Summer Doldrums (well, maybe not so dull)

Posted Friday, August 16, 2013 - 10:55
Digital Content and Libraries Working Group

Conventional wisdom is that work slows down in August, especially in Washington, D.C., with the departure of Congress. But for the ALA Digital Content crew (DCWG), the summer doldrums have passed us by.

It’s always busy for ALA staff members after Annual Conference, just because of follow-up activities, which often consume a month or more afterwards. DCWG was also engaged in planning. In continuing to press the library community’s case to publishers, ALA and DCWG leadership will be venturing forth to New York City in early October with ALA President Barbara Stripling leading the delegation. On October 23, ALA will be hosting a Virtual Town Hall on Ebooks, also featuring ALA and DCWG leadership.

Many outreach activities are forthcoming, and I will mention a few here. ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels will explore the future of ebooks on a panel on August 19 at the IFLA conference in Singapore. DCWG member Jamie LaRue has a pair of appearances in Pennsylvania in the next few weeks before presenting in September at the State Library of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. Chris Harris will explain ebooks at a workshop of the Massachusetts School Library Association in September. Fiels, with Deirdre Brennan and Larra Clark of the Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP), will talk ebooks at the Illinois Library Association Annual Conference in October. That same month, DCWG Co-chair Sari Feldman will discuss all things digital at the Pennsylvania Library Association Annual Conference (PDF link), and Carrie Russell of OITP likewise at the Indiana Library Federation Annual Conference (PDF link).

Additionally, here are a couple of news items from the past few weeks:

  • Macmillan Publishing expanded its library ebook program to include some romance and young adult titles;
  • Follett has partnered with Hachette Book Group and Random House (part of Penguin Random House) to offer ebooks to school libraries;
  • Check out “A Rational Framework for Library eBook Licensing,” by former DCWG member Eric Hellman;
  • And here’s the latest ebook pricing report from Douglas County (Colo.) Libraries.

As always, there is more to come. Several publications are in the works—we’ll let you know when they are released in the coming months. We are digesting and cogitating input from a brainstorming session DCWG held at Annual about digital preservation, and so you can expect to hear more about that too. And, of course, the 2014 ALA Midwinter Meeting is just around the corner. . . .