Showing posts from 2011

Planning next year revisited

So I used it for awhile today, and quickly realized it had to be simpler.

* To Do, as I first set it up, was a comprehensive list of all my tasks. But I already have that in Hivemind, and don't want to try to duplicate things just so I can get to them on various devices. So instead, I'll leave everything in Hivemind, then begin each work day by reviewing, and pulling out the four or five that I intend to tackle that day and putting them in Notecase Pro (from now on, NP). But I eliminated the whole "To Do" heading.

* Journal. Dragging things from To Do to Journal was an unnecessary step. Now I just have one heading: "Daily Log." I open a new node, use Shift-Ctrl-T to insert the date, then (as above), plan my day from consulting Hivemind and my calendar, and cross them off as I complete them. That gives me a work record without having to drag things anywhere.

* Goals and Projects - just cleaned it up and renamed it from Projects. The idea is to keep those big…

Planning next year

I spent some time yesterday (after a low key but fun Christmas with both kids at home) thinking through not just my work projects for 2012, but also what tool or tools to manage them with.

For a long time I've used Notecase Pro, a very full-featured and actively developed two-pane outliner. I hadn't really been paying a lot of attention to all the updates, though. Over the past year or so, it has turned into a remarkably capable project manager.

So I played with the idea of using it as a "dashboard." What I like about it, as opposed to Outlook, is that Notecase Pro is multi-platform (accessible from Linux), and allows for the hierarchical nesting of tasks or information. That arrangement helps me think. On the other hand, Notecase is NOT available on my Palm Pre or iPad, which requires some thoughtfulness about notes (Google Docs, mostly), and Hiveminder (a great to do manager with apps for the Palm Pre and for the iPad).

The layout of my first Notecase Pro draft loo…

farewell Freddie

Last night, and today, was tough. Freddie (13 year old border collie/Bernese mountain mix) was in a lot of pain. As I did so many years ago when he had surgery to remove a cancerous mass, I slept downstairs on the couch so he wouldn't have to negotiate stairs. This time, he couldn't even stand up without help. So I was up maybe 8 or 9 times in the night. Most of the time, most of the night, inside or outside, he whined. I've never heard that from him. Pain.

Today, I took him to the vet to put him down. Just the two of us (and the very compassionate vet). The end took just 15 seconds (saline solution, anesthetic, stop-the-heart, flush), $300. He sighed - in relief, I think. But I was with him, telling him to the end that he was a good boy.

My wife volunteered to come with me (a very kind gesture), but she had to work. I couldn't have that hanging over me all day, so I took him in after my son got up and said goodbye to him. I wrote this poem:

The pain
of the baby being …

Beaux Foy video on getting a library card

I was recently in North Carolina, where I heard about this wonderful video, made by rocker volunteer library spokesperson, Beaux Foy. Absolutely wonderful. Rock on!

Linux Mint 12 Live DVD

After a lovely Thanksgiving, I plugged in the Linux Mint 12 live DVD, 64 bit version (on my System 76 desktop unit.

It seems rather obvious and intuitive to use. On the one hand, there's the familiar panel below (with Window pager), and the familiar start button. This is Mint's response to the outrage and outcry of Linux users who can't deal with Ubuntu's Unity or Gnome's latest version (3.0).

On the other, I can ignore all that and just click on the infinity symbol (upper left) and find myself in the middle of Gnome 3. Which is also rather obvious and intuitive, although it may take an extra click or two.

Linux Mint 12 started rather rapidly, and seemed to have no trouble at all finding the network; it even felt a little faster than 11.

I can take a screenshot of the usual (familiar desktop), but can't find a way to take one of the newer Gnome one. But this may be because I've been sick, and have run out of steam. Time to turn in early.

Of course, it still…

Scrooge and Starlighting

Last year I had the privilege of playing Ebenezer Scrooge for the Front Range Theatre Company's "The Education of Mr. Scrooge." I was also asked by the Castle Rock Chamber of Commerce to write a brief history of Castle Rock's "Starlighting" ceremony -- a longstanding tradition for my home town. So I wrote a script, a skit, really, to tell the story. Originally, my "character" was Scrooge, and I wound up with a plug for the play. This year, the Chamber fiddled with the script to make me "Horace Ebenezer." But I thought putting this online somewhere might make for a nice bit of local history. My thanks to the many real life officials who performed this last night. The usual big Starlight crowd seemed to enjoy it, hokey though it was.

