Eric, thanks for finding enough merit in my post on the DPLA listserv
to repost it here.

Karen and Peter, I completely agree with your feelings-
But my point in throwing this idea out there was that despite all of
the copyright issues, we don't really do a great job making a simple,
intuitive, branded interface for the works that *are* available - the
public domain stuff.  Instead we seem to be content with knowing that
this content is out there, and letting vendors add it to their
difficult-to-use interfaces.

I guess my hope, seeing this reposted here is that someone might have
a suggestion as to why I would not host public domain ebooks on my own
library's site.  Are there technical hurdles to consider?

I feel like I see a tiny little piece of the ebook access problem that
we *can* solve here, while some of the larger issues will indeed be
debated in forums like the DPLA for quite a while.  By solving a small
problem along the way, perhaps when the giant 1923-2011 problem is
resolved we'll have a clearer path as to what type of access we might

On 4/10/11, Peter Murray <> wrote:
> I, too, have been struggling with this aspect of the discussion. (I'm on the
> DPLA list as well.) There seems to be this blind spot within the leadership
> of the group to ignore the copyright problem and any interaction with
> publishers of popular materials. One of the great hopes that I have for this
> group, with all of the publicity it is generating, is to serve as a voice
> and a focal point to bring authors, publishers and librarians together to
> talk about a new digital ownership and sharing model.
> That doesn't seem to be happening.
> Peter
> On Apr 10, 2011, at 10:05, "Karen Coyle" <> wrote:
>> 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.
>> kc
>> Quoting Eric Hellman <>:
>>> 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, 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.
>>>   Gluejar is hiring!
>>> @gluejar
>> --
>> Karen Coyle
>> ph: 1-510-540-7596
>> m: 1-510-435-8234
>> skype: kcoylenet

Nate Hill

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