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bibliofeminista

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    Nation's First Bookless Public Library Could Be in Texas →

    The library system, dubbed BiblioTech, proposes to make thousands of e-books available for county residents both online and at a 5,000-square-foot physical location on the South Side of the county, according to a statement issued by Bexar County officials. Visitors would be able to check out books to read on their own e-readers or tablets, or borrow one of the library’s 150 take-home e-readers.

    — 1 year ago with 5 notes
    #technology  #ebooks  #ereaders  #libraries  #books  #library 
    One of many bizarre looking libraries via Flavorwire. 

    One of many bizarre looking libraries via Flavorwire

    — 1 year ago with 6 notes
    #libraries  #bizarre  #architecture 
    Libraries See Opening as Bookstores Close →

    “A library has limited shelf space, so you almost have to think of it as a store, and stock it with the things that people want,” said Jason Kuhl, the executive director of the Arlington Heights Memorial Library. Renovations will turn part of the library’s first floor into an area resembling a bookshop that officials are calling the Marketplace, with cozy seating, vending machines and, above all, an abundance of best sellers.

    As librarians across the nation struggle with the task of redefining their roles and responsibilities in a digital age, many public libraries are seeing an opportunity to fill the void created by the loss of traditional bookstores. They are increasingly adapting their collections and services based on the demands of library patrons, whom they now call customers.

    Today’s libraries are reinventing themselves as vibrant town squares, showcasing the latest best sellers, lending Kindles loaded with e-books, and offering grass-roots technology training centers. Faced with the need to compete for shrinking municipal finances, libraries are determined to prove they can respond as quickly to the needs of the taxpayers as the police and fire department can.

    “I think public libraries used to seem intimidating to many people, but today, they are becoming much more user-friendly, and are no longer these big, impersonal mausoleums,” said Jeannette Woodward, a former librarian and author of “Creating the Customer-Driven Library: Building on the Bookstore Model.”

    — 1 year ago with 7 notes
    #libraries  #books  #ebooks  #library  #technology 
    Libraries are the best counter to piracy →

    In 2002, almost 10 years ago, Tim O’Reilly penned a famous essay entitled “Piracy is Progressive Taxation” in which he discussed O’Reilly Media’s decision to release ebooks without DRM, and O’Reilly’s belief that piracy was not a significant threat to their sales or reputation. Tim ends the essay by quoting from Star Wars’ Hans Solo: “Give the wookie what he wants!” — in other words, by filling demand in as many places, and as many ways as possible, the incentive for e-book piracy is dramatically reduced. Whatever piracy remains is likely inevitable: hardcore users who will resist proffering any payment for content under any terms. The majority of readers seek an easy, straightforward means of purchasing what they want. In fact, by allowing “freeniks” to pirate, price setting can focus solely on customers from whom revenue is expected, generating higher income across the demand curve.

    Such analyses appear not to matter to Big 6 publishing, which has endorsed on a draconian effort to control the access to their content on the network: a strategy that, as Cory Doctorow recently observed, is ultimately an attack on general purpose computing and networking:

    [i]f you think of protocols and sites as features of the network, then saying “fix the Internet so that it doesn’t run BitTorrent”, or “fix the Internet so that thepiratebay.org no longer resolves”, then it sounds a lot like “change the sound of busy signals”, or “take that pizzeria on the corner off the phone network”, and not like an attack on the fundamental principles of internetworking. …

    [w]e don’t know how to build the general purpose computer that is capable of running any program we can compile except for some program that we don’t like, or that we prohibit by law, or that loses us money.

    Instead of heeding Tim O’Reilly’s 10 year old lesson that making content available in desirable places under terms that users accept is the most profitable path, publishing has implicitly decided to attempt to control something they have no adequate understanding of, and can never really control: computing and the internet. They’ve shot themselves in the foot.

    And what I find most darkly amusing is that they weren’t content to stop there. The one place in the book distribution ecosystem where piracy is most efficiently defeated, where users have access to content for free but under carefully controlled circumstances, have been libraries. Libraries have always been the best counter to piracy. And instead of cementing a relationship with libraries that works to the benefit of all parties, publishers have steadfastly withdrawn the ability of libraries to provide free content, even when it is available for only limited borrowing periods, or only a restricted number of titles, with severe constraints on sharing and copying. Instead, they have indicated an interest in the commercialization of libraries by encouraging rental models.

    And so, having shot themselves in one foot by trying to control piracy through technically inappropriate means even though it is a manageable risk, they’ve looked around and noticed that books remain available for free at another location, libraries, and so they’ve taken aim and shot themselves in their other foot. Someone needs to buy them steel-toed boots before they decide to aim higher.

    Because I feel I haven’t ranted enough recently about my hatred of DRMs and how the big publishers “just don’t get it.”

