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Wednesday
Sep292010

When you don't really want to be right...

 

The Flat World Library Corporation

Mon, Sep 27, 2010 at 3:32 PM 
 I am struck by how current articles and postings seem to be bringing your 2005 article to fore. I've used your posting several times before in my classes and thus the recent turn of events make your "letter" even more real.
 
I've just added this section to one of my classes:
 
Johnson, Doug. "Letter from the Flat World Library Corporation." Blue Skunk Blog. 5 Oct. 2005. Web. 27 Sept. 2010. <http://doug-johnson.squarespace.com/blue-skunk-blog/2005/10/7/letter-from-the-flat-world-library-corporation.html>. With these current articles, can we say that Johnson was prescient about how libraries will be changed?
Hope you are doing well.
 
Floyd Pentlin, Instructor
Library Science & Information Services
University of Central Missour

Thanks, Floyd for the permission to post this e-mail. Glad you can use the piece.

Please ask your students not to hold the messenger responsible for the message content.

Anyone who attended yesterday's LJ/SLJ virtual summit on e-books* must realize the corporate outsourcing of collection development in libraries will accelerate as e-books supplant print books. Companies are selling (and libraries are buying) collection, not titles.

* Kudos of the technical success of this "summit." Each session I attended worked great. What would liked to have heard were joint vendor/library presentations about how different types of libraries were actually managing e-book resources. Or do they exist?

Doug -- The links to LM_NET no longer work. Evidently I haven't figure out yet how to link to archived LM_NET messages. I've put the three postings I referred to in the e-mail in a public Evernote folder: http://www.evernote.com/pub/fpentlin/5250outsourcing

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Reader Comments (9)

Doug,
The link is broken
Rati

September 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRati Singhal

Thanks, Rati. I think it is fixed now.

Doug

September 30, 2010 | Registered CommenterDoug Johnson

The post looks broken up as well...

September 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGrace

Your 2005 post makes you the Nostradamus of LIS. Many administrators are chomping at the bit to move to ebooks and shutter libraries. The fact is that too many leaders (in and out of education) do not see the value added by librarians and will not miss us. Queue the scary music foreshadowing doom.

September 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnthony Doyle

Doug -- The links to LM_NET no longer work. Evidently I haven't figure out yet how to link to archived LM_NET messages. I've put the three postings I referred to in the e-mail in a public Evernote folder: http://www.evernote.com/pub/fpentlin/5250outsourcing

October 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFloyd Pentlin

(kicks himself repeatedly for missing the summit) Please tell me there is an archive available somewhere. I need this information in the worst way. My school and library is dabbling in eBooks, and some insight into how others handle them would help us tremendously.

I'd also like to address Anthony's post and issue a mild challenge:

"Your 2005 post makes you the Nostradamus of LIS. Many administrators are chomping at the bit to move to ebooks and shutter libraries. The fact is that too many leaders (in and out of education) do not see the value added by librarians and will not miss us. Queue the scary music foreshadowing doom."

Leaders in and out of education across the country have certainly shown a disturbing trend to undervalue libraries and librarians. I'll give you that. I would like to point out a distinction - libraries and librarians are not the same thing. We may indeed be looking at the end of the library as a huge warehouse of dead trees (print resources). I, for one, eagerly anticipate the day when I will no longer cover dust jackets in mylar, stamp books, shelve books, pull books from shelves, pick up books from tables to place back on shelves, straighten shelves, read shelves, etc.

I want to be a librarian, not a book mover-abouter (please forgive the silly term). I want to lead my patrons to content, regardless of the form that content takes. I want to teach them to access all media and evaluate its usefulness. I want to be able to get resources into my users' hands without schlepping a 400 pound bookcart a quarter mile to the classroom to do a book talk. Libraries are becoming learning commons, and that is as it should be, IMHO.

We are not our libraries, and our libraries are not us. I challenge all of us to be more than our physical space, and technology is one way to do this. Go boldly into electronic media, carrying the willing and dragging the unwilling. Do not fear the eBook and allow it to be a harbinger of doom. Embrace the electronic book, and squeeze those publishers and vendors until you get a product you and your patrons can use. You hold the purse strings, and no matter how small the purse may be, the holder of the purse has the power in the relationship (just ask my wife).

Let's continue this conversation and support each other as we move forward.

October 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLen Bryan

Hi Anthony,

I hate the cliche "perfect storm," but economic conditions, accountability movement, and ubiquitous access to digital information and entertainment sources seem to all be working to put libraries at risk.

No, Nostradamus, just can read the news.

Doug

Hi Len,

"Archive viewing of all of the presentations, panels, and sponsor documents are available through December 31, 2010 to all new viewers for the reduced rate of $19.95. If you wish to view the presentations and materials that were available at the live event, simply click on the registration button." http://ebook-summit.com/

You can find a summary here:
http://www.libraryjournal.com/lj/home/887063-264/ljsljs_first_virtual_summit_on.html

Great comment. If all librarians had your outlook, we would not be having these sorts of discussions!

Doug

October 4, 2010 | Registered CommenterDoug Johnson

I LOVE the eBooks, especially for reference and research/inquiry. They make perfect sense for libraries. I lose about $2000 in paper/print materials each year. I have looked for a way to purchase a security system to no avail so far. I am trying to buy all of my curriculum support materials in eBook format now.....we can't lose those and students are not inclined to use print and paper books. The only thing that I would like better now is one platform where ALL eBooks can be found in my resources lists.

October 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTori Jensen

Hi Tori,

I think what you are asking for is coming. The publishers will need to figure things out first though.

Doug

October 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDoug Johnson

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