Thursday, November 4, 2010 at 8:15 am
In the print era – when books and articles were hard to find and could only be distributed slowly and at great expense – it made sense for libraries to build large, just-in-case collections despite the inevitable waste they entailed and despite our inability to predict our patrons’ needs accurately; the traditional collection was the only reasonable option. But then scholarly information moved online. First, journal content migrated in the 1990s, then monographs did the same (reaching a watershed with the Google Books project) in the 2000s. In the print realm, the recently-developed Espresso Book Machine has now radically undermined the logistical fundamentals of traditional publishing. These developments mean that information products are no longer either hard to find or difficult to distribute, and should prompt us to rethink our most fundamental assumptions about the role and functions of the traditional library collection. This new reality is frightening, of course, but also incredibly exciting and it offers tremendous opportunities for libraries and their patrons.
Attendees will learn more about the radical implications of three specific developments: Google Books; emerging patron-driven print and ebook acquisition models; and local print-on-demand. The presenter, whose library recently acquired and installed an EBM, will share his institution’s experiences, experiments, and policy innovations, and will solicit broader discussion with attendees on these topics.