Showing posts from February, 2013

The problem of the middle man

An article was referred to me from "Beyond the Bookcast." It's interesting to hear (see the previous link for the podcast) what the folks from Publishers Weekly made of ALA's midwinter. On the whole, I agreed with them: things are looking up. But having thought about this some more, I think there's something really new here. The commentators "got" what we're doing with the DCL Model. The creation of our own infrastructure, our launching of direct negotiations with publishers, our securing of significant discounts, all reveal a fundamental shift in the market. Once we put together our system, and realized that the independent publishers and the self-published authors weren't available to us at any price through the usual suspects of Baker and Taylor, Ingrams, or 3M, we realized that we had cut out the middle man. And having done that, why not go direct to more mainstream publishers? After all, we were using the same technologies as the distribu…

Seattle space needle and moon

This is from my phone, back at ALA's midwinter meeting. I just happened to look up just as the sky cleared. It looked, and still does look, surreal.

My early writings

Recently Suzanne found a folder that contained photocopies and printouts of a lot of my older writings. I just spent a while reading them through. Examples:"The ALL-OUT Library: a design for computer-powered, multidimensional services," my first professional piece, co-written with Jim Sleeth. He was then the assistant director at Lincoln Library, Springfield, IL's public library. I was the circulation department head. The article talked about a schema to adapt bibliographic records to include information about newspapers, community organization, and library events and programs. American Libraries, October 1983, pp. 594-596. "Sending them a message: Electronic Bulletin Boards," was my next big one, and marked my introduction to the late, lamented Wilson Library Bulletin. By then I was the assistant director of Lincoln Library. (Jim had gone off to be the director of the Steele Memorial Library in Elmira, NY, from which he has now retired after transforming that…