What Libraries Can (Still) Do James Gleick

Deutsches Historiches Museum/Arne Psille/Art Resource Heinrich Lukas Arnold: The Reading Room, circa 1840

Of the many institutions suffering through the world’s metamorphosis from analog to digital (real to virtual, offline to online), few are as beleaguered as that bedrock of our culture, the public library. Budgets are being slashed by state and local governments. Even the best libraries are cutting staff and hours. Their information desks are seemingly superseded by Google, their encyclopedias are gathering dust. And their defining product, the one that lines their shelves, now arrives in the form of a weightless doppelgänger that doesn’t require shelves.

In the technocracy, all the world’s information comes to us on screens—desk, pocket, wrist, goggles—and no one trudges through wind and rain with library card in hand to find a single worn object. After all, when you want the text of Magna Carta, you don’t track down the original. Same with books? “Libraries are screwed,” said Eli Neiburger, a Michigan library director, in a much-quoted presentation at a Library Journalconference in 2010. “Libraries are screwed because we are invested in the codex, and the codex has become outmoded.”

So is the library, storehouse and lender of books, as anachronistic as the record store, the telephone booth, and the Playboy centerfold? Perversely, the most popular service at some libraries has become free Internet access. People wait in line for terminals that will let them play solitaire and Minecraft, and librarians provide coffee. Other patrons stay in their cars outside just to use the Wi-Fi. No one can be happy with a situation that reduces the library to a Starbucks wannabe.

Perhaps worst of all: the “bookless library” is now a thing. You can look it up in Wikipedia.

Read more:http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2015/oct/26/what-libraries-can-still-do-bibliotech/

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The changing world of librarians

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The Very Heart of it: The Timeless, Nourishing Value of Libraries by Peter Bromberg

We’re in the EBook Business

Hutch Tibbetts

Hutch Tibbetts

The “Big 6″ publishers are refusing to sell e-content to libraries or else they charge high prices and impose strict restrictions on usage. Overdrive raised pricing unilaterally in Kansas and retained ownership of e-book titles, which then were not discoverable through the OPAC. And if the library cancelled the Overdrive contract, they would lose ownership of the e-books and would not be able to lend them.

Available content originated almost entirely from mainstream vendors, but some content previously unavailable was avail through independent publishers, local historical documents, or was self-published. (Self-publishing is increasing; about 600,000 titles are expected to appear this year.)

To answer these problems, the Douglas County, CO Library (DCL), where Hutch is the Digital resources Librarian, developed a new e-book model: libraries should own rather than lease their content. E-books are treated just like print materials and circulate on a 1 user/copy basis. The library buys additional copies when there are 4 holds on a title. The staff found new ways to promote their e-books.

 

The Bestselling E-books of 2012

All the publishers that shared digital information were houses that rack up enough print sales to compete in the bestseller race. And while we estimate that we have more than 1,000 e-books with sales of 25,000+ (see extended list online), we know this does not reflect all e-book sales in the book industry. Still, a look at this quantity underscores that the book business is quickly moving to digital. It would be safe to say that the lackluster performance in mass market has a lot to do with the fact that readers are enjoying the convenience of the electronic devices instead of the more traditional convenience of the paperback. Read more….

via The Bestselling E-books of 2012.

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E-Books in Libraries: A Global Question of Survival? | IFLA

E-Books in Libraries: A Global Question of Survival? | IFLA.

An IFLA Management of Library Associations (MLAS) Seminar in Cooperation with the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) on the Challenges in Front of Us

When

21 February 2013

Where

London, United Kingdom

IFLA will be represented by the Governing Board and Headquarters Staff

[PDF] | [MS Word]

The transformation of the media market and the emergence of eBooks is causing great changes to library models worldwide. The answers we find to the challenges emerging, and the positions and models we develop will be crucial for our future. This is the reason why IFLA’s Management of Library Associations (MLAS) Committee and the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) are organizing an important seminar in London in February.

Over hundreds of years libraries decided what books to buy and use for public lending in accordance with their collection building policies. In the world of e-books libraries no longer have such a right. It is a significant – and in our view unacceptable – change that today the acquisition policies of libraries may be decided by publishers and not by libraries themselves. The challenge is to find solutions to this problem.  It is a question of our survival.

IFLA is deeply concerned about this development. Currently, the Governing Board and experts are elaborating “IFLA Principles on eLending”. IFLA will be concentrating on this issue during 2013 with workshops and presentations. The start will be MLAS/CILIP seminar in London.

Experts from all continents will report on the situation around the world, and successful lobbying activities and campaigns will be presented. IFLA will present fundamental position papers. Together, we want to develop new strategies.

If you want to know what happens worldwide and deal with this problem together with IFLA, come to the seminar in London. Work on new strategies together with us.

Location

CILIP
7 Ridgmount Street
London, WC1E 7AE
United Kingdom

Registration

The seminar is free of charge, however the number of participants is limited.

Note: This event is now FULLY BOOKED.  If you are interested in attending please email your name, job title and organisation to events@cilip.org.uk and we will inform you if any places become available.