Showing posts from July, 2012

50 Shades of Red

I wrote a blog for American Libraries on a problem: the proliferation of formats, and the spiking of prices for ebooks as a force for the erosion of library purchasing power. Find the blog here.

Online PhD Resources

I don't make a habit of this, but I've gotten a number of notifications about a free online resource for the doctoral student. I have a couple of friends working on their PhDs, now, and I'm convinced that sometimes, it IS nice to have help. So you can find Online PhD Resources here.

Healing of America

"The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care," by T.R. Reid does such a good job of laying out the issues. There's a lot of deliberate confusion about health care options around the globe. First, he lays out four basic arrangements for health care among the developed nations: The Bismarck Model is found in Germany, Japan, France, Belgium, and Switzerland (among others). It uses private health insurance plans, usually financed jointly by employers and employees through payroll deductions. But unlike our health insurance industry, these health insurance companies are "basically charities: They cover everybody, and they don't make a profit. The doctor's office is a private business, and many hospitals are privately owned." Moreover, "tight regulation of medical services and fees gives the system much of the cost-control clout..." The Beveridge Model. Medical care is "a public service, like the fire d…

Symphony and typewriter

The music of type: You HAVE to watch this.

Used ebooks?

TOLD you it was a good idea. See this article, "Used ebooks coming to a thrift store near you?" That all could change if a new ruling by the Court gains traction, according to GoodEReader, an e-reading blog. Yesterday, July 5, 2012, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that "original buyers of a digital product license can resell that license to a third party, providing they no longer use the digital product themselves. This could have ramifications for e-books, which, like software, are licensed digital files." Let's hope this one makes it over the pond.

Colorado ebook manifesto

Drafted by Gene Hainer (Colorado's state librarian) and me at the request of public library directors in the state, here's our Colorado ebook Manifesto.The Colorado EBook Environment—Overview and Talking PointsLeadership. Colorado libraries have been leaders in securing access to collections in many ways: working with distributors like OverDrive and 3M; experimenting with products like Freegal and Freading; checking out ereaders with bundled titles; and even hosting the works of independent publishers, including many Colorado authors.1Reading. 21% of Americans have read an e-book. 88% of those who read ebooks in the past 12 months also read print books. Compared with other book readers, they read and purchase more books.2Demand. There is growing demand for ebooks. In Colorado they now account for about 3-7% of overall circulation, but are increasing upwards of 500% annually. Budget. Colorado libraries are shifting more of our budgets—already stretched by recession—to buy more …

Negotiating ebook rights

So here's the deal: we started out with First Sale, Fair Use, and patron confidentiality. First Sale came with ownership: you pay for it, you get a copy of the work, and you can use it, lend it, and sell it. For libraries, that meant that we could move a book around our branches (even without publisher permission), loan it out via interlibrary loan, share it consortially, or keep it forever. Alternatively, we could sell it at discount, or even give it away to kids, churches, schools, veterans, and so on. Because we were talking about a physical item, only one person could use it at a time. Fair Use meant that we could quote it in reviews, use parts of it in other works (academic papers), and so on. We couldn't claim that we wrote it, or make whole copies. Patron confidentiality meant that what you read was your own business. The library was only interested in what you currently had checked out, so we could remind you to bring it back, or charge you to replace it. Upon these…