This weekend I was at the second “DPLAfest” for the Digital Public Library of America. For a while I was in the national e-book program track. Participants from public and academic libraries, from consortia, from publishers, and from authors discussed what a national ebok program for libraries would look like. There were discussions of the multiple paths through which content could get into libraries: front-list titles, mid- and back-list titles, public domain works, independent publishers, and individual authors. And there was also discussion about many ways the ebooks could appear in libraries: in Adobe Digital Edition catalogs, through e-reader applications, in public access catalogs, and so forth. In between the sources and the destinations was the “marketplace” concept. And that reminded me of a similar architecture — the internet “hourglass”.
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.
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.
It has been a long week, so for many of you this edition of DLTJ Thursday Threads will actually be read on Friday. The spirit was willing, the topics were certainly out there in the past seven days, but the necessary distractions were numerous. Please enjoy this edition whenever you read it. As always, there is lots more on my FriendFeed aggregation page.
Google Refine 2.0, a power tool for data wranglers
A popular topic coming across my radar screen is the future of reading, and more specifically the role of libraries in the future of reading. Much of commentary seems to have been inspired by the announcement of the Apple iPad device, but it isn’t necessarily limited to that. Here are three exemplars, in no particular order, followed by some of my own comments.
Joshua Kim, senior learning technologist and an adjunct in sociology at Dartmouth College, posted a commentary called Popular Nonfiction, Academic Libraries, and Audiobooks at Inside Higher Ed. Joshua does an interesting comparison of the availability of “popular nonfiction” in paper and audio book format. He took his list of 197 audiobooks from Audible and cross-referenced them with availability of paper copies in his academic library. To his delight, he found that the library had paper copies of nearly three-quarters of them. It was his second question, though, that got me thinking: “Should academic libraries supply borrowers with the book format that matches their preferences and learning styles (paper, e-paper, or audio)?”