I should say, by the way, that I've got a heck of a cold, or flu, or something. So I hope I did my part OK. But the advantage of writing the script is that you can give everybody else the long bits. In the…

Douglas County Libraries hits USA Today

Check this out.

Cute kid plays ukulele

This has only had about 49 million hits since it first went up in Dec. 2009, so I'm guessing I'm not the first to blog about it. But I love this kid. He doesn't know the words to the song, and it doesn't even matter. Attitude is all. THIS is content creation that counts. Watch this when you need not only to be reminded of the indomitable spirit of humanity, but you need a laugh.

Thanks to Maddy for finding this. Wonderful beyond words.

More musing on older technolgoy

I mentioned in my last post that I finally broke down and upgraded my Acer Aspire netbook from its original Linpus Lite (Linux) OS to a new Linux Mint 11. It is MUCH better (and yes, I got tkoutline to work -- just had to apt-get install the file it told me it couldn't find). But Mint also told me that I have an older and never more than 34% charged battery. Truth is, with this 3 cell battery, I don't think I ever had more than an hour before I had to plug it in. Which is pathetic, given that this computer doesn't even have a hard drive. (It uses an 8 meg SD card, which truly has always been plenty for my modest needs.)

So I noodled around on the web and found a 9 cell battery that promises 10 hours of charge. I ordered it. That will be an interesting thing, if it works. It is certainly much easier to write on the netbook, and do various other computing tasks, than it is to use an iPad.

But the point of this posting is to underscore the advantage of holding onto equipment …

Time for an Acer Aspire update?

I guess the issue is Google. It seems to have upgraded some things in Google Docs, and suddenly my old Acer Aspire netbook, running a version of Linpus Lite (based on Fedora 8, which is WAY back there by now) doesn't work that well with Google anymore. Not only that, I couldn't get it to load Chrome. It's the problem of maintaining an aging platform.

I haven't been updating the little netbook because (a) it wasn't broken, so I couldn't see a reason to fix it, (b) Linpus Lite does boot VERY quickly (20 seconds), and 3) I hadn't backed it all up first, which of course I should do first.

So I burned a CD of Linux Mint 11, and launched it as a Live CD to see if it worked on the Acer. It did. No customization was required at all. I'm using it right now. I was working through the files to see if I could get it all set up, and then started reading about Linux Mint 12.

I aked myself this question: Do I upgrade to the last stable version, based on Ubuntu's G…

First sale doctrine

Thanks to Jeff Donlan, director of the Salida Regional Library District, for this link: "The Digital Death of Copyright's First Sale Doctrine" by AnneMarie Bridy.

The issue is very clearly laid out in this blog post: the difference between copyright (the author's ownership of the rights to the work) and sale of a copy (the particular instance of that work) is what has allowed the flourishing of a rich marketplace of ideas. We buy a book at full price, and pass it along or resell it at a used book store. The author stills owns the copyright, but the copy moves through many hands. And so it finds many readers.

In the Digital Age, triggered by the infamous software EULA (End User License Agreement) and the assertion of new rights (I'm only letting you access this, you don't own the copy), suddenly that open market place is shutting down. Authors -- or more usually, publishers -- are asserting that copyright and copy are the same. Nothing is for sale. It's o…

NISO - The e-Book Renaissance conference

Interesting conference. I've been tweeting at #nisoebook. Will come back later to add some of the big takeaways, but the main one is an obvious thing to get from a National Information Standards Organization conference: standards (file formats, accessibility guidelines) matter.

Just listened to Steve Paxhia, who gave a great snapshot about ebook adoption by various markets. The big thing here is that ebook adoption is still on the upswing, about 25% of market, and that they are active library users eager for more content. They read more than others.

And if I may opine here, I think they would like, very much, to be able to donate the books they've bought back to the library.

Training staff on ebooks and ereaders

The amazing Sue Polanka spoke at our recent Colorado Association of Libraries conference about all things ebook. She has become a trusted business intelligence reporter, and has the most comprehensive -- and clear -- presentation on what's up than anyone I've run across.

As she recently blogged at her No shelf required site, she and I talked about strategies to get library staff better informed about ebooks and ebook readers. Such training tends to be expensive and slippery. It costs a lot - in equipment, presenter time, or staff time - to give a solid introduction to all the issues, and unless a staff member USES that particular device, it all fades away fast.

