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, 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.
>   Gluejar is hiring!
> [log in to unmask]
> @gluejar

Karen Coyle
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