Ramblings, citations and "brainwaves" of a college librarian in Toronto. 475 square feet refers to the size of my home, not the size of my office or library.

Amazon (Kindle) vs Adobe Content Sever 4

Adobe has more than 17 ebook reader manufacturers, 100 publishers, book retailers as well as libraries using Content Server 4 software to deliver encryptable ebooks via the two formats favored by Adobe: PDF and ePUB.

Both PDF and ePub are open industry standards, though the optional encryption and DRM provided by Adobe's Content Server and enforced by the Adobe Reader are not.

Amazon.com is like Apple: successful, but secretive, with a reliance on proprietary formats like the Kindle's native AZW that creates customer hassle and lock-in.

Analysts are backing Adobe over Amazon, Amazon has been doubted before, wrongly I might add. Given their decade plus of staying power, and their brand, I think Jeff can sleep easy at night. Publishers are going to offer their content to all willing to send back revenue streams. They know the big dollars will aggregate like water from tiny droplets on the ground to creeks to streams to tributaries to massive continental rivers. Exclusivity agreements with device manufacturers will not be around for much longer. I wonder if book "renting" like DeepDyve's article renting will threaten libraries down the road.

Censorship as Good Public Policy?

In Canada, we do not allow folks to sell human biological materials (ex. a kidney). We have banned it on ethical/regulatory grounds. Ditto prostitution - health, ethical grounds. We legally sanction unions between adults. Why do we not ban: AshleyMadison.com? If you have been living under a rock, it is a dating site for married folks who want to have affairs. Does this not undermine marriage? A colleague called it "terrorism" on families, a bit much, but I see the point they are making. Yes, if we ban an online service, it is like wack-a-mole, it will still be accessible elsewhere. We can block credit card payments though, from Canadians. Why do we allow such a service?

If cons set up a similar service to recruit folks to do jobs, it would be shut down immediately. Why is this service allowed to exist? With technology, I always think, just because we can does not mean we should. Not all innovation is good. Where are the gatekeepers? A world without gates, is scary due to human nature than needs to be shaped and directed.



Someone has been listening to my dreams. Article renting for 99 cents (no print/saving). 30 Million articles!

Lets break down the elitism of research.

Curriculum Tweaks to Ensure Success

We have all heard of "delayed success" initiatives instead of "F" grading...Mark Potashin, a Richmond Hill Teacher writes in the Toronto Star write-in editorials:

"my biggest concern is the rapid decline in the expectations placed on students and the lack of consequences they face...students are not penalized for non-completion of assignments or not meeting deadlines. The reasons are financial and political."

I have been saying this myself for years now. Students are not developing the knowledgebase and skill sets students did fifteen years ago. Mass higher education is not working as promoted. I agree social connectivity and presentation skills are much improved over my generation, but there is more to learning and working in the job market than those skills. Students are coming equipped with what 20% of what employers need? Folks are graduating feeling they are entitled to a great high paying job when in fact, their learning has just begun. It is all about on the job training, since the schools have not kept up with the needs of the information economy.

This is not to say the problem is one sided, lots of faculty need to be put out to pasture. They'd fail kids because they are horrible teachers (old material, poor pedagogy). Weed the faculty corps, unhinge funding from graduation rate, and let faculty fail students who do not perform. We have to disband the status-quo, which in undermining the return on investment of higher education. Both personally and publically.



...helps you quickly create perfectly sized profile pictures or icons for websites and social networks. Upload any photo, then zoom and crop the image automatically to the perfect size, based on what service you need the image/icon for.

Why Alumni Access is Unavailable

By Joseph Esposito

"On closer examination, however, it becomes clear that enabling libraries to become broader resellers of materials is not in the publishers’ interests. The reason for this is that however one defines the relationship between a library and its parent university, a library is not the center of the universe. (Whenever I talk to librarians about this relationship, I’m reminded of the incessant punning on “universe”/”university” in John Barth’s novel “Giles Goat-boy”.) Alumni go out in the world to take jobs at corporations like Merck, Microsoft, Fujitsu, and countless others, where publishers have assiduously developed markets for their materials. An undergraduate who gets access to Lexis-Nexis may go on to become a senior partner at a Wall Street law firm, where the fees paid to Lexis-Nexis are staggeringly high. If undergraduates carried their institutional access privileges with them through life, the markets for the sale of publications to the corporate and government sectors would collapse—and likely lead to a huge price increase to academic libraries to offset the loss. While some publishers, particularly those with little or nothing in the way of corporate or government sales, may eventually decide to grant alumni rights to libraries, this will at best be a solution with gaping holes. "

Leverage Mess Moves From Mortgages to Libraries

Joe Esposito, my favorite soap box speaker this year recently posted to liblicense-l:

"The mouse in the room that frightens the elephant is the
possibility that the academy is, like housing, wrestling with
overleverage. Access to cheap money in the form of subsidized
student loans enabled the development of infrastructure and
services that are now, as the society is being deleveraged
everywhere from Wall St. to Main St., proving too costly to
maintain. Add up all the student debt and ask yourself: How
will all this money be repaid? What is the return on that

A friend of mine, who is on the faculty of a law school, tells me
that the average graduate of his institution is carrying debt in
the range of $150,000-$200,000. Where does the implicit optimism
about the prospects of a legal career come from? My knees grow
weak at the thought of having to shoulder that kind of debt.
And then I think of the buildings, staff, libraries, and so forth
that that debt helped to pay for.

Publishers benefited over the years from the cheap money policy.
If they suffer now, it is not because the market is failing, as
Fred Friend contends, but because the market is returning."

Okay, I'm freaking out now.

If you don't know Joe:
Joseph J. Esposito is President of Portable CEO, an independent consultancy providing strategy assessment and interim management to the information industries. Over the course of his career, Mr. Esposito has been associated with various publishers in all segments of the industry and was involved from an early time with new media publishing. He has served as an executive at Simon & Schuster and Random House, as President of Merriam-Webster, and CEO of Encyclopaedia Britannica, where he was responsible for the launch of the first Internet service of its kind.

Among Mr. Esposito's clients have been such technology companies as Microsoft and Hewlett Packard, various publishers of all stripes, and a growing number of not-for-profit organizations (e.g., Ithaka Harbors/JSTOR, the University of California Press, and the American National Standards Institute).

Last posts


What do I do with ATOM?