Eric, thanks for finding enough merit in my post on the DPLA listserv
to repost it here.
Karen and Peter, I completely agree with your feelings-
But my point in throwing this idea out there was that despite all of
the copyright issues, we don't really do a great job making a simple,
intuitive, branded interface for the works that *are* available - the
public domain stuff. Instead we seem to be content with knowing that
this content is out there, and letting vendors add it to their
I guess my hope, seeing this reposted here is that someone might have
a suggestion as to why I would not host public domain ebooks on my own
library's site. Are there technical hurdles to consider?
I feel like I see a tiny little piece of the ebook access problem that
we *can* solve here, while some of the larger issues will indeed be
debated in forums like the DPLA for quite a while. By solving a small
problem along the way, perhaps when the giant 1923-2011 problem is
resolved we'll have a clearer path as to what type of access we might
On 4/10/11, Peter Murray <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I, too, have been struggling with this aspect of the discussion. (I'm on the
> DPLA list as well.) There seems to be this blind spot within the leadership
> of the group to ignore the copyright problem and any interaction with
> publishers of popular materials. One of the great hopes that I have for this
> group, with all of the publicity it is generating, is to serve as a voice
> and a focal point to bring authors, publishers and librarians together to
> talk about a new digital ownership and sharing model.
> That doesn't seem to be happening.
> On Apr 10, 2011, at 10:05, "Karen Coyle" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> I appreciate the spirit of this, but despair at the idea that
>> libraries organize their services around public domain works, thus
>> becoming early 20th century institutions. The gap between 1923 and
>> 2011 is huge, and it makes no sense to users that a library provide
>> services based on publication date, much less that enhanced services
>> stop at 1923.
>> Quoting Eric Hellman <[log in to unmask]>:
>>> The DPLA listserv is probably too impractical for most of Code4Lib,
>>> but Nate Hill (who's on this list as well) made this contribution
>>> there, which I think deserves attention from library coders here.
>>> On Apr 5, 2011, at 11:15 AM, Nate Hill wrote:
>>>> It is awesome that the project Gutenberg stuff is out there, it is
>>>> a great start. But libraries aren't using it right. There's been
>>>> talk on this list about the changing role of the public library in
>>>> people's lives, there's been talk about the library brand, and some
>>>> talk about what 'local' might mean in this context. I'd suggest
>>>> that we should find ways to make reading library ebooks feel local
>>>> and connected to an immediate community. Brick and mortar library
>>>> facilities are public spaces, and librarians are proud of that. We
>>>> have collections of materials in there, and we host programs and
>>>> events to give those materials context within the community.
>>>> There's something special about watching a child find a good book,
>>>> and then show it to his or her friend and talk about how awesome
>>>> it is. There's also something special about watching a senior
>>>> citizens book group get together and discuss a new novel every
>>>> month. For some reason, libraries really struggle with treating
>>>> their digital spaces the same way.
>>>> I'd love to see libraries creating online conversations around
>>>> ebooks in much the same way. Take a title from project Gutenberg:
>>>> The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Why not host that book
>>>> directly on my library website so that it can be found at an
>>>> intuitive URL, www.sjpl.org/the-adventures-of-huckleberry-finn and
>>>> then create a forum for it? The URL itself takes care of the
>>>> 'local' piece; certainly my most likely visitors will be San Jose
>>>> residents- especially if other libraries do this same thing. The
>>>> brand remains intact, when I launch this web page that holds the
>>>> book I can promote my library's identity. The interface is no
>>>> problem because I can optimize the page to load well on any device
>>>> and I can link to different formats of the book. Finally, and most
>>>> importantly, I've created a local digital space for this book so
>>>> that people can converse about it via comments, uploaded pictures,
>>>> video, whatever. I really think this community conversation and
>>>> context-creation around materials is a big part of what makes
>>>> public libraries special.
>>> Eric Hellman
>>> President, Gluejar, Inc.
>>> http://www.gluejar.com/ Gluejar is hiring!
>>> [log in to unmask]
>> Karen Coyle
>> [log in to unmask] http://kcoyle.net
>> ph: 1-510-540-7596
>> m: 1-510-435-8234
>> skype: kcoylenet
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