Libraries have long provided an essential community service by making books and other information products freely available and accessible to local community patrons. Libraries play a critical role in promoting literacy, a culture of books and the joys of reading.
With the rise of ebooks, public libraries are at a crossroads. Some large traditional publishers, which fear digital lending might cannibalize retail sales of both print books and ebooks, have been hesitant to supply ebooks to libraries at the very time that library patrons are clamoring for access to such products.
This three-part presentation outlines the opportunity for libraries to expand their community role by developing programs that promote a culture of authorship. By holding seminars and classes, and by bringing local authors together with readers and aspiring authors, Libraries are uniquely qualified to orchestrate community resources and talent to help local writers become professional self-publishers. Unlike traditional publishers, self-published authors are pro-library. By developing community publishing initiatives that promote best-practices for professional self-publishing, libraries will help ensure a steady and diverse supply of high-quality books for library patrons and readers worldwide.
This series of three presentations was delivered by Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords, on March 21, 2013 at the Midwest Collaborative for Library Services symposium held in Lansing, Michigan.The presentations have been combined here for ease of access.
Additional text has been added so viewers will gain contextual background for information that was delivered verbally.