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An Open Letter To The Library Community
What you can do
Here are three things you can do to oppose exclusive licensing agreements:
1.Raise your voice. Join the Facebook group "Librarians for Fair Access to Content." Tweet. E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Call publishers and information providers and share your library's mission; tell them why these licensing practices are bad for libraries.
2.Pass this message along to other librarians and those who make decisions regarding your funding levels. Get others involved. There's strength in numbers.
3.Don't reward the behavior. Work with information providers who support your mission and understand your needs.
As the cost of licensing content increases artificially, prices will go up. If you worry about information costs going up, we ask you to take a stand.
Explain the Silence to Me:
"So why are these librarians taking it? Why are they being quiet? I don’t have an answer for you – and so I’m hoping someone out there can answer this for me. If you signed a contract for one product and then are told you have to use another – do you just say okay? or do you move on or demand the product you originally wanted."
I even really like citrus fruits! And yet...
"I've been having unkind words about LibLime percolating in my head for a week which I've been not posting here, because I try not to be an unkind-words sort of person. But I no longer feel restraint about that."
OCLC and the Associated Press — Two Sides of the Same Information Provider Coin?
Two cooperatives — OCLCL1 on the bibliographic utility side and the Associated PressL2 on the newswire side — have the same pattern of activity:
* both are membership organizations,
* both seek to amplify the efforts of members (bibliographic records in one case, news stories and photographs in the other),
* both are reacting to threats to content under its purview, and
* both have prominent members experimenting with new forms of content delivery and use.
Over at American Libraries Sean Fitzpatrick writes when Stephen Abram did weigh in on Open Source, his harsh criticism created quite a dust-up on Twitter and the blogosphere. But Abram’s white paper may have done more to legitimize the role of open source software (OSS) in libraries than challenge it; if nothing else, Abram’s marketing piece revealed that open source ILSs are a threat to the vendor-based market.
Stephen Abram: The discussion about open source and integrated library systems has become more relevant and animated in the past year. Much has happened to fuel the discussion, especially recently with changes with the open source (and quasi-open source) vendors. Open source technology in general has become part of the technology discussion of in many industries including libraries.
David Lee King pointed out A Post On Wikileaks about SirsiDynix: "This document was released only to a select number of existing customers of the company SirsiDynix, a proprietary library automation software vendor. According to our source it has not been released more broadly specifically because of the misinformation about open source software and possible libel per se against certain competitors contained therein."
[Update]: See Also It's About a Respectful Discussion for a discussion from the author. He's also posted a link to the "restricted" paper.
Last week, Wal-Mart cut the price of some popular new books to just $10, a slice of over 60%. Not willing to be out-done on home turf, Amazon matched them. Wal-Mart went down to $9. Amazon went to $8.99. Target jumped in tardily at $8.99. Then Sears jaunted into the battle and dropped some serious knowledge: books for free.
How? Buy any one of those deep-discounted books at Target, Wal-Mart, or Amazon, and send Sears the receipt and they'll give you a credit of $9 towards anything you buy from Sears online.
Sears says this is part of some campaign called "Keep America Reading" which would be more appropriately called "Keep America Buying Books". And buy books they'll do, if the $10 price point sticks past the holiday rush.
Christopher Harris on database companies : Or, they could spend more time on gathering/creating top-notch content (what we really want from them) and then figure out some sort of an industry consortium model for a single, shared interface. That way we aren’t paying each of 10 or so companies for doing interface development work.
KGS, It Takes a Village: Koha and open source leadership: It truly takes a village — in many senses of that phrase. The health of an open source project, particularly for software developed for people who are not developers, depends on true diversity in participation — developers, librarians, sage administrators, brash young folks willing to experiment — and an honest acknowledgment that healthy project leadership will be inclusive of all these roles.