So my library did something different. We asked our Foundation board to offer a $50 rebate to any staff member who bought a Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iPad, Android tablet, or HP Touchpad (this last was my idea, and yeah, I know HP pulled the plug on it). The board thought it was brilliant. We gave our staff three months to …

Sharon Morris on Trends

For the past several years (since 2008), the Colorado State Library's Director of Library Development and Innovation, Sharon Morris, has given a talk at the annual Colorado Association of Libraries conference about library trends. She has a sharp eye, and I find that the things she picks are the things to watch. I'm pleased to report that she's put up a site, here, where she briefly summarizes her observations. She also, from time to time, posts her thoughts about various issues. Highly recommended.

There, I said it, they're crazy

Recently I had lunch with a friend, a very successful businesswoman, who went off on a rant. She said three things that made me laugh.

First she quoted some of the wackier comments of the current GOP presidential candidates (particularly Michele Bachman, Rick Perry, and Ron Paul). There were some doozies.

Then she said she blamed Ronald Reagan. Again I laughed.

"No, really," she said. "Reagan cut funding for mental institutions. So there are more crazy people on the streets.

"And you know," she said, leaning forward, eyes wide, "we find crazy people very attractive!"

I laughed again. But the more I think about it, the more I think she's right.

I don't watch TV much, but at a hotel one night I surfed around until I found some kind of game show. Ladies were licking bugs off the windshield of a car. For money, I think. I hope they got money.

And when they completed that task, the gleeful emcee said, "OK, but will they...?" and I flippe…

LaRue v. CDE: injunction granted

On Friday, August 12, 2011, Denver District Judge Michael A. Martinez granted a permanent injunction against Douglas County School District's "Choice Scholarship Program."

A link to that decision is here. It's 68 pages long. I read it through this morning and found it fascinating and instructive on many levels.

No doubt the DCSD will appeal it, but the decision, and the judge's language, is both clear and definite. The voucher program demonstrably violates Colorado's Constitution, and it seems to me that that was precisely its intent. The judge concluded that the likelihood of the plaintiffs prevailing is very high; the likelihood of DCSD prevailing is very low.

I haven't written or said much about this lately, because I think the original complaint pretty much said it all. (Please note the exact language of the Constitution therein.) Finally, it was a straightforward legal question, and I really didn't see how the voucher program could possibly withs…

Oregon photo from tide pool

Taken with my little Palm Pre, then rotated and cropped in Gimp. Found art.

IE Users are dumb

I know, that sounds a little insulting. But it's true. Click here to see graphs and everything.

Fedora 15 and Gnome 3

I burned a copy of Fedora 15, then loaded it first on my desktop machine, and now on my Acer netbook.

A few brief comments.

First, it did load, relatively quickly, on both machines. The desktop image is lovely, and it's all very spare. I got it to talk to both wireless cards without incident.

Second, on the Acer I had to go into the System Settings (much easier than older Gnome 2) and fiddle with the touchpad to enable one tap clicking. The default resolution is right on the Acer too -- I had to fiddle with the display on my desktop. (1024x768 seems to be the standard laptop). But the Gnome 3, or Fedora 15, fonts are too skinny.

Third, it was a little jarring to try to move around from one active program to the next. Instead of just clicking on a panel, you have to click on Activities, then a sort of panel on the right, then the item. That replaces one click with three, which seems LESS efficient.

Fourth, but it's fun to learn new things, stretch the brain.

For now, I'll l…

Pam Sandlian Smith and Sharon Morris on Storycorps

Click here to listen to two of my favorite people speaking with deep passion and warmth -- and a lot of high mutual regard -- about the wonderful profession of librarianship.

The Seven Things We Do

This image (thank you Rochelle Logan!) details my attempt to describe to my public library board of trustees, and the public generally, just what we do. Not what we say we do, or think we do. What we can actually measure.

Note: you may have to click on the image to make it large enough to see clearly.

I began by sorting (by descending volume) of all the statistics my library (the Douglas County Libraries in Douglas County, Colorado) gathered in the year 2010 (January-December).

There are seven broad categories of use that far overshadow everything else. AFTER these stats, it's a drop of an order of magnitude (a factor of ten). This is what my library DOES.

I've carried this around for awhile, and think the only big things missing are these:

* wireless use. This is growing very rapidly. it might be as big as PC use. (It turns out we have captured this. It's about 4,000 to 6,000 a month, so 48,000 to 72,000 a year. Right now, that puts it midway between the 7 things and ever…


We have a notepad in the shower, on some kind of water proof paper, using a special pencil. A few days ago, I found this, created by my son, Max.

A dinosaur, with goatee and beret, says, "Hmm, yes, busy." The "Like" is, I think, my daughter's comment.

