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Peter Brantley     ALA NISO/BISGInternet Archive   New Orleans LA                          06.2011
eBooks are a conundrum
promise tremendous reach
yet pose significanttechnical challenges
arguably a threat tocommerce in books
if libraries can do well with eBook platforms
why buy when one can borrow?
it’s a fair question
but …multiplequiXotic issues
publishers see books  as a commodity
libraries see books    as a service
access to information
two opposing views of ebooks
to place a different argument   about culture (national)       in a new context
“eBooks are files,    wrapped in a license,surrounded by technology, delivered by a contract”    Michael Tamblyn      Kobo...
“eBooks are books,wrapped in cultural life,surrounded by readers, delivered by history”  Michael Tamblyn    Kobo Books
yet, weirdly,
publishershave an advantage   over libraries
retail / distribution platforms(however the books are sold)
providing contextual services(a different kind of metadata)
social reading:sharing thoughts  on a platform
libraries value privacy
social has been monetized(because social is valuable)
“[digital] transforms the book from isolated vessel for text    into a shared interface”         Craig Mod
“Digital marginalia is acollective conversation”      Craig Mod
so in that light
libraries can buy books   and then lend them
without seriously impacting     business models
and ensuringa basic level of service   (access to books)
that’s what we want to do  at the Internet Archive
buy books andthen lend them
we’re old fashioned that way
greatest commercial value of ebooks is
not reallythe book  itself
but the conversationaround and through      the book
peoplewill exchange money for
the social life  of books
for experts’ glosses and the thoughts of friends
a digital bookis a centroid onthe social graph
“At MIT, his office … was crammed with books,most overdue from the college library. Dr. Lettvinclaimed he did not return t...
selling a book is
selling a ticket tothat conversation
and let’s be real (for a second)
libraries are already less than 5 percent of the book market
and rather sadly wekeep getting poorer
we’re not going to buy,and not going to lend
enough books to impact sales
but we can add connectionsamong those conversations
publishers mightcall it “marketing” akatargeted impressions
maybe we should geta commission on sales
Alexis Madrigal                 said it more holistically                     in The Atlantichttp://www.theatlantic.com/te...
“The library has become a social network    with physical and digital nodes.”              (emphasis added)
but there’s one more problem
a problem in the future
for everyone (pubs and libs)
that we’ll have to  solve together
because books aremoving to the web
and if a book is nota container of things
but a collection of links to places on the web
interactive experiences   across the network
there’s nothing to download
and I don’t know what it means
to buy or borrow
access to the web
particularly
if books can change
where I read themwhen I read them
who reads them who has read themwho I read them with
these will bethe new books
thanks!
“Centroid”, Flickr!, CGehlen
peter brantley  internet archivepeter @ archive org     @naypinya
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What ebooks mean for Libraries

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Transcript of "What ebooks mean for Libraries"

  1. 1. Peter Brantley ALA NISO/BISGInternet Archive New Orleans LA 06.2011
  2. 2. eBooks are a conundrum
  3. 3. promise tremendous reach
  4. 4. yet pose significanttechnical challenges
  5. 5. arguably a threat tocommerce in books
  6. 6. if libraries can do well with eBook platforms
  7. 7. why buy when one can borrow?
  8. 8. it’s a fair question
  9. 9. but …multiplequiXotic issues
  10. 10. publishers see books as a commodity
  11. 11. libraries see books as a service
  12. 12. access to information
  13. 13. two opposing views of ebooks
  14. 14. to place a different argument about culture (national) in a new context
  15. 15. “eBooks are files, wrapped in a license,surrounded by technology, delivered by a contract” Michael Tamblyn Kobo Books
  16. 16. “eBooks are books,wrapped in cultural life,surrounded by readers, delivered by history” Michael Tamblyn Kobo Books
  17. 17. yet, weirdly,
  18. 18. publishershave an advantage over libraries
  19. 19. retail / distribution platforms(however the books are sold)
  20. 20. providing contextual services(a different kind of metadata)
  21. 21. social reading:sharing thoughts on a platform
  22. 22. libraries value privacy
  23. 23. social has been monetized(because social is valuable)
  24. 24. “[digital] transforms the book from isolated vessel for text into a shared interface” Craig Mod
  25. 25. “Digital marginalia is acollective conversation” Craig Mod
  26. 26. so in that light
  27. 27. libraries can buy books and then lend them
  28. 28. without seriously impacting business models
  29. 29. and ensuringa basic level of service (access to books)
  30. 30. that’s what we want to do at the Internet Archive
  31. 31. buy books andthen lend them
  32. 32. we’re old fashioned that way
  33. 33. greatest commercial value of ebooks is
  34. 34. not reallythe book itself
  35. 35. but the conversationaround and through the book
  36. 36. peoplewill exchange money for
  37. 37. the social life of books
  38. 38. for experts’ glosses and the thoughts of friends
  39. 39. a digital bookis a centroid onthe social graph
  40. 40. “At MIT, his office … was crammed with books,most overdue from the college library. Dr. Lettvinclaimed he did not return them because thelibrary would send him the students who wantedthose books, and he would interview them aspotential assistants.”Jerome Lettvin; MIT professor with passion for ideas, a good debateby J.M. Lawrence, Boston Globe, May 15, 2011.
  41. 41. selling a book is
  42. 42. selling a ticket tothat conversation
  43. 43. and let’s be real (for a second)
  44. 44. libraries are already less than 5 percent of the book market
  45. 45. and rather sadly wekeep getting poorer
  46. 46. we’re not going to buy,and not going to lend
  47. 47. enough books to impact sales
  48. 48. but we can add connectionsamong those conversations
  49. 49. publishers mightcall it “marketing” akatargeted impressions
  50. 50. maybe we should geta commission on sales
  51. 51. Alexis Madrigal said it more holistically in The Atlantichttp://www.theatlantic.com/technology/print/2011/06/what-big-media-can-learn-from-the-new-york-public-library/240565/
  52. 52. “The library has become a social network with physical and digital nodes.” (emphasis added)
  53. 53. but there’s one more problem
  54. 54. a problem in the future
  55. 55. for everyone (pubs and libs)
  56. 56. that we’ll have to solve together
  57. 57. because books aremoving to the web
  58. 58. and if a book is nota container of things
  59. 59. but a collection of links to places on the web
  60. 60. interactive experiences across the network
  61. 61. there’s nothing to download
  62. 62. and I don’t know what it means
  63. 63. to buy or borrow
  64. 64. access to the web
  65. 65. particularly
  66. 66. if books can change
  67. 67. where I read themwhen I read them
  68. 68. who reads them who has read themwho I read them with
  69. 69. these will bethe new books
  70. 70. thanks!
  71. 71. “Centroid”, Flickr!, CGehlen
  72. 72. peter brantley internet archivepeter @ archive org @naypinya
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