The DPLA listserv is probably too impractical for most of Code4Lib, but Nate Hill (who's on this list as well) made this contribution there, which I think deserves attention from library coders here.
On Apr 5, 2011, at 11:15 AM, Nate Hill wrote: > It is awesome that the project Gutenberg stuff is out there, it is a great > start. But libraries aren't using it right. There's been talk on this list > about the changing role of the public library in people's lives, there's been > talk about the library brand, and some talk about what 'local' might mean in > this context. I'd suggest that we should find ways to make reading library > ebooks feel local and connected to an immediate community. Brick and mortar > library facilities are public spaces, and librarians are proud of that. We > have collections of materials in there, and we host programs and events to > give those materials context within the community. There's something special > about watching a child find a good book, and then show it to his or her > friend and talk about how awesome it is. There's also something special > about watching a senior citizens book group get together and discuss a new > novel every month. For some reason, libraries really struggle with treating > their digital spaces the same way. > > I'd love to see libraries creating online conversations around ebooks in much > the same way. Take a title from project Gutenberg: The Adventures of > Huckleberry Finn. Why not host that book directly on my library website so > that it can be found at an intuitive URL, > www.sjpl.org/the-adventures-of-huckleberry-finn and then create a forum for > it? The URL itself takes care of the 'local' piece; certainly my most likely > visitors will be San Jose residents- especially if other libraries do this > same thing. The brand remains intact, when I launch this web page that holds > the book I can promote my library's identity. The interface is no problem > because I can optimize the page to load well on any device and I can link to > different formats of the book. Finally, and most importantly, I've created a > local digital space for this book so that people can converse about it via > comments, uploaded pictures, video, whatever. I really think this community > conversation and context-creation around materials is a big part of what > makes public libraries special. Eric Hellman President, Gluejar, Inc. http://www.gluejar.com/ Gluejar is hiring! e...@hellman.net http://go-to-hellman.blogspot.com/ @gluejar