I appreciate the spirit of this, but despair at the idea that
libraries organize their services around public domain works, thus
becoming early 20th century institutions. The gap between 1923 and
2011 is huge, and it makes no sense to users that a library provide
services based on publication date, much less that enhanced services
stop at 1923.
Quoting Eric Hellman <e...@hellman.net>:
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.
President, Gluejar, Inc.
http://www.gluejar.com/ Gluejar is hiring!