Libraries’ Silver Lining (Roundtable: 11/11/10)

#DBW RoundtableThe Roundtable is a live, interactive webcast gathering some of the most outspoken industry professionals to debate the hottest publishing issues of the week, as being discussed in traditional media, the blogiverse and on Twitter. From celebrity book deals to eBook rights and pricing to [insert YOUR pet topic here] — if it’s related to books, it’s on the agenda.

Topic: Libraries’ Silver Lining

This episode of The Roundtable was webcast live at 1pm EDT on Thursday, November 11, 2010.


Pablo Defendini, Interactive Producer, Open Road Integrated Media
Bridget Warren, Former Co-Owner, Vertigo Books

Special Guests:

Katie Dunneback, Consultant, East Central Library Services, Bettendorf, IA
Heather McCormack
, Book Review Editor, Library Journal

Moderated by:

Guy LeCharles Gonzalez, Dir. of Programming & Business Development, Digital Book World


Digital Underclass: What Happens When the Libraries Die?
By Jason Perlow, ZDNet

It means that we need to guarantee that citizens have access, even if they are poor. It means each citizen needs access to free bandwidth to get books and they need devices to read the material on. We can assume that everyone in 10 years will be able to afford a smartphone or a super-inexpensive tablet device with inexpensive Internet connectivity, but that’s an awful big assumption. And assuming that we aren’t going to cede the distribution of all electronic books to the Amazons of the world, then we need to start thinking about how we build that Digital Public Library infrastructure. Does it make sense to build datacenters at the state or county level with huge e-book/e-media repositories?

Troy Public Library’s Future Looks Bleak
By Michael Kelley, Library Journal

One disappointing result of Tuesday’s election was the defeat in Troy, MI, of four separate proposals that, if approved, would have avoided the closing of the city’s library. Without another source of funding, the 51-year-old library will close June 30, 2011. The first proposal, a ten-year, 0.9885-millage failed by only 675 votes, 15,736 to 15,071. The other three measures were defeated by large margins.

New Library Technologies Dispense With Librarians
By Conor Dougherty, WSJ

Some library directors worry that such machines are the first step toward a future in which the physical library—along with its reference staffs and children’s programs—fades from existence. James Lund, director of the Red Wing Public Library in Red Wing, Minn., recently wrote skeptically about the “vending library” in Library Journal, a trade publication. “The basis of the vending machine is to reduce the library to a public-book locker,” Mr. Lund said in an interview. “Our real mission is public education and public education can’t be done from a vending machine. It takes educators, it takes people, it takes interaction.”

Ebook Summit: Our Ebook Challenge
By Library Journal Staff

Prioritize Today’s End User: This moment of Zen, brought to you by a tech-savvy young student, the demographic that was constantly invoked while imagining the future during the Summit, the future library user who supposedly is way past the boring old codex and is going to abandon libraries if we don’t hurry up and get digital. He wants to interact with books, just as Kevin Kelly predicted, but ebooks don’t let him do that. And there’s something solid and connected about interacting with a text that won’t change, that you can actually touch, that you can act on without worrying how it’s acting on its own.

If Libraries are Screwed, so are the Rest of Us
By Emily Williams, DBW

Many libraries already act as repositories for local history, in theory they have more chops when it comes to marshaling the community’s resources and ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​offering a space and tools for book creation than a private company would, not to mention the fact that libraries generally don’t charge for their services. The big thing to consider, though, is the underlying assumption for this radical rethinking of libraries is that they’re on their own. That with the transition to ebooks, publishers no longer have much interest in serving the library market and will limit digital access to their books so severely as to make the lending model unworkable, or at least unattractive to anyone with enough money to buy a gadget and the books to fill it. If that’s the case, libraries can either devolve into readers’ welfare institutions, serving only the poor and destitute, or they can reinvent themselves.

Three Punk Rock Lessons for Surviving 21st-Century Library Hell
Justin Hoenke, Teen Librarian, Portland (ME) Public Library

We didn’t know what to expect, let alone even know how to run a “library blog.” We relied on our instincts to expand the discussion of video gaming in libraries in the hopes of rendering it a legit service, not solely the realm of acne-covered, Mountain Dew–drinking teens. Library tattoos as promotion? An ALA Dance Party at the hottest gay bar in DC to intermingle the members of our growing tribe? Video game lesson plans based around Pokemon? Sure, sure, sure, and why not. Now we’re just a year shy of our first birthday.

Twitter (as RTd by @DigiBookWorld):

RT @bcshipps: #dbw No libraries, no memory, no history, no future. (Source:

RT @deegospel: Spent last Saturday hosting a Fall Book Show at the Perry Public Library in Houston County GA. Love, love, libraries. #dbw

RT @millerchick: WOW Katie @younglibrarian is a THIRD gen Librarian!  That is impressive AND Important! #DBW

RT @deegospel: People need access to achieve. The Digital divide and the importance of libraries as bridges to that divide.  #dbw

RT @strachanlit: The essential function [of a library] is to discover books of whose existence the reader has no idea — Umberto Eco #dbw

RT @millerchick: “it’s the librarians job to fuse the book with multiple lives” @hmccormack #dbw

RT @bcshipps: Librarians do influence book sales through readers advisory. #dbw

RT @bcshipps: As an adult, I borrow and buy. Often buy something I’ve borrowed, or something I didn’t want to wait for on hold list. #dbw

RT @bamsales: “In times of trouble library doors need to be open more not less” @Marilynajohnson, author of THIS BOOK IS OVERDUE. #DBW


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