Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Always Something Good 

ListenUpVermont, the Vermont digital library still in its first years, is beginning to take real strides towards becoming the all encompassing digital library that we all see on the horizon.  During LUV's first years it seemed the books I wanted either weren't available or there was an incredible wait list that seemed longer than the number of pages in Pillars of the Earth.  Granted at this point there are still plenty of holes in the collection.  But users remember, we are only in our fourth year.  When I don't find what I want, I surf the rest of the collection and try to find something good.  And there always is something good.   I didn't start my search with any of the titles shown above, but was pleasantly surprised by each.

With roadblocks from publishers who have raised prices to ridiculous amounts there is grave concern for the future of our digital library and digital libraries in general.  I see the publishers' points.  InterLibrary Loan would make it exceedingly easy for libraries to buy fewer copies, since it is just a click away from sending a book from your collection to the library in need.  Someone will undoubtedly figure out how to break through the protections designed to keep books out for the one or two week loan periods and we will have the Napster phenomenon with books.  But let's address the real issues and not complain that copies should have limited amounts of checkouts or should cost 800% of the price the book is being sold to any individual that wants a copy.  Libraries need to survive.  Sharing resources brings people to an understanding on how to live.  We already moved from carrying 8 kids all piled up on each other in one car to 8 cars with one kid each.  Let's not all have our own private collection that can never be shared.  It's a matter of style and we are heading in the wrong direction.

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