Wed, 30 Jan 2013 9:14a.m.
The increasing popularity of electronic reading devices, or e-readers, has come at the expense of the humble book.
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31/01/2013 1:43:26 p.m.
Tim Gordon wrote:
While I can see how it might seem that way Bruce, but I think it is all to simplistic in this case to blame libraries.
The idea of a digital paper society has been a long time coming; think the photograph of Bill Gates sitting atop large stacks of paper holding a compact disc, or Microsoft's checkered history of tablet computing and reader software. Libraries have been well aware of this and have for some years been making progress, you only have to look at academic publishing (which has its own problems) to see how the digital nature of publications have changed the roles of the library and how patrons use them.
Contarary to what you say, I think it's more likely that the publishing industry and various digital players looked closely at how the digital music revolution played out (a luxury the music industry didn't have) and engineered their distribution models to maximize profits for both their traditional and newly developed digital distrubution strategies.
As was mentioned in this news item, it's clear that publishers and distributors are working in a way that makes it difficult for libraries to fully participate in the provision of quality digital publishing. You only have to look at the HarperCollins decision to limit checkouts of digital books to only 26 times (apparently the average life expectancy for a book on a shelf and despite the eBook having none of the physical limitations) to see that there is more to play here than libraries being simply not in the 'real world'.
The publishing industry is complex--probably more so than its music counterpart--and I don't think it's actually that hard to work that financial gain seems to be an incredibly strong factor in the current state of digital publishing.
30/01/2013 11:07:50 a.m.
Bruce Alpine wrote:
The traditional libraries and publishers (with an empathise on the word, Traditional) missed an opportunity a few years ago, much the same as a mistake the music industry made during the 90s of refusing to have any foresight towards the modern electronic age regarding the easy transfer of music files over the Internet. That was until Apple created the first iTunes stores, allowing the music industry a viable alternative to downloading music legally. It seems the traditional Libraries lacked the same foresight regarding books. Unfortunately, it's takes some time for these "Traditional" industries to modernise with the times. When I published my books, A History Of Life On Earth, Distinctly Human, An Evolutionary Journey and Before The Big Bang, I had no intention in having them published traditionally as, it was clear the traditional libraries and publishing industry were mindlessly plodding along without realising what is actually happening in the Real world. It is great to see that at least the Libraries in NZ are finally realising the future of books.
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