The challenge I like to present to libraries is this: imagine that your entire collection is digital. Does it include Shakespeare? Does it include Moby Dick? Yes! Just because you don't have to pay for these works, doesn't mean that they don't belong in your library. And what if many modern works become available for free via Creative Commons licensing? Is it the library's role to promote these works, or should a library be promoting primarily the works it's paying for patrons to use?

That's why I thought Nate's suggestions were worthy of attention from people who could potentially do practical things.

The other hope is that if libraries can do compelling things with public domain content, there's no reason they couldn't do the same things with in-copyright material appropriately licensed. If the experience works, the rightsholders will see the value.

On Apr 10, 2011, at 10:05 AM, Karen Coyle 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.
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Eric Hellman
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