ALA has its “Virtual Conference” coming up on July 18th and 19th. It is two days of at-your-desktop talks on some of the most interesting topics in libraries today. I’m presenting a derivative of the Introducing FOSS4Lib webinar and in-person. The version I’m doing for the ALA Virtual Conference has a broader look at open source software in libraries in addition to the tools and software registry on FOSS4Lib.org. There are a number of sessions on the state of ebooks in libraries plus talks on effective engagement with patrons and building responsive organizations. Registration for the virtual conference is $69 ($51.75 if you attended the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim), and group registration for up to 15 IP addresses is $300 ($225 if you registered for the Annual Conference).
I’ve been away from DLTJ Thursday Threads for a while, but that doesn’t mean the fun hasn’t stopped. This week there are stories about the beginning and the end of the Research Works Act (again, one might add), Amazon’s continuing shifts in the ebook marketplace, and an announcement of beta access to OCLC’s Website for Small Libraries service.
As the last DLTJ Thursday Threads of the year, the stories in this post look back to what we saw in 2011 and look forward to what we may see in 2012. Looking backwards is a list of five things we learned about publishing from O’Reilly Media and Google’s 3-minute Zeitgeist video. Looking forward are a list of predictions from Fast Company and from the National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts in the UK. At this high point when 2011 is slowing and we start down the hill of 2012, I wish you a happy and prosperous new year.
Two serious threads this week and one fun one. The first serious story is a look at the attitudes of e-book consumers from the Book Industry Study Group, including a finding that almost half of all e-book consumers would wait for an electronic edition up to three months after the print edition has been released. The second serious story is about a university press starting to sell excerpts from backlist titles as a way to capitalize on existing content. And finally, the fun story is a 12 minute TED talk from the founder of the Improv Everywhere project.
DLTJ Thursday Threads for two weeks in a row! I’m getting back in the groove. This week has pointers to geeky things (learning about structured data on the web) and not quite so geeky things (thoughts about indexes in ebooks and Amazon’s tactics for end-to-end control of book publishing). Well, admittedly, for only certain definitions of “not quite so geeky” … still I hope you enjoy the pointers and be sure to let me know what you think.
Threads this week without commentary. (It has been a long week that included only one flight of four that actually happened without a delay, cancellation, or redirection.) Big announcements are one from the Library of Congress to re-envision the way bibliographic information travels, one from Douglas County (Colorado) Library’s experiment with taking ownership of ebooks and applying its own digital rights management, and a study on the ecosystem of spam.
I recently started reading content from a tablet device and in doing so re-encountered a list of web pages stashed in a Read It Later queue that are over a year old. Not only were these pages interesting enough to read a year ago, but in light of a year’s worth of “internet time” of innovations some of them are down right fascinating. So the DLTJ Thursday Threads this week are weaved from new reflections on old stories. First is a 13-month-old view of what publishers can do to reverse the perceived decline of their relevance in a digital publishing era. 15 months ago was an outline for a new role for publishers to engage authors and readers. And a little over a year ago came the first explorations of the “internet operating system”.
Mind-expanding topics this week. The threads start with a potentially morbid, but definitely intriguing, topic: what is to become of our personal digital legacies? If that isn’t enough to blow your mind, the next topic is an accounting of the amount of information processed in 2008. Still hanging in there? Then think about what could become of the book if we take advantage of its digital nature. You might not have much room to think big thoughts after those threads, but if you do the last one explores what could become of how our machines talk to each other.
I tried to stay away from ebooks again, in this edition of DLTJ Thursday Threads (I managed to do so last week), but the threads of announcements and conversations are too crucial to ignore. Just yesterday Amazon and OverDrive announced plans to lend library ebooks to Kindle users. The press release and subsequent discussion is full of ambiguity and missing details, but what was officially said is enough to be tantalizing. And why not? The Association of American Publishers said that ebooks are the leading format among all trade categories in the month of Febrary. At least by sales volume, not by total revenue. The last thread this week is how recommendation engines are finding their way into another corner of the lives of undergraduates — helping you pick your course schedule.
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.