So what's bad: the other shower isn't working. What's good: live art feed and commentary.

3M and the Douglas County Libraries

3M was one of the big hits of ALA -- an alternative to Overdrive. As it happens, DCL had a lot to do with this product, as in pretty much defining the goals, doing the mock-up of how it should work, getting it to directly integrate with our catalog, and more. Major kudos here to Monique Sendze, my Associate Director of Information Technology, and her staff.

I spoke with Eric Hellman at ALA about it, and he wrote a nice blog post here. He's a smart guy.

Jefferson County Public Libraries hosts 6 community meetings

JCPL Facing Closures: Learn More at Save Jeffco Libraries Community Meetings

(GOLDEN, Colo. – June 17, 2011, UPDATED June 21, 2011) Save Jeffco Libraries is hosting six community meetings to inform Jefferson County residents about the significant budgetary issues facing Jefferson County Public Library (JCPL) and the group’s efforts to form an independent library district.

“Over the past several years, the Jefferson County Commissioners have diverted $6 million in property taxes from JCPL’s dedicated mill levy to other County departments,” said former Library Board chair and Save Jeffco Libraries founder Tom Atkins. “Diversion of these funds has resulted in staff layoffs and Monday closures.”

“If JCPL remains a part of Jeffco government, things will only worsen. The 2012 Library budget will be $2 million short, and it is obvious when you look at the numbers that Jeffco residents will likely see some of our libraries close. As an independent library district, five-year projections look …

Back from ALA - the death of commercial publishing

On June 25, I was one of the panelists speaking at "The Future is Now! e-books and their increasing impact on library services." I made one deliberately provocative statement that woke up some people. I mentioned that my book, which retails for $40, earns me $4 with each sale. 10% is pretty good for a first time author. But somebody publishing an ebook on Amazon can sell it for $10, and make $7. I said, "The bullet has passed through the brain of commercial publishing. Now we're just waiting for the body to fall."

My point here is that the economic model of commercial publishing isn't so attractive anymore. The numbers show it.

I only had 12 minutes for my part of the panel, so as you can imagine, I have lots more to say about all this. Obviously, commercial publishing is still around. Patrons still ask for traditional content. Libraries have to find ways to get it. My library is working with Overdrive, 3M, and others.

My premise is that ebook and self-pub…

LaRue versus Colorado Board of Education

The ACLU website has the press release here. There have been other articles about it in the Denver Post, EdNewsColorado, and others.

There are a few facts I want to declare.

First, this is a private action, not a library action. My wife (Suzanne) and I are doing this as parents of a child at Douglas County High School. Although I am indeed the director of the Douglas County Libraries, this action and my employer are completely separate. Public servants do not sacrifice their rights to free speech and civic engagement. We are taxpayers who strongly disapprove of the rechanneling of public funds into private and religious institutions. I repeat: THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE DOUGLAS COUNTY LIBRARIES.

Second, why are we first on the list of plaintiffs (and there are many eminent plaintiffs, as you'll see in the complaint)? I don't really know. Perhaps because the name LaRue is so mellifluous. But when we agreed to be plaintiffs, we agreed to be a part of the public process.

Haiku: the Centipede Saga

Awhile back, I wrote a haiku about a centipede. It went like this:

towering cloud
dominates evening sky
and centipede

It happens that I'm part of a haiku email list with a couple of close friends, Sharon and Jeff. Sharon was tickled by it.

I was driving up to Windsor one day, which took a long time. Along the way, I turned on the radio, and NPR was doing a fundraising drive. So I got this idea. We should write 100 centipede haiku. It was kind of a matching haiku program. I imagined the call: "Send in ONE haiku, and we'll put another one right up against it!"

And because there wasn't much to listen to, I cranked out a bunch of them:

journey begins with
a single step - but which one?
centipede quandary

martial melody:
rhythm of centipede feet
drumming on window

for haiku chorale
just 96 centipedes
to go

first take a deep breath -
the centipede's ambition
to climb Mt. Evans

when centipedes sing
they have to stop walking and
hold perfectly still

stopping is jus…

Linux Mint and Xfce

I mentioned that I'd upgraded to Ubuntu 11.04. But I was irritated by the fact that it wouldn't display the right resolution: it did 1024x768 instead of 1280x1024. I messed around with the Monitors program, but couldn't get it to work. Eventually, in a fit of pique, I just wiped it all out with the latest Linux Mint. It's based on Ubuntu, but has all kinds of special applications.

