Just finished a discussion with my co-workers regarding The Slow Death of the American Author in which we talked about what we agreed and disagreed about the piece.
E-books are not going away. Authors, publishers, and libraries are dealing with this, some are doing better than others. What I’m realizing that authors/publishers arn’t getting is that for the past 2+ years public librarians have been teaching people around America how to use their e-readers so they could buy your e-books.
Do they realize this? Because I’ve been doing it as a free services since becoming a public librarian. People come to me every day because they don’t know how to use their Kindle/Nook/I-pad, and I teach them FOR FREE. I don’t get a cut from the author or the publisher even though I am enabling them to buy books from them. Seriously, I even show them where to put their credit card information.
Yes, I also show them how to download free library books but I can honestly say that most people come to me because Amazon/Banes & Noble/Apple/Scott Turow did not personally take the time to teach them how to use their product. Some of these companies do offer classes and tutorials but for some reason they prefer coming to me, a public librarian willing to do it for free. You’re welcome!
As if to prove our point….
OCLC has posted video of the panel I moderated recently at their wonderful conference in Philadelphia:
MOOCs and Libraries: Copyright, Licensing, Open Access (by OCLCResearch).
I was told that all of my panelists had to have names that begin with K, but luckily three of the smartest library copyright lawyers around meet that criterion. Whew!
Talk about an accidental grand bargain! Kill net neutrality and kill copyright enforcement online, too. Somehow I think Harold is right - that’s not a bargain the NN-haters mean to make.
Authors Guild president Scott Turow in his New York Times editorial last Sunday, which many in the publishing world have criticized for its negativity and defensiveness.
He claims to be looking out for the financial and creative interests of new and midlist authors, and yet, as I myself have pointed out, he fails to acknowledge how invested the American public library system is in launching writing careers. (First novels are always a draw for collection development librarians, and I market them aggressively.)
Turow is, how do you say, desperately out of touch with the opportunities of the digital age. Sad.
Wildly out of touch—and out of touch with the opportunities of the analog age? What does he think libraries have been up to all this time?
Access and the Public Domain (Fordham IP Talk) (by Randy Picker)
Highlights several extremely compelling issues for libraries, and shows why providing truly public access (i.e. free from technical or contractual limitations) to the public domain may be a powerful new mission for libraries in the digital age. Also makes me much more excited about the DPLA.
What scares me is that all the new colors that sprout up in the mid-2000s–the digital downloads, the streams–represent formats that libraries may not even be able to acquire for lending purposes. Indeed, some formats can’t be “acquired” by anyone, per se. Buying the same stuff over and over in every new format was already getting ridiculous, but what now?
|—||Dan Cohen, Executive Director of the Digital Public Library of America, using our favorite t-word to describe what’s possible with a totally digital library. From How the Digital Public Library of America hopes to build a real public commons | The Verge|
Starting in June, colleges that want to deliver their own massive open online courses will be able to use a free software platform developed jointly by Stanford University and edX, the nonprofit MOOC provider founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The move is a merger of sorts between two previously competing software-development projects with the same goal. EdX has long said it would make the software it built to power its MOOCs freely available to anyone as an open-source package. And Stanford was working on Class2Go, its own free software for online courses. Now the two software teams will work together and focus on developing a single platform.
» via The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription may be required for some content)