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.

What Consumers Will Pay for Online

From Mashable

Seems newspapers are doomed...

Personally, I'd pay, if they could come up with a better menu system. Right now I like paper because they are easier to browse, I can't find anything online. there are too many levels of menus...

Magazines, I want paper. A website is great for video add-ons, but I'm not going to curl up on a chair outside with an iPad, or on the toilet, in the bath, etc...

10 Most Pirated eBooks of 2009

All (e)books in this list were downloaded between 100.000 and 250.000 times via BitTorrent:

1. Kamasutra
2. Adobe Photoshop Secrets
3. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Amazing Sex
4. The Lost Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci
5. Solar House – A Guide for the Solar Designer
6. Before Pornography – Erotic Writing In Early Modern England
7. Twilight – Complete Series
8. How To Get Anyone To Say YES – The Science Of Influence
9. Nude Photography – The Art And The Craft
10. Fix It – How To Do All Those Little Repair Jobs Around The Home”

By Torrentfreak

Dale Arsenault’s 8 Things You Need to Know About Collaboration

1. Collaboration is over used and mis-used and is becoming a buzzword for business people and technologists alike
2. Collaboration isn’t the same as cooperation or coordination – each have different processes, practices and depth of engagement
3. Collaboration is a human process – throwing technology at people won’t magically/automatically create collaboration
4. Meaningful, productive collaboration won’t happen without mutuality of desired outcomes, shared values of transparency and information sharing, compassion, compromise
5. Collaboration implies that “the needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few or the needs of the one” and sometimes people aren’t really interested in living by that principle
6. Collaboration isn’t always the best process
7. Collaboration is not equal to Web 2.0
8. Collaboration can be a source of real value in the face of complex environments and situations where no single person has the right answer.

Custom e-Textbooks Arrive

"Macmillan, one of the five largest publishers of trade books and
textbooks, is introducing software called DynamicBooks, which
will allow college instructors to edit digital editions of
textbooks and customize them for their individual classes.
Professors will be able to reorganize or delete chapters; upload
course syllabuses, notes, videos, pictures and graphs; and
perhaps most notably, rewrite or delete individual paragraphs,
equations or illustrations."


Top 50 University Open Courseware Collections

URL Redirection Service Makes Innocent URLs Look Sinister

728 page report

Scholarly Kitchen says:

"What is surprising is why so many publishers and new commercial venues have jumped into the Web 2.0 space hoping they could do for scholars what Facebook did to teenagers and relying on a Zeitgeist of “build it and they will come.” Yes, teenagers become adults, but they often drop their teenage habits through the socialization of the classroom and the enculturation of academic culture. Harley writes:

There is ample evidence that, once initiated into the profession, newer scholars—be they graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, or assistant professors—adopt the behaviors, norms, and recommendations of their mentors in order to advance their careers. Of course, teenagers eventually develop into adults. (p.iii)"

Food for Thought....

Posted to liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
Feb. 11, 2010

Quoted in full...
"There has been much useful discussion on this list about scholars
as authors, and rightly so. Today, I would like to introduce a
view of what we scholars need nowadays as readers.

Increasingly, my reading is onscreen. The copy of an article or
book that works best for me is the one that I can download to my
desktop, and mark up as I please with highlighting and
commentary. I want to be able to re-copy to multiple folders if
this suits how I work. If I am using the same article for two
different projects, for example, I may want two copies with
different highlighting reflecting the most salient points to each
particular project. This ideal is a copy that I can search,
along with everything else on my computer, either for keywords or
key phrases in the text, or for my own notes. I can share a copy
freely with colleagues or students, with or without my notes,
either privately, or openly, on the web. I may want to create a
new version before sending, with customized notes to fit the
needs of my fellow researcher or student.

My access to my ideal scholar's copy is not dependent on whether
or not my library can afford a subscription, or whether I
continue at the institution with the subscription. If I submit
an article for publication, I can keep copies of the works that I

This is true of journal articles, reports of all kinds, and
e-books, too.

This is one of the reasons why we need libre open access. So
far, only a small percentage of OA is clearly libre OA.
However, once scholars like me begin to experience the
difference, my prediction is that demand for libre OA will grow,
while demand for digital rights management (DRM)-ridden works
will decrease.

It would be most useful if search services would permit limiting
to libre OA (e.g. CC-licensed works).

PhD Student
Simon Fraser University School of Communication"

Easy Polling App

British Library Offers 65 000 Free eBook Downloads

MORE than 65,000 19th-century works of fiction from the British Library’s collection are to be made available for free downloads by the public from this spring.

Owners of the Amazon Kindle, an ebook reader device, will be able to view well known works by writers such as Charles Dickens, Jane Austen and Thomas Hardy, as well as works by thousands of less famous authors.


Book Rental From iTunes

Seems iTunes may one day offer book rental.