    — 2 years ago with 44 notes
    #DRM  #libraries  #DRMs  #SOPA  #piracy  #publishing 
    Survey Says Library Users Are Your Best Customers →

    “Our data show that over 50% of all library users report purchasing books by an author they were introduced to in the library,” Miller noted. “This debunks the myth that when a library buys a book the publisher loses future sales. Instead, it confirms that the public library does not only incubate and support literacy, as is well understood in our culture, but it is an active partner with the publishing industry in building the book market, not to mention the burgeoning e-book market.”

    — 2 years ago with 32 notes
    #ebooks  #publishing  #library  #libraries  #book sales 
    Library eBook Checkouts Up 200% This Year →

    Compared to last year, eBook checkouts at libraries have increased 200 percent in 2011. According to third quarter 2011 research from digital book distributor OverDrive, eBook checkouts from libraries are expected to be more than 16 million by the end of the year.

    — 2 years ago with 13 notes
    #ebooks  #library  #libraries  #e-books  #ereaders  #overdrive 
    Libraries will rely on volunteers to survive, says report →

    Libraries will increasingly rely on volunteers and community groups, with more books distributed from shops and village halls, according to a report released on Friday from the Local Government Association (LGA) and the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA).

    The report monitors the progress of 10 pilot projects established by theyear-old Future Libraries Programme, including Bradford’s book borrowing points in shops across the city; Hertfordshire’s plans to expand in co-operation with adult social care and children’s centres; and the money-saving combined libraries service proposed by several London councils.

    Suffolk plans to recruit members of the public on to boards of governors running its libraries, and Northumberland and Durham are triallingebooks for older people and children.

    Options for ensuring libraries’ survival in the 21st century include running them in partnership with the private sector, charities and other councils; integrating with community facilities including churches, shops and village halls; or providing services including health centres and police surgeries in existing libraries.

    — 2 years ago with 9 notes
    #libraries  #library  #england  #budget cuts 
    According to a report from the American Library Association (ALA), 55 percent of urban libraries, 36 percent of suburban libraries and 26 percent of rural libraries saw budget cuts this year.
Urban library patrons saw the largest reduction in service, as almost 32 percent reduced hours last year–nearly 23 percent higher than the previous year. Librarians cited job search services were most important at the library, but 56 percent of the libraries didn’t have enough staffing resources to help job-seekers. We’ve embedded an ALA slideshow above so you can explore the charts for these figures. ~MediaBistro

    According to a report from the American Library Association (ALA), 55 percent of urban libraries, 36 percent of suburban libraries and 26 percent of rural libraries saw budget cuts this year.

    Urban library patrons saw the largest reduction in service, as almost 32 percent reduced hours last year–nearly 23 percent higher than the previous year. Librarians cited job search services were most important at the library, but 56 percent of the libraries didn’t have enough staffing resources to help job-seekers. We’ve embedded an ALA slideshow above so you can explore the charts for these figures. ~MediaBistro

    — 3 years ago with 6 notes
    #library  #funding  #recession  #city  #urban  #libraries  #budget cuts  #reading  #books 
    Could an online booksharing scheme spell the end for the traditional library? →

    With more people using the internet, an online booksharing scheme might appear to be the perfect solution for people unable to visit their local library. But the idea has caused dismay among some library campaigners. The London borough of Sutton last Monday launched its online booksharing scheme where residents post their own books to swap, then meet in person to complete the transaction.

    Registered users upload details of books they want to share using open source data. Once they tap in the ISBN, a small picture of the publication appears with a few explanatory notes and the owner’s details. Borrowers can then get in touch to agree loan terms and where to meet….

    Georgina Paraskeva, an events organiser, says: “I’m a new Sutton resident and see it as an opportunity to meet like-minded people. I assume that when you hand over the book there will be some short conversation and that appeals to me – it’s a book club mentality – like book club lite.”

    But Duncan Shrubsole, policy and external affairs director at housing charity Crisis, agrees with Nandy that online booksharing will not be accessible to many vulnerable people, and says he would worry if schemes like the bookshare replace libraries. “Walk-in institutions such as libraries can provide [homeless people with] warmth, shelter and services, such as free access to the internet,” he says.

    So far, campaigners’ fears are not shared by librarians. Mark Taylor, head of marketing and media relations at the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, does not believe that the scheme poses a threat to libraries: “If it was a replacement for the library service, we would have real concerns. But it seems supplementary.”

    I think it’s an interesting idea, especially as my local library doesn’t always have the books I’m looking for. Between the library and non-library ebook lending systems (not for Kindle still however..) and this new plan, books look to become more and more accessible and sharable. I hope that trend continues as there is still much fear that e-books are not truly “ownable” by buyers.

    However, I hope this scheme is not used as further evidence that closing libraries in the UK would be OK since there are alternatives. This (very interesting!) system definitely would not be one readily available to the elderly (many who still don’t understand how to use computers) and the homeless, two groups that greatly benefit from the free services a library provides.

    — 3 years ago with 5 notes
    #library  #libraries  #sharing  #book sharing