Well done, HarperCollins: librarians must change old thinking

In spite of the heat HarperCollins can expect to receive from its library customers, I hope they stand their ground. Librarians need to shift their thinking as digitisation transforms the reading landscape. They are doing authors, publishers and ultimately themselves and their patrons no favours by this stance.

The fact is that rightsholders do have serious concerns and librarians have not managed to address them. They won’t do it with anger, or with soothing but unfounded assurances that ebooks will be no different from print in their economic impact.

In the face of rightsholders’ concerns, librarians must listen not bully, and they should be willing to experiment with new models that will ensure libraries and other channels can co-exist in the emerging, all-pervasive digital world. No-one has all the answers yet but we won’t solve this issue by denying the existence of the problem and closing off avenues for fresh thinking.

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I thinnk there is one basic fact though

and that is if libraries don't want to buy the books then they don't have to.
It probably won't affect the bottom line for HC or in the case of libraries make that much of a difference.
If they want they they'll buy them and if they don't they won't.

I know it's the issue not the reality of this that is important. If you let one publisher makes changes etc, but really, how many libraries are providing e-books anyway? What % of a public libraries user base will be using them compared to the print books? No point spending money if the majority of your customers can't use them is there.

I like this idea though:
>3.Charge a loan fee for some patron groups and/or ebook types to make the service cost-neutral. This could also bring in extra income to pay fair prices for ebooks, and reduce the impact on paid retail sales by closing the cost gap between borrowing and buying (in my opinion, the best of the available options).<

Makes the people that want the service actually pay for it and appreciate it.

then stop calling them "books"

books are physical things and have only been virtual things for the last 20 years. with books, one would assume that when I have a physical thing that I can move it wherever, however and to whomever.
but now the ebook people want to redefine what a book is: it's a lease; it expires at some point; if you read it too many times, you have to buy another copy; if the publisher decides that they don't want you to access the book, they can disable it. and these are all great things, for everyone but the consumer.
if I archive an ebook, will I have to pay a fee every year?
will ebooks now demand new copyright extensions to match their infinite lifespan?
now that corporations have broken the attachment between the media and the medium, will everything need to be renegotiated?
if I listen to the beautiful theme from Titanic, My Heart Will Go On, by the amazing Celine Dion more than the allowed 150 times, do I have to buy it again?
when libraries *loan* materials, the people only get to enjoy them for a very short time.
but what publishers want is that consumers pay to look at their works. if they had it their way, you wouldn't be able to read a few pages of a print book while you browse through a book store. Or look at a magazine. they want to decide at what point you need to pay.
when all is digital, do you think you'll be able to see more than the cover of the current People on the news stand? no. there will be no virtual flipping through the magazine to decide if you want to buy it. buy it first, then decide if it's crap.

libraries are the last line of defense between the publisher and the consumer. when we give in to their demands and forfeit our ability to lend without restrictions, then the next step will be to tell individual users that they're trying to re-read Are you there, Vodka way past the expiration date and need to buy it again. librarians need to hold our ground. .... FREEDOM!

librarians must change old thinking

Library was predominantly for collective purchase (as individual can not or need not to buy all relevant ones- as one does not know his/her time to time need) from the tax-payers money and add value to each document by organizing or creating proper context and symbiotic relationship to users approach to find particular document or content (creating context for each book or a content is a real value for nurturing of the content) is more than even the content itself. On Internet - creating context to content is the major struggle, which librarianship has been successful.

Book - a Print or digital - it is the mindset of users decide its preference. Majority of the users in print were using document in a linear style (reading from page one to end), has come down, horizontal style of opening many sites - simultaneously is increasing, further to linked sites on particular topic. Hence , it require to simulate librarianship for internet mindset than just looking as print or digital.

Dr.H.S.Siddamallaiah
siddahss@gmail.com

confusing :P

Dr Siddamallaiah:
Majority of the users in print were using document in a linear style (reading from page one to end),

So ebook readers read books by only really every 4th page then going to a random page then to another random page?
You are right that the internet and webpages work like that but books are still books, novels you read linearly and non-fiction, well it depends but you can't get away from that. In fact I would say that it's even harder to 'flick' through a book in an electronic form than it is in print. Same thing has happened with academic journals, when you see the table of contents you pick which articles you want to look at and then open that pdf, with print you literally flick through and your eye is attracted by a photo for example. You don't open every pdf file of a journal.

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