Digital Library Digest: March 14, 2013

Posted by Vicky Zeamer on March 14, 2013 in Digital Library Digest.

A Massachusetts public library will begin to act as a digital publisher

“PROVINCETOWN — The library is going to publish books. Under the new Provincetown Public Press digital publishing imprint, a dozen or so writers and artists will learn this year how to create a digital book of their work and market it on the Internet, library officials announced Thursday.

“This might be a first in the country, library director Cheryl Napsha said Friday. “We haven’t seen it anywhere. There are some libraries that are starting to print physical books using high-end copiers. To the best of my knowledge, no one has gone digital.”

“The library is starting the press as a public service, she said. It will be funded by a $3,000 donation.

“We’re the oldest continuous art colony in the country. Traditional methods of getting published have gotten narrower and narrower,” Napsha said.

“On the Internet, an artist or writer can circumvent hurdles such as finding a publisher and paying for printed copies, she said. An author, for example, would be able to publish a digital novel under the Provincetown Public Press imprint, or an artist would be able to share a portfolio of work online, and both could spark valuable feedback and new followers, Napsha said.

“Everything that we’ve seen in industry trends, library news, bookstore news is that it’s becoming less about holding that physical book in your hand and more about quality content” online, Matt Clark, the library’s library marketing and program development director, said Friday.

“The board of selectmen approved the Provincetown Public Press concept in February, and the library is accepting submissions of completed, ready-to-publish works from writers or artists through April 30.

“The submissions will be reviewed by a panel of library staff and at least two writers and two artists, including some members who are associated with local cultural organizations. Each book will be owned by the writer or artist, and each can be sold or given away for free on electronic book outlets such as iBooks and Amazon, Clark and Napsha said.

“Nationally, “my guess is that there are a lot of libraries that are getting their toes wet in this,” Eric Hellman, president of Gluejar Inc. said Saturday. The American Library Association referred the Times to Hellman, whose for-profit company is working on licensing issues that would allow rights holders to make their electronic books and other types of digital material available free.

“A lot of people I talk to advocate that public libraries should be publishing themselves,” Hellman said.

“Auto-Graphics Inc. has a library management software product that allows patrons to publish books in digital formats, he said. The software product is called COMPOSEit, according to the company’s website.”

From Mary Ann Bragg’s article for The Cape Cod Times, Provincetown library to venture into republishing

Chief executive of the British Library, Roly Keating, tells Matthew Reisz he will help university libraries seek ‘the heart of the service’

“The new chief executive of the British Library has pledged to support university libraries as they seek “the heart of the service” they should be providing in financially straitened times.

“Roly Keating joined the library last September after almost 30 years at the BBC, where he served as controller of both BBC Two and BBC Four, and most recently as director of archive content.

“He explored some of the parallel challenges of both organisations in a speech at the Research Libraries UK annual conference last November.

“One such challenge was implementing the “demanding vision” of “guaranteeing access”, to which both the library and the corporation have expressed commitment.

“Since the BBC had long operated with “no record of what it had broadcast” and had agreements “written for an age [when programmes had just] one or two repeats”, it had required real effort to adapt to the new realities of digital copyright and data management, he told the conference. Variations on these themes were equally relevant to the British Library.

“On access to material, Mr Keating told Times Higher Education that he is fully supportive of “the brave call” made by his predecessor, Dame Lynne Brindley, that the library should be “a resource for anyone who wants to do research, provided they have a bona fide research project and need to use our collections”.

“He added: “It has to be generously defined, because true innovation and breakthroughs can come from many quarters – the human and citizen need to access a great library is as diverse as the country we serve.””

From Matthew Reisz’s article for Times Higher Education, British Library pledges support to university libraries

School districts are experimenting with strategies for creating state-of-the-art K-12 digital libraries

“Three years ago, when the nation’s K-12 schools started thinking seriously about creating digital libraries, the Mesquite Independent School District (TX) purchased several Sony eReaders, loaded them with books, and circulated them to students. It didn’t take long for the district to see the flaws in that initial attempt.

“It was a nightmare because e-readers are meant to be personal devices,” recalls Debbie Swartz, library technology facilitator for the district, which serves 38,000 K-12 students. After being checked out, for example, the devices had to be authorized to an individual with an account, but then couldn’t be authorized to anyone else. Also, if the students took the devices home and hooked them up to their own computers, those devices remained authorized to that home computer. “We realized pretty quickly that we wanted to back out of the device ‘lending’ aspect of the digital library,” she says.

“A River of Reading:Those specific limitations aside, device lending is still a feasible, if imperfect, option for some schools. At Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, MA, for example, librarians have put their faith in Amazon, using a combination of school- and student-owned Kindles and iPads tethered to a single, school authorized account to let students check out and read books and other digital content.