The good news: in Mint, the Monitors program allowed me to reset the resolution for a session without much fuss. ANOTHER program allowed me to set it as a startup setting. Why it didn't work in Ubuntu, I have no idea.

But something about the Linux Mint Gnome setup just didn't feel right to me. So I downloaded the Xfce desktop. I like it. It seems much cleaner. I did have to mess with display settings yet again: Settings>Appearance>Fonts, then enable anti-aliasing, do slight hinting, and RGB pixel order.

That's a lot to go through just to get it to look good on a generic LCD…

Library standards - videos

The video here is my interview, arranged by the Colorado State Library's Shelley Walchak, talking about the new library standard of community engagement. This is just one of the series, but I was proud to be a part of this. Not only are the standards good in themselves, genuinely useful, but I like the video format as a way to introduce people to them.

Apple kills ebook app developer

"BeamItDown Software and the iFlow Reader will cease operations as of May 31, 2011. We absolutely do not want to do this, but Apple has made it completely impossible for anyone but Apple to make a profit selling contemporary ebooks on any iOS device. We cannot survive selling books at a loss and so we are forced to go out of business. We bet everything on Apple and iOS and then Apple killed us by changing the rules in the middle of the game."

You can read the full story here.

Author walks away from $500k deal to self-publish

Thanks to DCL staff person Dedra Anderson for sending this to me. Author Barry Eisler says, "my general point was that digital was going to become more and more attractive relative to paper. First, because the price of digital readers would continue to drop while the functionality would continue to increase; second, because more and more titles would become available for digital download at the same time more brick and mortar stores were closing. In other words, everything about paper represented a static defense, while everything about digital represented a dynamic offense. Not hard to predict how a battle like that is going to end."

And later, "the trends reinforce each other: the Borders in your neighborhood closes, so you try a low-priced digital reader, and you love the lower cost of digital books, the immediate delivery, the adjustable font, etc... and you never go back to paper. The reverse isn’t happening: people aren’t leaving digital for paper. There’s a ratc…

Center for Digital Storytelling

An interesting site here. I had a conversation with the Denver Post's Claire Martin today about some publishing trends, and she told me about this. It is yet another area where libraries could and should be active.

Author on publishing today

Funny Margaret Atwood video and blog here about an author's perspective on the changing publishing world. The content is rich and incisive. The Power Point slides are priceless.

American Libraries piece

I really like this Beverly Goldberg piece. She makes an important point with the question: "why should it matter that a 'single eBook license to a library may never expire, never wear out, and never need replacement?' Most printed books last for years in library collections and that didn’t affect book sales when the economy was a bit more flush; those loanable titles just whetted the public’s appetite to borrow and buy more. Why should that pattern change for e-books? If anything, there may well be more incentive, since a borrowed e-book vanishes from a patron’s e-reader device when the loan period ends even if the borrower wants to retain the copy for a few more days to finish it."

See also this Slate piece, which also cites studies about the contribution of the secondary market to the primary market. As I wrote to a publisher friend, "I think the publisher/author fear of resale/lending is not only bad for society, it's bad for YOU."

Independent Publisher opines on ebooks and libraries

I realized that I should have blogged about our press release about a partnership between Douglas County Libraries, Red Rocks Community College Library, and the Colorado Independent Publishers Association (CIPA) last week. My column about it is here, though.

Since then, we've had a follow-up meeting with past, present, and future presidents of CIPA. The past president, Kenn Amdahl, wrote an interesting post. You can find it here.

This kind of conversation - publisher concerns, library concerns - is good and important. Kenn and I have some disagreements about the resale of digital works. But we are agreed about many more things, and we might even get to agreement about this. It certainly a lot better for publishers/writers and librarians to talk to each other than it is for those publishers to simply announce, as HarperCollins did, how things will work now.

Google settlement overturned

I'm surprised, but generally pleased. Google digitized many titles without copyright approval, then required people to "opt-out" if they had objections. That meant, as critics noted, that centuries of copyright protections disappeared overnight, and Google became the owner of record.

But now, United States District Court Judge Denny Chin writes, "In the end, I conclude that the ASA is not fair, adequate, and reasonable. As the United States and other objectors have noted, many of the concerns raised in the objections would be ameliorated if the ASA were converted from an 'opt-out' settlement to an 'opt-in' settlement."

I bet there's more to come!

Open letter to HarperCollins

Today I wrote this to HarperCollins, at this address.

You may wish to do the same.

