Money Issues

West Virginia auditor blasts Cisco, state for "oversized" router buy

West Virginia could have saved almost $8 million had the scope of the purchase been scaled to the requirements of the state's libraries, schools and state police, the report states. Smaller, less expensive routers could have been used in the state's 172 libraries, resulting in a savings of $2.8 million; in state police facilities, for a savings of $1 million to $1.4 million; and in 368 schools with enrollments of less than 500, for a savings of $3.68 million.

Late Sunday Night News

DEVELOPING...

Bloomberg: Reader’s Digest Files Bankruptcy to Cut $465 Mln Debt

Actor Alec Baldwin Donates to Hometown Library

WPRI reports: One year after donating $10,000 to Central Falls' Adams Memorial Library in Rhode Island, Alec Baldwin sent another $5,000 check to the library in response to its year-end fundraising appeal.

“I am overwhelmed with gratitude,” said library board president Bruce Kaplan. “A year ago, Alec’s donation helped us keep the doors open. This year he's helping us expand hours of operation and community programming.”

Funding for the Adams Memorial Library was cut in the wake of Central Falls' bankruptcy. It was forced to close its doors for several months in 2011, until a group of volunteers raised enough money to reopen the library.

Listed Predatory Publishers Fight Back, with Criminal Impersonation

Earlier this month, a new version of Jeffrey Beall's List of Predatory Publishers 2013 was posted at scholarlyoa.com. Since then, faked quotes have been posted to multiple blogs, claiming that Jeffrey Beall has been trying to extort money from publishers. This is an apparent smear campaign to discredit the efforts to name predatory publishers. The criteria for listing these publishers is also posted at scholarlyoa.com.

LISTen: An LISNews.org Program -- Episode #223

This week's program has not one but two features from the United States Department of Agriculture that may prove useful to reference librarians and selectors. In the essay we talk about the World Conference on International Telecommunications 2012 and how it may bode ill for the Internet not to mention that NPR reports about such as well.

Related links:

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This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us/.

Internet Traffic Management Changes To Be Discussed Next Week (bumped)

The current holder of the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law, Dr. Michael Geist, has a post up discussing the possible imposition of "sending party pays" rules to Internet traffic. In that scenario, sites serving content would be required to pay for the cost of sending content to requesting users while the requesting users would not be required to pay any such surcharge.

Reuters reports that this and more is set to come up at a meeting in Dubai sponsored by the International Telecommunications Union, a United Nations affiliate, kicking off next week. Reuters reports that individual nation-states are seeking codification in multilateral treaties of the ability for their nation-states to be able to shape the Internet within their countries as well as destroy the veil of anonymity. Reuters notes that some developing countries and telecommunications providers are seeking the imposition of sending party pays rules.

Forbes contributor Larry Downes writes that leaked documents from the International Telecommunications Union appear to set out a social media campaign to help ease concerns over that intergovernmental body's taking some level of regulatory control over the Internet.

As to the libraries angle...the architecture of the Internet let alone the economics of the Internet are up for intergovernmental negotiation in December which may impact how electronic services are provided by your agency in the future either directly or indirectly.

British Novelist Calls On American Mega-Companies to Help Save Britain's Libraries

From the Guardian:

A fiery Jeanette Winterson has called for the hundreds of millions of pounds of profit which Amazon, Starbucks and Google were last week accused of diverting from the UK to be used to save Britain's beleaguered public libraries.

In an impassioned speech at the British Library this evening, the award-winning author of Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit said: "Libraries cost about a billion a year to run right now. Make it two billion and charge Google, Amazon and Starbucks all that back tax on their profits here. Or if they want to go on paying fancy lawyers to legally avoid their moral duties, then perhaps those companies could do an Andrew Carnegie and build us new kinds of libraries for a new kind of future in a fairer and better world?"

Winterson was referring to the meeting at parliament's public accounts committee last Monday which saw executives from the three companies vigorously quizzed by MPs over their tax affairs, and accused of diverting UK profits to tax havens. Her lecture was to mark the 10th anniversary of the independent charity The Reading Agency, and was attended by fellow authors including David Nicholls, Julian Barnes, Joanna Trollope and Sarah Waters.

Spotify for ebooks? Aren’t the publishers already making enough money?

I've heard people opine for a Spotify for ebooks. This isn’t as kooky as when they opine for Netflix or Blockbuster for physical books. The thing is… Spotify is pretty good for consumers, but sucks for creators. Well… it’s not all rosy as some people want to believe. (I really don’t get why so many librarians absolutely loathe the publishing industry, but give the music industry a pass.)

Paul Krugman and the Economics of Books

For now, the estimable output of W. W. Norton, including Krugman's End This Depression Now, will continue to be available at a variety of prices. But over the longer term, with possibly serious consequences for the viability of publishers and booksellers, the odds favor the public's instinct to get the best bargain. To reiterate a crucial point I have made before: Publishers will always need the revenue to support authors and the staffs that edit, produce, and market their books, and to provide a reasonable profit for their owners. If the squeeze becomes too tight, the result will be fewer books that matter -- like End This Depression Now -- whether in print or digital formats.

One year later residents see fee system benefits

Although it was a public relations concern at the time, the $80 library-card fee imposed on users not residing in the Santa Clara County Library District in July 2011 has since proven mostly beneficial to Los Altos and Los Altos Hills users.

Nearly 14 months after the fee went into effect, statistics show increased patronage of the Los Altos main and Woodland Branch libraries by local residents and more materials available to them with decreased competition from nondistrict users.

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