Piece by piece, the rationale for public libraries, is being eroded by the marketplace. I'm worried about them.

"Google's strategy is the most disruptive: books read through a
browser; no copying permitted; no "ownership"; all data stored at
Google." (Joseph Esposito)

Libraries have been down this path for a long time, it is not so bad...

"The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has signed up with iCopyright, the American copyright bounty hunters used by the Associated Press, to offer ridiculous licenses for the quotation of CBC articles on the web (these are the same jokers who sell you a "license" to quote 5 words from the AP).

iCopyright offers "licenses" to use taxpayer-funded CBC articles on terms that read like a bizarre joke. You have to pay by the month to include the article on your website (apparently no partial quotation is offered, only the whole thing, which makes traditional Internet commentary very difficult!). And you have to agree not to criticize the CBC, the subject of the article, or its author. Thanks for fostering a dialogue, CBC! "


Music Blogocide 2010

"In what critics are calling "musicblogocide 2010", Google has deleted at least six popular music blogs that it claims violated copyright law. These sites, hosted by Google's Blogger and Blogspot services, received notices only after their sites – and years of archives – were wiped from the internet."


Database Bidding Wars

Posted by: Barbara Bibel to Points of Reference

Our collection development coordinator gave us some disturbing news today. It seems that some magazine publishers only want to deal with a single database and are selling to the highest bidder. First it was Consumer Reports. Now Time-Warner. This means that some of our most popular periodicals will not longer be part of our Infotrac Academic ASAP database. We will have to figure out if we can afford another subscription to get them, whether it will be possible to get a smaller package from the new vendor with those titles that we need, whether our consortium has any plans to work on this, and how to help our patrons deal with either the loss of their favorites or yet another interface. All of this is happening at a time of rock-bottom budgets and increased library use. The whole world of e-media has changed the business model for publishers and they have nothing but the profit motive to guide them.

More by Stephen Abram
"1. Do we want to support the introduction of restrictive practices in the world of knowledge, communities and learning? Do we want to support these sorts of restraints on people in their lives? Should vendors and content owners engage in practices that cause excessive limitations in the world of information content? Are you ready to have to purchase more due to a competitive situation that reduces the content in every vendor? Are your budgets ready for this and is this the right time for this situation? Shouldn't we compete on interface and usability?

2. Do we, as librarians, sit idly by and allow significant resources to be lost for access by every user in our community or institutional users just to satisfy the goals of one vendor’s market share and revenue model? Most library sector vendors are equal players in the library sector and support the culture and value systems of our clients.

3. If content becomes the exclusive of one vendor, do we now have to invest time and effort in a new thorough review of our electronic resources? Are we back to the serials rationalization efforts of the 90s only now dealing with e-copies? Is this the time to add additional efforts to our already stressed or downsized staff? How will these additional costs be passed on and are your budgets ready for a price increase? Is this the economy where one vendor shold be able to introduce these costs into?

4. What other impacts will there be on our staff that are already overstressed by the increases in usage, additional work, and change? Do we want to have to review every purchasing decision again or incur the hidden costs of changing suppliers and updating training sessions? Do we want to learn everything all over again? Are your staffing and financial models ready to add this additional stress?

5. In purchasing resources, are we returning to a point where we need to add additional evaluation time and complexity to our purchase and renewal decisions?

6. And when a particular vendor spends (maybe overspends two or three times more than the past) to acquire an exclusive on some content, how will they recover their additional costs? Who will they pass these on to? Will they assert that they can absorb these costs, and would you believe them?

7. We are also challenged with adapting to many of the great technological changes that allow us to create new transformational experiences for our users – citizens, librarians, students, researchers, learners, hobbyists and more. Isn’t this one of the places where you’d prefer to invest time, money and resources?

8. Is this the time to engage in a business practice of gaining exclusive control of certain electronic information content? Can you pay more? Can you add additional time commitments to your staff to adapt? Will you reward this behaviour with your business? Open competition that delivers the best products and features to libraries requires open markets and a level playing field."
(Stephen Abram)

Folks Want $9.99 eBooks or Else

Funny piece today in the New York Times about folks pushing back on higher ebook pricing by giving titles low reviews and negative comments to try to impact sales.

"...publishers are hoping that a vast majority of people who have not yet tried e-reading devices will not have any expectation of the low pricing now available from Amazon and others, including Barnes & Noble and Sony."

"But some e-book buyers say that since publishers do not have to pay to print, store or distribute e-books, they should be much cheaper than print books."

Desktop Customization

What a great mashup: Craiglook.com

Stephen Abram Has Competition!

Price Check Apps and Services Under Fire

Fight Over Who Sets Prices at the Online Mall
NY Times

Seems manufacturers, publishers, etc. are trying to rein in discounting and trying to "break" iPhone apps for price checking.

Time for consumers to vote with their wallets.

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