Dear HarperCollins:

I have written about this elsewhere, most recently here.

I have three concerns and one suggestion. My first concern is that as a volume purchaser, libraries should get discounts, not price hikes coinciding with new limitations of use. A second concern is that content licensing is itself profoundly destructive to the emerging ebook ecosystem. At present, libraries greatly assist authors in finding audiences. Passing things around – pulling copies from the library and distributing to booksales, church bazaars, charter schools, etc. – not only helps people find authors in ways they can afford, it also encourages reading, which is clearly one of the library’s role. From the other side, many libraries RECEIVE donations from people who bought a book but are done with it. How does one donate an ebook to the library under your model? My third concern is simply the long tail problem. What ha…

EBook User's Bill of Rights

I got this today from Sarah Houghton-Jan and Andy Woodworth. Good and timely stuff, and it's time that it gets out to the public.

The eBook Users Bill of Rights is a statement of the basic freedoms that should be granted to all eBook users.

The eBook User's Bill of Rights

Every eBook user should have the following rights:
* the right to use eBooks under guidelines that favor access over proprietary limitations
* the right to access eBooks on any technological platform, including the hardware and software the user chooses
* the right to annotate, quote passages, print, and share eBook content within the spirit of fair use and copyright
* the right of the first-sale doctrine extended to digital content, allowing the eBook owner the right to retain, archive, share, and re-sell purchased eBooks

I believe in the free market of information and ideas.

I believe that authors, writers, and publishers can flourish when their works are readily available on the widest range of media. I be…

Ten Strategies for Being Future Minded

My friend and colleague Sharon Morris, Director of Library Development and Innovation for the Colorado State Library, has written a wise little essay here -- "Ten Strategies for Being Future-Minded." As I say in my comments, this isn't about just library futures; it's a fundamental orientation to existence. Recommended.


You know how when you go through airport security you wind up all discombobulated? Pants falling off, shoeless, coatless, etc.?

Well, at the end of the line, the Milwaukee airport has this wonderful sign.

Below the sign is a nice, big, comfy spot to pull yourself together again, catch your breath, straighten up, and fly right.

Recent articles on ebook publishing on Linux

Trim pdfs for your ereader with Briss

Click here to find an open source tool to make it easier to read pdfs on screens the pdf program really wasn't designed for: ereaders.

Amazon ebooks overtake paperbacks

Click here to read the full story.

"Barely six months after crowing that its Kindle e-books were outselling its selection of hardcover books, Amazon has announced that sales of Kindle titles are now outpacing paperbacks, as well.

"The news came as Amazon announced its (disappointing, for Wall Street) earnings Thursday, with online retailing giant noting that since January 1, U.S. customers have bought 115 Kindle editions for every 100 paperbacks sold."

The trend continues apace.

I'm reading a book

Sometimes, well, click here to see what I'm talking about.

Minimalist writing tools

I downloaded an interesting program for my Ubuntu system today. It's called "PyRoom." Written in the Python programming language, it is like a walk back through time.

I went to the Synaptic software manager, found that PyRoom was listed as a choice, so installed it. A few moments later, it showed up in my "Office" menu. Launch it and you get...

* a mostly black screen, with a thin, outlined box for text in the middle.

* text that defaults to green (but I changed to amber).

And that's it. No menus, no control buttons. I don't even think it will print - you have to copy and paste into something else.

If you're not sure how to do something, type Ctrl-H and a help screen comes up in another black window. Ctrl-I tells you how many words you've written. Ctrl-P lets you change a few things. Ctrl-S lets you save a file. Ctrl-O lets you open more files to work with. Ctrl-Page Up or Down toggles between those files.

But basically, this cutting-edge progr…

More on ebooks

First, here's the graphic (revised):

[Click on it to get a more readable size!]

Next, here's a little more text to describe my thinking about the issues faced by libraries this year.

From left to right -- in something like chronological order -- I think there are 7 key strategic directions:

* Free content. Thanks to the amazing Valerie Horton of CLiC, it took just two months to deliver about 500 classics to virtually any library that already knew how to load a MARC file. If memory serves, over 68 countries, and some 2000+ libraries have at least looked at the file, and may well have downloaded it. Whether we use public domain or Creative Commons titles, we've proved we can quickly add them to our "holdings," and thereby demonstrate that libraries are paying attention.

* Vendors. Overdrive we know about; 3M and Baker and Taylor are now rolling out products, too. But we have to be vigilant to ensure that the content shows up in our catalogs (instead of requiring on…