“We picked Amazon because we can have an unlimited number of devices associated with our account,” explains Thomas Corbett, executive director for the school’s Fisher-Watkins Library.

“While Cushing Academy owns more than 100 Kindles that students can use to download books via the Kindle’s mobile app, Corbett says they have “no special arrangement” with Amazon regarding the content or pricing. Like any Amazon account holder, the school works within the Amazon system of e-book distribution: Librarians typically purchase a copy of a book and wait for students to request it. When they do, librarians load the title onto a school-owned device for the student to check out, or else send it straight to the student. Depending on the publisher, the school may be able to put each purchased copy–called a license–on as many as six devices, Corbett says.

“We encourage [students] not to worry about what we already own, but to browse the bigger universe of titles that may interest them,” Corbett says. In this way, “we can immediately satisfy demand, and get students connected into reading more quickly, because they never have to wait for a title to become available.”
Not a “lending” setup in the traditional sense, Cushing Academy’s digital library strategy has been well received by both teachers and students, and the library’s budget has remained constant even as it has moved toward a “patron-driven” digital content approach. “We can meet demand better than we could before and we don ‘t have to manage a local, physical collection,” Corbett says. In fact, he says, librarians should learn to embrace the new rules of content curation.

“It’s difficult for librarians to get out of that mode of ‘owning’ a collection and being its gatekeepers,” Corbett says. “But that’s old-school.”

“The main issue with Cushing’s model has been that Amazon’s service isn’t necessarily designed for institutional use, and Corbett hints that his school’s strategy may not be sustainable. “In the future, we’d much rather support a recreational platform that is more sustainable,” he says. “But it works for now.” “

From Bridget McCrea’s article on THE Journal, Making Digital Libraries Work, With or Without BYOD

ARTstor and Condé Nast collaborating to share 25,000 images

“ARTstor has reached an agreement with Condé Nast to share 25,000 images of cartoons from The New Yorker, highlights from the Condé Nast Archive of Photography, and selections from the Fairchild Photo Service.

“The images in these collections will be of great assistance in teaching a myriad of subjects like history, literature, and fashion. The New Yorker’s cartoons are legendary for their incisive wit and for shedding light on the dominant topics of every era, from the Depression to the Internet. The magazine’s cartoonists include renowned figures like, Peter Arno, Roz Chast, Otto Soglow, William Steig, James Thurber, and Gahan Wilson. The Condé Nast Collection, containing images dating back to 1892, represents one of the world’s greatest collections of magazine photography, encompassing fashion, celebrity, and lifestyle photography from publications such as House & Garden, Glamour, Vanity Fair, and Vogue. The Fairchild Photo Service, comprised of more than three million photos gathered over six decades, is the fashion world’s preeminent image gallery.

“Condé Nast is home to some of the world’s most celebrated media brands. In the United States, Condé Nast publishes 18 consumer magazines, four business-to-business publications, 27 websites, and more than 50 apps for mobile and tablet devices, all of which define excellence in their categories. The company also owns Fairchild Fashion Media (FFM), whose portfolio of brands serves as the leading source of news and analysis for the global fashion community. Condé Nast has won more National Magazine Awards over the past ten years than all of its competitors combined. For more information, visit or follow them on Twitter @CondeNastCorp.

“The ARTstor Digital Library provides 1.5 million images in the arts and sciences and a Workspace to search, browse, present, and save images both online and offline for teaching and research purposes. ARTstor is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization with a mission to further education and scholarship through digital technologies. For more information, visit

From the ARTstor blog, ARTstor and Condé Nast collaborating to share 25,000 images

Google to discontinue “Google Reader” this coming July

“If you use Google Reader to read and share RSS feeds you’re going to need to find a new tool. Google just announced that as of July 1st, 2013 they will “retire” the service.

“Here’s what they had to say in a blog post: “We launched Google Reader in 2005 in an effort to make it easy for people to discover and keep tabs on their favorite websites. While the product has a loyal following, over the years usage has declined. So, on July 1, 2013, we will retire Google Reader. Users and developers interested in RSS alternatives can export their data, including their subscriptions, with Google Takeout over the course of the next four month.”

“If you use RSS (we do), we’re big fans of what Sam Clay at Newsblur is up to. We’ve been this web-based RSS aggregator for over a year and have been slowly but surely migrating over (from Google Reader). Newsblur is an entirely web-based service, very reasonable in terms of price, has a growing number of features, and is the work of a single developer who is very responsive to suggestions. The one feature Newsblur doesn’t have (at least as of today) is the ability to keyword search all of your feeds. Hopefully, this will be coming soon. Worth a look.”

From Gary Price’s post on INFOdocket, So Long and Goodbye: Google Will Discontinue Google Reader This Summer

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