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Blueink Review

You think publishing and libraries have it bad? Talk to the newspapers.

After 150 years of award-winning reporting, Denver’s Rocky Mountain News shut its doors in 2009. Shortly after that, I happened to meet with Patti Thorn, who had been the highly respected chief book critic of the Rocky, and served as editor of the book review pages. We talked about what we agreed was a trend to be watched: the rise of self-publishing.

ALA Welcomes MacMillian's Expansion of Its Public Library E-lending Program

ALA President Courtney Young released a statement today regarding Macmillian’s announcement that it would be expanding its public library e-lending program to include front-list books.

Predictions

What do new enterprises such as Scribd, Oyster, and Kindle Unlimited tell us?

First, they tell us that the subscription service model makes at least some sense both to aggregator and consumer. (Although I continue to find Total Boox a fascinating alternative.)

Amazon Unlimited

The disruption continues, and it’s hard not to see the announcement of the new Kindle Unlimited Service as a significant challenge to libraries.

A Passion for Coding

Technology is eating the world. Like a hungry dragon seeking out new villages to pillage, the tech world continues to find new markets to disrupt. And, like some mythical beast of apocalyptic proportions, technology is just as unstoppable. Good? Evil? Technology is code and that is all that matters. Some use it for good, and some for not so good. The point is that many others are out there using it. Where are libraries?

Amazon Calls Baloney

Maybe it’s because I’ve been rereading classic Daniel Pinkwater novels (namely, The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death and The Snarkout Boys and the Baconburg Horror) but Amazon’s latest stunner of a response to stalled negotiations with Hachette reads like a young-adult comedy.

DCL Ebook Report for July 2014

Read the Douglas County (Colo.) Libraries Ebook Report as a PDF file.

What interests me this month is that we have a book (Meredith Wild’s Hardline) that doesn’t seem to be available in any readily obtainable format to libraries. It’s part of a series (the Hacker series, number 3), and might be categorized as erotica.

The Second Phase of Technological Disruption

I’ve been thinking about a book called Why Nations Fail, by Daron Acemoğlu and James Robinson. To (over)summarize, the coauthors say that nations fail because they resist, and try to stifle, the disruption that follows technological breakthroughs.

Technological disruption challenges prevailing power. Naturally, those established institutions try to fight back. But they rarely win. Disruption tends to release a dam of pent-up and democratic energy. Eventually, it overwhelms or transforms the established order.

Consortia, Buy It Now, and Simon & Schuster

Today’s announcement (PDF file) that Simon & Schuster is making it possible for all public libraries to acquire its ebook content is welcome news. S&S had been the major holdout among the biggest publishers.

Simon & Schuster Expands Its Library Ebook Pilot Nationwide

There is good news (PDF file) on the ebook front, as Simon & Schuster converts its pilot on library ebook lending to a national program. Frankly, some of us, yours truly included, once thought that this day would never come.

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