posts about or somewhat related to ‘libraries’
What, what does that mean?
The Atlantic’s Alexis Madrigal takes it away:
…[W]hen the library is finished scanning, the entire record of a people’s language and literature will be machine-readable and sitting in whatever we call the cloud in 15 years.
If you happen to be in Norway, as measured by your IP address, you will be able to access all 20th-century works, even those still under copyright. Non-copyrighted works from all time periods will be available for download.
According to the Scandinavian Library Quarterly, the National Library is six years into its digitization process. The results so far: a collection of approximately “350,000 newspaper copies, 235,000 books, 240,000 pages of handwritten manuscripts, 4,000 posters, 740,000 hours of radio broadcasts, 310,000 hours of television programmes, 7,000 videocassettes/films, 7,000 78-rpm records and 8,000 audiotapes.”
Pretty amazing that a country values the cultural capital of its media to recognize it as a common resource for all its citizens. Meantime, in the States, well, copyright, although a federal judge did back Google’s book digitization efforts in November.
While digital publishing has helped put old-fashioned newspapers into a tailspin, it’s also prompted a crisis at another venerable establishment—San Francisco’s animal control agency.
For years, the agency has been relying on the once abundant supply of old newspapers to line the cages of shelter puppies. But with many subscriptions now moving to digital, that vital supply of puppy paper has been decimated, reports CBS San Francisco.
The San Francisco Public Library is saving the day so far by donating its used papers.
The day a virtual library becomes a legit place to hang out, or goof off with friends is the day physical libraries truly die. Information alone is only so valuable, after all.
Avi Steinberg, The Paris Review. Checking Out.
A brief history of libraries, librarians and sex in which we learn that “again and again,” in contemporary library-porn lit, “the neglected love life of the librarian is a stand-in for the doomed state of the library generally.”
Major publishers are wary of putting e-books in the hands of libraries. Since digital bytes and bits don’t decay, they worry that libraries can buy a single digital edition and lend it endlessly without additional revenue coming back to the publisher.
Via the New York Times:
In [publisher’s] eyes, borrowing an e-book from a library has been too easy. Worried that people will click to borrow an e-book from a library rather than click to buy it, almost all major publishers in the United States now block libraries’ access to the e-book form of either all of their titles or their most recently published ones.
Borrowing a printed book from the library imposes an inconvenience upon its patrons. “You have to walk or drive to the library, then walk or drive back to return it,” says Maja Thomas, a senior vice president of the Hachettte Book Group, in charge of its digital division.
And print copies don’t last forever; eventually, the ones that are much in demand will have to be replaced. “Selling one copy that could be lent out an infinite number of times with no friction is not a sustainable business model for us,” Ms. Thomas says. Hachette stopped making its e-books available to libraries in 2009…
…To keep their overall revenue from taking a hit from lost sales to individuals, publishers need to reintroduce more inconvenience for the borrower or raise the price for the library purchaser.
Publishers will do what they believe they need to do but I’m pessimistic of any business model that purposefully introduces friction and inconvenience in order to survive.