Showing posts from August, 2012

Patti Thorn on self-publishing

Patti Thorn is co-founder of BlueInk Review, a fee-based service offering serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. She served for 12 years as book review editor of the Rocky Mountain News, which closed in 2009. She offers her observations on the last year of reviewing in "From lizards to lit: a year of self-publishing realizations."

Diane Rehm Show on ebooks

ALA's Carrie Russell writes, "I was on the Diane Rehm Show yesterday to talk about libraries and e-books, along with Allan Adler from the Association of American Publishers, Jeremy Greenfield from Digital Book World and Vailey Oehlke, director of the Multnomah County Library (OR). Allan and I were live in the studio and Jeremy and Vailey called in by phone. Vailey was great! Our host, Frank Senso, was very skillful in taking the conversation in a direction that he wanted it to go. It was quite amazing to see how he managed that – no wonder radio and television hosts and spokespeople are called 'the talent.'" Hear the show: Or read about it here.

Life with e_books

Life With E-BooksA great summary of issues and players. One correction: Monique Sendze has elected to stay with Douglas County Libraries. And I'm glad she did.

Ursula LeGuin on Libraries and ebooks

I tell you what. Science fiction authors get it. Connie Willis I have praised and quoted often. Here's a great blog post from another wonderful writer. Look for post # "56. Libraries and ebooks."

Suppose we win?

So here's a thought experiment. Suppose today the Executive Director of the American Library Association gets a series of calls from the CEOs of all the Big Six. "Wow, what were we thinking?" they say. "We've been looking over the research, and it's clear that libraries HELP publishers sell ebooks in all kinds of ways. Instead of trying to lock you out of the market or heaping new restrictions on you, from now on, you get things a week BEFORE street date. We have no better friend and ally than the public library when it comes to the promotion of reading!" Oh, and another thing. "We realized we were wrong about both pricing and ownership, too. We'll give you a solid 45% discount, and you get to keep and hold your copies. What a pleasure doing business with you!" In this scenario of total victory, what do we get? Here's my take: not enough. Do our patrons mostly want Big Six offerings? Look at the bestseller list for the answer. But t…

Douglas County Libraries videos

Innovate. Explore. Discover.

Myth-busting: libraries and ebooks

Recently I submitted an article for the Independent Book Publishers Association in New York. As I've written elsewhere, librarians need to pay more attention to independent publishing. My article is coming out later this month, I believe, but I wanted to share part of it here. Publishers and authors have a lot of misinformation about libraries. This might be a good time to bust the myths.Myth # 1: Libraries just want to buy one copy, then give your book away to the world. The truth: No, we don't. We do want to increase access -- getting more books in more people's hands is part of the library's mission. But we understand and adhere to copyright. We pay for multiple copies in the ebook world, just as we do with print. At Douglas County Libraries, we have our own system to manage ebook checkouts. We apply Digital Rights Management through the industry standard Adobe Content Server, and we check out books to just one person at a time.Myth # 2. Libraries steal sales from…

You can call me Al

Happy Anniversary, Alfred Hitchcock. But I guess I should also link to Paul Simon's version.

Librarianship redefined

I used to say our job is to gather, organize, and present to the public the intellectual content of our culture.But lately I've been thinking about my grandmother, Mimi. There's a simpler and homelier construction:We tell the family stories.

Librarians still talking to ourselves

This latest Library Journal piece on ebooks and libraries (Too Many ebook Cooks) is another mark of the mounting dissatisfaction in the field. On the other hand, this brilliant piece by Librarian In Black is way funnier. But back to LJ's Francine Fialkoff's piece. First, I don't want to claim all the credit for the Douglas County Libraries model. Monique Sendze was the system architect. Rochelle Logan and her team (Sharon Nemechek, Deb Margeson, and Julie Halverstadt key among them these days) are doing the really hard work of system process and workflow redesign. My board's willingness to invest money to solve big problems was and is impressive. Second, it happens that I sit on one of the ALA committees (Digital Content Working Group) that Ms. Failkoff takes to task for not having turned around either Big Six attitudes about selling to libraries, or the public's general lack of awareness about the issues. And there is certainly a lot of work to be done. We migh… and Amazon

Eric Hellman is thoughtful, probing, and bold. Amazon's attempt to shut down the very cool idea of certainly irritated ME. But here's his response.

New uses for old tablet

New Uses for Your Old TabletThanks for the link Anythink.

Past, present and future of public libraries

Carnegie Corporation of New York: Today's Public Libraries: Public Places of Excellence, Education and InnovationIt happens that I'm in Pennsylvania, giving four talks over the next three days. Maybe that's why this very well-written Carnegie message is particularly resonant


Smashwords and libraries

So here's the interesting thing about this Smashwords blog post -- "Based on our survey, we expect Smashwords authors and publishers will provide their books to libraries at lower-than-retail prices." Hmm. Some publishers want to charge more, sometimes WAY more than retail. But authors, the creators, want to charge less. Which is better for authors? And which, gentle reader, is better for the public, and the public library?

ALA releases ebook business models

Washington, DC – Based on conversations with publishers and deliberations on the ebook market, the American Library Association (ALA) today released Ebook Business Models for Public Libraries, a report that describes general features and attributes of the current ebook environment and outlines constraints and restrictions of current business models. The report, which was created by the ALA Digital Content & Libraries Working Group (DCWG), suggests opportunities for publishers to showcase content through public libraries. “Ebook publishing is expanding and evolving rapidly, and the terms under which ebooks are made available to libraries show wide variation and frequent change,” said DCWG co-chair Robert Wolven. “In this volatile period, no single business model will offer the best terms for all libraries or be adopted by all publishers or distributors. This report describes model terms libraries should look for in their dealings with ebook publishers and distributors, as well as …

This can't be good

ebook vendor comparison chart

My colleague Valerie Horton, director of the Colorado Library Consortium, put together this handy little chart of ebook vendors.


With my esteemed colleague Sharon Morris, Director of Library Development and Innovation for the Colorado State Library, I just finished teaching a graduate class in "Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness" for the University of Denver's Library and Information Science program. It was fascinating. I have a few observations.* The next generation of librarians is really smart. I like them.* I learned a lot myself, at least as much as the students. Class planning worked out to about two hours of prep per hour of class. The cool thing was just getting some clarity around both the content and the research behind each concept. Sharon is working on a PhD in this field. She has a commanding knowledge of the latest findings. That's pretty handy for a class like this. Our students got the very best thinking available. And I think our overall approach - know thyself, play well with others, pay attention to the measures of organizational effectiveness -- captures the right …