profit.

The Challenges and Rewards of Open Source

Note!Below is the text of an article I wrote for the LYRASIS member newsletter in which I talk about how a community of users of open source software is as important (if not more so) than the code. I’m reposting it here for the DLTJ readership.



One of the challenging and rewarding aspects of open source software is building and sustaining the community that surrounds the software. It is challenging because people and institutions use open source software for a variety of reasons. For some, having the computer source code means that they are empowered to adapt the software to fit their needs. For others, contributing talent and budget to a communal effort – something arguably aligned with the general ethos of libraries – means that ultimately a better solution is created for their own users. Yet another group sees an open source solution as simply the best tool to solve a particular problem.

Thursday Threads: HarperCollins Ebook Terms, Internet Archive Ebook Sharing, Future of Collections

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It is an all e-books edition of DLTJ Thursday Threads this week. The biggest news was the announcement of the policy change by HarperCollins for ebooks distributed through OverDrive. Beyond that, though, was an announcement of a new sharing model and program through the Internet Archive. Lastly is a slidecast recording of a presentation by David Lewis on the future of library collections.

Slidecast of David Lewis’ “Collections Futures” Talk

At the 2010 Annual RLG Partnership Meeting, David Lewis (Dean of the IUPUI University Library) gave a talk entitled “Collections Futures”. I’ve followed David’s ideas since we crossed paths a few years ago; his ideas on applying Clayton Christensen’s disruptive innovation theories to libraries ring true to me. This presentation is in part an update on his earlier work on this theme and an expansion to include new ideas from Clay Shirky and John Seely Brown.

With David Lewis’ permission and in keeping with the Creative Commons license he used to publish the work, I have synchronized his slides and the audio recording using Slideshare.net. That effort is embedded below and is available on the Slideshare site.