The discussion of self-published titles in libraries has increased in recent years, in direct proportion to the angst surrounding ongoing ebook licensing negotiations with major traditional publishers. Prompted by the prospect of limited availability of popular titles or higher prices—probably both—librarians are understandably weighing alternatives that might satisfy readership demands. There are, however, very real barriers that must be overcome before self-publishing is likely to be even a small component of many collection efforts. Some barriers will fall away naturally as this growing market gains momentum and filters its way into downstream publishing markets like libraries, while others will require a more concerted advocacy effort to overcome.
Everyone does a year-end list, and I don’t like being left out. But I also don’t like lists that are short on context, or worse, short on content. So I channeled my inner Nate Silver and sliced the LJ universe of data in a couple of ways that I hope are more illuminating than just a raw list of articles that got a lot of attention.
A double session room filled to capacity at the Public Library Association Conference in Philadelphia got an earful about the difference between Big “R” reference and a more nimble and responsive vision of services anticipating 21st century user needs. The session was presented by Jason Kuhl and Richard Kong of the Arlington Heights Memorial Library (IL) with Celeste Choate of Ann Arbor District Library (MI).
We’re getting our online house in order. Soon, Library Journal will have a proper home for the daily mix of news stories, reviews, features, columns, and research we publish to the web and in our newsletters. In the meantime, you’re going to see LJ content in a couple of different places, all still under the LJ banner.